Checklist for a happy holiday

family holidays to France

I don’t know about you, but I can’t do anything without a list.  And with the biggest travel weekend of the year coming up, it’s all hands on deck to get organised and pack.

Handy tip no. 1 : SCREENSHOT ME! Then you have this on your phone.

Handy tip no. 2: refuse to pack your partner’s clothes.  I tried this once, never again.  All I had all holiday was “where’s my…?”

So, what to take.  Let’s list by the vital, the essential and the must have.


  • Passports
  • Pet passport (check out our guide on taking a dog to France here)
  • Purse / wallet with credit card
  • Phone
  • Medication
  • Travel Insurance / EHIC card
  • Driving licence
  • Glasses / Sunglasses
  • Nappy bag & food if travelling with baby.

Everything else you can probably buy, beg or steal en route.  (No, I don’t condone stealing, it’s just a phrase).


  • Phone charger.
  • Adapter.
  • Computer / tablets etc.
  • Computer / tablets that are fully charged and have games / videos on them for the kids.
  • Earphones / headphones for the kids…
  • If taking the car – all the paraphernalia you have to carry whilst driving in France, including reflective jackets etc.  Find out more here about what to take. 
  • Breakdown motor insurance.  Check out BreakDown Direct, they have good prices and great service.

Must have

  • Books, games and a pack of cards
  • Camera
  • Clothes (including spare pants)
  • Hats
  • Swim costume / inflatables
  • Bag that can be used to take to the pool / beach with swim costumes in.
  • Clear bag if going on a plane.
  • Towel for each person.
  • Washbag including toothbrush, toothpaste, all your normal toiletries.  Don’t faff around with the travel size stuff, it’s a waste of money and there’s not enough of it.
  • Ladies sanitary protection.
  • Wet wipes.  Lots of them, all over the car.
  • Contact lens – case, solution, spares.
  • Hairbrush / travel hair dryer / hair straighteners / hair products.
  • Sun cream.  High factor.  Don’t burn yourselves, it’s just not worth it.
  • Fake tan cream.  (Would come under ‘Vital’ in my list).
  • First aid kit including diarrhoea and constipation tablets.  Because my insides don’t work like they used to when travelling abroad.
  • Bucket & spade.
  • Baby stuff.  Loads and loads of baby stuff.  You know what you can’t do without…
  • Snacks for the journey, including fresh water and apples.  It’s amazing what people will eat when they are bored.

And finally…

Nice to have

  • Pre-booked theme park tickets.  Check out Futuroscope and Disneyland Paris.
  • A happy family who won’t argue within the close confines of a car.


Don’t forget…

  • Cancel the milk and any regular Amazon deliveries.
  • Check if your car is due a service.
  • Let your neighbours know if you’re away so they can keep an eye on things.
  • Cut your grass before you go.  (It’ll be a wilderness before you know it).
  • Clean your kitchen before you go. (You’ll appreciate it when you get back).

Anything you think I’ve missed?  Email me at