Saturday, 21 July 2012

Packing Our Holiday Bags

Good morning! The sun is shining, it is the first day of the summer holidays and I am doing my very best to ignore my hangover and concentrate on everything I need to do today. We set off for a holiday in the Cotswolds today and I wanted to show you our holiday bags. Yes, more bags, I'm sorry. 

When I was a child, my mum would make my sisters and I a holiday bag and give it to us at the start of our annual family holiday. Each bag contained something like a new story book, a pad of paper and a new packet of crayons, some snacks. As we got older there would be puzzles, word searches, games to keep us occupied throughout the journey (my favourite - design your own treasure island with a map and key...I used to spend all holiday working on this). I looked forward to the holiday bags as much as the holiday itself.


It's a little tradition I wanted to carry on for my children. A couple of years ago I made them a bag each and every year when we go away I fill it with bits and bobs and treats I know they will enjoy and things that I hope will keep them happy on the journey and throughout the holiday. My two have never been great travellers (even with their own little DVD players!) - I must have the only two children in the world who don't like sleeping in car seats.


Sticker books - £3
Felt tip pens - £2.50
Doodle pad - 50p
Toy - £4
Sweets - £1
Juice - 50p

Total amount spent for a hopefully peaceful car journey and happy holiday: £11.50.

What about you? Any pre-holiday traditions in your household? And any tips for a keeping children entertained on a long journeys? Bella loves I-Spy but it's frustrating as she doesn't really grasp the fundamentals.


Bella: "I spy something beginning with P." 
Me: "Paper? Pen?" 
Bella: "No. Panda." 


There are no pandas inside or outside the car.

The weather forecast looks very promising with warm and sunny weather, and nothing could make me happier after the months of rain we've had here this summer. I am told there is broadband, but I may not be around much here for the next week or so, although I'll try to check in if I can. Have a great week everyone, and a warm welcome to new followers. xx

50 comments:

  1. That's a great idea!
    When i was younger i barely remembered getting into the car to set off for holiday as we always set off at around 6. Some years i would wake up fast asleep with two comfy pillows and a bucket just incase i was sick ( i werent the best traveller). We never had goody bags but mum always made sandwiches for the journey :).
    Enjoy your holiday, looks like you picked a good week for the weather!
    x

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    1. Sandwiches for the journey...how lovely! I wish I'd planned a packed lunch, we spent a fortune in the service station.

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  2. What a lovely post Gillian, it took me right back to the 'summer specials' my mum bought for my brother and I. You have inspired me to start these lovely bags for my two! Have a fab holiday, jxx

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    1. I love how you called them "summer specials". Stickers and chocolate - you can't go wrong! x

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  3. More pretty bags! You've inspired me to visit that website and get one to decorate one for Jennifer's PE bag.
    I tend to pack one big goodie bag, probably because I have 2 girls and they like similar things. I put similar things to you in it and also save some bits for later in the journey. 4 hours or so in a car is a long time with little ones and I find it helps to have something new to bring out when they get really bored.
    Have a brilliant holiday and I hope the weather is good. Make sure you relax xxx

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    1. Bella's PE bag was one of those bags. That's the bonus of having children of the same sex - you can make them share stuff! We are having a wonderful time, it's perfect here. xx

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  4. Me gustan mucho tus bolsas y vuestra tradición de llenarlas de cositas para los niños, en nuestra casa también les damos algún detalle cuando terminan el colegio pero usted lo prepara muy bien.Espero que el tiempo les acompañe.Saludos de Sara.

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    1. Gracias Sara. Hasta ahora, el clima ha sido perfecto. Soleado y cálido con cielos azules. Gillian x

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  5. Have a lovely holiday - I hope the sun shines for you x Great bags, btw.

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    1. Thanks Donna. So far, hot and blue skis, perfect.

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  6. What a great idea! Hope you have a lovely holiday :0)xx

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  7. I love doing this for my girls - it makes holiday that little bit extra special...though my twelve year old boy thinks it all really rather 'boring' with a capital B - even though we did the same when he was little. I do hope the girls grow with this a little bit more then he has.

    Happy holidays and have a fabulous time,

    Nina xxx

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    1. I know that I have a limited number of years before the kids find these bags tragic and embarrassing. But they get me in the holiday mood! And they are still little enough to love the bags, thank goodness! x

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  8. Just adore your family tradition... what a wonderful idea! And more gorgeous bags... you are so talented. Wishing you and yours very happy holidays!! ♥

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    1. Thank you, such kind words. I have to give credit to my mum, whose idea it was.

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  9. Have a wonderful holiday! I love your family's holiday bag tradition. I think it's something I'd like to do when my boy is older! x

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    1. I think this is the first year Angus has shown any interest in the bag. Mainly in the sweets if I'm honest! The sticker books remains so far untouched. x

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  10. I love the holiday bag idea! I need to do that for my daughter on our next vacation. I hope you all have a wonderful holiday filled with lots of warm sunshine and relaxation! I look forward to hearing all about!

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    1. Thanks Julia. Charlotte is probably the perfect age to enjoy a bag of toys and stickers and sweets!

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  11. Love the holiday bags, that is such a great idea. Elizabeth is just the same with I- spy, though she has improved and at least now her guesses start with the right letter. Hope you have a great week away and get loads of sunshine. Xx

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    1. Yes, we have lots of letter mix-ups in I-spy, not helped by the fact that the grandparents don't understand the phonetic alphabet Bella has learnt at school...we are always talking at cross purposes. x

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  12. What a brilliant tradition. I always used to buy the kids holiday books, to the extent that they still associate certain stories with certain holidays.

    Have a truly lovely time away :D

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    1. Annie, that is such a lovely idea. I am enchanted by the idea of a certain classic picture book bringing back memoires of a happy holiday.

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  13. Awww holiday bags are so cool!! I wish I have that when I was little!!

    ang-closet365.blogspot.ca

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    1. Hi Ang, thank you. Make your own next time you go on holiday with chocolate and magazines. :-)

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  14. I love your holiday bags, such a lovely idea. Our I-Spy is very similar to your version funnily enough!
    I have started a tradition with Bella this year - to keep a journal to record things that we have seen and done throughout the holidays in her own words and pictures. The memory of doing this as school homework during the holidays has stayed with me from my childhood.
    I hope that you have a wonderful holiday Gillian, apparently the sun is going to shine at last!
    Essie x

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    1. Essie, I love your journal idea. I think Bella would adore that, she loves drawing and writing, and a scrap book would really capture her imagination. (I have fallen in love with the Cotswolds, by the way!) x

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  15. My parents used to set off anywhere At about 4am. We would be bundled sleepily into the car with blankets and pillows and stop halfway for a breakfast picnic of marmalade sandwiches!

    Mine always get to choose a new magazine for the journey and I make up a bag of snacks - which is usually eaten before we get to the motorway (except the apple which is invariably thrown away battered and bruised at our destination)

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    1. Marmalade sandwiches - love it! I have given up putting fruit in the bags, it's laughable that Angus would even eat it! Actually, I am wondering if Bella has eaten any vitamin C so far.

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  16. such a lovely idea. hope you have a nice time and the good weather continues. x

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    1. Thank you. So far, very sunny and we are all happy.

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  17. What a lovely tradition and the bags are lovely. Hope you have a great time and looking forward to the holiday post.

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    1. Thanks Mags. So far the weather has been gorgeous and we have fallen in love with the Cotswolds. x

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  18. I used to do that every holiday for my kids, filling new backsacks with stuff I'd collected over the weeks (and I seem to remember making 'I Spy books to fit with the journey/destination). They couldn't look inside until we'd hit the motorway! Have a great holiday.

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    1. I gave mine to the kids when they got in the car - gets them out from under my feet while i run around checking that everything is locked/switched off and that I don't accidentally leave one of them behind.

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  19. I remember having special treats as a child when we went on holiday: things like chewing gum and after eight (usually half melted and stuck to the paper) were rare treats and I still associate them with a long car journey. We would also sing A LOT (the whole nursery rhymes repertoire, rounds and some churchy songs and hymns).
    Sticker books, a toy car and small packs of Haribo are my treats for the boys when we go away: Something to do on the plane and keep them happy. Fortunately on most car journeys, they tend to fall asleep (still). I know how lucky that is!!
    Have a great holiday, and fingers crossed for lots of sunshine and some more!!!

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    1. We used to have song tapes too, certain songs take me straight back to a holiday in the Yorkshire mores in 1987. ("She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes..."). Haribo is good in all circumstances I think. x

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  20. I love the idea of a holiday bag for children. How very clever of your parents!

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    1. All the parenting tricks I have up my sleeve I learnt from my mum!

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  21. The holiday bag is something I did with my girls when they were little, but as well as new treats I would sneak away a couple of favourite little toys of theirs that they found in the bag too. Recently my girls and I went away for a weekend and my husband made 3 holiday bags for us!!!!
    And long car trips ... singing!!

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    1. I love that your husband made bags for you all! I'm thinking I should fill a bag each for my husband and I with new magazines, a book, some nice chocolate (good stuff that the kids aren't allowed) and save them for the journey. Trudy, thank you for giving me a fabulous idea!

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  22. That is a very good idea, will remember that! the thing about the panda made me laugh, so cute! x

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    1. She's improving - this journey, we had things that were actually in the car so it's looking up! x

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  23. Fantastic bags, I have come to expect no less. I do things like this for my boys too

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    1. Oh no, I am setting standards much too high I fear! If only you could see the general chaos we are in most of the time, and the endless bowls of pasta pesto the kids eat for tea so that I can finish daft projects like this!

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  24. Gillian ... love this idea ... I will be using it to amuse my three when we head off on holiday next week ... Bee x

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    1. Oh good! It does make the journey a little less painful! Enjoy your holiday. x

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  25. It is wonderful how so many have popped up and given advice and tips - that is a really lovely thing. I am sure that you will have the most lovely time - we have only been abroad with the children twice - prior to that it has always been skin flint camping holidays. As always it is the simplest things that are so often the best and most appreciated
    villa in spanje

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