The family summer holidays are invariably a big part of any child’s yearly plans. Whether you’re heading over the water for a quick bit of sun in Nice or if you’re heading further afield to La Rochelle, Barcelona or even Rome, there are a few key things you will need to bring with you. While the exact packing list when planning your family summer holiday is going to vary based on the age and the number of kids you have, the basics will remain the same. 

Here’s a rough list of 5 essential things you should be bringing with you.


1. Passports and travel documents

First things first, you need to make sure that you have all of the travel documents your family needs in a single, easy to reach place. There is nothing worse than arriving at customs and seeing that little Johnny has lost the passport that he put in his back pocket. Collect all of your family’s passports together and make sure that they’re all still in date. The same goes for your travel insurance papers and your EHIC – if your European Health Insurance Card is out of date, you won’t be covered for any medical problems which could spring up during your travels.


2. Food

There are few things worse than being stuck with a hungry child. Make sure you pack the snacks and bottles of water your kids will need – ideally in a cooler box that you can easily get to. Remember to consider the weather – chocolate digestives are far less appealing when it’s 30 degrees outside and they’ve all melted together!


3. A single travel adaptor

On the continent things are done a little bit differently. Different money, different culture and a different set of plugs. Rather than investing in half a dozen travel adaptors to take with you, bring one adaptor and an extension block that you can plug multiple things into. This way you can charge your phone, your kid’s DS and run your hairdryer all at the same time, without having to ration out or overspend on adaptors.


4. A simple first aid kit

When out and about with your kids in a foreign country it pays dividends having an emergency supply of paracetamol, plasters and other simple meds. Anti-diarrhoeal and anti-nausea drugs are incredibly useful too, taking care of most travel bugs in single step. Remember, if you need any serious medical attention while in Europe, your EHIC will grant you access to state-funded healthcare at local rates, saving you from a massive bill at the end of your trip.


5. A dedicated beach towel

With all that taken care of, all that’s left is to pack a dedicated beach towel for everyone who’s going. There’s nothing quite like reserving that little piece of sand with your kid’s favourite towel so that they can go running into the surf without a care in the world. With these essentials all packed, it’s time to head off in search of the sun. Go put your feet up – you’ve earned it.