Diaries Magazine

Essential Things to Take on a Family Break

By Ellenarnison @Ellen27


We're contemplating our family jollies this year when Team Bundance takes to the road one way or another again.

We've had one or two expeditions over the years by planes, trains and motorways plus the occasional boat.

Here are some of the things that are always wanted on voyage if we want the outing to be a success.


OK, you don't want your children to spend all day with their noses glued to the screen, but there are time when a little gadget time is exactly what everyone needs to get through a long journey. Peace and quiet all round. It's a good idea to make sure everyone's iPod or LeapPad is charged up and they've got something to do on it.


Therefore, you'll need to make sure you have all the necessary chargers, plugs, adaptors and spare batteries to make whatever essential piece if kit you brought work. 


I mean real games you can enjoy across a table looking into the whites of each other's eyes. I'm quite partial to the Monopoly cards version. And we've had lots of fun with dominos, Dobble and various other games. And while it's entertaining to be properly challenged by a game of Risk with a 13 year old, the most fun is often to be had with something pitched at the youngest member of the family.


When in doubt, don't forget an old fashioned 'proper' pack of cards. At the very least you can show techno kids where solitaire started life.
Pen and paper
Another very unexciting inclusion, but how else are you going to play hangman, noughts and crosses, or consequences? 

Soccer Ball

Not perhaps for your handbag, but if you've got space it's ideal to get everyone moving. 

Water bottles

One of the biggest grumbles amongst grown ups (those with wallets) on our travels is how quickly you get through money without having much to show for it. One of those expenses is paying for a drink for everyone if someone announces they are thirsty. Instead, take a water bottle for everyone and refill them every time you set out. It's a great money saver if you're looking for cheap UK holidays for all the family.

Football ref style and loud. I use it to call my children at home. Often they're so busy listening to their own music or whatever and the only way I can make myself heard is a couple of short blasts on a noisy whistle. Used sparingly, it's a great way to let them know they need to head back right now. 

Repair kit

I find it really useful to have, among other things, a couple of safety pins, some shoelaces, string, paper clips, sticky tape, rubber bands and pipe cleaners. It's amazing what you can create or mend with this lot.

Whatever kind of holiday you're after this year, people who've been report having a great time at Butlins

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