Remember a time before your family came along and all you had to think of when packing for a holiday was making sure you left enough room in your suitcase for all the shopping you were going to do while away? That seems like a lifetime ago. These days, packing for a holiday with a family involves so much more planning and organisation.
Here are eleven things I make sure are on the packing list when I bundle up the family to head away during winter:
1. Tissues – tissues, tissues, tissues and did I mention tissues? I pack lots of little packets in everyone's bags as well as put a few in the pockets of jackets; this way I can grab them easily to wipe a nose, or a hand, or to clean up a spill.
2. Small bottle of hand sanitiser to help kill germs on hands, for times when soap and water isn't within reach.
3. Thermometer – we never go away on a holiday – even for the weekend – without taking a travel size thermometer (we use the one that can check the kids' temperatures on the forehead or temple); knowing whether the little ones are just warm from sitting by a fire or whether there's a bug in their system is very helpful
4. Medicines – I make sure we take our preferred cold and flu medicines with us, the ones I know our kids like, as it can be hard to pick up your favourite brands or products that are similar to the ones you have at home when travelling, especially overseas. The Demazin Kids range is a good go-to to help reduce winter colds and flu symptoms and can be used on children as young as two years
5. Layering clothes – socks, tights, singlets, long sleeved tops, jumpers, jackets and hats – outdoor temperatures can range so much during winter holidays, as well as going in and out of heated buildings; multiple layers also means mixing and matching items on different days can extend the collection of outfits for travelling
6. Sunscreen – not just for the summer vacations, a good quality, child-friendly sunscreen is a must-pack for us as there can still be plenty of glare on winter holidays that children's skin needs protection from
7. Medical card and/or vaccination record – these are particularly important if heading overseas but also handy to have if your holiday is local
8. Heat pack or hot water bottle – fantastic for warming up those little toes on a frosty night or giving some comfort if your kids are feeling unwell while you're away from home
9. Weatherproof shoes – keep small feet dry and cosy by picking a pair of sturdy winter walkers to take with you; I recommend dark colours for shoes as well as simple fasteners, zips or velcro
10. Snacks – having your preferred healthy go-to snacks and treats with you in the car or in carry-on luggage will help keep kids' hunger at bay, and means you can avoid having to reach for the unhealthy foods at service stations or convenience stores in your travels
Dani Stevens, leading health and fitness personality and mother of four