How to pack for a holiday with young children

Girl playing at Bluestone

What's your summer holiday packing strategy? Forensically ticking off the list of family essentials or crossing your fingers and hoping for the best?

If you're feeling daunted by the prospect of packing for a young family (especially toddlers!) don't be. A holiday is meant to be exactly that, so we've put together this guide to packing for toddlers so you know exactly what needs to be in the car and what can be left in the cupboard. We've got you covered!

We've asked one of our favourite bloggers and Bluestone regular - Helen Copson from Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee - to give us low-down on making yourself a packing maestro. Here's Helen's guide:

Without making a sweeping generalisation, it seems packing for the kids is usually left to mum (me). While Dad manages to pack a few pairs of pants and a phone charger for himself, mum has to remember ALL the rest. Am I right? Yep.

Going abroad with toddlers is a whole different ball game - and packing challenge - but one of the best bits about packing for a UK break such as Bluestone is that you can basically take whatever you like. So long as it fits in the car.

Mother and daughter at Bluestone

I’ve got a four-year-old and two year-old twins  so I have a big car boot - and a roof box.

Chances are the task of packing for the toddlers is usually one that needs to be done at the same time as actually looking after the toddlers - and trying to stop them pulling out all the items you’ve just meticulously folded and placed in the suitcase. 

I reckon it’s a job best done at speed. To get it over and done with, and to prevent the kids messing the whole thing up! If you’re lucky enough for your toddlers to still nap and plan to use that precious time to get organised, the time pressure is REALLY on. Just make sure you’ve already retrieved clothes out of their rooms - no amount of long sleeved vests and dribble bibs is worth waking up a napping baby for. 

But we all know the saying ‘more haste less speed’ so I’ve come up with a list of everything you’ll need - so you don’t have to think. Adapt as you like depending on the time of year you’re going. The first time I went Bluestone it snowed beautifully and the second time was the start of the glorious 2018 summer heatwave. Oh and obviously you don’t need to bring dresses and tights if you only have boys like me… 

Save this list, so all you have to do is just grab it and bring it!

What to pack for a holiday with toddlers


  • Hoodies
  • Long sleeved tops
  • T Shirts
  • Jumpers
  • Trousers
  • Shorts
  • Dresses
  • Skirts
  • Socks
  • Bibs
  • Tights
  • Pants (or nappies)
  • Pyjamas
  • Shoes
  • Wellies
  • Sandals
  • Coat
  • Puddle suit
  • Snow suit
  • Body warmer
  • Sun hat
  • Woolly hat


  • Wet wipes
  • Toiletries
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Moisturiser
  • Bubble bath
  • Shampoo
  • Bath wash
  • Sponges
  • Few bath toys
  • Bath towels 
  • Cot sheets
  • Sleeping bags/blankets
  • Toys
  • Books
  • Comforter or teddy
  • Baby monitor if used
  • Hairbrush 
  • More wet wipes
  • Thermometer
  • First aid kit
  • Medicine
  • Swimming costume
  • Swimming towels
  • Goggles
  • Swimming aids
  • Sun cream
  • Plastic cups
  • Plastic plates
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Lunchbox
  • Did I mention wet wipes?
  • Bucket and spade
  • Scooter
  • Bike
  • Helmet
  • Buggy if used

One of the fabulous things about staying at Bluestone is it’s so family-orientated, they’ve thought of lots of essentials so you don’t have to bring them. These include travel cots and high chairs - and what an ABSOLUTE lifesaver (not to mention space saver) that is.

Trying to squeeze two travel cots, plus two high chairs along with all the rest of the ‘stuff’ into our VW Touran is not fun. Not fun at all.

So to know their cots are already taken care of, and could even be put up before you get there is amazing. We all know setting up a travel cot is worse than a challenge on the Crystal Maze. High chairs already in position at the dining table is an absolute bonus too. They also have plastic cutlery and crockery in the cupboards so one less thing to pack. You’ll know where I’m coming from getting excited about all this, I’m sure.

Bluestone Lodge interior

If you happen to forget the toddler’s armbands/swimming floats/costumes/swim nappies, then there’s no need to panic. The Wave Shop at Bluestone’s Blue Lagoon waterpark sells everything you need. Even double inflatable rings for twins!

And if you’re lucky enough to be staying in the St David’s lodge, you don’t even need to bring many toys. It has its own playroom, complete with dolls house, books, bean bag, chalk board, Snakes and Ladders mat, games and a wooden farm set. I recommend letting them loose in there whilst you crack open the wine. 

Oh that reminds me, you don’t even need to add wine to the packing list. The onsite mini supermarket has plenty. It’s like Bluestone WANT you to enjoy yourselves or something… 

Fancy a Bluestone break this summer? Have a look at our Toddler breaks




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