Day Bag: How to pack the perfect bag for a day out with the kids
It is a running joke amongst my friends that I come prepared for all eventualities on our days out, but being a parent for 24 years has taught me that you can never be too prepared.
Days out with kids can be expensive, so I try to save money where possible by taking a packed lunch, snacks and plenty of drinks to keep them going for the day.
It is not just refuelling equipment you need though, the other basics in my bag are baby / wet wipes, tissues, a small first aid kit, anti-bac gel and change for that all important ice cream and parking.
Of course, comfort is also key, so my bag of choice is a roomy backpack which not only offers plenty of space, but keeps my hands free too.
Preparing the perfect bag for a day out does depend on where you are going, so here are my top tips:
- Baby Wipes
- First Aid Kit (incl. Sachet of Calpol, insect repellant & a tick removal too)
- Water Bottles
- Anti-bac gel
- Sun Cream
- Pens / Pencils (handy for any challenge leaflets kids love completing)
In addition to the basics, I would then add extra's depending on the type of day out you are having.
Getting out and about in the great outdoors is a great way to get the kids using their imagination but it can get mucky. If it has been a dry spell then you will probably get away without a change of clothes, but if it has been raining I would recommend that you leave a spare pair of trainers in the car and take a change of trousers, underwear and socks along with a carrier bag to keep the mucky stuff in.
A trip to the beach is great fun throughout the year. In the summer you will need to pack swimsuits and towels along with the buckets and spades but in cooler months you can travel lighter. My one top tip is to take a small towel and add a small tub of baby powder to your bag as it removes moisture from your skin and allows for the sand to easily come off – ideal for cooler months when you need to put socks and shoes back on your feet after an impromptu paddle.
Theme parks can drain the pockets of even the most careful parents by offering treats around every corner. Take plenty of drinks and snacks and make the most of free water fountains around the park to top up any water bottles on the go. Queues can be boring for small people but we have found a simple game of Heads Up (which can be downloaded onto your phone) keeps them occupied.
If the kids absolutely have to get something from the gift shop, give them a strict budget and set aside an envelope or purse with that money in it so they cannot overspend!
If you have a baby in tow, along with the normal changing bag kit, I would recommend a change of clothes for you too – I learned my lesson the hard way after my daughter regurgitated her whole milk feed back over me at a theme park!
Have I missed anything on your must-have list of day out essentials? Let me know in a comment below, or get some new day out ideas now!