Thursday 29 February 2024

Essentials for Every Parent's Backpack: A Family Day Out Checklist

**Collaborative Post**
Embarking on a family day out is always an exciting adventure, but ensuring you have everything you need can be a challenge. When you become a parent you quickly realise that those handbags you used to cherish are no longer up to the job and the changing bag quickly becomes your best friend. But as your children get older and you suddenly find yourself needing your hands free to chase energetic toddlers around, a parent backpack quickly becomes your best friend. Not only is a backpack more practical and spacious but it is easy to carry and leaves you hands free to enjoy your day and chase little ones around.

A well-packed backpack can make all the difference, turning a potentially chaotic day into a smooth and enjoyable one. In this blog post, we'll explore the must-haves that every parent should consider packing for a family day out.
Snacks and Hydration:
Once you have kids you quickly realise that snacks are the secret answer to most issues. Not only that but taking your own snacks often works out much more cost effective too as buying food and drink for the whole family on a day out can get expensive. Keep everyone fuelled and hydrated with a variety of snacks and water bottles, most places have refill stations now too. Pack a mix of healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, and granola bars to keep energy levels up and a few little treats too, just avoid chocolate if it's warm as this will get very messy. Don't forget to carry a reusable water bottle for each family member to stay hydrated throughout the day.
First Aid Kit:
We all want to have safe travels but sometimes incidents occur and being prepared is crucial when it comes to kids. Whilst I am not suggesting carrying around a a full-blown first aid kit, the essentials are always great to have on hand, especially when it comes to kids! Accidents can happen, so it's crucial to have the basics on hand that could get you by until you can seek professional help or on-site first aid if needed. Include band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary prescription medications.
Sun Protection:
Sun protection is a must, even if you have applied before you left home, if you plan on being out in the sun for more than an hour or two you will need to reapply so bring it with you. You can also help shield your family from harmful UV rays with sunglasses, and hats. Opt for a high-SPF sunscreen and reapply regularly, especially if you'll be spending extended periods outdoors.
Entertainment for Kids:
If you are going to be traveling somewhere in the car or on public transport or you know you are going to be waiting around for any time during your day, some screen free entertainment is always a great idea for young kids. Pack age-appropriate activities to keep the little ones entertained. Consider bringing colouring books, small toys, or electronic devices with headphones for a peaceful journey. My two always loved a notebook and pen to scribble, draw, and play games in. If you have older children you could even take along a card game like UNO or just a pack of playing cards.
Navigational Aids and Mobile Phone:
GPS device, or smartphone with a reliable navigation app to help you find your way and whilst these might not be necessary if you are heading to somewhere like a theme park for example, they may come in handy if you are going for a walk or heading somewhere out of the way. Having a backup power bank can be a lifesaver to keep your devices charged throughout the day as well all know phones like to give up on us just when we need them!
Wet Wipes, Hand Sanitiser and Tissues:
Cleanliness is key, especially when dealing with kids. Pack wet wipes and tissues for quick clean-ups. These can often come in handy in public toilets too as there isn't always toilet roll available or a space to safely clean your hands. Having these things on you means you don't have to worry and always come prepared. These come in handy for messy hands, spills, or unexpected situations.
Change of Clothes & a Carrier Bag
The adults should be fine here (although I always pack me and my husband a change of socks in case our feet get wet and muddy). But for younger kids bringing a change of clothes can be really beneficial especially if they like getting muddy or jumping puddles! It will avoid any fussing or upset later when the kids get cold too. Bring along a few bags too for any unexpected purchases or to collect trash/treasures (my 2 LOVE collecting shells at the beach) during the day or to hold the wet/dirty clothes if your kids do change into fresh clothes.
Emergency Contacts and Information:
Carry a list of emergency contacts, including family members, healthcare providers, and any essential information. Include any allergies or medical conditions that may be relevant in case of an emergency. These can easily be printed off, put inside a plastic wallet, and just left inside a pocket of the bag so you always have them. It can also be handy to write down the names of any medications you regularly take in case you need these whilst you are away.
Packing your backpack with these essentials will help ensure that your family day out is not only enjoyable but also stress-free and can help you save money too. By planning ahead and being prepared, you can create lasting memories without worrying about the little hiccups that may come your way and be hands-free to enjoy it all too. Happy adventuring!

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