Does holiday packing stress you out too? With our holidays fast approaching I’m starting to fret about what we need to take with us, so I thought it would be handy to share my holiday checklist. It might settle my packing nerves which are slightly heightened this year due to a new destination country where our command of the language is pretty feeble, and maybe it could help with your packing wobbles too.
If you have any essential that I’ve missed off, please let me know. Perhaps we could make a definite allergy-friendly packing checklist? I hope you like the added hand drawn pictures that go with this post? The girls wanted to be involved and it’s provided a useful creative activity for this rather damp and dreary summer holiday!
MY Packing Checklist
- Documents – Well, I guess everyone knows this, but as an allergy family a few extras are necessary
- Passports and/or identity cards
- Travel documents such as flights and hotel bookings
- *Travel insurance which covers allergic reactions* – call the company and check.
- E111 or European Health Insurance (EHIC) card as it’s now called (if travelling in Europe as a European)
- Letter from the doctor to confirm the need to carry medicines (it’s also probably best to gloss over you are carrying sharp items when going through security at a provincial airport when you don’t have a great command of the language! – I have learnt this at my cost!)
- Food – I’m thinking that it’s unlikely that non-allergy families think so much about food whilst packing for holidays, but for us it’s a BIG preoccupation. This is an example of what we’ll take:
- Dairy-free margarine – seems to travel pretty well if kept relatively cool
- Dairy-free milks – We prefer Oatly and it isn’t available everywhere so if possible we take a few cartons. This obviously has to be in check-in baggage on a flight and depends on weight allowance. Otherwise unless you’re going totally ‘off the beaten track’ most reasonable size supermarkets in most countries will sell soya milk
- Dairy-free soft cheese – only if possible, but it does make great emergency dips and sandwich fillings
- *Biscuits* – for us this is crucial. We have never come across brands we can buy whilst on holiday and we always find it’s important to have those sweet treats to keep up energy when on holiday. And I tend not to get the option to bake on holiday.
- Savoury snacks – similar to biscuits it can be hard to find safe snacks, so things like rice cakes, crackers and bars can be a godsend.
- Chocolate – I’ve never found any safe chocolate on holiday and everyone needs chocolate, right?
- Spreads such as marmite and dairy-free chocolate spread. Clearly it’s not just us, as there was a news report this week that said Marmite was the most confiscated branded product at London City Airport! These spreads may not be available, the jars provided in guest houses may have cross-contamination from buttery knives and they make great standby sandwich fillings.
- Breads – again safe breads can be hard to source so if we’ve space we’ll chuck in a few packs of wraps and pittas that won’t get squashed
- Stock powder – I always pack some Vegan Marigold Stock powder, essential for quick magic pasta or risottos
- Cake! – Am I only person who bakes a cake or two to go on holiday?!? I generally opt for a golden syrup loaf cake which transports pretty well in a suitcase
- Sandwich bags or clingfilm – essential for all those picnics and food for journeys
- Information – it’s well worth doing the research before you go, it certainly makes me feel more at ease!
- Allergy translation cards – essential to feel at ease when the language is unfamiliar
- Information on location of pharmacies, Doctors and Hospitals (and how to ask for them)
- Research into suitable local food and potential restaurants – there may well be a branch of your favourite chain restaurant which you can rely on
- All the usuals – I really don’t need to give you a list of clothes, books, phone chargers, games etc!
- For the journey – again it needs to be thought about in advance, sadly as an allergy family spontaneity isn’t part of our holidays!
- Picnic and plenty of food for the journey – airports and ferries/trains have proved particularly bad at giving us any food options other than crisps and sweets!
- All necessary medications to hand
- Anti-bacterial wipes for those generally pretty grimy fold-down trays or hired car seats
Those are the items that come to mind, and are definitely in our rather over-laden bags. I think our days of taking just hand luggage are well behind us!