My holiday house survival guide

Kids on the beach

Holiday heaven awaits you

Yippeeeee. Holiday time. The chance to settle into your family for more than a snatched half-hour. Time to play and explore together. Time to experience true moments of joy and remember why it is that you had a family and how much you all love each other. Awwww, don’t the kids look cute down on the beach! You just went exploring and here they are, after being soaked by a couple of waves, down to their undies frolicking. Soon, they’ll resemble sand schnitzels and soon after that the whinging and crying will begin… ‘I’m cold’ ‘the sand won’t get off’ etc. You get the idea. Like all of life, holidays are just as full of good and bad, perhaps we’re just a little more aware and focused than usual.

Family holidays are more fun now than they used to be. Remember those early trips, when you were still having to do all of the tasks of baby wrangling, but without all your stuff? So much hard work that you wondered why you bothered. Now though, it’s almost smooth sailing. But even today, I have a list of things that (if I remember to pack them) will make my holiday house or caravan cabin experience much easier.

Ten things to take on your next holiday.

1. A big sharp knife. Holiday rentals only ever have crap knives. Just pack one nice big one that can do everything. If you are particularly devoted to BBQs, pack steak knifes. Whilst talking sharp things, a good peeler and a pair of scissors that actually cut is handy.

2. Zip lock bags. Or a roll of cling wrap. Or IKEAs best ever product, the Bevara clip. So that you can do something with all that half eaten stuff.

3. While we’re at it, take a couple of plastic containers, which can store stuff and double as salad bowls and seashell storage.

4. A roll of paper towel. Use as napkins, for draining bacon and mopping up wee, when lovely child has been too preoccupied in the sand to make it to the toilet in time.

5. Olive oil. The frying pans are never non-stick. Or if they are, they have been scratched raw, which is a pretty good example of why frustrated landlords give up on supplying anything decent (see number 1).

6. Kids plastic bowls/plates/cups and cutlery. Because they WILL smash anything else.

7. Stove top cafetiere. Most Australian coastal towns have decent coffee somewhere. But it might be a walk, or slow service. Just take your own.

8. Salt & pepper. Because your prawn roll needs seasoning. And if you forget them, you’ll be forced up to the IGA to buy a picnic set that costs a fortune and when back home will gather dust along with the other 6 sets that you’ve bought on your 6 previous trips away. Tomato sauce falls into this category too.

9. Tea towel and face washer (wrap the knife in them). Mozzie spray. Bandaids and panadol for everyone. A spare roll of loo paper to keep in the car.

10. Two-use stuff. Pesto can be smeared on toast with tomato, stirred through pasta or dolloped on meat. Antipasto for nibbles and the oil works as salad dressing. Peanut butter can go on bread without margarine and also used to make a basic satay sauce.

And while we’re at it, beer coolers work as ice block holders and ice blocks work as ice packs. Towels and bunks make cubbies and champagne corks and a texta make cool little people. Yoghurt containers can be used as sand toys and cocktail umbrellas make everyone happy for so many reasons.

So with that I must go. It’s after wine o’clock and the front deck is calling.

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11 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Tara said,

    My family would add: toastie machine, coffee plunger/coffee and a mix stick (bamix). Oh and with babies … The monitors

  2. 3

    shay said,

    We always take our fav frying pan for that reason,… and now our Nespresso comes with us. Whilst these are luxuries – we would add matches… for some reason, they are always needed on holidays.

  3. 5

    Kerrilyn said,

    Wow, anyone who rents our beach house gets a good deal! We have all of the above on hand… Having done many beach rentals and camping we made sure we cover every base! Sharp knife is the biggie!

  4. 6

    Will remember a few of these good tips, going on our first family campervan holiday in a few weeks!

  5. 7

    Katrina said,

    Don’t forget wipes – they can fix anything and talcum powder – gets that sand off in a jiffy!

  6. 9

    […] Now, talking about kids and holiday rentals (perfect places for family holidays we know), we have found a fun (and informative!) article from the website Vegie Smugglers on their top tips on what to pack when you go.  There are a couple of items on the list that we already supply at La Maison Pacifique (ie. corkscrews, knives – we have Furi ones, plastic plates and cutlery, plastic containers and coffee machine – Miele cappuccino machine), but all items are great must-haves for holiday house rentals with kids!  BYO wine (see Emmanuel’s below). https://vegiesmugglers.com.au/2010/09/28/my-holiday-house-survival-guide/ […]

  7. 10

    thehungrymum said,

    Yes! Have been caught out soooo many times, esp with knives. I always take my own chopping boards- most rentals provide absolutely manky ones. I’ll be checking items off this list before I head off on next hol.

  8. 11

    Jane Watson said,

    I have taken this on board and will be adding a few items to our holiday home. Some people really do have no idea though about taking good care of equipment supplied for their use.


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