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DLT Jan 18th, 2007 08:06 AM

Quick pack list
I have had many trips to France - this time I am going for 6 weeks in June to the SW France region with two toddlers in tow and am already shocked at the amount of stuff I will be taking. Can anyone help me with an essential clothes/outfit list for me so I can at least keep my bag small? Gite lodging, imagine there will be a few nice dinners, jogging, hiking, the usual. Don't want to look too obtuse, either. Anyone's "lessons learned" would be helpful.

janisj Jan 18th, 2007 10:00 AM

Here is a basic list to get you started (w/o any of the "kids stuff")

o Wash Cloth
o Toiletries / Make-up travel sized
o Underwear
o Pajamas and/or light robe
o Slippers or slipper socks
o Socks
o Blazer, cardigan or light jacket
o Dress or skirt or dressy slacks/capris
o Casual slacks/jeans/shorts (2 or 3 pair inc what you wear on the plane)
o 4 to 6 tops
o Flat heeled shoes/sandals 1 or 2 pair
o Walking shoes
o Swimwear
o Accessories
o Handbag
o Money Belt/pouch
o Hair Dryer / Curling iron
o Adaptor Plug

where2 Jan 18th, 2007 11:16 AM

I have travelled many times with my small children and it is shocking. I used to bring only a carry on but now it is large bags to cram in all the stuff for the kids. Their clothes may be small, but you need more of them.

Have you travelled with the kids before? You say you have had many trips, but with staying in a gite and toddlers, you may not have ANY "nice" dinners - can you bring the kids, will you have a babysitter? You can cut out all of your nice clothes if you will only be dining places that small children are happily served. Or you may end up having a nice meal at lunch and eating dinner at the gite every night - still that is a more casual wardrobe than nice dinners. I would say bring no more than maybe one nice outfit unless you are certain of babysitting. Plus, a nice outfit adds another pair of shoes usually so take that into consideration as well. Looking at what you are talking about doing, I would bring two pairs of shorts, one pair of casual not quite shorts such as clamdiggers/bermudas/etc. and one pair of capris in a fabric that you can put either a tank top/t-shirt with it for day or a blouse for a dinner that is about as nice as you are going to get. One pair of sandals and your running/hiking/other shoes.

Also, when trying to keep your bag small, keep in mind that when you have travelled before you may have been able to "reuse" certain clothing without washing it. With your two toddlers I am sure you are a human napkin and that will not change on holiday.

Wear your biggest shoes on the plane - probably your running or hiking shoes - to save space. Can you use the running shoes to hike and explore? That will help.

I think you will find the big problem will be all the stuff for your kids.

Also - when you talk about "my bag" - I always mix everyone's stuff, something for everyone in each bag - in case one bag is lost. Then at least everyone will have something to get by with until the bag shows up!

phyllis_stein Jan 18th, 2007 01:33 PM

You already have some great advice here, DLT, but I thought I'd chime in to add that when I was away from home with my then-2-year-old for nine weeks, the biggest mistake I made was overdoing the clothing and skimping on toys. It was autumn going into winter, so we spent a fair bit of time in our house and flats, and I'd hoped to splash out on new toys while we were travelling, but the cost of things in London made me weak in the knees.

This year, with a four-year-old, I will bring a lot less clothing for him: maybe 9 tops, 7 bottoms. Plus things like a windbreaker/sweatshirt jacket, swimming trunks, 3 pair shoes. I may be doing a lot of handwashing or a big load every week; I'll see how it goes.

I had to smile at where2's comment about "I am sure you are a human napkin." So true, even now.

supersue Jan 21st, 2007 08:26 AM

Thanks for the packing list.
I just wonder about the hair dryer and curling iron. Do the adapters work? I have tried them with no luck. My curling iron overheated tremendously. I left a big wad of burnt hair in Chartre. (Luckily I have thick hair.)

janisj Jan 21st, 2007 09:17 AM

I don't usually take either - since many hotels/B&Bs/Gites do have them. Dual voltage ones do work w/ the adaptors but they can also burn up. I just included them in the list because lots of folks do take their own.

Since you are going to be in France for an extended period - I'd just go into a local shop and buy an inexpensive hairdryer there (if one isn't provided)

ninasdream Jan 21st, 2007 02:29 PM

You have good advice here for the kids, and oyu will need more stuff for them. For yourself, try to keep to the 3-color rule. I also have 2 silk wrap skirts that fold or roll to the size of a head scarf. See if you can find something like that. Plenty of hair conditioner- to keep different tap water conditions from wreaking havoc & minimize my showertime routine. 6 weeks is a long time- how many prs of pants would you be comfortable rotating? (I'd say 3). One pair flats, and one pair walking shoes & or walking sandals, maybe shower thongs, don't skimp on socks. On return, I put those clothes away for a good 2-3 months -I just don't want to look at them for a while!

DLT Jan 23rd, 2007 05:42 PM

Thank you so much for the replies. We took both kids to the Burgundy region last summer and I just cannot remember now how we did it; the kids were also smaller. This time it is just myself and the kids - hubbie will follow - so more than ever I need to keep it compact. I appreciate your advice!

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