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Light Winter Weekend

Light Winter Weekend Image

Last week was my daughter’s school half-term holiday. In Belgium we call this Crocus Holiday. Sounds so much more welcoming to the arrival of spring, don’t you think? And we were most certainly treated to an early taste of spring this year! Sunshine and blue skies galore at the Kent seaside, where we spent 3 nights during the break.

But the chilly mornings and evenings reminded us we are not quite there yet. And woolly hats, scarves and mittens were still very much in demand. Which brings me to the subject of this post. Packing light for a winter weekend away with 2 smallish kids in tow. It can be done. The key to an effective packing approach is sticking to a simple structure. It works for us. Every time. Whether travelling by train or rental car, we only ever need one compact hand-luggage sized suitcase, one backpack and two small children’s rucksacks. Here is how we do it.

We take our Fjälräven Kånken rucksack for the journey, but also for use when out and about during our stay. While travelling to and fro our main destination, it usually contains: 2 x e-books, my phone and purse, a guidebook, tickets and passports (if needed), my sunglasses, a cloth napkin, reusable water bottle, fruit and popcorn/pretzels.

The children’s cotton backpacks are small enough for them to carry, and usually hold their sketch book, a small pencil case, their head phones and an audio device. The latter always creates a lot of excitement in our household as we limit the use of these devices to travel time only.


Besides a story book, two small cuddly toys for bedtime, and a toiletries bag, the suitcase comfortably holds the following clothing items per person (adult and child alike):

  • 3 x underwear
  • 1 pair of trousers
  • 1 warm shirt/T-shirt
  • 1 thin woollen jumper
  • 1 pair of woolly socks

Each of us will, of course, be wearing another similar outfit for the journey, as well as a thermal vest, coat, hat, scarf, gloves and a comfortable pair of shoes. Having two of each makes it easy to mix and match if something needs to dry or be spot cleaned, and even to layer if the temperatures decide to plummet. We used to include pyjamas, but have discovered that thermal underwear plus an extra blanket can keep us toasty in bed. Slippers have also been excluded from our winter weekends away as two pairs of socks are guaranteed to equal cosy tootsies.

Essential travel items for one can easily mean unnecessary luxury items for others. I am curious as to what you cannot do without during a weekend away. Or maybe you have spotted a superfluous item in my list above? Feel free to share or try and convince me in the Comments box below.

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