It’s no secret that I pride myself on being a proficient packer. Travelling across the Atlantic multiple times a year will do that to you. Heck, moving to a new country with only two suitcases and a 50 lb weight limit to your name will do that to you. I don’t like excess. I don’t like bulk. I pack speedily and because of this it usually happens last minute, BUT I’ve never packed for a baby before and it just so happens that Best Friend, her husband and their little girl are arriving in the UK in less than 24 hours and they’ve invited us to join them for a few days in one of my favourite places in the world: Cornwall.
I’m not sure how to avoid the bulk because the harsh reality is this – a summer beach holiday in the UK means that you could have a day that is gloriously warm with all the sun, ice cream and scenic walks you could dream of and the very next day you could be sulking on the esplanade in a sweater and raincoat, with boots on your feet and a cup of tea in your hands to warm your bones and your soggy spirit. Fact. You have got to pack for it all.
It’s not only that, but then I wonder things like “What if all of The Duchess’ dummies (pacifiers) need sterilizing because they have all accidentally toppled out of her changing bag, out of her dummy case and into a pile of suspicious looking mud?” Obviously, the practical mom in me replies, “A) This will not happen and B) if it does, rinse them off with hot water and she will survive,” while the neurotic new mom drowns her out with screams of, “ARE YOU NUTS? WOULD YOU LEAVE IT TO CHANCE?! BRING THE STERILIZER OR ELSE CLAMITY WILL ENSUE!” You see the dilemma. The Practical vs The Overprotective or perhaps the Sane vs well…..you know.
So, for you travellers out there who are reading this:
- What essentials do I need for the car? The cottage? The beach?
- What can I live without?
(Note: The truth is that the American in me knows Cornwall is only a day trip rather than a getaway. It’s a 2.5 hour drive, but in the British psyche where driving across the country takes 8 hours, 2.5 hours is considered a decent drive. If you are American, multiply the time of any British distance travelled by 3 – in this case the American total would be 7.5 hours. This gives a more accurate idea of the type of trip a Brit would have in mind.)