You have all the essentials for travelling to festivals with kids right? The tent is in the boot, the sleeping bags are stuffed under the kids’ feet in the back of the car and the camping stove is ready to go…
The essentials you NEED when travelling to festivals with kids are waaaaay more practical and probably the things you haven’t even thought of yet!
1. Flip-flops or crocs
Festival toilets aren’t the best, unless you are staying in the swanky camping area. Having taken small children to festival toilets in the dead of night in normal sandals and sploshed through suspect puddles…trust me, having shoes that you can hose down is not a ‘nice to have’, it’s a ‘must-have-unless-you-want-to-have-a-five-year-old-who-refuses-to-put-her-shoes-back-on’.
Which brings me to item number 2!
2. Antibacterial Wipes
I’m no clean-freak, but for those less than savoury festival toilets or kids like mine who just pick up everything and everything and can’t face a long queue for a wash-basin – these again are essentials. Please try and find recyclable/biodegradable wipes. The plastic situation in the world is intolerable already – we don’t need to add to it.
3. Food. Lots more food than you think you will ever eat.
Festival food and the ‘street food’ vendors are indeed amazing. We have been lucky enough to try some of the most incredible new flavours and food experiences at summer festival. However, unless you have a huge budget, you will not be able to eat at these outlets for a full weekend without breaking the bank!
4. Ear Defenders for Kids and Ear Plugs
I know, I know, you go to festivals for the music and expect it to be loud. But if your child is only little and even if your child isn’t normally noise-sensitive, after hours of fesitval music and crowd noise, some small people find the noise quite stressful. My daughter loves loud music but festival loud is a whole different kinda loud! A decent pair of ear defenders helped her get through the weekend. The lovely Beth from Twinderelmo seconds this recommendation “It can get pretty noisy at times so they’re perfect to protect little ears~.
5. Bags for Life become Bags for Sanity
From spillages and accidents to blood, sweat and inevitable tears, fesitval camping is messy work. By day two or three, even the most careful campers will have a serious stash of clothes and kit that is starting to hum a little. Bag it up and stash it back in the car. Take twice the amount you think you will need and then add a few. Trust me. I learned this the hard way.
6. A good quality set of travel toiletries
In the past we have always packed small bottles filled with small quantities of our normal products. This year we were given the chance to try out a Festival Survival Kit from AA Skincare. I can confidently say it will be at the top of my packing list. Containing a pack of Tea Tree Oil & Aloe Vera wipes which are fully biodegradeable and paraben free, a Lavender Gel which is soothing and antiseptic (brilliant for small grazes and fab if you catch a little too much sun), a Frankincense and Rose Toner which is really refreshing and not at all drying like many facial toner liquids, and, the best bit of all, a ‘Brilliantly Balancing’ shampoo bar. We are new to shampoo bars but won’t be going back to bottles. Bars contain as many ‘washes’ as at least two normal bottles of shampoo. No nasty plastic and our hair has never looked better. Win-win.
Even if the forecast is for unbroken sunshine, please pack wellies! Again, they can come in handy if the toilets become a little too grotty (sorry but I do have a thing about festival toilets) and are also a good bet if the ground gets super dry and very dusty. Easy to wash out.
8. Quiet Activities
Think colouring books, puzzle books, reading books and pens and paper. Whilst you can occupy every waking moment with festival activities, not only is it expensive but it is also totally knackering! At some point you will find you need to retire to the tent and just chill for a while. The likely lack of phone or tablet battery at some point around day 2 will inevitably leave your teenager lost as to how to function and tip your husband over the edge. This leads me to my final packing essential!
9. A sense of humour
Last year my husband forgot his. Completely left it behind. Didn’t bring ANY!
As a result putting up the tent in the rain, camping next door to a family who loved Taylor Swift more than life and running out of phone battery didn’t make for a happy camper. Pack extra strength of will, more patience than you think you will need and a plenty of gin and all will be well.
These were our top 9 things. Fellow camping pro bloggers have recommended these awesome extras. I’m off shopping!
Karina from Mums The Nerd seconds my vote for antibacterial wipes and gives a huge vote for hand sanitiser (see, it’s not just me!)
Samanta from North East Family Fun packs the snacks in bulk “Lots and lots of snacks in individual wrapping that do not need refrigerated – think Soreen, cereal bars, mini crackers….. Seriously take double what you need as festival food can be pricey and kids are ALWAYS hungry. It’s a quick way to keep them entertained while you’re waiting for a show/performance to start and keep their energy levels up too”
I’m heading out to find the teeth cleaning sachets recommended by Terri from The Strawberry Fountain. “Teeth cleaning sachets are great, you just put the powder in you mouth rinse it about and then swallow. It’s great if there are king cues for the bathrooms, kids won’t clean teeth or just want to freshen up after food/drink”
Sarah from Kippers and Curtains is a genius for recommending taking your own face paint! “Face painting is around £5 after the first day it’s smudged off and they want it done again. So we took small glitter pots and the kids were happy”.
I’m full of admiration for Polly from Our Seaside Baby who recommends taking musical instruments! “Whenever we’re at a festival my son loves using his own shakers and dancing along when the music/band is playing. It makes it much for fun and saves for times of boredom” (I’m sending my kids over to your tent!)
Jennifer from My Mummies Pennies packs stacks of bin bags too and a big plastic tub to put the bags in! Great idea!
Tracey from Pack the PJs votes for eye masks. Why the heck did I not think of these before! Whether my daughter will wear one or not I have no idea but it’s worth a shot to avoid a 4am start as the ‘sun is awake’!
and last but not least – Hannah from Hi Baby Blog reminded me to take ponchos. “You never know when you’ll get caught in a downpour and they’re so handy to throw on over anything. Bonus points if they’re brightly coloured”.