Woop! It’s the return of the packing list post.
It’s been so damn long since I wrote a travel post I’d almost forgotten how. I know that sounds strange, but travel hasn’t been part of my life for most of this year (due to you know who!) so I haven’t been reading anything let alone writing it.
So it’s only fitting I ease myself back into travel writing with a good old fashioned packing list post. My favourite type of post to read AND write. Honestly! If you want to see just how much I love writing these kinda posts, head on over here to the travel packing archives 😉
I’m a festival junkie of sorts, although I’ve only managed one a year recently. But still, one a year is better than none and I’m niching in on the ‘going to a festival with something awkward’ category. Last year saw me hauling my newly pregnant ass to Bestival and enduring
morning all-day sickness and a weak bladder while trying to eat everything in sight (the first trimester is tough, you guys)
And this year saw us heading to the Oxfordshire countryside with a three-month-old in tow. Apprehensive? Moi? YES.
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But if you read my Mother & Baby article you’ll know I had a great time. And I’m also a total festival-with-a-baby convert. Move over Kate Moss (outdated reference alert) there’s a new festival fiend in town and she’s not even one.
If you are already overwhelmed – head to this post where I share my top tips for travel packing first. The tips are transferable to any holiday and you can even download a free packing list printable to help you get started.
Pro Action 6 Man 2 Room Tent: Space was invaluable as we have so much more ‘stuff’ now we have a baby. We upgraded our old 4-man for this one and were super happy with it. It withstood a thunder storm and stayed fairly cool in the sunshine (English weather, am I right?!)
Airbed & Pillows: Comfort is king. End of.
Camping chairs & inflatable armchair: I’m too old to be sitting on the ground, and I needed a comfier chair for breastfeeding.
Headtorch: Because you can’t find loo roll in the dark.
Leggings x 2
Unicorn Leggings (other jazziness available….)
Basic Tee x 2
Disposable pants: Okay this needs explanation. This was a game changer. My mum bought me some of these for my hospital bag, and if you haven’t had a baby I don’t want to tell you why you might need these. Anyway, I didn’t actually use them in the end but brought them along and OMG what joy to be able to throw them away each day (or twice a day as I frivolously did!). Get them in much bigger size — I’m a size 10 and I wore size 18. COMFY as fook!
Hoody: Even in summer it gets SO cold at night.
Rainmac: If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen me having a small love affair with a bright yellow Topshop rainmac on Stories. It was a dream in canary yellow and I’m so happy I bought it. Oli bought a grey packable parka from Uniqlo which I’d also recommend.
Nursing Bra/Sports Bra: For yoga, sleeping and keeping the puppies nice and snug 😉
Sundress: If you build it, they will come? Here’s hoping anyway 😉
Wellies: I have Hunter wellies, which are incredibly comfy and I won’t hear a bad word said against them. Ahem, yes they are *quite* expensive.
Bumbag: ASOS Zebra print number, and see above for my thoughts on your thoughts about this accessory 😉
I’m a beauty junkie but I am also pretty good at whittling down my kit to the bare essentials. These are the things I always take in one form or another: all decanted.
Cleanser: I use an oil/balm at home but at a festival you need to use somthig that won’t rely on hot water and a flannel to remove. So I take micellar water and cotton pads. I never usually use face wipes BUT Anaïs’ Water Wipes are a bit of a revelation as they’re so gentle. They are 99% water!
Moisturiser: Depending on the season, I’ll be using something more or less rich but I always layer a serum/oil underneath. But I feel like cleansing is a little sketchy when I’m camping so I just take some Pai Rosehip Oil (decanted because it’s an annoying glass bottle!)
Deodorant: I think we can all agree this is the hardest working item in anyone’s washbag at a festival. Bar dry shampoo perhaps. Speaking of which…..
Dry Shampoo: Need I say more. I like a mini Batiste myself, and I like it to be jazzy. Cherry, Tropical….something summery.
Suncream: I’m a big fan of Clinique/La Roche Posay (the Anthelios kiddy range is great too)
Wash Wizard: These are so cool. I was sent them by a PR last year who told me the story behind the makers (all teenagers) who, I think, have mums/dads in the medical profession. They noticed the sponge used for bed baths in the hospital and realised they’d be perfect for festivals. So they made them! It’s a rolled up soft sponge which you splash water on — there’s a sort of alcohol gel inside which you don’t need to rinse off. It genuinely gets you clean enough to feel fresh. GREAT product.
Makeup: I take the following — foundation, concealer, mascara, blusher, red lippy and GLITTER.
Baby Specific Stuff
I took a plethora of clothes to layer for differing weather scenarios. A cute Gap hoody and joggers, some sleep suits (both long/short sleeved) and baby dungarees to layer were all work. I also took leggings with feet (for evenings) and sun hats for the daytime.
A word to the wise. Use a muslin to cover your baby up because Anaïs got burnt (serious mum guilt here) and we were never in the sun directly.
Sleepyhead: This is what she uses at home so it was nice and familiar for her.
Sleeping bag: This was great for night time as it got SO cold!
Ear defenders: I mean…how CUTE? These are suitable from three months, which was perfect for us but you can get some that are better for older children if you need them.
Baby Carriers/Slings/Wraps: Whatever you wanna call them, you need one at a festival because of the risk of MUD! As it goes, we could’ve taken our Britax Affinity 2 buggy but it was nice to wear Anaïs so much. We rarely do that at home.
We took our Ergobaby (The 360 Sophie La Girafe Festival Edition no less!) and an Izmi Breeze soft structured carrier. The Ergobaby is fab because you can wear your baby all day long without getting backache, but it’s HOT and quite bulky to travel with. The Izmi is brilliant and so easy to use but it doesn’t have the lovely privacy hood our Ergobaby does. And it’s not great for all-day wearing — I had a real backache by the end of the day.
I’m VERY lucky and was gifted all of my baby carrying options by PR’s (Izmi, Ergobaby and Fornessi Carry Me) and I’m going to write a review of each, breaking down the pros and cons as they’re all so different in style.
This probably seems like a whole load of stuff, but I feel pretty proud to say we used it all and nothing felt surplus to requirements. Next time, I think we’d take a camping stove for coffee/tea and probably more clothing options for Anaïs as well as a giant sun hat to protect her from the sun.
What item do you always forget to take to a festival?
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Also published on Medium.