The Confessions of an Over-Packer

You’ve spent hours searching the internet finding your perfect UK cottage holiday. You’ve booked your holiday cottage and looked into places to visit in the area. All that’s left to do is the packing- simple right? NO!

Firstly, confession time, I am a serious over packer. When I pack, it doesn’t look like we are going on a cottage holiday, it looks as if I am carefully planning to survive Armageddon!



packing for your cottage holiday
Our over packed car



When we went to a holiday cottage in North Norfolk last Christmas, I took our three-tiered vegetable steamer with us (I kid you not- I happen to prefer my vegetables steamed and not boiled!) Other weird, wonderful (and quite frankly UNNECESSARY) items have also made it on cottage holidays with us. Ever had a conversation like this?


“Mummy, that fruit bowl looks just like our fruit bowl from home, even with the same fruit in it!’ my oldest daughter exclaimed.

‘Yes darling, that’s because IT IS our fruit bowl from home with OUR fruit in it!” I sheepishly replied.




packing for your cottage holiday
The travelling fruit bowl






Why I felt the need to pack the fruit bowl, along with the contents still in it, I’m not sure I can explain! I think I’m a ‘just in case’ person. I shall elaborate further…


On our first family cottage holiday to France I packed some cystitis sachets that help clear it up when you get an attack. Do I suffer regularly from cystitis? NO, I haven’t had cystitis for ten years at least. However, my reasoning in packing the helpful little sachets was ‘what happens if I DO get it’? Trying to find a pharmacy in France, that is open, would be tricky. Even if I did find an open pharmacy my French is limited to ‘I would like a cup of tea please’ and does not stretch to explaining the symptoms of cystitis in French. Hence, the sachets were my ‘just in case’ item.


In the UK, on a cottage holiday, I seem to forget (unless you go really off the beaten track) it is never that far to a supermarket or a well-stocked garage. I really do not need to pack the contents of the kitchen/ medicine cupboard and all the clothes we own. Since having children my over packing problem has intensified there are so many more ‘just in case’ scenarios lurking ready to catch me unprepared! I never, and I mean never, go away with out some children’s pain relief medicine and baby wipes.


For our next UK cottage holiday, I SHALL pack sparingly and only what is necessary. Any tips and advice welcome- please! Or if you, too, are a ‘just in case person’ let us know!


Oh, and in case you were wondering, I didn’t come down with cystitis in France, the sachets are gathering dust back in my kitchen cupboard!


For how to pack well check out these tips from one of our favourite family travel bloggers Tin Box Traveller .


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