Preparing for our winter break – Paris in January

If you are reading this post, first of all I have to let you know that you are absolutely sworn to secrecy! If anyone so much as mentions the words Paris and January in the same sentence around my children I will be an extremely unhappy Mama! That’s right, we are taking the kids to Disneyland Paris for their Christmas present this year and if they catch wind of it before December 25th I’ll make sure the person responsible gets nothing but a lump of coal in their stocking this year.

But yuletide threats aside, I am so excited about our winter break that I’ve already started secret preparations and the holiday planning lists are long and many. It will actually be our first time taking kids abroad and my first time abroad since the last time we went to Disneyland as fresh faced newlyweds 7 years ago.

We went in February for that trip and I remember well how bitterly cold it was and how unprepared I was for the weather. Having nothing with me that was really cut out for a whole day outside in freezing temperatures, I ended up wearing pretty much all of the clothes I had taken with me at one time… not a good look. This time, with three children in tow, there’s no way I can risk such a lackadaisical packing situation so a bit of forward planning is definitely in order.

 

Me and my sister rocking the ‘why did nobody tell me it was going to be this freakin’ cold’ look.

So this time I am coming prepared with multiple functional layers of clothing and snow boots all round. I purchased these thermal base layers tops and bottoms for the children from Sports Direct which are a cosy bargain and have the added bonus of Mabel thinking it’s a ninja outfit. We also all have fleece jumpers, hats and gloves, and the kids have their all in one waterproofs from Tiny Trolls of Norway, so they should stay warm and dry in any weather. Fingers crossed in that get-up and a few hot chocolates thrown in for good measure nobody will be miserably cold, because there’s nothing more miserable than a miserably cold child.

Another thing I’m stressing about planning for, is the car journey to and from Calais to Paris. We are taking the Euro tunnel because it was the most cost-effective option so we’re staying overnight in Dover the night before our crossing and hoping for a nice quick run down through France in the morning of our first day. I’m already busy downloading podcasts and audiobooks to keep the children quiet and happy, some of our favourites that we’ve found so far are –

I’m hoping that these will keep them entertained most of the way but I’m also planning to research good places to stop on the way just in case!

One thing I always worry about whenever we go away is the security of our home while we aren’t there. I know it sounds silly but when we return I always have a little feeling of anxious anticipation as we approach the front door, just in case anything has happened while we’ve been away. Well, one thing that I would love to invest in that would take all that worry away is a home monitoring and control system like the Smarthome Panasonic. With this system you can secure your home and monitor it from an app on your phone or tablet, wherever you are in the world! It even notifies you as soon as a door or window is opened, giving you complete peace of mind.

We’ve just managed to get the children’s passport forms sent away, finally after a few attempts! My one thing to say about that is don’t even bother trying to take children’s passport photos yourself in a photo booth… that’s £18 and half an hour we’ll never get back. Timpson does a great service where they take your photo and then check it through the passport office’s website to make sure it will be accepted before you pay for it. It was only a little bit more expensive than the photo booth and well worth it in my opinion.

So that’s some of the practical plans I’m making in secret for our little winter holiday, now there’s all the fun bits to organise like mickey mouse ears and restaurant reservations! I’m so excited and I can’t wait to see the little people’s reactions when they find out we are going. If anyone has any Disneyland Paris tips do let me know!

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