A Pillow. A travel one. Not just brilliant for snoozing on long car, train, bus or plane journeys, but also brilliant for lounging by the pool. Much more comfortable to rest your chin on whilst reading than a rolled up towel.
Hangers... Fold up travel ones. There is never enough in the hotel wardrobes. This is a stress-reducing move for hotels with little storage.
Torch. For walking home along ill lit streets, or the beach. and very useful for children in the night to save blinding the whole family when your 6 year old needs the toilet. And of course for power cuts!
Night light. So there is light for the younger children to see to go to the toilet at night. The torch is good for older children who can see enough to reach for the torch in the pitch black that hotel rooms in sunnier climes manage to create with brilliant black out curtains. But for smaller children used to night lights at home, its useful to take one with you. They are not, though, usually bright enough to read by, so if you expect enough light to read by, after the little ones are asleep, you could either leave the bathroom light on, or sit out on a balcony (if available). Since my family is prone to insects bites we opted not to sit out in an evening, but instead to watch a film in the room but with headphones, in a portable DVD player so not to disturb the children.
Eye mask . For when you have the night light on for the children but can't sleep yourself as a result!
Other potentially useful items to pack include; A mini boiler and plastic cups and tea bags for tea lovers; a single to double plug adapter to cope with all the phones, cameras, games consoles and tablets that we now carry everywhere; and sticker books for the children because, well, just because they are easy, light and great for rainy day entertainment.
Have a great holiday!
If you'd like to share your top five items to pack, feel free to comment below, or contact me on Twitter at @ymummyreally.