What To Pack For A Butlin's Holiday With Children

If you are heading off on a holiday to Butlin's soon I hope you have a wonderful time. Whether you are staying in an apartment or hotel room you might want to take some home comforts and convenience items with you to make your holiday even better. While this list of items to pack for Butlin's is specifically for self catering holidays, other than the "Bits for the kitchen" and "food" section the lists will be helpful for stays in the Butlin's hotels too.

If you are coming by public transport you will want to travel as light as possible so decide what you are happy to do without. If you are travelling light then you can hire essentials and buy items from the shops on site and nearby supermarkets. The onsite supermarket at Butlin's Bognor Regis was more expensive than a normal supermarket, but we thought the prices were still quite reasonable and it is well stocked for a convenience store.

If you are driving then there is plenty of parking (and unless you have premium accommodation with dedicated parking right outside) you will be happy to know they have trolleys so you can easily transport everything to your apartment or room without carrying it.

The kitchen and dining room at Butlin's is basic and you need to pack a few extras
If you are staying in self catering accommodation at Butlin's you will need to pack a few extras

What To Pack For Butlin's Self Catering Apartment Holidays

Bits For The Kitchen

Even if you eat out for dinner or get takeaway you will probably want to use the kitchen for snacks and a few meals like an easy breakfast. The kitchens have a fridge (with mini freezer compartment), microwave, hob, oven, kettle and toaster. Premium accommodation (eg Gold Apartments) contain dishwashers, but most don’t.

The kitchen in our Seaside Apartment was small but perfectly functional. Other than tea and coffee items, toilet paper and a bar of soap their were no consumables so you will need to bring everything from shower gel to washing up liquid and tea towels.

The items to cook were fine if basic, but the knife was awful and you will want to bring a few more items depending on what/ if you are planning to cook. Our apartment had a couple of saucepans, frying pan, measuring jug and crockery and cutlery.

Depending on what your plans during your stay you may want to bring:

  • Washing up liquid (or dishwasher tablets if in a Gold Apartment)
  • Kitchen cleaner
  • Sponge/ dish cloth
  • Tea towels
  • Kitchen roll
  • Bin bags (they had left sufficient for our stay, but you might want a few extra)
  • Foil (reduces the washing up if you are cooking in the oven)
  • Cling film if you plan to use the microwave
  • Baking trays 
  • Plastic plates, cups and cutlery if you have young children
  • A good sharp knife (if you are fussy about knives)
  • Scissors
  • Colander (we had to use the pan lid to drain pasta because we didn't bring one)
  • Bottle opener
  • Can opener (if you are taking cans which need one).
  • Spatula
  • Tongs
  • Dust pan and brush (they had a broom, but no way to pick up the pile of dirt).
Staying at Butlin's but what do you need to pack? A few extras might improve your stay
The Skyline Pavilion at Bognor Regis Butlin's

Food and Drink

Everything you consume over your stay will need to be brought with you or purchased after you arrive. There are restaurants on site as well as a supermarket, but taking food with you will save you time and money. 

The accommodation is close to all the activities so we found it really easy to eat breakfast in our apartment and popped back again to have sandwiches etc for lunch.

Don’t forget the staples for cooking (and takeaways):

  • Salt
  • Pepper and any other spices you use regularly 
  • Tomato ketchup (well it's a staple in our house)
  • Oil
  • Fruit Squash
  • Tea bags/ coffee if you want more than the couple of sachets they leave

We also took:

  • Cereals
  • Milk
  • Margarine
  • Bread
  • Jam
  • Pasta 
  • Pasta sauce
  • Snacks, snacks and more snacks, because children like to eat regularly.
  • You might want to buy butter and milk when you are there if you are travelling for more than an hour.

For dinner on the first night I made a chilli con carne at home and froze it. This was easy to cook with rice so we didn’t have to worry about exploring the restaurants straight away.

For The Bathroom

  • Hand soap
  • Toilet roll (a pack of 4 was left for us and was plenty, but it depends on how fast you get through toilet roll)
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo and Conditioner
  • Flannels 
  • Hairbrush
  • Any other essential toiletries and cosmetics (including period products)


In most accommodation types towels are provided, including a bath mat, but if you are in standard or silver apartments you will need to bring or hire:

  • Hand towel
  • Body towels 
  • Bath mat to stop the floor getting wet when you get out of the shower
  • Swimming or beach towels are not provided in any accommodation. We use Decathlon microfibre towels like these (affiliate link) for swimming because they are compact and dry really fast.

First Aid

  • Plasters
  • Calpol/ Nurofen
  • Piriton
  • Anthisan
  • Thermometer
  • Painkillers for adults
  • Tweezers
  • A mini first aid kit
  • Travel sickness pills
View towards the swimming pool at Butlin's Bognor Regis
Splash: the pool area with slides, flumes and wave pool is a must visit at Butlin's

Clothes etc

  • Lots of outfits. Depending on the time of year you will want 1 or 2 changes of clothes per day (and probably more the younger the children are). Some people dressed up for the evenings entertainment, but it was pretty much anything goes so it's up to you.
  • Underwear. I feel I need to put this as a separate item because it’s the sort of thing that can be forgotten in haste, but it's pretty important.
  • Swimming costumes/ trunks. We took 2 per person because we went swimming every day and they needed time to dry.
  • Swimming nappies if needed
  • Goggles, armbands etc
  • Swimming towels
  • Wellies, flip flops or other beach footwear
  • Normal footwear eg trainers
  • Jumpers, even in summer the evenings can get cold
  • Nightwear
  • A bag to take swimming kit to the pool or items to the beach
  • Coats if it’s going to be cold, or at least waterproof jackets

Other Essentials

  • Suncream (fingers crossed you’ll need it).
  • Chargers for every electrical device you are bringing or spare batteries.
  • Entertainment for the car journey: this means an iPad and music for us. You might find these car games will help keep children entertained.
  • Toys and entertainment for in the apartment because the TV alone wont be enough if you spend much time indoors eg travel games as well as colouring pencils and paper.
  • If you get disturbed easily at night you might want to take ear plugs and an eye mask. The blinds in our room were black out blinds so it shut out most of the light and our walls were quite thick so these weren't essential in our apartment.
  • A night light or white noise may be helpful, although in the children’s rooms there was a cloud light on the wall which could be used as a night light.
  • We tried bringing an Amazon Alexa smart speaker, but couldn’t manage to connect it to the public wifi.
  • If you have a baby you will also need nappies, wipes and anything necessary for feeding (including sterilising equipment and bib). I actually managed to forget nappies on our last trip away. You might want to hire a high chair, cot, baby bath etc.
  • A camera to help capture all the happy memories.
What to pack for a Butlin's holiday with children

I would love to hear in the comments if you think there is anything else that would be helpful. 


  1. Thanks for this list, very useful!

  2. Fantastic list of items , thanks; we are heading to butlins soon; we will hopefully have a good time

  3. Great list. Thanks!

  4. Thankyou, this is very helpful!

  5. Thank you so much for this list! We’re going to butlins for the first time with 2 children under the age of 2, this is perfect.

  6. Great list! I always take cleaning spray and cloths, a chopping board as I hate using the glass ones they often provide. And to make the place more homely I take a small oil diffuser and some blankets to make the living room more cosy when snuggling up watch TV. I don't trust a scented candle in caravans or apartments as I'm never sure how sensitive the smoke detectors are. If there isn't one provided and I can fit it in the car I will also take a clothes airer - useful for drying towels and swimming costumes.

    1. A compact clothes airer would be handy especially if you have a balcony, we had our towels and costumes hanging in the shower and the heated towel rail/ radiator, but it was a challenge to get it dry between sessions.

  7. Thank you for this helpful list! There’s no way we’ll be lugging kitchen stuff, but you did remind me of quite a number of things I’d forgotten!
    Going to Butlins for an Easter break with my three children. We’ve never been on holiday before except for camping, and I don’t drive, so a little bit nervous!

    1. Yes without a car I definitely wouldn't worry about kitchen stuff, there are plenty of places to get food. I hope you have a great time, it will definitely be busier and louder than camping (or at least when we go camping), but it's a great experience and my children loved it.

  8. Also a good idea may be EARPLUGS ,as if you're in a ground floor acommodation large childten above running around and jumping off beds can be VERY noisy and also alarming ,as each time these big kids jumped off the beds the rooms we were in shook and I was worried that they would co.e through the ceiling!!

    1. Thank you, yes ear plugs are on the list. I never travel without my ear plugs or eye masks as you never know if you will need them. Did you stay in the hotel? In our apartment a neighbour was very noisy, but you couldn't hear it in our bedrooms. We were on the first floor with no accommodation above us so I don't know how well sound travelled between floors.


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