10 things you need for travelling with kids and why
It’s no secret that travelling with kids (your babes as I call them) can be a daunting thought and undoubtedly a little stressful in reality… Packing lists can feel endless, routines can feel out of control and that’s all before you have left your house. Rest assured – It will be worth it! Holidaying with babes is 100% worth all the stress it comes with for the sheer joy of seeing them discover new places, taste new foods, learn new things and all whilst you are out of the daily routine and can actually enjoy the moments and lock them away in your memory bank.
We have been fortunate enough to have a number of trips overseas with 1 and then 2 babes and there are a few things which now stay on my packing list… And within that lies a hack! I have a packing list on my phone for each babe that remains for every holiday so I don’t need to re-remember everything from the last time. Anything I think of randomly gets added and anything that we don’t use comes off. It makes packing itself the easy part as it’s more a tick-box exercise than actually requiring my brain which is usually overloaded with all the little things to remember like cancelling milk deliveries or turning the heating off…
To help you on your next getaway, I have put together a list of 10 things you may need for travelling overseas with kids with a short explanation for each. Some will seem more obvious, others more obscure, I hope you will adopt onto your own packing lists for the future.
A random one first up but honestly the most useful thing when you are out and about in often sandy territories. I use them to pack small items in my luggage like charging cables, makeup etc. then abroad they are great for snacks or prepared meals, small toys, dummies, craft bits etc.
2. Reusable swim nappies – Happy Nappy
I will admit I have never gotten into reusable cloth nappies before now but for holidays they are now a must where your kids are in and out the pool. Standard swim nappies are not only a nightmare to get on/off wet uncooperative legs but I found we were going through so many that were empty and ending up in the bin. To add – nappies in general cost a fortune in Europe and one pack of swim nappies will be more than a reusable nappy you can wear all summer long!
3. Small towel (like a hand towel)
This is a hack from my mother-in-law for keeping babes cool in a hot country whilst using the pram or car seat. Choose a small lightweight towel preferably light in colour such as white. Place it in the pram seat or car seat. This is a much nicer material to sit on, with often exposed skin, rather than the hot black material of most conventional prams. The towelling will absorb any stickiness and help prevent chaffing too.
4. Extra large insulated water bottle - Chillys 1 litre
Plastic bottles are a huge no no in my eyes but I can understand in foreign countries it’s sometimes difficult to be sure of water purity and getting water on the go. Instead, I take an XL insulated water bottle (this can go in your hand luggage if empty) that I fill from a safe water source. The water will stay cold and XL means plenty to go round the fam and you can forget cheap plastic bottles cooking water in the bottom of the pram. Added tip, I bought my 3Y old her own insulated cooler bottle for the same reason and she absolutely loves it.
5. Lunch cooler bag & ice pack – Little Dutch at Kiddly
These are particularly good if you are weaning or have small babes who you need to carry food for but also useful for cold snacks and drinks for the older babes. Even if you are in a hotel the mini bars will have an ice section so you can freeze your icepack and keep things cool when you are out and about.
6. Cooling microfibre towel – Dock & Bay
This is a recent addition of mine and has been super handy the last few summer holidays for myself whilst pregnant and the babes. It’s essentially a light gym towel made from cooling yarn that you wet and snap and it turns cold – very cold! It’s great for cooling kids down on the move be it in a hot car, the sweaty underground or when you don’t fancy blasting the aircon.
7. Play mat – Play & Go
We literally took one everywhere on our recent trip – the are so useful! They can be used at the airport, beach, pool, hotel lobby, balcony… the list is endless. Great for small babes who are pre-crawl or just crawling to create safe environment for them to sit and understand as a play area - on the go. The brand linked above is also a double win as the play mat folds into a bag and doubles up as storage – LOVE!
8. Blackout blind – Tommee Tippee
Sleep routines will undoubtedly be awry with new environments, temperatures and clock changes… minimising light can help night time associations and with that hopefully comes sleep. Depending on your destination you might find you are blessed with a location (like Italy) that has blackout shutters that I honestly want to bring to all UK houses. If not, then a blackout curtain can be a life saver.
9. Ice-lolly moulds - Ikea
I should probably be on commission the amount I talk about home made ice lollies… here I go again! These are a must if you have kitchen facilities on your holiday. They are a great activity to make on an early morning wake up with kids that are old enough, perfect for keeping babes cool and of course teething. Choose a recipe that is simple such as one of my 4 ingredient favourites – sub out any ingredients you can’t find with local fruit and veg.
10. SnoozeShade – Universal cover
A product you will almost certainly have heard, read or seen as a parent the SnoozeShade had me head scratching for the first 3 years of parenting… and now I am converted! I, like many, was pretty dubious as to how it would work when it essentially looked like putting a black bin bag over the pram but after trying it on a recent holiday, I can see that it really does. I found it most useful for keeping baby out the sun when out walking in the day so I wasn’t constantly worrying about sunburn and it really does provide shade in full sun! It was also great for pram naps in the day and for getting baby to sleep when we were out late at night. A new holiday essential for us.
There you have it, 10 things you need when travelling with kids, straight off my packing list for you to add to yours! Whether this is your first trip away or your first one in a while I hope this list will help in making the preparation that little bit easier and prove useful whilst away.
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