Packing your family up for a big holiday can be a daunting prospect. Gone are the days when you and your partner could up sticks with just one carry-on case between you and jump on a plane to some remote corner of the globe.
Travelling with a family, although rewarding and joyful, can be a daunting prospect when it comes to making sure that you’ve packed all the essentials (passport, flight details, accommodation info), as well as the “necessary-because-we’ve-got-kids” bits and bobs. We know how you feel…and we hope this list eight things you need to pack for your family summer holiday will help to ease the packing stress!
We know, it sounds pretty obvious doesn’t it…what responsible parent would forget to pack the suncream? But have you ever stopped to consider how many chemicals you’re rubbing into your children’s skin when applying conventional creams that you pick up at the airport?
What you may not know is that many suncreams contain harmful chemicals like Oxybenzone, which pollutes the ocean and causes coral bleaching, reef destruction and harm to other marine life, as well as being toxic to humans too.
Try opting for a mineral-based formula, which has the added benefit of being effective immediately after application, making it a better choice for kids who are desperate to get building a sandcastle city straight away! Make sure you reapply regularly and after swimming, as they tend to be less water resistant than the chemical-based formulae.
We love the Organii SPF 50 Sun Milk which is entirely free from synthetic ingredients and has a great vegan-friendly, waterproof, fragrance and paraben free formula with UVA and UVB protection. For those who have more sensitive skin or are allergic to suncream, try giving Zinc a go. We use it on our daughter who is allergic to normal suncream and she happily splashes around all day on the beach without getting burnt!
Organii SPF 50 Sun Milk - RRP £23.95
Mini First Aid Kit
A capsule travel medical kit should be one of the first things you pop in your suitcase when it comes to packing for a family holiday.
It always helps to have plasters on hand, but bringing a mini first aid kit will help reduce the potential stress and difficulties if someone feels unwell. Believe us when we say that once you bring a first aid kit on holiday, you’ll never travel without one again.
Remember that different climates and environments may require specific items, but our handy checklist list is a good start for most family-friendly destinations: Children's Ibuprofen or Paracetamol
- Insect repellent Aftersun
- Hand sanitiser
- Sting and bite treatment
- Antiseptic cream or tea tree oil
- Eyewash or Eyedrops to soothe sore eyes from chlorine swimming pools or seawater
- Anti-nausea/indigestion/diarrhoea medicine
- Rehydration sachets - flavoured ones are best!
- A packet of sweets - a great all rounder that will perk anyone up (and can even come in handy for curing a case of the tantrums!)
Keeping the little ones entertained can be more stressful than planning a holiday itself. To avoid tantrums and the inevitable cries of "are we there yet?" make sure to bring plenty of entertainment with you.
Audiobooks are a great way to keep the whole family occupied on long journeys, and for those who - like us - prefer less screen time for the kids, Uno, Dobble and Bananagrams are all highly addictive games and fun games that the whole family can play together!
Another great way to keep children entertained and stimulate their minds is with travel sticker books and, if they're a bit older, a camera so they can capture their own memories. And if all of your well intentioned efforts to amuse them fail…make sure that iPad is charged and ready to go, along with the correct adaptor plug of course!
Bananagrams - £14.99 John Lewis
Food and Travel Snacks - A Sustainable Approach
Kids often need snacks and drinks, and we all know how important it is to stay hydrated in hot weather. In the interest of being more eco-friendly, it's a great idea to bring your own reusable water bottles and silicone food bags. Opt for a metal water bottle like Chilly’s. They’ll keep your drink cool for 24 hours (or hot for 12!) and you can even put fizzy drinks inside too!
We love bringing tupperware on holiday. You’ll be surprised by how much use you make out of it - from stashing snacks in for a day at the beach, and if you’re staying in self catered accommodation they’re really useful for keeping leftovers - waste not! We also love bringing a selection of our kid’s favourite snacks on the plane which can often be healthier and more waste-free than plane snacks. Think dried fruit and chopped up fruit and veg, as well as picking up some local snacks to remind you of your travels even when your holiday is over.
Chilly's Water Bottle, 500ml - £20
Beach / Pool shoes
Waterproof shoes are great for helping kids avoid hurting their feet on the beach. They protect feet from cuts and bruises while playing in rock pools and give some much-needed grip while climbing, plus they're easy to wash and clean.
We love Slipfree UK non-slip shoes for kids. This genius invention are fantastic little socks for the beach to help keep feet off the hot sand, and stop slipping by the pool! Waterproof pouch for the beach Having some kind of waterproof pouch or dedicated zip-up pocket in your beach bag is so useful to protect your belongings from getting wet and sandy on the beach. Stash away things like money, phones…and even food. No one likes a soggy, sandy sandwich!
Slip Free Shoes - £14.95
Lavender Pillow Spray
After a long journey or an exciting day, it can be hard to get children to settle down to sleep. A great natural way to calm them down is by bringing a lavender sleep spray to spritz onto their pillow or cot before bedtime to aid with restful sleep.
We love the Baby Sleep Pillow Spray by This Works which contains a natural blend of soothing lavender, chamomile and vetiver. Its natural formula won't cause skin irritation and it's free from parabens, sulphates, phthalates and synthetic fragrances. Which by our watch means it’s time for mum and dad to kick their feet back and enjoy a cocktail or two!
Baby Sleep Pillow Spray - £19.50
Your LB Swimwear!
And of course, don’t forget your LB swimwear! We make each piece from ECONYL® - a regenerated Nylon made from recycled ocean plastic and other landfill waste. But that’s not the only benefit of using ECONYL® - our bikinis, swimsuits and rash vests are all SPF 50 and Salt and Chlorine Resistant so your little ones can splash around safely all day long.
Lexi and Lola wear the Mimi Swimsuit in Royal Blue
So what have we forgotten to take on our family holiday in the above post?
Comment below and let us know! We’d love to know what you pack when travelling with your family. Have fun and don’t forget your passports!