5 family holiday essentials for an easier life

Travelling with young children can be testing but the right preparation will alleviate at least some of the stress. To ensure your family holiday goes as smoothly as possible this summer, here are five essentials for an easier life…

If you’re going abroad this summer for your family holiday, there are five things that you can plan in advance to make everything a whole lot easier when it comes to the day of travel. You can thank us later…

Family holiday essentials #1

Protect your buggy (and your baby)

fsmily holiday essentials - McLaren stroller - theearlyhour.com

We made the mistake of taking our expensive Bugaboo city stroller away with us last year to Tenerife. Well, it wasn’t a mistake taking it – we knew Joni would sleep well in it, and planned on leaving her napping while we drank Prosecco and lay out in the sun – but we didn’t buy a cover for it. It got damaged in transit (the handle to raise and lower the seat snapped off) and not putting in a complaint at the time meant we couldn’t get any compensation. £200 later it was fixed. And I was furious.

So… either buy yourself a cheaper, lightweight buggy – Maclaren do a good one – or invest in a case to protect it when it’s thrown about. And whichever buggy you decide on, make sure you pick up a sun protector. This is good for two reasons: it darkens the buggy so that the baby can sleep even when the sun’s beaming down, and it means those dangerous UV rays won’t get through.

Family holiday essentials #

Can I take a buggy, car seat AND travel cot?

family holiday essentials - Mamas and Papas travel cot - theearlyhour.com

This will depend on which airline you’re flying with, but most of the cheap ones (Ryanair, Easyjet) only allow two items of baby equipment per baby. There’s more information on luggage allowance – and a load of other important ‘flying with an infant’ information – in this article.

If you have to choose, just remember that the travel cot can double up as a playpen in the daytime, or you can drape your buggy sunshade cover over it and take it out by the pool so your little one can have a proppa snooze while you kickback with a pina colada. Which is obviously the most important thing to consider. Also, some car rental companies offer car seats but you’ll need to check the quality and safety before taking off.

Family holiday essentials #3

Save suitcase space…

family holiday essentials - Ella's Kitchen - theearlyhour.com

Nappies are bulky. They can take up half a suitcase, even if it’s just a long weekend you’re packing for. Off to Spain for two weeks? Why not get your nappies sent direct to your accommodation. Travel Tots UK offer this brilliant service. And you can also get the all-important Ella’s pouches sent ahead, so you won’t need to worry about mashing up potatoes once you arrive.

Family holiday essentials #4

Slip slop slap – there’s a reason that ad was wildly popular

The 1981 Australian skin cancer awareness advert that introduced ‘slip slop slap’ was one of the most successful health adverts ever. Not only did it have a catchy jingle, but it was a reminder of the three ways you need to protect little ones from the sun:

“…Slip on a shirt
Slop on sunscreen
And slap on a hat”

So make sure you pack long sleeved, loose cotton clothing to protect your children’s arms, buy high factor sun lotion before you go – it will almost definitely be cheaper – and invest in a sunhat. Gap Kids has a good selection.

Family holiday essentials #5

Get organised.

Tiba and Marl changing bag - family essentials - theearlyhour.com

Make sure you have all the important things in one bag: passport, tickets, pen and paper in case you need to jot something down, car rental details, nappies, mobile phone. And a laptop or iPad with plenty of episodes of Peppa Pig, or whatever programme your children currently favour, to get you through the flight.

We love this Elwood Backpack by Tiba and Marl. This version, in plain black, is perfectly unisex and has different compartments for everything listed above. It will set you back £120 but it’s cool enough to continue using once the tots are out of nappies.

Main image: benzolbag.com