9 Essential Holiday Items Your Kids Don’t Want to be Without this Summer

I am pleased to introduce Lisa Bradburn from What2Buy4Kids.  Here is her guest post about getting prepared for the Summer:

Car journey games
Car journey games

9 Essential Holiday Items Your Kids Don’t Want to be Without this Summer

Wet wipes. That’s all I could think, after the first long road trip with my kids. I had the food and the games and the drinks. I had even remembered a rubbish bag. Why didn’t I remember the wet wipes?

Learn from my mistakes! As a mum of three and ex-school teacher turned toy hunter (yes, that really is my job), I am well versed in how NOT to organise a trip away!

These days, I start packing about 6-8 weeks in advanced. That might sound extreme, but I do it for two reasons:

  1. No last minute panic
  2. I get so excited each time I spot the bag in the wardrobe, in which I hoard the holiday essentials; packing in advance builds the momentum.

Do you pack in advance?

Over the years, I’ve made a note of the things I need on every holiday and – more importantly – the things that make my kids really happy when we go away.

Here’s my list of 9 essential things my kids can’t be without. What would you add to it?

1. Car Journey Games in a Tin 

Giftoftheyear.co.uk voted this the toy of the year 2014. It has seven ingenious car-themed games and is recommended for kids over the age of 8.

When you’ve not much more than the back of a car seat to stare at, in-car entertainment has to perform! I like this tin version because everything can be contained and it slides under the seats really easily.

2. Their favourite books and some news ones! 

Take paperbacks because their weigh less. You’ll need these in the car, hotel and at the beach or by the pool, so I put a couple in the car and a couple in my day bag for easy access.

No matter what age, kids find books really calming. Whether you’re reading to them or they’re reading to themselves, a good book will help your children feel relaxed and settled. That’s important when you’re going somewhere new.

3. Loads of PJs!  

Is it the late mornings or the relaxed evenings that see our pyjamas take a real wearing? I always need more than one pair. In fact, I often take three for each person or prepare to do lots of washing.

4. Emergency first aid and ‘cosmetics’ kit           

I prepare one just for the kids. It contains high factor sunscreen, insect relief, Calpol, those crafty wet wipes, fun plasters and an extra sun hat, folded up inside. In short, it’s my grab-and-go medical insurance for trips away!

 5. An extra comforter – like that special ‘noo noo blanket’

Because there are so many places they’re needed! In the car, the plane, the hotel room, on days out… So, like the books, I have a few stashed in various places.

6. Their own back pack 

The minute my kids were old enough to carry a mini backpack (there are some really cute ones here), I fastened one onto their backs so fast….! I think this is great for introducing a sense of responsibility – which many kids are so keen to grasp – and it also means I don’t have to carry so much stuff! So, in go the books, the comforter, some snacks and their own mini water bottle.

7. Pillow pet or neck cushion  

Pillow pets are super-soft squidgy pillows made to look like animals. Neck cushions go around your neck. I prefer the pillow pets because they’re more versatile – your kids can use them as a sleeping pillow when lying down; the neck pillows only really work when you’re sitting in a car or plane.

Whichever you choose, they really help kids snooze off and get comfy.

8. Beach towel 

I’ve used spares from our accommodation and taken extras from home, but nothing really beats a proper beach towel. The kids like them because it’s something special that’s just for our trips away. I like them because the bath towels don’t come back sopping wet and full of sand!

9. Talc!

A mother’s secret weapon: talc gets rid of sand in an instant! It’s in my day bag and the door of the car for dusting off little feet before they clamber all over my seats! I thought about adding it to my kid’s packs, but this is one item I appreciate more than they do!

What’s on your essentials list for trips away with the kids? I’d love to learn from you and add to this year’s packing list.

Lisa Bradburn is the managing director of what2buy4kids – a place to find quality, unusual gifts for kids. Lisa built her business out of first-hand frustration at the lack of interesting and available gift ideas for children. Now, she hunts them down so you don’t have to and provides endless entertainment inspiration for children of all ages.

Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Guest Post.

I have linked up this week with Tried and Tested.

  • Muslim Mummy

    Some great tips! I never knew that about talc and sand!

  • Great list hun, we have always done the talc and sand thing as we spend most of our summer in Devon and it really does work xxx

  • fabulous love the talc tip will be using that when we go, i always have so much of it x

  • Wet wipes are my number one, well for us it is a wet flannel is a sealable bag!

  • A very useful list. I like the sound of talc. Must remember to pack it for the next holiday.

  • I always plan at least that far in advance for a big holiday. Great tips, I would add wet wipes too or anti bacterial hand gel.

  • cassfrugalfamily

    We take everything except the kitchen sink when we travel anywhere ;-)

  • My children pack their own bags when we go away. All they pack is toys – I pack everything else!

  • Great tips! I didn’t know the tip about he sand and talc x

  • That talc and sand tip is engrained on my brain now… I hate sandy feet after the beach! Fantastic tips, my boys love having their own backpacks!

  • The talc and sand tip is engrained on my brain now forever! I had no idea, and I hate sandy toes after the beach!

  • Great tips! We rarely go away and only locally so can usually buy most things locally but there are always personal items you need to remember. The kids are getting older now and like to pack for themselves, but remembering to bring everything home again is more challenging!

  • Some great tips! I never go anywhere without wet wipes! Love the idea of the talc too, will have to remember that one!

  • Oooh I didn’t know about talc and sand, fab tip! We always have wet wipes and calpol at the top of the list x

  • I am with you on the wet wipes. Our son was sick in the car on the way to catching a ferry and we had to buy some – but we were like aggh why don’t we just have some in the car.

  • Talc? Sand? Was nodding along to all of them, but this one I think it going to be our lifesaver- thank you!

  • I really never knew that about talc. We always take it to the swimming baths to go into swimming hats and help dry clammy bodies. It seems there’s nothing it can’t do – go talc! :-)

  • Great list. We have a First Aid kit everywhere but it is surprising how many people travel without it.

  • We always take a first aid kit that contains calpol, suncream as well as plasters etc

  • Fab ideas here. I thought I was prepared but even I’ve got a few things to learn by the looks of things! Great post

  • I am taking the girls on holiday with my aunty and uncle this summer as my husband has to work away. I am panicking already especially as i have to drive them the 3 hours to the coast on my own and my eldest gets severe car sickness!!!! Thanks for all the tips x

  • great tips, we are off on our first holiday at the end of the month! x

  • Paula Harvey

    I agree with the wet wipes!! I use them all the time for all sorts of tasks – and a brill tip with the talc for sand!! I avoid the beach as much as I can as I hate the feeling of sand stuck to me! We live approx 30 secs walk from the beach so the kids might get me down there more often this year! :D

  • Marissa

    The talc is a great idea. I always have nappy bags as they are great for putting rubbish and wet clothes in :-)