Packing for a Summer Holiday with Kids

A while back I wrote a post about what to pack to keep your little one entertained on a long-haul flight.  It has been incredibly popular so I thought I would follow it up with a post on the top things to pack for a summer holiday.  I have based this on a holiday we took earlier this year to Mauritius with my (then) 34month old boy and 16month old girl.  I have also added in some great suggestions I received when I asked this same question via social media last week.  Remember most small children are more than happy to wear the same (usually grubby!) shorts and t-shirt every day so take some handwash and pack less clothes and more toys and games (when you’re there and trying to relax you’ll get more pleasure out of them being occupied than their pretty t-shirt!)

Bollie with sunglasses

Mini First Aid Kit (note if you haven’t used any of these before then a doctor’s advice should be sought first)

  • Plasters
  • Antiseptic wipes (you can buy a little box of individually wrapped ones in most supermarkets)
  • Calpol  / Ibuprofen in individual sachets – for any emergency illness (this can often be hard to buy abroad so I would pack a few sachets to be on the safe side)
  • Piriton – to ease rashes / insect bites (also be aware that this causes drowsiness in children – not to be abused but it has helped us overcome jet lag as a one off before).  I tend to de-cant into a smaller bottle
  • Teething gels / powders etc
  • Antiseptic cream – for grazes
  • Anti-histamine cream – for bites / stings

Other sensible suggestions

  • Steriliser bags (Munchkin_UK sell good ones if you have access to a microwave) for bottles
  • Sunscreen (we always take this from the UK so we know it is of a high enough factor)
  • A number of hats (we always seem to lose a few).  I try and get the ones that have the neck cover built in
  • Rash suits (the swim suits that are SPF protected and cover as much of them as possible)
  • A SPF beach shelter / tent – we use this one which doubles as the travel cot for our youngest at night – link here
  • A small bottle of ‘handwash’ for emergency clothes washing
  • A travel toilet seat / potty – we took the potette as it folds down small and doubles as a potty if you are caught out
  • Antiseptic hand gel (in case you can’t get to wash your hands)

 Bollie and in the pool

Pool  / beach entertainment (the suggestions here can be bulky but if you pack clothes into them they don’t take up as much room and can be the difference between you getting sun lounger time or not!)

  • Arm bands (my 16 month old had hers on all day and would get in and out of the pool with the on her own)
  • A small paddling pool – this might seem crazy (and obviously leave it if you don’t have the space) but if you buy a small inflatable one they can fold down really small and keep very little ones cool and amused for hours (my 16 month old would spend at least an hour a day sat in the shade in the paddling pool making cups of tea!)
  • A small plastic tea set (just a teapot and a couple of cups) – we took this one – link here
  • A set of stacking cups (brilliant for making sand castles or playing in the water) – we took these – link here
  • Some cheap plastic dinosaurs / animals to play hiding in the sand (The Entertainer do a pack of 12 for £1)

 The Bear with Stacking Cups

The Bear on the Beach

Other entertainment

  • Both of our children took a little rucksack each with them.  They were allowed to fill this with their top toys (little cards, fav cuddlies etc)
  • A pencil case with colouring pencils – we take these ones as they are great for little hands and don’t roll away – link here
  • A little colouring book, pad of paper and post it notes with a selection of stickers (which we gave out of a sheet of before each long meal).  Yellow Moon has a fab selection at reasonable prices as do Poundland
  • An old sheet and some pegs / clips (a suggestion from @childcarehour) to make sun shades and dens
  • A couple of favourite books for bedtime stories
  • An i-pad loaded with jigsaw, fav programmes and apps
  • A small bag of lego / building blocks for younger ones
  • A couple of the Orchard Games (the favourites in our house at the shopping list and animal bingo).  We take them out of the boxes and keep them in zip-lock bags – link here
  • A pot of playdough
  • A pack of balloons for instant games of catch
  • Water painting books – hours of fun and minimal mess! – link here
  • Some mini bubbles – these little ones are great to have in your handbag – link here
  • A couple of bouncy balls – I like the fluorescent ones as they are easier to find! – link here

Bollie with her bag of mini treasures! Bollie with sunglasses and stickers Bollie blowing bubbles Bollie and sunglasses

Please not all product suggestions here are made because we have used them and rate them.  I do not receive any fee for the links so do shop around

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