Road trips, beach house stays, camping sites, cruise ships or long-haul flights to far-off destinations – no matter where you end up on holidays there’s some amazingly cool/cute/helpful/necessary items for kids that no jetsetting family should be without.
Packing the car for a little escape down the coast this summer reminded me that packing for the family is painful. I’ve learnt some lessons along the way so here I’ll make the task of what to bring along for the kids a lot easier for you next time you travel.
Top it off
Hats are top of the list because no child spending time in the sunshine should be without one. Our favourites are from Acorn Kids because they have adjustable cords through the hat for fit, wide brims, rated UPF 50+ and sport original designs which are often reversible. Two hats in one! Sizes range from cute-as-a-button infant sunhats and bonnets to big kid sizes. Ties under the chin keep the hat where it should be and the sun off delicate little faces.
Tried and tested by Millie and Finn, we can vouch that Bobux shoes are the best for little feet. If you’re savvy you can pack only one or two pairs of shoes and they should take the kids through every possible holiday adventure. You’ll often find Millie rocking her Bobux Pop sandals. Leather with adjustable fastening for wide or narrow feet and podiatrist endorsed, they are the perfect holiday shoe – ideal for wandering around by day but dressy enough to wear out to dinner too. The unisex style comes in a variety of colours and adds a playful pop of colour to any summer outfit. Use the expert fitting tool online to find the perfect fit.
Finn’s tiny tootsies look so cute and are protected in the navy sandals for newborns/prewalkers, which are so soft it’s like they don’t have shoes on at all. The cut-out detail looks great while allowing feet to breathe. You could squish many different pairs of these into corners of your suitcase to have little shoes to match every one of bub’s outfits (I can imagine my husband rolling his eyes at this point. They just don’t understand).
Keeping children to routines when away from home can be tricky. But seasoned travellers swear by the Gro Anywhere Blind, a portable blackout blind that attaches easily to any window with suction cups and adjustable Velcro. Genius.
Then there’s the super-handy travel Grobags. The summer sleeping bags are TOG rated and fit a five point travel harness so bub can go from car to pram to bed (and back again) without having to be woken or disturbed by zipping them out of the coziness of the Grobag. There’s two-way front zips and the bags are machine washable and can even be tumble dried on low heat. Best part is the Grobags remove the need for bulky quilts and blankets, which take up valuable luggage space.
Slip, slop, slap
A new SPF 50+ Surf Life Saving Sunscreen has been developed without the ingredients often found in sunscreen that is toxic to coral and marine life. The range includes a ‘Zero’ sunscreen spray for kids that has been dermatologist tested and produced for sensitive and delicate skin. It has no fragrance, parabens, nano particles, oil or alcohol. The Surf Life Saving range is made in Australia and proceeds support Surf Life Saving. All of us use this one, so one bottle for the whole fam-bam.
Stomp in rompers
I’m mad for rompers. They are the cutest, most practical kids clothing invention and are staple outfit on my children. Colourful, lightweight and cool, easy to layer and the perfect, no-fuss cover-up.
We love the cotton rompers from Acorn Kids, which have been designed in collaboration with Two Little Ducklings. They are the perfect holiday outfit that won’t look out of place on the beach or sightseeing. Poppers at the crotch and adjustable straps make dressing super-easy – let’s face it, you want the least amount of fuss when it comes to making sure your little jetsetters look cute at home or away.
Other brands to try, with styles for boys and girls, include Printebebe, Fabrik, Coco & Ginger, Purebaby and the stretch rompers with original prints by Melbourne’s Minti.
The quick-dry travel towels from Hammamas are fantastic. They can double as a lightweight sarong, wrap or picnic rug and come in a range of colours so you know whose towel belongs to who. Try the kids size, 60cm x 90cm, that is small enough for your toddler to carry yet is still very absorbent. Made from cotton, they get softer with each wash.
I also pack a good old muslin wrap for bub – these can be for swaddling, a pram cover, a playmat, a towel, a light blanket or even a breastfeeding cover or sarong for mum. We like the big, bright organic cotton wraps by Bondi Beach Baby or the printed beauties from Weeegoamigo.
Need something to pop on for those brisk morning walks, to wear while dining outdoors or something to keep the kids cosy after a swim? Check out the shrugs from Aussie label Oishi-m. They add just the right amount of warmth on summer evenings but are much funkier than vests. They look great layered over long or short sleeved tops or dresses and the attached hood ups the cuteness factor to 10 while shielding little ears from the wind. I buy one of these for Millie every year and will be getting Finn one, too.
Kids will build up a thirst very quickly, especially after air travel or over summer. It’s a good idea to have a drink bottle handy. After trying numerous brands and styles, I’ve found the Camelbak water bottles the best. They have fun prints on them making them easy to identify, they’re a cinch to clean, have a leak-proof valve and are easy for kids to use.
Next big trip and I’ll be sure to buy a couple of these. How clever are Trunki wheely suitcases? Keeping separate luggage for you and the squids will prevent headaches upon arrival and these ones do the double duty of providing a ride-on suitcase to entertain and save weary little legs at airports and during check-in. They can be ridden on or towed by mum and dad and are small enough to be classed as hand luggage.
A little stumped about what to pack for yourself? Don’t despair. Carnival Cruise Line has an extensive blog where there’s many helpful tips for planning a cruising holiday, including preparing your cruise wardrobe. Go and check it out.
*MIllieMummyMelbourne is a proud ambassador for Bobux and Acorn Kids.