It’s safe to say we go away A LOT with our families. We both have done so since our eldest were babies. Belle came on her first holiday at 10 weeks old and I think it’s made it so much easier for us that we did it with her from so young, rather than waiting and building up a fear.
Over the past 3 years I’ve been writing a list of everything I bring. It depends on if I’m staying in a hotel or an apartment but the below is generally what comes with for a sunny beach holiday. This is a ‘less is more’ version, I’m not into packing everything plus the kitchen sink ‘just in case’ so I stick to the essentials and it’s always worked out well. (Umm touch wood, obviously it will probably all go wrong now!!)
– 1 pack nappies. Vacuum packed them so you can lay them flat at the bottom of your case, and buy the rest out there.
– x3 packs of wipes. Depends how long you are going for, but these will cover the first few days and you can also easily buy wipes.
– Boat with hood Amazon. Brilliant for allowing you some pool time for you and baby to cool down, whilst keeping your baby shaded.
– Buggy sheepskin liner (not that it necessarily is cooling but the buggy can get hot so this makes it more comfy for them to sit/lay on)
– If travelling to a hotel then you won’t need this but we often holiday in my families apartment in Majorica so we take a travel cot and cot sheets (We have tried all the fancy lightweight ones but Red Kite is £30 and really simple to use. You can usually check it in for free.
– Same as above. Baby bassinet. If your baby is too young for a travel cot then the Munchkin Fold & Go is great. It’s super lightweight and folds up totally flat so can fit in a suitcase. Worth noting that it would only last until around 3 months (Sold out as I posted this but you will be able to find it on Amazon/ Google- it was around £25)
– Milton wipes (these instantly sterilise anything that falls on the floor – toys, dummies, spoons)
– Pouch for nappy/wipes/bags/mini sudo
– Dummy clips so you can attach toys or dummies to the buggy/bouncer/beach towel without them falling in sand.
– Toys, obv.
– Suncream (our favourites are Ambre Solaire and La Roche Posay)
– Talc – our secret weapon, rub it on sandy limbs and the sand disappears.
–Sunsafe swimsuits – UPF ratings of 50+ which means anything covered by the swimsuit has 97.5% protection from the sun, so no need to suncream the covered areas.
– Hat: we LOVE these from Little Hot Dog Watson as they protect foreheads, ears, back of the neck (all the places your suncream application tends to miss) plus they look cool!
– Tupperware for snacks – always take extra from breakfast buffets in the morning for their lunch/snacks throughout the day.
– Food bib
– Sippy cup
– Snooze shade : helps with buggy naps so you can snooze on the beach 🙂
– Sleep bags (we love these from Aden & Anais, they are 1 tog and feel like a big muslin)
– Swim nappies
– Giant muslins which can be used on the beach to play on, as a blanket, to wrap something up or as a sun shade.
– Car seat bag: There is nothing more annoying that trying to lug a car seat from the car to check in. This is a backpack that fits most car seats so at least you can carry it whilst still having 2 hands free. It’s durable to it means the car seat won’t get totally destroyed when it goes on the hold.
– Car Seat
– Buggy: We love a Babyzen Yoyo or Cybex Easy Twist for travelling. You can literally wheel the baby onto the plane, collapse and put it in overhead luggage compartment. Totally worth the investment.
– A pilllow. I vacuum pack a pillow and put it under the buggy and take it on every flight. I’ve done this since Belle was a baby. She never used to sleep well in bassinets so would lay her on my lap on the pillow for her to sleep, that way she was really comfy, if she started to stir on the flight I could rock her back to sleep and if I needed to get up I would lift the entire pillow with her on it so she didn’t notice. We then also swap the pilow between us so neither of us has to hold her for sleeping the whole flight. You can get basic vacuum bags from Amazon. For coming home you can either get hotel housekeeping to vacuum it back down, or I just squash it into a fabric bag and leave under the buggy. I usually bring 2 pillowcases (cheap Primark ones) in case they are sick on them etc, but worse case you can turn it inside out.
– Toy bag: I have a pouch of mini toys for Belle that only come out for holidays so she isn’t bored of them/forgets what they are. Whenever I need a top up I go to the Pound Shop and spend £10 which gets me LOADS.
– Mini water bottle/cup
– Sunsafe swimsuits
– Float suit / armbands
– Clothes (chances are they will be in a swimsuit all day so only need clothes if going out in evenings)
– Snacks in packets- even though we buy when we are out there these are much easier to take to beach etc. Snacks packets with no sugar are quite hard to find in Europe. We like Organix or Yoyos.
– Buggy: If you have more than 1 kid and don’t want to take 2 buggies my new trick is to go to a supermarket when you get there and buy a stroller for the older kid. You can get them for around 18E (£16) which is well worth not having to lug 2 buggies! Failing that, make sure to pack a sling so that the toddler can sit in the pram when they’re bored of walking.
BOTTLES – We get asked so often about this so thought it deserved it’s own section!
I’m breastfeeding so obviously my luggage is quite a bit lighter because I don’t need the bottles, but Sam bottle fed Leo and bottle feeds Alfie. She also went on holiday 5 times in Leo’s first year and has two more holidays planned with Alfie before the end of the year. This isn’t to show off, it’s to show that it is super simple to travel when going away with a baby on the bottle.
She uses MAM self sterilising bottles for Alfie which only need a microwave to sterilise so she simply requests before travel that there’s a microwave in the room. Most hotels should have these, or a baby sterilising area, to accommodate families.
With Leo she used Dr Browns bottles which needed a steam or electric steriliser. Again, she simply requested one of these to be in the room and never had an issue. Or worst case scenario, she’d use a cold water sterilising bag.
Hope this helps!!