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Travel Essentials for a Family Holiday

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What is on our list of travel essentials?  I will of course be following my ten top tips for Flying with toddlers which you can read here (plug plug) but what is essential?  What do I actually take on our family holiday.

Here is also a fabulous list of Autism Family Travel Essentials that make a trip that little bit easier.

1.  Sunglasses

This pre-supposes that there will actually be sun (but there will – won’t there!). No holiday is quite complete for me without a large pair of sunglasses to swank around in, even if the only people that will be seeing me is my family.

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2. DVD’s.

Whilst I don’t want my Mini Travellers to be watching loads of tele. There might not be Cbeebies in the Villa/Hotel (shock horror) so we need to make sure there is some television they will deign to watch. Even if its just to give them some down time before we go out again.  Frozen will definitely be taken.


3. Armbands/Float Suits

We usually use armbands when the kids are on holiday, which gives them the freedom to be safe in and around the pool, but the lovely people from Splash About have converted me to float suits. Have a look at the review here. Amazing.


4. Books/Kindle

I am a book person. Always have been, always will be.  I love love love reading.  One of the wonderful things about our summer holiday was some child free time to read on the sunlounger undisturbed.  Since having the three Mini Travellers, time for reading on holiday has been very very limited. My aim every holiday, is to get through at least one book!  We also take books for the Mini Travellers as they have inherited their Mother’s love of them.

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5. Crocs

A holiday essential for the Mini Travellers.  They are waterproof, they can put them on and take them off by themselves and they match* everything.

*read don’t match at all with anything but aren’t really supposed to.


6.  Colouring stuff

Colouring books and pens seem to get us through all sorts of situations. They are perfect for the plane, the airport, the villa itself and even taking out for meals as quiet entertainment before the meal arrives. Wouldn’t be without them.  I’ll also be printing off some of these Frozen colouring pages

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7. Calpol

There is nothing worse than being away, the kids being poorly and being without calpol. Calpol cures a multitude of sins, and whilst we obviously hope we don’t have to use it, I wouldn’t be without it.


8. Marmite

Controversial I know. You either love it or hate it right. Well my kids love it, and if I take it, I can guarantee they will eat the strangest tasting of foreign food as it basically masks the taste of everything you put it on.  It’s not to be encouraged but if all else fails. Marmite it is!


9.  Blackout Blinds

We all love the sun, but there is nothing worse than being on holiday and being awake at 4am because the sun is shining through your toddlers bedroom window and they are announcing it is time to get up. This is why we have always travelled with two Gro Anywhere Blinds.  I simply can’t recommend them highly enough.  They are easy to put up and don’t take up too much room in your suitcase, and are only £24.99.  You literally stick them with velco onto the window and your children sleep – why would you not pack them! Seriously unless I am going somewhere where I either know it is going to be dark, or they have told me there is blackout blinds – I find the space in my suitcase   If you would like to win a blind of your own, why not have a look at our competition below!


10.  iPads

Sad but true. Particularly as a blogger. I have a villa with wifi, so social media updates can be regularly updated! You lucky things.

What would you pack??

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  • Reply
    Polly Mixtures
    8th November 2014 at 5:13 am

    Loving the marmite tip! I’ll have to try that out in the future! P x

  • Reply
    Sarah Ebner
    8th November 2014 at 10:51 pm

    All sounds very wise! We absolutely love Lanzarote so are sure you will have a fab time, especially just to have the sun shine on you! Make sure you visit the Cactus Gardens…..

    • Reply
      Mini Travellers
      9th November 2014 at 8:41 am

      thanks Sarah we will have a look at the Cactus Gardens

  • Reply
    sarah Christie
    9th November 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Great tips Karen, we once ran out of call in tenerife cost us 20 pounds in a taxi to get some more! x

    • Reply
      Mini Travellers
      9th November 2014 at 8:52 pm

      never ever be without calpol! golden rule

  • Reply
    9th November 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Great list! We take all of the above. The iPad has to be one of the most important for us, loaded up with games and films to entertain.

    I also take a blanket each for the girls (for the plane) and sun hats for everyone. Poppy loves a hat.

    Love that you take Marmite with you!!


  • Reply
    Hannah Mums' Days
    14th November 2014 at 8:10 am

    Love that sunglasses photo – so sweet!!! And I totally agree about Crocs/jellies – ever holiday we’ve been on I’ve been like, damn, I wish I’d got him some crocs!!

    Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    14th November 2014 at 11:11 pm

    This list is brilliant. I love the picture of you and your girls in your sunglasses. You all look very cool. But I can’t believe that you are taking marmite with you. Yuck! I hate the stuff. Each to their own, I guess. I hope you are having a lovely holiday. I am not at all envious. Thanks for linking up with #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    15th November 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Wow!! Totally going to use the marmite trick too – encouraged or not!!! Very jealous you’re on holiday but hope you’re having a fabulous time!!! Can’t wait to hear all about it. Love Steph xxx #SundayStars

  • Reply
    20th March 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Brilliant list – and one that I will be using when we go away! Thanks for sharing. xx

  • Reply
    everything Mummy
    21st March 2015 at 10:55 am

    great list karen although i hate marmite so am disagreeing there! we have had a night mare this week frozen dvd has been lost! nooooooooo!

  • Reply
    Dean Franks
    21st March 2015 at 1:40 pm

    All useful tips, mine would be an Ipad but my wife would not be too thrilled to find this top of my list.

  • Reply
    Maria Noell
    21st March 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Great List!!!! I would never have given the blinds a second thought usually but actually that really makes sense xxx

  • Reply
    22nd March 2015 at 8:25 am

    I’m so glad somebody else uses tv to calm their kids down- I sometimes feel guilty about it but since ours stopped sleeping during the day it’s been the only way to get them to relax! I’m really excited about the glo-blinds. We had a terrible week in Sweden where we eventually had to move the cot into the bathroom because it had the smallest window!!

  • Reply
    Kat | Beau Twins
    22nd March 2015 at 8:40 am

    This post makes me want to book a villa now. So need some sun. Great advice and my girls love marmite too. Xx

  • Reply
    Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks
    22nd March 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Marmite no. The rest yes. Though if you have any tips on keeping sunglasses for a toddler or even a hat……#SundayStars

  • Reply
    Lukeosaurus And Me
    22nd March 2015 at 8:07 pm

    Fabulous post and a must-read for anyone heading off on a mini adventure with kids! I really want to start more adventures and the Gro Anywhere Blinds are such a brilliant idea and a really exciting give away.
    Not sure I agree with the Marmite though. 😉

    Ray xx

  • Reply
    Juia @ rainbeaubelle
    22nd March 2015 at 8:17 pm

    I totally agree on these – I always take the iPad, DVDs, calpol and snacks – and I have one of these Gro blinds they are fab! Could do with another one now I have two kids tho! X

  • Reply
    Caro | The Twinkles Momma
    23rd March 2015 at 2:56 pm

    We’ve never been abroad with the babies!! We just haven’t been able to afford it, as yet! That said, most of your list still applies for holidays in the UK 🙂 I would LOVE those Gro Blinds — when we visited Wales the other week, I mentioned to my husband that we could do with some; the curtains where we were staying were really quite thin!! PS — totally agree re Marmite 😉 #SundayStars

    Caro |

  • Reply
    Mrs H
    23rd March 2015 at 9:33 pm

    We love the Gro Blind. It is amazing in the summer and on holiday. Little Miss H’s nursery is very bright and the Gro Blind guarantees that we don’t all have to wake up at 04.00 in the morning. This is a brilliant list and competition. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

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