Skip to Content

My ultimate baby and toddler holiday packing list

My ultimate baby and toddler holiday packing list

*This baby holiday packing list has been created in collaboration with The Gro Company.

I’m not going to lie, it took me a long time to get the hang of packing for a holiday with a baby and a toddler! On our first holiday we took way too much, on our second holiday we took way too little, on some trips we forgot vitally important things and on other holidays I genuinely have no idea what we were thinking!

Over the years, we’ve managed to refine what we pack for a holiday with babies and toddlers and we’ve gradually perfected our baby holiday essentials.

Luggage allowances can control how much we pack but we’ll usually take two large suitcases between the four of us. We try to not take more than this because it’s so difficult to juggle suitcases, hand luggage, the travel stroller, car seats and two children!

Here’s my ultimate baby and toddler holiday packing list.

Some of these items are for any holiday and there’s a section for summer holidays with items specifically for the beach, swimming pool and hot weather. We’ve always found that our kids cope surprisingly well with the heat and it doesn’t bother them nearly as much as it bothers us, so don’t worry about packing too many fancy gadgets to keep them cool!

Before you begin, I highly recommend writing your own ‘baby holiday checklist’ so you can tick items off as you pack them. This makes packing so much faster, means you won’t forget anything  and you’re not tempted to overpack because you know you have everything you need on your checklist.

Getting around while you’re on holiday

Pushchair

Even if you have an older toddler who rarely uses a pushchair at home, I still recommend taking one. Holidays can often mean long days, late nights and (if you’re lucky) afternoon naps in the shade, so a comfortable, reclining pushchair often comes in handy.

A simple umbrella stroller will do the job, just make sure it has a large hood/canopy to keep your little one in the shade. We also like to have one that fully reclines and has a large shopping basket for all our beach things!

If you’re travelling with two little ones then I highly recommend the Mountain Buggy Duet. It is heavy to lift and bulky when folded but it’s a doddle to push, the seats are spacious and the pushchair isn’t too wide. You can get through a normal doorway and it also folds down in one so it only counts as one piece of baby equipment for the flight! Despite the extra bulk of this pushchair, we still take it on holiday with us because we know both the boys will nap in it and it can deal with sandy beaches, cobbled streets and tight spaces in restaurants.

Another pushchair I like for a single child is the YOYO+ by Babyzen. It’s the only lightweight pushchair I’ve tried that will also comfortably carry a 4 year old (yes, I have a very lazy 4 year old and a 2 year old who insists on walking!) It also folds down small enough to be taken onboard the plane as cabin baggage or easily slipped into the footwell of a car, which is great when you have a tiny hire car filled with suitcases! We also have the Silvercross Jet which is great for travelling but I do find the Babyzen to be better as it’s much sturdier, easier to fold and has a bigger storage basket.

Read more: What’s the best travel stroller?

Car seat

You can hire car seats when you arrive but they’re often expensive, the quality can be dubious and they’re often just a bit grubby! We prefer to take our own seats as we know how to safely install them.

It is a bit awkward to juggle bulky car seats at the airport but we usually just struggle and take our normal ones from home.

If you want to avoid the struggle then take a look at the Trunki BoostApak. It’s only suitable from 15kg (which is usually around 3 years old) small enough for a child to carry it as a backpack, it can go on the plane as hand luggage and can also be used on the plane and as a booster seat in restaurants too.

Trunki BoostApak - Travel Backpack & Child Car Booster Seat for Group 2-3 (Green)
  • QUICKLY TRANSFORMS - Kid's backpack to portable car seat in seconds, can also be used as a booster seat dining chair at home or eating out and as a cinema / stadium booster
  • LIFT SHARE - Always have a portable booster seat to hand for the school pickup or sports club no matter who is doing the taxi run! (removable hand wash only rucksack cover)
  • HAND LUGGAGE - 8-litre capacity bag for packing toys/games/stationery keeping children entertained on the airplane or travelling, helps avoid car seat hire charges on fly drive holidays
  • ECE R44.04 - EU Certified for Group 2 and 3 (girls & boys weighing 15kg-36kg approx. 4 - 12 years old), low back booster seat for everyday use & lift sharing, taxi trips, bus & coach journeys
  • UK MADE - Our foldable car seat is now proudly made in Britain at the Trunki factory in Plymouth, ensuring the highest quality and low carbon footprint

For babies, I really like the Doona car seat/pushchair as it’s a carseat with wheels. It can’t replace a pushchair as it doesn’t fully recline so you shouldn’t keep a baby in it for more than two hours, but it’s very handy for quick outings and whizzing around the airport. We had one and used it while all three of ours were babies and we loved it and travelled with it lots! (It’s also worth noting that we used it for 3 children, loaned it to 3 friends for their babies and then sold it for £150, so it really does keep it’s value!)

Doona Baby Car Seat & Travel Stroller Nitro Black - Convertible 0+ Car Seat and Pram with 5 Point Safety Harness - Ergonomic Pushchair and Travel System - ISOFIX Base Sold Separately
  • CONVERTIBLE PUSHCHAIR – One simple motion operation, from Car Seat to Stroller in seconds. Perfect for the modern family on the move.
  • A TRAVEL MUST-HAVE – Going on holiday? Just take a Doona - TUV and FAA Aircraft Approved for travel.
  • ANTI-REBOUND CRASH TECHNOLOGY – The adjustable handlebar also acts as an anti-rebound bar inside the car.
  • TESTED & CERTIFIED – Meets the quality and safety requirements of the following standards: ECE R44, EN1888, EN12790.
  • SAFETY IS OUR STATE OF MIND – The Doona Car Seat has a superior 5-point harness and ergonomic infant insert.

Baby carrier

Baby carriers are really handy for airports and planes so you can have both of your hands free when you have lots of things to carry! You can usually keep your baby in a carrier when you go through security so it makes that stressful part of the airport a little easier!

I like the Izmi carrier because it folds away into a little pouch so is easy to pop into your changing bag.

Sale
Izmi Cotton Baby Carrier | Award Winning Adjustable Soft Structured Sling | 4 Different Carrying Positions Suitable from Newborn | Mid Grey
  • ⚙️ Simple Ergonomic Design: Two easy buckles to secure, the supportive, wrap-like design distributes your baby’s weight to reduce pressure on your back
  • 👶 Suitable From Birth: Cleverly designed to adjust, fit, and modify comfortably around your growing baby from 3.2kg-15kg. Tested to Safety Standard EN13209-2:2015 and CEN/TR 16512:2015.
  • ✨ Four Carrying Positions: Carry securely in four comfortable positions including parent-facing front carry, forward-facing front carry, side carry and back carry
  • 💛 Hip Healthy Structure: The fully adjustable seat allows the Izmi carrier to grow with your baby, ensuring that they always maintain a suitable hip healthy position.
  • ✔️ Benefits Child Development: Close feel can aid in releasing bonding hormone Oxytocin, and the upright position aids digestion and helps babies’ neck

Sleeping

Black out blind

A black out blind like the Gro Anywhere Black Out Blind is particularly handy if you’re travelling long haul and your kids might be suffering from jetlag.

Pop up a blackout blind and cross your fingers that they’ll sleep for a few extra hours without the sunshine pouring in through their window!

They’re handy even if you’re not dealing with jetlag. The curtains at our apartment in Menorca weren’t great and a dark room definitely makes bedtime routines a little easier and you’ve got more chance of a lie-in!

Sale
Tommee Tippee Sleeptime Portable Blackout Blind with Suction Cups, Adjustable and Lightweight, Large, 130 x 198cm
  • Total blackout: With the Tommee Tippee Portable Blackout Blind you can create a completely dark sleeping environment and help maintain baby’s sleep routine, anywhere you go
  • Strong suction cups: The blind is attached to a window using the long-lasting suction cups which are fitted all the way round the blackout blind to quickly and easily block out all light from a room
  • Easy to adjust: The fastenings allow you to adjust the size of the blind to fit any window up to a maximum of 130 x 190cm (51x78in). The blind can be reduced to around a third of its maximum size
  • Lightweight: Weighing just 680g, and measuring 290 x 230 x 60mm when folded up, this travel blind is easy to transport and store in the included handy travel bag
  • Folds away easily and machine washable: The blind is easy to remove and folds away neatly between uses. It is machine washable for your convenience

I would definitely recommend getting the large one over the small one. We have both and find the small one is usually too small.

Sunshade for pushchair

It’s also worth getting a ventilated sunshade that goes over a pushchair, not just an umbrella one but an elasticated cover to go over the whole pushchair. Something like a SnoozeShade is brilliant!

It keeps the pushchair cool, dark and shaded and we’ve always found them to be great when we’re going out for dinner with babies as they’re less likely to wake up just as your steak arrives! Just make sure you get one that’s well ventilated.

SnoozeShade Plus (6m+) - Baby Sun Shade and Blackout for Pushchairs and Strollers | Universal fit | Blocks up to 99% of UV
  • SAFE SUN PROTECTION INVENTED BY A MUM: Our pram sun shade and blackout cover for babies and toddlers blocks up to 99% of harmful UV rays. It creates safe shade, protects baby’s eyes and skin from the sun and shields from wind, light rain and insects
  • UNIVERSAL FIT: Our one size fits all buggy sunshade is made from a soft stretchy air-permeable mesh to fit all 3 and 4 wheel single-width prams, pushchairs and strollers including jogging strollers.
  • EASIER AND SAFER THAN A BLANKET: Approved by The Melanoma International Foundation, the scientifically tested lightweight air-permeable (better than breathable) mesh allows air to circulate easily. It keeps baby comfortable while keeping the sun out of little eyes.
  • PERFECT FOR BUGGY NAPS: SnoozeShade Plus creates a shady, snooze-friendly environment so baby can nap when needed wherever you are. Recommended by baby sleep experts worldwide, SnoozeShade helps little ones learn when it’s time for a snooze
  • INSTALLS IN SECONDS: Simple to attach with stretchy straps and elasticated sides. Can be removed just as quickly. Small and lightweight, it comes with a free storage bag

Sleeping bag

We’ve always used GroBag sleeping bags so having this cosy familiarity on holiday really helps get the boys to sleep. The travel Grobags are great for holidays as they’re nice and cool and come with really cute holiday designs.

They also have space to use a 5-way harness so you can put little ones into their Grobag and then safely strap them into their pushchair or car seat – making it very easy to later transfer them to bed while they’re sleeping and generally avoid the faff of blankets.

For older children you might prefer to use the Grorompers (which are absolutely adorable!) as these have legs in them, making it easier for your little ones to walk around in them.

Cot sheet

It’s worth double checking but accommodation providers rarely give you bedding for cots. Just don’t forget to take them home, I always end up leaving them!

Sale
Sasma Home - 2 x Cot Fitted Sheets 100% Cotton Very Soft (60 x 120 cm)
  • 2 Pack Cot Fitted Sheets - Our Sheets are made of 100% Natural Cotton Absolutely NO SYNTHETIC Fibres Used. Cot Fitted Sheets Measurements - Length 120 cm - Width 60 cm and Pocket Depth 15cm. Please Check Mattress Manufacturer Size Guide.
  • NO POLYESTER - NO BAMBOO FIBRE - NO NYLON - NO POLYPROPYLENE Just 100% PURE NATURAL COTTON PRODUCT. Why to Pay More Price for Products made of Synthetic Fibres when You can Buy 100% Natural Product for less or same Price!
  • Made of Soft Jersey Fabric That is Highly ABSORBENT to Keep Baby's Body Dry and Known to Regulate Body Temperature Properly. Breathable Cotton Sheets to Avoid Suffocation and Maintain Constant Supply of Fresh Air to the Body.
  • OEKO TEX Standards Used - No Harsh Chemicals or Dyes Used During Manufacturing of Our Sheets. We Use Same Suppliers Used by Top End High Street Brands. All Our Products Are Factory Packed. We Aim to Provide High Quality to Our Buyers. If You have Any Concerns Please Get in Touch With Us.
  • Machine Washable - Do not Bleach - Wash Dark Colours Separately To Avoid Any Mishaps- 100% Cotton Reacts differently with Different Washing Detergents so It may shrink after wash. We suggest to Use Non Bio Washing Detergents.

I’ve had a lot of people ask if you should take your own travel cot? We never do and I’ve never stayed anywhere that doesn’t have a cot. It’s personal choice but I find a travel cot is a large and bulky thing to travel with so we avoid taking it whenever possible.

Eating and Drinking

Bibs

Opt for a silicone wipe-clean bib so you can use the same one for your whole holiday – and not come home with a suitcase full of soggy, soiled bibs!

Silicone Bib - RIGHTWELL 3 pcs Silicone Bibs for Babies and Toddlers Unisex - Waterproof Silicone Baby Bibs Super Soft and Easily Wipe Clean with Wide Food Crumb Catcher Pocket
  • 💚 Premium Quality Bibs – RIGHTWELL slicone baby Bbibs make sure 100% food grade silicone material, safe for babies and toddlers that are teething. Eco-friendly, safe and soft material ,Stain Resistant, Waterproof, and Naturally Antibacterial.Easy to clean and wash.
  • 💚 Bibs with Leak-proof Pocket – Wide food crumb catcher pocket can easily pocket the food due to the angled tray at the bottom of the bib, avoid getting dirty baby clothes while eating. Roll them up to contain most of the mess created until they can be hand washed, or placed on the top shelf of the dishwasher.
  • 💚 Lovely Design Bibs – The cute pattern of our bibs can easy to catch babies' eyes, which make babies have a willing to use this bib to do a eatting. It effectively help children wean and fall in love with eating.
  • 💚 Adjustable Design Bibs – Each baby bibs comes with with 6 gears adjustable which allow you to adjust the size according to your growing baby, fit almost toddlers, Bibs stay in place and your baby won't be able to pull them off, easy to be locked and they are adjustable.
  • 💚 Easy Carry - This feeding bibs Easy roll to store in your travel, nappy or baby bag, giving you back storage. Meals on the go will be easier, quicker and stress free.

Sippy cups

We use no-spill sippy cups such as the Munchkin 360 cups for ease while we’re travelling. These save the hassle of spilt drinks on planes, in restaurants and hotel rooms!

Munchkin Miracle 360 Cup, Baby and Sippy Cup, Ideal Sippy, Water and Weaning Cup 6+ to 12 Months, 7 oz/207 ml, 2 Pack, Green & Blue
  • Munchkin 360 Cup edge allows drinking from any side of the sippy cup - simply tilt the cup and suck on the valve's edge; Weaning Cup automatically seals when child stops drinking to completely eliminate spills
  • Perfect toddler or baby cup to be used for weaning, 7 oz/207 ml capacity suitable for water, milk or juice
  • Handles are easy for little hands to hold - 6 months and older; Munchkin 360 cup is a suitable toddler training cup with dentist-recommended
  • Dishwasher-safe, BPA-free plastic, With no extra spouts, valves or pieces, the Miracle 360 Sippy Cup is easy to use and even easier to clean
  • The first sippy cup invented with both parents and kids in mind, the Miracle 360 Cup eliminates messes and supports kids' dental health

Microwavable steriliser bags

If you’re bottle feeding then I highly recommend taking some microwavable steriliser bags to sterilise your bottles, dummies and maybe plastic spoons too. It’s quick and easy and I’ve always found hotels are happy to do this in the hotel kitchen.

Sale
Munchkin Cool Touch Microwave Steriliser Bags, Pack of 6 Reusable Bags
  • Convenient, easy way to sterilise anytime, anyplace
  • Cleans teats, soothers, bottles and parts in as little as 3 minutes
  • Pack of six reusable bags with 30 uses for each bag, bags can be marked after each use
  • Cool touch grip enables burn-free handling and the sliding closure makes sealing a cinch
  • Suitable for use in regular 500-1000 W domestic microwave ovens only

Plastic tupperware

Little lunch boxes are especially handy if you’re self catering to make it easier to take sandwiches and snacks out with you for the day.

Even if you’re not self catering, they’re great if you sneak a few things away from the breakfast buffet!

Sistema Knick Knack Pack TO GO Small Food Containers | Stackable Storage Containers with Lids | 62 ml | BPA-Free | Assorted Colour Lids | 4 Count
  • Containers for organising knick knacks and snacks
  • Multi-purpose stackable containers
  • Featuring distinctive Sistema KLIP IT easy locking clips
  • Dishwasher (top rack only), microwave (without lid), fridge and freezer safe
  • Designed and made in New Zealand, phthalate and BPA free

Beach Time & Swimming Pool

Silicone buckets and spades

These are a new find and I think they’re amazing. I’ve been trying to reduce the amount of plastic we waste so I’ve got some silicone buckets and spades from Scrunch. We seem to buy new buckets and spades every holiday but these ones are great because they won’t crack and they can also be squashed/rolled/folded into your suitcase so they’re not awkward to travel with.

Buckets and spades are holiday essentials for toddlers but you can always pick some up when you arrive and then pass them along to other kids when you’re leaving!

Swimsuits

We find full swimsuits easiest so you’ve got less skin to worry about burning and less chance of a nappy full of sand!

I usually buy them from the supermarket but Harry Bear have a great selection on Amazon.

Harry Bear Girls Surfsuit Unicorn Pink 5-6 Years
  • Harry Bear loves making a big splash for fun in the sun!
  • Premium quality kids Unicorn Surfsuit
  • Super comfy stretchy unicorn print swimsuit
  • Featuring a charming unicorn motif with a magical silver glitter unicorn horn, and cute ruffled detailing.
  • Crafted for quality and style with contrast stitch detailing and comfortable back zip

Our incredible family holiday to Dubai

Kid’s wetsuits

If you’re going somewhere where the water won’t be warm then I highly recommend getting little wetsuits for toddlers. My kids always feel the cold and wetsuits help them to play in the sea for a little longer.

I bought the ones pictured below from Aldi but they’re a similar price online.

TWF KIDS SHORTY WETSUIT SHORTIE CHILDS CHILDRENS BOYS GIRLS UV SWIM SUN WET SUIT PIRATE SEAHORSE (Pink Seahorse, 5-6 Years)
  • UPF 50+ Maximum UV Protection
  • Zip With Plastic Slider & Velcro Zip Lock
  • New Density Neoprene For Maximum Wear
  • 2MM Neoprene
  • No Underarm Seams For Comfort

Sun hats and sunglasses

If you’ve tried to get your baby to wear hats and glasses at home and they pull them straight off, don’t worry! We had the same but both our boys would keep them on when it was actually hot and sunny and the glasses made it easier for them. Make sure you get bendy ones for babies to avoid them being snapped. Our kids have all had Babiators and they’ve been great!

And let’s be honest, these little heart shaped Babiators might just be the cutest little things ever! Babiators comes with a headstrap to keep them on but when Alba was a baby we found it easiest to keep them on with a hat. She wore these little turbans when she was a baby.

Babiators The Influencer, Pink Heart, Polarized Lens, Ages 0 to 2
  • Stylish and Protected: Heart shaped sunglasses to step up your kid's fashion game; Made with flexible rubber pink frames and polarized purple lenses, they also offer complete UVA and UVB protection
  • Natural Born Rockstars: Babiators kids know they can go anywhere and conquer anything; With our sunglasses, their eyes will stay safe for their everyday adventures, playtime or just being kids outside
  • Built To Last: Made with flexible rubber frames and impact and shatter resistant lenses that won't break when bent, twisted, or stepped on; They are durable and are safe for babies, toddlers and kids
  • Safe To Play: Rigorous testing ensures Babiators are safe whether they're on your child's face or end up in their mouth; If lost or broken in the first year, we'll replace for free (without shipping)
  • More Than Accessories: Ensure your kids' eye protection from the sun and digital screens with Babiators range of children's eyewear that includes sunglasses, blue light blockers, swim goggles and more
CANSHOW 6 Pcs Baby Hat for Girls Toddler Soft Cotton Turban Headwrap Newborn Accessory Cap for 3-12 Months
  • ★Super Soft Caps - The baby's skin is very tender, we adopt soft material, can effectively prevent trench and scratch.
  • ★Material - Baby hats for girls made with 100% Cotton.
  • ★Aged - Approx 7.1"*5.6" head circumference:14.5"-17.3" perfect for 3 to 12 months old Baby and girls!!! Hat baby package includes 6 pieces Each Set. Please choose it according to the size !!!
  • ★Special Occasion - Baby hats good for everyday wear, birthday parties, special occasions, baby photo props, and more! make your baby become more fashionable, attractive, cute and perfect.
  • ★Washing instructions: Recommended to hand wash the hat baby girl in cold water with mild detergent and lay flat to air dry.If machine wash, use gentle cycle and dry them on the lowest setting in the dryer.

Sunscreen

I was always a firm believer that the cheapest sunscreen would do but since having children I’ve changed my mind – I’ll buy anything if it means I can avoid chasing them around trying to apply it!

We opt for greaseproof sprays that absorb immediately. If you’re looking for SPF 50 then I recommend the Ambre Solaire Aerosol.  This stuff needs to be on every toddler holiday essentials list! It’s so easy to apply and the sand-free formula makes it easy to top up on the beach.

I tend to slather my kids in cream in the morning and then touch up with an aerosol through the day.

Ambre Solaire Kids Sensitive Anti-Sand Sun Cream Spray SPF50+ 200ml
  • VERY HIGH PROTECTION: Ambre Solaire Kids Sensitive Advanced Anti-Sand Spray SPF 50+ is perfect for children's sensitive skin and provides immediate protection against UVB and UVA
  • SAND REPELLING: Unique spray has a sand repelling action - say no to an itchy sand feeling on skin!
  • WATER RESISTANT: The formula is non-sticky and water resistant
  • HYPOALLERGENIC: Tested under paediatric control and hypoallergenic to minimise sun allergy risk
  • BRITISH SKIN FOUNDATION: Garnier suncare research is recognised by the British Skin Foundation
Sale
Garnier Ambre Solaire Kids Sensitive Hypoallergenic Sun Protect Lotion Tube SPF 50+ Very High Protection Sunscreen Against UVA & UVB, Easy Use Non Sticky Water Resistant Lotion, for Face & Body, 200ml
  • VERY HIGH PROTECTION: Ambre Solaire Kids Sensitive Advanced Sun Protection Lotion SPF50+ is perfect for children's sensitive skin offers a maximum 5* star UVA protection
  • VERY WATER RESISTANT: This non-sticky and very water resistant formula is perfect for children's sensitive skin
  • SAND RESISTANT: The moisturising formula does not stick to sand and helps prevent dryness due to salt and chlorine
  • HYPOALLERGENIC: Tested under paediatric control and hypoallergenic to minimise allergy risk
  • Please check PAO (Period After Opening) symbol which denotes the product expiry time, post opening the pack

Joseph likes to have a sensitive cream for his face after a traumatic incident where he sprayed himself directly in the eye and he’s been a bit nervous about sunscreen on his face ever since!

Travel Hack Tip: Make it a morning routine where the whole family will apply sunscreen from head to toe before getting dressed.

Sandals

Simple sandals that toddlers can get in and out of themselves will be ideal. My kids really like Crocs and Home Bargains usually have fake Crocs with their favourite TV characters on them. They do like the cute little Havaianas too but they’re quite expensive considering they’ll grow out of them so quickly.

Crocs Unisex Kids Classic K Clogs, Ocean, 4 UK
  • CROCS FOR EVERYONE: Just like the adult Classic Crocs, the kids' version offers the same great shoe for youngsters. Easy on and easy off makes these the pair of Crocs kids need.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT and FUN: These kids' Crocs are incredibly light, fun to wear and sure to come in your child's favorite color. This is the perfect pair of Crocs for kids when playing in the dirt or running around the playground.
  • VERSATILE AND COMFORTABLE: Incredibly light and easy to wear, these girls' and boys' Crocs are created with Croslite foam for Iconic Crocs Comfort. The flexible material is sure to be loved by all.
  • MAKE THEM YOUR OWN: These girls' and boys' Crocs offer a roomy and generous fit that is sure to match every foot. The kids' Crocs can be customized with Jibbitz charms to reflect their own personal flair.
  • CROCS FOR BOYS AND GIRLS: These Crocs for girls and boys are fun to wear and easy to clean using soap and water. The options are endless when you expand your kids' wardrobe with these stylish shoes.

Pop-up beach tent

OK, this can be a bulky item to travel with (although smaller than I thought it would be!) but it can make a day at the beach so much easier. A pop-up beach tent is much better than an umbrella as it provides you with some shade, a place to store your things, an escape from the sand and a little den to keep little ones happy.

Sale
Zenoplige Pop Up Tent, Beach Camping Tent Foldable Outdoor Lightweight Waterproof Tent as Sun Shelter Family and Dog on Garden, Beach
  • 【POP UP TENT ONLY 1KG 】lightweight pop up tent only 1kg with carry bag, you can the take backpacking tent for a long trip to Rosilli Bay Beach, Fox Wood Camping, have a family day with barbecue in your garden.
  • 【OPEN IN ONE SECOND】No need assemble,no need waste time.You can open it in one second.Bring fold-able tent to give your families a magic.
  • 【FOLDABLE & VENTILATION DESIGN】Excellent ventilation!Great airflow provides by 2 large side mesh windows.This beach tent sun shelter pop up creates your own HUT canopy. Fold-able tent design lets you not have to worry about how to store the tent.
  • 【WATERPROOF FABRIC】The beach tent is lined with a UPF 50+ protective material and waterproof fabric, to protect from strong sun's ray, play fun on the beach. which can effectively prevent you from getting sunburned when you are outdoors.
  • 【STABLE LIKE A SMALL HOUSE】Firm structure!High density flat wire pole and 6 pegs guarantee the durability of the ten!As an honest company,We offer a 1-year limited warranty. If you are not satisfied with our tent, please feel free to contact us. We will provide you with speedy service, your complete satisfaction is our top priority.

Travel Hack Tip: You can make a ‘beach cot’ by digging a hole in the sand, placing a towel over the hole and placing your beach tent over the hole. Then you’ve got a snug, sand-free and cool spot for a baby to sleep.

Swimming aids

This is going to be parental preference about whether you want to use any inflatables or floats in the water. It also comes down to the kids too.

George won’t even look at the swimming pool without his armbands on, a rubber ring, a life vest, goggles and about 15 layers of sunscreen! Joseph on the other hand can strip his clothes off and dive into a pool in seconds.

My preference is a float vest (we like the ones from Splash About) and the kids seem to like wearing them too. We paid about £20 for ours and all of our kids have used it and I’m sure we’ll pass it along to another family when we’re done with it.

Splash About Kids' Go Splash Swim Vest, Blue (Vintage Moby), 1-2 Years
  • Multi award-winning: Placed in the 2019 Mother and Baby Awards: Ideal Travel Product under £25
  • Made from soft neoprene with non-removable floats
  • Ideal for travelling-compact and lightweight for easy packing into suitcases and beach bags
  • Elegant prints for boys and girls from 1-6 years
  • CE European Standard: EN 13138-1: 2014

Paddling pool

This might sound like a weird one if you’ll have access to a swimming pool and the sea! But a little paddling pool is great if you’re travelling with babies and toddlers – especially if you have more than one and they can’t swim. Our boys can’t swim so it’s quite stressful being in the pool alone with them both!

You can place a paddling pool in the shade, sit nearby and let them play. 

It’s also handy for the beach so babies can have a splash around and sit in the shade. It’s also handy to have some clean water to wash sandy babies!

Travel Hack Tip: Don’t forget to add a rock into your paddling pool when your child isn’t in it. If it doesn’t have much water in it then it can blow away in the wind so easily!

Sale
Intex 59416NP Crystal Blue Three Ring Inflatable Paddling Pool 1.14m x 25cm
  • 45" diameter inflatable paddling pool
  • Three ring pool
  • Intex crystal blue
  • Ideal for garden use.

Clothing

Simple outfits

I always try and keep holiday clothing as simple as possible. I’ll pack a handful of cotton shorts and a huge stack of colourful t-shirts (I like the multipacks from Next) then loads of pants and a hoodie and that’s pretty much it. As you can see, your suitcase will be so full of other things that there isn’t a lot of space for clothes!

Normal PJs

During our first few holidays I took little shorts and t-shirts for bedtimes but I’d forgotten than we’d had the air conditioning on at night time so it’s not actually that warm in a hotel or apartment. Now I just take their normal long sleeve and long legged PJs.

Travel Hack Tip: Don’t forget that many hotels and apartments in hot countries will have tile floors so if you’re little one is walking avoid onsies with slippy feet in them – unless they’re the type with sticky bits on the soles.

Other extras

Hand wash detergent for clothes

If you’re short on suitcase space then leave all the extra ‘just in case clothes’ at home. Some days my youngest will get through 5 T-shirts in a day, but you can’t pack 35 T-shirts for a 1 week holiday! Instead, take some detergent so you can hand wash a few items in the hotel sink. It’s unlikely you’ll need it but it saves you panic-packing every item of clothing they own.

If you’re staying in a villa or apartment then you’ll probably have a washing machine there so pack some of your normal detergent (pods are easiest to travel with) to avoid having to buy a big box of detergent when you arrive. I also feel very smug if I arrive home with a suitcase full of clean clothes!

Sale
Dr Beckmann Non Bio Travel Wash Gel (100ml)
  • Travel Wash is a concentrated washing gel for general garment washing and on the spot stain removal.
  • Suitable for all types of water, it’s the perfect travel companion
  • Directions for use: Dissolve one or two teaspoons of travel wash gel into a basin of hot or cold water and then hand wash clothes. Rinse clothes thoroughly and dry as usual.
  • For heavily soiled clothes apply gel directly to the affected area, scrub lightly and then rinse thoroughly before drying
  • Always wash matching pieces together. Travel Wash is suitable for all washable and colourfast fabrics. Before packing in a suitcase, ensure cap is tightened and secure and place the product in a plastic bag.

iPad or tablet with a bumper case

It’s time to let your screen-time standards slip on holiday!

A tablet makes flights so much easier and they’re also great for evening meals with toddlers. I’m sure we’d all love our kids to sit nicely for every meal but it doesn’t always happen – especially if you’re in an all-inclusive hotel and don’t have any option but to have a later dinner than normal.

Travel Hack Tip: We’ve recently discovered audiobooks for our boys and their tablet is full of Julia Donaldson books on Audible. If we go for a walk in the evening, they’ll both sit in the double pushchair with the hoods down and their seats reclined and they’ll listen to audiobooks until they fall asleep. I’m often very jealous of their setup because it looks so cosy! It means we can then enjoy a quick sunset drink (in peace!) before taking them back to the hotel to bed.

Sale
The Gruffalo and Other Stories
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Julia Donaldson (Author) - Imelda Staunton, Jim Carter, Steven Pacey (Narrators)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 08/06/2020 (Publication Date) - Macmillan Children's Books (Publisher)

A fun alternative to audiobooks is a Toniebox, a great kid’s gadget and it’s something my kids love! You can read my Toniebox review here.

Comfortable, unisex changing bag

I usually opt for a backpack changing bag that we’re both happy to carry. OK, what I really mean by this is ‘a bag Sam will carry because it ends up really heavy!’

I always use The Travel Hack Backpack

Cabin Max Travel Hack Travel Bags for Women | Ryanair Cabin Bags 40x20x25 | Laptop Backpack
  • A stylish, compact ladies travel backpack. Padded back laptop or ipad pocket compatible for devices up to 13".
  • Fits Ryanair Cabin Bags 40x20x25cm ‘free’ under-seat hand luggage rules. Flies for free on all known airlines. Lightweight design weighs just 0.6kg.
  • Features an easy access top pocket for purses, sun glasses, phones and travel documents.
  • 20L internal capacity. Comfortable padded airmesh back panel and straps. Showerproof external shell with rose gold detailing and eco-leather ID holder
  • 3D packing pockets, water bottle holder and strap on the rear panel to combine effortlessly with rolling luggage.

The Travel Hack Backpack

I also really like to have a buggy organiser when we’re travelling. It’s a pocket/bag that Velcro’s onto the pushchair handles for things like our phones and wallets, snacks, water bottles and wet wipes. It’s really handy and I highly recommend getting one!

Buggy Organiser for Stroller, Pram & Pushchair - Keep All Your Essentials at Your Fingertips, Pram Handlebar Bag with Cup Holders. Universal Fit - Black
  • The Full Shebang? Are you heading "out out" or just out? Are you planning on being out for the whole day with your baby, or are you just popping to the shops? There are days when you need all your baby stuff, and others when you don't want to pack a full change bag - when you only need to grab a few important bits to get you out the door. Attach the organiser to your pram's handle bar, and fill with your emergency wipes, nappies, mobile, dummy, sippy cup, food pouches etc.
  • The Full Shebang? Are you heading "out out" or just out? Are you planning on being out for the whole day with your baby, or are you just popping to the shops? There are days when you need all your baby stuff, and others when you don't want to pack a full change bag - when you only need to grab a few important bits to get you out the door. Attach the organiser to your pram's handle bar, and fill with your emergency wipes, nappies, mobile, dummy, sippy cup, food pouches etc.
  • Order, Order - There's a compartment for everything. Front pockets for your mobile phone, keys & cards. The open main compartment has enough room for baby's favourite toy, baby snacks and wipes. Drink holders on the inside are extra deep to prevent spills, and can easily hold baby's next feed, or your morning coffee fix, win win for both of you. The handy mesh pocket at the back is perfect for nappies or wet baby clothes.
  • Mummy Tool Belt - Using a change bag with it's long strap hanging over the stroller handle will leave your bag too low and forever bumping into your legs. Instead use our Buggy Organiser to keep your essentials where you need them, easily accessible and not in the way. On the top of the buggy and close to hand. No need for Inspector Gadget style arms as you get easy access to the water wipes to get that sticky stuff off your little one's face!
  • Ssshhh, Don't Wake Baby! - If you stuffed your change bag underneath the buggy earlier on, do you risk trying to reach it now that baby has fallen asleep? Keep your most needed items in the organiser to avoid the desperate rummaging under the seat looking for your house keys or phone.

Baby toiletries and prescription creams in miniatures

Babies and toddlers use such tiny amounts of their toiletries that you definitely won’t need to take full size bottles, so decant your favourites into travel-sized bottles. You can buy travel-sized bottles from all high-street beauty stores and they have them in Primark too.

If you’re going to get a lot of use out of them then I recommend buying some good quality silicone ones because the cheap ones do crack after 2-3 years.

Valourgo Travel Bottles for Toiletries TSA Approved 100ml Silicone Travel Containers BPA Free Leak Proof Refillable Cosmetic Accessories for Liquid Shampoo and Lotion Soap ( 4 Pack/ 3.4 oz)
  • Travel Essentials Outfit - Valourgo Leak proof Silicone Travel Bottles Set - 4 Pcs TSA Approved Squeezable 3.4 oz Refillable Cosmetic Containers. Portable Accessories for Shampoo, Lotion and Soap Etc. Toiletries
  • Safe Material - The Travel Bottles Set Are Made of Food Grade Silicone, BPA Free and FDA Approved, Also Can Be Safely Used for Sauces, Salad Dressing or Fluid Food. Silicone Bottles Are Much More Flexible and Durable Than Plastic and Glass
  • More Convenient - 100ml Capacity is Enough to Use for Around 2 Weeks, These Travel Size Containers Are Integrated, No Need to Disassemble and Install, More Portable and Anti-Leakage than Others Travel Bottles in The Market.
  • Easy to Carry - These Silicone Travel Containers are Light Weight and Flexible , Easy to Carry On and Clean. You Can Bring The Travel Size Bottles into Airplane Smoothly. Perfect for Travel, Camping, The Fitness Center, Airplane or The Dorm.
  • Perfect Choice - The Refillable Cosmetic Containers Have Four Bright Colors, The Semi Transparency Travel Bottles Body Easy to Identify The Liquid. The Soft Travel Containers Allow You Squeeze Out The Last Drop of The Toiletries . Perfect Travel and Gift Choice for You.

Silicone 100ml bottles for travel

If you have any prescription creams then they’ll usually come in enormous bottles so decant these. My boys both have eczema and their cream comes in the biggest, heaviest tubs imaginable! I always take some with me, even though their eczema always clears up within a day or two of being on holiday.

It’s also worth noting that I’ve struggled to find Sudocrem (or anything similar) on holidays to Spain and Portugal so I always take some just in case.

TOSARA PHARMA My Little Sudocrem
  • Suitable for nappy rash
  • antiseptic healing cream
  • suitable for sunburn, minor burns, acne, bed sores and chilblains
  • Antiseptic healing cream
  • Suitable for sunburn, minor burns, acne, bed sores and chilblains

Inflatable duck

This inflatable duck has come on so many holidays with us and it quickly became one of our holiday essentials for baby!

I originally bought it as a fun inflatable for the swimming pool but it works as a baby bath too. It’s great for hotels that don’t have showers or just enormous baths that can be tricky with little babies. It also has a temperature gauge on it so you’ll know if the water is too hot and it has a non-slip surface.

It’s worth noting that you absolutely can’t leave a baby or toddler alone with the duck because it can tip over.

Sale
Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Baby Bath Duck Tub, suitable for alternative to larger paddling pools for small children, babies or toddlers. Ideal Baby Bath for traveling or for use at home.
  • COMFORTABLE: Padded, interactive inflatable bath makes big baths comfortable for babies, toddlers and newborns to splash around in. This bath tub also features a contoured headrest, making washing hair easy!
  • NON-SLIP: Textured soft base helps prevent slipping.
  • WHITE HOT TECHNOLOGY: White Hot Safety Disc reveals the word 'HOT' when water is too hot.
  • IDEAL FOR TRAVEL OR HOME: Bath fully deflates making it easy to transport and take on holiday. There is a drain plug so you can empty without any heavy lifting. The Duck Bath has a convenient suction cup to let it air dry.
  • Manufacturer advises deflating the inflatable duck tub after each use, ensuring that the valve is pressed into the stem so that the valve becomes flat with the surface of the duck tub

Baby monitors + plug adaptors

If you’re staying in an apartment or have a balcony/veranda at your hotel then don’t forget your baby monitors.

I know most parents wouldn’t sit too far away anyway but it means you can relax without hearing phantom crying and constantly saying, ‘Shhh, it’s that the baby crying!?’ every time you hear a nearby child (which can happen a lot if you’re in a family-friendly area!)

Formula

If your baby has specific formula then I’d recommend taking that formula with you. If you’re going to a holiday resort then you probably will be able to find it when you arrive but there is a risk you’ll only find local brands and it could be more expensive.

Travel Hack Tip: Take a small roll of sellotape with you (or plasters would work if you’re taking them anyway) to tape down the lid if you’ll be coming home with leftover formula. We once had a formula explosion in our suitcase and it was everywhere!

Insect repellant for children

I always pack some kid’s insect repellent but I really just try and avoid being anywhere with lots of mosquitoes at dusk.

Sale
Jungle Formula for Kids Lotion Insect Repellent, 125 ml
  • Jungle formula's DEET free lotion for kids helps your young ones enjoy the outdoors whilst being protected from small biting insects and mosquitoes
  • An insect repellent factor of 2 helps provide up to 6 hours of protection from mosquitoes, midges and other biting insects, while still being sensitive for multiple applications if needed
  • The insect repellent lotion is for children 12 months of age or older and is also alcohol-free, with a non-greasy feel
  • Suitable for use in countries with no known risk of malaria or other insect transmitted diseases
  • Jungle Formula is the one of the UK's No.1 selling insect repellent brand providing roll-on, sprays and insect repellent bracelets and bands to help you keep insects at bay while enjoying the outdoors

Pull ups

If you’ve got a toilet-trained toddler who has the odd accident then consider taking some pull ups. It can be easier for the plane and especially handy for nighttimes when you won’t have access to clean sheets. If you’ve got an older child who refuses to wear pull ups then consider getting some washable training pants. They’re not particularly absorbent but they’re perfect for little accidents.

Toys

Don’t forget that despite having so much to do on holiday, your kids will probably get bored at some point or will just need a few hours of quiet time in doors. We always pack a bag filled with little cars, lego men, plastic animals, duplo etc. and we take it with us everywhere we go!

What to buy when you arrive

Despite this baby and toddler packing list getting very, very long, there are a few things you can leave at home and pick up when you get there.

If you’re travelling on a package holiday then you’ll probably have a really generous luggage allowance so you might want to pack these things anyway but these are all really easy to pick up when you arrive.

  • Nappies
  • Wipes
  • Baby food
  • Cow’s milk (I wouldn’t fancy travelling with cow’s milk!)
  • Snacks

Things to leave at home

There are a few extra things you might have seen on other baby packing lists for holidays. I’ve tried some of them and these are the ones I don’t rate.

  • Portable high chairs – it’s easier to feed them in their pushchair if there is no where else
  • Headphones for babies and young toddlers – George would wear these from around age 3 but we’ve found babies and young toddlers won’t keep them on
  • A potty – They learn to use the toilet pretty quickly when they realise it’s their only option.
  • Stair gates – A very bulky item and it’s easier to just keep a close eye on your kids
  • Changing mat – Personal preference but we just use a towel when we travel
  • Trunki suitcase – They’re quite small and they just get in the way
  • Plastic cutlery – We use this at home but the kids are happy to use metal teaspoons while we’re away
  • Breast pump – I’ve always packed mine and never used it as I’m with the kids 24/7 anyways so it’s easier just to breastfeed them. Breastfeeding on a plane sounds a bit daunting but it’s actually the best!
  • Universal sink plug – I’ve seen a lot of holiday packing lists include a universal sink plug so you can bath a baby in the sink or use it to wash clothes. But I can honestly say I’ve never stayed anywhere where the washbasin doesn’t already have a plug!

Read more

Since writing this blog post we’ve had another baby! I’ve written about what it’s like to have 3 kids here.

You can read about my recommendations for what to pack in your carry on (the adult version!) and suggestions for a toddler carry on packing list!

My ultimate guide to travelling with a newborn.

If you’re really short on space in your luggage then you might want to check out the VAGO Luggage Compressor to squeeze the air out of your clothes and make more space.

simone

Friday 26th of March 2021

Thank you this is really helpful

layla

Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

Thankyou, this is super helpful. :) x

Josephine

Tuesday 1st of October 2019

Thank you for this helpful article