What are your essential travel items?

I’m in the middle of compiling  a list of essential travel items for our impending family holiday to Florida. We’re lucky enough to be staying in a large house whilst we’re over there, so thankfully camping gear and the like will not be needed. However, this is the first time we will have travelled overseas with children and so I thought I would get a list together of things that might help to make our holiday a little easier.

Ok, so we’re facing a nine hour flight with a six year old who loves to read and a eighteen month old who loves to squirm! We are also looking at spending a lot of time either in the pool or at places such as Disney World and Sea World, etc.

The toddler requires daytime sleeps, medicine and soya milk. The big one just requires lots of entertainment!

So basically, I need your help! I already know that I will be taking the fabulous Baby and All bag (you can read my review here) but I need to know what items you’ve found that should be on my essential list? All recommendations, if suitable, will be credited to you. I want to compile a list of really great, innovative products that will help to make our holiday. So, any ideas? Please get in touch!

23 responses to “What are your essential travel items?

  • Kylie Hodges

    I’ve done quite a bit of long haul flying with my 2 year old.

    *calpol and infant nurofen – flying can play havoc with teeth, and you don’t wanna be stuck without them

    *lots of little toys, I’ve got small dinosaurs, snakes, lizards, little bob the builder figurines, and put them in a small bucket or drawstring bag.

    *crayons, paper etc

    *favourite comforter

    *ready sterilised bottles. Joseph never uses a bottle now, except when we are flying, it really helps his ears.

    *change of clothes for toddler, they get so grimey on the plane

    *twice as many nappies as you think you’ll need – flying does strange things to bottoms

    *chocolate buttons etc, now is not the time for healthy eating!!!

  • mrsshortie

    Florida – can I come?

    Not sure what you should pack for whilst you are there, (not been abroad for a few years) but an idea I was given when we flew when AJ was 5 / 6 and FJ was 2.5 was to take some things wrapped up for on the plane (might not work with 18month old) things that they can do on the plane and will keep them ammused for a while. Kids love unwrapping things so hopefully it will keep them similing for a while. My 2 thought it was great, unfortunately I didn’t plan for the journey home!

    Think I will see what others say, might come in handy one day.

  • Roz

    Stickers for the 6 year old…those big sticker books with lots in them where they find the page they fit. Used to keep mine amused when travelling for ages. Download audiobooks onto an ipod or have a tape/headphones..and have one new toy as a surprise for emergencies..not sure about the baby it’s been a while!

  • SAHMlovingit

    Kylie has given some great tips there. Have you looked at the Content & Calm TrayKit? It would be ideal on a long haul flight. I did a bit of a review on it last month and it was greatxxx

  • dorkymum

    I’ve just come back from holiday in the States/Canada with a 2 year old… and I agree with all the good ideas above!

    Healthy eating went out the window for us, and my son just snacked constantly in the airports and on the planes – little tupperware tubs of Cheerios were good, oat bars, wee Organix crisps, crackers, fruit… and we also had about some jelly babies and half a dozen lollipops that kept our son happy in security/customs queues!

    Sticker books were a massive success – Usborne do some really good ones, but I think there are loads out there. I got three or four magazines – Thomas the Tank, Peppa Pig etc – that had some stickers and pages to colour in – and they kept him happy for ages. I got him about half a dozen wee Matchbox cars, and brought out one every hour on the plane. We’re also lucky enough to have an iPad, so if you have that or something similar, fill it up with kiddy apps before you go!

    Nappy wise, I brought a lot in my backpack, but also had a small plastic freezer bag with just one nappy, one bag, a mini thing of Vaseline, and some wipes in it – much easier to take that to the loo on the plane than to bring my whole bag with me! I definitely agree that you need to bring more than you’d think, and a change of clothes too… we missed a connection and got stuck at Heathrow for a night, so I was really pleased we had stocked up as much as we had – made life a lot easier than having to rush round looking for an airport shop!

    • Kylie Hodges

      Oh yes I forgot about that, I always have a complete mini change kit in a zip loc bag and replenish it straight away. It’s so much easier, as you need to be an octopus as it is to manage a change in the airport loos!

      I read something that said you need an activity for every hour. Suprising things keep little ones happy – multicoloured pipecleaners, we got a lot of mileage out of those, little furry balls etc. I am lucky that Joseph sleeps on planes, and I had enough activities for the way back too! No mean feat as we spent over 50 hours on planes in our last 6 week trip, and that doesn’t count trains, trams and buses too!

    • ghostwritermummy

      Those snacks sound pretty healthy to me! Sticker books are a great idea and perhaps my husband will buy me an ipad…

  • babyabroadblog

    Good call to take the baby and all bag, the American queues for passport control/immigration would be a nightmare with an 18 month old – particularly as you don’t get your buggy back until the baggage carousel. Take a change of clothes for yourself for the flight, or at least a tshirt as 18 month old children, don’t always keep their sticky hands to themselves!

    You already have some great suggestions for the flight – so here’s a few for when you’re there.

    Another great product is the totseat – it’s a fabric seat that you can pull over an ordinary chair to keep your baby secure.

    Take toys that double up for different purposes. Stacking cups are probably my all time favourite, don’t take up much room in the suitcase, yet you can take them on the beach and in the bath. (likewise as Kylie suggested of a little bag of animals, etc doubles up too).

    For my seven and three year olds, I take jigsaws – familiar ones that they know already, bagged up in a sandwich bag as they don’t need the box.

    Have a great time.

  • Sandy

    I’m heading overseas with my little one soon so I’ll be checking back to see what suggestions you get! We’ve got a new little bag of tricks to be unveiled once we’re on the plane – removeable stickers, drawing pads, new books, ‘squeezy’ foods, a couple of small cars, sucky water bottle for take off/landing. @dorkymum – The ziplock bag for bathroom trips sounds like a fab tip!

  • Jacq

    Take a change of clothes for everyone. Including yourself for when someone still their drink or vomits down you.
    Ours were happy with Ipads, Nintendo Ds’s and their TV’s. But take lots of food and lots of wet wipes!

  • Susan Eardley

    One thing that worked with my 3 & 6 year olds on our holiday was to give them some pennies and let them choose one of those activity magazines (cbeebies type things) and a toy at the airport shop. Fills on the waiting time, as well as the plane! Might have the wrong tact, but get the children a trunki case – they are hand luggage size and can be filled with all the rubbish they need! Also, for while your there, a holiday must is the portable grow Baa baa blackout blind. Sticks on windows with suckers and makes a full nights sleep more likely! Good luck!

  • waterbirthplease

    How did I miss this post??? Robbing loads of these tips for our hols! x

  • Thanks for your travel tips… I still need more! « ghostwritermummy

    […] to everyone who submitted some fantastic travel ideas on this post.  I really appreciate all of the comments and suggestions! I will shortly be posting a definitive post […]

  • All for Aleyna

    Hi Susanne
    Aleyna and I have travelled backwards and forwards between Turkey countless times.
    The bottle for the plane is a great idea. Children’s ears are more susceptible to blocking and pain on the descent so a bottle that is difficult to suck from, or if they are allowed sweets, even better.
    If neither of these work, the massaging the ear on the little sticky out bit next to the face really works.

    Have you thought about getting a Trunki for your 6 year old, he can sit on it whilst waiting in queues. It is accepted as hand luggage on the flight, and it gives him a little bit of independence as he can pull it himself. Amazon are doing the tiger one for about £24 at the moment.

    You have a smartphone don’t you? You can use them in-flight so download some great games to keep the occupied.

    Get a little rucksack for your little ones each and they can use it as hand luggage and keep all their toys inside so you don’t spend the whole flight rummaging around in yours.

    Lots and lots and lots of wipes!!!

    As soon as you get on the flight, ask for a pillow and blanket (providing they don’t already supply them) If they don’t supply, they tend to get snapped up pretty quickly.

    I will try and think of some more xxxxxx

  • Mcai7td3

    Wow, holiday sounds a lot of fun!!

    Things I can think of

    Colouring books
    Those doodly drawing board things (travel size)
    A trip to see the pilot (if they still let you do that kind of thing!)
    Pjs for the flight, may as well be comfy
    Kiddie snacks

    Hope you have a brilliant time!!

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