My top family summer holiday must-haves

Holidays & staycations
**This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclaimer here.**

The summer holidays are upon us!

If you’re lucky (?!) they might see you heading off to sunnier climes – or maybe a tent in Cornwall – with the kids in tow.

If you are travelling with the kids this summer, then here is my list of essentials.

Having only done it a few times I’m no expert, but hopefully this list will provide you with some help and/or light relief as you sob into your 24kg-when-it-should-be-23kg luggage.

1) Plastic bags

This is a sensible one! Place all liquids that could explode and render your luggage unwearable inside plastic bags, and then you can use them to transport wet swimming costumes about so your bags don’t get soggy.

Family Travel must haves

Some people do fancy flatlays. I have an Ocado bag.

2) Pepto Bismol

OK so I’m sure you’ve read about the most disastrous family holiday of 2016, if not all time (if not, please do go here. In fact why not head there anyway to refresh your memory and relive the nightmare).

For this reason, I would not travel without the gloopy pink remedy for when you just can’t get off the loo or stop puking.

In fact, I would hesitate to travel anywhere without a fully stocked portable medicine cabinet; plasters and paracetamol, Imodium. Why not throw in some Dioralyte too, might as well.

3) Sun cream

Take a load of sun cream, because if you run out on holiday, or it happened to explode in your luggage (see number 1) and you find yourself with none to hand, you have to decide to buy more or go without. It’ll sting either way.

Obviously, we never go without. #Responsible.

Summer Must-have family travel (13)

Sunsense* do a great range of sun creams which are suitable for kids, including a roll on which is an absolute revelation.

If your children, like mine, hate having cream smeared on them and you end up having a wrestling match every day, it could be a godsend, and it’s 5* rated for protection! I will definitely be opting for this in future, it has made life so much easier.

Find out more on their website or follow on Twitter and Facebook. You can purchase via Amazon here.

4) Technology

Don’t be a martyr; remember the tablet and find games and apps which you can download before the journey especially if you’re going to spend a long time in the car or on a plane.

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate (14)

We have a childsafe LeapPad Ultimate**, and also several tried-and-tested iPad apps which can download content to the tablet so you don’t have to rely on WiFi.

If you’re heading on a long journey then a portable charger is a must, like this slim power bank from Varta*.

Summer Must-have family travel Varta Slim Power Bank 57967 1800
Although it’s not the lightest power bank at almost 600g, it definite deserves a place in your hand luggage; charge it fully once overnight and it will charge a phone up to eight times and a tablet three times.

It is supplied with a cable (although picture shows my own cable).

It’s perfect if you happen to be stranded at an airport because of delays or if you’re going camping! You can purchase online from Amazon. Varta are also on Facebook.

5) Travel games

Summer Must-have family travel Guess Who Hasbro
In case of technology failure, games can be a life saver on journeys and they’re also good for evenings spent on the balcony. If you’re fed up of snap, then check out some travel games.

We love Hasbro’s Guess Who* and the travel version is light and easy to pop into a bag. Ask questions and slide the cardboard characters down to dismiss them until you can guess who is on the other player’s card! The RRP is £5.99 making it a good buy for a trip. It can be bought in store from good toy shops or online via Amazon.

These Imagidice from Wicked Uncle** are small and ultra transportable. Throw them and then create a story from the pictures!

Imagidice Wicked Uncle Big Kidz range review Imagidice

6) A nice pair of sunglasses

For, if you’re like me, misplacing/sitting on on the first day.

Children also need to keep their eyes protected from the sun but can be slightly more problematic as they tend to break and lose things. I tend to buy cheap pairs which end up not lasting very long and don’t really offer the protection they need.

These new Suneez sunglasses* are just as good as adult sunglasses with UV400 and 100% protection against UVA and UVA rays. Available in six colourful styles they are also kid-tough so won’t have the arms snapped off.


They come with a silicone strap so that they will stay on and won’t get lost.

You can buy Suneez from their online shop here. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.


7) Clothes

Some clothes. I don’t know, I’m not a fashion blogger. You have clothes right? Take some weather-appropriate ones of those. I’d suggest if you’re jetting off somewhere where it’s supposed to be 30 degrees then you probably don’t need to take your duffel coat.

Definitely take enough pairs of pants to see you through, and always at least one spare pair just in case. Travelling with kids? Pack all the spare clothes you can fit in your suitcase.

Oh, and hats. You (yes you, and more importantly I) can pull off hats on holiday, unlike at any other time at all. Make the most of this opportunity. Wear all the hats.

8) Comfortable footwear

Hotter Sol Sandals (8)

There is nothing more depressing than uncomfortable shoes, especially in the heat. Although you might want to treat yourself to new shoes for your holiday, it’s probably not the best time to find out they give you blisters.

Fortunately we are sorted for summer sandals, with my Hotter Sol sandals** which are so comfortable I could (and do) wear them all the time, and the kids’ Bobux sandals**.

Bobux Sandals

Check out the Bobux website for more details and follow them on Twitter and Facebook!

9) Ear plugs

And not just to block out the misery of your own children; I went on a holiday once and we were placed next to a couple that would scream at each other and then have loud, quite angry sex to make up for it. Every day. It sounded exhausting. And did I mention loud?

10) Tea bags

Because there is nothing as depressing as crap tea. Except perhaps no tea at all. They don’t have to be fancy, they just need to get the job done.


If you are after handy tips for travelling with small children, do check out this post!

*These items were sent to us for inclusion in this feature. As ever, thoughts an opinions are my own.

**These items were gifted for previous posts but I felt they were worthy of inclusion in the list.


  1. Tasha - mummy&moose 17 February 2017
  2. Debbie O'Connor 17 February 2017
  3. Nyomi 17 February 2017

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