Earlier this month we were lucky enough to enjoy a lovely holiday in the Costa Del Sol, Spain with my Mum. The sun shone for (almost) the whole week and George was in his element spending his days at the beach, the pool or in a nearby park. It was brilliant to spend some quality time with my Mum, we’re really close and she dotes on George. I have to admit though, I was somewhat
terrified nervous at the prospect of a three-hour flight with a two year old. When we went on holiday last year he was only 18 months old and seemed so much smaller than he is now, while the flight wasn’t exactly relaxing it was way more manageable as there was seven of us to share the responsibility (we went away with Frankie’s family).
This time around I decided I would have to be extra prepared for the mischief he’d undoubtedly have in store for me. I tried to strategically pack his hand luggage with essentials so that whatever he threw at me I’d be ready! There was also a few sensible added extras in there to throw off any nappy, food, possible delay-related disasters, and also to make sure we were ready to enjoy ourselves as soon as we landed.
George is a big fan of doing everything himself, including carrying his backpack (it reminds him of Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures). We got given this lovely Cath Kids number for his 1st birthday and it’s been vastly underused so I thought it’s bright pattern would be great as a holiday bag for G (similar available here). You might already be able to tell that there’s no way all the items in this picture fit into that bag – and you’d be right, it’s sadly not a Mary Poppins-esque magic backpack. George’s things were spread out amongst all three of our hand luggage to ensure we were never caught out by bags being in overhead lockers etc.
My first essential will come as no surprise – entertainment. I decided to bring all new toys along with us for the journey, that way they’d all be guaranteed to provide some level of distraction, even if just for the initial ‘WOW A NEW TOY’ period. I went for an activity book and twistable colours, a Peppa Pig MagnaDoodle, and an array of plastic dinosaurs.When it comes to entertaining George (and I can imagine most toddlers), a combination of stickers, Peppa Pig and dinosaurs is a always going to a be a hit. Each of these items were played with over and over throughout the entire holiday – particularly the MagnaDoodle, as you can see we’ve managed to lose all the stamps through overuse!
My second essential, and arguably the most relied upon throughout not only the flight but the entire holiday, is the CBeebies Playtime App. Not everyone will agree with letting a toddler play on an iPhone, but he absolutely loves the games on this App, and if something makes him happy I’m pretty easy about letting him have it – under supervision and time restrictions obviously, put down your torches and pitchforks. Featuring half a dozen games from your favourite CBeebies shows, this app is easy to use, entertaining and best of all – FREE!
My third group of essentials could probably just come under the category of comfort. The background of the above picture is actually one of George’s blankets, it’s not a particular favourite of his or anything but I thought if we had something for him to get snuggly under then there would be more chance of a successful nap – how wrong I was! I also made sure to pack plenty of dummys, whenever George is tired or upset he will ask for his ‘num-num’, it always brings him comfort and calms him down no matter what is going on. After a 4am wakeup to head to the airport, his dummys were 100% essential!
My final little group of essentials meant that once we were off the plane and checked in to our hotel we were ready to go – no need to waste time rummaging through suitcases. This included; a pair of sunglasses, ASDA’s Little Angel’s baby wipes, and a Bambino Mio reusable swim nappy. All of these items speak for themselves really, but I really do have to sing the praises of the reusable swim nappy, it was great! It simply needed rinsed out at the end of the day and left on the balcony to dry, no waste and no hassle.
Just as a little extra note, there was also; a change of clothes, a pair of sandals, regular nappies, and a hat crammed in there (you can never be too prepared, right?).
Have you ever travelled with a baby/toddler? What were your travel essentials?