Before becoming parents, holidays were nothing short of epic. No responsibilities. No interruptions. Just an exercise in pure, unadulterated relaxation, long lie-ins and all day cocktail tasting by the pool (i.e. utter bliss!). But as you may have already experienced, holidays with toddlers can be something of a (let’s just say) ‘different’ experience. Sure it’s still lovely to get away from it all for a few days, but packing for a toddler and preparing everything for a week or two away from home requires some (and I’m not exaggerating here) military grade planning…
And this year, we’ve really set the bar high, kicking off (this weekend!!) with our first family holiday of the year as Mark Warner Brand Ambassadors to their new Phokaia Beach Resort in Turkey before jetting off to America later in the summer (with 16 of my siblings and their copious offspring) to celebrate my dear old mum’s 70th birthday. It’s going to be immense, but after what must have been the longest winter on record, I’ve got to admit, we‘ve been feeling massively underprepared for what‘s to come.
So, over the past few weeks we’ve been scouring the internet, scrolling through Instagram and asking friends and family for their top travel essentials to make holidays with toddlers a dream. And I’m pleased to confirm that the recommendations have been ace, opening our eyes to so many lovely (and in many cases ingenious) products for toddlers that will make sure your summer holiday plans go off without a hitch.
And so I thought I’d share eight of our favourites with you today, with more details on each item and where you can buy them. I hope you find it useful!
Holidays with toddlers – this summer’s hottest products
One of the most stressful parts of holidays with toddlers has to be the flight. Navigating the airport with an easily distracted toddler before trying to get them to stick to their usual nap/bedtime routine once you’re on the plane, is near on impossible. That is, until now…
Introducing BedBox® from JetKids; the ultimate travel gadget for toddlers all the way up to 6-7 year olds…hand luggage, a ride-on suitcase and bed/leg-rest, all in one!
I first came across the BedBox® when I spotted Father of Daughters pulling his gorgeous twins through the airport on two of these beauties…but I’ve since seen them all over Instagram, as they’re clearly the hottest travel accessory for toddlers this summer. And I can totally see why…after experiencing a 12 hour flight last year with a toddler who refused to sleep, there really is no worse way to start a holiday. So, anything that can turn an uncomfortable airplane seat into a cosy toddler bed is, in my books, worth its weight in gold!
Available to buy here in red or blue!
While we all fantasise that our children will sleep through an entire flight from take off to landing, this rarely happens in practise…and the whole world knows this. Which is why every passenger on your flight glares at you as you board the plane, praying to God that your family’s designated seats aren’t within earshot of theirs. However it doesn’t need to be this way, as I recently discovered (thanks to the brilliant mum blogger Clemmie Telford) another ingenious product to keep your little ones transfixed during even the longest of flights.
Forget the iPad and invest instead in a brilliant kids travel entertainment pack from KeepEmQuiet, chock full of thoughtful, fun and age-appropriate activities to keep your toddler busy while travelling and throughout the rest your holiday! I was kindly sent one for Teddy ahead of our impending flight and was seriously, SERIOUSLY impressed with the selection, which included a massive pile of books, stickers, toys, games and snacks that I just know will keep him entertained (and quiet!) for hours on end. A definite must-have item for families and kids of all ages this summer…
The KeepEmQuiet travel entertainment packs are available to buy here for boys and girls in a range of ages and sizes. I can’t recommend them enough!
While, as adults, we could just chuck a pair of flip flops into our hand luggage and we’d be all set for a week in the sun, toddlers’ feet need something a little more supportive…especially if (like Teddy) they haven’t been walking for that long.
And as toddler footwear goes, they don’t come more stylish, more supportive and more summery than The Surfer collection from Salt-Water Sandals. First discovered on Instagram (thanks to Gemma from @mutha.hood and Em from @brummymummyof2, who are both big fans) these are so much more than just your classic two strap Jesus sandal (now that’s a phrase I never thought I’d use)…
Each pair comes with adjustable toe buckle and ankle straps (making them the perfect fit for both wide and narrow feet), along with rust proof buckles (perfect for use in the sea or pool) and a seriously comfortable spongy urethane sole, which moulds to fit your toddler’s feet. What’s more, they don’t only do toddler sizes…they have a whole women’s range too, so mums and kids can match!
When it comes to Salt-Water Sandals, twinning is most definitely winning…get yours here!
Growing up, summer holidays were all about swimming. Whether practising handstands in the pool or splashing around in the sea, we spent more time in the water than out of it…and that’s a tradition I fully plan to continue with my own kids.
Which is why we love this Floatsuit from Konfidence…the perfect all-in-one swim suit for toddlers as they’re learning to swim, providing adjustable buoyancy for little people with eight removable floats around the middle (that you can take out or add in depending on how much support they need in the water).
Made from quick drying close-knit Lycra, the Konfidence Floatsuit also acts as a rash vest, providing 30+ UPF sun protection so they can stay out in the pool for longer! Win win. Available to buy here.
Whether you’re going away somewhere exotic or planning a staycation closer to home, a high factor suncream should be with you (and slapped all over you) at all times. As my mum always told me, “even on a cloudy day, the sun still manages to get through”, so whatever the weather, make sure your family is fully protected from the sun as nothing ruins a holiday like sunburn.
I’ve written about it before, but when it comes to sun protection for kids, they don’t get much better than the Childs Farm 50+SPF suncream. It’s thicker than most other suncreams (so lasts much longer than other brands), offers very high protection, is water resistant and helps keep little people’s skin moisturised and hydrated.
It’s also dermatologist and paediatrician approved, so perfect if your little one (like Teddy) has sensitive or eczema-prone skin. Suitable for babies and upwards, and available to buy here!
If, like us, you haven’t quite got around to potty training your toddler yet, then a reliable and secure swim nappy is an absolute must when packing for your holidays with toddlers. Because, while (in most situations) floaters are undeniably hilarious, nobody wants to see one drifting towards them in a communal hotel pool…
So, make sure you’re toddler is hygienically safe and sound before they jump in, with the Konfidence AquaNappy; a one-size-fits-all, swim school tested and approved swim nappy that ensures any unwanted leaks of the yellow or brown variety are avoided.
Incorporating a triple layer design, the AquaNappy consists of a soft polyester outer layer, a recycled PVC middle barrier layer and a soft inner mesh layer. It’s also reusable, eco-friendly and made doubly secure with an adjustable Velcro sash and poppers. Which means, no other layers, nappies or inserts are required – just pop it on your little one and they’re ready to go swimming!
Click here to check out the full range (they’re an absolute bargain too)!
After a long day in the pool or frolicking on the beach, there is literally no greater luxury than wrapping up in fluffy towel. But as parents of toddlers know, trying to keep a massive beach towel wrapped around a little wriggling monster is never going to happen.
Which is why we absolutely love this stripy towel poncho from Marks and Spencer, made from pure cotton and designed for maximum softness and absorbency.
Just chuck it over their head and let the poncho do its work! Practical, stylish and eminently useful…available to buy here!
Spending all day on the beach can be tough on toddler feet, especially if you have hot sand to contend with. So, we’re always on the lookout for good quality waterproof shoes that Teddy can wear throughout the summer, whether he’s just running around the garden at home or in and out of the sea while on holiday…
Introducing mimo – the mighty mariner from Plae UK! This water friendly sandal with integrated Velcro straps is the perfect all-weather shoe for holidays with toddlers, guaranteed to stay on their feet while keeping their toes and soles protected at all times.
And another thing that makes these waterproof Plae shoes so special is how great they are for the environment. As with all of Plae’s range of shoes, the mimo is made in a solar powered fair labour factory, using renewable resources and water based glue. So, good for your child and good for the environment too! Click here to check out the full range!
That’s all folks! I hope you’re enjoyed today’s list of our top summer products for holidays with toddlers.
But as always though, we’d love to hear from you, so if you have any other must-have items that you’d recommend packing for our next summer trip, please do share your ideas with the group in the comment section below!
DISCLAIMER – After researching the best products for holidays with toddlers this summer (and whittling down our list to the eight products above) we let the chosen brands know about this feature and were subsequently (and very kindly!) sent one of each to test out and review. We’ve had great fun putting them through their paces from the comfort of our own home, but keep your eyes peeled on my Instagram feed to see each product in action during our upcoming holidays!