We recently took Tyler Lee on his first proper holiday abroad and before going I was humming and hawing on what to bring, wondering if we'd have enough toys and gadgets to keep him entertained whilst trying not to over pack and be left with a suitcase full of things we didn't even use. Above are some essential items I brought for Tyler Lee and they really served him well on our trip.
1. Trunki PaddlePak. This was one of the best things we could have brought with us, the PaddlePak is amazing. Available in sizes for little ones and their bigger counterparts, the eye catching designs of PaddlePak are really fun for kids. We have the Chuckles the clown fish PaddlePak and it reminds me of Nemo from Disney's Finding Nemo. The PaddlePak is waterproof and was perfect for bring Tyler Lee's towel, sunscreen, hat, drinks, snacks and even my magazine to the beach and pool. The zipped pocket on the tail was perfect for holding our apartment keys and some loose change for ice-creams. I highly recommend the PaddlePak for little ones who go to swimming lessons too, it carries everything and is so easy to open and close, you simply pull apart the buckle and unfold the top or fold down three times to close. The toddler size PaddlePaks are £19.99, I also love the Sheldon the turtle PaddlePak, the design is super cute!
2. A hat. We brought this fun Panda baseball cap and a little sunhat for Tyler Lee on our holiday. A hat is always an essential for a little one in the sun, especially when it's intense and shining all day long (unlike here at home!). I love the design of the Panda hat, not only is it super cool but it's practical too. The Panda hat is from H&M.
3. Sun-safe swimming togs. It was important for me to get sun-safe swimming togs for Tyler Lee as we really aren't used to the sun here in Ireland and I wanted to protect his skin as well as I could from the glaring sun. I opted for two-piece togs as they were so much easier to take on and off, especially for swimming nappy changes and considering that he spent most of the holiday wearing these he was very well protected. The togs featured above are from Next.
4. Sunscreen. Arguably the most important holiday essential for a toddler, if you're going to a hot country of course. We brought Sudocrem Sunscreen Mousse in factor 50 with us. This quickly absorbs into the skin, isn't sticky and gives fantastic protection. No sunburn guaranteed if applied regularly throughout the day. You can read my indepth review of Sudocrem Sunscreen Mousse here.
5. Comforter/Favourite cuddly toy/ Blanket. If your child has a special comforter which they take everywhere or a cuddly toy/blankie which they can't be parted with then make sure not to leave them behind. My little one has two comforters which he can't ever be parted with and they came everywhere with us on holiday, even in the pool. They were also a source of comfort for him on the plane and aided him in going to sleep.
6. Sunglasses. A great holiday essential if your toddler will wear them. These sunglasses were from Penneys/Primark and were just €1.50 and were great in protecting my sons eyes from the sun. Sunglasses are also a great alternative if your toddler refuses to wear hats, their eyes will still be protected from the direct sunlight.
7. Food pouches/smoothies. These are so handy to have not only on the plane but also when out and about on holiday. Pouches make for mess-free feeding and snack times and are so handy to carry around in a bag to the beach or pool as they don't have to be refrigerated. The smoothie and fruit pouches are also fantastic if the heat is getting to your toddler and they refuse to eat much as they will still get something refreshing and healthy to eat.
8. A non-leak/drip cup. This is another important essential item for holidays to hot countries as your toddler will want a drink with them at all times due to the heat. You don't want water or juices spilled all over your beach stuff or handbag so a non-leak/drip cup is an essential. The cup featured above is from Boots and it's so sturdy, leak free and the plastic design means that little teeth can't chew through the lid!
9. Small toys. We didn't want to bring too many toys with us on our holiday as we were going to be spending so much time outdoors but we did bring some small toys such as the phone pictured above which were great for bringing on the plane and carrying around in the changing bag for keeping Tyler Lee entertained at mealtimes. Toys such as the phone are great as they have sounds, visuals and more than one setting so toddlers won't get bored easily.
10. Snacks. It's great to have a changing bag full of healthy little snacks when abroad, especially as you may not find foods your toddler usually eats and the ingredients list may be in different languages. We also found that baby food was quite expensive in the shops we went to so we were glad of our snack stash. I highly recommend these Organix Organic Gingerbread Men, there's a lot in a pack, they're healthy and little ones love them.
There you have it, my toddler holiday essentials. The great thing about all the items listed above is that they can all easily fit in one bag too, perfect for traveling light. These ten items were perfect for my son on holiday, I highly recommend each and every one of them for toddlers going on holiday.