Essential items to pack for a happy, healthy family holiday

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Even though we don’t have kids ourselves (yet!), we are aunties to two beautiful little girls, with a third one on the way and there is no gift more important for us to give than the love of travel. We are already planning where we want to take them on family vacations with us!

A major challenge for that is the packing aspect – two minimalist digital nomads have a very different packing list to a family with children. If we do decide to take our nieces on a trip this summer, a travel checklist is absolutely essential for a smooth trip preparation – we would hate to leave anything behind, be it something critical or a special toy or plaything that the girls will miss during the trip.

Below is a list of what we would include when packing for a family holiday this summer.


The first thing you should make sure you pack is your documentation. IDs, passports, directions and confirmations should be neatly put together in a folder, as you don’t have time for the added stress of searching for hotels without directions or working up a new itinerary after leaving your original one on the counter at home.

passport jess

Sun Cream

It’s no news that the sun is bad for your skin if exposed for too long, and for kids this is especially important. Whether the weather forecast is for sun or clouds, make sure to bring enough to put on the kids if you’re spending time outside in the fresh air on holiday.


I know even as adults Dani and I get hangry (hungry-angry) whenever we wait too long to eat, but when traveling with kids even a small amount of h-anger can turn into a nightmare! Bring snacks from home not only to lower the risk of getting hungry and losing energy, but also to have a back-up plan for familiar food from home, in case the food on vacation proves a bit too foreign for the kids.

Insect Repellent

It isn’t just about warding off more serious diseases like malaria or dengue, insect repellent can be an utter lifesaver in a less literal sense as well – who wants to spend their trip scratching away? On a family holiday, you want to be able to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about bites, so insect repellent is the best and easiest way to prevent mosquito attacks.


As much as taking in beautiful scenery is a big part of what holidays are all about, the stimulation of being in a new place can be a lot on the kids – and the parents as well! Every family needs a couple of chill out evenings, so make sure to bring books, magazines, crafts and possibly DVDs or an iPad along for the trip in order to let every one enjoy some down time, too.


First Aid Kit

Activity holidays like hiking or kayaking are fun, but can leave you vulnerable to scratches and scrapes. It’s worth bring prepared to tackle any bumps and bruises that might occur on your trip with a well-prepared first aid kit. Some items to include might be band-aids, bandages, wipes, scissors and insect bite treatment. Visit Wales have some fantastic suggestions on accredited family activity holidays, so you can take your kids away and minimize the hazards, but all parents know that you can’t predict and prevent injury all the time, so it’s best to be prepared.

Ear Plugs

This last one might be more for you than for the kids, but at the end of a long day, you need your sleep as well. Because you can’t predict the kind of ambient noise there will be where you are staying, bring along a pair of ear plugs in order to block out the noise so you can get your shut eye to be refreshed and ready to tackle a new day of vacation with the kids.

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