We’ve booked our first proper family holiday abroad – as a four! Well, actually as a five because we’re taking the nanny, I mean Nanny. Ah, let’s be honest – we are taking my mum so we have help with the children and can carve out a little grown up time, so both contexts are correct! Having never left sunny England with children before, I’m having to put serious thought into what to pack for a family holiday abroad in order to make certain I take everything we need and don’t forget anything important.
Choosing where to go on holiday can be tricky, especially when you have the littles to consider… Whether you decide to use a travel agency, ask your friends and family for recommendations, or just have a Google – there are plenty of great destination spots to choose from, with Italy being a favourite of ours.
We got engaged in Venice; for our honeymoon we cruised around the Med and took in more of the gems of Italy. It was busy, but lovely. We’ve since returned to beautiful Lake Garda, and hope to return as a family in the near future.
As we prepare for our next holiday abroad – as a family this time – I thought I’d share what we’ll be packing for our next trip abroad, in case you too are holidaying in the sunshine with little ones this summer…
What to Pack for a Family Holiday Abroad
Seems obvious, but I’ve been burned before both literally and metaphorically. It’s so important to use a reputable brand who you trust and know, and so it may be worth taking enough to see you through. I once had to buy more on a holiday (in an admittedly less ‘safe’ location as I was in Egypt) and it brought me out in a dreadful rash. Not what you want for your little ones!
First Aid Kit
Whilst this may not have been a concern back in those blissfully ignorant days of yore, I can’t help feeling it would be somewhat irresponsible not to at least have the basics with me. So, plasters; antiseptic cream; Aftersun; Calpol – including dispenser; nappy cream as a minimum. I may go so far as also packing a thermometer, aspirator, and Vicks. I might just take the full caboodle… (Get yours here! Affiliate link.)
Pumping / Sterilising Equipment
If you’re going away with a baby, this is an obvious essential, but sometimes it’s the obvious things which get left behind!
Particularly if you’re breastfeeding and don’t use a pump every day but know you’ll be needing it. I’ll need mine because my mum will be helping us out, but in some cases it may be because it’s just not comfortable to nurse your baby in public. (I had a quick squiz online to see if I could find the laws in more conservative countries but didn’t find anything definitive which, personally, would make me anxious. We’re so lucky to be protected by law here and while I’d love to think it would be the same worldwide, I’m aware it would be a naïve assumption to make.)
Vital to keep the sun off your babe’s face and prevent sunburn on their delicate scalps.
Don’t forget the nappies!
I always do this, even when we’re just going to Center Parcs! Depending on where you are it may be easy enough to buy them, but if you’re staying a holiday cottage with its own pool for example, that is such a faff! Also, if it’s very warm weather you may want to consider a sunsuit* to help avoid burning in the water. Armbands are also crucial and goggles might be useful too.
Unless you plan to veg by the pool the entire holiday, a baby carrier is a must! I love mine and use it whenever we go geocaching at home. Which reminds me…
If you’re like me then you’ll live out of your baby bag – but having one in a backpack style is invaluable for those times you don’t want to be taking a car or pushchair out. If you’re out for a stroll with the fam then there are invariably going to be a couple of things you need to hand, for example: nappies; wipes; nappy bags; snacks; drinks; muslin; suncream; hats (that your baby and toddler refuse to wear); sunglasses; cardigans; plasters; books/toys; nail clippers; Calpol; dummies; keys; wallet; phone.
I think I need to clear my bag out…
Naturally you’ll be wanting to capture some of those precious family moments! If you have a decent camera on your phone then that’s a bonus, but if not – or if you’re a blogger! – then you’ll be wanting to take your good camera too.
Just in case you go somewhere that promises beautiful sunshine, but the planets misalign and you’re blessed (cursed) with my luck.
We adore Italy and look forward to returning – I’d also love to check out what Tuscany has to offer, and perhaps also return to Garda and Venice at some point. In the meantime we’re super excited for our next family adventure this summer, which I’ll be sharing in due course!
Have I missed anything important? I hope I’ve covered it all but would love to hear from you if you have any other thoughts on what to pack for a family holiday abroad!