The summer holidays are upon us and many families will be taking some form of holiday, whether abroad or at home, during the next 6 weeks. As much as we all love the holiday, getting everything organised beforehand and the travelling involved can be a little stressful. So, I’ve put together a list of great products that can minimise this stress and get you on holiday in as relaxed a state as possible.
Learn the lingo
It’s always helpful to know a few key phrases in the language of the country you’re visiting. A language learning app is a great way to get the kids to put their excitement in the weeks/months leading up to the holiday to good use. We’re using Babbel to learn Spanish and it’s great that it will get you to repeat phrases back until you say them correctly, much more useful than the little language phrase books you can get. M in particular is really enjoying learning a new language and even L gave it a go at repeating a few phrases when she heard us doing it.
For the Travel sick
Although I’m fine on plane journeys, if I’m in the car for any length of time I start to feel really travel sick and M has started to as well. We have a three hour drive to the airport for our upcoming holiday (the things you’ll do for a cheaper flight!) and we’ll be using Sea-Bands. They’re a knitted acupressure wrist band to help with travel sickness and come in a pack of two in their own handy case. You can get adult and child versions. They also work for other types of nausea, such as morning sickness. I’ve even used mine to relieve the nausea that comes with a migraine.
It’s always useful to arm yourself with plenty of snacks, colouring books, magazines etc when travelling with kids but depending how long you’re traveling for you may need something a bit more engaging. M is 8 now and we’ll be letting him choose some new iPad games before we set off to keep him entertained. L is almost three and is loving learning letters and numbers and listening to nursery rhymes so we have two things lined up to keep her entertained.
The Toddler Fun Learning App is fantastic. It’s chock full of educational videos aimed at toddlers and you can search through and download whichever ones you want onto your device to watch on the go. The best part though is that you can set a parental control to put a limit on screen time. You choose anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour and when the time is up it will play a goodbye song telling your child it’s time to switch off and they should go play, it even gives lots of fun suggestions for what they could do. Such a genius idea. They may not be able to go anywhere when your stuck on a plane or in a car but they can always then switch to another activity such a colouring or maybe you could read to them or play I Spy.
We will also be taking a LeapStart Interactive Learning System. These come in two different devices, one aimed at pre-schoolers the other for children in their first years of primary school. Basically you buy interactive books to use with the device and the attached pen, each book covering a different topic and containing loads of activities to help your child learn in a fun way. We have the Alphabet Adventures and Scout and Friends math books for her to try out. It’s a little on the bulky side but should fit inside a tote style handbag for you to take on-board.
These apps and games may be fun for the kids but we all know how annoying they can be to surrounding adults after 10 minutes so I’d also recommend investing in some kids earphones, there are so many great ones on the market these days.
The most obvious necessity of course would be suncream. We usually use a spray but on windy days it has a tendency to go everywhere so we were really looking forward to trying out the Nivea Sun Caring Roll-On. It’s everything you would expect from Nivea, glides on really easy and rubs in well and doesn’t leave you feeling a sticky mess. I especially love that it’s so handy for popping in your handbag on day trips out as the screw cap means you don’t have to worry about any leaks. They do versions for adults and kids too.
Whenever we go away we always make sure we have aftersun with us, because even if you don’t burn, your skin goes through a lot when it’s been out in the sun all day and needs a little tlc. Ladival is the first aftersun product to actually help repair skin DNA that’s been damaged by UV-B rays. I have tried some out and it’s the the most quickly absorbed cream I have ever used and leaves absolutely no stickiness or greasiness, just soft skin. This is a huge plus for me as M hates having any kind of cream on, mainly because of the way it feels.
I don’t know about you but I find the air on planes to be really dry and always feel like my lips are cracking and my cheeks feel tight. This year I’m making sure I’m prepared with Skin Salvation, all their products are completely natural and great for eczema prone skin. I used their lip balm this morning and my lips still feel moisturised now 5 hours later. They also do a great Intensive Moisturising Ointment that can be used for anything from dry skin and eczema flare-ups to scratches, bites and grazes. A great all in one cream that fits nicely in your handbag.
When I’m going on holiday I tend to keep my face routine as simple as possible and leave all the lotions and toners etc at home. Not only am I always terrified that they’ll leak all over the contents of the suitcase but they add unnecessary weight. In the past I have decanted some into smaller travel size bottles with screw caps but this year I’m sticking with a pack of Nivea Micellar Face Wipes.
On planes and in the heat my feet have a tendency to swell and I have problems with my lower back after sitting for long periods of time, like on a plane or in a car. That’s where this next product comes in. Cooling Body Bliss by basq NYC is meant to be amazing at tackling this very problem. A cooling gel made with Aloe Vera and packed full of anti-oxdents, vitamins and minerals its said to aid swelling and cool and repair the skin. I’m very eager to put this one to the test.
In case of rain
If you’re holidaying in the UK you almost certainly need to have a coat but it’s a good idea to have one abroad too for any unexpected showers. When you’re travelling though you want to be able to keep packing to a minimum and taking bulky coats with you on days out can be a pain to carry. That’s why packaway jackets are such a great idea. They are thin and lightweight and fold up into their own pocket, perfect for popping in your handbag or backpack on a day trip. Regatta have some great ones in a range of sizes and colours for all the family.
For getting around
Did you know you can get an app that will give you all the local transport links and directions for over 70 countries? Whether you’re staying in the UK or going abroad chances are you’ll be able to use the Moovit app to find local bus and train routes and times. Free to download, it’s available on both iOS and android.
For Peace of mind
If there’s one thing that’s going to spoil your holiday, it’s lost luggage. TrackR pixel is a really handy little bluetooth device that you can attach to pretty much anything, from a suitcase to car keys, to the remote control. You can then track your item from anywhere right on your phone. So if your luggage doesn’t turn up you can find exactly where it is and let airport staff know (it’ll be a whole lot faster than waiting for them to manually search for it). If you’ve misplaced your car keys you can actually call the TrackR and it will ring and light up.
Every summer there seems to be a new report of a family being injured or killed as a result of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. In fact over 200 people are hospitalised every year, and around 50 of those are fatal. Project Shout is a national campaign to raise awareness of this silent killer and they recommend taking Fire Angel’s CO-9D 7 year CO alarm with you on your travels. It’s not much bigger than a bar of soap and can easily fit in your suitcase, giving you peace of mind and potentially saving your life.
When we’re planning our travels most of us tend to focus on what we need at our destination, or for the journey there. But what about the home we’re leaving behind? More and more people are realising the importance of home security and it’s becoming ever more advanced. For instance, the Panasonic Indoor Camera not only lets you keep an eye on your home it will also send alerts to your phone if any of its sound, motion or temperature detectors are triggered. And you don’t need to worry about your cat setting it off as you can tell it to ignore certain areas. You can even tell your cat to get off the worktops through the built in speaker, although there’s no guarantee you’ll receive anything more than a flick of the tail of response.
So there you have it, my 15 products to make your travels run a little smoother this year. Is there anything that you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments below.
Disclaimer: I was gifted some of these products in exchange for inclusion, however all thoughts and opinions are my own in accordance with my disclosure policy. The post also contains some affiliate links (to amazon), this makes no difference to the price you pay but I may earn a small commission.