Following on from my last post on how the Easter Holiday’s are imminent and we have wangled a few days abroad I have compiled my ‘tried and tested’ Top Travel Takes. Hello Baby Direct in St Albans, Hertfordshire stock many of the items on my list and I’ve included a few extra suggestions for younger children (0-2 years).

Being a local company to me in St Albans, it’s perfect to support local businesses but it’s also amazing what a fully stocked website (National delivery) and local warehouse they have stocking all top baby brands.

I asked and they listened! At the Hello Baby Direct checkout you can now ‘collect in store’ for a speedier order – they are based in Porters Wood Business Centre (near Majestic), free parking and a have a lovely team!

MY ESSENTIAL HOLIDAY CHECK LIST

Other than day to day clothes, underwear, nightwear, socks, formula – the list goes on with little ones…

NAPPY BAGS – I prefer a rucksack style for flying or travelling as it leaves me hands free. I currently have the Skip Hop Forma Backpack (RRP £69.99) which has been great from birth and very practical. It holds more than one child’s bits and pieces and is lightweight with lots of pockets and sections. As I carry less around now with my middle one being 5 I have been looking at the Skip Hop Greenwich Simply Chick Backpack (RRP from £98.99) which is made from vegan leather, it still has 9 pockets but looks more like a handbag – it can also hold a laptop or tablet up to 15″ and is easily hung on the buggy handle. Another bag I LOVE is the Cosatto Paloma Bag – Hear Us Roar (RRP £79.99) its is more like a fashion statement which is where I’m heading to seeing as my youngest is 2.5 now.

NAPPIES/SWIM NAPPIES – or research local supermarkets of what is available

WIPES –  for the imminent journey and first few days try out the Vital Baby Fruity Hand and Face Wipes (RRP £5.79) or Lansinoh Earth Friendly Baby Gentle Aloe Vera Wet Wipes (RRP £5.59).

BABY CARRIERS/SLINGS – I found these great when flying with a toddler and baby. I started out with a Ergobaby Lightweight Wrap (RRP £49.99) and actually moved onto a Connecta Carrier as it was passed down through the family. My NCT friends all swore by their Erogbaby Omni 360 (RRP £154.99) carriers from birth though! As these are a bit of an investment it is worth checking out your local sling library where they have lots of styles to try on and see what works for you.

CAR SEATS – optional as seats for all age groups can be hired through car hire companies but I have found it an expensive add on and the seats are not always great quality. There are a couple of seats than can be taken on board the actual plane and secured into the seat. The child will need a pre booked and paid seat. I have used the Joie Juve Classic 0+ Car Seat (RRP £44.99) for my under 2 and it was brilliant. We were on a short flight but I was able to secure her into the seat where she slept, this then transferred into our hire car and was used in taxi’s. She then progressed to the Britax Romer Eclipse (9-18kg) which saved my life on a 13 hour flight. I may have turned up with no nappies or dummies but at least she was secure for the flight!

*please check direct with flight companies regarding car seats, seat widths and requirements.

SWIMWEAR/SUNWEAR – I go for UPF 50+ with as much skin coverage as possible

SUNCREAM – we use Child’s Farm products as both my little ones have sensitive and eczema prone skin, I go for SPF 50+

SUNGLASSES – check out the Banz (RRP from £11.00) range as they have styles from birth to 10 years . The Baby and Kids glasses have a soft neoprene strap which fastens with velcro so no chance of them going missing.

BUGGIES – I hate to say it but over a 12 year span I guess I have had over 10 buggies. Probably more like 15. They to me are like having a new car! I currently have 2 including a Baby Jogger City Mini GT Double (RRP £575.49) and Baby Jogger City Mini GT Single (RRP £384.99). For travel and day to day use I would love to get the Babyzen YOYO+ (RRP from £389.00). I have tried and tested it with my 2.5 year old, lots of friends have it and it is brilliant. Super lightweight, tiny fold and lots of accessories from birth. I think Babyzen is taking over. Also, from a travelling angle it folds to fit in an overhead cabin locker so you can push from door to plane.

TOYS – part of my essentials list I take a selection of books and toys on the plane that I can reuse for entertaining at mealtimes. I avoid any toys that have a noise or tiny parts. One of the best things I have bought is the Aquadoodle Colour Doodle Bag (RRP £16.49) it’s lap size, not messy and an easy pack. My middle ones loves drawing so this keeps him happy for ages.

Janod Mini Story (RRP £10.40) have colourful wooden sets for a Farm, Knights, Firefighters, Circus and Princesses – they come with a compact carry bag so no option to loose any parts. Janod Racers or Animal theme Magneti’ Book (RRP £17.99) is an educational set that has around 50 magnets and cards that play out different stories so good for the plane and also out for meals to keep little ones entertained.

Melissa & Doug are a firm favourite in my house, the quality is excellent and I have passed sets down from my 12 year old! The Majicolour Colouring Pad (RRP £5.29) and Water Wow! (RRP £6.69) are brilliant NO MESS colouring solutions. My kids love these.

BABY SUN ESSENTIALS – when I asked on St Albans Mum’s what I might be missing, a few popped up that I had forgotten about. I remember taking these away when my little ones were younger. Pop up travel cots – they offer UV Sun Protection and when your little one hasn’t started moving or has a daytime nap then perfect for pool side or on the beach. The Koo-di Sun & Sleep Pop Up Travel Cot (RRP £51.99) doubles as an actual overnight sleep option too with a compliant padded mattress, then for the daytime a zip in blackout blind or mosquito net.

FAVOURITE BRAND! – one of my favourite brands that Hello Baby Direct stock is Aden + Anais. They are an Australian brand that specialise in cotton, breathable muslin. I have everything for my little one in the Bambi print and the lightweight sleep bags, large muslins and dream blankets are to die for!

Check out Tots to Travels blog post for their complete travel packing list…

Complete Baby and Toddler Holiday Packing List

If you are going away have a fantastic time! Let me know which essentials you can’t live with out.

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