I'm extremely fortunate that we've always holidayed abroad from Brazil, Cuba and Mexico, to Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey, I am incredibly grateful that my parents let us explore the world first hand and take it all in with our own eyes. It's opportunities like this that I wish to pass onto my sons, I truly believe travel does broaden the mind. Experiencing other cultures and climates is exciting, intoxicating and breathtaking, I don't think there is much in this life that we enjoy more than jumping on a plane and soaring off into the sky. As I mentioned previously, I don't think you quite realise how essential some items are till you have little ones relying on you, so here we are filling you all in on what we think it takes to make a holiday of a lifetime. Of course, Noah added his touch too with some painting and colouring!
#1 Sun shine - The ultimate essential for us. We can make the best of most situations if we forget other things, but the sunshine roaring above our heads always keeps us happy and as a family I feel we most definitely thrive in the glorious rays. My toddler might just have launched his shoe into the middle of the swimming pool and my baby decide to fill his nappy as soon as I sit down to eat, but I seem to find the ability to shrug any scenario off that bit easier in the tropics. Noah has just turned three and he's already clocked up a fair old amount of stamps on his passport so I'm sure my boys will be avid sun seekers just like their parents.
#2 Sun cream - An absolute essential to go hand in hand with the sunshine, after all, you can't possibly enjoy it as much if you're red and sore. We always make sure we're loaded up with factor 50 and we manage to have a beautiful colouring on our returns every year. I really enjoy Niveas coloured spray for the boys as I can instantly see where I've applied and what areas need more. No red patches for us, and when I say us I am most definitely excluding John from the equation because that man will not listen. His skin complexion resembles a male snow white, yet I don't think after 26 years it's quite sunken in. Ironically my eldest absolutely nailed the look I'm often giving John.
#3 First aid box - I load ours with; plasters, calpol, paracetamol, bite and sting relief, antiseptic cream, anything and everything you might need to treat any minor ailments. It's a sure thing that my toddler will trip and graze his knee, I wont wear those new shoes in that I bought and end up with blisters, and my other half will teeter on the verge of sunstroke through not following the above instruction properly, so a first aid kit is a must. As with most things you can bet your bottom dollar that the one time you forget it, is the time you'll need it most.
#4 Instagram - Did you ever really go on holiday unless you uploaded your snaps to Insta? Hot dogs or legs?
#5 Flip flops - Of course us ladies have to show off those pedicured toes somehow, after all I think it's the only occasion in the yearly calendar that I actually make the time to go and get one so of course they must be on show at all times. Noah's first attempt at wearing flip flops was one that caused hysterical laughter as he didn't quite understand it was designed to fit in between his toes, queue screams of 'It's got my toe, it's got my TOE'. And surely it's not just me that thinks the sound of flip flops on the floor is a clear indication that you are on holiday? (just to clarify these feet belong to a certain toddler, not me!)
#6 Beach towels - Depending where you're heading you might be lucky to get them provided. But if not, Whether you'll be using them to lay on, dry yourself with, create shade for the little ones or even cover your belongings whilst you head off on a banana boat. The possibilities are pretty endless, so for us towels are an essential.
#7 Sunglasses - The bright sun can sometimes be a shock to the system when travelling from the UK, as let's be honest sun isn't something we are over familiar with is it? Sunnies are a must to keep migraines at bay and frown lines on the minimum. But the more obvious use for the parents amongst us is to hide A) the huge eye bags that we've been sporting since the day our babies were born or B) to hide hungover eyes, because wine was the only way we could make it through a 6 hour flight with two smalls.
the sand you have profusely told him not to or spending an entire flight repeatedly asking the passenger behind you can they pick up the crayon that your toddler has dropped for the 12th time, a little tipple is often needed.
#9 A travel pram - If you're like me and have a baby in your tribe, then a pram is a pretty important essential. It's obvious, but which pram you take isn't quite so. We like to make sure that a pram we use for travelling ticks three boxes; it folds small, it has a good sun shade and it provides good support. I think if you follow a similar check list you can't go wrong. A little tip though if you purchase new, always familiarise yourself with how to fold up and down as having a semi-domestic in the airport because neither of you has a clue how to do it, isn't cute.
#10 Family - Lastly but by far the most important, my boys. I can't think of any two little mini man cubs that I would rather travel this earth with and of course we have to have the leader (or the one who thinks he is the leader) by our sides, telling us wrong directions and never applying as much sun cream as he should. This isn't it all though, of course not, I think we all know as parents that the list doesn't end at 10. So head on over to my Pinterest #MarkWarnerMum board to check out what other essentials I just couldn't go without.