We’ve just come back from a weeks family holiday in Greece with our two year old and seven month old.
This was our first holiday abroad with a toddler and a baby and I made A LOT of lists of what to take with us which I thought I’d share as I seriously researched and asked other parents lots of questions!
I’ll also give my top tips on packing and then getting through the journey…
For the toddler
iPad or tablet
We downloaded some episodes of Peppa Pig and Max and Ruby for her to watch from Netflix
Children’s headphones to use on the flight – we bought these ones from Amazon, they fit really well and Amelie was happy to wear them
Clothes and accessories for the journey
I got her a really nice and warm hoodie for the journey so she didn’t have to wear a coat and it was perfect. She also had layers on to keep her warm in the UK but that we could take off when we arrived in warmer Greece.
I also made sure she had her own backpack to carry snacks, stickers, pencils and a colouring book. This way I knew where they were!
A UV swimming costume and a hat you know they’ll wear – I let Amelie choose them so I know she’ll wear them when away. We loved this UV costume from Egg Baby, Evie also had one in the same print so they looked gorgeous together.*
Dresses for the day
Amelie is quite skinny so shorts always fall off her so I bought lots of day dresses from H&M that I don’t mind getting ruined.
For the beach and pool
A bucket and spade, obvious one – but means you don’t have to buy one out there if you already have loads at home, as we do!
We also took arm bands and a rubber ring which she loved playing with.
For the baby…
We are bottle feeding Evie now and she’s weaning so that meant taking a lot more stuff for her than Amelie and perhaps a younger baby.
We made sure we had 6 sterilised bottles for her ready and in our hand luggage, just in case we got delayed on the journey.
We took ready made formula purely for ease of being sterile and being able to warm up quickly. You can take this through security even though they are 200ml, you just have to alert the staff and they’ll test it separately (they don’t open it, just scan it).
We also took X2 tubs powdered formula to use on holiday, we needed the second one – albeit only for a day but the hotel didn’t have Evie’s normal formula so I am glad I took two. With this I then made up feeds with boiled bottled water (we bought Evian as apparently that’s the best water to use due to the low sodium content).
I bought sterilising bags from Boots. We were able to borrow a steriliser from the hotel but took these in case there weren’t any available. They come in a 7 day supply and at £9.99 don’t break the bank!
We have started started weaning Evie so she’s having a lot of purées. I am generally making my own at home but for the holiday we took Babease and Ella’s pouches. I started giving her a few before we left so she was used to the taste. As with the baby formula you can take these through security.
- Breakfasts – I took a bag of porridge and Ella’s baby brekkies. We also used fruit from our breakfast for baby led eating. I found this worked really well.
- Lunch and dinner – we took enough Babease and Ella’s pouches for 14 meals in case we couldn’t refrigerate them quick enough. I found I didn’t have enough (haven’t quite worked out where I went wrong so take more than you think)!
- Snacks – I also took yogurts and smoothies for snacks
Baby weaning equipment
- X3 sippy cups for water. We boiled bottled water in the mornings and that would be enough for her for the day
- Baby bowls and spoons – x2 bowls and x4 spoons
- A little washing up liquid – so we could wash her cups and bowls
- Muslins – these double up as bibs in case we ran out and are perfect for dribbles
- Disposable bibs – definitely take these as you don’t want to be hand washing bibs all week!
Buggy or pram
We took our Bugaboo Donkey as Evie has her naps in it at home and I worried that she wouldn’t nap in an umbrella stroller so we decided to take it. After hearing horror stories of broken prams we decided to buy the travel case to store it in which was fab and I can confirm it arrived both there and home in perfect condition.
- Babygrows and lots of them
- UV swimming costume
- Swimming nappies
- Vests for the evenings
- Day time rompers
- X2 packs of nappies
- Baby wipes
- A big muslin – we used our Eden and anais one which was fab for a blanket on the plane, a quick play mat and a cover up
- A play mat – we took our stash mat which was fab to fold up in our case and was small enough to use in our room / around the pool
- Sling – we took our Baby Bjorn which is great for carrying them around the airport and in the resort
And other things you’ll need for everyone
- Travel adapter
- A baby monitor
- Sun cream for all
- Kids insect repellent / antisan
- Calpol / baby nurofen / thermometer / first aid kit / rehydration sachets / immodium / piriton basically a chemist in your suitcase.
Travelling top tips
- Pack early. I started packing a week before we left. It meant that the day before wasn’t a total panic and rush as I had most things I needed.
- Make a list and check it off, sounds obvious but so helpful when you’ve packed three cases and can’t remember if the nappies are at the bottom
- We left 2 and a half hours between arriving at the airport to flying but honestly we needed more as it was all a bit of a rush. Next time I’d leave longer.
- We parked at the Gatwick valet parking. It was more expensive than the park and ride but for the extra £20 being able to park a 2 minute walk from the departures made the whole parking process with two a breeze.
- Take more bibs and clothes than you think you’ll need for travelling. Evie dribbled madly and we didn’t have enough bibs for her.
- Have LOADS of snacks and chocolate buttons on hand for bribes to put plane seat belts on etc.
- Take more supplies in case you’re delayed – in my husbands backpack we had more bottles, formula, food etc.
- Print boarding passes if you can at home as it saves a big wait. I couldn’t do it due to having an infant but in hindsight I should have called as it would have saved a long wait.
- Flying – when taking off and landing I try and give the girls either a drink / bottle / or a sucky yoghurt to help ‘pop’ their ears.
- As there is no weight limit on the pram we stuffed the Bugaboo case full of the x4 packs of nappies and x6 baby wipes which a) helped us stay underweight with our bags and b) gave us more room in our cases.
- Use pods or small bags when travelling. To travel we had the following:
My cross body handbag which will double up as an evening bag. In here I had all the important documents and my camera
A changing bag – with all the nappies, clothes and essentials like calpol. I took my Jem and Bea bag which was fab with the over the body strap for when you have no hands!
A feeding pod (from my old Pacapod changing bag) in here we had a few snacks, a pouch of baby food, a spoon and a yogurt for Evie in here. This was enough for her for the journey.
A bottle feeding pod – in here I had x3 bottles, x3 ready made formula and then to warm we used boiling water from a coffee shop / on the plane. We made up a bottle before we got off the plane and kept it in an insulated pocket in the changing bag in case we couldn’t warm it on the journey to the hotel.
Having these pods and separate bags seems like common sense but I hadn’t done this before and it did make life easier.
- We took a baby paddling pool (a really small £2 one) for Evie to sit in round the pool. At 7 months she wasn’t in the pool for long and we wanted her to be in the shade. This meant we could have her next to us, load it up with toys and she was happy! Put a towel underneath it so it’s more padded and soft for them.
- Sleeping – this was a tip from a friend. We were worried about Amelie sleeping in a sofa bed as she’s still in a cot but too big for a travel cot so we rolled up towels and put them under the sheet for a ‘bed guard’. It saved precious space in our cases as we didn’t have to take a bed guard.
- Evie was NOT happy about not sleeping in a sleepyhead so we rolled up a towel in a sleepyhead shape and put in under the sheet, it worked a treat!
- Find out in advance what your hotel can offer or if self catering if there is a company that can stock you up on arrival. In the Algarve there is a company (which at a premium of course) will deliver high chairs, Cots, pampers, wipes, formula and Ella’s to name a few. Fab if you’re in a villa and need something quick and easy on arrival.
I am glad I prepared and almost had too much with me for the journey and the holiday, but until you’ve done it once you don’t know what works and what doesn’t.
The journey was stressful at times but you know you’re headed somewhere nice with a glass of vino / beer waiting for you!
Hope those tips were helpful, any questions let me know!
If you want to see more from our family holiday see the following links:
*Egg by Susan Lazar gave me these products to try as part of our holiday blog posts, all views and opinions are 100% my own.