my no brainer list of must have travel essentials for holidaying with children!

my no brainer list of must have travel essentials for holidaying with children!

Without a doubt the question I am asked most is ‘how do you make traveling with children look so easy?’

I am not going to pretend to you that it is a walk in the park.  We all have our days, we all have our moments.  I still remember the reality check of our first family vacation and the sudden realisation that things were ‘different’ now.  Call me crazy but I wouldn’t swap back to those lazy beach days, and genuinely love the beautiful chaos of travelling as a family of four.

With that said, there is a small but non negotiable list of travelling essentials which I ALWAYS pack for our trips.  These items are guaranteed to make holiday life easier!

Each store in linked for easy shopping…

CoziGo – The CoziGo is a dual purpose cover which can be used on both airline basinets and prams.  It provides 97% light blockage, so that babies and toddlers can fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer.  The fabric is UPV50+ keeping children safe from the sun, and is 100% air permeable to allow air to flow freely through the cover.   The design is a universal fit meaning it works on all strollers and most airline bassinets.  This is a simple and far more effective (and much safer!) solution to draping blankets over a pram.  I love that I can not only use this during travel but also on my pram at home.

Plane Pal & Packing Pal – Pane Pal have two incredible products; the Plane Pal and the Packing Pal.  Both products massively enhance your travel experience whether in a plane, car, camper van or bus.  The Plane Pal is a custom designed inflatable cushion which fills the space between your own seat and the seat in front of you.  This creates a bed like arrangement making sleep time so much more inviting.  We have one each for Ari and Chloe, and when they let me I sneak my legs up on it too!  The Packing Pals are mesh packing shells which help you to effectively pack and organise your suitcase.  I use a system of packing tops in one, bottoms in another and so on.  They com with a separate bag for shoes and another for dirty laundry.

Very Busy Bag – The perfect take anywhere entertainment for busy and time poor parents.  The Very Busy Bag is vital for keeping children entertained during travel.  It can be used on planes, car trips, trains, buses, in hotel rooms, you name it!  Each bag is filled with age and gender appropriate toys, activities and games for little ones to enjoy whilst on the move.  There is so much variety in these bags, Ari and Chloe’s kept them entertained for three weeks in Europe!  There are straps on the back of the bag so that older children can carry it themselves. My favourite thing about it is that the Very Busy Bag provides screen free time!

Bubba Bump Baby Bag – After lots of trial and error I have found the perfect solution for hand luggage when traveling with little ones.  A back pack is hands down the way to store all of your essentials.  This way you hands can be free to manage children, negotiate customs and all the other busy parts of airport travel.  The Bubba Bump Baby is the baby bag I chose to use not only when traveling but also at home, which means I don’t have to purchase addition items.  Its also great to use for day trips, once we have arrived at our destination.  This bag is luxurious, stylish, and many pockets are perfectly positioned to store all of those quick grab items like dummies, bottles and comforters.

Nordic Naturals – Staying healthy whilst travelling is key to the success of all holidays because no one wants to be sick on a trip!  Nordic Naturals is made from purified Cod Liver Oil, which benefits multiple body systems including brain, eye, heart, bone and joint health.   It also aids in overall energy and  vitality, which is so important on busy holidays.  Nordics Naturals have products to suit both adults and children, lots of which are naturally flavoured to test delicious.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to receive my exclusive discount codes PDF which includes some of the brans listed above.

Now that you have all of your travelling essentials its time to book your next family holiday.

Enjoy!

Thank you to the wonderful brands mentioned above for sponsoring this blog post so that I can share our favourite products with you. My opinion is of course and always is my own.

Hot off the press… some of the best ways to plan your travel

Hot off the press… some of the best ways to plan your travel

As many of you know I am knee deep in planning our next adventure to Bali and Europe.  I absolutely love to plan holidays and have been the ‘travel agent’ of our family for years now.

During my recent searches for the best accommodation, hottest restaurants and most beautiful locations I have come across a few new (to me) tools that can take your vacation planning to the next level!

I really shouldn’t bee spilling these secrets, but it’s in my nature to share a good thing.  If I have something that will make a positive difference to someone’s appearance then I just can’t keep it to myself!  So here goes…

Websites that got be excited –
Tablet Hotels – If you are into boutique style hotels this is a must click.
One Fine Stay – Like Air BnB but offering only the finest homes.
Design Hotels – Beautiful bespoke hotels if you are after something quieter.
Mr and Mrs Smith – Hand picked luxury hotels.
Air Bnb Plus – A feature on Air Bnb that includes luxury properties with great ratings.
Flight Fox – This one is all about booking flights and is especially good for the cooperate traveller.

Tips I had never thought of before –
– Once you think you’ve settled on a hotel, use google maps to check out its actual location.  Pop it onto ‘earth mode’ so you can see what the accommodation actually looks like.  Move around the street to look at neighbouring properties.  See if there is anything close by that might impact your holiday, like a large night club or busy restaurant.

– On Instagram, find one hotel in an area that you love and a price point that you want to spend.  Go to that hotel’s profile and use the drop down arrow which then allows you to see accounts similar to the one your are on.  You will come across a bunch of competing hotels in the area that are similar to your original search.  Happy researching!

– If you find a property you love on Air Bnb or another search tool, then go onto google and search that accommodation by name.  You may find a better deal outside of the engine you had originally been using.  I always find Air Bnb to be much more expensive then the price I would have paid if I booked direct.

– It is said booking flights at midday on a Tuesday is the cheapest time to do it.

– It can be cheaper to book round tickets over one way flights.

– Rumour has it that the exact day to find the cheapest airfare is 54 days before flight departure.

– Keep your options open.  You may have a few airports located close to you or where you are going.  Landing into one may be substantially cheaper than another.

– Set up price alerts with different airlines and sign up to subscription newsletters.

– Consider stopping over to spilt up your journey.  This may also lower the cost of your overall flight.

– Stay over a Sunday night.  Most hotels get holiday bookings Friday to Sunday morning, and business bookings Monday to Friday.  Sunday can be cheaper and quieter.

Now get me on that plane on Friday!  I seriously can not wait to be in Bali staying at the gorgeous Dreamland resort.  For more holiday inspiration check out My Wyndham Holidays and the Wynham Instagram page.

Happy travelling!

Enjoy,

Small-Signature-Nat

 

 

 

 

Traveling with Kids Featuring Bubs Australia

Traveling with Kids Featuring Bubs Australia

One of the most common questions I get asked about traveling with kids is what do we give them to eat and drink.   I have had a lot of experience with feeding my little ones when overseas and at all different stages of their young lives.  Ari just turned 3 and has traveled to 10 countries, Chloe who is 17 months has done 7.  We started traveling with our eldest when he was 5 weeks old and have continued with holidays at least every 6 months since.

With every holiday the food and drink situation has been different because as we all know young children are constantly changing.  Personally, I have found the easiest time to travel and not worry about food is at 0-4/6 months when my children were exclusively breastfed.  Easy as, just whip the boob out whenever required on the bus, plane, tram, train, you name it.  Of course, those days are shortly numbered and now I find a lot more thought needs to go into my children’s dietary requirements.

My first point of call for food and milk (after breast milk) is Bubs Australia who offer a large range of said products.  Once my children have reached the age of purée I have always packed enough Bubs Organic Baby Pouches to cover the whole trip.  They are suitable for both 4+ and 6+ months and are simple to use when on the go.

Other great options are their rice cereal, oats, and porridge which can easily be mixed with breast milk (or alternative) and made into a yummy meal.  These are particularly lightweight which makes them great for packing.

Another product I love is their Barley Lactose-Free Toothy Rusks which are great for hand luggage as they are small to pack and great for keeping busy hands under control.

Once I have started to wean my children from breast milk onto alternative sources I have packed the Bubs Australia appropriate to their age.  I was fortunate enough to breastfeed both children to 12 months so I put them straight onto the Bubs Advanced Plus Toddler Goat Milk.  Being that they are both over 12 months this works great as they can both use the same product.

Bubs Australia believes “that if we can create a love of healthy organic food from the beginning, we will have built the foundations to last a lifetime.”  Their products are certified organic, Australian made and owned, carbon neutral and are BPA free.   AND they’ve certainly made life easier for this traveling tribe!

Small-Signature-Nat

For more information on Bubs Australia click here or to follow them on Instagram click here.  #bubspartner

 

*Disclaimer: At times this website contains posts where items and experiences have been sponsored, gifted or blog posts have been paid for in return for advertisement/promotion.  Where this applies it will be clearly stated at the bottom of the blog post. Natalie Sullivan and www.thissweetlofeofmine.blog only endorses brands/items that her family uses, loves and highly recommends. To read the full disclaimer see here

Bringing Baby – Surviving Airports & Planes

Bringing Baby – Surviving Airports & Planes

Seeing the world has always been one of my greatest passions and I was never going to let having children dim my sense of adventure.  Better still it was always in the plan to gift them with the same wanderlust that fills my veins.  Having babies certainly changes the dynamic when it comes to going aboard.  Holidays aren’t really ‘holidays’ anymore. The word ‘relaxing’ doesn’t really spring to mind.  BUT for all the hard work our vacations are now filled with more giggles, happy faces and so much more joy!

Now by no means do I claim to be a pro when it comes to holidaying with minis but I have been ‘bringing baby,’ since my eldest was 9 weeks old.  I’ve picked up a few tricks and tips when it comes to airports and plane travel so read on to learn from my miss fortune.  If you would like to check out our travelling adventures search the tag #thissweettravellife on Instagram.

  1. Feed on the way up and the way down whether it’s boob, bottle (or vodka for Mum) it will help bub’s ears.
  2. As with the above a dummy or natural sugar free lollypop will help.
  3. Pack pain relief in your carryon and make sure you have 100ml or smaller bottles. Pop in some hand sanitizer too.
  4. Book a bassinet seat if you can.  Even if you don’t think you’ll use the bassinet your legs will benefit from the extra leg room.
  5. Book meals.  Puréed food can even be provided for babies.
  6. Try to stick to your normal routine and if possible chose flights that work in with it. When on the plane just follow what you would normally do at home in terms of meals and bedtime routines.  Use the same sleep associations like sleep suits, PJs, special teddy bears and brushing teeth etc.
  7. Pack toys and fun things to do.  Games that will occupy their minds for as long as possible but that are also quiet and simple (not bulky.)  We always wrap new toys in wrapping paper and dish them out slowly.
  8. Pack plenty of nappy changing gear in your carry on, and take four more nappies then you think you’ll need.  Don’t forget pull ups for your toddler for bedtime.
  9. Toilet trained babes will enjoy lots of trips to the bathroom.
  10. If your kids like movies pack an iPhone or iPad stocked with all their favourites. You can be children’s headphones from electronics stores.
  11. Take your baby carrier as carry on.  Worst case if bub won’t sleep or is unsettled you can try pacing the aisles.
  12. Lollipops are great for keeping chatty mouths quiet.  Just make sure you get natural, sugar free ones… no one needs a hyped up toddler on a plane.
  13. Take your pram to the gate if permitted and if your airline asks you to hand it over at check in ask for a loan one.
  14. If you can fill out any customs paperwork in advance.
  15. Even though food is provided pack a whole load of snacks in your carry on.
  16. Dress everyone in comfy clothes and pack backups even for Mum and Dad!  Poop, weee, vomit… do I need to say more?
  17. We use a backpack as our carry on bag.
  18. Allow lots of time!  We all know it takes forever to get anywhere with tiny feet!
  19. Be realistic. The worst thing you can do is go onto a flight with the idea that you are going to be able to kick back and enjoy a movie marathon… you will whind up feeling extremely frustrated.  Look at it as quality time with your children with no distractions and if you get to watch a movie or two then great!
  20. And if all else fails there’s always that vodka!

For more useful tips, tricks search and follow the tag #thatsweettravellife on Instagram.

Here are some of my best buys for travelling with children (and some discounts!)

Plane Pal – The ultimate sleep solution for planes turning an uncomfortable chair into a bed.
www.planepal.com
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Cozigo – Essential for babies still in plane bassinets it goes over the top creating a dark, cosy environment and can even be used on prams.
To purchase head to https://cozigo.com
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Cheeky Chompers Silicon Teething Bib – A dribble bib and silicon comforter in one.
https://www.cheekychompers.com.au/
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Idabee by Eiress Dummy Chain – Must have for keeping dummies off of dirty floors!
https://www.eiress.com.au/
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Reed and Co Bento Style Lunch Boxes – Perfect for keeping bubs happy with yummy snacks!
https://reedandco.com.au

Thanks for reading!  Here’s hoping that your next vacation has been made a little easier!

Small-Signature-Nat

*Disclaimer: At times this website contains posts where items and experiences have been sponsored, gifted or blog posts have been paid for in return for advertisement/promotion.  Where this applies it will be clearly stated at the bottom of the blog post. Natalie Sullivan and www.thissweetlofeofmine.blog only endorses brands/items that her family uses, loves and highly recommends. To read the full disclaimer see here