Essential items for successful summer family travel

Are you travelling with your family this summer? For many families this will be the first proper getaway abroad since before COVID. Some families we know have somehow managed to dodge the various restrictions over the last two years and not had to cancel things, but for us certainly, this will be the first family holiday abroad since COVID changed all our lives. How about you?

So, as many of us are a little out of practice, I thought I’d put together a list of a few things to consider packing on your travels this summer, so everyone can concentrate on enjoying time together. Here are a few thoughts:

Bright Colours

In airports and busy tourist attractions it can be hard and stressful for parents to keep track of children – especially when they out number you! For years I have very deliberately dressed the children in bright clothes and often matching or similar clothes when we travel, especially if we are in a busy place, so we can more easily keep track of each other. My husband tends to wear a bright red t-shirt when we travel so we can see him too!

POLO Sport kids

This year I’m pleased to have these bright tops for the boys, which also roll up very small for packing and are in a quick-dry fabric (something I’ll come onto later). These are from CHILDRENSALON, and come in green, white, blue and black – personally I prefer the blue and green as they are nice and bright and there is more chance of you spotting them.

Swimming Goggles

One of the things I have consistently forgotten to pack on holidays are swimming goggles. I think it’s because the children have always had swimming lessons, so these are always in the bag we use for that purpose, which is not one we take away with us. What I’ve learnt over the years is that actually we need a few pairs of swimming goggles that can be shared around everyone. Not everyone wans to use goggles all of the time on holiday, but there will not doubt be times when we need them.

For this summer’s trip we have a couple of new pairs from CHILDRENSALON. One pair are a Bling2o blue shark, which my youngest loves. He’s been trying these out for swimming lessons, so I MUST remember to pack them! These are £20 and I’d say are more than worth it as the quality is fantastic. Sometimes cheap goggles are just not worth the bother as they don’t last. The best thing about these goggles is that they are really easy to get on and off as children can fasten them by themselves with the easy open and close clip. If you child gets unhappy about you pulling their hair as you yank their goggles over their head, then these are the ones for you!

swimming goggles

The second new pair we will be taking with us are these funky Bling2o snake skin goggles, also priced £20. These come with an adjustable silicone strap and reflective lenses. They are latex free, have an anti-fog coating and maximum UV protection. They come in a hard protective case with three different sized nose pieces to ensure the best fit. Brilliant!

Sun Cream

Sun cream is an essential item for your packing. It might be easier to just pick one type of cream everyone can use. One of our children has eczema, so we just all use the cream he does to avoid anyone making a mistake.

Quick Dry Fabrics

Quick drying fabrics are great for holidays. If you are driving around you can lay things in the boot to dry as you drive along. You can also pop them on a balcony, hang them over a bath or chair. If you prefer cotton clothing, go for lighter cottons like these Wimbledon T-shirts from Childrensalon. These dry really quickly without creasing and give good summer coverage without children getting too hot. These lovely t-shirts come in green, navy and white.

Wimbledon kids t-shirt

Comfy Footwear

Comfy footwear is essential for the whole family when on holiday. Having sore feet or poorly fitting shoes can ruin a holiday. It obviously depends on the type of holiday you are going on but don’t forget to pack something comfortable for walking and if you are going to be in and out of the pool or sea, flip flops, sliders and/or water shoes are a must.

mountain walks with kids


Travelling with kids can be stressful if you are in a busy place or if you have a delay. It really pays to be prepared and have a few things to draw on if this happens. Devices can be a welcome distraction, especially with headphones and can really help calm a child who gets sensory overload. A kids magazine can distract for a little while, as can a fidget toy or Rubik’s cube. Things like Top Trumps cards or just a plain pack of cards for older children can be a great distraction too. Even a bag of sweets or a lolly pop can help! Go prepared!

Travel wash

Depending on the trip you are going on, who is going with you and how long you are going for, you may want to consider packing a tube of travel wash. If you aren’t going to have access to a washing machine, this could come in really handy. When travelling with kids, you can guarantee something will get stained and need a soak to save the item, and whilst we hope there will be no tummy bugs, it pays to be prepared.

First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is essential when travelling with a family. Make sure you have all the basics plus pack things like iodine patches for quick healing and steri-strips for any head bumps! 


  1. Oh I love the tip of bright clothes. That is sooooo useful. I’m going to Butlins tomorrow and I’m changing what I’m wearing to the train station now. Got plenty of distractions too which is what is making my rucksack soooo heavy.

  2. We always have a basic kit in the car including sun cream, first aid, emergency water that kind of thing!

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