10 Things You Won’t Regret Packing For Your Next Holiday With Kids

Jungle Formula For Kids

It’s pretty safe to say that I’ve done a lot of packing recently.  I’m in charge of packing the suitcases for the whole family so I have to think about what Daddy and I are taking, as well as what the kids need for a happy and healthy trip.  With lots of experience of travelling with kids under my belt, I’m pretty sure I have the definitive list of what to pack for young children for your next holiday.

10 Things You Won't Regret Packing For Your Next Holiday With Kids

I’m not talking about the swimsuit and how many pairs of pants you need.  I’m thinking more about those travel essentials for kids that are going to make a big difference to how much they enjoy their holiday. These are the little things you might forget when your busy getting everything sorted for your trip.  With so much to think about like booking excursions, hiring the car and processing your online check in information this kids packing list is where you should come to just to tick off those little extras that can easily get forgotten.

Water Resistant Sun Cream

If your kids are anything like mine they love to be in the pool when they are on holiday.  Make sure that you are stocked up with a good, easy to apply, water resistant sun cream with a high SPF rating. You might want to have a special packet of sweets that you can use as a treat when they have applied it fully, as in my experience kids can be a little resistant to applying sun cream.  If it comes down to it though you have to be tough and no sun cream means  no pool/beach/waterpark (delete as appropriate).

Jungle Formula For Kids

Jungle Formula For Kids

How many of you pack Jungle Formula for kids insect repellent in your suitcase?  In turns out that quite a few of us don’t, with 38%* admitting to forgetting to pack insect repellent for our holidays and days out.  It’s quite surprising as I know that my children get really upset when they are bitten by insects.

We hadn’t taken any Jungle Formula to a summer festival we went to and our daughter got bit, but we didn’t see what by.  She was quite distressed and we ended up at the first aid tent asking for some assistance. It could all have been so easily avoided if we had of used insect repellent. In a recent survey carried out by Jungle Formula 38% of kids who had been on holiday had been bitten by a mosquito and 71% of those children were clearly irritated by it.  We know as adults how horrible insect bites can be, so it’s definitely something worth protecting our children from.

Drink Bottles

I’ve lost count of the amount of times we’ve gone on a trip and I’ve realised that I’ve forgotten to pack the kids regular drink cups or bottles.  I’ve done it enough times now to know better, as in warmer weather kids drink a lot and need to keep hydrated.  Having refillable bottles helps no end and I also find those small concentrated squash products really helpful, especially in countries that don’t sell squash.

Notebook and Colouring Pens

When we are going on holiday I buy the kids a new notebook and some felt tip pens.  They go in their travel back packs and they go everywhere with us.  They use them on the plane, when we are at dinner and if they are having some downtime in the holiday accommodation.  You really don’t need iPads and tablets everywhere you go and having these 2 simple things will help them with their creativity, drawing and writing.

notebook and pens

Kids Magazine with a Toy

Another treat I save for going on holiday with kids is a new magazine with a toy on the cover.  These magazines are great for travelling as they contain activities, puzzles, colouring and even stories that can be read at bedtime.  The toy always seems to be a big hit too, but as it all only costs a few pounds it doesn’t matter so much if it gets lost or damaged.


We can also be guilty of forgetting to pack the sun hat, but it’s another essential item kids need to help protect them from the sun.  It’s worth taking them shopping and letting them choose a hat they would like so they are more likely to wear it.


Should children wear sunglasses?  The answer is most definitely yes as UV exposure can damage the eyes as well as the skin.  We encourage our children to wear sunglasses as well as a hat on very bright days.  It helps to remind them that we wear our sunglasses to help keep our eyes safe too.  Sunglasses for kids is very much a travel essential.

kid wearing hat and sunglasses

Travel Wash

No matter how many items of clothing you pack for your kids it is always worth stashing a bottle of travel wash in your suitcase.  We’ve experienced a couple of problems with our daughters where having this has come in handy.  Our youngest daughter was drinking so much on holiday to keep hydrated, that at the end of the day, when she was tired, she was prone to the odd toilet accident so we went through clothes quicker than we would have liked.  Our other daughter wanted to wear her favourite dress, everyday, despite it being coloured with various flavours of ice cream.

Favourite Bedtime Toy

And last but not least, don’t forget to pack your child’s favourite bedtime toy.  Kids appreciate familiar things, even with the excitement of being on holiday.  If they have a toy they take to bed, pop it in their travel bag as it could save you a lot of headaches at bedtime.

This post was written in collaboration with Jungle Formula 

*Based on a survey of 500 UK parents of children aged 1-11 inclusive

Zena Goldman

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life. Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

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37 Discussion to this post

  1. Leila Benhamida says:

    Going on holiday to Tenerife this year. I already made my list of what I will take for my daughter who is 4. I love your list. Will add up the magazine with toys.

  2. This is a great list, I always forget hats so we have a huge collection as I have to buy new ones x

  3. Janice Dunn says:

    It’s so difficult to know the dos and dont takes on holiday for kids, you don’t want to waste baggage allowance when you dont need to. It also helps to know the best products to use

  4. Lorna Ledger says:

    I think a spare pair of pants and sock too, accidents happen, and feet hurt 😉 great list xxx

  5. I’ve bookmarked this as we’ll be going away next year with Erin for the first time
    Lyndsey O’Halloran recently posted…Hotel Review: ibis Cambridge CentralMy Profile

  6. Rachel Butler says:

    Love this post! We are going on our first ever family holiday abroad this summer! We are so excited yet so nervous at the same time…..I would never have remembered about insect repellent spray so I’m so glad you have reminded me! xoxo

  7. MARGARET gallagher says:

    Males life and holidays do much more enjoyable when you are prepared

  8. Jo Carroll says:

    Jungle Formula is a new one on me…definately gonna search that out. Top tips – you seem to be well on top of things? x

  9. Kerry Kilmister says:

    We are taking our 3 kiddies to Disneyland Paris at the end of July, so these are fantastic tips. Thank you

  10. Anosa says:

    My goddaughter absolutely loves her sunglasses and always has to have them whenever they travel. Such a cool list
    Anosa recently posted…How to get rid of scarsMy Profile

  11. Helpful hints, sometimes we almost forget the entertainment and nighttime toy, panic return to house!
    Musings of a tired mummy…zzz… recently posted…Day in the life of me! (Wednesday 17th May)My Profile

  12. I always take magazines for the children, too! They are handy because they usually finish them while we’re away, so we have less to bring home!

  13. This is a great list, and having just returned from travelling with a toddler – I would agree with each and every one! The other thing I would add is calpol or neurophen pouches. Those babies are always a handy thing to add to your handbag x
    Kat Eat.Love.Live recently posted…Review: Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa – Singapore (Sentosa Island)My Profile

  14. Great list here Zena. My kids are so into hats and sunglasses now.
    Fashion and Style Police recently posted…The Wooden Watch TrendMy Profile

  15. We definitely need to take the Jungle Formula when we go away. For some reason my daughter must have very sweet blood, but when she’s bitten she reacts really badly and her skin flares up. We try to prevent it and take precautions as much as possible, but insect repellent is ALWAYS on our packing list.

  16. Kerry norris says:

    Ive never regretted taking any of these. All great tips x

  17. Helen says:

    I recently bought my daughter a pair of children’s sunglasses and she’s obsessed! She loves wearing them 🙂
    Helen recently posted…ONE MUFFIN MIX: Two Flavours – Banana and Peanut Butter/Lemon DrizzleMy Profile

  18. There are so many things that you need to take with you on holiday and notebooks and pens should definitely be at the top of the list to keep kids entertained.
    Ana De- Jesus recently posted…Introducing The New Fashion App: Mirror MirrorMy Profile

  19. MARGARET gallagher says:

    Find it difficult to keep sunglasses on the little ones
    Any tips to help this?

  20. I have never heard of Jungle Formula before, I will have to get some for when we go away as my nieces have just came home from holiday covered in bites xx
    Newcastle Family Life recently posted…My Thought’s On 13 Reason’s Why As A Parent To A Teen GirlMy Profile

  21. What a great list Zena. It has been so long since we went abroad but all these things would be perfect for taking away when we do go 🙂
    clairejustine recently posted…4 Recipes Perfect For Summer From Princes…My Profile

  22. Laura Nelson says:

    Lists are so essential for holidays to make sure you don’t forgot anything! This one looks really useful.

  23. Evelina says:

    Absolutely fantastic list! Everything on it is a must for a holiday with children.

  24. kirl krug says:

    i hope i will have kids very soon 😀 ♥

  25. Lindsey says:

    Note books and pens are a must have for any journey, great to keep the kids entertained whilst trVelling.

  26. Kara says:

    Sounds like the perfect list, I would pack all those things in my case too
    Kara recently posted…Saturday is Caption Day – 20th May 2017 #satcapMy Profile

  27. Great list! I would say their favourite snacks too. Mosquito spray is so important, I’ve been to places on holiday I never thought I would be bitten but I was!
    Mellissa Williams recently posted…A Stay In A Kensington Apartment London with FG PropertiesMy Profile

  28. Great list and completely agree with everything – you can never pack too much when it comes to kids!

  29. katie robertson says:

    great list I will have to make sure I have all of these when we go on our next family holiday.

  30. Venu Tanneru says:

    Nice list of things to pack when kids are flying with you on a vacation. Great suggestions too. I will definitely look into them the next time I travel. I like the way you have kept the list short and minimal without overdoing it. UV exposure is something that needs to be thought of. Extremely dangerous. Hat, Sunscreen and Protective clothing are a must.

  31. Sarah Cooper says:

    A very useful list – will keep this in mind for our next holiday.

  32. Kali Filsell says:

    Great list !
    I’ll definitely be packing some of these products

  33. Elanor Rice says:

    Fab advice

  34. Hayley Todd says:

    Thank you so much for this very useful, helpful list. When you are packing for adults and children there is always something you tend to forget!!

  35. MARGARET gallagher says:

    Thanks been out today with my list and got all the essentials
    Next time I’m away we’ll be fully prepared

  36. Tracey F says:

    Great read! I’m petrified about the flight in the summer with my two, first time on a plane…. fingers crossed! X

  37. Kayleigh Watkins says:

    Some fab tips here, we take most of this items with us as we stay in the UK and drive to our holidays which usually takes 4-6 hours plus stops at services for a toilet break and stretch of the legs, we usually put the cool bag with snacks between our children in the back seat but have three this year so will have to pack separate lunch boxes for them, we also take their portable DVD players for in the car and at night before sleep xxx

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