10 Things You Won’t Regret Packing For Your Next Holiday With 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's Suitcase
Zena's Suitcase

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.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

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  1. Leila Benhamida
    May 17, 2017 / 3:08 pm

    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. May 17, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    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
    May 17, 2017 / 7:41 pm

    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
    May 17, 2017 / 9:59 pm

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

  5. Rachel Butler
    May 18, 2017 / 8:08 am

    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

  6. MARGARET gallagher
    May 18, 2017 / 11:32 am

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

  7. Jo Carroll
    May 18, 2017 / 11:36 am

    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

  8. Kerry Kilmister
    May 18, 2017 / 1:01 pm

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

  9. May 18, 2017 / 6:09 pm

    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

  10. May 18, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    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!

  11. May 18, 2017 / 9:41 pm

    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.

  12. Kerry norris
    May 18, 2017 / 10:32 pm

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

  13. MARGARET gallagher
    May 19, 2017 / 12:08 pm

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

  14. Laura Nelson
    May 19, 2017 / 7:27 pm

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

  15. Evelina
    May 19, 2017 / 11:22 pm

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

  16. kirl krug
    May 20, 2017 / 3:08 am

    i hope i will have kids very soon 😀 ♥

  17. May 20, 2017 / 6:36 am

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

  18. May 20, 2017 / 7:08 pm

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

  19. katie robertson
    May 21, 2017 / 4:16 pm

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

  20. Venu Tanneru
    May 22, 2017 / 6:51 am

    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.

  21. Sarah Cooper
    May 22, 2017 / 10:49 am

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

  22. Kali Filsell
    May 23, 2017 / 9:20 am

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

  23. Elanor Rice
    May 31, 2017 / 9:34 am

    Fab advice

  24. Hayley Todd
    May 31, 2017 / 11:24 am

    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!!

  25. MARGARET gallagher
    June 2, 2017 / 5:41 pm

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

  26. Tracey F
    June 3, 2017 / 6:54 pm

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

  27. Kayleigh Watkins
    July 18, 2017 / 1:44 pm

    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

More About This UK Travel Blog

Whether you are looking for travel tips to make the most of your next cruise holiday or you need UK travel ideas we’ve got you covered on Zena’s Suitcase UK travel blog.  We started sharing our holiday and travel reviews in 2013, so if you can’t find the travel, family or lifestyle blog above you are after make sure you head over to the search bar to find what you need.  Think of us as one of the best travel blogs brimming with ideas to get you out and about with and without the kids.