Our 7 month Europe trip is fast approaching with under 2 months until we depart!!
Passports – check. Phone – check. Laptop – check. Camera – check. International drivers license – check. Some items are easy to remember and are a no brainer when it comes to packing.
We haven’t started the bulk of our packing as yet but I am starting to make a mental note of the SMALL items I mustn’t forget to pack and couldn’t live without! These items could be purchased over in England when we arrive, but considering we have a 13 hour flight, 3 days in Abu Dhabi, then another 8 hour flight – I am quite certain the first thing I don’t want to be doing as soon as we arrive in the UK is go shopping for these items. Not to mention it may slip my mind amongst the dreaded jet lag recovery, entertaining Jonah and endeavouring to inspect and purchase a camper van with 5 days of arriving before we depart for Belgium 🇧🇪 😮
These few items are my travel essentials. I may amend this list for our next trip wherever that may be, but for now these are the little necessities I am making a list of. I hope this may help any others that might be planning a long trip, especially those with children to consider!
- Dental Floss
I am very particular about my oral hygiene and see dental floss as an absolute essential. I plan on taking a box in my larger suitcase and also a box of floss on my carryon luggage. Seeing as I will be eating on the plane it will be needed. It’s one of those small and easy to loose personal hygiene items that you will kick yourself if you forget or don’t have it on hand. Who wants a large particle of food lodged between your teeth that you cannot remove even with a toothpick? This is something that would bother me greatly, so that’s why it’s top of my list. Obviously a toothbrush is an item that will be automatically packed but dental floss is often overlooked.
2. Essential Oils
The medicinal and health benefits of essential oils are extensive. Upon researching them recently I discovered I must invest in buying several of them to aid in symptoms such as jet lag, fatigue and potential stomach upsets to name a couple. They also are fantastic for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Seeing as we will be travelling to many countries (approximately 15) with different climates and potential health cautions we may face, we think it’s crucial to carry oils with us to help cure or surprise any symptoms that may arise in that time. In our family we always opt for natural remedies as opposed to seeing a doctor or taking antibiotics. However it’s not common that any of us (including Jonah) are sick, thankfully we are all very healthy and have never had anything serious, and a cold or flu is extremely rare. It’s sensible however to be prepared incase any of us do become symptomatic so we don’t have to rush off and try and find a chemist
3. Vitamin C powder
Same as above really, for health reasons. Vitamin C powder is something great to supplement with especially on a plane ride where you are in close proximity to other people in a confined air conditioned space. We plan on taking Vitamin C a couple of days leading up to our departure and during the flight as a cold/flu symptom preventative. Jonah will obviously get it through my breast milk. We take a high quality powder we purchase from a health food store (not a mainstream chemist) in powder form so it is more readily absorbed.
4. Universal wall plug adapter
This will transform the voltage from a particular power outlet into one appliance you can use in any country. Very handy to have on your travels and will always be needed for things like phone and laptop chargers.
5. Nail clippers
Jonah’s little nails are like sharp needles and they grow at an extraordinary rate haha. I am forever cutting them, and my own as they also grow so quickly. I don’t like my nails getting too long for hygiene purposes so try and keep them clipped. Once again thinking of hygiene is so critical when travelling and so many germs are stored under the finger nails (gross i know) and it’s just another little precaution I like to take. It’s one of those easy to forget items that would probably be a pain to “dash out and get” once you are in another country. So it will be going in that toiletry bag!
6. Sunscreen and FACE sunscreen
Because I break out from using standard sunscreen on my face, I will definitely be sure to be packing my own facial sunscreen. I have bought a natural facial sunscreen called Little Urchin from my local health food store. Because it only uses all natural ingredients it should be safe for Jonah also. We will be outdoors for the majority of each day so aside from a hat face sunscreen will be my biggest protector from the sun. A bottle of each will be put in the suitcase.
7. Lip Balm
Being on a plane make your skin dry out and your lips do become chapped. I can’t stand not having natural lip balm on hand. I intend to bring a couple (they are easy to lose!) both on my carryon luggage and also in my main suitcase, preferably one with an SPF. Paw paw ointment is also a handy one to use as it has multiple uses aside from using on chapped lips. It also caters for insect bites and burns to the skin etc, so I will also pack one of these as I am not sure if they sell this in Europe!
8. Hair ties
Not just for myself but for hubby haha! Phil is growing his hair whilst overseas (he’s already started doing so) because he doesn’t want to have to get a haircut every 3rd week. Growing his hair is low maintenance and saves us money. So the condition is that he must tie his hair up in a little pony or man bun (*cringe* i know :S don’t judge me! HAHA!) My hair is quite long now and I need strong hair ties that are hard to come by. I go to Priceline where there is an impressive selection of thick and strong hair ties. A fresh pack of these and a few smaller black hair ties for Phil should last us the whole trip. Nothing worse than snapping a hair tie with no spares on hand :O
9. Jojoba Oil/Natural skincare
I use jojoba oil as a facial moisturiser and it’s an essential as far as my skincare routine goes. I get my oil from The Jojoba Company Australia as they do a very high quality oil. I struggle with my skin and am still prone to break outs so have found jojoba oil to really aid with that. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and regular use can control acne to a degree. It mimics the skins natural sebum levels and is a natural skin conditioner, and also contains Vitamin A and E. It can be used to soothe chapped lips, psoriasis (Phil occasionally gets this from chemicals in hand washes etc) it can be used on cracked feet and dry hands, reduces the affects of sunburn plus more. As you can see it has multiple uses so this is why it’s such a handy oil to carry with you. As much as I would love to take a selection of natural oils with me I realise I need to condense it down as my toiletry bag is only so big! Jojoba oil, a few natural soaps and body moisturiser will be my main go to skin products the entire trip.
10. Baby wash and moisturiser
I refuse to use any chemical based washes and moisturisers on Jonah’s skin and I can’t be certain that I will find a reliable brand that I can trust overseas to use on him at such short notice. So I intend on taking my own. I will take a combination of MooGoo and Four Cow Farm products that only use 100% natural and organic ingredients that are safe for Jonah’s still soft and baby like skin. My friend Bella introduced me to the Four Cow Farm brand and it’s been by far a favourite. I have used the baby lotion and Baby Wash since Jonah was born – and a little goes a long way.
11. Wide brimmed hat AND cap
I think hubby and I need one of each of these! Wide brimmed for the ultra sunny weather and days at the beach, and a cap for the general exploring indoor and outdoor days. I find a larger wider brimmed hat for exclusive beach days gives more protection from the sun but they aren’t as convenient as a cap or as easy to fit in a day bag. So if we bring one of each then we cater for all occasions! As for Jonah he just has a little hat with a brim.
12. Child walking harness
This may seem a little “dog on leash” for some parents but for us it is crucial we pack one on our trip. If you have a toddler it is something to consider investing in and they aren’t that expensive. They wrap around your child’s whole torso and buckle up, and usually have a little fury animal on the back to make it fun. One thing we are being mindful of is the safety of Jonah whilst we go exploring everyday. He loves his independence and likes to walk around outside the pram. This way we can allow him some freedom yet can be at ease that he won’t get kidnapped. Might sound a bit over the top but yes we do think Jonah would get kidnapped. It means if I turn to quickly look at something, or take a quick photo, I can hold onto the end of the harness and be able to feel that he is only a couple of feet from me. A very useful item to pack for peace of mind and safety of a toddler!
13. Sippy cup
Jonah’s trusty sippy cup will be far better than a random water bottle! He will need this daily and especially to use on the plane to sip on and assist with aiding the cabin pressure on his ears as we take off and land. We will also take a bottle for his day time milk feed. Can’t forget these 2 baby essentials to pack in the carryon bag.
14. Tea Tree Oil
Useful for cuts, bites and stings – a great antiseptic oil to have on hand for these purposes plus many more. I use it for my skin when it breaks out. Another addition to the toiletry bag.
15. Resistance bands
A great accessory to use for training and exercising when you are on a long holiday/trip like we are. We obviously cannot always get to a gym as we will be on the road in a camper coming and going from places. A gym might be accessible once a week at best but if you’re travelling like this you need to do your own workouts and training. Resistance bands are lightweight and compact to pack in the suitcase and are still an effective way to train in their own right. You don’t want to lose all your muscle tone and fitness whilst on a holiday right??
16. Wireless bluetooth speaker
We love our music and sermon podcasts so this is a must have. We have a large Marley bluetooth speaker for home use but we are buying a very tiny compact speaker to take with us so we can play our music in the van, out at a day picnic or train ride etc. An item to consider if you’re wanting to listen to anything as a couple or a family socially.
17. Pain relief inc baby panadol
Good to have readily on hand for a sudden headache or in Jonoah’s case, teething symptoms.
18. Pen and paper
For obvious reasons, a pen is always handy for filling out forms (customs etc) and paper to take notes, or journal in.
We plan on packing a 50 pack of nappies so we don’t have to buy any on the stop over in Abu Dhabi and will still have some for a few days after we land in the UK. The last thing we need is to run out in transit. Not to mention they are likely to be a very expensive item to buy from an airport!
20. Bible or a good book
This one is obvious, not only something to read but something to live by – for us anyway. We will pack a book or 2 for each of us including some children’s books for Jonah for his amusement.
Hope this list might be a good point of reference for anyone planning a holiday and you find something on here that may have skipped your mind to pack.
Safe travels ✌🏼✈️🚐