To sum up, here are our top travel essentials:
A Bucket & Spade
For all those important digging expeditions. I ow;don't say I am naturally a beach person - the sand sticking all over me doesn't really do it for me. But my husband and children adore it, so I resist the urge to run away and enjoy sitting and watching them dig holes and castles and run in and our of the water squealing with delight. We have spent many a happy day on Welsh beaches, near our family's caravan, eating sand-filled sandwiches and marking our spots on various constructions.
Essential for protecting little bums. My children, like most others I imagine, love being naked. And at their age I am more than happy to watch little bods jumping in and out of the swimming pool, seeing how big a splash they can make. There nothing more special as a mum than watching our babies' delight at every experiences, and of course keeping their delicate skin protected is one of our top priorities.
To make sure all the electrical are charged, especially when mummy and daddy need a moment of peace, heaven forbid the iPads are dead! Not to mention keeping those crucial cameras fully charged in order to record every precious moment just in case we can't commit them to memory as much as we'd like.
Hat & Sunglasses
To keep the bright sun out of eyes and protect heads. Jack has lately taken a love to baseball caps and it's becoming his signature style. And of course what child doesn't love to don a pair of sunglasses and tell us all how bright the world is without them.
Whether it's colouring books or reading books, both adult's and children's should be an important part of your packing. My two love their books and now their are in school, their journey has expanded massively with them both able to read words on their own. Whilst Mr H isn't a reader himself, I adore books and love nothing more than an hour to myself getting lost in the pages.
We always take a first aid kit and any other required medicines, to make sure there are always happy, healthy faces. Nobody wants a holiday ruined when you need medicine that isn't easy to come by if your child becomes ill, and it's not fun trekking to local chemists trying to make the pharmacists understand what we require in our usually failing attempts at a language other than our own.
Key to snuggly nights rests, a teddy or two is a must-not-forget item. A lesson I have learnt hard many a time, when said teddy has either been accidentally left at home or even worse, lost in transit. The look on my daughter's face when the teddy she'd had and always adored since being a baby got left behind in a hotel has scarred me for life.
Crucial for recording those once-in-a-lifetime moments and collecting memories you can keep forever. I absolutely adore recording our every moment, much to everyone around me's frustration at times. Of course who's the one they call when they don't have any footage of their trips?
Of course no holiday is complete without a good swim, so make sure you bring costumes, inflatables and lots of play for the pool. Jack is a natural water baby and has often scared those around us by his lack of fear as he dove in head-first into a swimming pool, despite being able to barely walk two steps without wobbling. He spirit makes me smile so much and I love sitting by watching him push himself time and time again, learning with every bruise gained.
No matter who you are or where you go a holiday is never truly a holiday without your family by your side, to share in the journey. I am so passionate about showing our children about the world around us, whether that be a small stream to an ocean that stretches further than the eye can see. There is so much more to be seen past our own back gardens and by introducing them to difficult climates, cultures and adventures I hope to stretch their imaginations and ambitions. After all, our children are our futures.
*This is our entry for the #MarkWarnerMum ambassador programme. For more information visit here.