Top 10 Holiday Must Haves – Before and After Children!

I’m on a forever mission to be the fun mum: This usually ends in major #mumfail. Like that time I tried to impress my 3 year old and ended up flying face first off of a trampoline, almost breaking my knee. Or when on holiday I fell head first into a river, in an attempt to get the perfect angle for a family photo. Laughter is the soundtrack to our parenting style and without fail Stuart will be able to make the boys fall about in fits of it mid toddler meltdown, essential skills for life with 2 under 4!

#markwarnermum travel to Bruge to document for Mark Warner Mum ambassadorship 2017

As both a Mum of 2 young boys and a huge fan of travel we’ve seen our fair share of change when it comes to travel must haves before and after children. We’ve been so fortunate in the past to have done a lot of traveling and have managed to see so much of the world as young and care (child!) free singletons. Flash forward 5 years Stuart is out the house 12 hours a day working and as soon as the children go to bed it’s my turn to work. Time together is a fragile balance and duly savoured over the weekends, our carefree days exchanged for a blur of nappies and sleepless nights.

top 10 travel essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

top 10 travel essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

We love to make all of our travels an adventure even within our own country but I’ve been thinking a lot lately how I would love to spend quality time as a family learning new things, and not just seeing new things. A chance for balmy days spent teaching the boys to swim under the summer sky, the opportunity for Stuart and I to learn a sport or skill together.

top 10 travel essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

top 10 holiday essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

After we had Henry we did a little traveling in North America, however latterly our adventures have been constrained to the UK. You see traveling with children isn’t quite what it used to be. Gone are the spontaneous weekends away, jumping on the Eurostar a distant memory. Our Top 10 holiday essentials are not quite what they used to be.

I thought I would share my top 10 travel must-haves…Now if you’re a parent also you’ll know that packing isn’t quite the same post children, so I wanted to share my top 10 holiday essentials – before and after kids!

TOP 10 HOLIDAY MUST-HAVES BEFORE KIDS….

top 10 holiday essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

 

  1. Outfits. 3 per day. Hiking in the morning, perusing the town’s market in the afternoon, not forgetting a special dress for each evening to wear to a fancy restaurant.
  2. Bikinis. 7 in total. Well I can’t be seen in the same one in each photo?!?
  3. Books. Plenty of them and as many magazines. Hours spent reading, lounging by the pool ordering cocktails and nachos.
  4. Factor 6 tanning oil. No responsibilities and no apparent awareness for sun safety!
  5. Cocktails!! See points 1 and 3. Time to drink and party and roll in at 4am...well we wont be getting up ’til noon anyway so we can worry about the hangover tomorrow…
  6. Make Up. Lots of it. A bag full! Nights out are prefixed by 2 hours blissfully getting ready by myself.
  7. Sun bathing. Not a must have, but certainly a must-do. To be done at our leisure. Hot? Take a dip in the pool or a trip to the swim-up bar…
  8. Accessories. Planning outfits months in advance and making sure I have just the right fedora to compliment that new Maxi dress of mine.
  9. Hair dryer, straighteners, tongs, curling iron…Did I mention I have 2 hours to get ready each night??
  10. The Spa. Ahhh, the spa. Couples massage? Go on then, we’re on holiday after all…

TOP 10 HOLIDAY MUST-HAVES AFTER KIDS….

 

top 10 holiday essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

  1. Outfits. 3 in total for the week including something I can be comfortable in whilst cosying up on the sofa once the children are down to sleep.
  2. Bikinis. High-waisted essential to hide inevitable mum-tum. In fact a swimsuit would be best. There’s a whole lot of bending down involved when looking after children by the pool.
  3. Books. Hmm, I had one of those once. It was replaced with an iPad, pre-loaded with the CBeeBies App.
  4. Factor 50 sun block. To be frantically applied 6 times a day, attempting to avoid mixing with sand, dodging imminent toddler meltdown.
  5. Juice…Squash. Water. Ice Pops. Anything to make sure little one is hydrated and won’t suffer from heat exhaustion when all they want to do is play. Repeat hourly.
  6. CC Cream. Store by the front door so you can apply quickly on your way down to breakfast (after having packed 4 beach bags full of stuff, wrestled toddlers to get dressed, yawned 3,000 times)
  7. Bucket and spade, frisbee, skittles. Anything to entertain the children with. Why not build a huge sandcastle with big windows for you to look out of over at the couples sunbathing, carefree, cocktail in hand.
  8. Accessories. 12 children’s sun hats – ensuring you have at least 1 that doesn’t get lost throughout the week.
  9. Dry Shampoo. You may, if you’re lucky, have time for at least one shower without a small visitor or 2 tugging at the shower curtain. Maybe take a couple of cans just in case.
  10. Baby Wipes. Ever been at a spa where they bring round cold cloths for your hot brow? I have and it was bloody glorious. Well that you can forget that. Instead bring 247 packs of wipes for all those baby related spills, scrapes and sick.

Check out my Pinterest Board for more Travel must-haves and holiday Pins!

I hope our passion for travel is passed down to the children. There really is so much to see in this world and I love showing the boys the beauty that travel has to offer. As part of our application I’ve made a little vlog of our travels in 2016, we would love it if we could make a very special one for 2017!

 

#nofilter – have you ever seen a more incredible sunset?!

top 10 holiday essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

I’d love to know how your must have holiday items have changed since having children – let me know below!

top 10 travel essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

top 10 travel essentials Mark Warner ambassadorship programme entry for Adventures Of A Mum Lara Joanna Jarvis #markwarnermum

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27 Comments

  1. March 1, 2017 / 10:14 pm

    This is so very true, having children totally changes your perception on everything. We now take totally different things on holiday with us!

  2. February 28, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    I read this a while back but didn’t comment (silly!) Love the post and the video you’ve done. You guys totally suit the travelling lifestyle xx
    Alice recently posted…Mother Daughter Travel EssentialsMy Profile

  3. February 28, 2017 / 10:29 am

    Gorgeous photos and video. Fingers crossed for you x

  4. February 27, 2017 / 3:09 pm

    Yes yes yes I loved this beauty!! Baby wipes are such an essential especially for sticky ice cream hands covered in sand! I’ve heard as well talc is great for getting sand off kids, yet to try it though! Eek good luck beauty, everything crossed for you!!!

  5. February 27, 2017 / 8:41 am

    Oh girl. Loved this post! Travelling really suits you all, pre and post babiessss.. xxx

    • February 27, 2017 / 3:40 pm

      Thank you beauty!! I ruddy love traveling and love showing the boys the beauty out there, watching them finding new and exciting things in the world makes me so happy!! xx

  6. February 25, 2017 / 6:25 pm

    Oh what amazing photos! You have been on some brilliant adventures. I love your after kids moodboard. Mine would be very similar.

    • February 27, 2017 / 3:39 pm

      Thank you sweetie. We absolutely love to explore and show the boys what the world has to offer now too, but yes…not quite as simple these days!! Thanks for reading xx

  7. February 22, 2017 / 3:03 pm

    Oh yes, the after kids list is pretty much identical. Except for the fact that I’ve lost every single hat ever. So have none left to take with me!

    • February 27, 2017 / 3:35 pm

      Ha! Exactly Laura. I swear they just disappear!! Thanks for reading xx

  8. February 18, 2017 / 4:39 pm

    Aw I can totally relate the after kids list haha! How times change 🙂 Very cute post. Good luck with the competition beautiful! 🙂

    • February 27, 2017 / 3:34 pm

      Thank you so much Kelly, I am so excited it looks like they have so many amazing experiences on their holidays, fingers crossed! xx

  9. February 15, 2017 / 9:23 pm

    Fab Post !!! Lovely idea and God don’t we all miss the hazy days of cocktails, fancy dresses and factor 6 tanning oil. Swimsuits are essential now ( totally agree about all the bending over ).Good Luck X

    • February 27, 2017 / 3:32 pm

      Waaaay too much bending over these days!! Ahhh, yes indeed. I love that MW holidays cater so well for children and that they have such great childcare facilities so everyone gets to have a break throughout their time away 🙂 xx

  10. February 15, 2017 / 11:52 am

    This is so true!! Love the photo of you both back carrying your boys.

    • February 27, 2017 / 3:31 pm

      Thank you! We love getting them outside exploring…slightly heavy these days though! xx

  11. February 15, 2017 / 10:55 am

    Love this! You are so stylish mama. Agree there is so much packing for littles. Really liked your vlog too. Good luck xx

    • February 27, 2017 / 3:30 pm

      Ahh, thank you Amy!! I don’t feel like one but I’m glad I’m winging it enough to look like I am 😉 Thank you!! xx

  12. February 15, 2017 / 10:26 am

    Aaah this is so lovely Lara! Loved your little film 🙂 SO true about the must haves before and after children; our packing has QUADRUPLED since we had the twins!! How do two little people create SO much more packing?! Good luck with your application xx
    Caro | The Twinkle Diaries recently posted…Home Etc #86My Profile

    • February 27, 2017 / 3:29 pm

      Thank you lovely, so exciting. Totally…I ALWAYS underestimate it too!! xx

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