Going on a holiday to the beach pre babies was normally a very relaxed occasion. I would either be going with my husband for a romantic trip away. Or with my girlfriends for a girls weekend of fun, pampering and copious amounts of champagne. Going on a beach holiday with a toddler is neither romantic or relaxing. There is definitely no pampering. It is still lots of fun don’t get me wrong. But there is a lot more planning that goes into the trip ahead of time to make it as much of a holiday as possible. Nothing worse than having a pooh explosion at midnight and realising that you are out of wet wipes. Or god forbid you forgot the treasured blanket.

Having recently returned from a week long beach holiday at a self serviced apartment with my 20 month old, I learnt a thing or two about what you need to pack and what is being over kill. I thought that I would share my words of wisdom, and harness my crazy organised obsessive list personality for the greater good.

Hot tip: I like to use the Kmart collapsible boxes for packing things other than suitcase items, as they make transportation really easy and keep things neat and organised!

For the Kitchen

  • Paper Towels
  • Multi Purpose Spray
  • Snap Lock Bags
  • Dishwasher Tablets
  • Dishwasher Detergent
  • Wet Wipes
  • Rubbish Bags
  • Coffee. I take my Nespresso Machine everywhere including a huge supply of pods. 
  • Keep Cups for the endless takeaway coffees. Save the turtles.
  • Basic Foods. We take milk, bread, fruit, carrots, dips, crackers, nuts, cheese, yoghurt, muesli, muesli bars, oats, honey, peanut butter, vegemite, soda water, wine, chocolate, popcorn, olive oil, and eggs. Just to get started and have the basics.
  • Plastic Utensils in case the ones provided are not kid friendly – bowl, plate, fork, spoon, sippy cup, bento box and cups.
  • High Chair if not already provided at the accomodation
  • Plastic mat for protecting floors during meal time. A cheap shower curtain rolled into a snap lock bag works well.

For the Bathroom

  • Basic First Aid Kit – bandaids, bandages and Dettol
  • Basic Medication – Panadol, Nurofen, thermometer, ear drops, eye drops and saline spray
  • Baby shampoo and body wash
  • Preferred Moisturiser for the family. I love Body Shop Vitamin E cream for sunburns and QV Essentials for toddlers daily use.
  • Toiletry bag for yourself with whatever you use.

For the Bedroom

  • Portacot. If not already provided and if your toddler will actually sleep in one. Ours does, so we always take an insert mattress that we bought to make it more comfortable. Otherwise, pool noodles under the sheets can work well for making beds toddler friendly.
  • Changing Station. Portable change mat, nappies, wet wipes, barrier cream, terry towel, nappy bags and hand sanitiser.
  • Baby monitor
  • Dummy if using
  • Books for bedtime
  • Sleeping bag or blanket if using
  • Blackout Curtain. I never leave home without it. Mine is literally just a sheet of black material from spotlight.
  • Clothes for Toddler. Pjs, togs (I take at least three sets), shorts, shirts, jumpers, long pants and shirts, sandals, sneakers and socks.
  • Clothes and personal items for yourself.

For the Common Areas

  • A few favourite toys and books. Cars, bubbles, ride on or whatever your toddler loves. Even though you will be on holidays, you will have plenty of downtime at the accommodation for toys. 
  • Toy box to keep toys neat. The collapsible ones from Kmart are excellent.

For the Beach

  • Beach Bag that is big enough to throw everything into. Backpacks make life easy.
  • Sunscreen. Cancer Council 50+ Kids is excellent.
  • Insect Repellent
  • Toys. Bucket and Spades. Wooden Cars.
  • Beach Towels
  • Beach cover. Tent or umbrella.
  • Water Bottle
  • Cooler bag and lunch box for snacks
  • Beach Wear – swimming hat for toddler, sunglasses, rashies, swim nappies and spare clothes for toddler. You can buy reusable swim nappies too. Rashoodz sell great ones.
  • Nappy Bag essentials. I pack a couple of nappies, wet wipes, small hand sanitiser and changing mat into a zip lock bag.

Don’t Forget

  • Phone and charger
  • Laptop/Ipad and charger
  • Books/Kindle/Magazines
  • A takeaway container of small toys for taking to cafes to keep toddler amused at the table
  • Pram/Carrier
  • Washing Powder

Good to have but not necessary

  • YouFoodz or pre prepared meals for when you don’t want to cook or go out and eat.
  • A few toys and snacks for the car ride if it is long
  • Picnic blanket or yoga mat as substitute play mat

Have I forgotten anything?? Please let me know in the comments if you think I have! I would love to hear from you. I have included a handy printable list for you to keep on your fridge to remind you of bits and pieces you don’t want to forget. You can download it Here

Remember that travelling with a toddler is a whole different ball game, but it is wonderful. You are building lifelong memories, so try to relax, let go and remain calm. You will be back into your routine soon enough! As a total routine Mum, I really need to remind myself that although my toddler may sleep at a slightly different time and eat some hot chips, it won’t kill him and it is important to just enjoy the time away.

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Love Sally

P.S. If you enjoyed reading this article you may also like to read Raising a Feminist: Teaching Our Boys New Values

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