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Image credit © Rene Young

8 top tips for packing for a summer trip

With our red-hot Australian summer just around the corner, here are Holidays with Kids’ top 8 tips on what to pack for your sunny family holiday.

It’s almost summer school holiday season, so it’s time to get planning. Once you’ve decided on your destination, how you’re getting there, where you’re staying and what you’re doing, it’s time to figure out what to pack. At Holidays with Kids, we try to make your life easier, so here’s a handy hint: pack light, and prepare to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.

1. Travelling light does not mean sacrifice

A large problem with summer holidays is finding the time (and space in your bag) for proper skincare and toiletries. The skin is the largest organ of the human body, and sun and dry-heat damage can be permanently detrimental. So how can we keep little skin safe from summer damage? The answer is to go natural.

Natural skincare takes away preservatives and chemicals that can penetrate the outer layer of the skin and flow into the dermis, and eventually, the bloodstream. Many of these synthetic ingredients can affect the skin’s ability to breathe, and may be linked to headaches and allergies. A majority of ingredients in popular skincare products are not disclosed to consumers; these are called excipients, and can include common allergens. With increasing amounts of children affected by allergies, it is extremely important for parents to see exactly what ingredients they are putting on their child’s skin.

Australian natural skincare company MooGoo promises transparency when it sells its products; it is one of the few companies that is proud to show all its ingredients on its website, and not just the pretty ones. Ingredients NOT used in its natural products include chemicals such as paraffin oil, synthetic preservatives such as parabens, phenoxyethanol, formaldehyde donors, PEGs and synthetic penetration enhancers, sodium laureth sulphate or harsh cleansers – simply because there are greater, natural alternatives.

MooGoo's Travel Pack 3.0MooGoo's Baby Travel Pack

MooGoo's Travel Pack 3.0 (AU$23.50) has all the natural toiletries you need. The Milk Shampoo, Conditioner, Milk Wash and Skin Milk Udder Cream are all in one travel-sized package, making it easier to take with you. You don't have to sacrifice quality toiletries for baggage space.

If you have a really little one, try MooGoo's Baby Travel Pack (AU$25.00). The Mini Moo Bubbly Wash, Soothing MSM Cream, Nappy Balm, Mudder Udder Balm, Anti-Bacterial Hand Moisturiser and Bath Toy Cow are the perfect sizes for carry-on luggage when bub is on the move.

Hot tip

If you're taking your furry friend with you, check out Dr. Zoo's Pampurred Pet Pack (AU$10.00). The bite-sized Natural Calming Shampoo, Natural Nourishing Conditioner and Ruff to Fluff Natural Dry Shampoo are ideal for beach or bush holidays, when pets need a quick refresh.

2. Cover up, buttercup

The best protection against the sun will always be physical skin barriers. Whether they be hats, kaftans or rash shirts, light-weight UV-blocking material will prevent damaging rays from actually making contact with your skin. Invest in toddler and general kids’ hats, cover-ups and swimsuits that cover as much skin as possible – you won't regret it.

Even if you’re just taking a quick trip to the grocery store, it’s easy to forget that little ones get exposed to the sun from their stroller while you’re strolling down the street. Invest in a stroller cover-up that can latch onto the top and sides (thereby preventing toddler sabotage), or even tie a towel or blanket around the front of the stroller, but leave enough room for some light breeze.

Hot tip

Did you know that MooGoo also makes natural makeup? Dusty Girls is great for busy mums who don't want to worry about makeup damaging their skin. Perfect for a low-key summer holiday, try the 50ml Earth Cream Tinted Moisturiser (AU$20.00). This lightweight, hydrating cream provides natural-looking coverage so you can effortlessly achieve a radiant and dewy complexion.

3. If the shoe fits

Australia's pavement in the summer is scorching – so much so, that in the 2014 heat-wave, the CSIRO half-cooked an egg on it! Prevent your little ones' feet from getting hurt by giving them some weather-appropriate footwear. What better than thongs or sandals?

Hot tip

Sand can get hot, too, so when you're going to the beach, make sure to keep your kids' shoes on even after you get off the pavement.


Image credit © @alittleatlarge

4. To towel or not to towel?

Towels are a must for beach holidays especially, but they do take up a lot of luggage space. Be sure to double-check if your accommodation option provides linens, and if not, invest in a compact travel towel. Small microfibre towels are also efficient when it comes to absorbing water from skin, hair and all the little nooks and crannies that you might normally miss.

5. Easy, breezy

Linen is the ultimate summer fabric; due to its 'stiffness', the material is less likely to cling to the skin, therefore it provides a physical barrier from the sun without the heat. Try lightweight linen shirts, pants and dresses. They don’t take up too much space, and are easy to wash (and can be worn more than once without being washed).

6. Lounging about

Splashing about in pools and the salty, sandy ocean are the best bits of summer, but you can’t ignore the sweet allure of a cool drink and a lie-down on a sun lounger. Throw on a pair of sunglasses, a hat and some sunscreen before sitting, reading and relaxing. Pack one or two books for these occasions – as well as the latest edition of Holidays with Kids.

Hot tip

Don't forget to stay mosquito-safe with MooGoo's Tail-Swat Body Spray (AU$9.80). You get 200ml of a sweet-smelling, lightweight spray that tends to keep those pesky bugs away.

7. Swimming in the sea

Make the most of your roof racks and the ocean by bringing a surfboard and some boogie boards. Or, if you can’t take anything too oversized, BYO body and body board the days away.

8. Aftercare is key

If all other suncare fails, aftercare is key. Try MooGoo’s Soothing MSM Cream (AU$17.95), which is all the rage with naturopaths. If you’re allergic to nuts, MooGoo has also made a nut-free version, which caters for those who are allergic to both nut oil and nut proteins by using sweet-smelling evening primrose oil instead.

Remember to patch test – MooGoo products can be used on kids of all ages, even newborns, but not everyone’s skin reacts well to the same thing. Patch-test to be sure of no larger negative reactions.

This post was brought to you by MooGoo. MooGoo is Australia’s leading provider of natural skincare, cosmetic, health and wellbeing products, based in Queensland, offering a wide-range of solutions for a variety of skin conditions and everyday skincare. MooGoo offers an extensive range of more than 40 product lines including skincare, deodorant, sunscreen, makeup, pet care, insect repellent and dental products, which are stocked by more than 2000 retailers worldwide. For more information, click here.

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