Family Packing Essentials - Sanity Savers That Work For The Suleri-Johnsons

Travelling with children can be daunting! Will they cry and want to run around and generally cause chaos? Well they might, they are children and I honestly feel you need a little bit of a f*** it attiude and accept that that might happen and not worry about what others think! 

However! It does not mean that you shouldn't go armed with a few tricks up your parenting sleeves to help keep it a happy and tear free journey as possible. So, I'm sharing with you a few things that we do to help keep our littles happy, calm and entertained. But in addition to that, I'm sharing some of my favourite beauty essentials to keep your skin hydrated and happy on holiday and beyond! 

Some of the things I have been kindly gifted (but have bought in the past or would buy again) but I chose everything if it was gifted. The other products/toys we already had or bought. I'll state when something has been gifted for transparency! But as always, I wouldn't share anything I/we didn't love! So here goes...

The idea behind these games and toys is that are given as gifts. You don't need to wrap them or anything! We actually just hide them in our bag and surprise them on the plane! The girls always have been excited as they love gifts and it'll be something new for them to engage with! This little trick has always worked really, really well for us! 

1. Djeco Two Piece Puzzleswe absolutely adore these puzzles. They're educational, inexpensive but a great investment (we still have the ones we got for Zora years ago) and so sweet. I love that they are two piece, which makes them great for those teeny airplane trays. These are highly highly recommended by me, I just love them!! And aside from being great for travelling, they are super gifts!

2. Oskar Story Bags - these are new to me and admittedly not the most compact BUT I'm in love with them and they squish down pretty we are going to give it a whirl! This is the Dragon and Castle set including all those little figures you can see. They are handmade beautifully and I have already been dreaming up alternative princess and dragon stories! I am certain that the girls are going to have a million more ideas than my grown up mama brain ever could! This will also be a great way to encourage them to play together when we are just chilling in our hotel room/apartment or even the beach! 

Both the puzzle and story bag were gifted by the gorgeous Alex and Alexa , who are known for their amazing dress shop but have SO much more!! 

3. New Books - books are great for all sorts of situations but with our girls when they are tired, overwhelmed, worried or needing comfort, they are our go to parenting tool! Airports and planes are definitely overwhelming and exciting places, so books can provide a little haven. We will also take a couple of favourites because they'll provide a sense of familiarity but we chose these two new books as they recently went to see Dippy on tour and were fascinated by dinosaurs and What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday, as the original story is a family favourite. Again, these can be given as a surprise/gift if you wanted to! Or maybe even wrapped old books they've not read in a while could work well! 

4. Galt Water Pen Booksthis isn't something I was going to originally include in this list but since the girls were given these on Eid by my sister, they have constantly played with them!! and have miraculously kept a mischievous Dalia to sit still for many many minutes, quietly in concentration! So sweet to watch! Zora has an alphabet one which shows you how to form letters and they happily have been swapping! I'm sure they'd go through security alright too (or you could take through empty and fill with your own water) These were an actual gift, ha, but you can get them from John Lewis here.

5. Snacks!!! - I think parenting pros and novices alike know the value of snacks. Children seem to be constantly hungry...whether you're breast or bottle feeding or your children are older....they are forever hungry it seems!! I bought this cute bento style lunch box when I was in Manchester but any compartmented lunchbox would be awesome. We love anything by Organix! Their apple and date bars look like chocolate, so we call it that! (although both girls now know they aren't real chocolate now, hehe), the girls love blueberries and nuts which both travel well! We make up little cheese sandwiches or wraps with hummus and halloumi, dried fruit and nuts, crackers and hard cheese that wouldn't melt, so they have a little supply of snacks. Especially if there is any delay, you will be sooooo glad you have snacks with you! 

6. Hand sanitiser: They are also wild about the Green People hand sanitiser which foams up! It's going to be perfect on the plane after their picnicking and loo trips! It's lightly scented but not over powering at all. It's gentle enough to use on faces and it lasts for ages! Oh and it is 100ml so hand luggage compliant! Just pop it in the clear bag through security! 

When the girls are tired and it's all too much, I can tell they're about break down, I whip out their snacks, find a quiet corner in the airport and read to them whilst they eat. The other tool we have is babywearing! We both love wrapping our babes and having them close has helped us countless times. Chris has rocked and swayed in the plane aisles with a teeny Zora wrapped up close to him, so she can sleep calmly. Queues at the airport have been much less frought with them both close by for conversations and to save their little tired legs. But I know it's not for everyone! If you do want to get a carrier, then it's always a good idea to look up any local sling libraries near you, so you can try a few styles! 

Now for mama (or papa!)....let me share a few beach and sunshine essentials we love as a family and some of my beauty faves of recent times. Recently, I have become more aware of beauty brands not being cruelty free as they have chosen to sell their products in China, who by law, require companies to still test on animals. Anywho, cruelty free beauty and skin care is really important to me, so when I had the chance to try some more Green People products, I jumped at the chance.  

Sun lotion: Green People's scent free, factor 30 sun lotion is amazing!! We had used this previously but was happy to be sent some! It absorbs in nicely and suits all of our sensitive skin! Plus! It is wrap friendly!! which means it won't stain your beautiful wraps or clothes, at least it never has with us! The girls were much more eager to put the children's suncream on with the cute little characters than our "grown up" version! (pictured above with the hand sanitiser) Zora raced to grab it and could recognise it was for them! I love that the branding isn't overly cutesy or in your face (as so many kids' stuff can be!).

Tinted moisturiser: Now, the biggest step for me personally was moving away from my beloved Body Shop tinted moisturiser that I had used for the last 10 years and to try the Green People version! And I absolutely LOVE it! It goes on so beautifully, keeps my skin moisturised and fresh looking and despite it being labelled age defy (as it's something that kinda irks me), I loveeee it! The best thing is that it has SPF15 which is the perfect all year round UV protection ! 

Mascara: And their mascara is the best! The wand separates and lifts lashes beautifully and it doesn't clump or crumble! I used to love the YSL mascara but of course stopped buying it once I found out they aren't cruelty free! Genuinely one of the best mascaras I have ever tried! On holiday I will use my Kat Von D Tattoo eyeliner less and reach for mascara more! 

The wonderful Green People are offering my readers 20% their entire range with the code BEFORE20 ! Shop here ! (I don't get any commission from sales by the way) 

And finally...

Body oil: I love the spa feeling this wonderful smelling body oil from Magic Organic Apothecary gives me! Its going to be perfect for evening showers after days at the beach or strolling around old towns! I like to apply it when still wet to lock in extra moisture. I don't need to use it every day as it's super hydrating for my dry skin, but on holiday I think i'll use it more. You can shop it here . 

Soap brows and face mist: New beauty brand West Barn & Co, sent me a set of face mists and the soap brows. Honestly, the soap brows have changed my brow-game! I have quite wild thick brows and have been trying to grow them out. It is hard to explain the true magic of soap brows but I can see why it's a make up artist's fave! It keeps brows in place and you can shape them whilst applying. What I do is use the spoolie that comes with it, to apply the soap brow whilst spiking up all my brow hairs and then I shape! I feel so much better about my brows using this simple method...genuine love for it! And the face mists are dreamy. I spray once I have I done eye liner etc for a little face boost! They smell divine too! The coconut is my fave for sure! 

Lip balm: Honest Skincare is a local Brummie brand who are super popular all over Europe! You'll find them in the coolest scandi shops and Katie who owns it, is the loveliest ever! I had a facial in their flagship store in Kings Heath and had this beautiful balm put on my lips at the end. It's perfect for keeping your lips moist and happy when the air conditioning tries to suck the life out of them on the plane! You can buy it here !

I really hope you find these useful and love them as much as we do!!! What top tricks do you have for travelling with kiddos? Who are your favourite cruelty free beauty brands? I would love to know!

Much love, Rida x