And so the summer holidays have begun. Six whole weeks (even longer if you’re especially lucky). On the plus side, you’re in for some respite from the school run. On the down side, you’re the responsible adult tasked with keeping a small, hard-to-please human entertained for six weeks. That’s 60,480 minutes to be precise, give or take the odd hour or two if you manage to get them to sleep.
When you look at it that way, your annual summer week or two away is probably the easiest bit of the lot. When you book a family holiday, you also book a whole team of qualified people whose job it is to take the pressure off you by entertaining the kids until breaking point, aka bedtime. Throw these family travel gadgets into the mix too and you’ll be wondering what all the pre-school holiday panic was about.
2-in-1 Harness Buddy Backpack
» £19.99 Gadget Baby
The use of a harness may divide opinion but this is one that the kids will actually want to wear next time you’re wandering the busy streets of Mediterranean cities. The 2-in-1 Harness Buddy combines a harness with a seriously sweet animal backpack, complete with a secret pouch for their little necessities (toys, half-eaten sweets, pens without their lids, you know the ones). The harness reaches 3ft and can be removed from the backpack when not required.
Griffin Crayola MyPhones
» £24.99 Ocado
Imagine a world before technology took the hassle out of long trips. Doesn’t bear thinking about, does it? Even those who fight a constant battle against kids who want to spend their every waking hour on the iPad, are happy to overlook the issue if it makes for a peaceful flight. The Griffin Crayola MyPhones will ensure that the rest of the plane doesn’t have to hear about SpongeBob’s latest escapades, thanks to full ear coverage to stop sound leakage. The colourful earphones – complete with stickers for customisation – also feature a built-in volume limiter to restrict sound to 85-decibels and protect sensitive young ears.
Gro-Bag Anywhere Blackout Blind
» £19.99 John Lewis
If the thought of waking with the early birds whilst on holiday fills you with dread, you need the Gro-Bag Anywhere. We all have blackout blinds in our homes and this ingenious product allows you to take the same effect with you when you travel with the family. The portable blind attaches to windows of almost any size using suckers, making it perfect for hotels. £19.99 is a small price to pay for two or three extra hours in bed, no?
Squitos Mosquito Repellent Patches
» £8.99 Gadget Baby
Aside from the usual keeping arms and legs covered, layering up on protective netting and avoiding scented creams, the best way to protect little ones from mosquito bites is with a decent repellent. Squitos don’t contain DEET, which is proven as the most effective insect repellent, but they do keep bugs at bay with 100% natural ingredients citronella and eucalyptus oil. They’re suitable for all ages from 0+ and the effects of a single patch last 72 hours. Stick the cute animal stickers to clothing when out and about, or to beds and cots in your accommodation.
» £21.99 Swimfin
Making the most of the pool on family holidays is all about being prepared. The SwimFin is the first big development in terms of kid’s flotation aids and, thanks to a shark fin design that’ll inspire their imagination, it’s as fun as it is functional. SwimFin is designed to encourage little swimmers to gain in confidence, with the level of support varying depending on how submerged the float becomes. It is suitable for kids aged 3+ but that won’t stop dad strapping it on and pretending to be Jaws.
Have you booked your first family cruise for the 2016 summer holidays? Let us know who you’re travelling with and where you are headed!