I read somewhere that going on vacation with children isn’t a holiday because you’re still caring for them, just in a different location. And boy, how true that is. Travelling with kids, especially those of a younger age group, is no easy feat, but I will never say no to a family getaway; it gives us time to be present with one another and create memories together, and the things travel can teach children are priceless.

Having said that, travelling with young children isn’t for the faint-hearted, but when you’re prepared (or rather, overly prepared), it can be somewhat smooth sailing. Our last family trip took us to the famed Australian city of Sydney, and boy, did it exceed our expectations. Here are some must-haves when travelling with little ones to a coastal town like Sydney, Australia.

It’s no secret that I am an overpacker, but I have become much better over the years. What used to be three big suitcases has now been narrowed down to two, and that’s packing for two adults and two young kids. What I have learned, though, is that the right suitcase matters.

Lately, I’ve been gravitating towards Samsonite, and our latest addition is the MINTER luggage in the colourway Marine. With rose gold accents, this piece is perfect for the modern-day traveller and those who frequent the skies often.

The Aero-TracTMII Suspension Wheel System makes wheeling this large suitcase easy, even with children in tow. And believe me, we had to do plenty of manoeuvrability–no thanks to our travelling hiccup. There’s also a cute and convenient front hanging hook, allowing you to prop a small bag or any other carry-ons that can be hung.

Thanks to the MINTER’s anti-theft double zipper feature, your items are safe and secure. What I love most about this luggage is its detachable divider, which also has two zippered compartments to store light items like intimates, soft hats, etc.

If you go overboard with shopping during your travels, like I did for the little ones (curse you, Squishmallow), the expandable zippers make overpacking a seamless experience; the cross ribbons also keep knickknacks from your travels secure.

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As a parent, I’m huge on not making gadgets our babysitter, so keeping our kids stimulated requires much more effort. One thing I highly recommend when travelling with little ones is to carry plenty of entertainment in the form of storybooks, easy-to-pack toys, and activity books like this Calm-a-doodle colouring book.

Suitable for ages three and up, it kept my eight-year-old plenty occupied. Inspired by techniques used by psychologists, this colouring book keeps your little ones busy and helps them find calm in the chaos that travel can sometimes be.

If you’re a Malaysian resident, you can purchase this at Kinokuniya.

I am huge on sunscreen protection. While there are many things we can do to protect our skin from harsh UVA/UVB rays, the most essential of all is applying sunscreen. It is not only meant for beach holidays; it should be used diligently every day, and with our recent travelling destination being Australia, I took sun protection even more seriously.

In the past, I’ve lugged around various bottles of sunscreen with different SPF levels, but this time around, one big bottle (18 fl. oz) of Supergoop!’s PLAY Everyday Lotion had me and my family sorted. It was big enough to last us all almost 12 days and light enough to fit in a backpack for a day of exploration.

This water-resistant sunscreen is non-greasy, suitable for the face and body, and absorbs quickly into the skin. Its fresh scent is a major plus, too, thanks to ingredients like basil, eucalyptus, orange, lemon, and wild geranium! My little ones find applying sunscreen a major ick because, let’s face it, it’s greasy!

But with Supergoop!’s Play Everyday Lotion, it’s never sticky, and your skin is hydrated while being protected from UVA/UVB. Need more reasons to love it? This sunscreen is also non-comedogenic, so your pores won’t get clogged. Both adults and kids love it, so no wonder it’s been a fan favourite!

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Did you know that your skin needs the most attention during your travels? For my last family trip, travelling to a country where humidity was low and the climate was cooler (at the time) stripped our skin of its natural moisture. My skin and the little ones’ skin lacked hydration, and to combat flakiness, I ensured everyone was adequately hydrated by drinking enough water and lathering CeraVe’s Moisturising Cream on our face and body.

Non-greasy, fast-absorbing, and equipped with three essential ceramides, our skin’s hydration was locked in, and thanks to features like hyaluronic acid, petrolatum, and MVE Delivery Technology, long-lasting hydration was continuous. Developed by dermatologists, this cream is fragrance-free and super gentle on the skin, which makes it the perfect choice for kids and adults.

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Travelling can cause dehydration, and I try my best to bring hydration buddies for the entire family, aka water bottles. My kids have long been fans of the Ace Bottle by Montigo. Available in cute colours and with leak-proof designs, they’re the perfect temperature retention bottles for kiddos.

Another favourite from Montigo? The Snacky Pack. Compact enough to carry with you when travelling and on the go, it’s also equipped with plenty of compartments to separate various snacks––kids can enjoy a variety of nutritious (and naughty) snacks! Anyone with kids knows just how much children eat, so this BPA/BPS-free lunchbox is the perfect travelling companion for your hungry tots.

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When lululemon released the New Parent Backpack, I felt seen and heard. It’s no secret that I am just obsessed with this brand, and this backpack is a bang for your buck. Water-repellent, abrasion-resistant, and lightweight, ugly diaper/baby bags are a thing of the past, thanks to this baby.

Organising things is somewhat more manageable thanks to the many pockets: side pockets for water bottles and small items, a secure front pocket for easy access, and a hidden zippered pocket for important items. The backpack also comes with a removable pouch that can double as a crossbody, and that’s not all—there’s also a changing mat to boot.

Even if you don’t have infants, this backpack is an all-rounder for those with kids (or without) to stuff carry-on essentials when travelling the world.

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Family adventures are made that much smoother with this genius product from Stokke. A carry-on that’s spacious enough to fit their knickknacks, the Jet Kids Bed Box also transforms into a bed, ensuring much-needed rest, especially during long-haul flights. Business class vibes in economy? Yes, please!

If they complain of tired feet, just get them to use the ride-on feature of this nifty suitcase! Prior to your trip, get them to personalise the Jet Kids Bed Box by decorating it with cute stickers, which will help add excitement to the trip!

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Okay, I hear what you’re saying. The colourway is giving Regina Hall’s mother from Mean Girls. Remember, “I’m not, like, a regular mum. I’m a cool mum.” and indeed, you’ll be in this outfit! Comfortable clothes are a must when travelling, especially when running around after little ones at the airport and on your trip.

Made from recycled materials, you can pair the comfortable two for an adi-core look or pair them separately with other items from your closet. The full-zip feature on the track top makes it super easy to keep cool or warm. There are also zippered pockets to stash light but important items. The same goes for the track pants too––with its regular fit design, uncomfortable long-term wear won’t be an issue.

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