Relaxation in the bag with these goodies
ONCE upon a time, in a land far, far away, a family went on a holiday with nothing more than sibling rivalry to keep the kids entertained and a sunny holiday outfit for mum and dad to remind them that this was meant to be fun.
Now that all those children have grown up and are in the driving seat, they’ve come to learn only too well the benefits of outsourcing a family’s happiness, from entertainment to comfort. These holiday picks won’t cost the earth and, even better, will help make a family holiday more than just picture-perfect: you’re sure to come home with a memory stick full of happy snaps. Case closed: A holiday is not the time to try to teach the benefits of sharing, so it’s best to give each child their own suitcase because who knows what disaster may happen if their clothes are found to be touching. Children are more likely to want to be in charge of their own bag if it’s a cute, pull-along Trunki ($64.95). And you’ll be more likely to want to buy your kids a Trunki because when they give up being in charge — after a minute — they can ride on this hard case while you pull them along. www.latitudelongitude.com.au. Sounds of silence: Parents know the answers to most questions children come up with and are happy to fudge the rest, except for one: ‘‘ Are we there yet?’’ That’s a lose-lose situation no matter which way you go. So avoid it on long drives by slipping in a CD of the kids’ favourite audio book and you’ll have silence for at least as long as it takes to get to the next toilet stop. The Soundbooks website hosts a library of selections from Harry Potter for the older ones, AirBaby:MusicFor Dreaming for the bubs and What’stheTime, MrWolf? for those in between. www.soundbooks.com.au. A pocketful of fun: The Snack and Play Travel Tray ($44.95) has pockets for pencils, paper and parteaten snacks, a padded rim to stop pencils, paper and part-eaten snacks falling off, and it collapses on impact, earning it a high safety rating for use in cars, or in hotel rooms when karate-chopped by a sibling. www.babeaze.com.au. Bags it: Mum’s holiday bag will carry the weight of the world from her shoulders, so best make it a good one. Leave the clutch at home and invest in a chic, stripy messenger bag ($129.95), which is the most comfortable of designs as it can be slung across your body, spreading the load. Lots of pockets and zips are a must to store shells from the beach, sticks from the playground, half-eaten sandwiches, dolly’s left shoe, 13 Matchbox cars and your lippy. www.annaandsally.com.au. Pillow talk: The Kid Squidgy Pillow ($15.95) must have been invented by a parent who couldn’t bear to spend another second watching their child sleeping with their ear touching their bellybutton.
Filled with who knows what, it’s a pillow shaped liked a magnet and is, well, squidgy. It moulds around the child’s neck for a soft, secure headrest. www.cradlerock.com.au. Snap happy: Give the children their own digital camera and view your holiday through their eyes. Fisher Price makes a kid-tough digital camera ($149.99) designed for chubby hands. Naturally it comes in blue and pink, cleverly has two-eye viewing (ever seen a child try to wink?) and works just like a grown-up version, allowing you to store and print the pictures. www.fisherprice.com.au. Sarah Bryden-Brown is the editor of www.kidspot.com.au.