My 10 Travel Essential Wants And Needs

I adore planning holidays. I love researching, comparing reviews, checking blogs and making sure that those precious weeks escaping the rat race and spending time as a family are as perfect. As a large age range family this is no mean feat though, I have to make sure our break caters for everyone from preschooler to teenager with a pre teen in between. And then there’s me, chief holiday planner, cause if mama aint happy, ain’t nobody happy!

So lets say, for arguments sake, that I had to pick out 10 travel essential items which would ensure our holiday went as smoothly as possible. Where would you start? I know what mine would consist of…….


Friendly Holiday Reps

Having the security of well informed, friendly and happy holiday reps at your destination is a make or break for me. You’re in unfamiliar territory and having someone who you can go to for information, problems or just a cheery good morning should never been under estimated.

We’ve got that #fridayfeeling #mwmoment #summer

A post shared by Mark Warner (@mwholidays) on


Waterproof mascara 

Don’t think for one minute that I like to go out with my full war paint on during a break, far from it. But just a little mascara maketh the (wo)man and whether i’m swimming, sunbathing, sightseeing or skiing, panda eyes is not the order of the day.


Not just for me, this is an essential for all of us. I started encouraging my youngest to wear them last summer to protect his eyes. The older 2 are a little reluctant but I keep pairs in the car, at home and in my handbag. If I was to land in on a beach somewhere hot and sunny right now sans sunnies it’d be game over. THAT’s how essential they are!

Tangle Teaser Detangling comb

All that sun, ski and swim plays havoc on my barnet. A tangle teaser comb will go where no other comb or brush would dare to go. It’s also the best way for tackling my toddler’s bed head without any trauma.


Sun suit

Summer holidays should be all about relaxing the rules and enjoying the moment. So taking out any worry factors in a biggie. I love sunsuits which protect my toddler’s delicate skin. My tween and teenager are quite partial to UV tops too, luckily, as it stops any embarrassing moments of mum running after them with suncream to top up their backs. It’s a lesser of two evils.

I think that a sun suit is a travel essential for a holiday with toddlers

Universal iPhone charger

Yes, I know, holidays should be all about leaving your smart phones at home and spending quality time as a family, I get that. But iPhones are also really good cameras and rather than lug my bulky DSLR camera around, I’d rather pack my phone in my pocket and go. So a universal charger is a must.

A clean modern hotel or villa

….with family safety paramount. I’m hesitating at saying a home from home as a holiday is about experiencing something different form the usual. Comfy beds and clean bedding are a must. Have a peak at my Pinterest board if you need a little more of an idea of what I’m hankering for.

A pillow protector

“What?” you say “an essential, are you sure?” ummm, yep. To me it is. You see the thought of lying on a pillow with the drool remininants of the previous guests is a niggling yuk of mine so if I can put an extra centimetre between said drool and my cheek then I’m willing to sacrifice some suitcase space for my own pillow protector. That’s got you thinking now, hasn’t it!

P20 suncream

I use this sunscreen every summer. It’s a one stop shop in the morning to afternoon, I do top up though, I’m not willing to gamble sun damage to test out a theory to see if it does what it says on the tin (bottle.) 

Free wifi

(See iPhone charger above) I’m playing devils advocate here on what a family holiday should be. But let’s be honest here, anyone who’s holidayed with a teenager knows that they would crumble at the thought of not being able to Snap Chat their finest moments. It’s like a modern day postcard. I’d bargain some phone / iPad free time into the mix, but that free wifi will have it’s uses. Like getting inspiration for last minute things to do locally, or checking reviews on places to eat.

This is an entry to the Mark Warner Holiday Ambassador Programme. 


Family Holidays, Have You Thought About Mauritius?


I’ve got itchy feet. Not the nasty fungal infection type, the urge to explore and see more of the world type itchiness. There’s a whole new world out there which I know very little about so my dead cert plan for next year is a family holiday and my researching has already began, first stop is Mauritius.

Yep, I’m thinking all out sparkling turquoise waters and white sandy beaches and with a landscape of lagoons, reefs, rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and exotic wildlife. There’s a lot more to this small tropical Island than I actually realised. Not only is Mauritius full of beauty and luxury, it also has an array of exciting activities making it the perfect holiday destination for families. And being french speaking I can reignite some of my French GCSE as well as getting my 12 year old to practice some of his language skills. (I presuming a grunt is pretty universal?)



This isn’t a pin in the map job, although that has been a fleeting idea. What I’m craving right now is sun, sea and something to entertain my troop. As I’ll be travelling solo with a 2, 12 and 16 year old, some water sports which they can have a try at would take the pressure off me trying to keep them busy and will be a chance for them to try their hand at something new.

I never realised that mauritius could be a holiday destination for families until I read this

You’ve got the chance to get in the water and see Mauritius from the Sea so it’s only fair that you also get the chance to see Mauritius from the sky – and you can do just that at nature resort Chazal!

Tucked away in the valley in the South of Mauritius near the village of Chamouny are 6 zip lines, varying in height, length and speed, that carry you through and above the forest canopy, over streams and waterfalls, allowing you to admire your amazing surroundings!  How utterly amazing does that sound? The older two have zip wired over The Eden Project, which is almost like a trial run for the real forest, only warmer. An exhilarating activity like this is perfect for them, a real dose of much-needed adrenalin teenagers seek, as well as building confidence and family bonding.


As for the toddler, mustn’t leave him out. He’s a real animal lover so while the teens get to walk with lions, you heard that right WALK WITH LIONS, we could get to feed giraffes. While every inch of my mum senses tell me that allowing my boys to do that screams no, I know that it would only be allowed under controlled circumstances and would give the boys some serious mate bragging points.

And how awesome would it be to see dolphin in the warm Mauritian waters playing in the bay as the sun rises. My guys have already had a taste of swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove in Orlando but to see them in their natural environment would be something else.


Next year is all about making new memories and giving the boys a sense that things will be better. Plus, as I sit here writing on a cold, gloomy day, the thought of feeling the sun on my skin is even more appealing than ever. So that’s one idea for my must do destination list.

I never realised that mauritius could be a holiday destination for families until I read this


This is a collaborative post. 



How to Prepare Your Kids For A Holiday

I’m in the mood for a holiday, not a weekend break, a proper suitcase needing, executive planning holiday. But there’s just one thing which puts me off, the journey. Travelling with kids isn’t always easy. Whether you have a difficult youngster who tends to get bored easily or a teen who has a poor attitude about being around their parents in public, (I have all the above!) planning your ideal holiday can be a chore. But with these helpful tips below, you can help your kids to be excited about travelling with you, so continue reading to learn more.

Go Shopping for New Things Together

I’m lucky that all my boys are quite style conscious, it’s not always what I agree with but like my own parents who let me walk around head to toe in black for a few years, I don’t intervene. So taking them shopping for new clothes, accessories, and even new luggage is always a good way to get them in the holiday mood. Try to visit everything from your favourite department stores, to boutiques and shops like luggage stores London to find new things that you can take on your next trip. If your kids love to shop, this is a great way to get them excited about travelling with you and then use the opportunity to show them how to pack.

Research the Things That You Will Do Together

Many times, kids may not be excited about travelling because they don’t really see the point in leaving their friends and their favourite things and going to a new place. But if you can spend the time researching all of the fun things that your kids will be doing at the destination, they can start getting excited at the idea of taking a holiday far from home. Look up activities that are geared specifically towards kids, and show them the many sights that they will be able to enjoy during their journey.

holiday with kids preparations

Tailor the Journey for Your Kids

Another way to get your kids excited about travelling is by planning an entire day during which you will do only what they want to do. In this way, you can plan plenty of activities for yourself to enjoy and that your child will have to do with you, but your kids can also have a say in what they want to do for a day. Whether they want to go shopping, exploring wildlife parks, or seeing historical monuments, leave it up to them to do some research online and find some of the most interesting things to do at your destination.

Go Somewhere the Entire Family Will Love

If you are planning a trip to a place that your kids will not want to be in, they will be miserable the entire time. Therefore, make it a point to think about destinations that your kids will actually enjoy. Lounging on a beach all day may not be their cup of tea, but going to Disney World probably is, so try to find a destination that provides the best of both worlds and that will be satisfactory to the entire family. In this way, everyone will look forward to getting away and will be happy while away.

With the handy tips above, you can get your kids to look forward to their upcoming holiday away from home with you. Encourage them to participate in the planning process so that they feel like the holiday is also their chance to make lasting memories, rather than just a time for you to get away from it all.


This is a collaborative post


Win a Ben-Bat Govinci Trolley With Holiday Extras

Going away on holiday is one of life’s most relaxing experiences that all of the family can enjoy together. However, without the right preparations in place you could suffer a hiccup or two along the way! Recent research from travel essentials provider highlights that one in three people across the UK do suffer from travel anxiety.

One of the most effective ways to create a relaxing travel experience is to take along some distractions such as colouring books, to keep yourself and the kids entertained. With this in mind, is offering a prize designed to help keep little ones and you relaxed on the move.

The Ben-Bat Govinci Trolley doubles up as a drawing table, which is bound to keep your little artists happily occupied…and they get the chance to show off their finest artworks as they wheel the suitcase through the airport!

Holiday Extras knows how to help make travel better– leaving you free to relax and enjoy every single minute of your holiday.

To spread the tranquil travel message, brought a giant colouring board to the heart of London’s Victoria Place Shopping Centre on Monday 8th August, bringing smiles to the faces of commuters and families on the move.

Holidaymakers can download their very own copy of the Vacay Sensei colouring board at: Holiday Extras . and here’s a chance to win your own Ben-Bat Govinci Trolley, enter via the Rafflecopter below.

And if you’re feeling really lucky why not try these giveaways too?

Personalised Handprint Jewellery From Bella & Bow

Win Tickets To The Family Travel Show

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Win Tickets To The Family Travel Show

Families come in all shapes and sizes – and so do the holidays they take!

Whether it’s my ideal holiday; a laidback beach break, an educational city stay or an exotic jungle trek, family travel definitely isn’t one size fits all territory. One thing everyone looks back on are the memories created while spending precious time as family so getting it right is a must.

And to make sure  you get the most out of your next family getaway, The Family Travel Show is the ideal launch pad from which to explore new holiday destinations and ideas. This is your chance to discover something different, maybe dip a toe into the world of cruising or go wild and plan a safari. You can choose from family-friendly villas and exciting ski trips to tropical rainforest retreats and all-inclusive luxury resorts – all under one roof during one weekend. Something is certain to float your boat.

Only at The Family Travel Show can you get face-to-face with the best family holiday providers and specialist operators, take advantage of exclusive show-only offers and competitions, gather impartial advice and inspiration, and get invaluable tips and insider information from those in the know – the family travel experts.

You can also discover new fun and interactive show features for 2016 and there will be activities for all the family to enjoy.

Don’t miss your chance to uncover new ideas and family friendly destinations – plan and book your next family holiday at The Family Travel Show!




For more show information please visit

win tickets for the Family Travel Show, Olympia, London
We’re giving away 2 family tickets, just enter below.

tickets to the Family Travel Show


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