5 must-haves for holidays with children

June 16, 2016

laya buggy dubai


The holidays are booked, the excitement is increasing, but have you packed everything you need for the flight and beyond? I haven’t. In total honest, my anxiety levels are going through the roof at the thought of…

  1. Flying alone with a toddler who wants to walk all the time/make friends/not watch television/really can’t be depended on to eat the food she liked yesterday.
  2. Long car journeys where we all need to be entertained while not getting lost.
  3. Staying with friends and family who don’t have toddlers and say they won’t mind the spillage of plastic stuff all over their home, but may well secretly hate us throughout our stay and never have us back.
  4. The eternal issues of a travel cot that neither wants to be assembled or ever be taken down.
  5. Going on trains and tubes with child, stroller, gear and who knows what else.
  6. Adjusting said child to the UK summertime, namely explaining why it stays light until late. Sigh.

However, I’m sure I’m not the only mum facing this, and luckily some clever gadgets can come to the rescue. I took a trip to JustKidding’s newly renovated store in Gold & Diamond Park last week, and ended up panic buying some big and small products to hopefully ease my woes. I also wanted to move into the Stokke section. Here’s my pick of the shelves.

laya stroller Screen shot 2016-06-12 at 12.48.00

The travel stroller

I love our Bugaboo more than I love my car, but with planes, trains and automobiles to tackle this summer, plus a hire car that will be decidedly smaller than the 4x4s many of us drive, a travel stroller can be a big help.

The Laya stroller by JustEssentials (Dhs1,295) folds down to be small enough to fit in the overhead locker of an airplane or train, is 7kg and will save you valuable space in the car boot (or trunk, depending on your passport). There’s also a travel bag and shoulder strap, and it comes adaptors for your MaxiCosi carseat.


gro blind

The black-out blinds

“Yes darling, I know it’s light outside but it’s night-night time…”. ARGHHHHHHH. Fool little ones into their normal bedtime routine with the Gro Anywhere Blind (Dhs375), which works as a portable blackout blind. I’ve tried the old ‘tape a bin bag over the window’ trick and it looks like you’re living in a squat.

gro bag

Sleeping bag

I’m a tad obsessed with Gro Bags, and this one is especially for travel eg they can be used safely with a five-point harness in the carseat. This one is currently in the sale and half price at Dhs97.50.

travel cot

Travel cot

I think our travel cot hates us. Admittedly, we do wait until the baby is ready for bed before attempting assembly, and it point blank refuses, some days wanting to be lovingly coaxed into position, others wanting brute force to stay upright. Ditto the next morning, leaving me a sweaty, sweary mess. This Nuna Sena cot (Dhs1,225) has two levels (so you don’t put your back out putting a little baby at floor level) and has zigzag legs that mean putting up and taking down can be done one-handed. Oh yes.


dummy clip

Pacifier clip

The only time I’ll let the sprog use a dummy clip is on a plane – I can’t face fishing around under seats, to find it covered in fluff and cracker crumbs. These ones by Mud Pie (Dhs40) are adorable.


A few drinks on the plane

I think you can take care of that one yourself.


Are there any tricks or products that you recommend?

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