What To Pack for European Holiday With A Toddler

I am excited to share this post with you all- I actually shot this video a week before I jetted off on my holiday- yes I had a very bad cold (hello to my man voice and flat tone- sorry!!) Please also read below as I have linked everything I have spoken about. I had huge issues with WIFI before I left (damn you Telstra) and the last minute madness of getting organised for my trip, I didn’t have time to post it.

What a trip! I am sure I flooded your Instagram with one too many photos (sorry about that, eeeek) and I have a few more up my sleeve that I still want to post.

As this trip was a little crazier than usual ( I was also a bridesmaid for one of my bestie wedding- she was such an amazing bride!! and we had lots celebrations on either side of it).

I decided I wanted to be organised with my packing this year, especially with my bump, Aston and all these events. I packed a week out. In the past, I have found packing sooo painful and stressful. Especially heading into a European summer it can be hard to get organised if you need to buy anything as it’s winter in Melbourne.

I put together a little video on packing and styling tips covering pre-travel appointments, toddlers, beauty, fashion and maternity.

Below is everything mentioned in the video for your reference (and a few additional things I forgot to mention, as I wasn’t thinking straight because of my cold)

TRAVELLING WITH TODDLERS

Prior to leaving, I organised as many things as possible to keep Aston entertained on the flight. This was our first international flight with him and he isn’t a great sleeper so I needed a lot of backups to keep him entertained.

He was actually a little champ on the plane, apart from periods of screaming and tantrums, and only wanting to sleep on me (which was difficult with my bump) but that’s normal stuff travelling with a toddler, so I’m not complaining, he was pretty good.

On the way there, we were travelling during the day and he didn’t sleep at all, but he was pretty chilled eating and watching his favourite movies. He couldn’t believe his luck with Paw Patrol and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on repeat. On the way back we were travelling at night and he was much better with the sleeping- so I think it is key to pick flights that work with your little ones sleeping times.

While the iPad was a lifesaver- His favourite shows  are Paw Patrol, Thomas The Tank Engine and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Traditional things like books, puzzles, stickers, toys and playdough were my first picks for keeping him occupied. I wrapped them all, to keep him entertained with little presents- he opened half of them on the way there and I saved a few for the trip home.

He loved his colouring books too, but I must admit the iPad was always his first pick- he pretty much watched it for 8 hours straight!! (ahhhhh) I freaked out, about how much he was watching while we were away in general as the iPad was our saviour at dinners etc, but I feel good about it now as he has gone back to his normal routine of only one show a day (if he is lucky) and hasn’t watched any shows on the iPad at all. He was asking for it for about 5 days after ( I kept saying it was broken) and now he has forgotten it exists.

I also packed a few of his favourite toys, his dinosaurs, Thomas the Tank Engine and his comforter (bunny) so he had all his comforts with him.

A lot of you have asked about the Trunki that we also packed and if it was worth it?! I thought it was definitely was- and we would bring it again (apart from that fact that it was a little annoying to carry at times) the positives outweigh the negatives. All of his plane items went into his Trunki- and he had loved having ownership of his own little luggage, it kept him entertained as he loved rolling it along and also enjoyed sitting on it when he got tired. I also packed his food and change of clothes in there.

Clothing wise for Aston on the plane, I didn’t want to pack too much, as he can get away with less now that he isn’t a baby. I packed his Geelong Cats PJ’s, a light jumper (as it always gets freezing on flights) a few t-shirts/shorts for when we arrived to the heat of europe and a change of pants.

CLOTHING FOR HIM

It was hard to find summer gear for him in Melbourne. My favourite places to find summer clothes for him in our winter are the below brands as I still found they have a good range of summer clothes.

Goldie + Ace 
Zara Kids
Bassike Kids
Cotton On

TIPS AFTER TAKE OFF

When I’m in the air, I try to wash my face as early as I can (I know easier said than done when you are dealing with a toddler) but that’s my aim & then apply 3 products that help with moisture.

I see all these ladies on Instagram applying sheet masks etc, but I find that I am always a little hectic on flights so I try to do as much pre flight as I can. The night before is when I like to apply my masks and serums and get my skin hydrated and ready for the flight.

1. SKII Facial Treatment Essence – this product is loaded with hydration and incredible amino acids to stimulate cell renewal and it’ll replenish your face with moisture during the flight.

2. Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask – the beauty of this particular mask is that you don’t have to wipe it off. A fantastic product for long-haul flights- as it helps your skin hold onto moisture.

3. IT Cosmetics CC Cream SPF50+ (colour medium)- Believe it or not, your skin is exposed to UV while you’re flying. This CC cream is lightweight, anti-aging & hydrating. I keep it in my bag at all times when I travel. Tip: it tends to sell out very quickly, so make sure you grab this one from Sephora a few weeks ahead of travelling just to be safe.

PRE-TRAVEL

When you’re on holidays, you want to look and feel your best with minimal effort required right? A few bookings the week before you leave is all it takes. I usually try & book the following;

Eyebrows – Tint & Wax
Eyelashes – Tint & Lift
Nails (Shellac mani & pedi). I go for neutral tones to suit most outfits

If I book a spray tan it’s always with Spray Aus for that instant glow when you touch down. This time around, I was short for time so I decided to pack some Spray Aus products instead as I wanted to get a good hit of Vitamin D.

HAIRCARE THAT I PACK

I love sticking to my Kevin Murphy Shampoo and Conditioner so I’ll just by a few little disposable containers form Coles, Target or Chemist Warehouse. Leaving the big bottles at home means I’m left with a little more room for styling products… 3 of which I deem essentials!

1. Eleven Sea Salt Texture Spray – I use this onthe roots of wet hair to add volume. From day to night, it’s always effective & reliable.

2. GHD Curling Tong – I cannot leave home without this!

3. A trusty brush for everyday use – I love this flat paddle brush from Aveda 

SKINCARE THAT I PACK 

My normal skincare regime includes a range of serums & creams from Paula’s Choice & Ole Henriksen. As I can’t pack them all, I pack the “all-rounders” that specialise in hydrating, moisture & that includes SPF. Sun protection is vital.

Paula’s Choice Super Antioxidant Serum – this is an example of an amazing all-rounder.
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Cleanser – great for removing makeup & keeping my skin clean and refreshed.
Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Moisture – replenishes moisture beautifully

and for self-tanning;

Spray Aus Self-Tan Mousse – a beautiful colour & no icky smell.
Spray Aus gradual facial tanner  – this one is for the face. It’s organic & uses coconut oil so it doesn’t irritate my skin. I popped a video on Instagram- watch here

Note: All of these products (inc Spray Aus) are fine to use while you’re pregnant.

MAKEUP

Makeup… my vice! Don’t be alarmed, it might seem as though I take a lot, but bare with me. A few of the products packed also compliment outfits & add to the versatility of the fashion pieces I’ve packed. There is plenty of method to my madness.

Foundation, Concealer and CC
2 Foundations (vital!)
Evenings: Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation (a little heavier with a mattifying finish)
Daytime: Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (a little lighter in terms of weight & coverage)
ByTerry Stylo- expert concealer – as we’re attending a wedding & a few other events during the holiday, I’m bringing my concealer to hide any signs of jetlag
IT CC Cream – this is a must as its SFP50+ and super lightweight allowing your skin to breathe

Eyes, Lashes & Brows

Palettes are the best way to carry a range of eyeshadows. I’ve got 2 in my bag;
1. Anastasia Contour Powder Kit – Medium to Tan (you can use as your bronzer too)
2. KKW x Mario Eyeshadow Kit (includes a few deeper tones, perfect for a smoky eye)
3. Benefit BADgal Bang Mascara
4. Benefit Precisely, My Brow Eyebrow Pencil (shade #3) is great brow brush that adds a hint of colour & helps you brush the brows up for a thicker finish

Tools
An eyelash curler (even after a lift, it’s a handy maintenance tool for an even more voluminous finish) I love Shu Uemura 
A foundation brush
2 eyeshadow brushes

BEAUTY PACKING TIP: To avoid leak, breaks and other disasters, I use masking tape to seal up any powders & liquids. I also pick up Ziplock bags from the supermarket for extra protection. Ikea has a thicker/reusable version that works beautifully.

FASHION

As I am pregnant, I’ve chosen to pack things that are not overly constrictive but are still playful, fun & elegant. A lot of the styles I’ve highlighted in the video have a few things in common. You’ll notice that I’ve gone with pieces that are;

A little stretchier – for obvious reasons.

Rouged – as it’s a flattering way style the bump

Made of silk – silk slips are light, effortless and so versatile.

I’ve packed a range wrap styles and longer lined pieces – both of which are amazing for any shape & they’re a great blend of chic & casual

I’ve noted some of the designers mentioned in the video below that I have found are the best for summer dresses –

Faithful the Label – those amazing wrap dresses.
Silk Laundry – silk slip dresses (great with sneakers & flats in the day – and super easy to dress up in the evening with a few accessories & a heel)
Zimmmerman – you can always count on Zimmermann when you’re looking for summery pieces during our Australian Winter
With Jèan – a range of vibrant, easy and playful pieces
Alexis – rouged fabrics & rich colours to glam up the bump! Skin & Threads – light, crisp pieces suited for warm environments
Reformation – so affordable and sustainable! But comes from the states so you need to order with enough time to arrive.
Realisation Par – so many cute printed dresses

SHOES & BAGS

I’ve learned from experience – less is truly better! So as you know I shot this video a week before I left, and I thought i was keeping it tight with my 3 or 4 pairs, and again I only really lived in my St Agni flat sandals and Gucci sneakers.

I also found my chunkier style/mules heels very handy. Definitely go for that style over a stiletto for European summers

See below for my pick for your 3 to 4 pairs to take away with you.

White sneakers for comfort. hey look great with anything from denim to silk & florals.
Sandals (black or tan for versatility) -my  favourite sandal brands are:

St Angi
Zimmermann
Carrie Forbes
Ancient Greek Sandals

Finally my bags. I’m taking 3 with me on this trip;

My Louis Vuitton Baby bag – big, foolproof & essential!
A Shopbop Ulla Johnson straw bucket bag which I’ve styled with a silk scarf and;
A classic Chanel off the shoulder bag for the evenings

FASHION PACKING TIP: Try & make sure everything you pack can be mixed & matched. For example, I’ve thrown in silk dresses, slouched T’s, denim shorts & feminine wraps. All of these pieces can be styled for both daytime & the evening by simply adding a bright lip, a silk scarf, a pair of sunglasses or a gold hoop. Or, of course by changing your shoe or your bag.

It sounds like a lot, but it’s one suitcase with everything I need! On the plane, I’ll be wearing either of the below on the bottom for maximum ease & comfort – paired with a comfy T and a denim jacket for warmth.

2XU Pregnancy Pants – comfortable & they offer a lot of back support
SRC Pregnancy Pants – comfortable & they help with pelvic girdle pain-which I am dealing with

I think that’s a wrap! Packing a week in advance was a big a saviour for me mentally this time, and I actually used pretty much everything I packed with me- which normally never happens.

Any questions or comments, by all means, pop them below.

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10 Comments

  • Hi Nadia
    Great list, thanks! I am heading to Italy in a couple of weeks and just wanted to see if you recommend taking a jacket/cover up for warmth at night? Xx

    • I brought my denim jacket but only used it in Tuscany on one night- but thats when it was colder, as it was early June. It heats up crazy in July and August- I don’t think you need it, but one light jacket would be good in case you have a random cold night x

  • Hi Nadia.
    Loved this video…..you covered everything!
    I was wondering where the black case with plastic inserts which you were using for skincare and hair care products is from?
    Am looking for something similar for an overseas trip.

  • Hi Nadia,
    Loved the video…thank you so much for sharing. What brand and design is your denim jacket? And I know you mentioned you use Kevin Murphy, but which ones in the Kevin Murphy range do you gravitate too? Which ones do you find work best for you? X

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