Mummy Confession: We have never been on a family holiday. This winter, we plan on going on a nice holiday to the snow
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To my friends overseas, it may seem like a silly idea, having to travel to see the snow. Sydney never gets snow, though, so it is necessary if my kids want to see the fluffy white stuff. They have never seen snow (except for when my oldest was 9 months old, but there is no way she remembers that). So, this is going to be exciting for everyone!
Now, coming from a snowy-winter State in the US, I have an idea of what I will be needing as we travel, but needed to create bit of a list as I’ve never been there with children. I’ve compiled a list of essentials when traveling to the snow in Australia, essentially this is a list for adults and children, but I have mostly included photos of the things for children. I hope this will help anyone set to pack up and head to frolic about the flurries!
Included below are some things to bring along and Part Two includes some road trip essentials, snack ideas, game/activity ideas and helpful tips from fellow road-travelers.
This list will be edited upon my return and critiqued as well!
Here is the quick click for the lists on this topic:
(The later ones will be edited to click through to the next post)
What to Pack: Essentials for Snow
1. Lip Balm & lotion– Those cold temperatures can make lips and skin quite dry! Be sure to go for a Chapstick with SPF, because lips can get sunburn, too! I prefer the Blistex range for myself. Over here, there aren’t as many choices, but they offer a fair few types in the US.
For lotion, I’m a big Nivea and Aveeno fan! Aveeno is great for my bubs sensitive skin as well, so win-win! I make sure to apply it several times a day, especially on my hands, as they get chapped and dry very quickly in the winter weather!
2. Sunscreen– Though it’s cold, the sun is still out! It reflects off of the snow, and you can wind up with some pretty bad sunburn if you aren’t careful. I have very fair skin and so do a couple of my kids, so I need to be mindful of when I last applied sunscreen, and that I cover everything that isn’t covered by clothing. Be sure it’s a good brand and actually true to the rating. You can do some research here on sunscreen and finding the right one for you. We use Nivea SunKids 50+ Roll On for the kids, and Cancer council Classic 50+ Classic for the adults. Our littlest has to use a more sensitive sunscreen, and I have been recommended MooGoo Sunscreens for him.
3. Snow Gear- pants, jacket, boots, hat and gloves all waterproof or water resistant. Yes, you can do it old-school and just wear thicker pants and a warm jacket. I know how quickly things get soggy, and soggy turns to frozen in the cold. I wanted to make sure I purchased winter-proof (and water proof or resistant) snow pants, coat, gloves/mittens, and boots especially!
–For Jackets/Coats, I prefer ones without the fluffy bit outside the hood, as I recall my childhood was spent picking the snow and ice out of the fluff, and it just seemed to trap it close to my face. A hood is essential for my kids, even with a hat, just to keep the snow out of their suit! I opted for ones with snow skirts and all the bits to keep snow outside the jacket! I’ve bought the girl’s jacket from Mountain Warehouse, and the boy’s from Amazon.
–For Pants, Similar guidelines for the pants, as they had to keep the snow out, and keep warm! I prefer the overall style, as I don’t need my kids’ pants falling down as they play! The girl pants from Mountain Warehouse have a removable Overall. The boy’s does not remove, but I think that’s for the best! I opted for two pieces rather than one, as two of the kids are toilet trained, and it’s easier to take off a pair of pants than to try and manoeuvre out of the whole suit itself! I hope this proves a smart move on my part!
–For Boots, I made sure to go up a size, as thick winter socks are a lot better for the snowy temperatures! I look on Amazon for reviews in order to better choose a pair for my kids, if not to purchase online as well. I purchased my boots from Mountain Warehouse and Amazon. For the style, it was just based on which reviews were the best, and the design did not matter. I found a great design that was less than half as much as the others, so I went for the camo! They’ll be hiding under the pants, anyways!
–I prefer mittens for smaller kids, as it’s a hard enough job to get a thumb separate from the other fingers! I really love these Thinsulate gloves I found at H&M! They are water resistant and not super bulky for already struggling little fingers. Gloves are fairly easy to track down, but just make sure they do keep little hands warm!
-I found these great thinsulate hats online which are made to keep extra warm, but not as thick. You can find these a range of places. I also have the fur trapper style hats for the littler kids.
4. Thick socks– I love the woollen socks by Holeproof Explorer, and they do keep your feet nice and cozy! I also managed to snag some merino socks from the Aldi snow sale!
5. Thermal gear or layers– Plenty of clothing is essential, and the warm clothing especially. Back in the US, we layered up more than wearing thermals, but I find with kids, the less clothing needed, the less laundry I have to do later. Kmart has thermals for all ages at affordable prices, so I started there. I picked up a couple for each child. I also got some merino style shirts as well, as I have been told they do better for regulating temperatures. They do tend to run more pricey.
6. Warm clothing and pyjamas– Again, this is obvious, but you wear more, and you soak through clothing no matter how water resistant your gear is due to sweating, so bring plenty of warm things to change into after your activities outside. My favourites for the kids are some cozy fleece PJs from Kmart or these lovely footie pyjamas my mum sent me from the States. For the baby, I prefer to sleep him in a tog rated sleeping bag with the appropriate clothing, or his merino or tog rated sleepwear.
7. A four wheel drive vehicle or chains – Apparently in Australia, if you do not own a four wheel drive vehicle, chains are required on tyres upon traveling to snowy areas. This is a new thing for me, because I’m fairly certain they were illegal in my home State.
8. Plastic bags or other waterproof bags– For transportation of wet gear. But, a more handy tip we used back stateside was to actually wrap our feet (over top of the socks, under the boots) in plastic bags to prevent having soggy socks which turned into frozen toes.
9. Water Bottles– Its important to stay hydrated, especially when you don’t think it’s too hot. Chapped or burning lips can be a sign of dehydration (or sunburn), so be sure you are getting the recommended intake of water each day, especially if you are participating in snow sports. Be sure the kids get enough, too, because they often forget. We use these Camelbak ones for the kids, which have a handy place for a caribeener to hook them up and not lose them in the snow!
10. Snow Fun– Now, you can hire or you can buy your fun. We’ve purchased a couple small sleds in Aldi’s snow sale, but plan to hire anything else needed as we need. I’d prefer not to bring all the bulky equipment that we won’t use after this trip, and it shouldn’t run too pricey, as the kids are young and mostly want to run around in the snow.
What to Bring for Babies &Toddlers
1. A travel cot– Obviously where we go will have beds for those who sleep in them, but the baby needs somewhere to stay, too! I’ve heard the Baby Bjorn Travel Cot Light is quite good!
2. Portable High Chair– Of course wherever you go will have chairs, but in case they don’t accomodate younger babies, a high chair will be needed. I opt for the more portable options that can be stuck on any chair such as the Target brand portable booster or the Gro Company chair harness.
3. Sleeping Bag, Swaddle or Sleep Suit– those cold winter nights can mean a chilly baby. In order to help you figure out what clothing and tog to use, most companies make a chart to help. The Gro Company has a handy thermometer called the Gro Egg in order to let you know what layers and sleeping bag would work best. We recently purchased the ErgoPouch Sleep Suit Bag and Love to Dream Sleep Suit (the comparison is here if you want to know the differences), so those are some other great options.
4. A Good Baby Carrier– IF you are going to be outside with a baby in the snow for a while, and this baby isn’t great at walking (or doesn’t walk), it may be a good idea to take along a good carrier for bubs. The Baby Bjorn Carrier One Outdoors is great for active times, and it is built to keep weather out a bit better than a typical carrier, as well as drying quicker. It may be a bit of a time to put a fully snow-proofed baby into though- I guess we will see!
5. Medicines, just in case!– You don’t want to be running around trying to find medicine at all hours of the night, so it’s best to pack just in case! Be sure you carry paracetamol, ibuprofen, allergy medicine and any other occasional medicine you have used. We add an inhaler, some eczema cream, and some cough/cold medicine as well as vitamins and probiotics.
6. Nightlights and Comfort Objects– Being away from home may mean some homesickness or uneasiness about travel. Bringing a comfort toy from home and a nightlight may help them feel more secure and also help them during the night when they need to get up and use the toilet or for you to see if you need to tend to their needs as well. The GroEgg is a great option for this, and doubles as a thermometer as well!
Now that covers the bulk things you need specifically for the winter fun, but where do you begin when it comes to the long drive? I’ve covered that (and even have some tasty take along snacks contributed by some lovely people for you to check out)!