By Naz Helms
My husband and I have always loved to travel. Despite our busy schedules, we try to take an international trip at least once a year and squeeze in road trips as often as possible. Our wanderlust hasn’t diminished now that we have a daughter, but the amount of stuff we lug around has multiplied exponentially. I sometimes say that I need to Mary Poppins everything into one diaper bag when going on daily adventures.
Whether we’re going to the beach 15 minutes from our house, or an unpredictable excursion abroad, there are a few non-negotiable essentials I bring with us:
1. Camera: My routine is baby on one hip, camera on the other. It’s so important to be able to capture the moment without missing a beat. Candid moments make the best photos and are fleeting.
2. Sunglasses and sunscreen: Everyone in the family needs sun protection, no matter what their age.
3. Bib: I love to keep my daughter’s clothing looking nice and clean (as clean as a toddler can be, anyway). Of course, at her age, she’s a stain magnet, so I have a bib ready to whip out at a moment’s notice.
4. Placemat and baby utensils: Not all of your child’s food stays on their plate, and restaurants don’t always have kid-friendly serving ware. A placemat is an easy surface for young children to eat from that tidies up quickly at meal’s end.
5. Aquaphor: I put Aquaphor on everything: minor cuts, scrapes, and burns, chapped lips, my skin to protect from chaffing or the drying effects of harsh weather conditions. AND it prevents and treats diaper rashes. That’s a whole lot of travel magic in one tub if you ask me. Anything that covers that many different skin conditions in a major win. I often carry the entire tub with me for long vacations but bring their handy travel size tubes with me for day trips with the baby.
6. Wet wipes: The solution to any on-the-go mess, enough said.
7. Snacks and snack cup/water cup: Nothing distracts a tot like spill-proof snacks, am I right?
8. Travel toys: A small toy can be a great distraction in your moments of need. My daughter is currently most interested in baby dolls.
9. Lovey and swaddle: Sometimes travel doesn’t allow for regular nap times. These items can calm a cranky, tired child; maybe even soothe them to sleep.
10. Secret chocolate bar: So secret I didn’t even include it in my picture. Sometime a mama’s just gotta have a snack for herself. Let’s keep this between me and you.
By day, Naz Helms is a stay-at-home mother to her 1-year-old, Eloise, an aspiring photo-magician, also by day, and no longer a zombie by night…depending on the night. Based in California, she would tell you what she does during her downtime but really doesn’t remember what that is; luckily her boss is also her best friend. You can follow along with their imaginative escapades on Instagram @nazhelms.