If you and your family are traveling to the desert, the tropics, or somewhere else warm and sunny for vacation, be sure you have the following items on hand to help ensure an enjoyable holiday.
Sunscreen - gone are the days of playing in the sun for hours on end carefree. Lather on the SPF repeatedly to protect that delicate skin. Donít forget to apply it to those areas you may not typically think of (tops of ears, back of neck, waistline, feet). The spray is probably the easiest form of sunscreen to apply (be sure to do so in a well-ventilated area). I make it a habit to keep a small stick of sunscreen in my purse so itís always handy (especially on those occasions when I forget the other stuff).
Aloe Vera or other sunburn soothing ointment - It can be difficult to remember to re-apply sunscreen as often as necessary to avoid sunburn (especially when around water). Be sure you have something on hand to soothe those sunburns if they appear.
A hat that provides a lot of protection from the sun and that can be secured on your child is another must have item when headed for a sunny locale.
Sunglasses - even for those little ones. The bright sunlight reflecting off desert sand, concrete, or water can be painful and damaging to the eyes. If the sun is too bright for you, itís too bright for the kiddos too.
Water bottle - Get a bottle for each member of the family. I recommend investing in ones that are leakproof (youíll be glad you did). Keep those bottles filled up, and stay hydrated.
If your vacation destination is at some sort of body of water, be sure to pack Crocs, water socks, or some sort of shoe that allows for the kiddos (and adults) to explore the shallow part of the water without worry of stepping on sharp stones and such. I donít recommend regular flip-flops as those can easily get washed away.
I also recommend keeping on hand some sort of facial tissue or mild cleansing wipes for wiping sunscreen out of eyes (among other uses).
Towels, towels, and more towels - I feel like you can never have enough. In addition to drying off, they are useful for covering hot seats in a car thatís been baking in the sun, protecting the seats from sand and debris, as well as protecting exposed legs from excess sun.
Thatís my short list of the most important things to pack (aside from the ordinary items) for a vacation to a sunny locale. See the link below for my regular packing list.