After our picture perfect winter wedding this January we decided to bite the bullet and book a last minute Mexico trip for our honeymoon/family holiday. To be honest, our ultimate goal was somewhere remote and exotic like Costa Rica or Zanzibar but apparently when you need to cater for a one year old and five year old, last minute and long haul is not really the way forward. So we went for all inclusive with a big promise to ourselves to get out on some adventures and not be pinned down too much.
I had a two week frantic dash to get everything I need. In the past I have just done a big Boots trip for all our holiday essentials. This time though I was feeling particularly more conscious about being healthy and mindful when it comes to choosing suncreams, insect repellants etc, especially for the kids.
What I have realised is that organic and healthy is a world you could get so deep into you may never find your way out and end up having to change and question everything you do, people and places you see. We are not there. We are happiest finding a fine balance between feeling good about what we are choosing for our lives and the kids and being over neurotic and anxious about things we encounter in everyday life. Sometimes it means buying something that isn’t fresh and organic because it’s not available/we’re in a rush/we’re all too tired and hungry. And sometimes it means monitoring sugar intake, reducing screen time and upping the veg. It’s just about balance and convenience and not driving yourself crazy!
I am enjoying the learning of what is good to put into our bodies and being mindful and proud that my five year old questions what is good for him too. I also feel that it means when we choose to indulge in crap (no other way of putting it) we are all aware it’s a bit of a treat and letting ourselves let go and chill about things. (see my recent Insta post about that!)
Here are some of the areas that I was mindful about when travelling long distance with 2 littles (and one big one) and what we found the most useful and beneficial without driving ourselves crazy!
First things about doing long haul and going to a different country was making sure I took loads of healthy snacks as everyone knows plane food is awful. This was something I invested a bit of planning into (totally not OCD…). Creating a bag for the big one and a bag for the little one seemed the most logical and easy way to do it. Since Rory can have things like yoghurt raisins but Huxley can’t it seemed best to keep them separate. Also it made it way more accessible keeping the food bags in each of their own travelling bags. Luckily I wasn’t wrong about the plane food. On the journey outbound there was a slightly palatable sausage and mash but the rest was questionably edible. Jam rolls as the only option for kids snacks to me (come on Thomson!) is not acceptable! Here were my saviours for the plane journey…
-veg and houmous dips (got through security no probs)
-sandwiches (cream cheese, tuna)
-raisins, dried fruit
-plenty of fresh fruit
-cereal bars (for the bigger one)
–ellas kitchen bars (for the little one) I bought these but for at home, making your own is simple!
-yoghurts (also got through security)
-a pot of homemade pasta sauce and pasta for the plane
Trust me its in my culture to make sure there is food available at all times for all occasions. It makes me feel safe. Needless to say, a large zip lock bag was packed in the suitcase full of snacks for the actual holiday. The next best lifesaver was the extra tupperware pots which were used to stash up on the hotels buffet breakfast items for throughout the day! Epic fail not taking spare ziplock bags. But hey ho.
On arriving at our room I located the “medical bag” (I should call it the holistic bag which has all my emergency go to remedies!) and madly dashed around the beds sprinkling citron oil onto either the side of the beds or onto tissues around the bed. It’s important to make sure this isn’t put near babies heads as it shouldn’t be ingested and is pretty strong stuff.
At the moment I’m loving my local health food shops (not talking about Holland and Barretts but the privately owned ones where the people that work there are knowledgable and passionate about the good they sell). I can go there with questions and I understand I’m not taking medical advice from these people, that it’s purely anecdotal and for myself I feel comfortable with that and trust my own instinct as much. (anything vitamin wise I would always seek professional advice especially for the kids). My lovely local shop guys recommend a vitamin B1 as insect repellant for myself and Gigi, a natural as possible spray for doing jungly things and a great natural sting relief for all of us (which smelt bloody awful but worked a treat)!
After a bit of extra research I think there’s a bit more to learn about the vitamin B1. I’ve also heard that Allicin is good which is what we will try next time. We didn’t actually get many bites at all except if you missed a dose and when we did the Weleda bite spray was brilliant.
In my holistic bag…
I’m not going to lie, I packed infant paracetamol for emergencies and low and behold it was actually needed on the first night for Hux whose temperature sky rocketed. However, I was armed with remedies in my goody bag in order to limit it’s use which was successful.
-ABC homeopathic remedy. Conatins aconite, belladonna and camomila. Great for pain relief and temperatures brought on by teething. This was used to continue to bring down Hux’s temp. I always call Ainsworth in London and speak to a homeopath, they’re amazing!
-Camomilla on its own. Teething remedy
–Colloidal silver. Can be used as an antiseptic, plus used for Rory recurring ear infection. This was a life saver! Have a look at what you may require- ours was in a regular bottle so had to use a dropper for ears but it’s also available in a spray which is handy.
-Jet lag combo for on the plane (contains arnica)
–Arnica cream for bumps and bruises (also like a miracle cream)
-Saline solution nasal drops
-Rescue remedy (available for kids too!)
One thing that majorly concerns me is how many horror stories I hear of gastro bugs when people stay at all inclusive hotels. Luckily our hotel seemed immaculate and food cooked fresh in front of you but you can just never be too sure. To be on the safe side Rory had a good multi vitamin, plus both kids had probiotics. We were using BioGaia which is great fro getting doses into smaller babies (as mentioned in older blog on reflux)for them but now have moved on to Wild Nutrition which can be added to drinks which is way easier for both kids. Not one of us got the dreaded dodgy tummy and we were quite liberal with fruit and ice consumption! Seeing a good homeopath before you go away is always a good idea!
This holiday I took advice from my little local health shop friend and bought into The Green People suncream for the kids. I have children like Casper but I’m not a fan of total sun block. Factor 50 only contains a 1 percentage point difference to Factor 30 so their suncream seemed fine for us. Its scent free, free of harsh chemicals and suitable for sensitive skin. The only downside to this product is that it’s not spray! Getting thick cream onto kids every few hours is not fun and you would most definitely need 1 bottle per kid for 2 weeks!
To sum it up- I managed to stock up on everything locally. Get to know your little health shop man/woman. Not only will you support a local business but they will give you a wealth of knowledge and advice. Having just these few areas covered meant that I felt happy enough for us all to chill and if we wanted to, indulge, while away. And who doesn’t want permission to indulge in a beautiful Mexican resort. Yuk…