When space is at a premium, handy gadgets that do away with the need for other things, or pack up small are an essential. We love the brilliant Andrew Barton fold-out comb/backcombing brush pictured above. It takes up next to no space in your bag but allows for grown-ups' touch ups and kiddy hair brushing at any time. It's a brilliant detangler too, so perfect for a day on the beach. The Handbag Angel is available from Asda, priced £3.50.
Our second must-have is the Speed Shave To Go travel razor, a razor unit which includes a waterless shave lotion in the handle, so no water is required to get the perfect shave. This unisex razor and lotion is a handy size for your wash bag, car or handbag, and it's natural formulation makes it suitable for all skins. Perfect for camping or shaving on the go, the Speed Shave To Go means no mess, no waste, no water required, and cuts out both a product and the added expense too! Designed to deliver up to 10 uses, it is available from www.body-verde.com.
online, Sea-Bands retail at £8.59 per pair, for adult or child sizes in a wide range of colours.
We also love the sun care range from Aldi's Lacura label. In stores now, the range offers great value for money with prices from £1.99 to £2.99. It is available as sun lotions in SPF 15 or 30, a water-resistant SPF 15 oil spray and an easy apply coloured spray - perfect for little ones. The range offers 5* UVA and UVB protection, and there is even a SPF 50+ lotion for sensitive skin, which is dermatologically tested and free from colours, perfumes and preservatives, as well as keeping skin moisturised for 24 hours. A Lacura Aftersun Spray is also available, enriched with Vitamin E and Aloe Vera to moisturise skin after a long day in the sun.
To tame tresses in the sun, the Andrew Barton Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Brushes have been developed to offer a unique hair care solution, a FIRST of its kind. Miracle product Moroccan Argan oil is infused into the super soft pins of the brush at the point they are moulded into shape so, as the material hardens the Oil is locked inside, making it a permanent feature of the pin. So moisturising Moroccan Argan Oil is released every time you brush, conditioning each strand of hair and adding shine. Argan oil contains high levels of Vitamin E and antioxidants, which not only conditions and softens hair, but also actively promotes the growth of healthier, stronger hair. Available from Asda and asda.com, the paddle brush is £8 and the round brush £7.
If your hair is particularly prone to tangles, the brilliant Tangle Teezer range is what you need. With thick, wavy Italian hair, I use the Thick & Curly detangling hairbrush. The whole range has a revolutionary teeth formation that delivers speedy and gentle results, helping minimise hair breakage, promoting healthy looking hair, and noticeably increasing shine and leaving hair silky smooth. We love it! Available for all hair types and in a wide range of designs, styles and colours, you can see the whole range and find a local stockist on the Tangle Teezer website.
The Tangle Teezer range is great for children, who are often so resistant to brushing or having their hair brushed. Without pulling, the brush glides through hair and releases tangles and knots. The girls were sent these cute Magic Flowerpot brushes with an integral base for clips, bands and bobbles, and a sweet flower-shaped brush on top. The perfect size for little hands, they have been happily brushing their hair ever since!
Another potential source of stress is alleviated with the brilliant My Carry Potty from Cheeky Rascals. Perfect for when you're on the go, the My Carry Potty comes in arrange of bright, fun designs, all with an integral handle. It folds out into a comfortable potty to sit on, and when business is done, the lid folds back in creating a seal and meaning the potty is completely leakproof, containing everything until you get to the next toilet for disposal. This potty was a complete godsend on holiday, perfect for all three girls to have en route and al fresco wees when we were travelling or on days out
Also great as a potty, but even more invaluable as a portable loo seat, the 2-in-1 Go Potty from Oxo Tot, did sterling work for us on our travels. With a wide variety of loos to sit on, the fold out seat was perfect for reassuring and making going to the loo easier for little bottoms. Just insert a disposable bag for us on the go, or use it on top of a toilet seat for comfort and ease of use. A brilliant addition to the changing bag.
When travelling with small people, the incredible amounts of stuff required are mindboggling. Finding space for bulky things like buckets and spades can be a real headache, so this innovation from Cheeky Rascals is fantastic. The Scrunch range is all your beach essentials - buckets, spades, beach toys, fishing nets - all created in squashable, rollable, foldable versions. With its extending handle, this fishing net doesn't need to fill the length of your car; and no more worry about taking up lots of space with chunky, rigid buckets. Squish all those beach fun must-haves into the smallest of spaces in your car or luggage, and hit the beach running!
For entertainment on the journey, try the LeapPad 3 by multi award winning educational toy brand, LeapFrog. Perfect for keeping the little ones entertained on long trips, this first tablet experience is the ultimate combination of speed, performance and durability, growing with your child as they learn. With a host of games (700+), apps, videos and approved content, as well as Wi-Fi powered browsing tool LeapSearch, there is plenty to keep them busy. LeapFrog also ensure that the tablet is kid-safe straight out of the box. With 4GB of memory, front and back cameras and a rechargeable battery, the LeapPad3 will keep children busy and happy on long journeys. Aimed at children aged 4-9 years, it retails at £89.99 from all good retailers.
For clean ups on the go, spillages and mishaps, and snack time, this cute travel pack from Huggies is a great idea. We love the stylish design, handy carry/hanging strap, and quality Huggies wipes inside. Perfect for the car glove box, your handbag, changing bag, or hand luggage, there's no need for any sticky fingers or dirty faces with these around.
When the sun shines, protecting little arms and faces in the car is paramount, and so many cheap sunshades don't cover the whole window, have gaps, or offer inadequate protection. We love the Outlook Auto-Shade which covers the whole rear window, protecting young skin and eyes. Easy to fit, the shade should not be left on all the time, but is easy to remove and re-fit as necessary.
Look out for more holiday essentials in part 2...