Pupukea Road

Top 10 Essentials for Traveling with Kids

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A few weeks ago I was asked to contribute to a post about traveling with kids and honestly, I can’t remember what I wrote because I was happily at home – not traveling. 

But now that I’m actually on the road, I am able to recall what the essentials are. Here are my top 10:  

1. Timeless Beauty Bag: Each girl got a timeless beauty bag for Christmas and I filled it with random toys like NEW notepads, stickers, small toys (not new, just ones I hid a few months ago so they would feel new). This bag keeps everything in one spot instead of loose or in separate pouches. 

2. Kindle: I always go online to the public library before we leave and load the older girls’ kindles up with (free) books. We bring iPads, but kindles allow them to read without getting distracted playing games.

3. Doterra Petal Diffuser : no introduction needed. It has taken the place of carrying a nebulizer for Sebbies asthma. It also doubles as a room freshener for a musty hotel room.

4. Lemon essential oil: I don’t diffuse this. I save it to clean our water bottles. I use 1 drop with hot hot water into the bottle and shake all the gunk away. 

5. Cloth bag with waterproof liner: plastic baggies are expensive to buy, so we bring these. They zip tight, don’t leak and are great for carrying snacks and fruit. To clean I throw them in the wash or turn inside out and wipe down. I bought mine here

6. Hydroflask insulated water bottle: As heavy as they are, we still bring them. We buy large jugs of water and fill our bottles daily with ice and water. This is especially handy because a lot of restaurants outside of the U.S. don’t offer free water. It’s always bottled and ridiculously expensive.

7. Chip clips: We don’t ever bring enough of these. They are so handy when buying foods that are being saved for later. 

8. Beach towel: For a family of 5 squeezing into a small hotel room, there are never enough bath towels – let alone beach towels. The girls hold these in their carry-ons and it doubles as a (clean) airplane blanket. 

9. Skateboards: Totally necessary when sightseeing with kids. It buys us so much more distance and time! Because we are still traveling with a car seat, I pop these right into the car seat bag!

  10. Scissors and reusable shopping bag: Something so simple yet we always overlook! 

Oops, sorry that was 11. I pack pretty heavy. 

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Neso Tent

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This review is all my own. I bought this tent  and am writing a review without compensation or consideration. (I’m actually writing this because I already convinced 8 of my friends to buy one without any of us actually trying it out first so I needed to make sure it actually worked before I end up with 8 former friends!)

For a beach tent, it’s a very simple yet genius design. It’s made up of a large, very stretchy nylon/lycra  sheet with bags at the ends for tying to fences at the park, pinning down with stakes or filling with sand at the beach. It’s propped up with collapsible aluminum poles, similar to the ones you get with camping tents.  

The hardest part about this tent is the first-time set up. I wish I had taken a before picture because when I asked Sebbie what she thought when I first put it up, she said, “pretty ridiculous”. Lucy said, “looks flat.” And they were both right. Even the tourists next to us laughed as I clumsily tried to hold up the poles to keep it from turning into a suffocating neoprene blanket or a giant wind sail. 

But I slowly figured out the trick is to lay it completely flat, stretch out the strings as far as possible, fill the bags as much as you can – you won’t believe how much you can fit until you squish it all in, then put up the poles. You need to put the poles facing the wind – even if that means your tent is facing sideways from the ocean.  Try to also put the poles at the farthest corners of the tent. You also want to make sure the fabric is really stretched out. Any part sagging will make it collapse even with the slightest breeze. 

When I put it away, instead of using the bag it came with, I ball it up and put it in a small shopping bag.

Overall, I really like it. It is everything I bought it for – it weighs less than 4lbs (it fit right in my suitcase!) and is much more open and inviting for others to join us than a normal beach umbrella. It’s not a good wind block (in fact, it’s actually the opposite), but I like that it IS waterproof, has SPF blocking, and is machine washable. 

It’s a little pricey, so I’m hoping it stands up to wear and tear. We are daily beach-goers and after a few uses, I probably won’t be able to live without it. 

I’m pretty sure my friends will still like me after this purchase too. 

If you want one, you can go straight through their website at http://www.nesotents.com . Use the coupon code PUPUKEAROAD and get 10% off! 

This is how NOT to set up the tent. I laugh everytime I look at it.

I packed all of this in my suitcase.

Correct set-up – into the wind.

Mini neso. I’ve spent a fortune on these tents but in the long run a lot less than on beach umbrellas which break after a couple uses.

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Tea Tree Obsessed

A few days ago we went to Byron Bay and then drove a little further to Lennox to Lake Ainsworth.

Lake Ainsworth is a big fresh water lake (adjacent to the the ocean) that surrounded by tea trees. The tannins from the tea trees leach into the lake, making the water a reddish murky color with a film of oil on the top. I couldn’t smell anything, but after swimming in the water, my hair felt oh so soft. The girls kept saying how calm they felt – I’m sure soaking in the water had therapeutic benefits. I want to go back.