Even the smallest bug bites can make my kids feel uncomfortable, causing a lot of whining, and even more concerning, scratching that can lead to infection or scarring. I stash these Avon Bug-Guard Pads, $14, in all my travel totes. They are super soft DEET-free insect repellent wipes that contain picaridin, which repels mosquitoes, deer ticks, gnats, and sand flies.
Sometimes when I try to brush knots out of my daughters' hair, it sounds like I'm torturing them because they scream so much—especially when their hair is a total mess after a day at the beach or pool. The Wet Brush is the only brush my girls let me use on them, and this travel size, The Squirt, $5, is all we really need on vacation. The bristles are strong enough to work out knots, yet flexible so they don't yank and pull the hair, hence less complaining from my crew. It comes in a bunch of fun colors too.
Last summer my little blondies got a bad case of green hair from a hotel pool they swam in just once. Their green-tinged hair lasted for weeks, and made them feel unnecessarily self-conscious. Not this summer! I'm taking this TRISWIM Travel Kit, $20, on the road. The Chlorine-Out Shampoo contains organic aloe, a popular botanical used for its moisturizing, soothing, and calming properties, vitamins E and A, and pro-vitamin B5, which helps remove copper deposits that can cause some hair to take on a greenish tint.
Girls don't poop, right? I know several young girls who can be absolutely mortified by bad potty smells---so much so, that they have a hard time going while traveling, especially if they're with friends, using communal bathrooms at camp, or even visiting family. Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray, $9.95 for a refillable travel spray, is genius because it coats the toilet water with essential oils, like lemon, bergamot, lemongrass, and wild ruby red grapefruit, that trap bad odors under the toilet water. Just spray it in the bowl before you go, and then no one in or around the bathroom area will detect a thing. It's also all natural and can be used as a traditional air freshener—which is also great for girls who have a hard time going in a stinky public bathroom. PS: I've started to spray it in their sneakers too.
No mom can travel without wipes on hand, right? Now that my kids are out of diapers I keep these Yes To Baby Carrots Face + Nose Wipes, $6, stashed in my tote bag and my kids' backpacks. They’re soft and can easily erase everything from smeared chocolate to spaghetti sauce off their faces. They are also tear free and hypoallergenic, so you can just wipe down the whole face in one fell swoop—they hate it when I do that. And if your kids get a cold, these are better than regular tissues because they have aloe vera and vitamin E. I use them too!