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How To Keep Yourself Cool During Summer in Dubai

Dubai in the summer is famous for its unbearable scorching heat, often reaching above 40°C (104°F). Fortunately, many, if not all places in Dubai are equipped with air-conditioning and indoor activities to help keep cool during the summer. There are also several things you can do for yourself to help you beat the heat.

Whether you’re an expat new to Dubai, a tourist or a local, here are some tips to keep yourself cool during the summer in Dubai.

  • Wear the right clothing

Stick to lightweight, loose fitted clothing for maximum protection from the sun. Avoid wearing dark colours, especially black, as these tend to absorb the heat quickly. Wear light colours instead to keep yourself cool and do wear a hat.

If you’re a tourist who is culturally unaware of what clothes are appropriate to wear in Dubai, check out our post- Tourist Advice: What To Wear In Dubai.

  • Start your day early

The heat is at it’s the highest temperature from 10 am, so it’s best to start your day as early as 7 am. Whether you need to run errands or want to do an activity, you’ll be able to get things done without having to worry about being in the unbearable heat.

  • Stay Hydrated

An obvious way to keep cool is to remain hydrated! Make sure to drink water frequently and carry around bottled water with you. The best way to drink water in such scorching heat is to consume small quantities at regular intervals rather than infrequent gulps.

  • Eat lighter meals

Avoid indulging in heavy meals and snacks such as fried and fast food, as this requires more energy to digest thus making you feel quickly drained of energy. Instead, eat light and healthy meals at frequent intervals to keep you refreshed throughout the day. 

  • Stay in air-conditioned places

All buildings and transportation in Dubai are fully air-conditioned, so staying anywhere other than outside will definitely keep you cool. Take advantage of the mall, a restaurant, museum or gallery.

Although it might seem unlikely, there are many activities to do in the summer in Dubai that will keep you cool, such as going to water parks, swimming in pools and indoor ice skating.

If you want to go to the beach, go before 10 am or in the early evening. This way you’ll avoid the burning heat of the sun and the sea.

It can be hard to not perspire at all, unless you’re always in a cool, air-conditioned environment. If you need to freshen up your clothes, you can book a laundry collection with Laundryheap and expect to have your clothes clean and delivered to you within 24 hours.


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8 Things Expats Should Know Before Moving To Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a beautiful city with amazing architecture and serene canals. If you’re planning to move to Amsterdam, here are a few things you should know and some tip to prepare yourself.

8 Thins Expats Should Know Before Moving To Amsterdam

  • It rains A LOT 

The weather in Amsterdam is dull most of the time and the sun rarely comes out. So be prepared for regular gloomy weather consisting of rainy days and wind. It’s best to always bring around an umbrella to prepare for unexpected rain.

Don’t let the weather stop your plans though. One thing for sure is that the rain doesn’t stop locals from biking around, as long as they have a raincoat or umbrella, they’re good to go.

  • Get used to cycling!

There are more bikes in Amsterdam than there are people! Cycling is the main form of transportation. You’ll notice that although there are cars to be found, the city is not entirely car-friendly. Besides everyone uses a bike to get from point A to B, no matter what the occasion is.

  • Beware of bike thieves

The crime rate is very low in Amsterdam, except for bike theft. It’s common to be in a situation where you will own a few bikes in a year because your bikes get stolen, just ask the locals! Thieves will also steal just your bike wheel or bike seat. So, it’s best not to own such an expensive bike and make sure you have good bike locks. 

  • Housing isn’t the best

Living in Amsterdam is very pricey due to the growing population of expats and because of this, it can be difficult to find a place to rent. With such a big population for a small city, chances are you might find a place you actually like, only to find out that many other people are interested in it too and have given in their documents. In addition, housing properties will come unfurnished and you should expect to buy all the appliances you need, including the floor!

  • Credit cards aren’t well supported

Just know that credit cards are useless in Amsterdam (or in the Netherlands in general) when going to local supermarkets, museums or eateries. You can use debit cards that use the Maestro, Cirrus or Plus system. Otherwise, you must always carry around either cash or use a dutch maestro card.

  • Learn some Dutch

Most locals speak fluent English, but it isn’t their native language. The TV channels, signs, everything, is in Dutch. Although it can be easy to communicate by speaking English, you’ll feel more a part of the local community if you learned how to speak Dutch. It will help expand your social circle with the locals, rather than other expats or foreigners.

  • Work life balance is important

Dutch people value their personal time and so the work culture is incredibly healthy and balances out well with personal life. It’s normal for parents to take a day off work to focus on quality time with their families or work part-time. Companies are also flexible in terms of letting you work from home because of family obligations or commute problems.

  • Shops close early

In general, most shops close by 5 and supermarkets by 9pm, so you’ll have to run errands between 9-5 during workdays and 11-3 during the weekend. If you need to go to the bank or you have government appointments, you’ll have to go between 9-5. This is isn’t so much of a big deal since you can take a day off from work to run errands.

These are only some things to be prepared for when moving to Amsterdam. Despite a few negatives, there many more positive aspects to living in Amsterdam.

If you’re in need of a reliable laundry and dry cleaning service in Amsterdam, Laundryheap will happily collect, clean and deliver your clothes within 24 hours.


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5 Reasons Why You Should Try Solo Travel

Solo travel can be a challenge because you’re stepping out of your comfort zone and taking on the unexpected and unknown wonders of the world. The thought of it may seem uncomfortable at first but once you try it, you’ll find it to be one of the best experiences of your life.

5 Reasons Why You Should Try Solo Travel

  • Freedom 

Travelling with friends, family or your other half creates amazing memories, but you may not get a chance to do all the things you actually want to do. Travelling by yourself is a liberating experience as you get the freedom to do what you want, when you want, without anyone telling you otherwise. 

  • Independence

Since you’re by yourself, you ‘re forced to take on full responsibility for what you do and where you go next. You get to make the decisions for everything and the only person you can rely on is yourself. This will make you feel empowered once you return from your trip.

  • Build Confidence

As you rely on yourself on your solo travel, you’ll learn to figure things out. You’ll find that there are many things you’re capable of doing that you thought you never were before. Your problem-solving skills will improve and so will your social skills.

  • Meet new people

Travelling alone is a great chance to meet new people, whether that’d be locals of the town or like-minded travellers you’ll meet at the hostel. Either way, you’ll seem more approachable as a solo traveller and be more inclined to create conversations with whomever you meet along your travels.

  • Self-discovery

Solo travel is a great way to discover yourself as you discover what else the world has to offer. It’s a great time to self-reflect as you get to broaden your perspective on life and learn more about yourself. It will give you the chance to find out what brings you peace of mind and what makes you truly happy.

These are only a few of the many reasons as to why you should try solo travel at least once in your life. The experience will allow you to grow as an individual and certainly broaden your perspective on everything.

If before and after your trip, you need your clothes freshly cleaned, you can count on Laundryheap to take care of the laundry for you! Laundryheap serves in the following cities: London, Manchester, Birmingham & CoventryDublinDubai, Sharjah, Amsterdam & Haarlem.


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Backpacking Tips For Beginners

Backpacking somewhere across the globe is a super exciting and invigorating experience. You get to meet new people, you’re exposed to different cultures and customs and you can try all sorts of unfamiliar food.

If you’re going backpacking for the first time, here are some handy tips that will give you a head start.

Backpacking Tips For Beginners

  • Do your research: First of all, make sure to check the weather in the exact location you’re travelling to, so you can pack the right clothes. Most importantly, do a little bit of research about the country, for any important rules or regulations, and even check for areas you’d like to visit there. Also, try to familiarise yourself with basic words or common phrases in the relevant foreign language. This will especially be helpful in communicating with locals who don’t speak or understand your mother tongue.

 

  • Don’t use a bag that’s longer than your body: Using a bag that is awkwardly longer than your body will only encourage you to pack a whole lot of unnecessary things and it can be super uncomfortable on your travels. Instead, use a backpack that fits you right and feels comfortable with weight in it. Choose a backpack with a lot of inner pockets to store your valuable necessities and outer mesh pockets to keep your water bottles in.

 

  • Comfort over fashion: It’s important to note that you should always choose comfortable clothes over fashionable ones when backpacking. This is simply because you’ll always be on the go and moving from one place to another, so it wouldn’t make sense to dress fashionably in this type of occasion. Choose lightweight clothes that are comfortable, breathable, durable and can be worn more than once. Dressing this way will also prevent unnecessary attention from pickpockets and thieves.

 

  • Pack light: When packing your clothes, you want to bring as little as you possibly can. To help you with this, bring out all the clothes you think you’ll need and take away half or even more of those. You’ll only really need a few of your most basic clothes that you can repeatedly wash and wear, which includes a couple pairs of socks and underwear. If you want to organise your things and create more space, use packing cubes.

 

  • Roll your clothes: Rolling your clothes is such a great space saver and you don’t have to worry about your clothes being creased!

 

  • Bring a ‘loo kit’: Depending where you travel to, some countries don’t quite offer the necessities you need after using the toilet and for the other countries, well, let’s just say the ground would be your toilet. It’s best to bring along a packet of tissues or wipes and anything else sanitary with you on your travel. This will also come in handy in general really.

 

  • Bring plastic or canvas bags: You never really know what kind of things will happen on your trip. Perhaps your clothes get really dirty and you need somewhere to put them, or you do a bit of shopping for snacks and more souvenirs and now you have no more room in your backpack. This is where bringing a few plastic or canvas bags come in handy.

 

  • Pack small bottles of toiletries: Your aim is to pack light, so don’t go bringing huge bottles of toiletries. Instead, use small bottles to pack your essentials and if they run out, just buy new ones in the local store and refill them, simple! Essentials like toothpaste, which might be a bit awkward to pack, can be bought from small local shops at the destination, so essentials like this can be left behind.

 

  • Stay in hostels with free breakfast: Staying in hostels is a great way to meet other travellers and possibly make new (travel) friends. There’s nothing more exciting than meeting like-minded individuals with great stories to share. If you can get to stay at hostels offering free breakfast, that’s even better, because who doesn’t love free food?!

 

  • Don’t plan your whole trip: The whole point of backpacking is to be spontaneous and explore your exotic surroundings. It’s okay to plan the beginning of your trip, but from there, you just have to go out, be free and explore for yourself.

 

If you feel like your clothes need a professional cleaning after your trip, you can count on Laundryheap to get the job done for you. Laundryheap is available to clean your clothes in some cities in the following locations: UK, Ireland, Netherlands and the UAE.


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How To Pack A Hand Luggage Only

If you’re travelling abroad with a hand luggage only, you’re either going away for a few days or you’re using an airline that doesn’t provide free baggage allowance. 

Whether you’re taking a trip that will last a few days or 2 weeks, bringing only a hand luggage can actually save you a lot of time and money. It might seem a little difficult to go away for a few weeks with only a hand luggage, but you just need to know how to properly pack for your trip.

How To Pack A Hand Luggage Only

First of all, check the airlines hand luggage policy to see what you can and can’t bring. Make sure the liquids you take are 100ml or under and avoid bringing sharp objects.

  • Use the right hand luggage

Use the biggest possible hand luggage that is light and comfortable to use. Try using a soft case hand luggage as this will give you the opportunity to maximise every given space. 

  • Plan your outfits properly

Choose clothes that you can easily pair with other clothes as this will give you more outfits. For example, if you take 3 different tops that can match 3 different jeans, this will give you 9 different outfits already. Also, try to pack only 1 pair of shoes that is appropriate for the weather and matches your outfits.

  • Only bring what you need

Don’t forget that wherever you go, you can always wash your clothes. So, avoid bringing an unnecessary amount of underwear or socks. You only really need to bring about 3-4. Even that amount can last months, as long as you keep washing them.

  • Wear your heaviest clothing

It’s never a good idea to pack the bulky items when you’re limited on space. Always wear your heavy clothing, whether that’s a jumper or jacket, and just take them off when you need to.

  • Roll, don’t fold your clothes

You’ll find that rolling clothes creates more space and also prevents wrinkles and creases. You can also use the KonMari method to pack your hand luggage.

  • Keep your items organised

Small pouches or packing cubes are a great way to save space and keep your items organised. You can use the small pouches and smaller packing cubes for wires, gadgets and other necessities. The larger packing cubes are better for clothes, shoes and even dirty clothing.

  • Use travel bottles and containers

Since you’re limited to only 100ml or 3.04oz in a hand luggage, you can either purchase travel essentials or make use of travel sized containers and fill them up with essentials you already have.

If you need a reliable laundry service whilst travelling, Laundryheap is available to clean your clothes in some cities in the following locations: UK, Ireland, Netherlands and the UAE.


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8 Things Expats Should Know Before Moving To Dublin

Dublin is no doubt a beautiful county in Ireland with rich history. Whether you’re planning to temporarily or permanently move to Dublin, here are 8 things you should know before moving there:

  • Dublin is extremely international

In Dublin, you’ll find expats from all over the world and because of this diversity you will be able to find a whole variety of cuisines, from authentic Nigerian food to Portuguese cuisines. Many international companies HQ’s such as Google and Facebook can also be located in Dublin.

  • They are super friendly

It’s normal in Dublin or anywhere in Ireland to randomly talk to strangers and have a nice chat with them. Irish people in general are very welcoming and polite in their speaking. They’ll be happy to guide you in the right direction if you get lost.

  • Everything’s accessible! 

Getting around is easy from the bus, DART (train), Luas (lightrail/tram), bikes and taxi. You can even  walk from one end of the city to the other in just 30 minutes and nature is always at close proximity.

  • Buses don’t follow the schedule

Unfortunately, the buses are not exactly the best in terms of arriving when they should. Buses don’t actually follow the real-time information that you’ll see on the screen, so they can be pretty unreliable. Despite this, people still thank the drivers anyway.

  • ‘Your Man’ doesn’t actually mean your man.

If you’re having a conversation and the phrase ‘your man’ comes up, that doesn’t actually refer to your man but it refers to ‘a man’ or ‘that guy’.

  • The Pub Culture

You can find many, many pubs in Dublin and all across Ireland really. The pub is a great place to gather, not only to have a few pints but to relax and just enjoy! It is a great place to meet new people and socialise. There are a few things you’ll need to know about Irish pub culture though, like a pint

  • The weather is unpredictable

Much like the British weather, you’ll never know what the weather will be like throughout the day. It can be rainy at some point and then sunny the next. You can expect to have dull weather most of the time though.

  • The ‘Craic‘ and banter

People love to be merry and know how to have a fun time. You’ll never find them bored or having nothing to say. ‘Craic’ is a term for news, fun, stories, entertainment etc etc. Basically anything that is not boring. You’ll often here the question ‘What’s the craic?’ or ‘what’s the story?’ as a replacement to ‘how are you?’, in which your reply should be a super exciting and interesting story.

Whether you live in Dublin or are just visiting, if you need a reliable laundry service, Laundryheap will happily collect, wash and deliver your clothes all within 24 hours.


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5 Useful Apps For Expats In Amsterdam

Living as an expat anywhere in the world can start off as a bit of a struggle. If you’re a new expat in Amsterdam, here are some apps that will help you out in your day-to-day activities. 

5 Useful Apps For Expats In Amsterdam

For getting around Amsterdam or anywhere else in the Netherlands, this app helps you to plan journeys on all public transport. The app will provide real-time information so you can check arrival times and it also stores frequently used locations so you don’t have to keep re-entering the same locations. Available on iOS and Android.

If you’re often using the dutch railway, this app will show you real-time train departure and arrival times. Easily plan your route by checking the timetable of any station and get a summary of planned works and disruptions. Available on iOS and Android.

A convenient way to do grocery shopping from the comfort of your own home. Picnic is the cheapest online supermarket that offers a huge range of products all at your fingertips and includes free next day delivery. Available on iOS and Android.

Want food delivered to you instead of having to cook? This app allows you to easily order any cuisine you want from restaurants that are in your local area. You can view the menu and simply choose what meal you want to eat. You also get the option to pick-up your food. Available on iOS and Android.

For days where you don’t feel like doing the laundry or just don’t have the time for it, Laundryheap will collect, clean and deliver your laundry within 24 hours. They’ll also iron already cleaned laundry and they offer dry-cleaning services too. Download the app on iOS or Android.


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How To Hand Wash Clothes

Hand washing clothes is not the number one washing method that people generally go for. However, in times of emergencies and especially when you’re travelling, knowing how to hand wash can definitely come in handy.

How To Hand Wash Clothes

What you’ll need:

  • A sink, tub or bucket
  • Liquid detergent or soap

Just as you would or should do when doing normal laundry via the washing machine, you should separate white and dark clothes to prevent colours from bleeding onto other fabrics.

  1.  Fill the sink, tub or bucket with luke-warm water and soap. If you’re using laundry detergent, make sure to add only a few drops and if it’s a bar of soap, create soapy water. You may wish to use the soap bar to scrub your clothes provided that it won’t discolour or ruin the fabric.
  2. Add your clothes and start to kind of spin and swirl them around in the water, dunking the clothes in and out. Also, scrub the clothes by rubbing parts of the fabric together, especially the dirtier areas. Feel free to add more detergent in the process and change the water if necessary.
  3. After a good few mins of scrubbing or once you feel like it’s clean enough, let your clothes soak between 10-30 mins depending on how dirty your clothes are.
  4. Rinse out the soap just by draining and changing the water or you can rinse it out directly under the tap. You’ll know you’ve rinsed it out well when there are no more bubbles and the water appears clear.

Drying Hand Washed Clothes

Wring out as much water as you can and hang them up to dry. If it’s possible, hang them outside or up by the window for exposure to the sunlight as this will help clothes to dry quicker. Be aware that clothes can drip dry and create a wet floor if they’re still filled with much water. If it becomes the case that you need to hang them indoors, hang them up in the bathroom.

For items that have a longer drying time such as wool or cotton, use any towel that’s large enough for the item of clothing, lay the piece of clothing down on a flat towel and roll it together to wring out the excess water. Then hang up to air dry.

If you’re travelling and want to use a simple laundry service, Laundryheap will collect, clean and deliver your clothes to your within 24 hours. Just download the app for for iOS or Android.

Laundryheap is available in the UK, Ireland, UAE and Netherlands.


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Tourist Advice: What To Wear In Dubai

Dubai is a city well known for it’s incredibly hot summer climate, it’s modern architecture and luxury shopping malls. 

What To Wear In Dubai

Dubai is a cosmopolitan city where a majority of the population is made up of expats, most of which are from the western region, so it can be quite confusing as to what you can wear. 

Although the city is filled with many expats and welcomes different cultures and religions, Dubai is a city in the UAE which is an Islamic country. So, traditional clothing is modest for both men and women.

One thing for sure is that locals nowadays love to dress up and look good whenever they’re out in public. They love to show off their designer brands and will always make the effort to look fashionably presentable. The style sense will usually range from classy and elegant to smart casual.

The trick is to dress classy in a modest way.

Depending on what you do and where you go in Dubai, there are some public places that have a strict dress code. 

Key points to note:

  • Plunging necklines, bare midriffs and booty shorts are frowned upon.
  • Transparent and sheer clothing that will reveal your lingerie must be avoided.
  • You can wear off the shoulder/ sleeve-less tops unless a dress code says otherwise.

What To Wear To Public Places In Dubai

For public places like the park, metro, malls or just roaming around.

Women

  • Maxi, midi or knee-length dresses and skirts
  • Fitted jeans, pants or culottes.
  • Nice blouses/ tops or t-shirts
  • Short-sleeve, sleeve-less or off the shoulder tops
  • Jumpsuits, rompers or playsuits
  • Shawls or scarfs
  • Thin jackets, cardigans or kimonos 

Note that some public places such as some shopping malls have a strict dress code where you will need to cover up a bit more (your shoulders). That’s why it’s always handy to bring along a shawl or light jacket whenever you roam in Dubai.

Men

  • Fitted jeans/pants.
  • T-shirts, polo shirts or vests
  • Shorts (but not short shorts)

What To Wear To Fancy Restaurants In Dubai

You definitely have to bring some formal clothes and shoes if you plan to go to restaurants and bars in Dubai. Most nice restaurants have a semi-formal or formal dress code that do not permit trainers!

You can wear anything that looks elegant and classy, so long as it’s not too revealing.

Ladies should still keep outfits looking modest and bring along a shawl or jacket to cover up going to and from the restaurant or bar.

Men should wear polo-shirts and nice pants, with fancy shoes.

What To Wear When Visiting A Mosque In Dubai

When visiting mosques or traditional markets like Spice Souk or Gold Souk, it’s important that both men and women are fully covered and not wearing tight-fitted clothing. 

Women

  • Maxi dresses or skirts
  • Pants or trousers
  • long sleeve tops/cardigans
  • Shawls or scarfs to put over the head

Men

  • Jeans or pants
  • Long sleeved tops

What To Wear To The Beach In Dubai

Ladies can wear bikinis and swimwear to the beach or swimming pool, as long as it’s not too skimpy. Bikinis or swimsuits that have thongs are highly inappropriate. Men can wear swimming shorts with a vest or t-shirt, but must avoid being topless.

What To Wear For Nightclubs In Dubai

Dressing for nightclubs in Dubai is pretty much the same for any other city, as most of these nightclubs are international. So you can pretty much wear what you want. The only thing they will be strict about is what shoes you wear, so be sure to pack some heels or dress shoes.

If you’re planning to visit Dubai and want a convenient laundry service, Laundryheap will happily collect, clean and deliver your clothes within 24 hours to your hotel. It is also a great way to outsource your laundry if you live in Dubai.


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Holiday Packing Essentials For Your Baby

When going on holiday with your baby, you’ll realise that you need to bring a lot of items with you to ensure that your baby will be comfortable, entertained, safe, warm and remain in good health during the trip.

Here’s a list of holiday packing essentials for your baby:

Food & Drink Supplies

  1. Formula: Of course it’s an essential! Be sure to bring enough for the trip, whether it’s ready made formula in the bottle or containers of formula powder, make sure you don’t run out. Also, bring extra bottles and a bottle warmer (if necessary).
  2. Breastfeeding equipment: If your baby is still breastfeeding, bring a shawl or scarf to cover for when you’re breast feeding. If your baby drinks breast milk from the bottle, take a breast pump.
  3. Snacks/ meals: Bring plenty of snacks and pack some jars of food (ready made or homemade) to keep your baby’s tummy satisfied! If you’re travelling by plane, you don’t need to worry about the food and drink restrictions as they do not apply to your baby.
  4. Feeding accessories: Take a few bibs to avoid spillage on their clothes. Use beakers for juices and water and don’t forget to bring baby spoons! Perfect for on-the-go feeding.
  5. Wipes: A must need for spills and messes!

Travel Accessories

  1. A baby bag! You’ll definitely need a bag to put all your baby’s things (and yours) in.
  2. A compact push chair: Easy to fold and bring around with you. For off-road and walks, compact push chairs are a must-need if you’ll do a lot of strolling around and sight-seeing!
  3. Baby sling/ carrier: For more adventurous activities or if you feel like you don’t need a push chair, then take with you a baby sling.
  4. A Compact travel crib: Your baby will need somewhere safe and comfy to sleep or play in. 
  5. Blankets: Always great for comfort, shade and warmth!

Toiletries

  1. Nappies! And lots of it! You can never have to many nappies. Don’t forget baby wipes and nappy bags too! 
  2. Cream/Talcum powder
  3. Changing mat: perfect for on-the-go nappy changes
  4. Plenty of clothes appropriate for the weather! 
  5. Bath sponge
  6. Baby shampoo, soap & lotion
  7. Bath toys

Entertainment

  1. Toys: Taking a few of your baby’s favourite toys will help keep them occupied for the journey.
  2. Stuffed toy

Other Essentials To Consider

  1. Medicine
  2. First aid
  3. Bottle steriliser
  4. Pacifiers
  5. Baby monitor
  6. Night light
  7. Car seat 
  8. Booster/clamp on seats

Take into consideration the destination you’re headed to and the activities you plan to do there. You might not need all of these things and you might want to bring extra things that aren’t on this general list such as swim floats or swim nappies if you’re thinking of going swimming.

Just make sure you pack everything in advance to minimise the risk of leaving important items behind. Make sure to wash and iron all clothes and blankets before packing. Your baby may WILL use a lot of outfits, so do take more than you think they’ll need. If you”re worried about having to wash them after the trip, you can always book a laundry service with Laundryheap.