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15 Pool Essentials

Daisy jumping in pool

My kids prefer the pool to the beach.  My youngest one hates the sand and my oldest one is happiest under the water. Holidays for us inevitably involve some sort of pool (no better bribery on a city break than a retreat to the hotel swimming pool).  To make the best of out of your swimming pool adventure, here are my top tips:

  1. Do your homework before your book.  Is there a lifeguard on duty? How many pools does the hotel have? Do they allow kids in all of them or some of them?  During a recent trip to Vietnam, we found that of the hotel’s three beautiful pools, our kids could only go in one of them!  What are the dimensions of the pool?  Are there shallow steps to get in?  Again, little kids might spend all day playing on steps so it’s worth checking out.
  2. If you are renting a private villa etc, check to see if they can install a pool gate.  More and more properties are offering this.
  3. If you’ve got little ones who wear nappies, you’ll need some form of swim diaper.  We rounded up the options, from disposable to reusable here.
  4. Pack pool toys.  Little kids love buckets & spades, watering cans and general bath toys.

    Martinhal by the pool

    Martinhal by the pool

    Older kids love objects you can dive for.

    Turtle in eggs pool game

    Turtle in eggs pool game

  5. Buy and pack swim aids.  I swear by a floatsuit instead of traditional armbands. You can read my review of it here – I truly think that’s what helped our youngest to swim.
  6. Pack pool inflatables! Of course you can always buy these cheaply at your destination but for things like infant floaties, it’s worth getting a decent one with a proper seat and perhaps even some shade.
    Felinda Phuket - Franca in pool
  7. I did once forget to pack my kids swimwear. Now it’s top of the list.  Keep them covered up in an all in one swimsuit or for older kids, a swimming costume and rash vest.  I love Elly La Fripouille for younger kids and Sunuva for older kids.
  8. Decent swimming goggles can give kids a whole new lease of life in the pool!  Speedo do great ones that are easily adjustable at the back.  Always remember to collect your swimming goggles before you leave the pool!
  9. In addition to goggles, pack kids sunglasses for when they’re sitting around the pool.  I love Mini Squids, which have a band at the back to fasten them on their head AND they float!  For super stylish kids, look no further than OG Mini Icons from Oliver Goldsmith. They are amazing!
    Mini Squid
  10. Pack pool shoes for you and the kids!  Your nice sandals will get ruined by the water.  For kids, crocs are always a safe bet and I also love these Poolzies for little kids. They can wear them in and out of the water and prevent little slips by the pool and keep feet comfortable on the sand.
  11. It’s not all about splashing in and out of the water.  There comes a point when even my two tire of the water and want to sit on the sun loungers doing activities.  I always bring some sticker books, colouring, magnet games and mosaics to do by the pool. Also useful if you’re headed straight from the pool to a restaurant.Mosaics by the pool
  12. Buy decent suncream. There was an article out recently on which popular sunscreens you should avoid buying due to nasty chemicals.  Avoid those but make sure you do keep slathering on the SPF50+
  13. Keep your kids hydrated.  Drinking pool water is not enough! I round mine up every half an hour and force water on them.
  14. Pack a big beach bag in your check in luggage (although some fancy hotels do have ones you can borrow in the wardrobe.  Do check whether or not you can keep them at the end as I recently walked out with one and was chased up for it as apparently it wasn’t complimentary!). I also pack a wet/dry bag (I’ve got a great one from Skip Hop), which is useful for storing anything from nappies and goggles to seashells and sunscreen.
    Skip Hop Wet Dry Bag
  15. Always keep an eye out for your kids in the pool. No matter how well they can swim, parents should be vigilant.  Please also read through this article on ‘dry drowning’ to be aware of the symptoms of delayed drowning.


What items do you pack for the pool?


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