My husband and I travel a lot both for fun and for work, so when we found out I was pregnant, one of the questions we had was how are we were going to make travel happen with a baby.
Now that we’re 12 months into being parents, I can tell you that besides a lot of planning and mental flexibility, traveling with children requires some key products that will make everyone’s lives easier. Here are a few of the best that I’ve tried so far.
First thing’s first, you’re going to want a (safe!) travel crib that’s easy to set up like the Guava Lotus. I swear, this crib can be set up in 2 seconds, it’s super light and can be carried around as a backpack or plopped on top of your roller bag, and the mesh siding makes it super safe for sleeping. It even comes with a little flap that you can open to turn it into a makeshift playpen during the day. Just remember to buy a sheet for it, because we forgot, and baby was NOT having it.
You’ll also want super lightweight, foldable travel stroller that’s small enough to fit in the overhead compartment. The gb Pockit is so small when folded, that it fits in a tote bag or backpack, to the surprise of flight attendants everywhere. Plus, carrying your stroller onto the plane means no waiting after deplaning for it to be returned to you, and also means you can get to your connection faster without carrying a 30 pound kid in your already cramped arms.
A clip-on Lobster Highchair makes it easy feed your baby wherever you go. We got this one as a gift, and let me tell you, it was a game changer. We were initially using an old-school, regular high chair. But that meant that when we traveled, we had nothing to strap him to. Phil&teds Lobster chair attaches to pretty much any table or counter, and it works so well that we dumped the old highchair and even use it at home.
Everyone that travels, with our without children, should own packing cubes. They make life so much easier when it comes to packing and unpacking. You can compartmentalize your items into separate bags (i.e. an underwear bag and a shirt bag). Or, if you’re traveling to multiple destinations in the same trip, you can even pack each location’s outfits into individual cubes, so you don’t have to fully unpack each time. Also, you can use one for dirty clothes as you continue your travels, without turning your entire suitcase into a mess of crumpled up clothes.
Finally, a car seat/stroller cover bag that allows you to carry it as a backpack is key for parents with young kids. Trust me, I know what a pain it is to lug around a massive car seat, but thankfully, airlines allow you to check strollers and car seats for free. That said, if you’re taking advantage of that perk, you really want to put them in a protective bag so they don’t get dirty and manhandled in the cargo bay. This one includes handy backpack straps, so when you get to your destination, it’s easy to grab and go. Also, don’t tell anyone I told you this, but you can stuff diapers or coats into the empty space in the bag to have them handy once you land.
If you have any other recommendations for travel products specifically for children or parents, let me know, because I’m always looking for the next gadget!