Does travel with baby sound stressful? It doesn’t have to be! We’ve been traveling as a couple for a long time, so we knew we didn’t want to stop our travel plans just because we’d had kids. Before our daughter was even born we spent hours researching products designed for family travel. Since she was a baby (and now with the birth of our son), we’ve taken numerous car trips and several flights. (For tips on how to fly with baby and kids of all ages, check out our sister site’s Travel with Baby: Flying Tips for Fearless Family Travel).
So forget all those people who tell you that you can’t travel with baby or that once you become a parent there’s no way you’ll travel with kids! The proper tools can make a difficult job easy, and travel with kids is no exception! Here are some of our favorite products that help make travel with baby easy and fun!
1. UPPAbaby G-Lite Stroller – Travel with baby means you’ll be lugging a lot of stuff. So what would you say to an umbrella stroller that is super light weight, has a shoulder strap for easy carrying and has a seat that comes off for washing? The UPPAbaby G-Lite Stroller is a great umbrella stroller for travel with kids and we’re so glad we chose it. In fact, we love this travel umbrella stroller so much, we’ve bought a second one for our baby son! We also love the UPPAbaby G-Lite Stroller Travel Bag with its shoulder strap that makes it super easy to carry, and protects our stroller on the plane. The UPPAbaby G-Lite Stroller Rain Cover will mean travel with baby or toddler doesn’t have to stop just because it’s raining. Or windy. (Our full review of the UppaBaby G-Lite umbrella stroller including why we prefer it to the Maclaren Volo).
2. Phil and Teds Portable Traveler Crib - We continue to love our Phil & Ted’s Travel Cot. It’s light weight and so compact that on our first big trip with baby, it fit in Wendy’s backpack along with all of her things and our daughter’s too! Most travel cribs are crazy heavy. The Phil & Ted’s Travel Cot weighs only 6lbs and comes with a convenient carry strap, which makes it perfect for family travel! Want to know more? Check out our complete review of the Phil&Teds Travel Cot.
3. BooginHead Pacifier Holder – Despite it’s slightly bizarre name, this is a product we use every day. No one wants to be 40,000 feet above the Atlantic when you discover your kid’s dropped their pacifier (binky, dummy, soother) somewhere between home and row 47, making this a must for travel with baby (or travel with toddler – ours still uses hers!) Works with all different kinds of pacifiers.
4. Ergo Baby Carrier – Designed to be used up to 90 lbs/almost 41kg (or well past when your back breaks) the Ergo is a great way to hit those trails and explore those caves. Boats, stairs, hiking trails – they all become baby/child friendly with the Ergo. It has a great waist belt that helps transfer the weight off your shoulders and make it truly comfortable to travel with baby. A pocket in the front holds toys, etc and a flap of fabric connects the back to the shoulder straps to form a head support when baby (or toddler) falls asleep while hiking to that glacier. If you plan to travel with baby when they’re still very young, you’ll want to get the ERGObaby Infant Insert Heart2Heart. We love ours so much we’ve bought a second one now that we have another baby. We’ve used the insert with him from the time he was 4-weeks-old – it worked great!
5. Ziploc Sandwich Bags – We couldn’t imagine traveling without Zip Loc bags before we had a child. Now, they might just be the most important item we take (ok, besides diapers). Zip Locs are fabulous for containing dirty items and keeping clean ones clean and organized. Ziploc Double Zipper Gallon Storage Bags keep your wet towel away from your dry clothes and sandwich sized hold snacks (there are snack sized ones, but we’re pigs). Sandwich sized ones are also perfect for dirty diapers, so your hotel room doesn’t start smelling like the Diaper Genie you’ve been missing. Great for when you’re visiting people, too!
6. Sassy Ring O’ Links Rattle Developmental Toy – Baby’s favorite game is throwing things on the floor? No problem. Now everything can be attached. There are TONS of toys and even books that lend themselves to being connected this way. They work with almost anything. We’ve linked toys to our UPPAbaby G-Lite Stroller, the Ergo, Wendy’s purse (handbag), the Phil and Teds Portable Traveler Crib, restaurant highchairs, shopping carts, and the car seat. Plus, the links themselves make for a great teether/toy.
7. Green Sprouts Infant Water Bottle Cap Adapter – One of the cheapest and best baby purchases we’ve made. Instantly turn any water bottle into a baby bottle. Perfect for little ones who haven’t mastered sport-top bottles yet. Doesn’t fit the bottle you’ve bought? No problem. Just take the nipple out, flip the screw part over and shove the nipple back in the other way. We haven’t found a water bottle it doesn’t fit yet! Just remember to bring a Zip Loc bag to put it in – unfortunately it doesn’t come with a cover.
8. Baby B’Air Flight Vest – The flight from California to New Zealand was 13 hours. That’s a LONG time to be holding your baby! Thankfully we’d sprung for the Baby B’Air Flight Vest. On the way there we were given a bassinet and it turned out we didn’t need it anyhow. The way back was a different story and we were sure glad we had it! The vest goes over your child’s head and has a strap that goes between their legs. It has a loop in the back that attaches to your seat belt. That way, if you thankfully manage to doze off on the flight, you don’t have to worry about your little one rolling off your lap while you snooze. Works up to 40lbs (18kg).
9. Sunday Afternoons Kids Play Hat – With a huge brim at the front and a wide flap at the back this hat will keep your little one shaded in even the sunniest locations. The strap helps keep it on and the SPF 50 should keep little faces safe no matter where you travel with baby. With the elastic at the back, this hat adjusts to your child’s head – our daughter is still wearing hers more than a year and a half later – making this hat a great value, too!
10. Knapsack/Rucksack/Backpack – For a long flight you want to take everything you might need – and have it all at your fingertips. After checking out all the official diaper bags we could find, we chose to just get a regular backpack with plenty of pockets. The The North Face Recon Backpack fits the bill. (We got ours from REI). This one was expensive, but at least it should last long past the diaper years. It also holds everything but the kitchen sink and its myriad of pockets help keep everything organized. We especially love the front pocket. Being able to just shove things in there without having to open a zipper makes it much more one-hand friendly – a must for travel with baby!
Looking for more ideas on ways to make travel with baby easier? How about some new travel toys for baby? You can check out our list of Top Ten Baby Travel Toys. Traveling with an older baby? For travel with toddler tips and advice, you can read our post, Travel with a Toddler: How to Drive 1,409kms/876 miles and Fly for 19 Hours in Two Weeks with a Toddler and Still Be Able to Call it a “Vacation”. For help selecting travel toys for toddlers, check out our posts: 3 Great Toddler Travel Toys and Top 10 Great Toddler Travel Toys. Whether it’s travel with baby or toddler, or older kids, our sister site www.wetravelwithkids.com has lots of advice on travel toys, travel gear for parents and lots of ways to make travel with baby easier and more fun.
Have a great piece of travel gear you can’t imagine living without? What’s the best thing you’ve discovered now that you travel with baby? Please share! We love to hear new ideas!