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10 Favorite Travel Gear Items for Kids

We’ve become seasoned pros at traveling with kids. I am not one to buy a lot of baby gear (less is more in my book.) But here are some kid items we’ve used when we traveled that were very helpful. Of course we always adjusted what we brought based on the trip and what phase the kids were going through. Moses could fall asleep in a hotel bed even when he was a baby so we forgot about the baby crib. But Roman needed one to fall asleep so that became a priority. Here is my list of 10 favorite travel gear for kids.

1. Toddler Headphones. My kids have free reign with the ipad on these flights. Throw in a pair or two of head phones and with luck the flight will be uneventful.

2. Car Seats Travel Cart. On trips where we will be in cars a lot we don’t bring our stroller. Instead we add this cart to the car seat so we can wheel it and check it at the gate. It turns the bulky car seat into a stroller, just for getting through the airport.

3. Kid Backpacks. It’s time they started pulling their own weight, make them carry their own goldfish crackers! Fill these with snacks, stickers and activities. The kids are ready for their adventure.

4. Cute Hats. Dress your kids cute, let them make friends while they are happy. You never know when you’ll need forgiving glances later on in the flight.

5. Disposable Bibs. These don’t take up space and you thrown them away like a napkin when the meal is over. Easy peasy.

For the whole list and sources continue reading.

6. Knife and Peeler. This may be a stretch for “gear” but it is my favorite trick for traveling with kids. When you are on the go convenient healthy foods are harder to find. I started bringing along these tools and then in the mornings I prepared some fresh fruits and vegetables I got from the market in baggies. Instead of reaching for the Doritos they reach for carrot sticks.

7. Portable High Chair. I love this chair. It’s especially great for visiting Grandma or somewhere you’ll be staying for a while. Baby has a place to eat without taking up too much space.

8. Bottle Brush. We bring one of these along with some dishsoap in a little baggy for cleaning bottles and sippy cups (which are a pain to clean if you don’t have one.)

9. Portable Crib. We love this portable crib,  it folds up so small and is easy to take around. Sometimes the baby crib at the hotel can be suspect in its level of cleanliness, sometimes its nice to bring your own.

10. Umbrella Stroller. A small lightweight stroller that is easy to carry and check at the gate. We love this stripey number.

Those are my favorite 10, what are your favorite items for traveling with kids?

  1. The New Diplomats Wife

    May 15, 2012

    we’re often on the go and many of these, especially the last few are also staples. Other things that we seem to never leave home without: ziploc bags, wipes in every bag (it’s like a kitchen sink in your purse!), a change of clothes for littles, a couple of aden and anais blankets that still 18 months in double for everything (blankets, towels, scarf, changing pad – you name it)…

    also i’m a firm believer you can never have too many hats with animal ears on them.

  2. Kacy Faulconer

    May 15, 2012

    Well, I’m just glad you’re back–safely–in the states.

  3. Stephanie

    May 15, 2012

    Great suggestions! I cannot say enough about the Baby Bjorn travel crib! It’s the best money you will spend. Sets up in seconds, weighs 11 lbs., and lasts until the kid is old enough to climb out (2 ish), but even then it’s low to the ground.

  4. Mrs.Buck

    May 15, 2012

    OOh, those disposable bibs are genius! I’m usually all for producing as little waste as possible, but all that goes out the window for convenience and space saving when traveling. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Kim

    May 15, 2012

    My sister-in-law has been using a Kid Co. tent for their baby – now 4 months old. They use it around the house, in the backyard and have travelled overseas with it. It’s light weight, safe and easy to pack up in it’s own bag. He loves being in it. And they will be able to use it for a few years since they got the bigger size.

  6. Anna

    May 15, 2012

    thank you for this. just in time for summer travel!! ever since you first shared the toddler backpack idea, i have had my son carry his own stuff. he loves it and now i can carry my beloved clutches, again. xo!

  7. Judy Havrilla

    May 15, 2012

    That attachment for the car seat is pretty nice. It’s been a while since my son needed “travel gear;” now he flies on his own with a cell phone and maybe a book to read.

    He used to fly unaccompanied to Germany at a very young age. I had a card written in English on one side and German on the other, saying who he was, where he was going, who he was supposed to meet. If he ever found himself alone he had instructions to hand the card to somebody in uniform. Believe it or not, once he used the card.

    I’d recommend similar for any kid traveling unaccompained, international or domestic.

  8. ana {bluebirdkisses}

    May 15, 2012

    we are planning a trip to amsterdam with our son in Oct and some of these are really great for us. We don’t have an umbrella stroller, but maybe we need to forgo our bugaboo for the trip

  9. Michelle A

    May 15, 2012

    Ha! I’m packing 7 of this list right now for a trip tomorrow. The knife/peeler is brilliant. I remember using plastic knives to cut strawberries and it was a pain. So clever.

    And so true about dressing your kids to cute to help strangers be more kind/forgiving. Ha!

  10. Great list…we went to France every other summer for several years…and brought all 3 kids from infancy on…I totally agree = less is more! I got better with each trip and more kids. We always limited the trip to 1 duffel bag each. and of course their backpacks…with fun stuff! The only thing I would add to your list is the backpack with a strap/leash. We found that wonderful for airports..our kids could walk a ways but were attached to us. Years ago we got lots of looks from strangers but noticed last summer – lots of attached kids toddling around! It would tire them out for sleeping better on the plane or later in the strollers. I wish I had this list when we started travling!

  11. red

    May 15, 2012

    My husband and I have traveled quite a bit with twins and have used lots of the items on this list. I would also recommend leashes for tossed bottles/sippy cups, as they have saved us several times when site seeing in a stroller; ergos or baby carriers are great if you plan on traveling via subways or metro; and Aden + Anais burpy bibs (although not disposable) are nice because they work as a bib, or burp cloth, (or soft small blankie) and are super cute making your kid more adorable when they take their seats on long sold-out flight. Good luck to all the travelling families this summer!

  12. Megan

    May 15, 2012

    With you 100% on the Baby Bjorn portacot – it’s a bit exe but worth the extra money from the weight, and size aspect. An ergo is a great addition -our little fella is one & he loves riding on daddy’s back – much better than a stroller when you’re navigating crowded tourist sights! We have the Phil & teds portable high chair – hubby reckons this is in the top 3 purchases.

  13. Katherine

    May 15, 2012

    Love the peeler idea! Going to be packed for our travels this summer.

  14. Katy

    May 15, 2012

    Great suggestions! I am in the habit of packing all my “food” items in a small tupperware, one of the flat square sandwich ones. Into that go a paring knife, two spoons, napkins (and bibs and baby spoons when the kids were babies). That way when we have leftovers that we want the kids to be able to snack on, or need a little “plate” for them, or have to cart food trash around for a bit before we can find a trashcan, we’re good to go. Also a small bar of laundry soap is incredibly useful, we are always washing things in hotel sinks!

  15. Corner Story

    May 15, 2012

    The cute hats for forgiving glances had me in stitches! Thank you for this practical travel guide. X

  16. Audrey

    May 15, 2012

    I have the Baby Bjorn travel bed too. Love it. Now that my son is a little older (3) I use a Shrunks Toddler Air Bed instead that I can pack in my large roller bag. My favorite travel combo right now is a cheap Cosco Scenera car seat bungee corded onto the Maclaren umbrella stroller. It eliminates the need for the car seat cart and lets me easily roll my son, car seat and stroller to the gate of the plane. He seems to wiggle less when belted into the car seat on the plane ride instead of directly into the too large plane seat. When I get to my destination I have both a car seat and a regular stroller to use.

  17. Naomi Bulger

    May 15, 2012

    Wow you ARE seasoned at this. I have all of this ahead of me, with my little one due in four to six weeks. But I must say I had a giggle and an “oh that’s good advice” moment when you said, “Dress your kids cute, let them make friends while they are happy. You never know when you’ll need forgiving glances later on in the flight.” Never was there a better excuse to dress my baby up!

  18. carak

    May 16, 2012

    great list! do you use a travel bag for your umbrella stroller? i’m debating whether we need one or not.

  19. jodi

    May 16, 2012

    I love the “dress your kids cute…let them make friends” I have found that to be the single most useful tool when traveling with kids. haha! It’s easier to forgive a cute little toddler. 🙂

  20. robync

    May 16, 2012

    I have never seen a cuter kids back pack I LOVE IT!

  21. Jessica at 11 Gray

    May 16, 2012

    I certainly have not mastered traveling with a toddler. We just took our first vacation and I took everything we owned. Great tips.

  22. Stephanie

    May 16, 2012

    We love Melissa & Doug trunkis for our preschoolers. They can pack their own stuff and we can tow them through airports.

  23. Phil

    May 18, 2012

    exactly what i needed. we’re traveling next week with my 1 year old daughter for two weeks. I hope Id pack the right stuff. 😉 I’ll add the peeler on my list.

    Boracay Resorts and Hotels

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