I’d say that the number one question that goes around in my mom groups is “how do you handle traveling with children?” Let me tell you, spending the last year in a pandemic only amplified my fears and anxieties around traveling with kids. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks I’ve learned and executed along the way. While you don’t need any of these items, I wanted to share the top products that have been tested and tried by not only me but many real moms I know. Adding one or two of these to your arsenal might add a little more comfort to your travel and hopefully relieve some anxiety, too.
Before we dive in, here are my 10 tips and hacks I live by when it comes to traveling with children:
- Give yourself ample time to pack, and pack outfits not just clothes.
- Make a checklist, and save it to your computer for future use.
- Ship bulky items ahead of time if possible—diapers and wipes take up a ton of space.
- Research the guidelines for traveling with formula, breast milk, and baby food on the TSA website.
- Car seats get checked for free and you can check your strollers at the gate.
- Pack an extra change of clothes for the baby and yourself—blowouts and puke happen.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it be from a fellow passenger or a flight attendant, etc.
- Feed on the way up and down to help with ear pressure.
- Sanitation wipes and baby wipes can get you through a lot!
- Don’t stress; you’ll make due no matter what. Just try and enjoy the journey, give yourself some grace and if it all falls apart, laughter is the best medicine.
Okay, now for the fun stuff. These kid’s travel accessories and travel products have been lifesavers for myself and my mommy pals. Tried and true, no gimmicks!
Doona Car Seat Stroller
For me, this is hands-down the best invention for traveling on the go with a little one. Plus, all my NYC friends that are in and out of Ubers swear by this stroller car seat combo. The Doona weighs only 16.5lbs and can be used for a baby 35lbs or less. This even fits through the bag scanner at the airport, which makes traveling with children seamless!
Stokke JetKids BedBox
When traveling with children, red-eye flights are your friend. It is easier for me to fly with the babies at night because they sleep most of the flight. At night you can also ask the flight attendant for help with the baby because they aren’t as busy if you need to run to the restroom or something! Norah spends most of the time in my or my husbands’ arms, but Liam is too heavy and long now. That’s why the BedBox® is a lifesaver. This travel essential allows your child to rest comfortably or sleep during long and short-haul flights. Once the seat belt sign is off, transform the from a suitcase to a bed in 5 simple steps. Liam can cruise through the airport on it as I pull him along. I also pack all his special items inside like his lovey, blankie, iPad, and sippy cup. Plus, it weighs only 7.2lbs, so I think it’s well worth it as his carry-on.
J.L. Childress Ultimate Backpack Padded Car Seat Travel Bag
If you prefer to bring your child’s car seat look no further than this carrying case. It has held up to five flights without a rip or tear and you can’t beat the price. My husband just throws it on his back while he wheels our suitcases and I take the babes. They also have an option with wheels, because some of those car seats can be super heavy! Don’t forget car seats get checked for free so dropping this off at the gate in the travel bag ensures your car seat will make it to your destination clean and safe.
Mina Baie London Weekender
This is the perfect travel bag for a new mom. It can be used as a hospital bag, or a weekender once your baby is born too. The London Weekender has the space you need and all the organization to keep you from digging through an endless pit. I also think the leather strap and crossbody make the bag super functional when you need your hands free. Bonus: it’s the perfect diaper bag for twin moms or moms with two under two. I highly recommend all of their bags to be high quality, functional and made in Los Angeles. Weight 4 lbs
Elvie Portable Breast Pump
Now I know breast pumps are all about preference but traveling with a huge pump is just out of the question for me. That’s why I love the Elvie. It’s super portable, there are no bags to carry with you and it charges in two hours with a micro-USB (which I’m sure you’ll already have packed anyway.)
Uppa Baby G Link Double Stroller
The Uppa Baby G Link Double Stroller is 100% my next purchase for traveling with children. Now that both kids are upright, it’s such a good option. This beast would also be perfect for twin moms or two children close in age. This light double stroller has a quick, simple fold mechanism, which requires little effort and no foot action.
Banz Baby Ear Muffs
Finally, a solution to providing hearing protection for infants! Help your baby sleep through those noisy airports and plane announcements with The Banz Baby Earmuffs. The wide, foam-filled cushions ensure that the set doesn’t squeeze uncomfortably, and there is plenty of space for the ears inside the shells. They also come in some really fun colors and illustrations.
JBL Junior Wireless Headphones
Sometimes the only thing you can do to keep your toddler entertained and relaxed on a flight is with electronics. I recommend these JBL Junior Wireless Headphones. These headphones are my go-to for traveling with children because they are designed to ensure the volume is always below 85dB to protect hearing and easy controls can be operated without any help.
Mushie Pacifier Clip Holder (Chain)
Avoid having to clean and wipe the pacifier with a pacifier clip. I also find that when you’re not in your own space having this chain helps you locate the pacifier faster. I try and keep it clipped to a bag, stroller, or car seat.
Yeti Hopper Flip 12 Soft Cooler
Traveling with children and need breastmilk or baby food? The YETI Hopper Flip 12 is chic and effective. Its wide-mouth opening makes for easy loading and access to your food and drinks. Plus its compact, cubed body means ultimate portability!
Goumi Coastal Lounge Wear
If I’m traveling with children at night, I always put them in their pajamas. I love the Goumikids Organic Loungewear because it’s comfortable and stylish for a long day of travel.
Boulevard F Portable Sound Machine
When we arrive at our destination, kids can become overwhelmed by a new location. When traveling with children, I always pack a sound machine to have in our hotel room or wherever we end up. I love this Baby Sound Machine from Walmart because it automatically sounds and lights up when the outside voices reach 75dB.
If the thought of packing any of these items seems like a total time suck for you, you can easily rent most of them! Paradise Baby Co and Babys Away are both great options for rentals when traveling with children.