Since I have a three-year-old and a newborn (and travel for a living), I am often asked about my tips and tricks for traveling with a baby and/or toddler. And while family travel days aren’t always easy (it’s a “trip” not a “vacation”), there are a few items that I’ve come to rely on to make traveling with little kids a little bit less painful.
(And for a more detailed post, check out Arbiter’s Guide to Traveling with a Baby, especially good for first-time moms.)
- SlumberPod: This is hands-down my number one can’t-travel-without item for ages 0 – 2. My husband has become a wizard at assembling it (it’s basically like a tent used for camping). Although hotel black-out-curtains are wonderful, this helps create a nice little sleeping area, especially if you are sharing a room with your little one. Once H turned two, he figured out how to throw it off his crib – but for those first two years, we honestly could not leave home without it. As a side note, hotels will usually be able to provide a crib or pack-and-play, if not we like the BabyBjörn Travel Crib.
- Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller: My biggest regret is not getting a Doona stroller the first time around. We received one as a baby gift for B, and I honestly don’t know how we functioned without it. It is a car seat that folds out into a stroller, making travel (and life) a breeze. This is not just a travel item, you will use it every single day for the first year of baby’s life.
- Babyzen YOYO2 Stroller: This umbrella stroller is sturdy enough for everyday use (it has fully replaced our UppaBaby for H), and folds up into a compact purse-sized shape (with a strap!) so that you can bring it as a carry-on item (and doesn’t count towards your allowance). We can’t travel without this. And while it can only be used for babies 6 months and up, we already have the Ride Along Stroller Board ready to go for when B can be in the stroller and H can ride on the back.
- Personalized Packing Cubes: If you follow me, you know I love a monogram, as impractical as they may be for hand-me-downs. But in this case I take a firm stance on their necessity. Packing cubes are essentials in our family, and having each person’s monogrammed makes sharing one suitcase and staying organized super easy.
- Hatch Rest Mini: Like most other Gen Alpha tots, my kids are a bit spoiled with their sleep environment (hence the need for the aforementioned SlumberPod). We rely on the Hatch Rest+ at home for white noise for both our newborn and toddler. The Hatch Mini is super easy to pack and does the job just as well.
- Fire Kids Tablet: Once your toddler has the attention span to enjoy a movie, travel becomes 1000 times easier. For us, screen time is a beyond necessary evil.