On the road
TRAVEL MUST-HAVES FOR YOUNG FAMILIES
From babes to preschoolers, 7 essentials to help you travel easier with little kids.
I have three boys under the age of four, so I know that traveling with a pint-sized pack can be anxiety-inducing, to say the least. However, I don’t let the fear of flying or road-tripping as a family get in the way of vacationing with my children. To me, travel is the greatest gift that you can give your family… and yourself. With that being said, escaping with young kiddos does take some work… and the right gear.
Here are my favorite finds for traveling with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers on the go.
This sling will become your favorite accessory. I get asked all the time about it, and I admit that my third born and I have grown quite reliant on the Balboa Baby Carrier. It's easy to wear, convenient, and comfortable. Great for getting through the airport, the sling mimics a kangaroo pouch, giving your little Joey a cozy place to chill or sleep. The Dr. Sears-developed design lets mom enjoy holding her baby (8-35 lbs.) hands-free. It grows with your child, is machine washable, and is available in array of colors. Cost: $59.99.
KidTripster Tip: While this carrier is perfect for travel, you’ll also find yourself wearing it around the house, running errands, and to events. Plus, it can easily fold to fit in a diaper bag.
Throw this bad-boy in the backseat when heading to the beach or on a road trip. Keenz has thought of everything. The premium deluxe stroller wagon securely holds two kids with a 5-point safety harness and has plenty of storage. It also sports a retractable roof with mesh sunscreen, built-in cushioning, cooler, and optional beach wheels for cruising on the sand. Cost: $359.99.
Your baby will go gaga over the Nidö 2-in-1 Travel and Play Tent. Compact and light, the Nidö is perfect for the beach, park or hotel room floor. It protects from UVA and UVB rays (SPF 50+), sand, wind, and mosquitoes. It comes with three toys and a removable mat, making cleaning a breeze. The canopy and retractable mesh keep baby happily napping or playing in comfort. Plus, the “pop-up” system makes folding and unfolding easy and fast. It includes a carry bag and fits easily in your luggage. Cost: $79.99.
Have a blowout and need a clean space to change your baby? Fear not! Beanko is a mobile changing station. Simply change, stow, and go! The handy station features a foldable wedge design, built-in diaper and baby wipe holder, plus an attachment for toys. The detachable changing pad doubles as a tummy-time mat for indoor or outdoor play. Cost: $99.99.
KidTripster Tip: Keep a spare change of clothes in the pockets, in addition to diapers and wipes. This way, everything is in one place should clothes get soiled. And don’t forget a spare bag to stash yucky clothes!
KidTripster Tip: Don't need a changing station anymore? Simply detach the changing pad, and Beanko becomes a storage bag that you can attach to the back of a driver or passenger seat for additional car storage.
Here’s a perfect item to store in your Beanko: reuseable bags from Bumkins. They’re lightweight, easy to wipe clean, machine washable, and feature heat-sealed seams for true waterproof protection! These bags are perfect for holding anything from dirty clothes to wet swimsuits. A smooth zipper closure locks away the mess, while single-ply construction means no worrying about icky stuff growing between the layers of fabric. Plus, these bags come in so many cool colors and designs. My pick? The Nintendo 3-pack. Cost: $12.95.
KidTripster Tip: Alternatively, you can use Bumpkins as reusable snack bags.
Don’t waste your money on renting a car seat for your little kids; instead get the Graco TurboBooster TakeAlong. The TurboBooster protects kids (40-100 lbs.) as both a high-back car seat and later, as a booster. Plus, it’s designed to travel. The high back detaches from the base and then nests in the seat, allowing you to easily carry the seat with an integrated handle. The back-less booster seat actually folds to half of its size and fit is in small carrying bag. Watch here. Cost: $99.99.
KidTripster Tip: Remember, you can check your carseat at the gate for free.
Here’s something for Dad: an oversized diaper backpack that’s both cool in looks and fabulous in functionality! Whether you’re going on a long trip or a day out with the kids, the Canvas Pocket Pack is the perfect companion. It’s designed to hold all your essentials with four front pockets, padded laptop sleeve, insulated bottle pockets, changing pad, and more. And the best part for Mom? Dad gets to wear it! Cost: 97.99.
Amazon links are provided for your convenience, and yes, KidTripster makes a few cents, too. However, you'll pay the same price as you would going to Amazon directly.
Photo courtesy: Mama B. Designs