Thursday, February 17, 2011

Traveling with young kids: 5 useful things to bring

Where you are headed on your family trip (is it a hotel vacation or are you staying with family?), how long your trip is (a weekend or a month?), what you will be doing (hiking in the Rockies or city-sightseeing in Rome?), and how old your children are (infants, toddlers, preschoolers, or older?) definitely affects what you need to bring along when you're traveling.

Here are five products that are worth considering, especially if you're traveling with younger kids, because they might just make your life a little easier.
The First Years On-The-Go Booster Seat

Portable booster seat
Once your child is big enough to sit by themselves at the table, a portable booster seat can be a big help when you're traveling. If you're staying in rental apartment, eating out in places where high chairs are not available, or staying with family that might not have all the kids' supplies on hand, it can make meals easier for you and your child. Many of the available seats fold up quite small, and will fit into your luggage without too much effort.

Chicco Ct0.6 Capri Lightweight Stroller, Tangerine
Umbrella stroller
Umbrella strollers are sometimes available to rent at resorts and some hotels, but bringing your own can be a good option. If you're bringing it on board the airplane, ask the airline ahead of time about whether you can bring it to the gate and then on the plane, or if it has to be checked with the rest of your luggage. Be forewarned that strollers can take quite a beating when they have to travel with the rest of the suitcases and luggage inside the cargo hold!

Sherpani Rumba Superlight Baby Carrier, Espresso
Back carrier
We got some very good use out of our back carrier when the children were younger (up to about age 2). Using the carrier leaves your hands free, which is nice, and some kids really enjoy the view and the fact that they get to ride around on someone's back. These are also nice if you are going for sightseeing tours, hikes or walks in terrain where a stroller might not be the best option.  

The First Years The First Years Deluxe Fold and Go Diapering Kit, Black/Gray
Diaper change pad
These are awesome when you're traveling, and are good to use on board the airplane as well. Your baby gets a cleaner and comfier spot to lay on than otherwise, and some of the kits that come with the pads can help keep your diaper change supplies organized too.
Sony Baby Call Nursery Monitor

Baby monitor
Whether you'll be staying with family, in a hotel, a rental apartment or house, a baby monitor can really make your life easier on a family holiday. If you use one at home, I'd definitely recommend bringing one with you when you go. If you're traveling to a foreign country, you might need to bring a universal adapter, or buy batteries for the monitor. I use baby monitors when we stay with my family in Sweden, even though my kids are no longer babies, because it makes me more relaxed when they've gone to bed and I'm still up socializing. Kids sometimes get anxious or have trouble sleeping properly if you're staying in a new place, or because of jet-lag, so knowing that you'll hear them if they wake up can ease your mind.


  1. I have found when traveling to visit family it is easier to just purchase items when you arrive and leave them there. Of course they have to be willing to store them, but for us it makes travel so much easier knowing there is a carseat and stroller waiting for us.

    1. Yes, for sure. that's a very good tip: if you're traveling to see family or friends it can make total sense to just borrow or buy things there. Stroller and car seats especially because they're so bulky to travel with.


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