It’s been a while since we’ve covered family travel gear on the blog so it’s time for an update. Who better to ask for her take on the latest and greatest travel products for kids than Nadia Carriere, the Publisher of Child Mode, one of the leading online guides for news and current information on children’s products, fashions, trends, celebrity child styles and family travel destinations.
Traveling with children doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, on a recent cruise trip, my family and I experienced the most organized, well-planned excursion we’ve ever taken. How? We only packed the necessities and brought along a few pieces of travel gear that helped keep the kids occupied, happy and comfortable.
Two years ago, I was completely clueless when it came to travel gear for kids. After the birth of my second child (and after several family trips) I’ve experienced quite a bit through personal trial and error and received valuable feedback from other traveling families and as the editor of Child Mode, keeping on top of the latest trends with baby gear, children’s products and family travel industry is something we take pride in.
Over the last couple of weeks I put together a list of the hottest, newest and most popular pieces of travel gear for kids and babies. Depending on the age of your child, length of your trip or whether you are flying by air or land, I can guarantee you will find many of these pieces incredibly useful and stress reducing!
Trunkis are a tried and true favorite among many families I know. The beauty of this case is that you can pull your little one along behind you (a lifesaver for those you don’t wish to bring 2 strollers and have a child in the in-between stroller stage).
Late last year, Trunki introduced a new accessory to compliment their fun luggage – the Trunki Saddle Bag. Available in color coordinating shades that match your luggage, these bags provide a comfy, padded seat that turns into an over the shoulder bag. Thanks to the zippered pockets and interior compartments, your child has a shoulder pack that provides lots of room for their precious treasures, snacks or knick-knacks. Price: $19.99
Winner of the iParenting Media Award, CARES – Child Aviation Restraint System and Harness is designed to keep little ones who weigh between 22 and 44 pounds, safe and secure in their seats. CARES is the only product of its kind to ever receive certification by the Federal Aviation Administration. Weighing only 1 pound, the CARES system fits into a 6″ carry sack and keeps your child as safe and secure as any car seat on the market. Price: $84.00
BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light
The BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light has been a tried and true favorite in our home for the last 2 years. Weighing a mere 11 lbs, this crib (with the mattress) folds up and slips inside a carry case. We’ve brought this crib along when taking a trip to Grandma’s house and on our car trips. When our daughter was under a year old, the Travel Crib Light was a safer alternative to putting her on the bed, where she could have fallen off. The crib has doubled up as a playpen which we still use daily. Price: $219.95
GoGo Kidz Travelmate
If you prefer to have your child sit in a car seat, the gogo Kidz Travelmate makes lugging that big, heavy piece of child gear a little easier! You simply attach the car seat to the device and off you go, rolling the car seat around the airport with ease. The updated version has implemented a new ratcheting, quick-release strap to make unloading easier then ever. Price: $84.99
ERGO Baby Carrier
The ERGO Baby Carrier is the best soft structured carrier, I have ever tested and as a babywearing mom, I’ve tested my share of carriers! Disney World would have been a disaster had I not brought my ERGO. During the evening fireworks at Cinderella’s castle and even in the late afternoon, my 2 year old daughter took a nap on my back, while her sister rode in the stroller. Love this carrier! Price: $105.00
If you are looking for the ultimate lightweight travel stroller, Maclaren’s Volo is your best bet. Weighing in at a mere 4.0 kg or 8.8 lbs, this is one of the lightest strollers on the market and holds a impressive 55 lbs. The only issue – there is no recline. This wasn’t a big deal for us as my children are 2 and 4, so the recline wasn’t necessary for our touring trips. Price: $129.99 from Amazon.com.
Belkin Audio Splitter
Although not technically ‘Travel Gear’ the Belkin Audio Splitter is a life-saver when traveling with more than one child. During flights, I make a habit of inserting one of the kids’ favorite DVDs into my MacBook Pro and packing a couple of sets of headphones into our carry-on. This splitter allows both of my children to listen to the movie without fighting over the ear-phones. There is also a splitter that can be used with an iPad, (another excellent choice for kids) Price: $19.99
Talus-TrashStand Floor Litter Bag
Last but certainly not least, my all-time favorite picks when traveling by car is the Talus-TrashStand Floor Litter Bag. As you know, when driving with children, your vehicle quickly turns into a restaurant, play room, bedroom and rest room within a matter of minutes. Trash builds up crazy fast which is why this bag is the ultimate way to keep messes under control. Holding up to 2 gallons of trash, not only does the TrashStand keep your garbage under control, it also has pockets on the side to organize travel games, snacks, wipes and other travel necessities. Price: $18.50