Short from packing up the entire house for our next vacation, I am gearing up for another year of traveling. It’s insane how much you actually need when you consider family travel. But trust me the memories are so worth it. We have been traveling a lot with our preschooler and I have come up with our ten must have necessities.
1. The BubbleBum booster seat. You need a booster seat to safely travel with your child, but the idea of lugging that booster seat around just isn’t realistic. The BubbleBum is a portable booster seat that inflates and deflates for ease when traveling. It folds flat when not in use so that you can easily store it. For ages 4-11 and 40-100 lbs.
2. Consider a stroller for children six and under. We do a lot of walking and sightseeing when on vacation and at times our six and four-year old have a hard time keeping up with us. The best item I take on our vacations is our Zooper Waltz stroller. My boys (4 and 6) take turns resting their legs and still enjoy our adventures.
3. I never leave home without an arsenal of snacks. Vacations are no different to keep cost down, we travel with BooginHead Pack’Ems. They are reusable snack pouches that can be refilled easily and wipe clean on the go. I usually pack some of my boys favorite non-perishable snacks in our suitcase and refill our Pack’Ems before we head out for the day. Great for mid-day snacks without having to stop and purchase over-priced snacks.
4. If your kids are anything like mine, they need to be entertained. We take along an iPad to pass the time in places like airports. My boys really love their Animalz headphones. I really love that they are volume-Limiting with 85 db, the tangle-Free retractable cord storage and they fit nicely on my little one’s heads.
5. I don’t know how we ever managed without MyBuckleMate. My boys are very independent and attempt to buckle their seat belts without assistance. But the fuss of having to deal with a floppy buckle even drives me crazy. Especially if we have two booster seats next to each other, finding the buckle end can drive us all crazy. My Bucklemate props the buckle upright allowing for easy, no fuss buckling. We took these with us on our last vacation in our rented vehicle and it made getting in and out of our van so much easier and faster.
6. I dread finding my boys falling asleep with their heads dangling. They don’t seem to mind, but I can only imagine what kind of pain their neck would be in if I let them sleep that way as we traveled. The Skip Hop neck pillows give their heads a place to rest even when upright.
7. The splat mat is one of those items I have multiples of. I keep one in my car, carry-on bag and at home. The mat is large enough that we can turn the area into an impromptu play area, picnic mat and all around clean space. Wipe clean and reuse throughout your trip.
8. If you are traveling with large gear in the airport you will need a gear check bag. The Babies R’ Us gate check stroller bag conveniently rolls up into its own pouch when not in use.
9. Child size carry-on backpack. I have my boys pack their travel on with their headphones, snacks, crayons, notebook paper and a couple of small toys. They enjoy having their personal items to carry and it keeps my carry-on free from extra kid stuff.
10. Light jacket or sweater is a must even in the summer. From the chilly airplane to cool evenings, you just never know when your little one will want to cover up.