As of today, we are officially on summer break over here. Or, the kids are at least. “Schooooool’s out fooooor…the summer!” Don’t mind me, I’m just re-living some old-school movies. Does that give away my age? Oops! While we don’t have any huge plans for the summer (newborn plus two other kids and all), we will be heading to visit my in-laws, who live at the beach, as much as possible. I also foresee many park dates, splash pad runs, and sleepovers at the grandparents.
Our first time travelling with a toddler was a few years ago. We were decently-seasoned travellers prior to having kids, but travelling with children (especially babies and toddlers) changes everything. Everything. They come with lots of gear, people! Along with the added clothes, toiletries, diapers, etc. you also need to think about portable beds or cribs, portable highchairs or booster chairs, a good travel stroller, activities to keep them busy, and more. As many of you know, I tend to go overboard with my research. Hubby loves it (insert sarcasm here). If there’s a baby item out there, chances are I’ve researched it and can tell you all about it. Same goes for travel gear for toddlers. Before our big trip to the Bahamas a few years ago, I searched high and low for the best travel gear for toddlers.
Whether you’re heading off on an epic family vacation this summer, visiting family, going camping, or planning for a future trip, you no longer need to worry about figuring out what items you should bring when travelling with a toddler. I’ve got you covered. Here are some of the best travel items for toddlers, to bring along on your next family trip. Happy travels, friends!
The Best Travel Gear for Toddlers
Regalo My Cot Portable Bed – We are big fans of Regalo items, especially their baby gates. When we were looking for a quick and easy bed solution for a toddler who is out of the crib but not quite ready for a big bed, the Regalo My Cot fit the bill. It’s the perfect size (not too big, not too small), is really comfortable, and folds up so small that it can fit in a suitcase. How great is that? It’s meant for children ages 2-5 that weigh up to 75 pounds, and both my two year old and five year old are well within the limits. They absolutely love their cots. The Regalo My Cot takes about 10 seconds to set up and another 10 seconds to fold up again. It’s fool-proof, my friends. It also fits into my suitcase, with lots of room to spare. We bring this on short distance road trips, but we’ve also travelled on a plane with it. It’s super light so it doesn’t add much weight to the bag, and it’s the best bed option when flying with toddlers or travelling with toddlers. It’s also so great for camping. My kids cannot wait to use theirs in the tent this summer. The Regalo My Cot is also made of non-toxic materials and the cot cover is machine washable (woot, woot). You can also upgrade to the deluxe version, which comes with its own sleeping bag. It’s definitely one of our most recommended pieces of travel gear for toddlers.
Miss K could not wait to lie down and snuggle up in her new cot. And it folds up so easily!
Travel Crib – If your toddler is still in a crib and not yet ready for the cot, then our favourite travel crib is the Lotus Travel Crib. It’s made of eco-friendly materials, has a zipper on the side for easy access, and is extra long, so it’s great for longer babies or young toddlers.
Booster Seat – There are tons of awesome booster seats on the market. We have a great simple natural rubber one we use at home, but it’s not the most portable in terms of size. Regalo’s Portable Booster and Activity Seat fits the bill for toddlers who still need that extra support at the table. It can hold kids up to 37 pounds and is super convenient for travelling, even on the plane. We have also used the Chicco 360 travel clip-on chair and find it works really well for larger infants and smaller toddlers.
Portable Play yard – While a portable play yard isn’t always an option if you’re tight on space, it can be hugely helpful if you’re road-tripping or even going on a short trip to visit family and friends. I think it’s so important for infants and toddlers to have their own safe play space, plus having their own space can make travelling with a toddler that much easier. A play yard would be especially great to bring if you’re renting a home somewhere or heading to the beach. I love that this portable play yard has mesh sides, can fold up easily, and also comes with its own carrying case. It would also be perfect to bring when travelling with a baby or toddler.
Baby Carrier – Carriers are so key when travelling. They are perfect when it’s not feasible to bring a stroller, like when you’re hiking or in a super crowded area such as a busy market. I have a more detailed post on my favourite baby carriers, but the Ergobaby carrier and Ergobaby 360 are my absolute favourite one. The Ergo 360 has a smaller weight limit but you can carry your child in more positions (including outward facing) and I think it breathes better, so it’s good if you’re heading to a warmer locale. They’re also great for toddlers, are ergonomically correct and really help support the weight. They are by far one of the best carriers out there and the perfect toddler travel gear item.
Travel Stroller – There are so many travel strollers out there. We absolutely love our Maclaren Quest stroller and the Maclaren Triumph is also an amazing travel stroller. They both fold up very small and are great for any type of travels, including air travel, as you can use the stroller in the airport and bring it right to the gate. For a more budget-friendly option, the Maclaren Volo or Chicco Capri are two good choices for good quality travel strollers. Both are solid strollers with great ratings and they can be used both for travelling and every day use.
Headphones – If your little one watches shows or listens to podcasts (Sparkle Stories are a favourite of ours), then getting their own set of headphones is almost a must! We like the LilGadgets headphones as they’re great quality and have a max volume control, which is super important for little ones, and they are good quality. I can’t tell you how many times ours have been dropped, swung, and pretty much stepped on, and they are still going strong. If you’re travelling with a toddler, headphones will be super handy.
Snack Case – We are big fans of the YumBox MiniSnack box. Both my kindergartener and toddler have their own. The snack box is the perfect size for bringing along snacks, or the Yumbox bento box is great for lunch or a heartier snack with more options. These are also super durable and are non-toxic, which is always a priority over here.
Luggage and Backpack – A trip with a toddler wouldn’t be complete if they didn’t have their own suitcase and backpack! Our two oldest kids have their own Skiphop rolling luggage backpack, which my oldest has used for years and it still looks almost new! It’s super durable (because, toddlers), has a decent amount of space, a pull-out handle and wheels so they can wheel it themselves, as well as an additional strap for parents to carry on their back. While it likely wouldn’t hold an entire week’s worth of beach vacation gear, we’re able to fit a good amount in here and add any extras to our own bags. Roll those clothes! A great matching backpack is the Skip Hop harness backpack, or for bigger toddlers, the Skiphop little kid and toddler backpack. Both the suitcases and backpacks come in lots of different animal options. They’re also BPA and phthalate-free, which is great.
Carseat Travel Tray – If you’re going to be spending a while in the car, then a travel tray can be super handy. We’ve used the Star Kids Snack and Play before and it’s great because it’s soft and can be packed into a suitcase pretty well. I’m also recently loving the Regalo Travel Tray because it doubles as a car seat tray for activities and food as well as an actual portable placemat and tray for when you’re out and about and dining out. I love the versatility of it and the fact that it can go in the dishwasher – always a bonus! I think this would be ideal for road trips especially. Travel trays are great when travelling with a toddler.
Sound Machine – You never know what type of new noises you’ll encounter on your travels. We love the Homedics Sound Machine so much that we have three of them. I’m not kidding! One for every room haha. We’ve used this one since my firstborn was new to this world and it’s the number one pick among parents. It’s great to block out any loud noises on trips and ensure your little ones nap and sleep well.
So there you have it, friends. I hope this post has been helpful for you in figuring out the best travel gear for toddlers, and what are essentials for your next trip with kids. Happy travels!
*Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Regalo Baby, but all opinions are my own.