Traveling with babies and kids is not the easiest in large part because of all the stuff they require. One of the most annoying — yet absolutely essential — things to transport for kids are their car seats. I have heard too many horror stories about the condition of car seats at rental car places so we have never gone that route. I just generally don’t trust using any car seat but our own.
When the kids were in infant seats we traveled with the Cosco Scenera Next — SUPER lightweight and safe and incredibly affordable at under $50. Still a pain to lug around, but not nearly as bad as their regular car seats at home that are much larger and heavier. This car seat bag is a great option for getting through the airport more smoothly, or we have clipped ours onto our bags using these, too (but found that this isn’t sturdy enough to also have the kids in it like pictured so keep that in mind)
For Europe, we knew we wouldn’t be in cars much at all so we definitely didn’t want to bring their huge car seats. We opted to use the Mifold Grab-and-Go Car Booster Seat. It folds up small enough to fit in your handbag or backpack and is just as safe as a typical booster. How does it work? A regular booster seat lifts the child up to meet the seat belt, the Mifold seat pulls the belt down into perfect position for your child. Both have the same function of getting the seat belt in the correct place for optimal safety for your child, just done in different ways.
The age requirement for this is technically four-years-old, and James is only 3, but we felt comfortable using it for him because he met the height and weight requirements. Use your own discretion and do what you feel comfortable with! Now we’re so glad to have these seats for easy transport for school carpools, sleepovers with grandma, etc!
We’ve gotten through five years of parenthood with the use of only one stroller — our UppaBaby Cruz which we highly, highly recommend. It is lightweight enough that we have always opted to bring it along with us when we traveled and we used it with the kick board so we could accommodate two kids (there is no option for two seats with the Cruz, only the Vista). That said, it is lightweight, but a lot larger than we wanted for our trip to Europe and would have been an extra bag to check in or lug through an airport. I knew there was no way the kids could handle all the walking we’d be doing so I started searching for travel strollers that were super lightweight and small enough to fit into an airplane’s overhead compartment. I ended up stumbling upon the Clutch Stroller by Delta Children and it had such amazing reviews and was very similar to some other strollers that costed more than three times the price. It weighs only 11.7 pounds and has a weight limit of 50 pounds so works for older kids! Elodie was borderline too big for it, but it worked out just fine. It did amazingly well on cobblestone streets, had a nice size basket below and was easy to maneuver. Biggest complain was that it doesn’t have a full recline for napping on the go, but the kids still managed to sleep in it!
Truthfully I would have loved to have two strollers or a double stroller because there was definitely whining and complaining from the kid who wasn’t in the stroller, but that just wasn’t feasible with all the other bags we had so we just went with one and it was fine. Amber recommends the Double Zoe Stroller if you want to look into that!
Before this trip to Europe we were packing cube virgins. Now after using them for just this one trip we are totally hooked and can’t imagine traveling without them. For one: they definitely give you the ability to pack more in the same amount of space. When you use the rolling method to fold everything into the packing cube you are able to fit so many more items into your suitcase. But my favorite part of the cubes is how it made unpacking SO EASY and it made everything organized and easy to find. This is especially key when you are traveling multiple places and will be unpacking and repacking a lot.
When we got to our destination all we had to do was pull the packing cubes out of our bags and place them into drawers. You have easy visibility and access to everything so long as you packed wisely. Each of us had 3-4 cubes (I overpacked!). For the kids I had one for PJs and swim stuff, one for tops and one for bottoms. Followed roughly the same approach for me but added one for dresses. I liked having all the cubes one size, but they come in packs of multiple sizes if you prefer that. Seriously can’t recommend packing cubes enough!
I mentioned the BedBox on my last post but wanted to touch on a few more things I love about these suitcases. They fit under the seat in front of you and if you don’t need the bed portion you can buy it simply as a Ride-On suitcase (and add the bed part later if necessary). We got SO many comments in all the airports about how amazing they looked and how well our kids did with them. They maneuver well around turns and on bumps (within reason haha) and our kids never got sick of them. If they weren’t riding them they were pulling them happily themselves. One thing to note is there isn’t a ton of space for extra stuff if you have the bedding in there. We had room for a few snacks and small activities but not much else!
This is kind of random, but we were so impressed with this adapter we used. It had USBs built right in so we could charge both of our phones throughout the night without having to have two separate adapters and we could ALSO plug in other appliances at the same time. I was also able to easily plug in my curling iron and loved that this has surge protection so you don’t damage any of your electronics (which I have sadly done before). And it’s under $25!
These are the few products that stood out in making our trip more seamless with kiddos. If you have any you swear by, comment below!