5 Toddler Travel Essentials

Parents travel a whole lot more than they used to – many families and friends are spread out across the world, and air travel has made reaching certain destinations easier. Yet when you travel with a (small) child, the luggage seems to multiply exponentially – car seat, travel cot, stroller, in-flight entertainment, the list goes on. From short haul to long haul flights, whether you are travelling solo with your kiddo, or with your spouse, partner, family member or friend, here are 5 travel essentials that we’ve found have made our travelling with a little one much, much easier (read: bearable!). We’ve personally found these items useful and highly recommend them due to their light weight, compact, collapsible size, and user-friendliness.

1.  Plane Pal Inflatable Cushion

Oh, cramped airplane seats. The bane of every economy-traveller’s (or long-legged person’s) existence. For adults, sleeping can be challenging enough – but what about the smaller adults? Having travelled with Bean multiple times, I learned quickly that if she doesn’t sleep, I don’t sleep. Enter Plane Pal. Almost identical to Fly-Tot, this nifty contraption fits into a small pouch with a portable pump, which you then use to inflate the cushion on board. It fits snugly between the child’s seat and the one in front, and forms an extension for the kiddo to place their legs on and – wait for it – sleep on. It works from baby up to 7 years of age.

Image and product available here.

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Pro-tip: For longer sleep, choose the window seat!

 

2. Fjallraven Kanken Everyday Backpack

Hailed by multiple mommy blogs, diapers bags need not always be cumbersome and bulky. Available in 45 colors, the Fjallraven Kanken Daypack is deceivingly slim, but actually fits everything you need for up to a long-haul flight. The zippers go all the way down either side of the bag, making searching for items much, much easier, and the handles are perfect when you are unable to wear it on your back. It is also waterproof, making it a great companion for outdoor activities. Created in Sweden in 1978 for schoolchildren, the bag is also designed to be ergonomic, so no shoulder pain! We found this bag so useful we have one in the original size (below) and in the mini, which works for everyday use.

Image and product available here.

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And it fits nicely under the seat in front of you.

3. Urban Kanga Portable Car Seat

Okay, okay. So this may have been the single, one item I was most excited about. Travelling with an infant capsule car seat is relatively easy – it can be slung over one arm, adapted to a stroller, and you can carry it with your baby inside. When Bean hit toddlerhood, lugging around an 8kg+ car seat made for some tricky travel decisions (read: public transportation with groceries and a cranky child). Luckily, in April 2017, Urban Kanga released their portable (yes, portable!) toddler car seat, suited from 9kg to 18kg – up to 4 years of age. The seat is cushioned, extremely easy to fix into cars, and weighs a cool 3kg. The head rest and strap inserts are adjustable and adapt to the growing child. And since it comes with its own bag, I hang it on the handles of Bean’s stroller when we are travelling.

Image and product available here.

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This product has single-handedly made toddler travel so. much. easier.

4. GoodBaby (GB) Pockit+

From the company that brought us the smallest (when folded) stroller in the world, the GB Pockit+ is the improved, reclining model. Weighing 4.9kg and self-standing when folded, this stroller fits under the airplane seat in front of you. Unlike its predecessor, the GB Pockit, this later model offers recline function which makes it ideal for 6months onwards, and can be used up to 18kg, or 4 years of age. It also offers Cybex infant car seat adaptability, rendering it one of the most travel-friendly travel systems for infants as well as a practical travel stroller for toddlers. The downside may be the lack of a substantive sun shade, but we remedied this by finding a collapsible sun shade that can be stored in the surprisingly roomy basket. Easy to fold, easy to carry, and easy to travel with.

Image and product available here.

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It doesn’t hurt that folding it up at the gate takes less than a minute.

5. Baby Björn Lite Travel Cot

The final entry in this list is a solution for when the place you are staying at during your holiday does not offer a travel cot, or the cot does not meet your expectations. It can also be used as a permanent bed at home. We tried several different types of travel beds before settling on the Baby Björn Lite – it not only offers stability, roominess and is lightweight (6kg with the travel bag), it folds up with the mattress. And a reasonably thick mattress at that. Previous pack-and-plays we used also required the mattress to be carried separately – whereas this travel cot and mattress fit nicely into one bag. We even leave the mattress cover and waterproof sheet inside. The travel bag protects it from damage during check-in, and it folds and unfolds easily. Suited from birth to approximately 3 years of age.

Image and product available here.

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