Traveling with babies doesn’t have to be as tough as some people imagine. From the car to the plane to the bus and everything in between, here is some of the baby travel gear we use for getting around.
We prefer to travel light, as we find it makes our travel experience a bit easier and less stressful. You don’t need specialty baby travel gear. Depending on your trip length, destination and reason for travel certain gear can be more or less helpful. We switch up what we bring with us depending on the length and type of trip. Also, you can always borrow (from family, friends or your accommodations), rent (from BabyQuip, other similar services, or from an attraction directly (e.g., some zoos rent strollers)), or buy certain items at your destination.
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Baby travel gear for moving about with your baby on trips
1. Baby Carrier
Probably our most essential baby travel item is our Ergo carrier. We have the 360 Baby Carrier All Carry Positions: Cool Air Mesh, but Ergo has a bunch of great options. Our baby was not a fan of strollers until he got a bit older, and he definitely wouldn’t fall asleep in them. Though he had no problem cozying up in the carrier for a nap on the go. A carrier allows you to see and do more since the baby can take some naps on the go and you’re not limited by stairs. I’m only 5’1” (155cm) and my husband is 5’11” (180cm) but we both find this carrier comfortable. Baby carriers can be more convenient than strollers while traveling, kind of like how travel backpacks can be a better option over suitcases.
When our second baby came along, we bought the 3 in 1 CarryOn All Seasons Toddler Carrier by LILLEbaby. This has a higher weight limit than our Ergo, and can help when those little legs get tired. There is also the Ergo Omni 360 which has a higher weight limit than the original 360, so it accommodates most toddlers.
The famed GP Pockit Stroller is the world’s most compact stroller. It folds to an astonishingly small (11.8” x 7” x 13.8” or 30cm x 17.8cm x 35cm), small enough to fit in a backpack or large tote. We purchased this for our trip to Japan, and it was perfect for it. It’s super lightweight (9.5lbs. or 4.3kg) so not a burden to carry around. We would fold the stroller up for some shrines and temples that had too many stairs for a stroller, and when we got on a train that was too crowded. See it in action in the photos below, strolling Elden through Nikko and Arashiyama in Kyoto, and in the third picture Steve’s carrying Elden on his front in the Ergo and has the stroller in the backpack.
We could’ve only brought the baby carrier, but for us it was still helpful to have a stroller as our bodies sometimes needed a break from carrying our 20lb. (9kg) baby in the summer heat. Since this stroller is so light it can feel a bit flimsy in a way, but I think flexible is a better word once you get used to it. We’ve had it for 2 years, tracked over all kinds of terrain and it’s in great shape. The one major drawback is the sunshade is so small it’s basically pointless, it doesn’t block any sun. Some people buy separate shade covers/extenders to help with this. It does not recline so is only appropriate from 6+ months old and it has a small storage basket. Since the GB Pockit stroller’s debut several stroller brands have come up with their own compact travel strollers, but none are as compact as the Pockit so if that’s your absolute main priority, this is your stroller.
4. Fly legs up
Fly LegsUp flight hammock for kids has been an awesome travel product for nighttime and long-haul flights. The idea is to fill in the gap between your kid’s seat and the seat in front of them, providing them more space to stretch out and lay down. We’ve also found this helpful for containing some toys, it prevents them from dropping and rolling on the floor! The hammock is a little fumbly to set up so we don’t bother with it for shorter flights, but for us, it’s definitely worth it for the longer flights.
This is more about an idea than a specific product, but I’ll include the link for your reference. Our baby moved from the infant car seat to a convertible around 8 months old. After I finally got it installed properly in my car, I didn’t want to take it out and go through that process ever again! Enter…travel car seat. We don’t always bring a car seat with us when we travel, I’d rather not, but sometimes it’s necessary. We purchased this cheaper, lighter convertible car seat as our “travel car seat” to ease the burden slightly. You can rent a car seat from a rental car company or outside baby gear rental company, but that can get pricey for longer trips. Some parents are also uncomfortable not knowing the car seat history.
If flying with your car seat, you have two options: check the seat, or if your baby has his/her own seat, bring the seat on board. To save money, we had our baby fly as a lap child until a little before he was 2 so we always checked the car seat.
We found it easier to speed around the airport with him in the carrier so we handed over the car seat right at check-in. We have this J.L. Childress Ultimate Backpack Padded Car Seat Bag to help protect the seat and keep it clean. All airlines should allow you to check a car seat for free. We usually stuff blankets, diapers, coats, etc. in the car seat bag too since it provides extra protection and that bag flies free so why not?
We haven’t yet flown with our car seat, so no need to transport it through the airport. I’ve heard from those that do, find the GO-GO BABYZ TRAVELMATE Car Seat Travel Stroller for Toddler Car Seats to work well. It’s like a small dolly or hand truck for your convertible car seat. Your baby can sit in the seat and you roll them directly in the seat through the airport – no need to lug a heavy convertible and toddler separately.
- Baby travel gear for feeding and eating
- Baby travel gear for sleep
- Must have travel items for all travelers
- Preparing for your baby’s first flight