This post may contain affiliate links. Read my whole disclosure here.
I am asked frequently about the items that I consider the most useful in our trips with Bogdan, so I gathered here our top 10 must-have items for traveling with kids. They really made the difference in our trips and I hope they will be helpful to you too.
We are really relaxed when it comes to choosing the items in our luggage and with few exceptions we know that we can find almost everything at our destination so we don’t need to worry too much if we forget something. We have always a packing list at hand when we prepare for a new trip, but there are also some must-have items that we take with us almost everytime we travel.
This is a small suitcase for kids. It is great for packing the things they will need on the plane, but it’s also a nice way of getting them involved in the trip. If they have their own cute suitcase they will be more willing to help packing and also they will carry it (proudly) in the airport.
The best thing about Trunki is that it’s a ride-on suitcase, so it’s a perfect solution when the child gets tired. The suitcase is made in the UK and has an award-winning British design that we really liked. It has a free five-year warranty and holds up to 75 lbs.
It is available on Amazon, we bought this model, but they are a lot of other models to choose from, depending on your child’s preferences.
We also have the Trunki Tote Bag, it fits perfectly in the suitcase and it can be used also as a shoulder bag. Two plastic clips on the back allow it to be clipped onto the back of a car or plane seat, so toys and games are easily accessible for the whole journey.
For us, it was a live saver during our flights, especially when Bogdan was an infant and he traveled on the same airplane seat with me. The carrier also helped us during our vacations and it was a must-have every time we went on a holiday. It is easy to pack and it really makes a difference! It is important to find an ergonomic baby carrier that allows the child to have a good back support and to stay in ‘M position’, that is the only healthy position for carrying a baby. We used a Manduca carrier and it was the best choice for us, it is totally worth the money!
When we travel by plane and then we rent a car or use the taxi at the destination we really need a booster seat. Until now we used a normal booster, but it was really hard to carry, especially when we had a lot of other luggage. I recently discovered this inflatable booster seat and I think it’s a very practical alternative.
See the details on the list for car items (below – number 7)
I never imagined this were useful until we had our first long haul flight and Bogdan wanted to watch an animation film on the airplane TV. The headphones we received from the stewardess were completely useless for kids, so he had to watch the movie without sound and this was very annoying. I looked for a solution for our future flights and I discovered the Kidz Gear Wired Headphones For Kids and they look lightweight and comfortable, so I think we will try them. They are great also when the kids want to hear some music during the flight without disturbing the other passengers.
The tray is ideal for allowing the kid to play while seating in the car seat. It also makes the eating easier and the pockets on the sides are great for storing crayons and other small items. You can find several models on Amazon, we bought one a year ago and it was very useful on the road trips.
You can always pack the blanket your kid uses at home, but there is another option that is more practical and comfortable for long trips: a travel blanket. We use the Trunki Travel Pillow and Blanket Set and it really makes the difference on road trips. SnooziHedz is an innovative 3 in 1 travel pal, pillow, and blanket. It is presented in the form of a cute character that simply unzips to reveal a plush fleece blanket and an inflatable pillow.
If you prefer not to use a travel blanket and pillow set or if you plan a summer trip and you don’t need it, you can find a separate travel pillow that is great for the moments when the child naps in the car. When we switched to a bigger car seat we noticed that sleeping is more difficult because the seat doesn’t offer a good support for the child’s head. When we searched for a solution, we found this travel pillow that solved the issue and made naps more comfortable. You can also find other models on Amazon, but we are big fans of Trunki products and we really liked this one.
This is really a perfect organization tool for the car. It helps to keep all the child’s items in one place and to have an easy access to them during the trip. Before moving to California we had one backseat organizer that was made by us from a clothes organizer, but now we plan to buy one of the car organizers we saw on Amazon. You can find there a lot of models to choose from.
If the child is in the potty training phase or you are making a long trip and you don’t know where you’ll be able to find a restroom on time, this travel potty is the best solution. We plan to buy one of those for Bogdan, they are easy to pack and are very practical.
During long trips, kids get bored easily so it’s better to be prepared with a lot of great activity books to keep them busy. I wrote a separate post about our favorite books for keeping kids busy while traveling, I hope you will find some inspiration on that list.
This is my list of must-have items when traveling with kids, I hope they will be useful for you too! I am sure that we will discover new ones in our future journeys and we will change the list as Bogdan grows.
I would be glad to find new ideas, so please share them in the comments to make this list even bigger and more helpful for all the parents.