Traveling with Toddlers, Mama must haves!

Meet Our Village members Erin & Jessica. These well traveled mama's want to share with you the must have items before you get on that plane, cruise, train and road trip!

Traveling with an infant or toddler can be challenging and even stressful. However, I have found using the following items to be extremely helpful when traveling with a little one.

1. Light Weight Car Seat for Flying

I know infants and toddler can travel for free on your lap until they are 2, but I would recommend purchasing a seat for any flight longer than 2 hours. Managing a wiggling toddler on your lap for a long flight can be exhausting. Also, you don’t want to kill yourself carrying a heavy car seat through the airport. I recommend using the Cosco Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat. It is light weight, certified for airline use, and super cheap!

a. Where to find: Walmart, BuyBuy Baby, Amazon, and Target

2. Car Seat Travel Cart

The best way I have found to get your car seat through the airport is to roll it on the Britax car seat travel cart. Any car seat can attach to the cart if it uses the LATCH system. Another bonus to the cart is you can strap your child in the car seat and roll the car seat and your child through the airport! Thus, you can check your stroller and it is one less item to manage! Note: I have tried the large bags that you can roll or carry your car seat in and they are just awkward and annoying. The bags also seem to tip over easily so you end up just dragging it through the airport which just sucks.

a. Where to find: Amazon, BuyBuy Baby, Bed Bath and Beyond

3. Stroller

A light weight travel or umbrella stroller is a must for any trip. My favorite stroller is the Baby Jogger City Tour stroller. This stroller is awesome because it folds up and fits into a backpack that can be carried on a plane or checked.

a. Where to find: Amazon, BuyBuy Baby, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond

4. Portable High Chair

I take the Summer Infant Pop and Sit Portable Booster everywhere and use it on a weekly basis. I have tried a different travel high chair on my last trip and absolutely hated it! I really regretted not bringing my Summer Infant Pop and Sit Portable Booster and will not make this same mistake on my next trip.

a. Where to find: Amazon, BuyBuy Baby, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond

5. Baby Carrier

My favorite carrier to use while traveling is the LILLEbaby All Season 6-position carrier. I have used this carrier in the airport and while exploring some of my favorite places. It is also comfortable for my husband and I to use.

a. Where to find: Amazon, Babies R US, BuyBuy Baby, Target

6. Noise Cancelling Headphones

This is a must! I have used the Baby Banz Earmuffs Infant Hearing Protection on airplanes, at a concert, and even a luau. I first saw this item on Price George when he was at an air show, and I thought if it was good enough for Prince George then it was good enough for us!

a. Where to find: Amazon, BuyBuy Baby, Target

7. Electronic Device with Age Appropriate Games or Shows

This might be controversial, but I would highly recommend having some sort of electronic device that your little one can use when things get tough. I don’t think it really matters if it is your phone, a Kindle Fire Tablet, or an iPad or iPad Mini. I know my child will only watch nursery rhymes so I made sure to download a couple of the nursery rhymes in case we needed it. I also purchased wifi on a plane during a very long flight so we could access youtube to watch the nursey rhymes. It was a life saver for us!

a. Where to find: Electronic Stores, Amazon, Target

8. Lots of Snacks and Drinks

I would highly recommend bringing food and drinks for your child and you! No one is a happy traveler when they are hungry. Also, access to food and drink that you both like can be limited and expensive while traveling. We had significant turbulence on a flight one time and did not have access to snacks or drinks. It was a lifesaver that I had packed snacks, water, and formula in our diaper bag on that flight. I also recommend packing all your snacks in a large ziplock bag so they are easy to find.

a. Where to find: Local grocery Store, Amazon, Target

9. A Variety of Non-Annoying Toys

I recommend packing a few of your child’s favorite toys and a few books in another ziplock bag or two. This was a great idea for organization purposes because you can just pull out the bag you want. Books can be heavy so cloth books are a great ideas. I also try to only bring toys that are not annoying or overly loud. I love the Melissa and Doug Water Wow activity books. They are reusable and not messy. One time I saw a mom give her toddler a ball on the plane. It only took seconds for him to throw and lose the ball and there were a lot of tears. So I try to avoid toys that roll easily as all toddlers drop or throw items all the time. Lastly, try to bring a new toy for your child which will hopefully keep them entertained for a while.

a. Where to find: Amazon, Target, BuyBuy Baby, BabiesRUs

10. Special Items to Make Your Child Feel at Home

I recommend bringing a special blanket and a lovie with you while traveling. I also bring a crib sheet from home that my daughter is familiar with so it feels like home.

I travel a lot with my child and have found these items to be extremely useful. I also use the car seat, stroller, and portable booster in everyday life and use the baby carrier and noise cancelling headphones often. Please know I am not saying that you need to go buy all of these items if you have a trip coming up. You want to have items that you can use on a daily basis or often and can travel with as well. Just reach out to your friends and family and see what items you are able to borrow. Why purchase an item if you can borrow it!