Wrestling car seats and strollers onto planes, trains and automobiles is part and parcel of traveling with kids. And while summer vacations make beautiful memories, they also make parents tired! We’ve rounded up a collection of travel-friendly gear to make it all go more smoothly. From ultra-lightweight strollers that fold down to the size of a handbag to a booster seat that can fit in your back pocket, we’ve got you covered this summer!
Organize on the road
Tired of water bottles and snack containers rolling all over the car? An organizer like this one will help make road trips easier. This Little Monsters Organizer straps to the back of the driver or passenger seat and has plenty of pockets for wipes, cups, snacks and even your electronics and travel games.
Get a boost!
Necessity is the mother (or father) of invention. The Mifold was invented by a dad of four who wanted a small, portable booster seat for his kids to carry with them so that they would have the correct seat no matter whose car they rode in. It works like this: Instead of bringing the child up to a height to fit a shoulder lap belt, this booster brings the seat belt down to the correct level for the child. Not only is the Mifold small enough to fit in a back pocket or backpack, it can easily seat three kids in a row.
Put a label on it
When headed to camp or a family reunion, it’s good to label your stuff. Name Bubbles labels are water- and sun-proof, making them perfect for everything from water bottles to life jackets. Available in a variety of sizes and shapes, you can get just your name or more detailed contact information imprinted right on the sticker.
I Spy 2.0
When you’ve heard “Are we there yet?” for the one-hundredth time, pull out this game. Spot it! On the Road is a fast-paced card game that is recommended for ages 7-plus, but reviewers say it can easily be played with younger kids. Each of the round cards has pictures of items seen on a road trip, and on any two cards only one symbol will match. This version offers five ways to play plus travel bingo. Bonus: Reviewers say the game still works even if a card or two gets lost!
A pocket-sized stroller (really!)
This is the world’s smallest folding stroller. (Really! It says so in the Guinness Book of World Records!) At just 11 pounds, this ultra-lightweight buggy is perfect for travel. When folded, it fits into the overhead compartment on planes and under most airline seats. Holding kids up to 55 pounds, the harness is adjustable; the stroller even has a storage basket and sun shade. (A backpack to carry the folded stroller is also available.)
A suitcase they'll love
Kids want their own suitcase and Trunki is just about the cutest one out there. This hard plastic case can be carried, pulled or ridden by kids up to 75 pounds. The Trunki comes in 11 different styles and is small enough to qualify as a carry on planes with plenty of room inside for a child’s belongings
Shade on the go
On sunny summer days, parents worry about protecting little ones from sunburn. The Sunday Afternoons Child Play Hat offers top coverage for kids 2 to 5 years old with a neck veil for shielding the back of the neck and sun-protective fabric. The mesh sides offer ventilation while the chin strap has a break-away feature to prevent tangling. Plus, reviewers say the hat dries quickly when wet with the brim staying up when damp.
Tote it out
When traveling to a particularly sunny clime, bring along this insulated tote. With a 10-gallon capacity, the insulated bag still folds flat so you can put it in a carry-on. The lining is also food-safe, made without phthalates, PVC, BPA or lead. Reviewers love that the bag features a convertible strap so it can be carried either vertically or horizontally. It’s perfect for keeping lunch, drinks or baby’s formula cold on a hot day!