One thing that my husband and I have always been adamant about since before we had kids is that we wanted to travel with them! There is no experience in the world like traveling to new cities and countries. If you are able, it is an invaluable tool for teaching and creating memories! Through the past 7 years I have made a list of my travel "must-haves" and I wanted to share the short list with you!
First of all, I cannot stress this enough: if you are traveling by airplane, BRING YOUR CARSEAT ON BOARD! I didn't learn this trick until my second child and it has made the world of difference. If your child is under the age of 2 (pre-ticket) let the gate agent know that you would like to bring your carseat on board. 95% of the time there will be at least ONE empty seat and they'll sit you by it, which means your baby can stay in their own seat while you fly! If your child is over the age of 2, you don't even need to ask! We bring our toddler seat on to each flight and strap him in. He has never known any different and has never gotten out of his seat, run the aisles or terrorized anyone (besides kicking the seat back in front of him, but thats going to happen no matter what! Buy them a drink and say you're sorry!)
When you're not on the plane I highly recommend ditching the stroller and attaching the carseat to this genius cart by Britax! You snap it on and wheel them (restrained) through the airport and it is so easy! For us we now just check the stroller and don't even use it in the airport.
When they're in their toddler seat, they are high enough to reach the built in tv, and are familiar enough with their surroundings to fall asleep as opposed to sitting up in a regular chair. Like I said, it is a GAME CHANGER! From age 2-4 this is your best bet!
With our 3rd, we are so excited to try out the new Doona car seat, which is a carseat/stroller combo! I have also read that it can be PUSHED down the airplane aisles and fits directly into the seat. God, please let this be true because if it is I will cry happy tears!
If you count the cost compared to a carseat/stroller system, it is completely in range with what you'd pay! We really felt like this was not only going to save us money but TIME - and for anyone else who have toddlers who run away at a moments notice like I do, not having to mess with putting a stroller into the trunk is going to be a great time-saver!
We have tried SO MANY brands of headphones, and these cannot be beat! We have never had a pair break and they have been tossed, stepped on, dropped and shoved into all of our travel bags. And for the price, they can't be beat! They come in an array of colors, have volume control and are easy for kids to put on by themselves.
Along with the headphones, this case is a must if you are traveling with an iPad. We have had ours for 7 years and it doesn't have 1 rip or tear! I simply bleach wipe it after each trip. It makes the iPad easy to hold and carry and protects it from drops, which are bound to happen!
5. Backpack with "harness" (it's a leash, but we won't call it that)
If you are offended or appalled that I would suggest a leash for a child, then you either don't have kids, or they can't walk yet. There is truly nothing more terrifying than a kid who runs in highly crowded areas, such as malls, airports, theme parks, etc. My husband I completely disagree on this topic, but I don't care. It is necessary and if you are truly embarrassed, these bags can also be used as regular backpacks for your little ones for holding their little treasures!
Follow these few simple steps to make your travel life a lot easier! Happy trails!