The founder of Passported shares her picks.
*We’ve partnered with phil&ted’s to make life on the go with baby easy breezy.
There’s nothing more fun than traveling with a baby, but every veteran traveling mama will tell you to expect your share of surprises and inconveniences. The right baby gear can make all the difference, whether you’re heading to an exotic locale or just around the corner to Grandma’s.
Henley Vazquez, founder and CEO of the boutique family travel agency Passported, has seen it all...and knows just what gear will get you by in every situation. “Be adventurous with your travel, but play it safe with your gear!” says the NYC mama of 3. “Coming prepared with reliable gear that will make feeding, eating, and sleeping a little easier can save many an unnecessary headache.”
We recently caught up with Henley and her 9-month-old daughter Nola for a travel gear tutorial. Here’s her 15 baby gear picks for traveling with a baby.
The newest launch in phil&ted’s stroller line, the go stroller is effortless and fuss-free. It’s super lightweight at just 11 lbs., fast-folding and compact, which is basically the travel trifecta. You can use it from newborn stage (it’s compatible with phil&ted’s alpha infant car seat), and it’s got great amenities like a grab bar and parcel tray -- perfect for toys and snacks when you don’t want to have to take your mini traveler out of the stroller. $189.99, Buy it here.
This sound machine weighs almost nothing, and is so tiny it can be crammed into any spare corner of a suitcase, yet it creates the same white noise you get from a much bigger machine at home. I wish I’d found this years ago. We would have had better sleep on many a trip! $34.95, Buy it here.
I’ve never liked traditional diaper bags, but after a couple trips digging through my handbag to find stuff for the kids, I realized I needed something actually built for traveling parents. The Hanover Deluxe is a simple black backpack I’d carry under normal circumstances, but it’s got pouches for everything to make the extreme circumstances of flying with three children more organized. Now I can immediately locate the wipes for the baby, the iPads for the big kids, and my wallet -- so I can buy myself a drink after getting my crew through security. I’ve started using it just for being out and about in the city as well as on the road. $128, Buy it here.
There’s enough stuff to carry when you’re traveling with your baby, so size matters! At 6 lbs, the traveller crib is even lighter than my baby, and its compact fold makes it carry-on compliant for most airlines. It comes with a self-inflating mattress and fitted sheet, and has a zip-open side that turns the crib into a play yard. Truth: we use it at home in the living room almost as much as do when we’re traveling! $149.99, Buy it here.
If phil&ted’s traveller traveller seems too spacious for your newborn, you might feel more comfortable with the traveller bassinet accessory. Like a co-sleeper, it brings baby higher and closer to you as you sleep. It’s made from the same safe safe and breathable Oeko-tex certified fabrics as the traveller crib, and fits right into the same carrying bag. $49.99, Buy it here.
There are so many great baby carriers & wraps on the market, so it’s hard to make a mistake when picking one. The only mistakeyou can make is not bringing one when traveling. Even when I have baby in the stroller, I often throw the carrier underneath for when she gets fussy and bored in the stroller and needs a change of scenery. It’s also essential on the beach, where a stroller gets mired in the sand. $99.99, Buy it here.
It’s impossible to know which restaurants have high chairs when you’re traveling (and why limit your cuisine by that characteristic anyway?). The lobster chair can easily clamp on to just about any dining table, making every restaurant (or apartment rental) suddenly baby-friendly. It’s also got a dishwasher safe tray, and a snug and secure 4-point over-the-shoulder safety harness for your little one. $89.99, Buy it here.
A must for mess-free feeding on planes. These spoons click into baby food pouches and allow you to dispense the food onto the spoon by squeezing. It’s a game changer to be able to feed with one hand while keeping the other free to hold baby, wipe baby’s face, or catch a toy hurled at a neighboring passenger. $10.40 Buy it here.
You don’t need these, until you do. I don’t sterilize bottles at home, but when we were going to an off-the-grid island in Mexico with an infant, I wanted to be extra careful that her sensitive newborn tummy wasn’t exposed to any unfamiliar germs. Milton’s tablets are easy to use – just add to cold water, let the bottles and parts soak for a few minutes, no need to rinse. Inisder tip: these are usually sold in the UK, so plan ahead as shipping takes a while. $23.44, Buy it here.
This vacation-vibing brand makes the cutest and softest dresses and rompers for baby. I put Nola in their dresses for flights to make diaper changes in tiny airplane bathrooms easier, and I always have an extra one rolled up in my backpack for a quick change if she spits up. $64, Buy it here.
11. Audio Splitter
A big part of making flights easier with baby is making sure the big kids are happy as well. Buy an audio splitter so they can share one iPad if they are both keen to watch the same movie. A splitter saves double downloading so you can load up more content on two iPads and extends battery life if you only use one at once, for at least part of the time. $4.29, Buy it here.
There’s nothing worse than getting to your destination to find your stroller’s gotten all banged up (or worse, broken) on the way. So don’t forget about the stroller travel bag! phil&ted’s wheeled bag is strong and durable, and fits so much more than just your stroller (throw in your traveller crib, lobster chair and more!), then packs down compactly when not in use. $99.99, Buy it here.
One of the biggest shocks of traveling with a baby again is the amount of gear we need. I’ve tried to eliminate anything that isn’t necessary, but car seats are a must. So instead of hauling a full booster for the big kids, I’ve switched to the BubbleBum. It takes up no space, weighs just a few ounces and inflates quickly for use in the car. $29.99, Buy it here.
If you have to pump on the go, be sure to have a stash of these wipes in your bag. Use them to wipe down pump parts when you aren’t somewhere that you can wash them – no rinse required and everything is ready to go for the next pump. They’re great to have at work if you pump in the office, too. $6.98, Buy it here.
I bought one of these when my first baby was born 11 years ago, and I bought another when my last was born this year. Facepalm for ever parting with this essential piece of equipment! Not much has changed; it was perfect then, and it’s perfect now. This is the on-the-go changing pad needed. I especially love how good it feels to toss this to my husband and send him off to change the babe! $29.99, Buy it here.
Photography of Henley by Stylish & Hip Kids for Well Rounded.