Ahhh, summertime... warm, lazy days, swimming, lots of ice cream, and hopefully a family vacation or two for the chance to relax and unwind with the ones you love the most. But if the thought of packing for your next family vacation has you stressed, mama, we're here to help!
Although traveling with little ones can be tricky, we've put together a list of vacation must-haves that will make your next trip a whole lot easier.
Don't leave home this without these nine amazing products on your packing list!
1. A lightweight, compact travel crib
When you're away from home, finding a safe, comfy spot for baby to sleep is key. It's also key to find a travel crib that's lightweight, easy to carry, compact, and doesn't take a PhD to open and close. Enter the BabyBjorn Travel Crib Light: our absolute favorite travel crib, ever. Yup, it's that good.
Weighing in at only 13 pounds, this crib is perfect for any family adventure. Setup is super easy (truly—once you get the hang of it, it takes about one minute), and the mattress is much more comfortable than any other travel crib on the market that we've tried.
The mesh sides allow for great air flow, and the crib works for kiddos up to 35 lbs. And best of all? The travel cribs folds up easily into a tiny carrying case, making it perfect to take on the go.
2. A portable high chair
If your little one is eating solids, tossing your high chair in the trunk of your car for your next family vacation probably isn't going to fly 🤷♀️ The Phil & Ted's Lobster chair is a safe, easily portable solution for families on the go.
Featuring a 4-point safety harness with padded shoulder straps and super strong 'lobster claws' with rubber grips, the Lobster is quick and easy to clip to any stable countertop or table. It's also easy to open, close and store—it folds up and slides right into its own carrying bag.
The chair's fabric slides out of the frame for cleaning, and it even comes with a dishwasher-safe food tray that slides between the clamps to keep those gross restaurant germs off of baby's tiny hands. And it's safe for babies up to 3 years old and 37 lbs.!
3. A travel-friendly car seat
If you're heading to a destination that won't have a car seat, or your baby has her own seat on an airplane, then a simple, lightweight car seat is a must. Our all-time favorite for value + portability is the Cosco Scenera NEXT.
The NEXT can be used rear-facing from 5-40 pounds or forward-facing from 22-40 pounds. It doesn't have a ton of bells and whistles, but it's safe, simple to install, and easy to clean. (And you cannot beat the price!) It's even certified for airplane use. And weighing in at a light 10.4 pounds, it's light enough to sling over your shoulder at the airport or carry from place to place on a road trip.
4. A spot to gather
Summer is the perfect time to relax on the beach or spread out for a family picnic. To keep everyone mess-free (and sand-free!), we absolutely 💜Gathre mats. Made from a soft bonded leather that's water impermeable and easy to wipe clean, they're a beautiful place to, well...gather!
Whether you need a spot on the beach, a place for a family meal, or even a quick diaper change in the back of the trunk, the uses for these mats are truly endless. And have we mentioned they are absolutely gorgeous? You're going to have trouble choosing between the huge assortment of modern colors + prints.
5. An on-the-go cleaning solution
This one may not seem like a must-have, but trust us here. We can't tell you the amount of times we've gone on vacation and realized we didn't have anything to clean our bottles or straw cups except for the dingy sponge sitting next to the sink at our beach rental house 🙈 Was it the end of the world? Definitely not. But remembering to throw this compact, all-in-one cleaning solution into our suitcases would have made things a whole lot easier.
We love how the brush comes apart and fits securely into the carrying case (which also doubles as a drying rack for bottles, nipples, or even breast pump parts—genius!) and comes with everything you need to keep bottles + cups clean while you're away from home. The whole thing is top-rack dishwasher safe, making it easy to clean before you pack it away for your next adventure.
6. A compact stroller
There are so many travel stroller options out there, but this one caught our eye. Brand new for 2018, this compact stroller is one of the best options for families on the go who also need the versatility and maneuverability of a much larger stroller. Weighing in at 19 pounds, it has five riding options: an infant car seat, a foldable pram, a reversible seat (rear or forward facing), and a glider board for an older child. All of these amazing features don't compromise this stroller's compact design, though—the LUX folds up small enough to meet carry-on requirements for most airlines. It even features a built-in carry strap and comes with a backpack-style carrying bag.
The City Tour is constructed from soft, breathable fabric, and features an easy one-hand fold with an auto-lock feature. It reclines to a nearly flat position, has an XL canopy with a peekaboo mesh window, and has four swivel wheels that offer incredible handling even over bumpy terrain. (We truly forgot we weren't pushing our larger, everyday stroller instead of one that folds up into a backpack!) It's the perfect stroller to tuck away in the overhead compartment during a flight or quickly pop in the back of your trunk when you and your family are on the go.
7. A comfy carrier
For hands-free baby carrying, or for when a stroller isn't an option, we love the ease and portability of a baby carrier. Carriers offer a great spot for babies to get a birds-eye view of all the sights and sounds around them, and are also the perfect place to snuggle up next to mom or dad for a nap on the move.
For summer travel especially, the Ergo 360 Cool Air Mesh is our carrier of choice. The Omni will keep baby comfy with multiple carry positions, and mom or dad comfy with a wide, padded waistband and a soft mesh fabric that allows for breathability and air flow for those sticky summer days. The Omni works from seven to 33 pounds, so it will be around for lots and lots of family adventures.
8. A safe sunscreen
Protecting your little one from the sun is so important—but so is keeping them safe from harmful chemicals. Although choosing a natural sunscreen can be daunting, we've landed on Blue Lizard Baby, which we think rocks for lots of reasons.
It uses only natural mineral barriers (including Zinc Oxide); it has no potentially irritating chemicals; it offers broad spectrum UVA and UVB skin protection; and it's very highly rated by EWG. And, unlike lots of Zinc-based sunscreens, it's easy to apply and doesn't leave a thick, white coating behind. The bottle even turns pink when exposed to harmful UV rays, reminding you to cover up. How useful—and fun— is that?
9. A place to store all the things
If there's one universal truth about motherhood that we can all agree on, it's that babies come with a lot of stuff. The last thing you want to worry about when you're away from home is not having a change of clothes or a stash of snacks on hand (can we say 4-hour flight delay, anyone?), so you're going to need a roomy, comfortable place to store all of those emergency must-haves.
The Petunia Pickle Bottom Boxy Backpack diaper bag is not only gorgeous, but it's also pretty darn functional, too. It's got a magnetic closure for easy, one-handed entry, and includes a changing station, wipe case, and plenty of pockets to stash whatever you need for the day ahead. It can also be worn as a backpack for the ultimate in hands-free mom-ing.
You might also like:
- These compact strollers will change the way you travel with kids
- 12 mommy + me swimsuits to rock all summer long ☀️
- This Janie + Jack collab with Liberty fabrics is all you need for your kid's summer style ☀️
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