Traveling is our family’s favourite. Over the years, between packing up the van for road trips and our luggage for flights, we have definitely established travel favourites for our kids. Below are the top five things we don’t start a travel adventure without.
5 Travel Favourites for Kids
We have used MiFolds for the boys for the last several vacations. They are a travel must! Without compromising safety, MiFolds are portable (as in they fit in my purse) booster seats that instead of raising the child up to meet the seatbelt, they bring the seatbelt down to the child’s shoulder height. Traveling with our MiFolds has reduced carrying the bulk of extra boosters, allowed us to reserve any size rental vehicle and conveniently travel by taxi. Our MiFolds aren’t just a favourite of ours, we have loaned them out to friends and family who reported being just as thrilled as us!
LeapPad tablets have been such a help for long haul travel! They have proven entertaining for all three of our children. Compared to other similar devices, LeapPads are designed specifically for children and are priced well. The games and activities are kid friendly, appropriate and educational. LeapPads are also built more durable. We’ve had a couple of stumbles and drops where any other tablet would have been broken on impact, not our LeapPads! I also appreciate that the battery lasts a decent amount of time and the kids can tote them around in their own backpacks. Our kids have also enjoyed capturing their own trip photos with the built-in camera.
Each of our kids have had the same Thermos Funtainer water bottle for the last three years. It shows on the exterior - the print is faded and there’s definitely some wear and tear; but they function every bit as well as they did on the first use. I love these water bottles for everyday, but they have worked especially well when traveling. Funtainers keep drinks cold for 12 hours. While traveling we have the kids top up on water during flights, at restaurants and pretty much anywhere we can. Using Funtainers ensures their drinks are always cold and fresh. Traveling with a water bottle in general also saves on extra cost!
Our days of lugging a stroller with us for trips is winding down fast. In fact, we don’t even take one unless we’re going to a park of some kind. When we are going to a park, it’s essential we have our Phil & Teds Navigator. Our kids are still young enough that they tire quickly. This doesn’t work out well when so much walking is required for most (if not all) parks. During our trip to Florida last month, all three kids rotated sitting between the two seats of the Navigator. The stroller itself is narrow and manoeuvrable enough to easily move through big crowds, yet is still roomy enough for our eight year old to sit in the upper seat. The Navigator packs easily and is light enough to conveniently store in any trunk we have encountered. Having a stroller also works wonders as a shuttle for bags, coolers, etc.
Note, the Navigator model appears to have been replaced by either the Dot or Sport style.
In the world of kids backpacks (or any backpack for that matter), you get what you pay for. I know this firsthand. Over the last eight years or so, I have replaced at least six or more backpacks, because I spent approx. $30 and they didn’t last (some not even a couple of months). Spending a bit more on a So Young backpack is a wise move if wasting money isn’t your thing. For travel specifically, each of our children are responsible for their own backpack during our trip. What they can comfortably fit inside is theirs for the trip. Snacks, LeapPad, small toys and drawing items are all toted along. This means they have a reasonable amount of entertainment at their disposal, but as parents we don’t have to organize this. So Young backpacks come in two sizes for different ages/heights, have padded shoulder straps, a chest clip, an interior zippered compartment and two exterior water bottle holders. All of these make them the perfect trip backpack!
We love talking travel with kids and would love to know your must-haves for keeping things simple and easy! Please share your favourites in the comments.