The Tot 10: Family travel essentials

If you love getting out and about and seeing the sights as a family, you’re going to want to know about these 10 must-have items. From a ride-on box that transforms into a bed in seconds to a universal silicone straw top that makes drink spills non-existent, you won’t want to go anywhere without these genius products.

toddler travel

While traveling as a family can produce a lifetime of memories and help shape who your children grow up to be, it can also be daunting and difficult.

Hungry, bored, uncomfortable, hot, cold, tired… These are just a few adjectives that your kids may pepper you with if you haven’t planned accordingly.

As parents who love to travel ourselves, we know firsthand that the struggle is real. We also know that there are things you can do to make it that little bit easier.

In this article, we’ll go over:

  • Tips for traveling with kids
  • Must-have family travel essentials
  • Chemicals to avoid in kids products and why

Scroll down to learn more!


Tips for traveling with kids


#1: Bring snacks


This is important for both you and your children. Whether you’re going to the park, Paris or putting together a cross country road trip, you need snacks you can stuff in your backpack, purse, stroller, and car seat-back.


#2: Be weather conscious


Layers are your friend! It doesn’t matter how you travel or where you’re going. Every car, airport, train station and rest stop with have their own climate, which is why you need to be able to pass out jackets, swap to shorts or slip on some socks with ease.


#3: Pack lightly 


Unless you’re heading to a summer house and have the luxury of loading up multiple vehicles with all of your tot’s gear, we suggest taking items that do more than one thing. Doona makes a car seat that transforms into a stroller in seconds, while the Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib can be a safe place for tummy time as well as naptime.


#4: Go to the ends of the earth for sleep


Whether you’re gearing up for a long haul flight or have a three hour drive to get to grandma’s house, try to plan your trip around your child’s sleep pattern. You can also try using bluelight wavelength blocking glasses so you can keep your body’s natural circadian rhythm in tune.


#5: Make sure your entertainment isn’t messy


Turns out crayon does wash off an airplane wall, but trust us – it’s an awkward process. Opt for craft and toys that don’t have a million pieces, isn’t heavy and is something your little one hasn’t seen before or in a long time.


#6: Choose your packing list wisely!


After years of traveling with babies, toddlers, tweens and teens, we’ve found that the following products can make traveling with the young ones MUCH easier!

  • Car seat compatible lightweight travel stroller
  • Baby/toddler carrier
  • Travel car seat (infant and/or toddler)
  • Airplane toddler bedbox
  • Backpacks for both parents and kiddos
  • Non-toxic snack containers
  • Non-toxic water bottles
  • Screen-free entertainment
  • Pack N Play
  • Blue light wavelength blocking glasses for the whole family

Scroll down to see our picks for each!


Must-have family travel essentials


Car Seat Compatible Lightweight Travel Stroller


Weighing in at only 10 lbs, the GB Pockit Plus All-Terrain Travel Stroller features machine washable fabrics, a generous sun shade canopy, a super compact fold (it will fit in most airline overhead compartments), multiple recline positions and is also carseat compatible.

Suitable from birth (with a car seat) or approx. 6 months to 4 years.


GB Pockit+All Terrain Blue Grey Stroller


GB Pockit Air All Terrain Blue Grey

GB Pockit Plus All-Terrain Stroller



Available in more colors




Baby/Toddler Carrier


Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Carrier in Pearl Grey with baby


The Ergobaby Omni 360 All-In-One Cool Air Mesh Baby Carrier is just the thing you need to carry your sleepy/ tired/ hungry baby through a terminal or around a museum. Designed to be worn on your front, back or side, a carrier can even help you carry a tired toddler!

Suitable for use from 7 to 45 lbs.


Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Carrier in Pearl Grey


Ergobaby Omni 360 All-In-One Cool Air Mesh Baby Carrier






Infant Travel Car Seat and/or Toddler Travel Car Seat


Hopping in and out of cars can be a nightmare when you have babies and toddlers in tow.

Help keep them safe and your load light with the Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller (suitable for use from 4 to 35 lbs) and WAYB Pico Travel Car Seat (suitable for use from 22 to 50 lbs)!

Doona Cat Seat Stroller Royal Blue

Doona Cat Seat Stroller Royal Blue


Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller and Base



Available in more colors




WAYB Pico Car Seat Earth


WAYB Pico Car Seat in Earth


WAYB Pico Travel Car Seat



Available in more colors

Travel Bag Available Too!




Airplane Toddler BedBox


If your tot can’t get comfortable in their seat, you can kiss any dreams of catching some Zs yourself goodbye!

Luckily, the JetKids by Stokke BedBox is here to turn their seat into a bed! It also does double time as a place to store a blanket, crafts and toys as well as a place to play and ride on!

Age recommendation:

  • Ride-on functionality: 3 to 7 years (up to 77 lbs)
  • Bed feature: 2 years +


Jetkids by Stokke Exclusive BedBox in Light Grey with boy


Stokke Ride Box Pink Lemonade


JetKids by Stokke BedBox



Available in more colors




Hands-free Diaper Bag + Kids Backpack


State Bags Mini Kane Backpack in Airplanes with kids


Trust us – you’re going to want your hands-free when going through airports, train stations, boat rides and beyond.

We love the Jem & Bea Jamie Eco Diaper Backpack because it’s easy to wipe clean and comes with a travel change pad, zippered organization compartments and wristlet!

We also suggest getting your tot to tote their own toys, jacket, water and snacks! Check out the cute airplane-themed one below from STATE Bags!


Jem and Bea Eco Backpack


Jame & Bea Jamie Eco Backpack



Available in more colors

Includes changing pad & wristlet




State Bags Mini Kane Backpack in Airplanes


STATE Bags The Mini Kane Travel Backpack – Airplanes






Non-Toxic Snack Containers



Zip Top Baby Snack Container Set Lifestyle Image


We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Rule #1 of travel: don’t let anyone get ‘hangry!’

Keep you and your family satiated with Zip Top’s silicone food storage containers. Non-toxic, lightweight and designed to seal shut, they are a must for fresh fruit, crackers, nuts and more!

Zip Top Baby Snack Container Set

Zip Top Silicone Snack Containers






Zip Top Full Set


Zip Top Silicone Snack Containers – Set of 8






Non-toxic Water Bottles


It’s incredibly easy to become dehydrated while traveling, so be sure to fill up your reusable drink bottles at every chance you get!

Also – opt for plastic-free options like the Thinkbaby Sippy of Steel or PlanetBox Stainless Steel Water Bottle. When exposed to heat, plastic can leach toxic chemicals into your water!

Thinkbaby Sippy of steel


Thinkbaby Sippy of Steel






PlanetBox Stainless Steel Water Bottle


PlanetBox Stainless Steel Water Bottle (18.8 oz)



Available in more colors




Screen-free Kids Entertainment


Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller


Even though there is definitely a time and a place for screens, try to avoid them while traveling.

Here’s why: staring as bluelight wavelengths can disrupt your body’s natural circadian rhythm. Believe us – you want to do everything in your power to keep sleep schedules on track!

The Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller is a fantastic option because kids choose the hero, setting, second character and object of their story and then voile: story time! And yes – there is a headphone jack!

Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller


Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller



Includes headphone jack




Magnetic Game Boards


It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for airport entertainment or something to do on a rainy vacation day, magnetic toys are always a travel essential! We love these sets from Floss & Rock because they contain four game boards (shoots & ladders, tic tac toe, DIY scene and a word search) that encourage critical thinking and hand-eye coordination!


Floss & Rock Mermaid Magnetic Fun & Games


Floss & Rock Mermaid Magnetic Fun & Games






Floss & Rock Dinosaur Magnetic Fun & Games


Floss & Rock Dinosaur Magnetic Fun & Games






Blue Light Wavelength Blocking Glasses


RA Optics Glasses


As mentioned above, one of the hardest things to keep on track when traveling is your sleep cycle!

RA Optics and The Tot have teamed up to make glasses for your whole family that will block these lights!

Click here to learn more about blue blockers.

RA Optics Adult Blue Light Blocking Glasses Day-Taylor





Available in day & night lenses


RA Optics Kid Blue Light Blocking Glasses Day - Reese





Available in day & night lenses

Ages 2 – 7


RA Optics Baby Blue Light Blocking Glasses Navy Day - Quinn





Available in more colors and day & night lenses

Ages 1 – 7




Pack N Play


At last – the product that may just grant you a peaceful night’s sleep!

Made with flame-retardant free fabrics that also happen to be machine-washable, this super compact, breathable and lightweight travel crib from Nuna can be a cozy and familiar place for your baby or toddler to sleep once you get where you want to go!

Age recommendation: Birth to 3 years

Nuna SENA aire in Granite

Nuna Sena Aire Travel Crib



Available in more colors




Chemicals to avoid in kids products

When you don’t know what your child’s toy, stroller or sippy cup is made of, you can run the risk of exposing them to potentially harmful ingredients such as BPA, BPS, Phthalates, PVC, Formaldehyde, Lead and other Heavy Metals. This is particularly worrying for babies and toddlers who inevitably put these items in their mouths.

Many of these chemicals have been linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer, female infertility, obesity, endocrine disruption, behavioral problems, and even irreversible brain damage.

At The Tot, we make sure that every single product we use and recommend passes The Tot Safety Test. This means that we’ve reviewed its third-party testing, certifications and asked in-depth questions about a product’s composition.

For a full list of Ingredients & Materials We Avoid and to learn more about The Tot Safety Test, Click Here.



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