Packing for KidsThe Ultimate Family Travel Tip: Travel Light
When traveling on business, light and easy is your motto – in fact, you don’t dare bring more than your carry-on and laptop. But when traveling with your family, you practically need a flashing warning sign for a heavy load. Here are some tips to keep it light without compromising your sanity, safety and standards.
Ready to lighten your load? Start with the newly launched BABYBJÖRN Travel Crib Light. This ideal travel companion weighs only 13 pounds and easily assembles in a single, swift movement (unlike the majority of pack-and-plays which are heavy and cumbersome). After using as a crib or playpen, it folds compactly in its carrying case for easy storage in your trunk or under the hotel bed. It’s so easy your little ones could almost do it themselves. (And believe us, they will try.)
Tired of the airport scene where you anxiously wait for your stroller to arrive but instead see it getting stuck on the security screening belt? And then once it's rescued, you're forced to gate-check it? If so, you’ll love the BabyZen Yoyo. It’s the first stroller in the world to be IATA-approved for stowing as overhead luggage onboard a plane. The Yoyo also fits under your train seat, in the trunk or, if needed, under your bed. Tada!
The Patemm Pad is a revolutionary diaper changer: It has storage pouches for diapers, wipes and spare outfits. It quickly unfolds into a large circle (instead of the usual narrow rectangle) providing more room to change a wiggly baby. And it folds neatly down to a large envelope size so you can easily carry it and your prized child. Plus, it’s coated so it’s super easy to wipe down if any accidents occur (and they do). Bonus: It’s also free of all the nasty stuff – PVC, lead, phthalate, BPA, formaldehyde – and proudly made in the US of A.
Bottles need to be cleaned often and early, so when you’re away from a dishwasher, try the OXO Tot On-the-Go Drying Rack and Bottle Brush. This compact cleaning kit easily fits into diaper bags, handbags or luggage. It opens up into a drying rack with flexible spikes to accommodate bottles, breast pump parts and more. There’s even a hidden treasure inside with mini cleaning tools that can assemble to form a full sized bottle brush. Fun!
Baths are essential, but you can’t bathe baby in a hotel Jacuzzi. (Or can you...?) Enter Munchkin's innovative White Hot Inflatable Safety Tub, which blows up into a larger-than-life rubber duckie and lets you know when the water is too hot for baby’s delicate skin. It inflates, drains and deflates faster than your little one can protest his/her bath. And, it’s the tub that keeps on giving: After travel it can be used to transition kids from the little to big tub.
The Inglesina Fast Table Chair fits with most tables and is super light – and it’s extra cozy for your child (especially compared to restaurant high chairs). It folds down flat and has an attached carry bag so you can easily pack it in your luggage or grab it to go to grandma’s house. Plus, it comes in a rainbow of stylish colors. Upon your return home, it’s great to have on hand for dinner dates with your wee one. Wine for you, sippy cup of juice for them.
If your child is between 22 and 44 pounds and you have a car seat at your destination or simply don’t need one upon arrival, try the C.A.R.E.S. Safety Restraint System. It was crafted to protect children who are too small for the standard airplane seat belt. This FAA-approved safety harness is user-friendly, light as a feather (it literally weighs one pound), has a cool carrying bag and saves you the stress of lugging around a heavy-duty car seat. Bon voyage!