Over the past 7 years of us becoming a family and then traveling with a baby we have carefully curated some travel essentials that work well for us. So I thought I would share them with you and why we love them. Hopefully, this list might inspire you to prepare for your next adventure and help you problem solve what you will need to take with you.
First, of course, the most important item you will need is luggage. We travel often so whether it’s a flight, cruise, or road trip the durability of the luggage we use is our first priority. We also like to easily identify our bags at the airport so that we can quickly scoop them up and keep moving. Rolling luggage is also so helpful when one parent has to manage the bags and the other has to manage the kids. We also find it helpful to bring along a duffle bag that fits on top of the rolling suitcase easily.
We always travel with food and snacks which I will go into a little more detail about later. Our luggage picks come from a brand you know and love, The North Face. Specifically, we own all sizes of the Base Camp Duffel: Small, Medium, and Large and two of Rolling Thunder 30”.
Rolling Thunder, is a hard bottom- soft top rolling suitcase with just enough structure so that you can really pack it tightly. The name alone makes you feel like a “cool mom” doesn’t it?! Throughout the year you may find The North Face will carry different colors and patterns. We love the personality these colorful bags bring to our travel gear. The fabric is very durable and cleans very easily. The Base Camp Duffel is even washable which, depending on the dirty clothes situation, is sometimes necessary. The straps on the duffel can also go over your shoulders like a backpack so that you can be hands free to hold little hands. The price point is also reasonable and if you’re lucky you might be able to take advantage of a sale or promotion.
Get a good cooler!
Having a good cooler has become an important part of our travel gear. The YETI Tundra 45 always comes with us on road trips. Sometimes, the mini fridge in the hotel room is not always large enough to hold all of our snacks and food so having extra cooler space is useful. Yeti coolers are known for their quality and impressive ability to keep food items cold for many hours. The size of the Tundra 45 is also perfect to fit enough snacks and drinks to get us through a few days.
Having cold drinks throughout the day is important to keep you hydrated while you are having fun! Once again we think Yeti makes the best drink-ware that does not falter. So yes, we are those people who travel with YETI tumblers of all sizes. This way we know there is always ice cold water or even an iced coffee waiting for us.
Another bonus to these cups is that they fit perfectly in the handlebar console of our BOB stroller. We love the BOB Gear Revolution Flex 3.0 with the deluxe handlebar console. This stroller is so nice and easy to push around. It’s large enough that we can squeeze two kiddos in there for a short distance if our older son doesn’t want to walk.
Snacks, Snacks, Snacks
If you want to keep everyone in your family happy, feed them. Food will keep everyone’s spirits high during long days of activity. Snacks can help pass the time while you are waiting and seem to prevent meltdowns. It’s nice to be able to whip something out of your own bag instead of hunt for food when you are getting hungry.
Snack Mates jerky is one of our go-to favorites that survive being in a backpack all day long. We also bring food for our hotel room because without fail my kids will ask for snacks when we get back to the room or need food first thing in the morning.
Instant oatmeal, and pro tip you can get hot water from the coffee maker in your room. Fruit, Iced coffee, jerky, and any other easy breakfast item all come with us on every road trip.
Clothing, we pack a lot of it.
You never know when the weather can change rapidly from warm and sunny to cool and breezy. We typically air on the side of comfort but, I will throw in a few of my most comfortable resort wear outfits in the event we have a nice dinner one night. I also recommend more than one pair of shoes in the likely event you are caught in a monsoon and your shoes are soaked. After learning the hard way many times, I don’t worry about over packing. I like to think of it as being prepared.
A few honorable mentions include a portable cell phone charger, ponchos, and a stroller fan. We have acquired many over the years. They have varying reliability but they prove their value time and time again. For each of these, pick one that is compact enough to toss in your bag and you will be thankful you have it.
I hope this list has been helpful for all of my travel planning parents out there. I know it’s no small task to get your family packed and ready for a vacation but, it’s always worth it. Having the right travel gear will help you to focus on enjoying yourself and the quality time with your loved ones.