When you are traveling with kids, your gear is important. Whenever we travel we still bring a Maclaren umbrella stroller, a carseat, two booster seats, and an Ergobaby carrier. We also sometimes bring along a PiggyBack Rider carrier for older kids and our Pack N Play. We are slowing growing out of the "baby stage" and are able to pack fewer things. We also love our packing cubes -- they help us stay organized while we travel and also help us manage space better in our suitcases. I've included some details below about our current travel set-up and you can follow along over on our blog as we review any new travel gear we uncover.
Strollers, Carseats, and Travel Booster Seats
Our favorite strollers to travel with are a basic Maclaren umbrella stroller (single) and the Joovy Caboose (double). We decide which stroller to bring based on how we plan to travel. For example, when we take a beach trip we like to bring our Joovy stroller because it can fit a lot of gear and two children. It was also really helpful when our kids were littler and we needed to keep them strapped in to keep them safe in bigger cities. On our latest trip to Europe we only brought our umbrella stroller because we were limited on space and we knew we'd be using a lot of public transportation. The umbrella stroller was perfect for tight sidewalks and folded up easily when we got on a bus or metro.
Our kids are still legally required to use carseats and booster seats when we travel in a car. For a carseat we researched for lightweight/narrow carseats and chose one. At the time it was a Safety First brand carseat. There are even lighter ones now that you can find like the Cosco Scenera or the Evenflo Tribute. For booster seats we bring a basic Graco booster seat and an inflatable Bubble Bum. We also recently got a mifold Grab-n-Go booster seat and we're looking forward to using it more since it is very compact.
We are always researching the latest strollers, carseats, and booster seats because they are necessary items and if they are too bulky or take up too much room it can make travel logistics tricky. As we find new gear that we love, we'll make sure to share it with you over on our blog.
I'm sad to say that we are almost at the point of not needing a baby carrier anymore. We love our original Ergobaby carrier and we also used a BabyBjorn carrier when our girls were little. We like to pack a baby carrier for the times when we need to use the stroller for another child and we can put our baby into a carrier. For example, after our transatlantic flight we wandered around Amsterdam before our Airbnb was ready and our kids were majorly jet-lagged. We put one tired kid in the stroller and another one in a carrier.
A new carrier that we've found useful as our kids have gotten older is the PiggyBack Rider. It is meant to help you transport toddlers and is like a harness you wear to support your child as he/she rides on your back. The PiggyBack Rider is very small and we usually just throw it into our stroller so we have it around when we need it. We were late to the game when it came to baby carriers so we know there are a lot of other awesome ones available and we'll feature them occasionally on our blog.
I don't know how we traveled before we had packing cubes. They are life changing. I first purchased a TravelWise weekender set for myself and then went back and got a set in each color because we love them so much. Packing cubes are a great way to help you stay organized when you pack. For example, on short trips I use one large packing cube per kid and we keep all of their clothing, underwear, pajamas, and socks together. On longer trips I sometimes organize the packing cubes by function or clothing type. They help keep your clothes organized inside your suitcase and help you save space. They are also great once you are unpacking at your hotel or Airbnb because you can just transfer clothes into drawers or different rooms.
We suggest getting packing cubes in a variety of colors and sizes. You can also put labels on them to help your kids which cube is theirs'. We like the largest sizes for bulkier clothing items and the smaller cubes for socks, pajamas, underwear, and toiletries. As we find other organizational tools we like for travel we'll keep you updated on our blog.