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Best Products For Traveling With a Toddler

Jun 15, 2023

Published on 8/2/2023 at 6:45 PM

Calling all parents planning a family vacation or an upcoming road trip with the little ones. We know traveling with a toddler, whether it's your first time or you've already tackled multiple international excursions, is guaranteed to be unpredictable. Even the shortest flight can feel like a battle between you and your tiny traveler.

Yes, it can and will be a lot, but it doesn't have to be so chaotic. There are plenty of products made just for lengthy travel days with the family. Drawing from my own excursions flying cross-country in the US and on international trips to Canada and Japan, I've rounded up the products that are at the top of my packing list that will make the journey with your toddlers as seamless as possible.

From a ride-on carry-on suitcase that makes wheeling kids around the airport a breeze to a collapsable tray that can hold all their activity books, this list has everything you need for the best family travel day. Whether you're taking a flight or hopping in the car for 15 hours, these products will make traveling with a toddler a seamless experience. The best part? These items are useful for daily family travel, too (think: the car ride to school or home from their soccer games). Ready for stress-free traveling with a toddler?

Kibou Vegan Leather Bag ($98)

The Kibou is the most minimalist diaper bag I've seen. It has everything you need: a built-in waterproof pocket for 20-plus wet wipes, detachable changing pad, credit-card slot, and key hook. It's perfect for taking with you for in-flight diaper changes, rather than bringing a bulky bag to the compact bathrooms.

Nuna TRVL Stroller ($500)

This compact, self-folding stroller opens and closes with one hand, which means you can keep one hand on your toddler while packing up in a busy airport or parking lot. Bonus: it weighs just 13.6 pounds!

Lusso Travel Tray ($29, originally $40)

Keep toys organized with this travel tray. It features a safety strap, a cup holder, mesh pockets for toys, and a tablet stand.

Coterie The Pant ($95 per three-pack box)

Diaper changes for a toddler are hard in general. Add in delayed or turbulent flights, and suddenly the stress level soars. Coterie's diaper products are recommended for travel because they are high performance to minimize leaks and blowouts. And The Pant is a personal favorite because it allows for an easier change for active babies, as it can be taken off like underwear or changed like a diaper. As my son gets bigger, I found it easier to change him standing up in the plane bathroom rather than on the changing pad. The Pant makes the process quick and easy.

Béis The Kids Roller ($168)

This bright-colored roller is not only a practical suitcase, but it also provides endless entertainment for toddlers. It's comfortable for a kid to push thanks to the adjustable trolley handle, which allows for a low height and cushioned grip. It also features a soft front pocket that fits an iPad.

MiaMilly Carryon 18" ($349)

This ride-on suitcase has been flooding my Instagram feed — and for good reason. It allows your child to conveniently travel on top of the suitcase with a seatbelt while you make your way through the airport or train station. If your child gets bored of riding in their stroller, this is a great option that will serve you for years to come. It can support up to 220 pounds of weight, so adults can use it as a seat, too.

Built 12oz Wide Mouth Cascade Bottle ($15)

I've tested out many water bottles for my son, and most end up leaking. The Built bottle is the best one I've found. The lid is threaded so it screws on tightly and doesn't leak, even when left on its side. It's PVC-, BPA-, latex-, and phthalate-free, and the 12 oz. size is perfect for a toddler's hands. I love the bright-red color that makes it easy to spot.

Cosco Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat ($60)

Weighing under 7 pounds, this car seat is easy to install and carry on a plane. It also boasts more than 4,000 reviews and an affordable price tag.

Bandolier Billie Utility Case ($228)

This leather iPhone case allows you to carry your essentials for domestic airline travel, without adding another bag. It has a slot for your credit cards and three compartments on the crossbody shoulder strap that snap or zip shut. This is perfect for carrying snacks, hand sanitizer, and a small bag of wipes.

That's It Bars ($22 for 12)

Everyone knows that snacks are the key to a successful travel day with the kids. My go-to is That's It bars, which are made from fruit with no sugar or preservatives. I've also traveled with puffs and crackers, but the cleanup of these crumbly treats was overwhelming. These fruit bars will leave little to no mess. Snackbox ($12)

When traveling with a toddler, think of how many snacks you should bring, then double it. Snacks are not only nourishment but also entertainment. This durable container has a leakproof silicone seal. It also has two compartments, which can keep your little one entertained as they move their food from one side to another, a favorite activity of my son.

Ergobaby Carrier ($170)

With more than 4,700 reviews on Amazon, the Ergobaby Omni supports newborns to toddlers, 7-45 pounds. If your child is under 2 and you've opted to not purchase them a seat on the plane, this carrier will help your little one stay cozy while sitting with you. I used this carrier while traveling solo cross-country and loved that it had a pouch where I could fit a diaper and a few wipes, making it feel like a wearable diaper bag.

Guava Lotus Everywhere Travel Crib ($249, originally $280)

Weighing just 15 pounds, the Lotus is 50 percent lighter than traditional, raised-mattress-style portable cribs, making it an excellent option for travel. It folds compactly in an airport-friendly backpack, and I love how quick and easy it is to set up.

Slumberpod Portable Sleep Pod ($180)

This Amazon bestseller with more than 2,000 reviews is a blackout pod that fits over pack and plays and travel cribs to block out 90 percent of light. It comes in handy if you are sharing a room with your toddler and want to keep the lights on while they sleep. This is an MVP travel item that I always pack in my carry-on. On international trips, this is one of the most essential items to help set up my family for sleep success.

LectroFan Alpha Sound Machine ($28)

This small and portable sound machine will help your little one fall asleep fast. It plays seven gentle sounds, two white-noise variations, and two variations of ocean waves. It lasts for 30 hours with one charge and has a convenient clip that can be attached to a stroller or carrier.

Doona Infant Car Seat and Latch Base ($550)

If your little one is under 32 inches and 35 pounds, the Doona is a combination car seat and stroller that makes traveling a breeze. It weighs just 13.6 pounds, and you can transition from car seat to stroller in just seconds. It's certified for use by the US and European authorities for air travel.

Suction Spinner Sensory Toy ($8, originally $16)

Bringing new toys while traveling can add a sense of novelty to capture your little one's attention. This spinner easily sticks on flat surfaces like an airplane window.

Artipoppe Zeitgeist Carrier ($420)

Artipoppe's Zeitgeist, selected by POPSUGAR as a best baby product for 2023, is the most fashionable way to carry a child. Not only is it supremely comfortable, but it can also be worn on your front or back. If you plan to wear your little one a lot on the trip, the Zeitgeist puts a stylish spin on any outfit.

Infant Optics DXR-8 PRO ($200)

This video monitor, which was included in POPSUGAR's list of best baby monitors, requires no WiFi or apps to function, making it dependable no matter where your trip takes you. It features 720P resolution, enhanced night vision, and Active Noise Reduction Technology so you can see and hear your baby more clearly.

Caraa Baby Bag Nylon in Large ($328)

This backpack was designed with travel in mind. It's encased in waterproof nylon with dedicated spots for diapers, wipes, bottles, clothing, and toys to keep you organized. It also has stroller hooks and a luggage sleeve, making it very easy to transport with your other bags. The exterior pocket is insulated to keep snacks or bottles cool.

Guava Roam Stroller ($650)

If your trip involves all-terrain trails or running, the Guava Roam Stroller is your best option. The Roam fits easily in trunks and closets, folding 50 percent smaller than other jogging strollers, without needing to remove the wheels. Bonus: if you need to sprint to make a connection, you'll be well-equipped.

Disposable Stick-On Playmats ($10)

These placemats have a permanent spot in my diaper bag. They create a sanitary surface for toddler meals and are free of food-grade plastic, BPA, PVC, phthalates, and lead.

Veer Cruiser ($700)

If your destination is rugged like a beach or festival, the Veer wagon is ready to handle the terrain. While it may appear bulky, it easily folds flat. The wagon also makes airport travel more fun since the little one gets a better view of the scene. If your toddler prefers to walk, it's convenient to load your carry-on luggage in it as you trek through the airport, which I've been seeing more frequently during my summer travels. The Veer was also selected by POPSUGAR as a best baby product for 2023.

Hypervolt Go 2 ($129, originally $199)

Every time I've traveled with my toddler, my body aches the next day. This massage gun is compact and weighs just 1.5 pounds, so you can give your muscles some TLC after your travel day and start your trip feeling more restored.

Kibou Vegan Leather BagNuna TRVL StrollerLusso Travel TrayCoterie The PantBéis The Kids RollerMiaMilly Carryon 18"Built 12oz Wide Mouth Cascade BottleCosco Scenera Next Convertible Car SeatBandolier Billie Utility CaseThat's It SnackboxErgobaby CarrierGuava Lotus Everywhere Travel CribSlumberpod Portable Sleep PodLectroFan Alpha Sound MachineDoona Infant Car Seat and Latch BaseSuction Spinner Sensory ToyArtipoppe Zeitgeist CarrierInfant Optics DXR-8 PROCaraa Baby Bag Nylon in LargeGuava Roam StrollerDisposable Stick-On PlaymatsVeer CruiserHypervolt Go 2