Few things are more daunting than traveling with little ones, especially for first-time parents. Thankfully, there are baby travel essentials to make trips with tots easier.
Like what, you ask? Strollers that collapse easily and fit in the overhead bin. Ultra-light, FAA-approved infant car seats. Comfortable, light-as-air baby carriers that roll down into a fanny pack. Sound machines to block out unpredictable noise at your new accommodations.
These baby travel essentials are must-have items to help travel go as smoothly as possible with babies in tow.
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The most important baby travel essentials:
- Ergobaby Metro+ stroller
- Nuna PIPA lite rx infant carseat
- Tula baby carrier
- Guava Lotus pack and play (or bassinet)
- Hatch sound machine
The best baby travel essentials
Best stroller: Ergobaby Metro+
The Ergobaby Metro+ stroller is light, comfortable, and folds down compactly enough to fit easily in the overhead bin when traveling. While you can gate-check strollers for free with most airlines, you’re risking damage to the stroller every time it gets tossed below the plane. You’re also setting yourself up to wait on the jetway with your little one after landing.
The ultra-padded Metro+ adjustable seat lies completely flat, making this an ideal travel stroller option for newborns while remaining comfortable for older toddlers. This stroller also offers Spring Suspension to ease the ride on unpredictable foreign terrain. Best of all? It takes seconds (and only one hand) to fold up.
Price: The Metro+ costs $299 and makes the perfect everyday stroller in addition to its travel-friendly features, making it the only stroller you need to buy.
Ergobaby Metro+ highlights:
- Folds down in seconds with only one hand
- Fits easily in the overhead bin
- The seat lays completely flat (perfect for newborns)
- Great suspension for bumpy roads
- Ultra-comfortable padded seats
- Extendable handlebar
Best carseat: Nuna PIPA lite rx
The Nuna PIPA lite rx weighs in at only 6.9 lbs, making it one of the lightest car seats on the market. The seat features magnetic buckle holders on the sides to easily keep the harness out of the way while putting baby in and out. The sunshade includes a breathable “Sky Drape” that attaches by magnets near baby’s feet to cover the seat for naptime or to block sun/wind.
The Nuna PIPA lite rx comes with a RELX base with LATCH for everyday use but can also be installed with a seatbelt when traveling which makes it perfect for use in Ubers or taxis while on vacation. This car seat is FAA-approved and clearly marked for easy use on airplanes.
As a bonus? The PIPA lite rx is GREENGUARD GOLD certified and free of potentially harmful fire retardants that are in most other car seats.
Price: $550 will get you the perfect at-home and travel car seat in the Nuna PIPA lite rx.
Best baby carrier: Tula Lite
When it comes to baby carriers, there are hundreds of different kinds on the market and it can feel impossible to know which one is best for you. Baby carriers are essential for air travel. Wear your baby through the airport and use the stroller to help transport your diaper bag and luggage. This makes going through security a breeze. You also want the option of strapping your baby in to walk up and down the aisles or during turbulence while in flight.
When it comes to travel, you want something sturdy, lightweight, and compact. The Baby Tula Lite carrier is by far the best of all worlds for travel. The carrier itself rolls up into a fanny pack that’s so light you’ll forget it’s on when not in use, but it still retains enough structure to support baby (and mom or dad’s shoulders) when babywearing for long periods of time.
Best pack and play: Guava Lotus
There’s nothing quite so daunting as arriving at your destination and needing to set up your baby’s sleep space before you can put them down for bed. That’s why the Guava Lotus travel crib (with optional bassinet attachment) is one of our must-have baby travel essentials. This portable pack-and-play can be easily set up in just a few minutes.
And, almost as importantly, it is both lightweight (15 lbs) and compact. The Guava Lotus folds up into an easy-to-carry backpack that’s carry-on size so you don’t have to worry about having a safe space for your child to sleep in case your luggage gets delayed or lost.
Price: $229.95 for the travel crib or $349.90 with the bassinet attachment
Best sound machine: Hatch
For those that use the Hatch Rest+ at home, it’s worth investing in the Hatch Rest Mini. The Hatch Rest Mini is the perfect travel sound machine. White noise is a baby travel essential since you never know how loud baby’s sleep space will be at your destination. The last thing anyone wants while on vacation is their little one getting woken up every 15 minutes by jackhammers or party-goers.
Price:$39.99 for the mini
Baby travel products to leave at home
There are baby travel essential must-have items and then there are things that are better left behind.
- Books. But not because we don’t think you should be reading baby a book before bed while on vacation. Books are great souvenirs to purchase from your destination. Buy some baby books to enjoy while you’re there and bring them home with you to remember the trip.
- Diapers and wipes. Bring enough to get by for two days and buy the rest at your destination.
- Any kind of bathtub accessories. Babies will survive even if it means a week of wipedown “baths” or showers with mom or dad.
- Loud toys. While you’ll want to bring a few things to keep baby occupied during travel days, remember to leave any particularly annoying toys at home for the sake of fellow travelers.
Ready to plan your next family vacation?
Once you’ve got your baby travel essentials purchased, it’s time to hit the road. Check out these articles and use Troupe to let family and friends help plan your next getaway.