Summer Travel Essentials for Parents
Andi, our Head Buyer, shares her tips for hitting the highways & skyways with your little ones this summer! In the above image, her daughter is holding her Pop Star Pink Babiator Sunglasses and wearing the Candy Stripe Mini Pack Backpack, and one of our Chewbeads Junior Necklaces.
My little girl turns two next month and we have traveled quite a bit since she was born. Over the past two years we’ve taken numerous road trips and airplanes to get to our destinations. It's taken a lot of trial and error, but I’ve mastered our packing with what works best for her. Our needs have obviously changed from when she was a baby to toddler, but Sprout has everything you need!
- Thinkbaby Sunscreen has always been my go-to for sun protection for her and myself.
- Her organic Flap Happy Sun Hat gives great sun protection — plus she actually keeps it on and looks quite cute!
- Like her parents, she also wants to wear sunglasses. Babiators are my favorite as they provide 100% uv protection and are virtually indestructible (great for extra entertainment on the plane)! Another reason they are so great is that Babiators will replace your lost or broken sunglasses within one year of purchase, if you register them.
We usually have early morning flights so we can have the full day when we get to our destination. It also helps out with nap times! This mostly means waking her up early in the morning to get to the airport.
- When she was a baby I’d dress her in her Kate Quinn Pink Elephant Snap Footie the night before and quickly change her diaper in the morning, feed her and hit the road. The snaps make it easy to change her diaper at the airport and the one piece with the footie meant she was totally covered! (Germophobe over here!)
- As she got older, I would dress her in the morning in a 2 piece Tee & Legging Set for the early morning flights to make sure she was comfortable and hopefully able to still sleep!
- For vacations, I never leave home without her Salt Water Sandals. They go with every outfit and are very comfortable and durable. These are even made to go into the water so there's no need to take them off if you’re at a rocky beach.
- If I had a boy, I would have picked the Under the Nile Blue Star outfits and Kate Quinn Seahorse or Sea Lion outfits (see all 3 collections in our Layette section).
- Now that she's old enough to carry it, I pack her own bag with her toys inside to keep her busy. This way we can also use these items while on vacation. She loves to wear her Mini Backpack (filled our not)!
- Right now we have her chewbeads necklace, Apple Park Baby Girl Doll, Thinkbaby Straw Cup, and Ecovessel Smashbox Container packed and ready to go. The Smashbox is great because I fill it with a snack for her (usually berries) and once you are done with it, it collapses so it doesn’t take up much room. We also still love the ecovessel Gobble n Go for snacks on-the-go, in the car or plane. Don’t forget you still have to clean their water cups and bottles. I bring my own Bottle Brush and Dapple Travel Size Dish Soap every time we travel. That way I don’t have to worry about what kind of soap I’ll have and the brush is great for bottles and sippy cups. For my bag, I always have Cleanwell Hand Sanitizer and the On-the-Go Wipes Dispenser.
- We’ve visited a few places where we needed to bring our daughter's travel crib. The Babybjorn Travel Crib is so easy to travel with because it's lightweight and folds compactly. We also keep this on hand at home in case we have visitors that need to sleep in her room (we have a 2 bedroom home so it comes in handy a lot). Make sure to pack the Organic Cotton Sheet that's made for it, so you won’t have to worry about loose fitting sheets.
- For sleeping, we use the Woolino 4 Season Sleeping Bag. It’s made of Merino wool which helps babies maintain a consistent temperature while sleeping. This is the same one we use at home so she didn’t have many changes while sleeping.
- I always travel with the Nuna Mixx Stroller. It's great in the airport because it has a large storage basket — a huge plus — it means I'm not juggling a lot of baggage in my hands when trying to get through the airport!
For 0-1 Years
A lot of our “must haves” obviously changed from infant to toddler. Some of these items may seem small, but they were lifesavers everyday, so I made sure they were always in our travel bags too!
- My favorite item for travel (and everyday use) when my daughter was little was the Solly Wrap. I loved wearing her and the Solly Wrap was definitely the most comfortable and stylish wrap/carrier. I always advise my friends to get it for their first flights and they usually thank me for it! When you go through security at the airport, you have to take your baby out of the stroller. So when my daughter was really little and I was traveling by myself, this meant I had to take her out of the stroller, fold it up, and hold her all at the same time. Once I started traveling with the Solly Wrap I never left without it. It takes up very little space and we loved being close to each other! This also made it really easy to feed her on the plane as I could easily cover up. I also used this at home everyday to take walks with our dog.
- Having a teether and toy on hand was always necessary. My favorite for traveling was the Silicone Camera Teether (I love all the other shapes too: Diamond, Hashtag, and Hand) and the Bioplastic Rattle. You'll also want a Toy/Pacifier Clip so the teether won't fall on the floor.
- Big swaddle blankets that can pack up nicely and are super comfortable are a must. My favorite is the "Let's Dream Together" Organic Swaddle.
- I never left home without the NoseFrida and Windi as you never know when you’ll need them!
- I always brought the numpfer Multi-Use Bib as it doubles up as a washcloth as well.
- In addition to the Mixx Stroller, we traveled with the Nuna Pipa Car Seat. It's airplane approved which meant she could easily and safely sit in her car seat during flight. Once we we got to our destination, it was great to have the car seat with us since it can be installed without the base using the vehicle’s seat belt — it was perfect for taking taxis as well as using family's and friends' cars.
Related Article: Traveling with a Toddler - Cross Country by Plane