The last few months we have been pretty busy travelling. We spent the beginning of May in Latvia, went to Berlin for a weekend shortly thereafter and just the other week we headed to the seaside town of Rostock for a wedding. I still vividly remember our first trip with the baby. We had rented a car for the weekend and packed so much luggage that there was barely space left in the trunk. Fast forward a year and I am happy to say that we have improved: all we needed for our weekend trip to Berlin was two backpacks and a diaper bag.
Independent of whether we travel by plane, train, or car there are some items of travel gear that we always take with us. So, without further ado, here is our (very subjective) TOP 3 of essential toddler travel gear.
1. The baby carrier
Out of everything we have ever bought for the little one, our baby carrier is quite likely the most used item of all. Birdy enjoys being carried and we enjoy the freedom that babywearing brings. The carrier is small and light, thus it is easy to take it with us wherever we go. It works wonders for an overstimulated toddler who has trouble falling asleep or bouts if impatience about having to endure a longer stretch of travel. Most importantly, a baby carrier works great everywhere from crowded museums to nature hikes.
For proof look no further than the photo below of hubby in the Game of Thrones exhibition, trying out virtual reality glasses with Birdy sound asleep in the carrier. And, in the wedding that we attended the other week, we packed our tired little one in the carrier on hubby’s back, she fell asleep in less than five minutes, and we had an awesome couple of hours of dancing!
Of course, our love for babywearing on trips may be related to the fact that Birdy is still quite small: at 15 months she still hasn’t cracked the 10 kg border. Then again, the Ergo carrier can be used up until the child is 20 kg heavy and works great as a backpack so we likely will not stop anytime soon.
2. The travel buggy
After everything that I just wrote about babywearing it might be surprising that a buggy has made our list of toddler travel gear. But there are times when having a buggy is convenient, especially for longer strolls on even terrain. That said, a travel buggy was not something I was willing to invest much money in and we were lucky to find one for less than 100 euros. It is perfect for travel: light, fully reclinable for short naps, can be folded and unfolded with one hand, and has a handle for carrying it while folded. Long story short, it is great not only for moving around in a city but also perfect for an airport security check.
3. The booster seat
Another useful item that we never leave at home is the booster seat that allows to transform any chair into a highchair. It takes very little place when folded and is very easy to use: blow up the cushion, strap it down on the chair, done. We do not need it often here in Germany where 90% of restaurants and cafes have at least one highchair but it is great to have with us when going abroad or visiting friends who do not have kids.
What would you never leave at home when going on a trip with a toddler or a baby?