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As a new parent, traveling with your baby can seem like an insurmountable goal. You want your baby to feel safe and comfortable, but you can’t pack up your entire nursery to do so. Here at TPG, we’ve spent a lot of time traveling with children, and we’ve tested a lot of baby gear along the way.
Related: 43 real-world family travel tips that actually work
We know every trip — and every baby — is different, but these items can keep you and your baby happy whether you travel by plane, train or automobile and, of course, once you reach your destination.
GB Pockit Travel Stroller
Weighing in at only 10.4 pounds and folding up small enough to fit in most airplane overhead compartments, the GB Pockit was named the world’s most compact stroller by Guinness World Records. This travel-friendly stroller folds up in two easy steps, but don’t let its small size fool you. It still has a weight capacity of up to 55 pounds and can handle a bumpy sidewalk as well as it handles the moving walkway at the airport.
The GB Pockit doesn’t come with all the accessories other strollers come with (which is why it folds up so easily). However, it has a mini sun canopy, an adjustable harness and a small storage space underneath the seat. It is also designed for babies 6 months and older, so parents of newborns will have to wait a bit to use this small but mighty stroller.
To buy: GB Pockit Travel Stroller on Amazon, $193.59
PAK Reve Wilder Bundle
Even before testing Pak Reve’s line of travel bags, we knew they would stand up to anything parents could throw at them because they were designed by globe-trotting travel writer Jordi Lippe-McGraw. You can buy the full-size backpack, mini backpack, waterproof wristlet and insulated lunchbox separately. However, they all attach together to create one fully functional travel system, so we recommend purchasing the full bundle.
Dubbed The Wilder Bundle, this travel system connects and disconnects with ease. Having the full system on the plane or on a long road trip ensures you have every bottle, snack, change of clothes and toy close by. You can use just the pieces you need when you arrive at your destination. You may only want the mini backpack for a quick excursion, or you can bring along the waterproof wristlet, so you have somewhere to store dirty clothes in case of an accident.
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The full-size backpack has tons of organizational features, including a front pocket that converts into a jacket sleeve, theft-proof pockets, a laptop sleeve, a keychain ring and exterior water bottle pockets.
To buy: PAK Reve The Wilder Bundle, $335
Snoozeshade Pack n’ Play Cover
The Snoozeshade Pack n’ Play Cover is life-changing when you have to share a hotel room with your baby. You no longer have to hide the crib away in a bathroom or closet. Now, you can give your baby the environment necessary to get some rest while keeping them close by.
While your baby is snoozing away in their dark and cozy crib with a breathable mesh shade, you can (quietly) enjoy your vacation. This shade is machine-washable and comes with a convenient carry case.
To buy: Snoozeshade Pack n’ Play Cover on Amazon, $59.99
Tula Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier
There are dozens of baby carriers out there, and which one works best for you will largely be based on personal preference, but we have found the Tula Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier to be a great go-to carrier.
This carrier can be used for babies from 7 to 45 pounds, making it a great choice for newborns and toddlers alike. The front mesh panel keeps you and your baby cool, and the adjustable straps and waistband ensure a comfortable fit for you and a secure fit for your baby. The padded shoulder straps provide additional comfort, and you can use the carrier in front-carry and back-carry positions.
To buy: Tula Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier on Amazon, $179
Enovoe Portable Diaper Changing Pad
The Enovoe portable changing pad is ideal for changing your baby on the go anywhere. It’s not too bulky, which means you can easily slip it into a carry-on bag. It also has storage space for a few diapers, a small pack of wipes, an extra pair of pants and a onesie for good measure.
Even though it’s fairly slim, the head area has additional padding for the baby’s comfort, and there’s an attachable strap to hang it from the stroller when you’re on the move. The changer comes in handy when you’re at the beach, on a long road trip, at the park or pretty much anywhere. As an added bonus, it’s unisex and cute.
To buy: The Enovoe portable pad is available on Amazon for $19.99.
Nuby Lightweight High Chair Booster Seat
Finding vacation rentals with high chairs is ideal, but it’s not always possible. This Nuby travel booster seat attaches to chairs and is fairly portable — and it can be tucked into a checked suitcase. The chair is soft yet sturdy, so little ones don’t mind eating in it.
The straps are durable and fairly secure. Just remember, the chair is only for short periods while your baby is eating, and you should never leave your baby unattended in this seat.
To buy: The Nuby Easy Go Booster Seat is available on Amazon for $22.99.
Bumpkins Silicone Grip Dishes
Bumpkins silicone plates grip whatever surface you set them on so your baby can’t throw the plate on the floor. They are ideal to tuck into your bag and bring to a restaurant, hotel or vacation rental when traveling. Easy to clean, dishwasher safe, BPA-free and oven safe, they come in a variety of colors and patterns to suit your taste.
To buy: Bumpkins silicone plates are available on Amazon, with prices as low as $10.99.
It can be hard to decide what to pack and what to leave at home when traveling with your baby. It can also be overwhelming to figure out which travel stroller to buy, which baby carrier to get and all the other essential items you will need on your journey.
While these choices are largely personal and depend greatly on your family and the nature of your trip, these products are favorites among the frequent-traveling families at TPG.