How to travel comfortably without sacrificing too much luggage space:
When I pack for a trip, it’s all about balancing two goals: to travel comfortably and carry less stuff. I recently wrote another post about how to pack lighter with kids, which is important because ultimately, you’ve got to lug everything around yourself. However, it’s nice to take some of the comforts from home along for the trip as long as they warrant the extra space.
These are five of my favorite and most unexpected things to bring with me on trips. I don’t need any of them, but they are definitely nice to have:
Portable car seat
My favorite travel car seat is the Immi Go. It’s compact and easy-to-carry so you don’t have to worry about lugging around a giant carseat. They also fit in nearly every car so they work great with rentals and cabs. There is a learning curve for set-up so I recommend practicing a few times before taking it on a trip.
An iPad and offline video content
You probably know how much an iPad can help when traveling with kids. But what about when you don’t have WiFi available? YouTube Red allows for a few hours of offline movies on YouTube Kids for just that purpose. Just make sure you sign up beforehand while you’ve still got internet access so the videos are ready when you need them. Another option I really like is Amazon’s offline content. Any video you’ve purchased can be downloaded to your iPad. Again, make sure you take care of it before your trip.
The BedBox is new to my collection of travel accessories and I’m so glad to have it. It is hand luggage, a ride-on suitcase, and an inflight bed all in one for kids seven or younger. They can ride it through the airport (like riding a horse) so you won’t need a stroller. Then it turns their plane seat into a bed, which is amazing for longer flights. You can also fit a few toys inside the BedBox which is a nice treat for little ones.
Smart Home Device
The Echo Dot is a smaller version of Amazon’s Echo. It’s small enough that you can squeeze it in a suitcase with no problem and it has all the functionality of a standard-size smart home device. While traveling, I use it to check the local weather in the mornings and to listen to our favorite music in the hotel room. It really makes us feel at home wherever we go.
Global Entry or TSA Precheck
I’m still surprised to hear that people don’t know about this one. Global Entry and TSA Precheck both provide expedited entry to domestic airports once you going through a vetting process and pay a fee (though some credit cards will reimburse this fee for you). Once approved, you won’t need to take off your shoes, jackets, or remove your laptops and the airport security lines are generally much shorter. Going through security is never fun, but both of these options go a long way to help travel comfortably.
What do you do to travel comfortably with kids? Share your ideas in the comments!