Tis the season for traveling Mamatogians, and a lot of you will be heading out to visit friends and family during the holiday season. Here at Mamatoga we want to make that trip as smooth as possible for you whether you're traveling by train, plane or automobile. In our latest edition of our Have Kids, Will Travel Series we are going to give you our Top Ten list of the best travel gadgets to pack and use on your trip!
1. This adorable ride on suitcase almost makes traveling with the kids worth all the effort (almost)...Made by mama favorite Melissa and Doug, Trunki allows children to ride their luggage through the airport or train station so when they tell you they're too tired to walk simply direct them to ride their own suitcase! The lightweight, durable, carry-on sized suitcase serves as luggage, riding toy, and transport for kids on the go and features tow strap, carry handles, secure catches, integrated wheels and stabilizers to prevent toppling over. Plus, when you're back at home Trunki is a kid-friendly storage bin! It comes in a bunch of great colors and animal styles for either a boy or a girl. I truly wish I had one of these when I was little to wheel my way through airports.
2. If you've got a smaller child that will get tired trudging through an airport or train station and you need to also bring your big bulky carseat, here is an option to make it smoother for both of you. This car seat "cart" is like a luggage cart for your car seat. You attach the car seat effortlessly using the car seat latch connectors, the same connectors that secure your car seat tightly to your vehicle and with its durable steel frame design and easy-glide wheels, the car seat travel cart can be used with children harnessed in car seats for short travel distances. The raised platform protects the car seat from contacting the ground, while the one-hand telescoping handle adjusts to fit any height adult pushing it. When you get to your destination you simply fold it up and store it. This way you neither have to carry a heavy car seat or a tired toddler, and if your toddler prefers to walk or you also have a stroller you can load this thing up with purses and bags instead! This one is made specifically for Britax car seats, but they have plenty of options to choose from that fit different brands.
3. When I think of gadgets I immediately think of iPads and iPhones, and if you've got either one of these or another device that supports apps, check out our Top Ten Best Apps for Kids list. Download a bunch of these pre-trip and whip them out at crucial moments as a distracting surprise. Your child might not be entertained by being offered Plants vs. Zombies for the hundredth time if its their favorite, but playing around with a few new options will definitely buy you some time and can even possibly prevent meltdowns. And speaking of apps, if you've got a fussy baby try this white noise app, it just might be the trick to get them to settle in a new unfamiliar space like a hotel room or a relatives house, especially if they are sharing a room.
4. And in order to keep the sound on those games down for you and your fellow passengers, check out these cute headphones from Pottery Barn Kids. They come in great styles for either a girl or a boy, are compatible with a variety of electronics and come with an adjustable strap so you can find the right fit for your child.
5. This travel bed by KidCo is something I wish I had when Finn and Lev were younger and I'm definitely going to get one for future traveling with baby number three. The inflatable air mattress on the bottom provides a soft, comfortable place for your baby to sleep and protects him or her from cold, damp floors. UV protection and windscreens also make this great for outdoor trips, allowing you to go wherever you want and know your baby is safe. The zippered panel on the side allows you to quickly go in and out of the travel bed to reach for your child. An easy-to-fold design makes this travel bed convenient to pack and carry. I love that you can move this around easily too and fit it into spaces that a Pack and Play wouldn't fit into. You could move this from room to room for little catnaps, even bringing it outside with you if your little one needs to have a snooze while you get some sun!
6. If you're taking a long car trip, a backseat organizer is a great tool in your attempt to keep things organized back there. The SafeFit Backseat Organizer & Seat Protector is designed for convenience and protection. Its useful toy box attaches to the padded cover, while multiple storage pockets hold everything your infant or toddler will need on long or short car trips. The large storage box compartment holds favorite toys and closes shut with a velcro top, plus it has top two handles that turn it into a portable tote. The thick pad that goes under the car seat protects upholstery from spills, and leather from compression damage.
7. I love these Hold on Handles you can attach to your stroller or use solo as a walking rope. It's an easy way to keep your children within arm’s reach without restraining them with embarrassing leashes or harnesses when navigating a busy airport or train station or out and about on vacation at any busy area. Anyone who has tried instructing their child to "hold on" to the stroller in an effort to keep them close by knows this just doesn't work, but these cute and practical handles make that possible without tripping over little ones!
8. This travel potty will work wonders for anyone who has to embark on any type of travel with a potty training toddler. I've been there mamas, and I feel for you. I've been through all sorts of potty anxiety so far with my two, from not wanting to sit on big potties at rest stops or in hotels or not being able to find a potty in time. This little one is perfect for a toddler and actually folds up into a mini toddler sized briefcase that even your child can carry! And you have to love the little magazine they included tucked in here in the picture...
9. If you've got a little one that is a roller when they sleep but you can't bring bolsters with you, check out these inflatable bed rails. These portable, inflatable, under-the-bedding bumpers are the only ones with anti-slip flocking so there are no straps needed; your fitted sheet holds the bed guards in place and will keep your little one in place snug and safe.
10. If you have a little wiggle worm who loves his standing activity center this lightweight travel option is perfect! Rather than try to wedge yours into an already over-packed car, this portable one will work perfectly. Includes cupholder, snackholder, and five toy loops to keep little ones busy (toys not included). Very portable, it weighs just 7 lbs and is height adjustable, with protective foot mat and carry bag and can be used indoors and out.
Check out our Top Ten Tips for Traveling with Kids for all you need to make your holiday trip as smooth and stress free as possible for you and the entire family!