Top 10 Travel Products for Families
Time for another Traveling With Kids post. This time I thought I would share some of my favourite family related travel products. For the most part the following items can be used over and over again and they help to make traveling with kids a little easier, more enjoyable and even a tad more stylish. These are great products to buy your own kids before a trip but also fantastic gifts for any little travellers in your life.
You wouldn’t have believed the excitement my kids felt when I gave them their own passport holders. I think it was a mix of feeling independent and in control over something that was 100% theirs and the fact that the holders were brightly coloured and beautiful. In any case, it was a huge hit. These holders above are by the super talented designers at Ozzy and Lulu and are very reasonably priced (approx $8 including shipping from Singapore). I’ve also seen a lot of great handmade passport holders over on Etsy (I love to support small scale designers of any kind!).
I bought our first Infobands almost a decade ago when my I had twin toddlers and a little baby. I put these identification bracelets on my kids whenever we travelled or even went out in crowded places just in case I lost sight of one of the little ones (and it did indeed happen a few times). These Swedish made bands allow you to write a contact telephone number or whatever other information that might be important in case your kids get lost (allergies, medical conditions etc). And they’re cute!
Traveling with kids usually means losing things. My kids leave behind and lose items on a daily basis and it seems to get even more frequent when we’re traveling. So after losing more than one backpack we decided to hang luggage tags on every bag that we have with us. You can find some really beautiful luggage tags out there nowadays or even make a personalized one with photo and text over on Zazzle. Tags above are from the Tepper Jackson Travel Collection.
These fork-knife-spoon combo utensils are one of our all-time favourite travel purchases. We bought this “hybrid cutlery” (as it’s known) years ago before heading to China with our 4 year old son and 6 year old twins who didn’t know how to eat with chopsticks. We threw them in our backpacks and carried them everywhere we went. Even if the kids, surprisingly enough, learned how to use chopsticks within days of arriving they were still used many times on our trips to Asia but as well on our other travels and hikes in the mountains. Sold here.
Kids are always thirsty (how many times a day do you here “Mama, I’m SO thirsty”?). So obviously having a collapsible cup that takes up as little room as possible in your purse or bag is absolutely necessary when traveling just about anywhere. These high quality silicone cups come in a snap shut container and in the most fantastic colours. Sold here.
In addition to the collapsible cups we also always travel with our collection of Sigg water bottles. These high quality Swiss made bottles never seem to break and are easy to find in just about every country nowadays. We’ve had ours for over a decade and even though they’ve travelled the world they still look brand new. They are a bit on the pricey side but once you invest in one of these for each child you should be good until they leave home for university. Plus, imagine all the disposable water bottles you won’t have to throw out!
I don’t know if any of you have every flown with a kid with an earache or ear infection but I can assure you it’s absolutely horrible. And loud. It’s not only a painful experience for the child but also the fellow passengers and especially the parents. So to avoid these situations at all costs I always fly with a box of these special ear plugs for kids called EarPlanes. They’ve saved our lives on more than one occasion.
And of course you have to think about getting a miniature sized suitcase for your miniature sized travellers. I’ve written in the past that I’m not a huge fan of doing long haul trips with the kids and their little cases due to the fact that we usually end up carrying them after five minutes. But for small trips, overnights and sleepovers these little suitcases are perfect and kids love them. My favourite brands are Oilily, Room Seven, Sammies (by Samsonite) and the famous Trunki (which has wheels and allows tired kids to sit on them and be pulled).
These miniature versions of everyone’s favourite board games are ideal for traveling. They are small and take up minimal space in luggage and carry-ons and will keep kids amused for hours. These Drumond Park games are available on Amazon. And don’t forget to pack a deck of cards as well!
After talking to a lot of traveling families one of the most frequent “top purchases” was a Kindle (or e-reader) for their kids. The amount of room that you save by not taking stacks of books is huge. For us having three very avid readers we usually have to take about 2 novels per kid for a two week vacation. That’s 6 books that have to fit in the already over-packed (and often over-weight) cases. So by having the kids download their books to the Kindle it would save a lot of space and weight from suitcases and backpacks. This would be a great Christmas or birthday gift for any little traveller in the family (or big traveller!). Sold at the Kindle Amazon store here.