Are you planning to do any traveling for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year? Pre-kids, packing was relatively simple, and traveling was something I really looked forward to.
Post-kids, traveling can be stressful. There’s a ton of new stuff to pack, meltdowns to prepare for, and those routines and sleep schedules I’ve spent months establishing? Forget about them.
I’ve had to learn how to lighten up a bit and not take things too seriously when traveling. Thankfully, taking along some travel essentials can help keep my sanity.
From a great travel bag to disinfecting wipes, here are 10 holiday travel essentials for moms with little ones.
A user-friendly pack and play
Ahhh, pack and plays. Love to hate ‘em. Unless you’ve tried the 4moms version.
I cannot express to you enough how incredible the 4moms breeze GO playard is. Anyone can set it up or tear it down. There is no insane assembly required. You are not sweating by the time you are done.
I have to say the 4moms playard might be my all-time favorite travel essential for moms with little ones.
A great weekender
Having the perfect suitcase is key to a successful trip. However, having a great weekender can ensure you have all of your travel essentials—and those of your little ones—close by at all times while your larger pieces of luggage languish in an overhead compartment or the belly of a plane.
The Petunia Pickle Bottom Live-for-the-Weekender Travel Bag is perfect for keeping everything from stuffed animals to snacks to electronics safely and conveniently stored.
The bag’s large, zippered compartment is perfect for stashing a laptop, tablet, or books, while its three elastic interior pockets make it easy to keep your kiddo’s precious items easily accessible at all times.
It even has a trolley sleeve, making it easy to attach to your suitcase when you’ve got your hands full (and honestly, is there ever a time you don’t?).
A comfortable baby carrier
Whether your little one is too young to walk through the seemingly endless corridors of a major airport or just needs some comforting snuggles when they’re somewhere new and unfamiliar, having the right baby or toddler carrier with you can be a game-changer.
Luckily, the stylish MOBY Wrap Classic is lightweight, stretchy, and keeps your little one close to your body, making it easy for them to stay calm—or even nap, if you’re lucky—while you’re on the move.
Better yet, unlike bulky structured carriers, the MOBY Wrap Classic is an amazing space-saver, and easily fits into a small suitcase, backpack, or purse.
It even comes in an array of colors and prints, from classic black to Mickey Mouse print, ensuring it will go perfectly with any outfit.
A pair of comfortable slip-on shoes
Even the best travel planners can find themselves occasionally scrambling to get to their flight on time. And while heels may be elegant, when you’re trying to chase a toddler through security, having something a bit more comfortable on your feet can be a lifesaver.
Plus, who doesn’t like shoes that are easy to take off and slip back on while on a road trip?
If you want to ensure you get to your destination in comfort and style, a pair of comfortable flats, like these ones from Rothy’s, can make every trip a whole lot easier.
Plus, they come in a nice size range, from 5 to 13! Shout out to other moms out there with big feet like me!! 🙂
While my pair of Rothy’s is relatively new, my mom has had a pair for over 2 years now and says they’re like new. She even took a pic of the bottoms to show that there’s literally no wear and tear!
Tip: Consider sizing up a half or full size. My mom recommends at least a half size. I personally sized up a half size (from 11 to 11.5) and it was perfect.
A blanket scarf
Whether you find yourself needing some extra protection against the elements or your little one thinks the plane is too chilly for their liking, a blanket scarf, like this one from Banana Republic, can be a game-changer. They can make sure you and your little one are comfortable during your trip.
Better yet, this comfy accessory doesn’t have to be packed—just drape it over your shoulders or around your neck and you’re ready to go!
A travel-friendly makeup bag
The Allie Glines makeup bag system is incredible, not only for easy traveling but also to keep your toiletries organized at home.
I love the modular system that all tucks away nicely in the large bag. I’m able to keep my makeup and hair products organized so well that there’s really no “packing” required when we go on trips.
The organization, time savings, and aesthetics of this product makes it a travel essential for every mom.
For any working moms out there, it’s always a struggle to bring along the tech you need to get a little work in. I personally use two massive monitors at home, and I do have a laptop, but it’s a bit slow and clunky to travel with.
Yes, I may be taking vacation days over the holidays, but I still like to check email, peek in at reports, or jot down new article ideas without it being a big deal. I can also use it for reading e-books or challenging my dad to a game of Words With Friends while on the road.
I may not be as diligent about disinfecting surfaces for my own health (looking at you elevator button and gas pump), but I do try to disinfect anything my young kids will touch in public.
From grimy booster seats and highchairs to shopping cart handles, disinfecting wipes are a must-have for me when travelling.
I like the Babyganics alcohol-free hand sanitizer wipes.
You can get them on Amazon, and they’re small enough to tuck in your purse or diaper bag.
Entertainment for your kids
Don’t forget to pack some toys and books for your kids! Whether you want to avoid meltdowns on a plane or you’re in for a multi-hour car ride, bring along some entertainment to keep them occupied.
We will personally not leave without the Amazon Fire tablet for kids.
I adjusted the settings on mine so only educational content can be accessed for a limited time each day. I know screen-time isn’t the best, but when traveling, we’re often in survival mode. Shout out to the parents who can relate!!
If you want to avoid relying on Cocomelon reruns, Lovevery put together an article with 16 screen-free play ideas, which are ideal for holiday traveling.
I’m especially a fan of the Indestructibles books, which are rip and chew-proof and 100% washable.
A white noise machine
Sleeping in a new place, even if it’s the bi-annual visit to Grammy and Pappy’s house, can be difficult for little ones. I find that white noise helps ease the transition. The problem is, I always forget to bring our little white noise machine.
My iPhone ends up being our official white noise source, which is less than ideal. Do yourself a favor and pack a white noise machine for your holiday travels!
If you want a white noise machine that’s battery-powered and doesn’t need to be plugged in, check out the SNOObear from Happiest Baby.
This little bear has a white noise machine in its tummy that sounds for 30 or 60 minutes. And, it “pays attention” for 3 hours after the sound stops, responding to any new cries with another dose of soothing sound. Can you ask for more from a white noise machine?!
All the snacks
Avoid meltdowns by stocking up on snacks before you head out.
If you’re going on a road trip, consider putting some hard-boiled eggs, cheese sticks, and fruit in a cooler. If you’re going on a plane, grab some pre-packaged snacks you can throw in your carry on. I personally love the mini Kind bars.
They aren’t just for the kids, OK? Parents need snacks, too.
Holiday travel can be hectic, but taking along travel essentials can make your next trip with kids a breeze.
Keep these travel must-haves on hand and you’re sure to arrive at your destination feeling relaxed and refreshed, no matter where your travels take you.