Once your children move beyond the baby stage, travel takes on a new level of excitement as you can share in preparations and packing for a family trip. Giving your kids some travel gear of their own will not only add to their anticipation for your adventure, but will give them a sense of responsibility that they can carry throughout your journey — along with their own mini backpack or luggage.
Avoid weighing your family down with unnecessary items, but do make space for the travel gear that will make your trip easier and more enjoyable. Keep reading for some of our favorite travel gear for kids.
1. Kid's Backpack — We have good news: Once your kid can walk, you no longer have to carry all of their stuff! Even a toddler can handle carrying a small backpack — and more often than not, they'll love having a bag of their own to stow some snacks and a favorite toy or book. Be sure to help them pack sensibly so they're not overburdened. We love the strong, sturdy, and stylish backpacks from Herschel Supply Co. for both kids and adults.
2. Leak-proof Water Bottle — Avoid blowing your travel budget on bottled water and drinks by packing a leak-proof water bottle for everyone in the family. Stainless steel is strong and shatter-proof while still being fairly light and BPA-free. Klean Kanteen water bottles come in a variety of colors and patterns and even have different caps available for different ages, from a silicone nipple and sippy cap to a sports cap.
3. Kid's Headphones — Wherever you stand on the question of screen time, most parents will agree that all bets are off when you're flying across an ocean or driving for hours on end. Allowing your kids to play games or watch a movie will make the experience better for everyone — but only if they have headphones to prevent you from having to listen to Frozen one. more. time. Shop wisely — although most kid's headphones claim to limit their volume to safe 85 decibels, research from the World Health Organization shows that up to a third of kid's headphones tested exceeded that volume. Wirecutter's top pick for kids headphones, and ours, is Puro Sound Lab's BT2200 noise-cancelling kid's headphones.
4. Tracking Device — While it may sound akin to putting a leash on your kid, you'll understand the importance of a tracking device if you've ever lost sight of you little one in a crowded place. It's every parent's worst fear, but a small tracking device can give you peace of mind. We love the Jiobit tracker for kids because it's lightweight, durable, and tracks from any distance in real time. You can easily strap it to their shoes or backpack.
5. White Noise Machine — If your kid's a light sleeper, a white noise machine will help them drift off more easily in an unfamiliar place. Traffic sounds and noisy neighbors will fade away once you turn on the machine, making bedtime easier for everyone. Look for a machine that's small and easily portable — this white noise machine is under $10!
6. Kid's Camera — Giving older kids a camera is a great way to encourage them to open their eyes to the world around them and look at things from a new perspective. Plus, looking at their photos at the end of a trip can be a lot of fun! The durable Vtech Kidizoom Camera is a great pick for younger children, while a Canon IXUS camera is an easy-to-use and lightweight option for older kids and teens.
7. Travel Journal — Even if your child is still working on their writing skills, a travel journal is a fun way for them to keep track of what they see on your trips — and have a record of your adventures together that will last a lifetime. We love how the Go Adventure Travel Journal encourages kids to track new things they've seen and eaten and people they've met. Plus, it's really beautifully designed.
8. Kid-proof Tablet — For playing games and watching movies, opt for a kid-friendly tablet like the Kindle Fire Kid's Edition. It makes it easy to set screentime limits and educational goals, plus it has a long battery life. Opt for the 7-inch display Kindle Fire if you want something that won't take up as much space in your (or their) luggage.
9. Zinc Flyte Luggage — What's cooler than a really rad-looking piece of luggage just for your kid? One that doubles as a scooter, of course! Flyte luggage makes it easy for your kids to keep up with you in a busy airport, and they'll practically beg you to let them carry their own bag. Now, can they just start making these for adults, too?
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