Are you ready to get out of dodge? Tis the season of the great Hamptons exodus, summer trips to Europe, long visits with family, and a whole host of other adventures for city families.
Because if there’s one thing we can all agree upon, it’s that the summer is so darn HOT in the city. Something about the heat rising off the paved streets (thank goodness for water parks!) and the hot air conditioning exhausts (if you’ve walked by one you know what I mean) makes us crave an escape. Even if it’s only for a weekend!
But how do you do it with a little one? Although it’s admittedly not as easy as it was pre-kids, with the right gear, it’s really not that bad!
Wondering what gear you need for summer travel with baby? Here are ten things we think will make all the difference!
1. Travel Car Seat
The first thing you’re going to need when going out of town is going to be a car seat. Whether your child is a baby or toddler, a safe seat is a must. We know it’s hard but it’s so important that if you’re going to travel by car, that your child is safe like they would be at home. Here are some of our top picks:
Doona Car Seat/Stroller - The Doona is perfect for your little one up to 32 inches or 32 pounds. We know in NYC this is a crowdpleaser, as it’s so easy to take taxis and Ubers around toddling into the car to rolling out on the street. For travel, it’s a great option, but with one caveat. A baby is not supposed to be in a car seat for extended periods of time because these seats have them sitting up instead of the more ideal lay flat position. Depending on what you’re doing in your trip, this may be OK, especially if there are lots of lie-flat options and they’re not upright more than a couple hours at a time, but if you’re going to be out and about extensively, you’ll want to think about another option.
Cloud G Car Seat by Cybex - The Cloud G Lux Car Seat is a great infant car seat option that has a unique recline, allowing the baby that precious lie-flat position. It's definitely one of our must-haves for summer travel with baby. You can take your compatible stroller frame and adapters along with this car seat and you’re good to go as you hit the streets of a new city or town.
Pico Car Seat by WayB - If your child has outgrown their infant car seat and is now in convertible car seat territory, the WayB Pico portable car seat might be a good choice. Note that it’s advised only for children 2+ because it’s only forward facing. This seat folds up and can be worn as a backpack as is or tucked into a travel bag.
Clek Foonf/Fllo Infant Car Seat with Weelee Bag - There’s nothing better than having your full size infant car seat with you, although we know it’s big and bulky, so it’s best if you have a good game plan for transport. Enter the Weelee bag by Clek. This bag has wheels on the bottom making transport easy. That means easier summer travel with baby! Note that the Foonf and Fllo are both FAA approved, so bring them onto the flight and fold up the bag.
2. Lightweight Stroller
Summer travel with baby would not be possible without an easy-peasy lightweight travel stroller. There are lots of choices these days!
Coya Travel Stroller by Cybex - This is one of the most compact, about the same as the BabyZen Yoyo when folded down. The Coya is an elegant choice and really wows with its rose gold frame. St. Tropez, here we come!
*super small. Overhead compliant nearly everywhere!
Joolz Aer + - The Joolz Aer+ is a feather-lite stroller at 13.2lbs. With a one-hand fold that rivals anything out there, this is a simple solution that will nearly guarantee smooth strolling. You can also use it with the Joolz bassinet making a great set up for your littlest passenger.
*OK for most planes, but check dimensions
BabyZen Yoyo - The folks at BabyZen invented the category of these super small travel strollers. They still have one of the best on the market. The BabyZen Yoyo's fold is a little more complex than some but you will feel super cool when you mastered it (we’ll teach you). Besides that, it folds smaller than most other options and it’s the only one where the airline employees will barely give you a second look strolling right onto the plane.
*super small, the classic. Overhead compliant nearly everywhere!
Bugaboo Butterfly - The Bugaboo Butterfly is another one-hand fold and this stroller has a particularly nice canopy. In true Bugaboo tradition, it’s high quality and nicely designed.
*OK for most planes, but check dimensions
Cybex Libelle -The Cybex Libelle stroller folds up crazy small and is an easy one to even tuck into your luggage just in case. It is a two handed stroller, so keep that in mind, but it’s certainly an easy option for a quick getaway.
*Smallest, overhead compliant nearly everywhere!
UppaBaby Minu - The Minu is a top pick, however it doesn’t fold small enough for most overhead bins. We think this is super important, as otherwise you’ll have to check the stroller. If you’re OK with checking it (get the travel bag) we love the Minu for its sturdy design and high quality construction.
3. Portable Crib
With all the hotels, VBROs, and Air B&Bs you have on your summer agenda, it's key that your little one has somewhere to sleep. Even if the place has a crib, it's always nice to have your own - providing baby a lightweight familiar spot that feels like home wherever your adventures take you.
The travel crib is just that. We've pulled our faves that make summer travel with baby a snap!
UppaBaby Remi Playard - The Remi is a great travel crib for your little one from baby (there’s a bassinet mode) to 3 years old. There are all sorts of accessories as well including a mosquito net and sunshade!
Stardust Playard by Bugaboo - The Stardust is another easy playard for travel by our friends at Bugaboo. There’s a bassinet level and a toddler level making it great for both babies and toddlers. This sleek playard will house kids up to 3 years old and is super easy to fold and unfold.
Baby Bjorn Travel Crib - We love how compact the Baby Bjorn travel crib is and it’s super light to boot. This does require a little construction, though it’s very easy. It folds into a convenient brief-case style package.
4. Portable Changer
UppaBaby Remi Changer - The Changer is an extra to the Remi Playard by Uppa and is well worth it for an all-in-one travel solution!
Skip Hop On-The-Go Changing Pad - This tucks into your diaper bag or the bin in your stroller for any diaper changing needs on the go.
5. Easy Toys & Books For The Plane
Tegu Blocks - Because they’re magnetic. Easy clean up and super fun!
Fat Brain Toys - Fat Brain’s Inny Binn and Dimpl are two toys that are fun and compact, perfect for a tray table and low mess/no mess!
Omy Coloring Rolls & Sheets - A coloring book is always a good idea to pass the hours on the plane or car.
All Aboard City Books - Give them a taste of where they’re going with an All Aboard Book!
52 Things - The 52 Things series is a good book for a car or plane ride to keep them entertained!
6. Travel High Chair
Inglesina’s Table Chair - The Inglesina Table Chair clips onto the side of a dining table at home or a restaurant. Folding flat, it is a great option for on-the-go mealtime with a tot.
7. Foldable Bathtub
Stokke Flexibath - The Stokke Flexibath has long been a favorite of ours, both for travel and at home. As bathtubs normally take up a lot of room the fact that it folds is a super duper space saver. Pack it in a suitcase and voila!
Puj Flyte - For the littlest travelers, the Puj Flyte can be used in a sink and folds up just right for your carryon.
8. Baby Carrier
Baby Bjorn One Carrier - The Baby Bjorn One is the one-and-done of baby carriers. For your littlest, wear them on your front facing in. Then when they gain head or neck control face them out to the world (this is perfect when they’re in tourist mode). You can even use it for a toddler, adjusting it to facilitate an assisted back carry! Let’s Go Europe Indeed!
9. Sunny Stuffie (or other of your choice)
For a little homegrown comfort, bring along your favorite stuffie. We love this Sunny Sun by Jellycat, infinitely huggable (and actually quite comfy to catch some zzz’s upon on the plane.
10. A Cool Vacay Ensemble
You want to bring your personal style wherever you go, so grab your favorite threads and rock them in a new place. We love these Mini Rodini Ritz Ratz Tees and Leggings featuring some jet setting ratz (in the cutest sense of the word!) always up for an adventure!
If you’re ready for some summer travel with baby this season, be sure to stop by Babesta before you head out of town and pick up everything you need for an easy vacation with your little one!