Travelling With Little Ones: Our Packing Essentials (We Think)

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As we have lots of travel coming up, we have decided to stock up on some items that we hope will make our lives a little bit easier while away from home. All of these items are items that we currently own and some we have used and others will get their first use this weekend as we fly to Los Angeles for a day at Disneyland before driving to Arizona for a week of sunshine and relaxation.

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Ju-Ju-Be Convertible Diaper Bag

The Ju-Ju-Be is our third diaper bag in 21 months. Our first two were typical diaper bags that you carry on your shoulder. There was nothing wrong with either of them, the first just looked very diaper bag-ish and the second was a gym bag, but with two boys twelve months apart, I needed something easier to carry. I initially had my eye (& heart) set on the Fawn Design bag. It is absolutely stunning, but this time I vowed to put in proper research. As I watched several YouTube videos and read reviews, the Ju-Ju-Be kept being named as a top bag. So I watched more videos comparing them. It broke my heart but being honest to myself meant that I wasn’t going to get the Fawn Design bag and I decided on the Ju-Ju-Be. My reasons came down to this: the Ju-Ju-Be has more organization due to more pockets and it can hold more. If I only had one child who needed items in a diaper bag, I probably would have gone with the Fawn Design bag but with multiple young kids I need all the space I can get. I don’t have a Fawn Design bag to compare to but I have had my Ju-Ju-Be for a week and I am in love. I wish I had done the research when my first boy was born. The backpack option is the deal breaker for me (even though it does come with a shoulder strap option as well), I need two hands free at all times without a bag falling off my shoulder. I’m also an over-packer when it comes to everything (more about that for our Arizona trip later), and this bag can accommodate it all! A couple of the other features that I love are that the lining on the inside is always light coloured so that it’s not impossible to find something, there are a ton of pockets (both open and zippered) which makes organization a breeze, and the way it opens allows easy access to the stuff on the bottom. The shoulder straps are padded which is awesome because I plan on carrying it around a lot on my back over our next few trips. A bonus – my husband doesn’t mind carrying it! It is pricey but if you’re smarter than we are, it is only a one time investment and I believe it’ll last us a long time!

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KidCo PeaPod Plus Travel Bed

Travelling with two kids under two meant finding a smarter sleeping solution than pack & plays because those things are heavy and bulky and we will not be hauling them around with us. Also, most hotels are not fond of having two cribs in one hotel room (especially in Europe), so we needed a new plan. I began researching all sorts of travel beds, and I came across these PeaPods. The first thing that caught my attention was that they are basically individual tents and the kids cannot escape from them – because our oldest isn’t in a bed yet, this was a huge concern of mine. Secondly, they fold up into a tiny circle and slip into a carry bag that fits into a carry on – perfect! They take less than a minute to set up and about the same time to fold up (once you get the hang of it). They also have a mattress pad that is attached on the underside, that can be removed for washing when needed. We got 2 plus sized ones because that way our kids can grow into them and I don’t need to worry about it for trips in the future. We didn’t simply purchase these for big trips, they have already come in handy when we’re at family gatherings and one or both of the kids needs a nap. Plus, during the summer they’ll be coming camping with us. We’ve been having the kids practice sleeping in them so that they are used to them for the trip and we’ve had zero issues with them sleeping so far. So, fingers crossed we’re in luck for our trip!

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Summer Infant 3D Two Double Stroller

Deciding to travel with our two boys meant finding a second stroller because we are not going to bring our rather large City Select through airports and around the world. Travel strollers are very common; however, it was more difficult to find one with two seats. There are a couple options that were a sit & stand or a small bench seat for the second child but because our oldest child is still under two I wanted a proper seat for him rather than the bench style. I also wanted both kids to be able to join us in sightseeing and face forward rather than one being stuck rear facing or stuffed under the other seat. After several searches and reading countless reviews, we decided on the Summer Infant 3DTwo Double stroller. This was a perfect fit for what we need because it isn’t the side by side which is often difficult to fit through door ways or along narrow streets, it has two full seats that recline, two full UV protectant sun shades and it folds up with one hand to be nice and small. We’ve been testing it out the last couple weeks and the kids love it and so do Kyle and I. The undercarriage is small compared to our City Select but more than sufficient for the few things we’ll put in there (that won’t be in our Ju-Ju-Be). Kyle asked the other day if we should just sell our City Select since the Summer Infant functions so well and while I love it, we’ll still keep our City Select for everyday use around home and use the Summer Infant for travelling!

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Jolly Jumper Solarsafe Net

This was not a researched product but with a lot of our upcoming travel destinations being hot and sunny I knew I wanted a way to protect the kids while we are out sightseeing. This net is universal to most strollers so we will definitely use it at home over our City Select but I am most looking forward to knowing that the kids will be safe from the sun (& bugs) during our adventures.

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Herschel Supply Co. Survey Kids Backpack

This was an impulse buy that I am in love with, but it does serve a purpose. I am a firm believer that it is never to early to get kids to start pulling their weight. So, we purchased Nixon his own backpack to carry his items, especially on and off the plane. We obviously won’t put anything of great importance or weight in there but a couple books, toys and his stuffed bunny fit perfectly and that way he feels just like mum & dad with our backpacks & that also means it is less for me to carry. A bonus – Herschel is great quality (with a fantastic warranty policy) so this is a piece that will last us for a while!

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Native Jefferson Child Shoes

Having a toddler, meant that I wanted a versatile shoe that he can wear all the time and the Native shoe was exactly what I was looking for, especially with summer coming up. No more needing to worry about scraped up toes or stepping on sharp things; these shoes can be worn at the waterpark, beach, or on everyday outings. Needless to say, I might just be getting myself some!

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Zhiyun Smooth-Q 3 Axis Handheld Gimbal

Kyle will talk about this item as it is his baby on the list.

Hey guys, this is a really cool item that I’m excited to get. A gimbal is a mechanism that stabilizes a moving object. I’m sure you’ve seen one of these before, there is a very popular one all over Kickstarter right now, but basically you put your phone in it and as you move your phone it keeps it stable so that your videos aren’t shaky. As we look to do more videos for the blog and Instagram (follow us if you don’t already @adventureneverenns) this gimbal is going to come in handy and we will start with our flight Friday, time in Disneyland on Saturday, and our week in our Arizona next week so stay tuned to see this baby in action.

When we get back we will review all of these items and how well they performed at what we expected them to do.

Never stop adventuring!