We’ve found a few really excellent travel accessories for kids over the last 7+ years. These are things that have saved our (vegetarian) bacon time and again. When evaluating kids travel gear, we generally need it to be lightweight, durable, and very, very functional. All of these travel gadgets have checked those boxes.
While this list of travel stuff for kids doesn’t include travel entertainment options (that’s a whole other post!), this travel gear has minimized the stress and effort of family travel. Hopefully these travel tips will give you a few ideas of the best travel accessories for kids that are worth their cost and their weight in travel!
The 15 Best Travel Accessories for Kids
1. Sound Machine. Not travel specific, but it’s SO helpful for travel. All our kids sleep with some sort of white noise, and it’s really useful in helping kiddos (and adults!) adjust to new time zones, sleeping locations, etc. We usually just pull up a white noise app on our devices when we travel, but the one we use at home also runs on battery and is very convenient. Whichever way you go, this is one of the most critical travel accessories for families.
2. Kidco Peapod. I love this travel baby bed for the older baby/young toddler age. It’s a little pop up baby tent that zips up so baby can’t get out. We never use the mattress that comes with it so just the baby cot part only weighs about a pound or so – way better than carrying around a 20+ pound pack n play. My only gripe with it is the zipper is a bit loud and can wake a light sleeper, but I can live with that.
3. Car Seat Suitcase Strap. This is kind of the silliest, simplest thing. You could undoubtedly make it for cheaper than the $15 you have to pay, but that’s probably more annoyance than it’s worth. And you know what? This silly little strap totally works to strap a big, bulky convertible carseat onto a suitcase, and your kid can even sit and ride in it. Genius.
4. Cosco carseat. This is my favorite car seat for travel. We don’t like traveling with our regular car seats – too much risk of them getting damaged either externally or internally. But this convertible car seat is dirt cheap and fairly lightweight, making it the perfect car seat for travel.
5. Mifold. More car seat talk. This super slim booster seat is a dream for travel. They fold up super small (easily slip into any sort of backpack) and are very lightweight. This booster seat is safety-tested to the same standards as any other booster and are way more convenient. For the time when our kids are under age 4 and not quite 40 pounds, we love the RideSafer Travel Vest booster seat for travel.
6. Inflatable foot rest. This is one of the best air travel accessories for toddlers and young children. This inflatable travel pillow is amazing for helping our kids sleep on long flights. Coupled with kids’ melatonin, it’s one of the best kid travel accessories around. I think it’s even more useful than an inflatable travel pillow, especially for little kids, who sleep much better lying down. It’s also useful on a road trip with kids so they can prop their legs up without constantly kicking the seat in front of them.
7. Portable Door Lock. If you’ve ever had a scare with a child unintentionally leaving a hotel room, or not had a strong lock in a vacation home to prevent external entry, this is your device. Portable and strong and super easy installation.
8. Packing cubes. I can’t overstate how much I love this travel accessory. They’re magic for keeping everyone organized and each kid has his or her own color. We have these and also this great luggage organizer.
9. Folding backpacks. We got each of our kids their own travel backpack two Christmases ago. We took them on a trip a week later and these made great kids travel backpacks. It was so nice to have everyone’s stuff contained in a lightweight, easy-for-them-to-carry package. These are big enough that they comfortably fit a week’s worth of stuff, but not so big that our kids couldn’t carry them (even our smallish then-3-year-old managed). Everyone has their own color, and they fold up nicely when not in use.
Also, while it’s been one of the best travel accessories for kids, it’s also amazing for adults! They are perfect if you need a little extra space or need to redistribute weight while traveling. I love that they weigh next to nothing and easily slip into other luggage when not in use.
10. Carabiners. You can get a set of about a million of these for dirt cheap. Get the kind that screw for extra security, and get them in a bunch of colors. Pack several – they are great for strapping on water bottles, keys, or even stuffed animals. This is such a useful and unexpected travel accessory for children.
11. Baby carrier. I can’t imagine traveling with a child under the age of 2 without a baby carrier. They are just so, so useful, especially if you’re traveling to a place that’s not very stroller-friendly. We have both the regular Boba and the Boba Air (which folds up into a small pouch and fits easily in a bag). Both are amazing baby carriers for travel. The regular Boba is significantly more supportive if you’ll be wearing a child for a longer period of time, but the Boba Air is great because it folds up so small and wipes down easily.
I personally prefer the Boba to the Ergo as it seems to fit better on narrower shoulders. Whichever you choose, a good, ergonomic carrier is one of my most vital items of baby travel gear, especially when on an airplane.
12. Portable high chair. I love that this one folds into a small pouch, is super lightweight, and works with any chair. Simple, but one of the most useful travel accessories for kids if you have a wiggly child.
13. Kinderwagon. We purchased a double stroller for travel before we visited the Middle East several years ago when we had an almost 2 year old and almost 4 year old. This ultra-compact double stroller is great for travel because it’s very lightweight and low-profile, while still allowing 2 kids to nap simultaneously. We typically travel with our beloved single stroller and baby carrier combo for the two napping younger ones. That is for sure our favorite travel stroller, but sometimes it’s nice to have a double option.
14. Hanging toiletry bag. If your children are perfect angels and always neatly line up their toothbrushes so you’re never frantically searching for them while packing up, and if they always put the comb back in the right spot, then you probably don’t need this. But if yours are anything like ours, this will be a lifesaver. It keeps everything organized and in its home. It has room for our medical bag and personal hygiene items and even my makeup. And then my toothbrush isn’t at risk of being knocked in the toilet in a tiny European bathroom.
15. Travel towels. Microfiber travel towels make excellent travel gear with kids because they’re ultra absorbent and dry very quickly. Throw a couple in your luggage for accommodations that don’t provide linens, if you go to a beach, or if you just need to wipe down somewhere. Kids can even use them as blankets if needed, and it makes for helpful toddler airplane travel gear if there’s a spill.
Your turn! What are your favorite kid travel accessories?? Don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Family Packing List!