Travelling with a toddler
So I am continually asked how we travelled the world with a 2 year old and specifically what equipment we found invaluable.
Whatever you do, try and keep the amount of stuff you carry around to a minimum as you will be surprised how little you can get by with on holiday. Buy toiletries locally so that you don’t risk spillages in transit and you also support the local economy and let’s not forget reducing the amount of plastic you go through so think soap bars over hotel miniatures.
Read more: Positive Impact Pledge
Some things are essential. Here’s the list of my top ten purchases that I would not have been without
This car seat meets European safety standards and was a lifesaver on many occasions. It folds up so small that we could easily put it in overhead lockers on the plane so that there was no chance of being stuck on arrival with lost luggage and no car seat. I wouldn’t recommend it for super long journeys as our son found it a bit uncomfortable over time but for it was ideal for 3 or 4 hours.
Whether visiting family and needing a seat for the rental car or travelling around the world and using it for taxis, this was our most used piece of kit.
This travel stroller was another great investment for us. It folds completely flat so easy to take on board a plane or throw in the boot of a car. It does have small wheels so not amazing over rough terrain but we managed all through Asia with it. The other issue is that the model we had didn’t recline too far so probably not the best for sleep although not impossible. But even with these slight negatives, overall the simple design and size made it perfect for us.
I am so glad we bought these as they saved us from many spills and tumbles as we changed beds so often. Once deflated they are so small and easy to carry and only take a few seconds to inflate. Slip them under the bedsheet and the gripped surface ensures they don’t move throughout the night. Whilst they won’t stop the most determined sleep climber, they are big enough for most toddlers who just roll over too far. Not expensive either so well worth it.
We used this small, easy to set up a camera before we went travelling as a camera in the nursery and were so impressed with it, we decided to take it with us. There isn’t much to it so easy to carry and very straight forward to set up in new locations. There are many features that we found great including its ability to recognise and alert us to any movement or sounds. On the occasions when we did call upon the service of a local baby sitter, this gave us the peace of mind to be able to keep an eye on things through the app. Or if we were sitting outside or listening to music, we knew when nap time was over. Couldn’t fault this.
We are not a big fan of excessive screen time but on occasions such as long haul flights or car journeys, then every parent needs some time out. We only allowed our son to start using this after he turned 2 and restricted the amount of time we used it, but whether it was movies or games, this along with a good set of headphones, proved to be the distraction we needed. Not only that, it meant we had access to our music, travel docs, photographs at all times so it is not just for the children. A costly investment and so make sure you get a good protective case and of course, there are many other options for tablets besides Apple but this was our choice.
For a long time, GoPro was my adventure camera of choice but in the last few years, DJI has taken over and now reigns supreme for consumer cameras, in my opinion. We travelled with the DJI Spark drone, the Osmo Mobile which is a gimbal device for your phone and also the Osmo Pocket, the smallest gimbal camera. There are 100s of reviews and videos for all these products online and so make sure you do your research before purchasing. Also, it is important that you learn how to use them properly, especially the drone as it takes time to perfect. You should also consider the local laws in your destinations regulating the use of drones as a lot of countries are clamping down on this through safety and security concerns. But if you abide by the laws and respect others, a drone can give you such a different perspective on the places you will visit that I highly recommend one. We made sure never to fly it over other people, we launched it away from others so the noise didn’t bother people and with the quality of cameras in them, you can keep them high enough so not to annoy people. With all this footage I put together a video of our year-long travels and even a year later, our 3 year old watches it 2 or 3 times a week so a great way to ensure they remember all their adventures.
This multi-use, multi-wear, multi-everything came in very handy on many occasions. Whether acting as an impromptu sun hat, a bandage, a neck scarf or a towel or strapping our car seat to our luggage, we carried one everywhere we went. They don’t cost a lot and come in hundreds of designs and patterns and so worth buying everyone their own.
There is an endless choice of bags and suitcases out there and no bag is perfect for all. For us having the ability to wheel a heavy case but convert it to a backpack was perfect. Osprey are up there when it comes to quality but you pay for what you get, so they don’t come cheap. They do however put up with quite a bit of abuse and absorb wear and tear pretty well so one of these bags is likely to last you for many adventures to come. Decent sized wheels, plenty of pockets, good quality zips and shoulder straps made this one a no brainer for us.
Not only will you reduce the number of plastic water bottles you consume with one of these but you will also help keep you and your little ones hydrated. Increased temperatures and being active for longer mean you need to up your water game, so make sure this does not leave your side.
We all know that kids hate us covering them in various creams and sprays and so where you can combine two of these into one easy to apply the spray, jump on it. Their product range is vast and they do some great combos for travel but the most important thing to remember is they are DEET free so you don’t need to worry about using them on children. In addition to this, their website is a great source of information for preventing bites and ways you can protect your family. Well worth a read.