Whether it’s summer vacation, a leisurely road-trip, or on-the-go journeys to see family and friends, family travel is always equal parts exciting and stressful. For most parents, the most anxiety-ridden aspects are the unknowns: unfamiliar dangers, possible thievery, lost luggage (serious emergency!), and accommodations that lack the comforts – and safety features – of home.
We get it. As parents, we’ve all packed too-full bags stretched to the seams with doo-dads, doohickies, and all the other thingamagigs that were advertised to make travel simpler and safer for our families.
Snap a cover over any standard doorknob to keep kids out of areas you deem “off-limits” – hotel hallways, your mother-in-law’s bedroom, or the basement stairs. Simple, inexpensive covers install in minutes and are temporary and easily removed. Plus, adults can open cover-equipped doors with a simple squeeze, making this a fuss-proof way to childproof on the go.Bottom Line: If you don’t want to impose on your hosts but need to keep kids out of unsafe areas, pack a few doorknob covers in your luggage.
When you’re on the go, whether it’s visiting family or bunking in a hotel, you may want to cordon off safe spaces for young children. A travel safety gate is just the ticket, offering an easily transportable baby gate that installs in seconds and requires no hardware.Bottom Line: If you need baby gate security without drilling holes or making your hosts regret their invitation, pack a folding travel gate in your luggage.
If you’re visiting family or staying in a vacation rental, chances are your travel digs aren’t babyproofed. Young walkers and awkward toddlers can encounter serious trouble with sharp table edges, making edge bumpers a necessary addition to your luggage. Grab an elasticized version for easy installation.Bottom Line: Edge bumpers prevent your littles from crashing into dangerously sharp table corners.
For car travel, camping, hiking and other off-the-beaten-path adventures, a snap light flare is absolutely essential. They’re lightweight, waterproof, non-toxic and non-flammable, so they’re safe around your family – and they keep your family safe, in case of emergency or unexpected happenings.Bottom Line: Stock up on long-duration flares for your trunk, camping pack, daypack, and other travel gear.
Go Boy Scout on your road-trip plans with an emergency road kit – you’ll always be prepared! These useful collections include a little bit of everything you could need, like jumper cables, batteries, rain ponchos, screw drivers, fuses, flash lights, first aid supplies, and more.Bottom Line: Don’t hop in the car for extended travels without outfitting your trunk with a fully equipped car emergency kit.
If you plan to take your car seat through the airport but don’t want to take it on the plane, be sure to pack it in an approved bag. Universal fit ensures that any seat will be safe and secure, and a shoulder strap makes it easy to carry your seat in and out of the airport.Bottom Line: Protect your precious car seat from dirt, grime and damage by packing it in an airline-safe travel bag.
If your children are old enough to ride in booster seats but you don’t have enough room to pack their car boosters, grab an inflatable version. They’re compact and easy to fit into your luggage, and provide the safety features you trust to keep your kids secure in a taxi, bus or rental car.Bottom Line: Portable boosters make it easy to always have the right car safety equipment, no matter where your travels lead.
Once your child requires his or her own airplane seat, it’s time to think about how she’ll travel: will you bring your car seat on the plane, or will your child sit in the seat solo? If you check your car seat, consider grabbing an airplane harness – a specially designed extra for the airline seat, so your child is not only safe but also comfortable.Bottom Line: Young flyers from 22-44 pounds will be much happier and more comfortable in an adjustable, kid-friendly harness.
For road trips and rental cars, sunshades come in handy. These light, roll-up auto accessories deliver positionable shade from the sun: just install your car seat and adjust the sunshade to guard your little one’s eyes. If your child is still rear-facing, buy a few to account for increased shield real estate.Bottom Line: Keep your kids safe from UV rays and discomfort with simple, suction-cup sunshades.
Forget old-fashioned money belts that hide beneath your waistband: new belt wallets are actually housed in your belt. Belt wallets look like normal belts, but – surprise! – house secret, zippered pocket compartments where you can store cash, passport copies, and other important items. Bonus: the non-metal buckle won’t give you problems at airport security.Bottom Line: If you wear a belt, you cannot go wrong with this secure and inexpensive way to hide your cash.
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