Toddlers may be walking and talking, but on vacation they may be whining and crying unless parents are prepared for the special needs of little ones traveling by planes, trains and automobiles. Keep them busy and happy on the road and when they get there with on-the-go gear that makes vacation trips a breeze.
Lighten your load, whether you’re winding around an amusement park, shopping or sight seeing, with the Maclaren Volo, the stroller-maker’s lightest (8.8 lbs) and simplest mode of transportation for jet set kids. It folds with one hand in five seconds, features a handy mesh shopping basket, five-point safety harness, ergonomic foam-covered handles and carry strap. Available at baby stores nationwide or maclarenbaby.com. $130. Personalize it with a colored seat cover. $25.
Keep little feet happy with Geox sandals and sneakers for kids ($45-65), designed to breath and stay dry, perfect for walking about or playtime. Mom and dad can enjoy Geox comfort too in styles that combine function and fashion, such as versatile sandals and slipper flats ($110-130) for women and sneakers and moccasins for men ($135-160). Find stores at Geoxusa.com.
Bring it On
Pack along everything tiny travelers need — travel-size wipes, diapers, a sippy cup, snacks and plenty of small toys to pass time in flight, all organized in one place, with the Jeep Tri-Color Sports Flap Messenger Diaper Bag. Its spacious pockets can be accessed easily and can hold items for parents’ too, and it can store easily under the seat in front of you. Target.com. $29.99
Home on the Road
Before you head out, read up on ways to make your trip more affordable and less stressful with The Smart Family’s Passport: 350 Money, Time & Sanity Saving Tips by Nina Willdorf, editor of Budget Travel magazine. The guide is filled with advice to help any family survive a vacation near or far, complete with sections dedicated to traveling with infants, hints on the best ways to pack, and fun and easy in-flight child-distraction techniques. Bookstores nationwide. $14.95.
The Coby TFDVD8509 Portable DVD/CD/MP3 Player will keep kids glued to their seats with an 8.5-inch swivel screen, headphone jack and earbuds and anti-skip circuitry that makes it perfect for viewing movies (2.5 hours playtime) or listening to music on a plane, train or automobile. It also features a parental lock control and an A/V jack for video games so parents can share the fun with the kids on the ride or at home. Amazon. $99.99.
As a companion to a personal DVD player, iPod or other MP3 or CD player, double the fun with a headset splitter which allows two viewers/listeners to connect headphones to a device at once, available at most electronic stores for under $5; or for a true party line, try the Belkin RockStar Headphone Splitter – F8Z274, which can connect up to five headsets. Walmart.com. $9.88.