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30 Family Travel Items You Need Before Your Next Trip!

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Last Updated on June 5, 2024 by Leslie Stroud

All The Favorite Travel Items of Full-Time Travel Families

If you’ve followed my blog for much time at all, you know I love featuring other full-time travel families.  I find their lives as fascinating as anyone else, even as I live something similar.

 I approached a bunch of my fellow full-time travel families (or almost full-time) to get their favorite travel items.  Who better knows what is essential for family travel than those that do it for a living?!

Take a peek and start planning your next family adventure.  I promise it will go more smoothly with some of these items in tow!

Family Travel Must-Have Products

  1. Baby Carrier: Lillebaby Carrier, Miamily Baby Carrier, or Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Carrier
  2. Yo-Yo Babyzen Stroller
  3. Baby Travel Tent:  This one or this one.
  4. Portable High Chair
  5. FlyPal
  6. Packing Cubes: this kind or this kind.
  7. Good luggage: Delsey luggage and Thule luggage are good options. For a great photography gear back, check this Thule option.
  8. Backpack: Kelty packs or Nomatic packs
  9. Travel Sandals: These and these are our favorite.
  10. Compression Socks
  11. Travel Car Seats: Trunki Backpack and Booster or Travel Booster by Mifold.
  12. Travel Adapters and Multiple Port Chargers: like this. We love this one.
  13. Skyroam Wifi Hotspot
  14. CozyPhones headphones
  15. Portable chargers
  16. Streaming Entertainment Device: Roku Or Apple TV 
  17. Amazon Kindle
  18. GoPro With Floaty
  19. Portable White Noise Machine
  20. Filtering Water Bottle
  21. Children’s Swim Goggles
  22. Travel First Aid Kit
  23. Lava Lava Or Scarf
  24. Sarongs
  25. Waterproof Gear Bag
  26. Small Toys and Games: a small lego bag, cards games like Uno, Monopoly Deal, and decks of cards, an inflatable globe, and Yo-yo’s.
  27. Collapsible Laundry Baskets
  28. Wet Bags
  29. A Good Water Bottle: Hydroflask
  30. Portable Beach Tent

Baby Carriers

Hiking with our favorite Miamily Baby Carrier

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Far and above, most families I asked came back with this as their #1 product for traveling with kids.  This makes sense as most full-time travel families are towing young kids.  

While you can’t wear around your teenagers (maybe sometimes you want to when they are dragging their feet), when traveling with toddlers and babies, this is A MUST HAVE.

Strollers are great and save your back!  However, they are totally useless when hiking, on cobblestone streets in Europe, using the stairs up from the subway in Asia, etc.  

  1. Lillebaby Carrier.  From our IG friends @Funemployedfamily, they love this carrier! @Runawayfamily also recommends this carrier.  @Funemployedfamily says, “It is supportive for us and comfy for Liesel, and because she still naps we can be out and about and she would nap on the go. She’s napped in some pretty interesting places while in that carrier. Our most memorable are probably while on scooter rides around Thailand, in tuk-tuks in Cambodia, ferry boats in the Philippines, and while walking narrow alleys in Europe. It also is a lifesaver when getting on/off airplanes. It keeps her from running around like crazy, gives me both hands-free to carry bags and load the overhead bin, etc. Definitely one of our most used travel items!”  
  2. Miamily Baby Carrier.  We, the @7Wayfinders, now are toting around toddlers and love this carrier.  It has a hip seat that puts the weight of your toddler on your hips, saving your back!
  3. Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Carrier@famileetravel recommends this carrier,A baby carrier is always my #1 baby travel gear recommendation to parents wanting to travel with a baby. It gives you the freedom to still climb the fort in Montenegro, the ruins in Machu Picchu and up to the monkeys in Kyoto. Sure, you can hold your baby in your arms when a stroller is impractical, but that gets old really quickly. A baby carrier gives you the freedom to keep exploring everywhere with your baby. Also, it can be great for baby naps on the go.”

Best Strollers for Travel

  1. Yo-Yo Babyzen Stroller.  @Runawayfamily highly recommends this stroller.  “It was far and away way more than we had ever spent on a stroller, but we love how small it folds. You can fit it almost anywhere including overhead compartments on airplanes. It also has really good wheels for bumpy streets.”  @Ourtravelspot also recommends this stroller.  They say, “It is the tiniest travel pram on the market but still feels premium. It can even go in every airline’s overhead locker!”

Other Baby Gear

  1. Baby Travel Tent.
    1. This one is the favorite of the @Globalwizards. “A lifesaver during our travels when the kids were small (0-1.5 years). It’s very light and compact, so ideal for (plane) travel or when you go camping. If there aren’t any baby beds around, you can place this tent on a regular mattress, without having to worry your child will fall out. And it’s mosquito-safe!”
    2. @Superquestfamily loves this one.  “This is our number one. Not having to carry a pack-n-play on airplanes and being able to shove this is one of our bags is so helpful since we have plenty to carry with other kid stuff.”  @Ourtravelspot also recommended this baby tent. They said, “The Peapod baby tent was a no-brainer – less than 1kg and easy to carry and pack down. It squeezed in every room where even a travel cot wouldn’t fit, and Sonny felt at home all around the world.” 
  2. Portable High Chair.  Also from @superquestfamily, this saved them in Latin America. “Latin America a lot of restaurants we go to don’t have high chairs,” they said. 
  3. FlyPal@Woolfpack_travels loves this for air travel! You can inflate this on the plane and essentially create a bed for littles. It also is nice for your feet while you are sleeping!

Luggage and Packing

We love our Thule luggage
  1. Packing Cubes. It took us a while to get on board with these, but now I love them.  @Boysbeyondtheborder recommends these as their favorite travel item.  They love this kind (shacks paks) and we love this kind.  Especially with multiple children, packing cubes keep everything tight, organized, and easy to find.  Use one for swimsuits so you can grab that quickly for the beach upon arrival.  Color code per kid so you quickly know which is which.
  2. Good Luggage.
    1. The @Funemployedfamily loves their Delsey luggage.   They say, “We had actually purchased some really expensive Samsonite pieces and ended up returning them within a day because we couldn’t justify the price. We then found these Delsey brand luggage pieces on amazon literally 2 days before we left on our gap year. They are super lightweight, very durable, and the perfect size. They have a couple of useful zipper pockets inside and you can separate the compartments with one big zipper panel. I (Ben) can extend the handles, put them back to back and grab both handles with one hand, and wheel them both through the airport, leaving my other hand available to help Liesel if needed. They’ve been on 60 flights in the last year and a half and show no signs of slowing down! Definitely well made!”  
    2. We, the @7Wayfinders, LOVE our Thule luggage.  We also found these on Amazon before we left for Asia.  After much trial and error in our luggage journey over full-time travel, we got tired of broken zippers, wheels, and emergency luggage problems.  We invested in these bags and feel like they are worth every penny.  In nearly three years, we have not had a single rip, broken wheel, broken zipper.  In fact, they look practically new!  The best part of this luggage set?  It can act as a large rolling bag or instantly unzip into a roller and a duffle.  This means if you are overweight you simply unzip it into two bags and avoid the overweight fees!  Since we have enough ticketed passengers in our family of seven, we never have to pay an overnight fee or 2nd checked bag fee.
  3. Backpacks:
    1. We loved our Kelty packs around the world.  We collected patches and added them to our packs to make them more fun.  We love the waist strap, the comfortable shoulder straps, and all the pockets.
    2. The NOMATIC 40L bag is @Frugalforluxury’s favorite pack.  She loves how it holds all the necessary things as they travel around the world!
    3. This Thule photography bag loved by @TheJetsettingFamily is “like a Mary Poppins bag! It fits all of our filming gear easily. It has tons of compartments and has been so durable. Three years later and it’s like new.”

Travel Clothing

  1. Travel Sandals.  When you full-time travel like us, the @7Wayfinders, you need shoes that serve multiple purposes.  These and these are our favorite travel sandal.  You can run, walk, hike, swim, and more with these sandals.  With a tennis shoe to pair with a good travel sandal, we’ve got shoes for any activity.
  2. Compression Socks.  Our friends @Wayfarerfamily recommend these for long flights so your ankles don’t swell.

Travel Car Seats

Mifold Travel Booster Seat
  1. Trunki Backpack and Booster. @transatlantic_leonards says, “We’ve been using them for a year now and we really love them. They’re suitable for kids who are 40lbs and up. The interior is large enough for a packing cube with kids clothes, a light jacket and sandals. The only bummer is that my 5 year olds find them a bit heavy and can only carry them for short distances. It’s okay, my husband and I don’t mind carrying them.”   I’ll send a link so you can see what they look like.  
  2. Travel Booster by Mifold.  We, @7Wayfinders, really like the size of these travel boosters.  They are super easy to slip into a carry-on or checked bag.  Using the straps with the seatbelt takes kids a bit to get used to, but it’s hard to beat the size!  The kids can even carry them in their own backpacks.

Travel Tech

Tablet or kindle are great post-nap entertainment for flights
  1. Travel Adapters and Multiple Port Chargers@Aroundtheworldwithkidsblog recommends one like this.   We love this one.  Charge multiple devices with just one plug.  
  2. Skyroam Wifi Hotspot.  Both @TheFloryStory and @7Wayfinders highly recommend this hot spot.  You can save a lot of trouble as a digital nomad, or even trying to find directions, with a portable Wifi hotspot.
  3. Children’s Headphones.  @Frugalforluxury loves these CozyPhones headphones.
  4. Portable chargers.  @Wayfarerfamily recommends having backup batteries and portable chargers for your tech as you go!
  5. Streaming Entertainment Device@Hartandcol recommends the Roku. “Our personal Netflix/Amazon movies are easy to get to”, they say.  We, the @7Wayfinders, travel with our Apple TV for the same reason.
  6. Amazon Kindle. @Globalwizards love theirs. “We love our Amazon Kindle! So much we even bought a second one while travelling, so our daughters didn’t have to share it all the time. As it was not possible to bring books or a lot of toys, the girls read books for hours. It certainly made their reading skills much better! And the great part is, that it is not harmful for their eyes.”
  7. GoPro With Floaty.  @TheFloryStory recommends this and it’s a must for water sports!  Your Go Pro can land at the bottom of a lake or ocean and you’re out of luck!  GoPros are the most convenient video camera choice and can document lots of memories!
  8. Portable White Noise Machine. @famileetravel says, “We live by sound machines at home and while traveling. It’s amazing how much noise this little machine can muffle to help everyone sleep better. We originally used an app on our phones. This worked but we’re usually both doing some sort of work or personal things on our phones once the kids are asleep so we wanted to free up our phones. The noise machine helps muffle sounds so you can still make some noise with sleeping kids and not worry as much about waking them up. It also helps block out any hotel neighbors or exterior noise. We never travel without it.”

Family Travel Gear

  1. Filtering Water Bottle. @Hartandcol recommends this filter water bottle so you can drink the local water wherever you go. 
  2. Children’s Swim Goggles.  @Frugalforluxury has been all over the world and in a lot of water with kids.  Of these, Laura says: “
  3. Travel First Aid Kit@Bigbravenomad says this is #1 for her.Parents cannot travel without a great mini first aid kit.  This little kit has everything needed to provide care for small wounds on themselves or their children.  We have used this on the banks of Lake Bled when our daughter scraped her knee, on the beach in Biscayne National Park when our son fell on coral reef, and even for myself after getting a blister after a long hike in Idaho.  It’s so nice to have Band-Aids, antibiotic pain relieving cream, alcohol wipes, burn cream and so many other helpful medical tools.”  
  4. Lava Lava Or Scarf.  @Awaywiththesteiners says, “ We use to cover up, to warm up; or for any kind of emergency that needs something mopped up!”
  5. Sarongs. @Wolfpack_travels swears by these!  She says, “many things such as a lightweight towel for the beach, it’s also a light blanket and sunshade blanket. They also can be used as a dress if you forget a change of clothes which I have done on many occasions for my daughter ?”
  6. Waterproof Gear Bag.  We, the @7Wayfinders carry a ton of photography and videography equipment.  This waterproof bag is priceless when it rains or when you are doing a Water Sport activity.  We’ve hiked the rainforest, scuba dived, and snorkeled off boats with this bad boy.
  7. Small toys and games.
    1. @Awaywiththesteiners likes having a small lego bag for the kids.  We can also attest that Legos are the best travel toys.
    2. Small cards games.  We, @7Wayfinders love Uno, Monopoly Deal, and decks of cards all provide hours of entertainment.  They pack a big punch!
    3. Inflatable globe.  @Ourtravelspot says, “It cost $2, packs flat but is the best pool toy and educational tool rolled into one. We even used it to plan our next countries :)”
    4. Yo-yo’s.  @forever_travelers_family recommends these.
  8. Collapsible Laundry Baskets@TheFloryStory travels full-time in an RV or in Airbnbs with tons of kids!  These can help you organize even the biggest mess.
  9. Wet Bags. @Bigbravenomad highly recommends these. “Wet bags are essential for traveling with kids. These bags are big enough to hold several spare outfits, they snap onto a stroller or diaper bag, wet bags are machine washable, reusable, and of course, they are waterproof. These wet bags are perfect after a diaper blow out, an unexpected discovery museum water incident, unplanned beach entries, and definitely, spills and accidents that leave kid’s clothes soaked or nasty.”
  10. A Good Water Bottle. The Hydroflask is another from @Boysbeyondtheborder, who says having a good water bottle is a must.  “Did you know you can take ice through TSA?  I stuff my flask with ice before we leave and then just add water once we are through security.  The water can stay cold for multiple days!” @Lewisfamilycoast2coast also loves this kid’s water bottle. They say, “the Thermos Funtainer 12 oz water bottles. We love these things for the kids to use in the car, on the plane, while we hike, or to take to school. Snap shut lid keeps them from leaking and germs. Easy to open with a push-button, and kids drink through a straw. They keep drinks cold for hours, and we’ve never had spills! And, they come in a ton of different colors/characters/design options. Super durable, even when dropped down a mountain (we may know that from experience ?)”
  11. Portable Beach Tent@Ourtravelspot says, “The Coolcabana Beach Tent is the easiest beach tent to put up, won’t blow away, and keeps our kids sun-safe with 50+ coverage. We told every airline it was a portacot ? and the 5kg bag went onboard without a hitch!”

For more of our favorite travel items, see this post.

A big thanks to all my IG travel family friends who contributed!

Safe travels,


Catch great fare deals from Booking.com, Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, or Expedia

Find a nice hotel when traveling from Expedia, or Vrbo, (we also love Tripadvisor and Hotels.com)

Discover more of the world while having fun through exciting activities from GetYourGuide, Airbnb Experiences, or Viator

Need to rent a car to navigate the city? Visit Rentalcars.com.

Get insured while traveling with World Nomads.

Want to have a photo shoot while traveling? Check out flytographer!

Capture your best travel memories as we do with a GoPro, Sony camera, or our favorite drones: DJI FPV, Air, and Mini

Check out your travel necessities from a comprehensive list of all the 7Wayfinders Travel Must-Haves. Click Here!

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