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    41 Parent-Approved Travel Items That'll Make Traveling With Kids A Bit Easier

    So your vacation can feel a bit more like an actual vacation.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Some may have been sent as samples, but all opinions and reviews are our own. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A waterproof pouch you'll start taking on every single vacation once you realize how useful this is to keep your phone (plus other small stuff like cash, keys, credit cards, etc.) in a dry, safe state. And don't even get me started on all the cool pics and videos you're going to take of your snorkeling adventures.

    Reviewer dropping phone in the case into a streaming river
    Reviewer image of phone safe in the case after being in river

    The pouch fits any phone up to 3.9 inches x 6.7 inches.

    Promising review: "This product is incredible. I purchased to use while in Key West for an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and Galaxy S6 Edge and it fits perfectly for each phone being a little more snug with the iPhone 6 Plus. It is completely waterproof and takes great photos and video through the case, but you have to press 'record' prior to submerging the case underwater. My family went snorkeling and kept the case with phone inside submerged almost the entire time and had no issues with leakage. My family and I got stopped numerous times being asked where we purchased this product. Perfect even if just on the beach and you do not want to get sand or sunscreen on your phone and want to still take photos/text/browse internet while on the beach. I will be purchasing this for everyone in my family as it has become a travel must-have!" —Jennifer Roman

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99+ (available in 14 colors).

    2. A stroller cover perfect for sudden vacay downpours. I can't wait to see your family poncho pics!

    Promising review: "We used this on our recent trip to Disney in Florida, and it was a lifesaver for the sudden rains. Kept our kiddo dry without stopping her from seeing the views. It fit our stroller just fine and packed away pretty easily when we were done with it. :) Definitely recommend!" —Patrice T.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.80 (available in three colors).

    3. A car seat travel bag to help keep that precious perch protected on your travels. And! It has padded back straps to make your time at the airport a little easier.  

    A car seat inside a cover and a carry pouch
    reviewer carrying their car seat in the cover like a backpack

    It's universally sized to fit standard infant, convertible, and booster car seats.

    Promising review: "This thing was a lifesaver. Only one flight so far but still looks brand new. Would definitely recommend this bag. *Update* After five more flights, the bag still looks good as new, no rips or tears and the car seat is still spotless. I couldn’t have navigated the airports I did without this bag. Highly recommend it!" —Alaskan Mommy

    Get it from Amazon for $22.99.

    4. A pack of toilet seat covers can create a (colorful) barrier between your toddler's curious hands and public toilet seats at rest stops and airports. 

    Promising review: "If you're a germaphobe like myself, this is a must-have in your diaper bag. The thought of placing my son or daughter on a public toilet with only a seat liner is disturbing especially since they're both little and still hold onto the toilet seat for support when peeing/pooping. These cover the toilet completely and even cover the lower part of the toilet where dangling legs and pants/skirts touch. My only complaint about these is that they are not flushable. It's difficult trying to gather the liner up (they are rather large) without touching the toilet or the possibly wet liner (because it partially fell in the water) and then scrunching it up to fit into a sanitary napkin bin. Other than that, these are great. Also, I don't use the adhesive strips at all since I have two little ones that usually need to go right away so we don't have the time to remove the adhesive backing. I usually just place the liner on the toilet and then carefully plop my kid on top and all's well." —Ting

    Get a pack of 24 covers from Amazon for $9.99.

    5. A budget-friendly portable white-noise machine to help drown out all the unfamiliar noises and help your baby travel to Dreamland even faster. (Oh, and adults talk about how it helps them in the reviews, too.)

    The portable white noise machine
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Perfect travel sound machine. We have a Marpac Dohm sound machine at home, and let me tell you, it is a BEAST to travel with. It's heavy and bulky and such a hassle with its long cord. The MyBaby Soundspa is SO MUCH BETTER. It's lightweight, has a great range of volume, options, and the 'white' noise is actually something much more soothing (might be brown noise?). Just what we needed for our frequent trips to grandma's! I recently brought this with me on a 13-hour road trip and used the included clip to attach the machine to my baby's infant car seat and it was PERFECT for getting him to sleep on the road. I also used it for his nighttime sleep for all five nights we were gone, and the batteries lasted without a problem. If you're considering getting a portable sound machine like I was, DO IT and GET THIS ONE. Love the price, too!!" —Madeline Thomas

    Get it from Amazon for $19.95.

    6. A packable pop-up tent will give baby ALL the shade at the beach. 

    Promising review: "We loved having this tent on our beach trip with our baby. It was so easy and lightweight to carry with us and gave plenty of sun protection for our baby. We will be using this with each beach trip in the future!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $34.99.

    7. A Montessori busy board with all kinds of interactive elements like zippers, buttons, laces, and buckles can keep little hands occupied. Plus it has handles so you can easily fold it up and take it on the go.

    Montessori Busy Board
    Kid using the board

    Promising review: "Absolutely love this busy board! We bought this to keep our 1-year-old distracted on a 3.5-hour airplane ride. She absolutely loved it and couldn’t stop playing with it. We tied it to the seat tray so it didn’t slide all over. It is easy to carry, fits into a backpack no issue, and I love that it is all one piece —no tiny pieces to misplace!" —LEG 585

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.


    8. A 50-count set of handy laundry soap sheets you won't even have to slip into your toiletries bag if you're flying. This way you can save more room for souvenirs than three changes of underwear for every member of your family for day of your trip. 

    Collection of shaving sheets, body wash sheets, and shampoo sheets
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Amazing. Took them on vacation so I could pack light. These worked great! My daughter was covered in mud one day and these took out all of it. Will be ordering them for future trips! Keep in mind you do not get a ton if suds but your clothes still come clean and smell good." —Maggie Dennis

    Get a set of 50 from Amazon for $7.19 (available in four other styles, including hand soap and shampoo).

    9. An LCD writing tablet to help occupy kids' time in a car or plane as they practice their numbers and letters. 

    The blue writing tablet with an LCD screen
    Reviewer's child using the stylus on the blue writing tablet
    Reviewer's video showing them scribbling on the pink writing tablet with a stylus

    Promising review: "We bought this pad to take on a long car trip with our 4-year- old granddaughter. She is usually traveling with her nose stuck to an iPad, I was looking for something to get her out of watching iPad all trip. This did the trick! She drew all kinds of things, practiced her numbers and letters, and played games with me. It was great to have something that didn’t need to be charged." —Trudie Paschetag

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    10. A pack of collapsible pails that'll take up a little way less space in your suitcase for the very important task of building sand castles. Have you ever bought a sand bucket at a tourist shop? Yikes. 

    A pack of three collapsible pails
    Reviewer's video showing how to collapse the pail

    Promising review: "BEST BUCKETS EVER! I’ll be buying more! I love that they collapse! I bought them for the beach and I loved that they didn’t take up room during travel. And now they don’t take up room in our outdoor toy bin!" —KB

    Get a pack of three from Amazon for $12.79.

    11. Plus a collapsible water bottle because the price of water bottles at the airport should be illegal and the cost of this will make up for itself after a few trips. (Psst, it's BPA-free and shatterproof.)

    a reviewer's white water bottle
    a reviewer's blue water bottle completely collapsed

    Promising review: "I bought this collapsible water bottle to use on our vacation in Iceland. IT IS FANTASTIC. I plan to use it very often now. It’s convenient, seals very well, and I love that it can be rolled up to save space. I have two toddlers and they can both drink from this bottle unassisted. I’m looking forward to using this bottle everywhere we go. I highly recommend it for everyone, and wish they made a smaller version for my toddlers!!" —Lisa L. Jordan

    Get it from Amazon for $34.95 (available in eight colors).

    12. Waterproof Uno cards can withstand some tense games at the beach, pool, lake, boat, wherever! After all, is it a family vacation if you don't end up playing some card games. I say absolutely not. 

    A pack of waterproof cards near a beach towel
    Amazon

    Promising review: "These are great to use at the pool, lakeside, or the beach. They can get wet!!!!! My kids love these! I actually want to buy a set for the house because the cards don't bend easily and they stay in mint condition. Would purchase again and again!" —LuluLoves

    Get them from Amazon for $7.90.

    13. Burt's Bees sunburn soother because sometimes the family will get burnt from some fun in the sun — even if you've been on VERY strict sunscreen patrol. Its aloe vera and coconut oil formula is super gentle on skin while helping relieve pain, redness, and swelling.

    A model holding a tube of the lotion
    Reviewer's before and after photos showing a sunburn on the back and a back without the sunburn after using the lotion

    Promising review: "Throw away your plain aloe and buy this immediately! I will never not have this on hand in the summer/on vacation. It works miraculously well, and by the next day you’re totally good. Approved by my kids too!" —KMR

    Get it from Amazon for $7.69.

    14. A leather passport case complete with a protective side sleeve for your vaccine card so you can have a hold on everything important while herding your whole party to the security checkpoint. 

    black, blue, red, and white passport cases
    Henney's Boutique

    Henney's Boutique is a California-based Etsy shop that specializes in passport holders. 

    Promising review: "Glad I got these for myself and my family." —Donna chiz 

    Get it from Henney's Boutique on Etsy for $8+ (available in a range of colors). 

    15. A backseat car organizer with eight large pockets that'll keep a hold on tablets at your kid's eye level and give you a place to keep all the random things required for a mere hour-long road trip. 

    The organizer holding a tablet, snacks, drinks, and toys
    reviewer's photo showing the car seat organizer holding kid's stuff

    Promising review: "This was so useful for vacation! The straps will fit a variety of seats, material is very sturdy (the kids really put it to the test!), and it holds so much! My only complaint is that the pockets were too narrow for a water bottle, but they were perfect for holding markers, crayons, small snacks, and coloring books. We were able to remove it from the seat with all materials still in it and hang it on a chair in the hotel room for kids to have their supplies there, too." —LeaM

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

    16. Plus a kids' travel table to turn your backseat into a one-stop shop for road-trip entertainment. It has a tablet viewing stand, cup holder, dry-erase board that doubles as an eating tray, and storage pockets for pens and toys.

    A model watching the tablet and coloring on the table in a car
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Literal must-have for traveling with kids. We use this on long car trips or vacations. It’s a great place to color and keep markers and pencils close and it's also great for eating in the car. Many vacations we grab fast food to eat while we are driving and it’s so much easier for the kids to eat with this tray that keeps all their snacks and food close to them. I honestly don’t know how we traveled without this!" —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $26.99.

    17. An inflatable toddler travel bed with bumpers can keep kids who are past their pack 'n' play stage from rolling out of bed. And! You'll get to have the hotel bed to yourself. 

    reviewer's photo of the inflatable bed with a mermaid bedsheet and polka dot blanket
    reviewer's photo of their child sitting on the mattress and reading a book

    Promising review: "My 2-year-old son recently transitioned out of his crib and we were nervous about what to do when traveling over the holidays (no more travel crib). This was a perfect solution. The bed is easy to inflate and it only takes a few minutes. The little mattress is separate so it’s easy to put on a sheet (We used the same sheet from my son's toddler bed to try and make it more like 'home') and I love the bumpers on it. It's strong enough to handle my son diving around on it and both of us laying on it but even if he did pop a hole they include patches." —Sofia A

    Get it from Amazon for $74.92.

    18. Plus an inflatable bath tub that'll be a godsend for the hotel tub — or a hotel room that *just* has a shower. But reviewers love it for home use, too!

    Promising review: "I love this little bath! The divider in the center helps keep my babe in her seat without slipping down! We have been to a few hotels and Airbnbs that didn’t have a bathtub and this has come in handy! Because it’s inflatable it is perfect to travel with. It folds down super small and is light weight. I’ve brought it on checked and carry-on bags through the airport with no problem!" —Pat&Court

     Get it from Amazon for $13.17.

    19. An anti-blister balm that's carry-on friendly *and* old dogs friendly. No more blisters from walking around all day seeing sites and getting in line for your favorite theme park rides. 

    Hiker putting balm on their heels
    Amazon

    Promising review: "My family goes to Disney World every year and even with rotating shoes every other day we still get blisters. I bought this before our trip two months ago and it was worth every penny. We rubbed it all over the top, bottom, sides of our feet and toes each morning and our feet did not blister! I highly recommend this product for long Disney days or any time you will be on your feet for a long period of time." —Cari Sanders

    Get it from Amazon for $8.

    20. And a plant-based anti-chafing balm you can rub on your inner-thighs or any other ouchie spots that normally suffer after walking around in hot, sweaty weather.

    A model applying the balm to her inner thigh
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This stuff saved our beach vacation. My son always gets nasty chafe and rub rash from playing in the water and then running around in his wet shorts. Usually halfway through the day he's ready to go because it stings so bad, then it's going home slathering the rash with Desitin while he sits on the couch. We put this on his inner thighs every day before we went to the beach and never even had pinkish skin, never mind a rash!! It's very dry, nongreasy, and goes on smooth and colorless, just like a deodorant, with no scent either. It's absolutely a lifesaver!!!" —C. Millin

    Get it from Amazon for $8 (available in three sizes).

    21. touchless forehead thermometer that won't take up a bunch of room in your bag. Thanks to its built-in sensor, you'll even be able to take your kid's temperature without disturbing them. Talk about a productive nap time.

    The forehead thermometer in white
    Reviewer taking temperature of their child

    Promising review: "I purchased this to take on our recent vacation during the COVID-19 outbreak. I didn't want any surprises since we were flying both directions so I decided to take a thermometer with me. I wanted one that would be easy to use on four people and this was ideal. Just put in batteries and put the thermometer near a person's forehead and voilà! One of our kids did get a temperature while we were gone. This was due to too much sun. Fortunately, by having the thermometer we were able to assess and address the issue quickly and were able to get the temperature back in the normal range quickly. What a great tool." —Soup1958

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99.

    22. AirFly Pro, an essential little gadget that'll let you pair wireless headphones with in-flight entertainment. Plus! You could even use it to pair TWO sets of wireless headphones so your two kids can both enjoy the same movie at the same time.  

    model with the small white box plugged into the screen on the seat back on a plane with wireless headphones in
    Amazon

    The AirFly Pro, AirFly Duo, and AirFly USB-C models all offer the ability to share audio between two headphones. However, the AirFly Pro is the only model that lets you send audio from your phone to AUX-IN in a car or speaker.

    Promising review: "We bought this for our road trip so that both of our kids could watch a movie from the iPad with wireless headphones. Pairing both sets of headphones was very easy. A great buy!" —Anthony Saman

    Get it from Amazon for $54.99.

    23. A set of compression cubes to help you get organized because, wow, when you have kids you have to take so much more on vacation. (Bye to the good ole days of easily carrying on just *your* things.) 

    seven of a reviewer's shirts before being put in a packing cube
    the reviewer's packing cube holding all seven of the shirts

    Promising review: "I took my family of five to Disney in September and bought these packing/compression cubes. They were LIFESAVING for us. Well, maybe not literally but...trying to pack stuff for five people for nine days into two bags was a challenge. These packing cubes made it possible with a little room to spare for those precious souvenirs! We bought two of the three-packs rather than the larger pack because we didn't need the toiletry bag or the shoe bag. It worked out perfectly." —Tiffany H.

    Get them from Amazon for $17.95+ (available in packs of two, four, or six and in seven colors/designs).