Skip to content

Top travel gear for families

Aug. 08, 2020
7 min read
Family on summer vacation checking into hotel. Reception desk. Luggage.
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

While there is no mysterious gadget that makes traveling with children a breeze, there are items that can make the journey more manageable and safer. TPG previously covered the top items to bring in your carry-on for young children here and addressed in-flight seat extenders here. This article covers how to move your children and their things around hassle-free while you travel.

(Photo by Kathleen Porter Kristiansen / The Points Guy)
Bringing my Babyzen YOYO onboard Ryanair. (Photo by Kathleen Porter Kristiansen/The Points Guy)

Strollers and carriers

The top accessory for young children is a way to comfortably hold them during long immigration lines, through the airport and essentially any time you want to give your arms or shoulders a break. Whether a foldable stroller, such as the Babyzen YOYO, a ride-on suitcase such as the JetKids BedBox or a carrier like the Ergo 360, you will want a way to get them around.

Some airports, such as Gatwick, offer free strollers when you land, but you never know where they will be available. For tiny children, a carrier or click-in car seat or stroller (see below) is usually best.

We tend to use the ride-on JetKids BedBox bag because it solves having a double stroller and can be used as a seat extender. If you don't want a dedicated ride-on bag for your child because it is not the most efficient use of a carry-on, Micro Scooters now make a carry-on that can hold a child from age 18 months up to a child that weighs 44 lbs. (approximately age 5 depending on the weight of the child).

photo by Kathleen Porter Kristiansen/The Points Guy
Pulling my 3-year-old on a JetKids BedBox. (Photo by Kathleen Porter Kristiansen/The Points Guy)

Children's luggage

Children love having some control over their own items. From small backpacks to child-sized suitcases, they can carry a few things themselves from age 2, depending on the child. The key ingredients for children's luggage are that it be durable, OK with spills and that you're prepared to carry and look after it when they get tired. We use small Fjällraven backpacks that were a gift from family. We find it the size perfect for small backs because it can't be overloaded and fits a few toys and tech.

(Photo by Kathleen Porter Kristiansen/The Points Guy)
My then 3-year-old wearing his backpack across the tarmac. (Photo by Kathleen Porter Kristiansen/The Points Guy)

If you have the patience to wait for your child moving through an airport, children aged 4 and up can handle their own carry-on from brands such as Away. If you have two children, ideally wait until the youngest can also manage his or her child suitcase, or else fights over the suitcase may ensue.

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
TPG Mommy Point's youngest daughter with an Away kids' carry-on. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

You will want to put your children's luggage on a credit card with purchase protection to ensure it can stand up to your child's wear and tear.

Car seats and booster seats

Car seats

When traveling with an infant, we brought an infant seat similar to a Maxi-Cosi Pebble but many TPG parents swear by the Doona car seat and travel stroller in one. Infant car seats like the Maxi-Cosi Pebble or Doona are suitable for children from newborns up to kids that weigh 28 lbs.

Fresh air naps for two baby cousins (Photo by Kathleen Porter Kristiansen)
We brought the "bucket seat" style car seats on our travels with tiny ones that could click into a pram. (Photo by Kathleen Porter Kristiansen/The Points Guy)

Fellow travel parents told me about their pleasant experience with the Urban Kanga travel car seat that suits children from 20 to 40 lbs. in weight. It weighs just 7 lbs. and comes with a carry bag. Previously for parents who travel, this size was the most difficult because there were not many products for children between 20 lbs. in weight and the booster seat size. Luckily, the Urban Kanga now fits in that gap.

Sign up for our daily newsletter
The Doona infant car seat folded up. (Photo by Darren Murph/The Points Guy)

Booster seats

Our family used the mifold grab-and-go booster seat while traveling in Asia where booster seats are hard to come by. The grab-and-go is for children aged 4 and up, between 33 to 79 lbs., and up to 59 inches in height. It is so compact that we left it somewhere in our travels. We have also used the blowup booster seat called BubbleBum that serves a similar lightweight travel option and is a great option to have tucked away. For parents used to a high-back booster seat, the mifold and Bubblebum will feel flimsy, although they are certified and compliant.

The brand mifold is soon releasing a new product called the hifold, which addresses some of the concerns that parents had around the original mifold's slim design. It still folds up but is a full-sized booster seat rather than one that can fit in your handbag. The hifold is designed for children aged 4 to 12, weighing between 33 and 99 lbs. and up to 59 inches in height and is currently available for pre-order.

The new foldable hifold travel booster seat. (Photo courtesy of mifold U.K.)

Bottom line

While you may not need car seats to get around, you will typically need travel strollers, carriers, car seats, child luggage and booster seats when taking your little ones abroad. It's a good idea to test all products before your first trip together so you aren't faced with its instructions for the first time after a long travel day. Remember to check the regulations where you are visiting, as safety standards can differ for car seats.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023