You CAN Take It with You: 5 Must-Haves for Fall Family Travel

‘Tis the season: for the inevitable questions of “Where will you spend the holidays this year?” and “Who is hosting Thanksgiving?” and other questions of how and where to gather the family together for the various celebrations that dot the calendar from November to the new year. For tons of families, this means hitting the road: by plane or car, by bus or train, hauling with you not just gifts and sweet potato casserole, but oftentimes things like play pens, diaper bags, and tons of other kiddie gear. Here are a few of my fall family travel favorites for helping you travel (relatively) light without sacrificing form for function. With these five items all you really will need to remember is to buckle in the kids, sit back, and enjoy the ride. Happy trails!

1. Nuna Sena Travel Crib


There’s nothing quite as frustrating as trying to set up a travel crib and feeling like you need some sort of Ph.D or superhuman strength to do so. Add in the fact that you might have a sleep deprived little one sobbing in the background—desperate for a nap—and it’s pretty much no fun. That’s why I loooove the Nuna Sena travel crib, because even your delirious toddler could open it up. The one-handed open-and-close is super swift, and I have to say that it’s easy on the eyes. I also appreciate that the included mattress is no hard plank like you get with other travel cribs; this one is rather cushy! 

2. Jujube BFF Diaper Bag


I don’t know about you, but after the first time my baby’s bottle of milk leaked all over my diaper bag, soaking every item within a ten-inch radius, I made a decision: wipe-clean fabrics or bust. (The smell of rotten milk is ever so HARD to get out of knit-type fabrics!) Oh, and it has to be big enough so that my wallet, a blanket, and the baby’s lovey aren’t dangling out precariously. The Jujube BFF meets those criteria, and then some—and is perfect for holding everything you’d need for a flight, a trip to the park, or a long car ride. Choose from more subdued patterns or easy-on-the-eyes ones like the Syrah Syrah (below). Another huge plus, something that’s unique to the BFF: It can go from messenger style to backpack with a few adjustments, making the relatively steep price feel a bit less painful—given that it’s truly the only bag you’ll ever need! 

3. Wehoo Bike Trailers


Okay, this one is really only for folks heading by CAR to friends’ or relatives’ houses, but it’s a great way to ensure that you can still get your outdoorsy groove on during leaf peeping season—without schlepping a roof rack full of bikes for the kids or having to stop every two seconds to deal with a loose helmet, an errant shoelace, etc. Wehoo comes in a single or a double trailer to attach to the back of a grown-up bike so you can pedal along carrying up to 100 pounds of “cargo.”

4. SkipHop Little Kid Umbrella


Don’t let a few raindrops get you or your little ones down—and no more awkward sharing of your umbrella with your pint-sized pal. (Which means that you get totally wet, right?) The genius of these umbrellas from SkipHop is in the details—the little clear “peekaboo” window at eye level, ensuring your kid doesn’t walk into everything and everyone; the child-friendly closure that won’t pinch tender little fingers. Stash one in your bag so that no rainy day is a rain-out. 

 5. Bioelements Multi-Task Eye Creme


Finally, something just for you, mama! A tiny little wonder that you can throw into your makeup bag. I also love how this cream is meant for the thin, delicate skin around the eyes but it’s not super thick and greasy. Translation: You don’t have to use it at night. Which I happen to particularly appreciate, given that I tend to just fall into bed most nights without doing a proper skin care “routine.” Being able to give my crow’s feet some love in the a.m. is perfect. Oh, and if all the travel has your kids’ sleep schedules screwed up, a few dabs will help scare away dark circles and puffiness!

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