Guide 3: Endlessly On-The-Go: Road Trips, Plane Trips and More

Guide 3: Endlessly On-The-Go: Road Trips, Plane Trips and More

Hours getting from here to there feel a lot different with a little one in tow. Ease the way ahead with these travel tips and checklists.
14 Amazon Prime Day Picks That’ll Optimize Your Wellness Journey Reading Guide 3: Endlessly On-The-Go: Road Trips, Plane Trips and More 5 minutes Next Guide 2: A Weekend Airbnb With the In-Laws

Whether it's taking a long-haul flight with your toddler or sitting in three hours of Labor Day Weekend beach traffic, getting there is not always half the fun.

A little advance preparation helps make the journey kinder for everyone. “We love to bring a lot of snacks for the plane,” advises Anushka Salinas, Nanit’s CEO, of traveling with her two kids, “and for older kids, let them help participate and plan for the trip. So things like getting that backpack filled with the toys that they're going to want to play with on the plane.”

If you can, on your travel day/days, build in some breaks. Pull over at the soft-serve ice cream stand. Explore the giant dinosaur statues. If you’re flying, a layover can be a perfect opportunity for toddlers to run around and work off some energy.

Once you arrive, especially if there’s a significant time difference, give yourselves some grace. Everyone will likely be tired and out of sorts, for the first little while at least. So do your best to maintain whatever elements of your usual routine that you can (check out our expert tips below). And look for ways to refill your own cup as everyone’s adjusting. Sneak in a bath. Snuggle up in the hotel robe. Order room service.

Here, all the travel journey essentials—advice and supplies— to keep you cruising (and even sleeping!) on your summer vacation.

Expert Tips for Car or Plane Travel With Kids: 

Planes, trains, and automobiles can make even the best-laid routines feel hard to maintain. Nanit Lab’s Senior Clinical Researcher, Maristella Lucchini PhD, has ideas to help you stay on track.

Plan ahead where possible. 

“Whenever I travel, I always check if there are going to be blackout curtains in the hotel room or rental. If not, I’ll plan a way to make the bedroom dark, whether it’s bringing travel blackout curtains or even putting up black garbage bags on the windows. Especially during summer, the sun sets really late, and it's hard to put a child to bed if it's bright in the room.”

But also be prepared to go with the flow. 

“The truth is that no matter what you try, the first couple of days will be messy. 

If possible, don't schedule a lot those first two days because it will take time for your child to adjust to the new schedule,”says Maristella. “For example, if you're traveling for a wedding, maybe try to arrive a couple of days beforehand. Give everyone a little time to settle in.”

How to adjust to time changes: 

“For big time changes (several hours or more), you may need to have your child skip a nap and go to bed earlier the first day or so to get them onto the new schedule,” says Maristella. “For smaller time changes, like an hour or two, if you're staying for a while in a place, you can do more gradual adjustments, shift bedtimes by 30 minutes, for example. But if your trip is short, go cold turkey and keep bedtimes generally the same, just tuned to the new time zone. 

And in general, try to get outside as much as you can when it's morning. Natural light helps our bodies figure out again when it's day and when it's night. So go out for a walk early on and get all that sun.”

Packing list: 

Welly First Aid Kit: Bumps and bruises are part of life. But cute, colorful bandages make them feel better faster. In addition to a selection of happy-hued bandages, this travel first aid kit also provides on-the-go essentials like antibiotic ointment and hand sanitizer.

Doona+ Car Seat and Stroller: When you’re logging in long miles with a baby on board, a car seat that turns into a stroller is basically a dream come true. Less to pack, less to manage, and you’re on the move in minutes.

Momcozy Portable Bottle Warmer: This warmer is USB powered and rechargeable. And it can heat between four and 14 bottles in two minutes, less time than your favorite TS song.

Momcozy Wearable Breast Pump: Momcozy’s range of wearable breast pumps let you pump efficiently and discreetly wherever you are. Airport bathroom? Driving the night shift? All good!

Bobbie Formula: This USDA organic infant formula is free of all the suspicious stuff like palm oil, corn syrup, and other mysterious fillers. Scientists and pediatric nutritionists helped come up with the all-natural recipe.

Nanit Traveling Camera Bundle: This helpful bundle of Nanit’s Pro Camera, Flex Stand, Travel Case, and Breathing Band lets you take your peace of mind with you when you’re out of town. Snap the camera onto the stand and get a crystal-clear, 130-degree view of any space, so you can stay connected however the trip unfolds.

Pehr On The Go Set: You never know when or where you might need to change a diaper—the trunk of your car, a row of airport seats, the floor…. Pehr’s set of diaper changing supplies includes an easy-to-unfold changing pad and pouch to make travel with kids a little easier, and to give you a place to hold all the essentials.

    Nanit is dedicated to delivering high-quality, reliable content for our readers. Our Parent Confidently articles are crafted by experienced parenting contributors and are firmly rooted in data and research. To ensure the accuracy and relevance of the content, all articles undergo a rigorous review process by our team of parenting experts. Additionally, our wellness-related content receives further scrutiny from Nanit Lab, our think tank of scientists, engineers, physicians, academic experts, and thought leaders.

    Our primary objective is to furnish readers with the most current, trustworthy, and actionable information concerning a host of parenting topics. We strive to empower our readers to make informed decisions by offering comprehensive and respected insights.

    In pursuit of transparency and credibility, our articles incorporate credible third-party sources, peer-reviewed studies, and abstracts. These sources are directly linked within the text or provided at the bottom of the articles to grant readers easy access to the source material.


    Natalie Barnett, PhD serves as VP of Clinical Research at Nanit. Natalie initiated sleep research collaborations at Nanit and in her current role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world who use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep and leads the internal sleep and development research programs at Nanit. Natalie holds a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia. Natalie was an Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU School of Medicine prior to joining Nanit. Natalie is also the voice of Nanit's science-backed, personalized sleep tips delivered to users throughout their baby's first few years.

    Kristy Ojala is Nanit’s Digital Content Director. She spends way too much time looking at maps and weather forecasts and pictures of Devon Rex cats and no-cook dinners. A former sleep champion, she strives to share trustworthy somnabulism tips with other parents—praying for that one fine day when no tiny humans wake her up while it’s still dark out. Her kids highly recommend 3 books, approximately 600 stuffies, Chopin’s “Nocturnes,” and the Nanit Sound + Light for bedtime success.

    Mackenzie Sangster is on the Brand and Community team at Nanit. She supports content development and editing for Nanit’s Parent Confidently blog as well as other marketing initiatives. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her friends, cooking, being active, and using the Pro + Flex Duo to keep an eye on her fur-baby, Poppy!

    Holly Hays is a contributor and writer for Nanit, channeling her years as a mama and former magazine editor to create fun, useful content for fellow busy, trying-to-do-their-best parents and caregivers. Holly has written for a wide range of brands and media outlets (Ergobaby, HGTV, Manhattan Toy Company, OXO), loves to cook and read mystery novels, and leans heavily on her two daughters to keep her up to date on all the latest slang.