14 of the best travel essentials for baby and toddler

Whether you're travelling on a plane, train or car with a baby or toddler, these products will allow kids to be comfortable, calm and entertained on long journeys

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  • 1. Mountain Buggy Bagrider, £99, MadeForMums Awards Joint Gold Winner for Family Product over £30

    Another game changer from Mountain Buggy, the Bagrider allows you to convert a standard carry-on case into a ride-along for your toddler. Anyone who knows the fear of traversing a vast airport with little ones in tow, struggling with luggage and buggies, will appreciate this super-practical Gold Award winner.

    The handy - and roomy - 2-wheel carry-on suitcase transforms into a travelling seat for toddlers up to 15kg. You just twist a dial to convert from one to another function, and it also comes with a cushioned seat and 5-point safety harness.

    It’s a genius solution for airport-bound parents - and a fun ride for little ones to boot!

    What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the Mountain Buggy Bagrider:

    “The suitcase is a fantastic cabin bag size, and the seat attachment is very sturdy, but completely foldable, so would easily fit in a handbag. The mechanism is incredibly quick and very fluid. There really is no faffing around. This product has changed my life. I am now planning several more trips to see my little one’s grandparents, because it's just so simple now! ” Mum of 1, Joanna

    “This is such a clever idea, and well executed. I love the fact that it has real longevity as the harness and soft seat can be removed and stored away, and that it can fit in air aeroplane as take on luggage. It also looks very robust.” MFM Reviews Editor Magda Ibrahim 

    You can buy the Mountain Buggy Bagrider from: Amazon and PreciousLittleOne

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  • 2. Splash About New & Improved Happy Nappy, £10.99, MadeForMums Awards Gold Winner for Family Travel Product under £15

    As an unforeseen leak during baby swimming can shut down a pool for an entire day, having the right protection for your little ones is crucial. It’s not much fun being responsible for ending everyone’s splash-about fun!

    The new, improved reusable swim nappy by Splash About is fantastically practical and available in some wonderful designs. If you’re planning a holiday by the pool or sea, the Happy Nappy will save you from packing - or buying - a load of bulky disposable swim nappies.

    Approved by 95% of UK swim schools, it is designed to be worn alone and ensure a leak-free swim. It has specialist pressure fabric ribbing at the waist and legs to secure a comfortable seal, and a unique gusset that moves as baby moves.

    It also provides UPF50+ sun protection and is quick drying, so it’s perfect for frequent dips during holidays.

    What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the Splash About Happy Nappy:

    “Quick drying, lovely design, and comfortable for baby.” Laura Carter

    “This is a wonderful product, easy to use. Perfect for the swimming pool.” Mum of 3, Meena

    “The bands around the legs look so much comfier than the standard swim nappy! If you swim with your baby a lot, these would be a worthwhile investment.” Broadcaster and mum of 2 Sarah Cawood

    You can buy the Splash About New & Improved Happy Nappy from: Splash About and Amazon

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  • 3. Skip Hop Stroll & Go Portable Soother, £17, MadeForMums Awards Gold Winner for Family Travel Product £15-£30

    It’s great if you have a go-to soother for on-the-go - something your little one is used to and can calm him at a push of a button. The Stroll & Go Portable Soother in its cute owl design is small enough to be taken anywhere, so you will never have to be without soothing sound at the touch of a button. Our Bronze Award-winner easily attaches to strollers, carriers, bags and car seats, and has a nice selection of melodies and sounds to sooth little ones. 

    We also really like the selection of timer settings - which include a full hour - and it’s very easy to use. A great little addition to your holiday travels!

    What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the Skip Hop Stroll & Go Portable Soother:

    “My little girl loves this. I’m not normally one to buy lots of gadgets and white noise machines. But she really calmed down when this was turned on when we were out and about. She was asleep in minutes!” Mum of 2, Kate

    “Although I probably wouldn't have bought this myself, it has come in handy on a couple of occasions and would make a nice gift. We like the design, it's portable, easy to use and easily cleaned. My baby can nap on the go in a pram or car seat if we are moving, but struggles if we stop, so this has helped to settle him on those occasions. It also has options to play for 15 mins up to an hour and the four sounds are soothing.” Mum of 2, Lisa

    You can buy the Skip Hop Stroll & Go Portable Soother from: Amazon and Boots

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  • 4. Splash About Go Swim Vest, £17.99, MadeForMums Awards Joint Silver Winner for Family Travel Product £15-£30

    Buoyancy aids can be very bulky, taking up precious suitcase space, but Splash About’s Go Splash Swim Vest is ideal for travel. It’s lightweight, compact and packs flat, so saves a lot of space. Crucially, however, it delivers great buoyancy to provide a safe, learn-to-swim experience for children.

    The vest has puncture-proof foam floats around the chest and back and allows free movement and a natural swimming position. It’s also quick drying, provides UPF50+ sun protection, and as with all Splash About products comes in wonderful designs - there’s sure to be one that appeals to your little swimmer.

    What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the Splash About Go Swim Vest:

    “What a great product! Great design and great idea. The pattern was lovely and the fit was good for the age range. A fantastic way to keep your mind at rest as a parent but also have your child looking adorable!” Mum of 2, Jamie

    “The Go Swim Vest is incredibly easy-to-use, just zip it up and let your kids splash about! We took this product on holiday and it's light, easy to pack in a suitcase and the neoprene feels durable. With UPF50+ sun protection, too, it gives you extra peace of mind that your child is safe in the sunshine as well as in the water.” Mum of 1, Ruth

    You can buy the Splash About Go Swim Vest from: Splash About and Amazon

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  • 5. Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet, £129.99, MadeForMums Awards Joint Silver Winner for Family Travel Product over £30

    Everyone knows that a bit of screen time can be a life saver when it comes to keeping the kids entertained - and tantrum free - on journeys long and short.

    The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet allows parents to offer their kids suitable entertainment on their own, tamper-proof tablet. It comes with a year’s access to thousands of Amazon’s age appropriate videos, apps, games and books.

    It also features a kid-proof case and 2-year guarantee, impressive storage up to 256GB, with the option of expanding further, and parental controls to manage kids’ usage and to allow you to set educational goals. Parents can also get involved via the Amazon Parent Dashboard and Discussion Cards to encourage interaction.

    With hours of fun and activities, this is a great addition to your travel case.

    What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet:

    “I'm pretty amazed how good this is. It's fast, has a generous-sized screen, is easy to use and comes with a strong case. But this is just the half of it - you get Fire for Kids, which is a huge amount of videos, books and games. It's far better than anything comparable I've used because of the sheer amount of options. I'd definitely recommend buying it. In fact, I’m now planning on buying a second one as I have two children.” Dad of 2, Anthony

    “As a first tablet for kids I'd definitely recommend this product. It's brilliant value for money, a fraction of the price of an iPad. The parental control settings mean mum and dad can relax in the knowledge their kids can't get up to anything untoward, or spend hours looking at the screen, as they can restrict what and when they watch things.” Mum of 2, Maxine

    You can buy the Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet from: Amazon

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  • 6. Bizzi Growin POD Travel Changing Bag, £45, MadeForMums Awards Joint Silver Winner for Family Travel Product over £30

    Combining an essential changing bag with a place for baby’s naps is an ingenious idea, which our MFM Awards judges just loved, awarding the POD Travel Changing Bag a bronze prize this year.

    This unique bag folds out and can be assembled into a simple crib in less than a minute. It includes a padded mattress for sleep as well as quick nappy changes and it’s perfect for comfortable daytime naps on the go.

    As an everyday changing bag it also includes an insulated bottle pocket, and several other compartments to organise essentials. It’s an interesting niche product, and great for quick trips and being on the go.

    What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the Bizzi Growin POD Travel Changing Bag:

    “This is a brilliant idea of combining a travel bag with a crib perfect for trips.  This pod is ideal for setting up when baby wants a nap, it is easy to use and the mattress appears to be thick enough to be comfy. My baby slept well in it and he barely sleeps, so it must be comfy.” Mum of 2, Kayleigh

     “This is an absolutely gorgeous bag. It's sleek and stylish (we got the grey slate one) and very practical. It assembles really quickly and is the perfect size for a sleeping tot. The bag section has loads of pouches for items like nappies and bottles and the mattress doubles as a changing mat. I also babywear, and sometimes the baby needs somewhere to be set down when out of the sling, so the bassinet part of this was perfect as baby has somewhere safe and comfortable to lie.” Mum of 3, Rebecca

    You can buy the Bizzi Growin POD Travel Changing Bag from: Pramworld and Amazon

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  • 7. Onco Deluxe Buggy Bag Organiser, £14.99, MadeForMums Awards Joint Silver Winner for Family travel product under £15

    This is a very practical addition to any buggy - a perfect little organiser to keep all your essentials in arm’s reach when on the go. 

    It includes two drinks compartments, a large compartment and additional pockets to store items such as wipes, muslins and dummies and an extra foldaway mesh bag.

    Our Joint Silver Award-winner also has a handy foldover flap that allows you to cover contents, and it is strong, sturdy and water resistant. We love this simple, stylish and good value item.

    What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the Onco Deluxe Buggy Bag Organiser:

    This buggy organiser is lightweight and has enough space and added pockets to ensure that you can fit plenty into it. As somebody who has always had a changing bag, to have something so lightweight felt strange at first but it has a storage pocket for a bottle and even one for your phone. I particularly like how the mesh larger bag can be used as a rain cover. It is easy to attach and remove and it looks very nice when in use.” Mum of 2, Kayleigh

    “This is a handy little attachment for my buggy to keep all my bits and bobs in that I can never find scrabbling around in my changing bag.” Mum of 1, Katy

    You can buy the Onco Deluxe Buggy Bag Organiserfrom: Amazon

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  • 8. Philips Avent Steam Steriliser Bags, £11, MadeForMums Awards Joint Silver Winner for Family travel product under £15

    This brilliant product is fantastic for travelling as it allows you to effectively sterilise all your equipment in a microwave without having to pack a larger, bulky travel steriliser box. The Philips Avent Steam Steriliser Bag is easy to use, has step by step instructions and allows up to 20 uses per bag, or 100 uses per pack.

    Other design features include a SafeZone that indicates where the bag can be safely grabbed when removing it from the microwave, and check boxes to keep track of number of uses. The clear window in the bag lets you check you’ve positioned everything correctly. A really well-thought-out, simple solution to on-the-go sterilising - super handy!

    What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the Philips Avent Steam Steriliser Bag:

    “A great travel product and easy to carry around when out.” Mum of 2, Claire

    “I think a product like this is definitely a must-have. Especially if you are going away for the night or on holiday. Rather than carrying your big steriliser with you everywhere, these bags are the perfect replacement. For convenience when not at home, these are perfect.” Mum of 1, Sofia

    You can buy the Philips Avent Steam Steriliser Bags from: Amazon and Hello Baby

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  • 9. BubbleBum UK Car Booster Seat, £25-£30, MadeForMums Awards Joint Silver Winner for Travel Product £15-£30

    What a great idea: a portable, packable inflatable and deflatable car booster seat in a bag. The BubbleBum travel seat inflates by mouth, taking a few puffs, and folds down to fit in small spaces, including bags or glove compartments. It’s the perfect solution for ad hoc car seat needs.

    According to the brand, it weighs less than 3 bananas, has a narrow fit, which means you can fit three in a row. It is as safe and as functional as a conventional, rigid, backless booster seats - a great option for rental cars, holidays, carpooling or taxis. It is also super cute and stylish, so is likely to be a hit with kids.

    What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the BubbleBum UK Car Booster Seat:

    “Both my children absolutely loved trialling this! My daughter said it was extremely comfortable and it was really nice having more space in the backseat when we have another person in the car. It was great to be able to pack it away and move it easily from one car to another. We give this a big thumbs up! ” Mum of 2, Abbie

    “I absolutely love it!! This is going revolutionise the way we travel with our kids. It rolls up small enough to pop into a suit case and literally took a few seconds to blow up. I was worried these wouldn’t feel secure for the kids to sit on. But all three (ages 9, 8 and 6) were very happy and comfortable on these. When done, they deflate and roll up again just as quickly. This would also be great to leave in the car for the last minute play date that requires a booster seat. Seriously fab product!” Mum of 3, Tamar

    You can buy the BubbleBum UK Car Booster Seat from: Amazon and Argos

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  • 10. Boots Baby Swim Pants, £3.05, MadeForMums Awards Joint Bronze Winner for Family travel product under £15

    Pack these swim pants into your luggage for a compact, go-to swim nappy that’s practical and comfortable. Boots Swim Pants are great for swimming, as the absorbent core protects from small accidents and they don’t swell up in the water like a normal nappy.

    They’re also easy to pull on and off, and nabbed our MFM Awards Bronze Award for their simple, effective design.

    What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about Boots Baby Swim Pants:

    “We were looking forward to using the Boots Baby Swim Pants as our little one loves going in the water. The swim pants worked perfectly, there were no leaks and everything stayed in the nappy as it should until changing time. They come in a nice and fun colour, and our little one seemed to like them.” Mum of 2, Federica

    “This is a great product, the swim pants seemed very comfortable and soft. The inside of these pants stayed dry throughout our entire swimming session. They seemed to keep their shape and comfort the whole time.” Mum of 2, Jamie

    You can buy Boots Baby Swim Pants: Boots

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  • 11. Snuggly Rascals Headband Headphones For Kids, £14.99, MadeForMums Awards Joint Bronze Winner for Family travel product under £15

    These super cute - and super clever - headphones were a firm winner with the judges, winning this year’s joint Bronze Award in our Family Product under £15 category.

    They are a great idea: headphones disguised as wonderfully soft, adjustable headbands in fantastic animal designs. These make a nice change to the conventional plastic headphones. 

    The fabric is soft fleece and washable, and contains flat headphones that are limited to a child-safe 85 decibels. They are also good at limited the noise heard by others, so won’t disturb sensitive adults on trains, planes and automobiles.

    The brand also donates 10% of profits to a different children’s charity each month - a lovely touch that makes buying these even more of a good idea.

    What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about the Snuggly Rascals Headband Headphones for Kids:

    “The idea is great - comfy headphones that are soft enough for your child to doze off in ,without them falling off, or getting in the way when they're trying to lay their head down. The earphones can be moved around inside the headband so you can tailor them to your child. This is a little bit fiddly; more so than conventional headphones. The designs on the headbands seem to be for youngish children too, so may lose their appeal to older children. I do love the idea though, so I'd recommend them, especially for people planning a long trip” Dad of 1, Anthony

    “These are the perfect travel companion, light and compact and will attach to most electronic devices.” Mum of 2, Georgina

    You can buy Snuggly Rascals Headband Headphones For Kids from: Argos and Amazon

  • 12. Monkey Monkey sunglasses , £10-£20, MadeForMums Awards Bronze Winner for Family Travel Product £15-£30

    This stylish sunglasses brand for kids is perfect for the travelling tot. The collection of 16 sunglasses includes styles for boys and girls aged 3 months to 11 years. It is designed with ‘mini-me’ in mind, with contemporary styles to mimic mum and dad’s. They range from cool aviators to mirrored sports wrap-around frames.

    Most importantly, the lenses provide 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays, and they are light yet strong. 

    What our MadeForMums judges say about Monkey Monkey sunglasses for kids:

    “Very cute, very durable and robust, which is important with destructive little hands around!” Broadcaster and Mum of 2 Sarah Cawood

    “My 4.5-year-old is completely in love with these glasses. She feels like a grown-up girl in them. As a parent, I'm pretty impressed with them too. They're sturdy, stylish and protect her eyes. All in all, very impressed with this high-quality product and delighted to have a pair.” Mum of 2, Alex

    You can buy Monkey Monkey sunglasses from: Amazon, Boots and House Of Fraser

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  • 13. Trunki Rocco the Race Car, £39.99, MadeForMums Awards Bronze Winner for Family Travel Product over £30

    The latest ride-on suitcase from Trunki comes in a bright, racing car design. The idea of a suitcase that allows kids to hop on for a ride through an airport or train station (pulled along by parents) is still going strong and has proved a hit with many carers and their little ones.

    The Rocco the Racing Car has a 18-litre capacity, horns for extra hold and a comfy saddle. This MFM Bronze Award Winner also has secure lockable catches, internal pocket, a teddy bear ‘seat belt’ and a set of stickers to customise - fantastic idea.

    Designed in the UK, it also has a five-year guarantee.

    What our MadeForMums Awards judges say about Trunki’s Rocco the Racing Car:

    “We absolutely loved this product! Even before I attempted to use it as a suitcase my boys were already climbing over it and trying to sit on it. My only issue (and it is minor) is that I felt it could do with another strap inside the suitcase. Overall it is a great product.” Mum of 1, Jamie

    “Kids will love the cool design of the Racing Car Trunki, and its bright, colourful design really stands out. I love the locks and the pull strap, and the elasticated interior straps for holding luggage in place.” MFM Reviews Editor Magda Ibrahim

    You can buy Trunki Rocco the Race Car from: Trunki

  • 14. Splash About Splash Jammers, £14.99, MadeForMums Awards Bronze Winner

    What a great idea - a swim ‘nappy’ designed for potty training toddlers. These swim shorts provide all the protection and reassurance against accidents from the conventional Splash About swim nappies, but in a more grown-up design.

    As swim schools often insist on leak-proof nappies up to the age of 3, going to the pool can often create a bit of set-back on the potty training front. These Splash Jammers bridge the gap between swim nappy and swimwear very nicely. 

    They feature a high back and tapered waist to prevent gaping, and the longer leg has silicone bands for a good thigh seal. Our Bronze winner has filled a very real need with a great product.

    What our MFM Awards judges say about Splash About Splash Jammers:

    “I found the Splash About-Splash Jammers to be excellent in both quality and effectiveness. My little boy loved the shark design and it was very easy put on and take off. They felt very secure on and never once did I have a concern that any accidents might happen. I am extremely happy with this product and will buy one for my daughter.” Mum of 2, Brid

    “This product is excellent. After my friend took her 3-year-old swimming and experienced a ‘code brown’ situation resulting in the pool being evacuated, I was nervous when taking my newly toilet trained three year old swimming. The design is fun and attractive and the sizing chart on the company website is very accurate. Overall an excellent product which I have already recommended to other mums.” Mum of 1, Natalie

    You can buy Splash About Splash Jammers from: Amazon and Splash About

    MadeForMums product reviews are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.

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