We’ve never let having kids stop us from going on overseas adventures, and are sticklers for travelling as far and wide as possible with ‘lil ones whenever we can. But getting from A to B with a tribe can sometimes prove a bit of a sticky wicket. Although there are a number of airlines that are kid-friendly, travelling with little ones in general can still be a bit of a chore, especially when you have three kids, eighty tons of hand luggage and a stroller to navigate. Fear not, we’ve been taking a look at the gadgets and games you need on your next holiday checklist to ease your travel woes a tad.
We already have Taxi Baby to thank for safe car travel with kids (check out our review of the mifold), and now it’s stocking the infinitely genius Plane Pal to make plane travel easy peasy. Created by mum-of-three Samantha Cardone, who invented this inflatable that turns a normal airline seat into a space where kids can stretch out and sleep after spending hours with her legs pinned in-flight by sleeping twin toddlers. The custom-designed inflatable cushion fills the space between your child’s seat and the seat in front, is lightweight, compact and comes with a pump for stress-free, easy inflation after take-off. Hurrah! Most airlines will allow Plane Pal on board so long as you follow instructions. Check with your airline before travelling!
Available from: Taxi Baby, e. firstname.lastname@example.org; www.taxibaby.sg/products/plane-pal
When businessman and dad, Rob Low, pitched his ride-on suitcase idea on the popular UK tv-show, Dragons Den, in 2006, he didn’t let rejection stop him. Fast-forward to 2012 when the first batch of Trunki was launched (and promptly flew off the shelves), it was Rob who had the last laugh. The Trunki was created to help tots deal with boredom on longer journeys (they can pack all their essentials in their own luggage) and, as a ride-on, to help parents navigate airports without the need for juggling a stroller with an arm load of carry-on bags.
Available from: Tangs and Motherswork Baby & Kids
Cost: From $89.90
SitAlong Toddler Luggage Seat
With the SitAlong Toddler Luggage Seat you’ll no longer have to battle the airport with your suitcase AND your stroller, because two-becomes-one with this gadget! The seat attaches to any 20-24 inch rolling suitcase, folds flat for storage onboard, is simple to use (no tools!) and easy to clean. Yes, it does kinda look like a picnic chair attached to your case, but we’ve had to carry sleeping toddlers through Changi Airport many a time, and our aching arms would have loved one of these. It’s suitable for babies eight months old right up to kids weighing 22kg. Sadly it’s only available to order from the US, but delivery takes just six to 10 working days.
Available from: The Think King
Cost: US$49.99 (apx. $65). Shipping fees may apply
JetKids Bed Box
Hand luggage for kiddos that converts into a small travel bed for planes and trains? Where do we sign up? Perfect for long-haul journeys, this travel accessory is suitable for kids weighing up to 35kg. Designed by a former aircraft engineer and an airline pilot, the BedBox is hand luggage, a ride-on suitcase AND a bed all-in-one. A nifty device if ever there was one. As with the Plane Pal, do check with your airline the rules and regulations about using on board.
Available from: Taxi Baby, e. email@example.com; www.taxibaby.sg/products/bedbox or rental from Toy Shelf by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: Currently on sale at $269.00 or $45.00 to rent
Now that you’ve made it onto the plane in one piece, your pull-along-luggage is stowed and your kid’s bed has been created, you’re going to need to entertain the little darlings. We absolutely love the Bunchems! On-The-Go-Easel for lovely art-and-craft projects at 30,000ft. Suitable for small Picasso’s age four to 12 years, this is a portable art studio for creating 3D masterpieces. We may just have to buy one all to ourselves…
Available from: Toys R Us
Melissa & Doug Reusable Sticker Pad – My Town
We’ve yet to meet a child who doesn’t love stickers, and with over 200 reusable stickers to use in five different play scenes, this is one on-board activity that will definitely keep kids age three and older out of your hair.
Available from: Redmart (of all places!) and Pupsik Studio
Cost: Currently on sale from $6.60
Not the cheapest of options but there is SO much activity fun to be had with a set of Magna-Tiles, that they’re worth their weight in ‘travelling with kids’ gold. Especially great for little ones who are big Lego fanatics, kiddos can build and re-build for hours on end. The best part? You don’t have to worry about tiny little pieces rolling away and having to crawling along the airplane aisle in search of them. We’ve all been there.
Available from: Playhao
Cost: From $39.90 per set
Peg Board and Lacing Set
Now here’s a cool set that kids and parents will adore. Spend time ‘lacing’ animal shapes (great for getting small people to concentrate) and then put them in a peg board picture. The compact set is lightweight, easy to bring along and tons of fun. Once you’re done, take it all apart and start again!
Available from: Right to Learn SG
Cost: Currently on sale at $21.90 (usually $24.90)
Like this story? Here’s more we think you’ll enjoy: