Your ultimate vacation guide for traveling with kids this summer

Spring is in the air, and summer vacation is finally in sight. It's time to dust off your Havaianas and get ready for your first adventure post-baby, but perhaps you're wondering what you need? No worries.

We've got you covered and put together the ultimate guide to ensure you don't pack everything, including the kitchen sink, running the risk of forgetting the baby.

Inside this guide, we cover: 

  • What to do and pack for before you travel with the family 
  • Carry-on essentials (and allowances) for babies and children (0-24 months) for traveling by plane 
  • Handy products to support you and your baby from leaving home to arriving at your destination, regardless of the mode of transportation 


Let's begin with sitting in the seat of smooth-sailing traveling with kids and imagine every parent’s dream. 

Visualize this: teeth brushed, hair combed, no spills or stains in sight, toys neatly packed with rolled clothes for maximum use of suitcase space, a carry-on bag filled with on-hand essentials, co-adventurer in their car seat, and pushchair ready to sling over your shoulder as jet off on your two-week vacation. Magic.  

Pack your suitcase once, then pack it again

It all begins with organizing yourself and your packing. Gone are the days of throwing your stuff into a bag and dashing out the door footloose and carefree. Now you've got a tiny human alongside your adventures; there's more to consider. Packing strategically and practically will prevent chaos and ensure your trip is a breeze, just like pre-parenthood. 

Packing is both an art and a science, that you want to master quickly when your family grows because babies actually need a lot. But before you pack, make a check-list. It should include what you need, not what you might want. Break it down by adults and kids—do it electronically in your notes app on your phone so that when you travel again, it's just a simple search away. 

A toddler plays with her toy in a Bugaboo pushchair while smiling at the camera from behind a red Bugaboo breezy sun canopy

Packing check-list musts 

For adults and kids: include clothing, toiletries, medications and documents such as passports. Remember to limit your wardrobe to the number of days and your trip's needs. Take shoes that go with multiple outfits, and don't forget your swimsuit if it's a beach vacay! 

For kids only: these can vary depending on where and how you're traveling—travel cot, high chair, books, toys, teething support, lightweight pushchair—and while we hope it's nothing but sunshine, be sure to pack both a parasol and rain cover that easily clips to your pushchair. 

Pre-packing suitcase preparation  

Next, get out everything you intend to take on your trip out and get a little more ruthless. During this process, it's good to acknowledge the size of your suitcase—the bigger it is, the more you pack. Choose wisely. Lay out what you need and then edit. Once you've gotten honest with yourself about the 17 dresses for seven days, get up close and personal with all the space available in your bag—rolling clothes, using packing cubes, or you could go hardcore and try out the bundle technique. This will really help you maximize the entire space of your bag. 

Strategic placement makes items easy to reach  


  • Keep your liquids close to the top of your bag, especially if you're traveling light with just carry-on—fat chance of that with a tiny human who needs more stuff than a family of six!  
  • If you want to Marie Kondo the heck out of your travel experience, you could keep a set of travel-sized products in an already packed bag filled with everything you need to throw in pre-trip. Easy access and a streamlined approach to travel toiletries. Divine. It’ll also give you less of a headache about what you need to buy or pack on top of all the kids' stuff! 
  • There's a tactical trick in packing—heavier stuff at the bottom, so your suitcase doesn't tip. This is especially handy when you go by bus or train because if there's a sudden movement, you won't find yourself diving to save your suitcase.  
  • It's also convenient to wear some of the items you want for your trip when you set off. If it's a winter trip, wearing your chunky knit and big boots will save you a lot of space and keep you toasty. Not so much of a need if all you need is a bikini—when in Rome and all that. 

What to take in your carry-on with babies

Regardless of how you travel, you'll want to take a smaller bag with the bare essentials for you and your kids. However, when traveling by plane, there are specific guidelines about what can and can't be taken on board, so check with your airline. 

At the airport, going through security can be quite the ordeal—shoes off or on? Coats off or on? Do I need to remove my belt? What about the milk? Does my baby need to chug down the rest of the bottle before going through, too?

A mother sits in the passenger seat of an airplane with a child standing on her lap; the child looks at the open overhead luggage compartment with a folded Bugaboo Butterfly city pushchair inside

Firstly, think about how long you will be in transit, so you don't overdo it. It makes sense to bring more if you're flying long haul, but as your mom likely said, 'if you want to bring it, you have to carry it.'  

Secondly, research your destination and its local requirements. Luckily there are allowances for parents and young kids, which is excellent—depending on where you are in the world, these allowances may vary. Be cautious because while the UK government website shares guidelines for traveling with kids, they also state 'there is no legal limit to how much you can take; however, check with your airport before you travel.' Bottom line: always double-check the airline's website. A quick Google search will help you find the specifics for the countries and/or airports you are traveling to and from. 

Thirdly, prioritize what is needed on your trip in your hand luggage. We've narrowed down the top things you can bring through most airports for babies under two years of age, which are based on you having the infant with you—so best not forget the baby after all!

  • Breast milk and formula are generally allowed as carry-on—some airports will test them if it's over 100 ml. You can also bring juice and water; make sure to bring 'reasonable quantities' of it in your carry-on luggage and have it ready to be screened separately. 
  • Prescribed liquid medication over 100 ml is allowed with an appropriate prescription, but non-prescription medication over 100 ml per container is not permitted to be taken through security. Be sure to remember to bring the prescription with you! 
  • Baby food: generally speaking, baby food pouches, cans, and jars are allowed, which need to be screened. Bugaboo HQ's local airport, Schiphol Amsterdam, states: 'it must be ready-to-eat as you are not allowed more than 100 ml of boiled water for mixing the baby food in your hand luggage.' Also, very 'Dutch' advice is to have all of your fluids and containers with powdered milk in a single bag to make things more efficient and accessible.  
  • Frozen packs: some countries, like the United States' TSA, allow you to bring frozen gel packs, ice packs, and frozen milk in your carry-on and luggage to keep breast milk fresh. Be aware that they must be solid—if not, they fall into the liquids category and won't be allowed through. 
  • Entertainment for your co-pilot: The Canadian government has compiled an easy-to-follow 'Do and Don't' list. The first item reminds you to pack toys for your tiny human in your carry-on baggage. This is a must! The old favorites and something new and exciting should do the trick. Entertainment through security and beyond—including their beloved toy bunny, or you'll be heading straight to buy a replica once through security.  
  • Wet wipes are a must for parents regardless of whether they're nipping to the shop or doing a world tour with a baby strapped to their back. If you're going long haul, remember to stock up in both your carry-on and hold luggage.  
  • Don’t forget your wheels: you're allowed to bring pushchair on the airplane most of the time. The 'travel-certified' Bugaboo Butterfly is the perfect travel companion that folds in one second, fits in the overhead locker, and has storage galore - courtesy of its generous underseat basket. 

Other things you might want in your carry-on bag 

  • Diapers 
  • A changing mat  
  • Bib 
  • Blanket  
  • Bottles (if you use them)  
  • Change of clothes   
  • Teething aid (if your baby is at that age) 
  • An empty bag to wrap any soiled clothes 
  • A couple of pacifiers (if you use them) 
  • Maybe a top for you just in case you end up covered in something unwanted 
  • Antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer 

And of course, don't forget your phone charger, passports, and any other documentation required for your trip! 

Whether traveling by plane, car, train, ferry, or bike after all, Bugaboo is a Dutch company—you and your family want to feel supported with familiar and easy-to-use products that you know and love. 

Top ten products to make your trip effortless and fun with your baby

  • Baby car seat (for up to 15 months) 

The Bugaboo Turtle Air By Nuna is a safe and convenient car seat that's lightweight, easy to transport, and super safe. What's more, it clicks with all Bugaboo pushchairs. If you've got a different car seat, you can grab the necessary adapter to make it just as easy.   

A baby sitting in a Bugaboo Turtle Air by Nuna car seat and looking outside

  • Baby carrier  

When you’re strolling about the airport and at your destination, a baby carrier can come in super handy and cozy for adventures. 

  • Travel pushchair

Bugaboo Butterfly is the perfect travel companion for your trip.

If you’re heading off the beaten track while on vacation and need a pushchair option to suit, check out Bugaboo all-terrain pushchair options. 

A family of three next to a scenic lake, surrounded by nature; the father holds the baby in his lap while the mother gives the baby a toy duck to play with. The mother is also holding onto a Bugaboo Fox 3 stroller

  • Pushchair transport bag  

We've heard stories about pushchairs being damaged in transit, so it's essential to protect your set of wheels when you travel. We've got two travel bag options—compact—for our compact pushchairs and comfort—for all Bugaboo pushchairs —for you to choose from. 

  • Swaddle or sleeping bag

There are a lot of great sleep options out there, and the Bugaboo footmuff is an excellent addition to your pushchair to keep your child warm and dry as you explore new territories. 

  • Extra blankets  

Getting warm and cosy is up there with life's musts, and our soft wool blanket is the perfect accessory to keep your child (and maybe you too) warm throughout your journey. Made from Merino wool, it's ideal with temperature regulating abilities all year round.

  • Travel cot 

Bugaboo's award-winning Stardust travel cot pops up and unfolds in one second. It makes bedtime even more manageable after a long trip, and don't forget to add the sheet! We also love that it can act as a playpen when you're away from home and less familiar with your surroundings, giving you peace of mind as your child plays. 

A father looking at his baby who is lying in a Bugaboo Stardust travel cot.

  • Changing bag and mat 

Whether you prefer a backpack or shoulder bag, you'll want to ensure you can easily change your baby's nappy when you're on the road. We've also created a handy changing clutch that is large enough to fit multiple nappies and wipes, plus has an integrated changing mat. 

  • Wet-dry bags  

Wet bags allow you to stash away any damp or soiled gear, which is handy if you're on a summer trip and traveling as minor accidents can happen. They are multi-use and perfect for an on-the-go life. 

  • Passport 

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating when you have everything else to remember for your exciting adventure. Don’t forget to pack everyone’s passport and necessary documentation!

Happy travels, and here’s to many more adventures with your family, whether by car, plane, train, or ferry!