New York. What a city! A place like nowhere else and a destination that in my humble opinion, everyone should go to at least once. I’m very fortunate to have travelled there on a number of occasions, however, while I feel like I know New York – or at least parts of it, pretty well – my most recent visit a few weeks ago was like none of the others that have come before it. It was as if I was experiencing it again for the very first time.

You see it wasn’t just myself and my husband, James holidaying. This time we also had our 16-month-old son, Oscar in tow. Our first trip overseas as a family – and boy does travelling with a tiny human turn the whole ‘let’s go on holiday’ routine upside down!

You can plan and prep until your heart’s content, but in reality, with a little one, it’s always going to feel like you’re travelling with the kitchen sink, as it’s unavoidable that you’ll be taking much more stuff with you than you did in your pre-parent life. From pushchairs to car seats to three changes of clothes per day for said small person – travelling light is no longer an option.

But don’t despair. Once you accept that the above is inevitable – there are things you can still do to make life easier. Product choices you can make that are designed with your travelling predicament in mind.

Here are my top three must-have items –  trialled and tested on our transatlantic trip that we wouldn’t have been without:

1. JetKids BedBox

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Processed with VSCO with f2 presetThis product was an absolute game-changer! The one and only thing we were dreading about our holiday were the flights. Seven hours plus in a confined space above the clouds with the energy ball that is Oscar. Pre-trip I envisioned the very worst. Screaming. Crying. Chaos. A sleeping strike. I just convinced myself that it was going to be awful. But this nifty bit of kit which in short is an innovative 3-in-1 was a little life saver!

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A ride-on suitcase, a hand-luggage item (we filled it with nappies and other such changing essentials) and an in-flight bed. The bed element cannot be used during take-off, landing and if there’s turbulence as your child must be strapped in on your lap, but I cannot emphasise enough how much it impacted positively on our first flying experience with Oscar. On the way there he slept on it for around three hours. THREE hours! In that time James and I got to eat our hot meals in undisturbed peace AND we both watched a movie (Brooklyn for me {loved it!}, Star Wars for him)  – a little slice of unexpected bliss! Never in a million years did I envision such a dream scenario.

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On the way back our flight didn’t take off until 11 pm New York time, which meant that Oscar, exhausted to the hilt – slept for a full five hours. For us that equated to another movie, (The Intern, watched and thoroughly enjoyed by us both!) a meal and a bit of sleep for James and I. While Oscar could have easily slept in our arms – the BedBox made for a much more comfortable alternative for all of us.

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2. Ergobaby Adapt Carrier

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When Oscar was tiny, and as he grew – I didn’t use a carrier or a sling. In hindsight, I don’t really understand why I decided not to even give it a go and I regret it. My reasoning was that I suffer from back problems – but the reality is that as a mum you carry your baby for hours each day regardless of those issues, and at least if you are using a sling or a carrier, you’ll be carrying your little one in the correct position.

Given that I knew we’d be doing a lot of walking during our trip to New York, I decided that now was the time to try a carrier and having heard brilliant things about the Ergobaby Adapt I was keen to give it a whirl – this was going to be a test for both Oscar and myself!

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Now I’ll admit, having never been carried like this, it took Oscar a little while to settle and get used to it, but once he did, he really loved it. When during the first day of us using it, he relaxed to the point of falling asleep in it when being carried by James (we took it in turns!) – I knew that the carrier could be deemed a success and that it was something we could use throughout our holiday and beyond, which we did and have.

The great thing about this particular carrier is that it can be used from newborn (7lbs plus) to toddlers of 45lbs. No infant insert is needed and it has three carry positions, front-inward, hip and back.

3. Mountain Buggy Nano

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Processed with VSCO with f2 presetThis lightweight travel stroller is designed to meet carry-on luggage restrictions and while it’s also just a really great buggy generally for getting about – the time when we were most grateful for it was in the airport before both legs of our journey as we were able to keep Oscar comfortable until the very last moment before getting on the plane. Likewise at the other end when alighting the aircraft, it was handy having the buggy with us to use as soon as we were in the airport. Particularly when we were in the seemingly never-ending, long customs queue on arrival in JFK.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Processed with VSCO with f2 presetThe Mountain Buggy has a two-stage fold down system that allows the Nano to become small enough for a custom-fit satchel which comes with it, which made storing the stroller during our flights, stress-free and easy.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Processed with VSCO with f2 presetDuring our trip, this buggy ferried Oscar all around New York including across the length of the Brooklyn Bridge and from Grand Central Station to Times Square. For a pavement pounding city break, this was the ultimate accessory and we wouldn’t have been without it!