This article about Stroller Essentials for Travel was written by baby travel expert Celine Brewer and may contain affiliate links.
Having traveled quite a bit with a baby in a stroller, I can tell you from experience that the best travel strollers tend to be smaller and lighter than your day-to-day stroller for at-home use. While the smaller size and weight are great for travel, it sometimes means that your travel stroller may be missing some of your favorite (but big and heavy) stroller accessories from your regular stroller. If there is a stroller accessory you simply can’t do without, I’ve got you covered with my list of the best stroller accessories for travel.
I’m not suggesting you get every one of these baby stroller accessories for travel – in fact, I encourage you to buy as little as possible. Simply evaluate your needs and the travel stroller accessories which work best for your lifestyle and family trip. It might be a universal rain cover that you need most or for some destinations a mosquito net will be must.
In my list of the best travel stroller accessories, you’ll find a list of the best attachments for strollers and when or why you might want them. It’s my hope that by choosing the right products for your trip, it will make your travels with baby easier and more convenient.
A universal rain cover is definitely on my list of "must have stroller accessories". I've learned through experience that a rain cover can do a lot more than just protect your baby from the rain. Rain covers are excellent for blocking wind too, so they can keep your little one toasty and warm in the travel stroller.
A universal option works for most strollers, but you can always check if your stroller brand has one specific for that stroller.
Some of the ultra-lightweight toddler travel strollers don't come with the best sun shades. While they are excellent for indoor use or for the airport, you don't want your toddler to be in the hot sun all day. Plus, you'll have the best chance to get your baby or toddler to nap on-the-go if you can provide a darker sleeping environment.
Most strollers don't come with pockets up near the stroller handles where us parents might want to keep things we want in easy reach (for example, I love to have my phone up there). This is especially true on travel strollers that are lightweight and have minimal storage.
We also want to avoid continually stopping to reach down into the storage basket under the seat for things (which become far less accessible when the seat is reclined).
Enter the stroller organizer! The best stroller organizers will have cup holders and a pocket to store some essentials. You can even find stroller organizers with two insulated cup holders - perfect for holding a coffee while out sightseeing early in the morning!
In my experience, a stroller organizer is one of the best stroller accessories available, especially for cities where you'll be walking around with the stroller a lot.
Just don't leave anything valuable in your stroller!
If your travel stroller doesn't come with a cup holder and you'd prefer not to use a full stroller organizer, you can buy a universal cup holder to hold a coffee or a water bottle. I love this universal cup holder which also has a phone holder.
A stroller bag is great for airplane travel whether you are gate checking your stroller or checking it with your luggage. The best travel stroller bag for checking your stroller with your luggage is one that will offer your stroller some protection.
If you are gate checking your stroller, a smaller gate check bag will work fine.
When traveling, I've found that regular diaper bags can be a pain to carry on your shoulder all day long and chances are that you might not be able to fit it in the bottom storage basket of your travel stroller (depending on the size). Or it might be difficult to access once your baby is asleep in the stroller with the seat fully reclined.
Secondly, once you gate check your stroller at the airport you'll need your hands free to handle your baby or toddler.
I've found that a diaper bag backpack is a much more convenient option for travel and while it isn't specifically a stroller accessory, it does make life easier whether you travel with a stroller or not.
Rather than looking around for a place to change your baby, recline the seat of your stroller and make use of this area! A baby travel change mat is easy to carry in the storage basket of your stroller for exactly this!
You can even toss a diaper change clutch like this one into the bottom of your stroller and have everything you need in one place.
Stroller hooks are great for using your stroller to carry extra bags. You put them on your stroller handles, then you can use them to hold your diaper bag when you stop at a cafe or hold shopping bags as you walk back to your hotel room.
While they aren't an absolute must for travel, stroller hooks can be convenient to have. Besides they are easy to pack and relatively inexpensive.
A stroller toy or two is worth having with you to keep your baby entertained. In this instance it's best to have a baby travel toy that you can attach to the stroller so you don't lose it. We all know how babies like to toss things out of the stroller.
A lightweight muslin cotton blanket is easy to toss in your stroller so you can keep your baby cozy. I love traveling with these cozy blankets so much as they are so versatile. I've even written a post about the many travel uses for aden and anais swaddle blankets.
If your travel stroller doesn't have a snack tray, a cup holder to hold a travel sippy cup would be useful. I'll warn you now, the sippy cup is likely to get tossed out of the stroller at least a few times!
A baby carrier for travel is an excellent stroller accessory. When I travel, I always have one with us in the bottom of the stroller. There are several reasons why you'll want to bring one as an add-on to your travel stroller:
If you gate check your stroller, you'll still have a way to carry your baby.
Some babies will sleep better in the carrier.
If you get to an attraction that isn't stroller friendly, you can put your baby in the carrier and park your stroller.
If you are traveling with a baby and a toddler, you can travel with a single stroller. Your toddler is likely to want to walk. When your toddler gets tired, you can use a toddler carrier to carry your toddler or put your baby in the carrier and let your toddler ride in the stroller.
Double Stroller Accessories
Finding the right stroller accessory for double strollers can be a little more challenging, depending on the type and size of your double travel stroller.
Celine Brewer is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's helped millions of new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade. In addition to writing on her baby travel blog, she has shared her expertise on traveling with a baby or toddler by contributing to articles about traveling with a baby with the Washington Post, USA Today, the Lonely Planet magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine.
Celine also writes about family travel on the site FamilyCanTravel.com, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site TravelBanffCanada.com.