Amazon Prime is a useful subscription for a lot of things, but it can be a lifesaver for families on vacation.
But there’s one way that Amazon Prime can really come through for families, both when it comes to trip preparation and even while on vacation, and that’s free, two-day shipping (in some cases, even faster).
At no time in history has shopping and delivery been quite so convenient, and it’s slowly changing how parents travel. Gone are the days when your packing list had to be checked and double-checked—or else you’d suffer the consequences of forgetting an important item.
Here, we’ve provided some suggestions for what to order online ahead of time and what’s best to send directly to your vacation destination.
5 Amazon Prime Essentials to Order Ahead of Your Next Trip
Headphones are essential to any trip, yet they’re easily forgotten. Order everyone their own pair to stave off boredom and backseat fights! For kids, we like the concept of CozyPhones for staying snug on their heads while allowing them to watch their shows quietly. Plus, the designs are just plain adorable!
2. Packing Cubes
A lot of travelers swear by packing cubes, like these ones from TravelWise, for organizing your suitcase and maximizing space, and families can really benefit by separating clothes into a different color for each family member.
3. Smart Baby Bottle
Traveling has a tendency to throw your baby’s schedule off. We liked BlueSmart mia smart bottle system that connects to an app and sends you a feeding reminder when it’s time for your little one to have the next bottle. You can keep track of how much he or she is eating—great for a family vacation when that might be harder to track than at home.
4. Inflatable Airplane Bed
Air travel can be uncomfortable for kids, but Karen Akpan, mom of four and blogger for TheMomTrotter, swears by the 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow Inflatable Footrest, which turns the space in front of an airplane seat into a comfortable bed. (We’re Prime-ing one now.)
5. Inflatable Car Seat
Before we tried out the Bubblebum inflatable car seat, we were schlepping two heavy car seats through the airport for our kids. Now we’ve swapped out our oldest son’s booster for this, and it has lightened our load significantly.
5 Amazon Prime Essentials to Order to Your Destination
1. Diapers and Wipes
This one’s a no-brainer. Maybe you ran out of your favorite diaper brand, and there’s no nearby store that carries them. Another idea: with the rising cost of luggage prices, you might even come out ahead by using Amazon Prime to ship a box of diapers to your destination for a long-term trip, over the cost of lugging them through an airport.
2. Umbrella Stroller
We have been known to talk ourselves out of bringing a stroller on vacation, only to regret it later. An umbrella stroller is a small enough purchase that you don’t need to think too hard about whether or not to buy it. Just do it—you can always donate it to a local women’s shelter after your trip.
Alyssa Royse, a mom and gym owner from Seattle, recently traveled with her husband and daughter to her daughter’s weightlifting meet in Las Vegas and ran into a challenge.
“It was a total food desert—no coffee pots in the rooms, and $6 plus tax for three coffees in the lobby after a 20-minute line,” she said.
Her solution? She hopped on Amazon and ordered a $20 coffeemaker and groceries, delivered to their hotel within a few hours. “Nutrition isn’t optional when you’re competing at that level, so groceries are actually really important to us,” Royse said. “It’s easier to Amazon Prime groceries to hotels than it is to get an Uber, drive to a store, etc.”
If you’re in a situation like Royse and quality nutrition is nowhere to be found (or an expensive cab ride away), consider setting up a Prime Pantry order and having some groceries delivered to your hotel room.
It happens all the time … you show up to your beach vacation, or the water park, and you’ve forgotten that quintessential of items: your bathing suit. And all the ones for sale in the hotel lobby are both overpriced and ill-fitting. Meet your next Prime bathing suit.
Related: 7 Best Two Piece Swimsuits for Moms
5. Raincoat or Umbrella
Cynthia J. Drake is a travel writer based in Austin, Texas, where she lives with her husband and two sons. Since becoming a mom, she’s been stranded at sea with her family, gotten lost in the Rocky Mountains, dealt with more than her fair share of public vomiting, and still can’t wait for the next trip. She writes regularly for AAA magazines, Austin American-Statesman, Texas Highways and Cruise Critic. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.