Autumn is here, the kids are back to school so stock up on new school accessories. And the added bonus: these days there are plenty of school accessories that make for great travel accessories as well. Not only can you use them on holiday breaks, you can use them when you’re traveling any day of the year. Here are five accessories chosen by Traveling Mom:

school accessories, school supplies, back-to-school

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New School Accessories (Travel with Them Too!)

School’s back in session and the kids want to keep up-to-date on cool school accessories. As a parent, it’s also nice to be able to use these same items for traveling throughout the year. Discover some of the latest accessories on the market to help ease the transition as we get back to the grindstone! And with all available online, you can help minimize your travels to school drop-off or pick-up as opposed to having to head out to the store. Here are five TravelingMom picks:

The Lunchbox

school accessories, school supplies, back-to-school

Photo credit: Eden Pontz / Discovery TravelingMom

If you’ve got a child in the phase of “wanting to keep different foods from touching each other” then the YumBox bento lunchbox is a solution as good for the school cafeteria as it is for the picnic basket. Once closed, it’s touted as leak-proof (we weren’t able to get it to leak during our testing) and it comes in a variety of colors. (It’s a good feeling knowing you can avoid a mess in the car when your child’s food is all packed up.)


This lightweight box is separated into four compartments offering room for meals and snacks. Created by moms, portion control was taken into consideration in its design, which includes: two ½ cup portions, one 2 cup serving area for sandwiches or salads and a small, round section for dip or treats.

The sections provided a wake-up call for my daughter, seeing how big food portions should actually be. And I like the fact that I can let her have a little treat (like a small portion of M&M’s) in the “center circle” and not feel like I’m giving her too much junk.

In addition to being made with food-safe materials, the box is BPA free. If you’re environmentally conscious, here’s a chance to move away from multiple plastic bags used to keep food items in their place.

The interior compartment is removable for cleaning and is dishwasher safe—top rack recommended.  I like that they offer lunch recipe suggestions on the website—because who among us has not wondered what we’re going to pack our kids for meals day after day?

The Backpack

Whether at school or while on the road traveling, the backpack is often the “carry-on” bag of choice these days. But if you’re not a careful packer or you have to carry a lot of heavy books, you can end up with sore shoulders and back at day’s end.

My child is not a fan of the rolling backpack, (and she has a lot of stairs to navigate at school) so we wanted another alternative.

If your kid is not a fan of the rolling backpack, here’s another alternative to consider. AmeriBag, the makers of the Healthy Back Bag, say its special tear-shape is ergonomically designed to help reduce stress on the neck, shoulders and back.

A good backpack is an important travel and school accessory if ever there was one. In the bag we tested, the lighter, flexible materials conformed more easily to the shape of our backs. And, as my daughter tends to want to drape her backpack across one shoulder as opposed to on both,  the non-slip strap that stretches across your chest helped distribute more of its weight across her back as opposed to her shoulder. When we carried a computer  the bag distributed the weight more easily.

But let’s face it-if you carry a heavy computer, you will feel weight eventually. 

Many of the latest designs include padded pockets for tablets and electronics, multiple zippered sections and magnetic flaps. The bags are unisex and vary in price depending on size and material. There are plenty of simple colors and styles that will help ensure your child doesn’t “outgrow” (aka get sick of) them too quickly.

school accessories, school supplies, back-to-school

Photo credit: AmeriBag

The Wipe

Regardless of whether you’re camping or in a classroom,  when there’s no sink and warm water available, having a good wipe is second to none.

Billing their wipes as, “The World’s Purest Baby Wipes,” the makers behind WaterWipes say these wipes contain only two ingredients: 99.9% water and .1% grapefruit seed extract.  Grapefruit extract is considered a natural skin conditioner and safe to use on a baby’s skin.

They’re great for more than just baby. These wipes are soft, gentle and have a very subtle sweet smell. It’s hard to describe exactly–not too “grapefruity” or citrusy–but just a hint of something fresh.  I’ve started keeping them in our car, but they’d work well in your tent, or in a child’s classroom to use on hands, face or other areas that require a wipe down.

These are now a regular staple in our house. When I tried to introduce them to a neighbor with a newborn infant, they informed me they’d been using the wipes on their baby since soon after he was discharged from the hospital. They had been advised to use them after the baby’s first bout of diaper rash and they were more than happy to report that he’d had virtually non since.

Note–they are not flushable, so probably best not to store them in the bathroom. (And if you’re camping–carry them in/carry them out!)

The Charging Case

Have your children (or you?) reached your 10 thousand steps today? With today’s wearables, keeping good fitness habits  is easier than ever–whether traveling, at school or at home. But the devices need to be charged to keep recording.

Charging on the go, the myCharge PowerGear Sport wearable charging case serves multiple purposes while sporting a clean design. This small charging case protects trackers as well as the multiple interchangeable bands. While the pink edging accent is pretty, hopefully they’ll come out with additional color options to choose from.

It’s compatible with Fitbit, Apple Watch and wearables and is portable enough to keep in a purse, backpack or sports bag. Two of my friends who have them tell me how they are constantly getting complimented on the design when they take it out at the gym,  but more importantly, they both complain how they constantly forget to charge things, and the allows them to charge up their Fitbits in less than 30 minutes. (So, by the time they arrive at the gym, it’s charged in their bag.)

When you’re traveling far from home, the small case will still leave you plenty of room for the book and work you like to leave on the bedside table at your hotel.

school accessories, school supplies, back-to-school

Photo credit: Eden Pontz / Discovery TravelingMom

The Book Mark

Quiet reading at the airport while waiting for a plane is a great way to pass the time. But are your kids (or  you) constantly losing their place  because their bookmark falls out of the book?

Get to the Point Magnetic Bookmarks slip over the page you’re reading and connect to themselves through magnets on either side of the page.

They’re available in different series and varieties of bright colors (I like the neon ones) and come to a point at the end so you can actually point them to the portion of the page where you left off. It’s a simple concept, and yet every time I use one I wonder, “Why didn’t I think of this?”

My daughter is happy to get “no more teacher’s dirty looks” because she knows when she uses them she won’t need to dog-ear the book! They’re available in sets of 8 and priced well under $10.