When you’re a parent, it can be tough to find time to get away, even on a quick vacation. And when you do finally manage to take your family on an adventure, you want to make sure your children are safe and have what they need.
A good baby monitor is absolutely essential for peace of mind. As a dad who’s taken babies on more than one vacation, I believe in getting the right portable baby monitor. In this article, I’ll take you through our top picks for the best travel baby monitors and offer some advice on how to choose the best travel baby monitors for you.
Travel Baby Monitors: My Top Picks
ANMEATE Video Travel Baby Monitor with Digital Camera
Thanks to new advances in technology, feature-packed baby monitors can be found for surprisingly low prices. This one is a compact audio and video baby monitor with a transmission range of 960 feet. This digital monitor connects with 2.4 GHz FHSS technology, so you don’t have to worry about security concerns that happen with wifi-connected monitors.
This monitor has a lithium-ion battery that lasts eight hours in eco-mode, so it isn’t quite as long-lasting as some on the list. You do get two-way talk connectivity, and you can remotely pan or tilt the camera as needed. If desired, you can also mount this monitor to a tabletop or wall.
This monitor tends to be reviewed well, and lots of parents have said that they appreciate the clear night mode. However, some reviewers have said that the battery life is unpredictable, and many prefer to just leave it plugged in.
- The two-way talk feature includes recorded lullabies you can play for your baby
- Alarm/timer setting lets you set alarms for yourself for feeding, changing, etc.
- 360-degree pan and 60-degree tilt make it easier to see your baby
- A night vision camera offers a clear picture, even in dark rooms
- This is a very affordable monitor at just under $50
- Two-way talk and recorded, playable lullabies are a plus
- Especially for the price, the night vision is very clear
- It’s a very compact unit, so it’s great for travel
- Some buyers have noted that the signal cuts in and out
- The battery life is not as good as some units on this list
Infant Optics DXR-8 Travel Video Baby Monitor
If you’re looking for the best long-range baby monitor without wifi, you might think that anything you find will be too expensive. However, this camera manages to be affordable while still having plenty of features.
Thanks to its rechargeable lithium battery, it has an 8-hour battery life with a live screen and a 12-hour battery life in audio-only mode. One especially notable feature is that it works with a secure transmitter — since it needs no internet to work, others can’t access your feed.
You can also choose between two lenses (a wide-angle and a zoom lens), and you can remotely pan, tilt, and zoom the monitor to check in on your baby. And lastly, a sound-activated LED bar alerts you if your baby makes a sound. With a 700ft transmission range, it will work in most houses.
Of all the baby monitors I’ve reviewed, this is one of the ones that customers seem to love the most. Plenty of buyers praised its sound and picture clarity, and lots of parents appreciated the lack of wifi connectivity.
- Interchangeable lenses let you choose between wide-angle and zoomed-in views
- Night vision capability lets you see clearly even in the dark
- A long-lasting lithium rechargeable battery is an economical and reliable choice
- You can remotely move the camera to ensure you get a clear view when needed
- Secure feed means you won’t risk other people being able to catch your baby or your home
- It’s fairly affordable given the features
- The long-lasting battery is rechargeable, and the monitor comes with an extra
- An adjustable view is ideal for parents
- Extra security protects your baby’s safety
- One recharge can go for one year
- It may be too pricey for some buyers
- Some buyers have said it quickly loses its ability to hold a charge
eufy Travel Video Baby Monitor with Camera and Audio
Often, portable baby monitor options have sub-par displays. However, this one from eufy Security has a 5-inch, 720p display that lets you clearly see your baby, day or night. An included lens upgrade allows you to pan 300 degrees and tilt 110 degrees. This can help you see your baby more clearly once they start moving around more.
In terms of battery life, this monitor is pretty standard — you get eight hours of battery life when it’s in use, and 15 hours in default sleep mode. Like most on the list, this one has night vision, two-way talk, and sound alerts. You also get playable lullabies and a temperature monitor — useful features that you don’t always see with a portable monitor.
This monitor is fairly well-reviewed, but some buyers have said that there are issues with both the camera and audio freezing up. However, lots of buyers like the larger screen size.
- A large display with a clear picture lets you keep a close eye on your baby
- The transmitter range works up to 1000 feet
- Secure transmission requires no Wi-Fi or app use
- You get a fairly long battery life given the display size
- Two-way talk and playable lullabies make it easy to communicate with your baby
- The larger screen size makes it easy to check in on your baby at any time
- You get a decently long battery life considering the screen size
- The night vision capability is better than many monitors on the list
- Some buyers have reported issues with the monitor freezing up
- This is a bit more expensive than many of the monitors on the list
Summer Baby Pixel Cadet Travel Video Baby Monitor
Finding the right portable baby camera for the right price can be tough. This one falls about in the middle of the list when it comes to price, and it has plenty of features that make it a worthwhile buy.
With a range of up to 1,000 feet, it outperforms many on the list, and you get a 3.4-inch display with a 3-level zoom. This one also offers white noise, lullabies for your baby, and two-way talk. Plus, three-level zoom lets you get a closer look when you need to.
It also features a battery-saving noise-activated display, so the monitor screen will wake up when your baby cries. Remote camera steering lets you pan and tilt as needed, and with the special SleepZone virtual boundary, you can set up the camera to send an alert if your baby or toddler moves out of their safe space.
This monitor has generally been positively reviewed, and many buyers focus on the picture clarity. However, some buyers don’t like that the monitor defaults to the noise-activated display mode when it is battery-operated instead of plugged in.
- Lullabies, two-way talk, and white noise help you soothe your baby
- Three-level zoom and remote camera control make it easy to adjust your view as needed
- Can be operated with AAA batteries or when plugged in
- Can be used with up to four cameras
- The mid-sized display is great for portability and offers a clear view
- Excellent night vision and remote camera panning make it easy to keep an eye on your baby
- It doesn’t rely on wifi, so no need to worry about someone hacking in
- It offers high-end features at a fairly affordable price point
- Some buyers have complained that the display is extremely bright
- You can’t operate it with the display continually on unless the monitor is plugged in
Babysense Travel Baby Monitor
This monitor is from Babysense, one of the more well-known baby monitor brands out there. You get a 3.5-inch display, and if you want to optimize your view, you can also purchase a lens expansion pack that adds a zoom lens and wide-angle lens. Without these lenses, you can still manually pan and tilt the camera.
This monitor is powered by an included lithium-ion battery, although the manufacturer doesn’t specify the expected battery life. You do have the option of running the unit in eco mode, which helps extend battery life. The unit has a range of up to 960 feet, and like most on the list, it operates securely without wifi. You also have two-way talk capability and can play white noise or lullabies.
This monitor has received fairly good reviews, but some buyers have complained of poor battery life. Some have said that even small sounds (like that of a bug hitting the window) will trigger the monitor when in eco mode.
- A clear, high-definition screen with night vision lets you keep a close eye on your baby
- The camera comes with 2X digital zoom, and purchasing the optional lens expansion pack gives you increased zoom options
- Clear two-way sound lets you listen and talk to your baby at any time
- A manual pan lets you adjust your field of vision as needed
- Even though it has a number of essential features, this is one of the more affordable monitors
- Clear display works well during the day or night
- Temperature alerts and two-way talk help you ensure your baby’s comfort
- Long-range means this unit will work in most areas of your home and outside
- For many buyers, battery life seems to be an issue
- This monitor does not come with wide-angle or zoom lenses
Motorola Travel Baby Monitor
You may know Motorola as a phone company, but they do a good job making monitors, too. This option has a 5-inch LCD display, and the monitor can be used to remotely zoom, tilt, and pan. You can use the two-way talk feature or lullaby feature to reassure your baby as needed, and the camera can transmit up to 1000 feet.
This is a slightly expensive unit, but it does have a split-screen capability. However, in this mode, the unit only handles audio from one camera.
Many buyers have said that this unit is an excellent value. However, some have had audio issues when using it in split-screen mode.
- The five-inch display lets you get a large, clear picture
- Remote camera zoom, tilt, and pan lets you keep an eye on your baby without interrupting their sleep
- Two-way talk and lullabies let you communicate with your baby
- Long-range adds convenience
- Excellent video quality, even with night vision
- You get a longer transmission range than with many monitors
- The secure, wifi-free transmission keeps your home secure
- It can be used with multiple cameras are needed
- Some units seem to have audio issues in split-screen mode
- This unit may be too expensive for some buyers
GoodBaby Travel Baby Monitor
Finding the best cheap baby monitor for travel can be a challenge — after all, most of the feature-packed monitors on the list are more expensive. However, this relatively affordable monitor comes from a reputable brand and has many of the features that parents find essential.
You get a 3.5-inch display, and the detailed infrared night vision lets you see every detail of your baby’s face, even in a dark room.
Like some of the more expensive monitors on the list, this one also has two-way talk and comes with lullabies you can play for your baby. It also comes with a remote display of the room temperature, letting you make sure your baby is comfortable.
Plus, you can add up to four cameras, all of which can work within 960 feet of the monitor. In eco mode, the battery can work an impressive 12 hours, too.
This is also one of the best-reviewed monitors on the list. Most reviewers praise this camera’s clarity and reliability, and almost every review I found mentioned the excellent quality you get for the price.
- The secure, off-wifi transmission keeps you safe from hackers
- The display screen is bright and clear, even in night-vision mode
- The battery life is excellent, especially considering the low price
- The camera can pan 355 degrees and tilt 90 degrees
- The display size is large enough to be clear but small enough to be portable
- Extra-clear infrared night vision helps you see
- Very affordable price, especially for Many features are you usually see on much more expensive cameras
- Some buyers have experienced connectivity issues, even within a range
- In some cases, buyers have said that the camera picture degraded after a few weeks of use
Factors to Consider
Now that I’ve gone through some of my top picks, let’s look at some of the things to look for when buying a baby monitor for travel.
We all love a bigger screen – after all, it makes it easier to keep an eye on your baby.
However, bigger screens can drain your battery more quickly, which might be an issue if you’d rather not plug in your monitor all the time.
For a portable monitor, I think a mid-sized screen of about three inches is usually enough.
What About WiFi?
Wi-Fi is a useful tool, but it can be easily hacked. This is especially true when you travel and don’t control the wifi networks you use. As a result, many people look for baby monitors that don’t require wifi. Luckily, most modern units use secure digital transmissions that are nearly impossible to hack.
If you have more than one child, you might want to make sure you can use a baby monitor for more than one room. Luckily, many modern monitors can be paired with two (or even more) cameras.
However, it’s a good idea to check out how well the monitor handles split-screen mode. Certain models can display two screens at once, while others will cycle between the two.
With a portable monitor, battery life is often a concern. When traveling, you don’t always know the outlet configuration where you’re going, so you may not be sure whether or not you’ll be able to the plugin. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to look for a monitor with a longer cord, too.
Couldn’t I just use my monitor from home?
This is certainly an option. However, a lot of parents choose to invest more in a home baby monitoring system. These systems can be difficult to remove and transport, especially if cameras have already been mounted to walls and tabletops. It’s often easier to also invest in a smaller, affordable system for travel if you leave home frequently.
Are ranges accurate?
It’s important to know that the transmission range estimate usually just accounts for open space. Walls can sometimes interfere with transmitters and shorten the effective transmission range. That said, most monitors work within a home or if you’re outside but fairly close to the house.
Does expensive always mean better?
Not necessarily. Of course, it’s true that more expensive models often have more features than very inexpensive models, but plenty of mid-priced monitors actually outperform more expensive ones in some areas. In many cases, more expensive models simply have a larger screen. While these screens can be nice to have, they tend to drastically shorten battery life.
Making the Decision
I think you can’t really go wrong with any of the options on the list. However, my top pick is the GoodBaby baby monitor. This one manages to be incredibly affordable, and it still has many of the features you see on more expensive models.
With affordable options, one of the main concerns is poor battery life (as indicated in the many travel baby monitor reviews I’ve read), but the GoodBaby monitor actually outperforms some of the more expensive models in that regard. Whichever you choose, I’m sure you’ll pick the best choice for you and your baby.