Keeping kids entertained is hard enough, but trying to entertain them on a trip when you’ve only got a limited amount of space to pack your kids travel toys is another thing.
So we’re here to help you come up with travel toys that are compact yet can provide hours (well that could be a bit of an exaggeration) but surely plenty of entertainment to help keep your kids occupied on their next family trip.
In this Article on Kids Travel Toys You’ll Learn About:
- Travel Toys for Babies
- Travel Toys for Toddlers and pre-Schoolers
- Travel Toys for Kids
- Travel Toys for Teens and Tweens
- Travel Packing Tips for Kids
This post by Tips 4 Trips contains affiliate links* and a featured promotional link^. This means I may receive a small commission if you click on these links, but at NO extra cost to you.
Once you have got an idea of what travel toys to buy for your kids it is not always that easy to get what you want. I know, I live in Perth and since the closure of Toy R Us (one of the biggest toy companies in the world), it is not necessarily an easy thing to be able to find the right toys at the right time. Department stores only stock a limited amount of toys that only seem to be replenished at Christmas and for their major toy sale.
What is a parent to do?
Well, recently I have discovered a new online toy store Toy Universe^. They are an Australian company that also delivers to New Zealand, USA and the UK. I recently received a couple of travel games for my son to review. Now I live in Western Australia and with past experience, some online Australian companies can take weeks to deliver to the West Coast, but not Toy Universe – I had my tween’s travel toys delivered in under a week!
So let’s check out which toys are going to suit your kids.
Travel Toys for Babies
Best toys for road trips with babies
As babies are secure in their rear car seat it may be a little difficult to reach your baby during a long drive. Therefore have toys hanging from roof handles above or secured with toy link chain* to the car seat so that the toys cannot drop to the floor.
Toys for car journeys such as the following will work well.
Best toys for aeroplane travel with babies
When you are flying with your baby you are able to sit next to your child or even have your babysit on your lap for the duration of the flight. This allows for more one-on-one time with you being able to read or show how a travel toy works (possibly to the point of ad nauseam, but your baby will be delighted 🙂 )
Babies love toys that they can press buttons to make noise or light up and they just enjoy feeling the different textures of the small toys*.
Travel Toys for Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers
As toddlers and pre-schoolers are now much more active than a baby you will want travel toys that can not only be fun during the car ride or plane trip but also be fun to use at your accommodation.
Children are seated in the back of the car or now have their own seat on a plane. To ensure all those toys are readily available you may like to get each of your children their own special kid’s hand luggage* or a back seat organiser* for the car.
Toddler road trip toys
As you probably are not sitting next to your toddler during the family road trip you need to choose toys and activities that your toddler can do on their own and preferably with parts that won’t fall on the floor too much. You may find it really useful to invest in a lap desk so that kids can work on activity books on a solid surface as opposed to resting the book on their lap. I particularly like this style of lap table* as there are a couple of pockets to put coloured pencils and small items without your road trip toys rolling away.
Here are a few fun activity books and toys*:
Toddler travel toys for airplane
Most of the travel toys for toddlers mentioned above will work just as well for flying but you could possibly add in a couple that has some small pieces like Duplo*. You may not want to build during the travel journey but the Duplo cars and figurines can make a fun imaginative play until you get to your accommodation.
Don’t forget to add in some colouring pads and crayons. I like crayons as they don’t tend to leave a permanent mark on walls or furniture; this means less stress for you on holiday.
Imaginative Toddler Travel Toys
Once you have reached your destination include a few toys that your toddler can do some imaginative play and/or construction play. They may possibly like to play with some cars*, small dolls* or animal figures* – some sets even come with great carry cases.
Again I find Duplo is great for this, it is a great two-in-one game – construction or just imaginative. You can even find something specific for boys, girls or that both would like.
Toddler Swimming Toys and Safety
One thing I have learned the hard way is that inflatable toys and swimming accessories are expensive to buy when you are overseas. They can be up to nearly three times as much as they cost to buy here in Australia. If a pool or the beach is part of your family trip save some money by buying before you go.
You may also like to include some simple sand play items that come in a drawstring bag, easy to take down to the beach and not bring the beach sand back with you.
Travel Toys for Kids
A lot of preparing for travel with kids at this age is finding activities for them to do whilst sitting down. Sitting in the car. Sitting on a plane. Sitting at restaurants. Many kids don’t like to sit still so these are the perfect opportunities for colouring and activity books. Many you can buy super cheap from your local supermarket or department store. If you would like a book-themed around your destination*, there are individual country travel guides and journeys.
And of course, you will need some colouring in pencils or markers. Try to choose something that is washable.
Kids are also starting to get much more creative with their Lego building, and after the recent showing of Lego Masters on TV kids are now really inspired to make their own creations. If you are planning to take Lego I really like the sets that come with a plastic case or create your own. There are dividers so that you can categorise your blocks by size or colour and the case is very secure so you won’t find Lego strewn all through your luggage.
Swimming Fun for Kids
If a pool or the beach is part of your family trip don’t forget to pack some inflatables. As I mentioned before purchasing inflatables on holiday can be very expensive.
Even if your child can now swim we have found that an inflatable ring is always a hit for relaxing around the pool or speeding up your downward trip on a water slide. An inflatable ball makes a great way to make new friends by offering a game of catch in the pool.
Top Trip Tip: Keep your travel toy set separate from the rest of your children’s toys. Even though you may like to buy one new special travel toy each trip, you can save money by keeping these toys special for just when you travel.
Travel Toys for Teens and Tweens
Just because your kids have gotten older doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be entertained and if you want any chance of them getting their heads out of that iPad then some fun and entertaining games and activities are the way to go.
Board and Card Games
Apart from taking a standard deck of cards, try some other fun card games like Uno, SkipBo or Phase 10*.
Traditional board games can be bulky but some classics like Monopoly, Clue, Battleship and Connect Four have been made into Grab and Go versions*, all the same standard games but with smaller boards and mini cards.
Beach and Pool Items for Teens and Tweens
Just because your big kids can swim doesn’t mean you can forget about the pool toys. Seriously who doesn’t love lolling about on an inflatable?
Or playing catch in the pool with an inflatable ball or beach volleyball, the whole family can join in.
Top Trip Tip: To get your kids away from electronic toys, set boundaries. Or you could always try leaving them home altogether – the iPad, not the kids
Travel Packing for Kids
Finally whatever the age of your child don’t forget to pack reading books and a snuggle friend.
For more ideas on travel packing for kids check out:
- 3 Essentials to pack for travel with kids
- Packing list for babies and toddlers with printable
- Packing list for tweens with printable
- Travel gifts for kids
To complete your family travel packing check out the ultimate travel packing guide – it comes with a free printable to download.
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- We were gifted with Monopoly Grab & Go, Blokus, Skip-Bo and Laser Maze from Toy Universe to review
- As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases