The Best Travel Toys: Don’t Leave Home Without Them

Keep little hands and minds occupied on long trips with toys that are compact and easy to transport.

Little boy playing with a toy airplane on a plane

Whether you’re preparing to embark on a long-haul flight or a road trip with young children, you’re probably wondering how you’ll keep them entertained for hours on end and avoid boredom meltdowns.

As a mom who recently braved a 24-hour journey across the world with three kids under the age of four, my red-hot tip is to bring as many new toys and books as humanly possible.


Advice for traveling with babies and kids

Whenever your little ones start to get antsy, pull out a new plaything and enjoy the sound of silence as they become engrossed in it. You can even wrap each item in shiny paper and let them open their “presents.” They’ll love the process of unwrapping and playing with the paper, and you’ll get a few more minutes of peace and quiet!

While it might be tempting to buy a bunch of cheap items from the discount store, they’ll only retain your children’s attention for about four seconds and tantrums are guaranteed when they inevitably break. Instead, invest in a few high-quality items that’ll not only keep your kids occupied for long periods of time during the trip, but will also retain their interest once they get home. You’ll also feel good knowing that you’re not contributing to our disposable culture by buying products that will end up in landfills before the end of your vacation.

In this article, we’ll go over:

  • Ingredients & materials to avoid in toys
  • The best travel toys for babies
  • The best travel toys for toddlers
  • The best travel toys for kids

Scroll down to learn more!


Ingredients & materials to avoid in toys

When you don’t know what your child’s toy is made of, you can run the risk of exposing them to potentially harmful ingredients such as BPA, BPS, Phthalates, PVC, formaldehyde, lead and other heavy metals. This is particularly worrying for babies and toddlers who inevitably put these items in their mouths.

At The Tot, we make sure that every single product we use and recommend passes The Tot Safety Test. This means that we’ve reviewed its third-party testing and certifications. For a full list of Ingredients & Materials We Avoid and to learn more about The Tot Safety Test, click here.


The best travel toys for babies


Wee Gallery Activity Pad Woodland


When choosing travel toys for babies, we look for things that can clip onto car seats and strollers, are easy to clean and can offer versatility. For example, the Dena Rainbow (featured below) does double time as a teether and stacker.

We also like when there is some sort of developmental or educational benefit. Items that have high contrast black and white illustrations or sensory elements are incredibly important when helping a baby reach their developmental milestones. Scroll down to see our product picks.


Wee Gallery Woodland Activity Pad


Wee Gallery Woodland Activity Pad


PlanToys My First Phone


PlanToys My First Phone



Wee Gallery Friendly Faces In the Wild Soft Book


Wee Gallery Friendly Faces in the Wild


The Tot Stocking Stuffer Gift Set - Infant Unisex $200

Dena Large Pastel Rainbow




The best travel toys for toddlers

When it comes to travel toys for toddlers, it’s probably best to steer clear of markers. While most crayon does come off an airplane wall, it’s a bit trickier to remove the masterpiece of an overtired jet-setting toddler.

Instead, look for things like coloring boards and dustless chalk, self-contained activity sets and items that will encourage imaginative play. Scroll down to see our product picks.


Cuddoll Gus the Giraffe


Cuddoll Gus the Giraffe

Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller


Lunii My Fabulous Storyteller



The best travel toys for kids

As your child gets older, try opting for things like the Habbi Habbi books that teach Spanish and Chinese! They include an interactive reading wand (with a headphone jack!) so your child can listen along and learn a new language!

You can also experiment with crafts like play dough or an artists kit. Particularly great for when you get to where you want to go, they’ll provide a nice calming and creative experience. Scroll down to see our product picks.


Habbi Habbi Book of Careers, Volume 1 + Reading Wand - Spanish


Habbi Habbi Starter Set + Reading Wand – Spanish




Habbi Habbi Starter Set + Reading Wand – Chinese


Dough Parlour Springtime Set


Dough Parlour Springtime Set


Dough Parlour Parlour Set of 6


Dough Parlour Set



Petit Collage Superheroes Magnetic Dress Up Play Set


Petit Collage Magnetic Dress Up – Superheroes


Modern Blocks Memory Shapes Game


Modern Blocks Shapes Memory Game