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If you plan to be on the go this holiday season, or if you are a family that frequently travels all year round, toys that travel well are key! My family travels as often as we can, so we are always on the hunt for great travel-friendly toys. Plus, as the kids get older, they need some great travel gear. We won’t be home this year for the holidays, so like many families, we need to find something to put under the tree that can fit in our suitcase to come home with us.
Here are a few of our favorite travel-friendly gifts for kids:
Books We Love
This cute little board book is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers who love airplanes. It’s simple and sweet, with lots of different types of aircrafts to keep your child interested.
This atlas is so fun that it’ll keep your kids attention for YEARS. It has tons of beautiful photos, interesting essays and stories, interesting facts, and of course, maps. It’s a great book to keep around to check out the destination for an upcoming trip, or remember an old one. Need to stretch your wings farther still? Check out Nat Geo Kids World Atlas
This book is absolutely stunning, with tons of beautiful and interesting photos, as well as interesting and strange stories for your child. It’s a great book to help pass on your love of travel and adventure with your child by giving them ideas to begin building their own bucket list!
We love this amazing kids activity book- it helps get your little travelers noticing, thinking, and noting all the little details, favorites things (and not-so-favorite things) about their travels. The book has space to document 4 trips, and once it’s filled, it’ll be a great lifelong reminder of their travels!
Travel-Friendly Toys We Love
Walking through the toy store, it’s the biggest, flashiest toys that catch our eye first. But the best, most played with toys are typically the simpler toys that allow free play and LOTS of creativity. Kids who travel need toys that are flexible enough to be played with a million ways, sturdy, and small enough to pack.
Plus-plus blocks are tiny, puzzle piece shaped building blocks that are great for 3 dimensional building, and the 70 pieces set is small enough to just fit inside your purse.
Tegu blocks are so heirloom quality, and so beautiful. It’s hard to resist pulling these out and building with them. They are magnetic, making them perfect for building with on the plane (no blocks rolling off the tray table and under the seat). The travel set is great because it’s small and has its own carrying case, but we love the larger set for at home for more complex builds and even cars!
We love Crankity Brainteaser for some many reasons. First, it’s great for all ages. Toddlers will love the colorful gears, and will matching up the gear to the pictures. Older kids and adults will love challenging puzzles. It’s a great toy for independent, quiet play while also learning. AND it’s small and portable.
Playsilks do not SEEM like the most exciting gift or toy. But trust us, they are! They are wonderful in their simplicity. Sarah’s silks are lightweight and airy, beautifully colored, and soft. They are perfect as a cape, a doll carrier, butterfly wings, a ‘bandage’ for an injured stuffed animal, or anything else you child can imagine. Plus, they fold up tiny and are totally travel friendly!
The free play Magnatab is fun little toy with magnetic balls that pop in or out of place for drawings, letters, and more. The grid design means you can draw perfect squares, straight lines, but you have to get create for some other shapes, which really adds to the fun!
Travel Gear We Love
Families who travel know that having great gear is a necessity to stay comfortable and organized on the road. Keep your kid travel-ready with these kid-approved necessities!
If your toddler or preschooler needs a great, functional backpack, but ALSO wants the cutest backpack out there, look no further! The Wildkin Wild Bunch Backpacks are amazing. They are top quality backpacks, with a more square design than competitors, giving them a bit more capacity and a TON more functionality, without giving anything up on fit for small bodies. And with a ton of cute animal designs, your child won’t be able to resist carrying their own things!
For nature explorers, world explorers, star students, or ALL of the above, the Osprey Hydrajet 12 is an amazing backpack with tons of features. It has comfort straps, a chest clip, padded and ventilated back panel, stretchy mesh side and front pockets for stuffing anything you need easily accessible, and a wide, main compartment making it easy for even tiny kids to access their things. Great for ages 4-12 (though my kids started using this pack at age 3), this quality backpack will LAST, and don’t be surprised if you pass it along to the next kid as well!
For long haul flights or epic road trips, an iPad can be a true lifesaver. An iPad has a long battery life, tons of educational games available, and the system is simple enough for a toddler to use independently.
And don’t forget a really good case to protect your purchase (since these things aren’t CHEAP). We’ve tested this one, and it has saved our iPads from drops (or even THROWN iPads- yikes!), getting banged around inside a backpack, and who knows what else. Plus, the handle folds down to make a stand for easier viewing on the go.
Don’t forget a great set of headphones for your tablet or phone. We love these kid-sized bluetooth headphone with a SUPER long battery life, comfortable fit, and controls on the side.
If your child is showing an interest in photography, help them create a wonderful lifelong hobby with their OWN camera!
If you toddler or younger child is ready to take some photos of his or her own, we love these first cameras. They have a soft, shockproof cover (because you know they’ll get dropped a few HUNDRED times), simple, easy to understand buttons with out TOO many confusing features, and decent (though we’ll admit not great) quality photos. You’re child will love capturing their favorite moments!
If your child needs something a with a bit more functionality, quality, and upgrade capabilities, the Olympus Tough TG-6 camera is PERFECT. It’s waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, even CRUSH proof. And that’s only the beginning- it also has a super fast F2.0 lens, shoots up to 20fps continuously, has 4X optical zoom and 8X maximum total zoom, saves in raw format, and shoots 4K videos (plus TONS of other features). And you can add on a zoom lens, or a wide angle lens in the future (or right now 🙂 ) This camera will last!
For families always on the go, a water bottle is a necessity. We love the kids Hydroflask water bottles because they keep water COLD and ice frozen all day. Plus, they are the perfect size for kids- big enough to keep them hydrated, but not so huge that they weigh a TON.
Families who travel are all about the experiences over stuff, so gift them with an amazing experience they’ll LOVE.
Subscription boxes are the perfect mix of a THING you can gift a young child (who not fully understand the concept of gifting an experience) and an experience.
Kiwi Co. makes 8 lines of crates, depending on age and interest. Their crates are for babies, all the way through age 104- or at least for adults.
My boys receive Koala Crates (for kids 2-4) every month and we LOVE them. They are really well designed, with 3 activities that can be done (almost) independently, and the result is a project they can play with and feel proud to have completed. They have a different fun theme every month, like farms, bugs, ocean, or dinosaurs. They are perfect for a rainy day!
The Little Passports boxes are SUCH a hit with kids. They have boxes for age 3 up, and depending on interest and includes travel, exploration, and science.
We get the Early Explorers box for kids 3-5 and love it! The first box comes with a little suitcase your child can decorate with stickers. Each month, they have a fun theme, like oceans, food, or dinosaurs. The activities are fun, hands-on, and have LOTS of great learning opportunities.
For kids, and families, that love spending time together, new experiences, and travel, and activity is a PERFECT gift. Here are a few ideas we LOVE:
Let us know in the comments which gifts you chose for your travel-loving child, and if it was a hit!