The Best Travel Toys and Gadgets for Kids


Traveling with babies or kids is a big deal! We share our top travel gadgets and toys for babies, kids, and teens for a smooth trip. Keeping little ones occupied and engaged with a few mom hacks is so important.

When you are packing for travel actives, remember who you are packing for. With younger kids, I love to engage our kids give them responsibility of packing a small bag with some small toys. Teens can pack books and electronics themselves and toddlers may just want some books, snacks, and to walk a lot (if you are flying).

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My biggest advice is to pack a busy bag by myself with items that kids haven’t seen in a while. Head to Walmart, the Dollar Tree, Target, or search on Amazon to find some great ideas for mini travel toys. If you have time, be a fun mom and gift wrap the travel toys which gives the child another travel activity — opening a gift! You can wrap little things like a stamp and paper or a mini marker set. If they start to get bored, bring out a new wrapped present. This idea is more for international travel which can be 20+ hours sometimes.

Favorite travel things for babies

Ok, so babies really just want US, when they travel. We are their comfort! Babies need their personal essentials like change of clothes, diapers, wipes, snacks, sippy cup or bottle, more snacks, teething toys, etc. There is also the option to pack a foldable stroller or wear a baby carrier depending on what you think works best of you and your baby. Bringing a car seat, travel high chair, portable potty, pop-up crib, may be necessary or the destination may have supplies where you are going, so you may not have to pack everything.

Our favorite travel gadgets and toys to pack for toddlers and kids

Our favorite travel gadgets for teens

Teens likely know what would keep them happy and occupied while traveling. Our essentials are their phone, ear phones, Nintendo switch, computer, and books. Of course, a flight is a great time to play card games too!

Travel with Kids Mindset

If you are traveling with a baby or child for the first time, it’s ok (and normal!) to be nervous! I think it is so important to be in the right mindset and have flexible expectations. If we think we are going to have a bad travel experience, that will likely happen. If we talk about the trip joyfully and share your family’s personal expectations with traveling, then everyone should be on the same page. For example, we are quiet on planes (like at the library), we don’t run, we say “please” and “thank you”, etc. Of course, we will likely kindly remind our kids of our expectations, but we may be doing that at home too. For road trips, we remind our kids that we have to sit for a while and when we get out, we go to the restroom and then go outside to move our bodies a lot and have races at rest areas.

Remember, traveling is the first part of the vacation and we set the tone for how much we are enjoying it and are excited to get to the destination. Be sure to check out these amazing tips for traveling with infants and toddlers, plus tips for solo trips with a child and family road trips!

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Courtney Whittington
Courtney was born and raised in Louisiana where she met her husband (married in 2005). They have moved several times, but finally feel very settled in NW DC after moving back in 2016. She has four energetic kids: Cormac (2010), Evangeline (2013), Solomon (2016), and Antoinette (2019). She thinks motherhood is absolutely wonderful, but is constantly trying to figure out how to manage it all. She spends her days talking Star Wars, playing with legos, doing crafts, having tea parties, and chasing her toddler. Motherhood is wonderful and wild and in 2017 she banded together with other mothers to start DC Area Moms to inspire, learn, and grow together. She loves morning coffee, chocolate, chatting with people since she's an extrovert, a clean house (which is rare these days). She dislikes when her kids don't listen the first time, she abhors littering, and doesn't enjoy shopping. 


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