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The Best (Tested) Travel Toys That Doesn’t Take Up Much Room For Toddlers

May 14, 2020 4 min read 2 Comments

Hello fellow parents and travelers!

Now, a question I get a lot while I’m traveling is, how do I keep a 3-year-old entertained while I’m traveling? This blog is a compilation of a few years of trial and error scenarios with several victories along the way.

I started traveling with my daughter when she was 6-weeks old. At that age, of course, she obviously didn’t need toys for entertainment. She was happy with nursing and passing out on those first few flights. Road trips were easy then too.

As she got older, there were more toys and items to keep her entertained. Road trips were, surprisingly easier, with items because she was accustomed to long periods in the car and I usually keep a fabric storage square in my car filled with a few toys and books. But when we fly, since most of the time I travel without my husband, I need to consolidate the toys on both bulk and weight.

I thought it would be fun and helpful to share my experience with you!

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Usbourne Wipe Away Books/Cards

This discovery has been game changers for me! I have always loved Usbourne books, but it took me years to buy books for my own house! When I did – it changed my house forever!

Now not only do we have toys that are both educational and easy to travel, that is also is lightweight and compact. Especially check out the “never bored” cards! They are amazing and could almost fit in your back pocket they are so compact.

Crayola Magic Travel Kit

This was my very first road trip activity I purchased for my daughter! I loved the concept that these markers weren’t going to end up on her, the car seat, windows, or her clothes. This was very helpful when we would take long road trips. It is also is a lifesaver when you are renting a house/apartment, this and washable markets as well.

The travel kit is amazing because the page clips to the board, the markers all fit back in the case and not all over the floor and under your seat and when flying this case fits easy into a backpack. When we went to Fiji (a nearly 17 hr flight for us) this and 3 other toys fit in the backpack and that is all we used for her entertainment for 3 weeks of our vacation!

Travel kit

Board Books

Board books are a saving grace for many parents with babies and toddlers, these are a safe and go-to form of entertainment for children. I love using board books for road trips and plane rides!

Window Stickers

I LOVE window or reusable stickers! These are a lifesaver for both your children and your sanity! So, I am not the biggest fan of stickers, they are tiny sticky evils that I have been peeling off walls, floors, windows, hair…everywhere. But the reusable stickers are SO much easier and the books that some of these stickers come with make it so simple to use either in the book or on windows!

Trust me parents it is a total lifesaver! Especially on those long plane rides and you need to a little break.

Toy Laptop

This is a little bit bigger of a toy but I can’t tell you how many hours my little one has spent being entertained by this little laptop. It was the one toy I ensured was ALWAYS in my car toy tote, total lifesaver. I love that it is educational and interactive for my little one.

I was recently asked if I thought it was a problem to bring a toy like this on a plane and I answered with “everyone can enjoy little toy noises rather than a screaming toddler”


I was really hesitant about getting my baby a tablet. I limit how much screen time she is allowed when we are at home and so thinking about having a mobile screen I was really tentative at first.

When I was younger with my siblings growing up, we had two old school black and white GameBoy that had to be shared between 4+ siblings on road trips that lasted for days on end. Since we had to share that limited how much time we were able to use the GameBoy. With this experience in mind I wanted to use the tablet in the same method.

So, I now only use this tablet as a traveling sound machine, and for educational games and videos on LONG hauls. Now this is a topic that maybe a sensitive subject for some parents. My own suggestion, do what is best suited for how you parent, these are just a few suggestions from what I’ve used.

There are a million of options out there for how to entertain your toddler while traveling. These are a few suggestions that have been helpful for me when I am conserving space in your luggage.

I hope these suggestions help!


The things I love the most...Wine, traveling, and photography! Join me on my adventures as I travel the world and share my experiences as I travel with my daughter, top places to visit and how to travel on a budget!

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  • thewestlainewanderer May 14, 2020 at 11:49 pm

    Awesome tips! Would have loved these as a kid. Keep up the practical content. Greetings from London.

    • Phylicia Stitzel May 15, 2020 at 5:27 am

      Thank you so much!! Yes most of these would have been great things to have as a kid when traveling but I did get to use more of my imagination without them. Greetings from Rota Spain !!

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    The Backpacker Mom

    Hey there! I'm Phylicia, but you probably know me as "The Backpacker Mom." As a passionate wine educator and travel blogger, my daughter and I embark on exciting adventures around the world, sipping wine and creating unforgettable memories together. Join us on our wonderful adventures around the globe! Read More Here

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