10 Great Items to Make Traveling with Kids More Tolerable

What to buy – for parental sanity – before you catch a flight or embark on a family road trip.

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December 12, 2018

Skip Hop Toddler Backpack

Sometimes the best way to occupy little minds is to give them a job. These tot-sized backpacks in bright colors and a variety of cute animal designs are the perfect size for little ones to pack their own favorite books and toys for the trip without going overboard. There are plenty of places you can sneak in a few extra new activities – perfect for surprising them on the plane. The best part – they can carry their own bag through the airport.

BUY IT: Amazon, $15.82

Buckle Buddy

Perfect for the kid who is 1-3 years old and just learning fine motor skills, this soft buckle buddy can keep them challenged and entertained in their car seat or on an airplane. The plush toy has a number of different colored buckles for them to buckle and unbuckle over and over again. It comes in many different colors. Added parent bonus: it’s a very quiet toy (that will hopefully keep the kids quiet too).

BUY IT: Amazon, $20


A plane ride with toddlers can be less than appealing, especially with delays. These colorful suction cups are endless building blocks that stick to the window and seat tray and don’t leave a residue! They are stackable, lightweight and don’t take up a lot of room in your carry-on bag. Plus, cleaning them once you get to your destination is a breeze to get rid of all the yucky plane germs.

BUY IT: Amazon, $24.95

BuddyPhones Play Wireless Headphones

It’s hard to fully avoid screen time on long trips (parents need the quiet too!) but a solid pair of headphones makes all the difference. These are great because they are super durable, connect through Bluetooth, and have a 14-hour battery life so no need to panic during long trips or delays. We also love that they are designed for little ears (3+) both in comfort and volume control and they fold up compactly into a carrying case. Kids will love the bright colors and stickers that they come with so they can personalize their pair.

BUY IT: Amazon, $49.99

Boogie Board

Kids love to draw, but schlepping a whole gaggle of art supplies on a trip can be unrealistic. That’s why we love the boogie board – kids can draw again and again on this lightweight LCD screen and erase with the push of a button. The stylus comes in a variety of widths and textures and the writing is super colorful. Plus, there’s no need to remember a charger.

BUY IT: Amazon, $29.40

Triangle Crayons

For the really little ones who are still better with good old-fashioned crayons, we recommend these triangle crayons for any airplane ride. It’s almost a guarantee that one will drop, and the best part of the triangle crayons is they can’t roll down the aisle! Plus, the triangle shape helps promote proper grip.

BUY IT: Amazon, $4.99


This genius product solves two travel needs – having a compact pillow for travel and an extra sweatshirt if it gets chilly (which it always does on planes). These sweatshirts turn into fluffy stuffed animals and vice versa and come in kid favorites like Minnie and Mickey Mouse, Spiderman and Minions.

BUY IT: Nordstrom, $50

Photo Puzzle Mania

Sometimes older kids need a time-consuming challenge…and a break from their tablet. Highlights magazine is a pro at creating puzzles like hidden pictures, mazes and matching games, and this particular book is full of actual photos to make it all the more visually appealing. Perfect for road trips and those moments when you just want to take a shower in peace at the hotel.

BUY IT: Amazon, $13.18

MadLibs Junior

This may be better for road trips so roaring laughter doesn’t disturb fellow flyers, but there is nothing like good old-fashioned Mad Libs. Even if your kids are too young to write, ages 4+ will love to yell out funny words (and in the junior version they can pick from a variety of prompts) with you as the scribe. It’s guaranteed a good time and good use of imagination.

BUY IT: Amazon, $5.99

Water Wow

These coloring books are great because they require nothing but a little water (so make sure to grab a water bottle for the trip). The magic pen allows little artists to paint the various pages and once they dry, they can do it again and again. The no-mess factor is key, and with a three pack of different pictures, it’ll keep them creating masterpieces over and over again.

BUY IT: Amazon, $12.74

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