best vacation toys: what toys to pack on your trip

The Best Vacation Toys: What Toys to Bring on Your Trip

The Best Vacation Toys: What Toys to Bring on Your Trip

When you are about to go on vacation packing for all the family can feel like a military operation- packing for every possible eventuality. With little ones in tow this can add a lot to your packing list with not only clothes but everything else traveling with little ones entails.

Thinking about which toys to bring can get forgotten along the endless lists and other necessities.

Bringing toys on vacation is important more for the parents then it is for the little ones. Having toys with you on the plane, in the hotel room and on a beach vacation are a must for happy and entertained toddlers so the parents get to enjoy the holiday too.

 I have curated some of the perfect toys to bring with you when you go away, whether it's toys to fit into your diaper bag or card games for the family to play- read on for more!

Best Vacation Toys For The Long Haul Flight

If you are going on longer plane rides or road trips packing some toys in your carry on bag can help to keep kids entertained and happy for the journey or if you are stuck at the airport. Small toys that are easily portable are the best travel toys to bring. Here is a list of some of our favorite toddler toys to pack in your bag.

Travel toys from So Handmade. These are the perfect toy for traveling. Lightweight, and durable these play mats help promote hand eye coordination, cognitive development and imaginative play.

Great toys for younger kids and can be easily used on your lap, on the plane tray table or in the hotel room on vacation. We have lots of different play mats whether your child loves trains, cars or even dinosaurs!

travel toys for kids
  1. Toy Car Storage 
  2. Toy Car Play Mat and Pouch
  3. Car Play mat
  4. Crayon Roll
  5. Adventure Field Notes Book Cover

More Toys For Your Holiday:

vacation toys
  1. Water Wow Books: My little kids also loves these water books from Melissa and Doug. Just fill the pen with water and the paint the pages! Great for some mess free fun!

  2. A doodle tablet is a handy toy for older toddlers. You can draw and playing games on his analog tablet for some screen free fun. Draw a maze for your little one to escape or simple shapes for them to copy.

  3. I also love the Eye Spy Books for spending a long time looking at each page!

  4. A Fidget Toy is a fun travel toy to keep little hands busy. Kids love playing with a fidget toy, they come in lots of different shapes and sizes and are usually small to easily fit into your travel bag 

  5. Adding to this list, a busy board is highly recommended as a travel toy for younger kids. Its travel-friendly design and multiple activities make it an excellent choice for keeping children engaged during flights or long journeys. These busy boards can have a variety of different buckets, fastenings and straps to help fine motor skills.  

The Best Vacation Toys

If you have any of the travel toys I recommended above you are off to a great start.

Having some other activities packed and ready for some down time at the hotel, or a family game everyone can play is great idea. You never know when you might get a rainy day, delays in your travel plans or you just want to relax in your hotel room after busy excursions or a day at the beach.

Including card games in your pouch of travel toys is a fantastic way to ensure entertainment during these times, as they are perfect for a family game night or a quiet evening at the hotel.

Here are a few things that can easily be packed in your main luggage for these eventualities and even taken to the restaurant with you.

vacation toys for kids
  1. Travel Coloring Book This is also great for the journey, including lots of fun coloring and activities around a travel theme
  2. Find and seek sticker books These Melissa and Doug sticker books are super fun and will pass the time quickly

  3. Plane Busy Book. This activity book is super fun as it comes with a pull back plane that travels all over the pages. There is also a pull back cars version my kids loved too. 

Don’t forgot to pack any other toys your might need for example:

    4. Beach Toys. Pack beach toys in a string bag to easily shake the sand off after use. Beach toys often come in sets that all fit inside each other making them stack better for packing like this set which includes a collapsible bucket and a string carrying bag

    5. Pool Toys. My kids loved these diving toys


Which Family Games to Bring On Vacation

family games to bring on vacation

Here are some of my family's favorites when we go on a vacation.

1) Sushi Go Party: This is a really fun card game for the whole family and great for older kids

2) Yahtzee: This is a classic game which my family has been playing consistently for years! Great for all ages

3) Bananagrams: We also love this great game, it's great as an introduction to spelling for younger children and also fun for the adults to play once the kids have gone to bed.

4) Pack of playing cards- teaching you kids you old favorites is really fun! 


The Best Toys to Bring on a Cruise

toys to bring on a cruise

On a cruise like the other toys I have listed you will always need some recuperation time after a busy day of activities. It's super fun to bring some specific boat themed activities for kids to do on a cruise like these:

1) Usborne See Inside Ships was one of my kids favorites. This busy book has lots of fun pop ups and information 

2) River Travel Play Mat from So Handmade is a great toy to bring on a cruise as it has a wooden boat that the little guy can steer around the river.

3) Map Activity Book. As you are on a journey on a cruise teach your kids about maps and this is a great activity book to start. I love having your kids map out your journey whilst on a cruise. Bring a map and stick it up in your cabin to record your route and the places you visit. 

4) Downloadable Cruise Activity Sheets from Art 2 The Extreme has some  great fun activities to do on your trip including a scavenger hunt bingo, coloring pages, word searches and mazes. 


What Toys to Take on Holiday for Younger Kids?

When you go on a family vacation with younger children it's important to try and stick to a routine similar to the one you have at home. This can prevent over tiredness and irritability which can already be in effect after the long journey and potential jet lag.

To help with this remember to pack a favorite stuffy from home and also a favorite story book from home to ease into bedtime and nap time with the comforts from home. You can also bring a favorite bath toy if having a bath is one of their nightly routines.

Traveling with a white noise machine also saved us a number of times finding yourself in a noisier environment it helped to block out distracting sounds at bedtime. We love this Dohm white noise machine


Do you Bring Toys on Vacation?

This is completely up to you but my experience having a few toys in your arsenal certainly can help have a smooth and less stressful holiday. A mix of old favorites from home and new ones are a good idea.

The old favorites are good to bring a sense of familiarity and comfort in a strange and new environment and new toys can help create an excitement and thrill for this new adventure.


Educational Toys: Development of Fine Motor Skills and more

When thinking about what toys to pack you can also think about which toys might stimulate their development. Pack toys to promote hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, pincer grasp and sensory toys to stimulate their senses. Like this Alphabet Play Mat or this train play mat

Don't forget to pack your perfect travel toys as they can provide hours of entertainment on long road trip. They provide restaurant activity as well as being a game changer for parents of busy toddlers. I have this travel gift set too! 

Shop So Handmade before your next trip!

If you liked this blog be sure to check out these ones too: 

toddler travel tips

road trip toys


Shop the story

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.

View our privacy policy

Traveling With Toddlers

So handmade range of travel toys are ideal companions for your travels, dining outings, or visits to Grandma's house.

Active toddlers and preschoolers often have abundant energy to expend while waiting at restaurants, during flights, or car rides. Being on the move shouldn't hinder their enjoyment of imaginative play!

The idea is straightforward: provide children with tangible toys suitable for play anywhere, ensuring they're portable and easy to manage.

Offering handmade toys as an option empowers kids to unleash their creativity, filling in colors and sounds against the canvas of a simple roadmap.