Liz Iudakhina

Liz Iudakhina

Sep 4, 2023. 5 mins read


Adventure-Approved: Must-Have Travel Toys for Kids

Whether you’re planning a last-minute Father’s Day family road trip or an ambitious overseas adventure with little ones in tow, nothing dampens the excitement faster than the dreaded high-pitched “Are we there yet?” repeated approximately 5 million times per minute.

kid go on an adventure

As parents, we've all experienced the excitement of exploring new destinations with our children, but we're also familiar with the potential moments of restlessness and boredom that can arise during long journeys. That's where the magic of well-chosen travel toys comes into play! 

We're here to spill the beans on the ultimate secret weapons that can turn those travel woes into giggles and grins. From picking sustainable toys that keep on giving, to practical travel tips, this blog is full of dos and don'ts that will make your journey as memorable as the destination itself. 

DO: Choose Versatile Toys

When it comes to packing for a family adventure, the art of selecting the right travel toys goes beyond mere entertainment – it's all about maximising the fun while minimising the space. Opting for toys that serve multiple purposes isn't just a practical choice; it's a strategic move that can make your travel experience smoother and more enjoyable. 

Whether it's a plush toy that doubles as a pillow, a “busy book” bursting with activities on every page, or puzzles that spark creativity and imagination, the magic lies in how these toys seamlessly adapt to different scenarios.

DON’T: Offer Noisy Disasters

Much like those annoying prank Father’s Day cards that won’t stop singing until destroyed, noisy toys will not make you popular with fellow travellers. Leave loud playtime companions at home, and if you intend to offer electronics like a tablet or a laptop, be a rockstar and don’t forget to pack a headset. That said, we recently travelled to the USA and Japan and bought headsets before going; however, we didn’t need to since both airlines we travelled with gave us kid headphones which surprisingly ended up outlasting the other ones. The lesson here? Double check beforehand if your airline hands them out so save $ and the planet.

DO: Pack Light

With most Australians travelling by car or air, being space-conscious is a must to avoid paying hefty fees or having to tape up the boot (please, please don’t do it). Don’t make your kids’ stuff part of the problem - pack light! In addition to choosing multi-functional play pals, if you have multiple kids, plan strategically in a way that allows them to periodically swap toys with each other throughout the trip for extra fun times (what’s stacking cups for one, is pretend tea party set for another).

DON’T: Make a Mess

No matter how much your kids love fossil digging kits or Playdoh, these are hardly appropriate as travel companions (at least until you get to the destination). Anything that’s hard to clean on the go, leaves a mess behind or has a potential to stain surfaces and others’ belongings will turn your trip into an utter nightmare, trust us on this one. 

And from the sustainable living perspective, many messy playtime items can only be used a handful of times at best, which isn’t only bad for the environment, but also means you may have to annoyingly keep restocking during the trip to keep the kids engaged. Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow! And Melissa and Doug Reusable Sticker Book were very effective at keeping our 2 and 4 year old’s contained and entertained and they still play with them at home now.

DO: Be Budget-Conscious

There’s no way around it: travelling with kids is bound to eat into your wallet. Let's talk about the unsung heroes of family travel – budget-friendly toys that can turn even the tightest of travel budgets into a playground of imagination! After all, wouldn’t you rather spend the extra cash on exciting family experiences?

The secret sauce to high quality entertainment for kids on a budget lies in the wonders of circular economy. For example, beautiful, durable secondhand toys can often be found in thrift stores, buy nothing groups or in a local toy library. Borrowing from friends is also a great and underutilised option. 

And last but not least, if you’re curious about toy swapping - there’s an App for that, too! Join us on Sassybae, our toy trading app that lets you 'swipe,' 'match,' and 'swap' kids' toys and items, all for free. Sassybae adds a delightful and hassle-free touch to the art of swapping (or even donating) toys, connecting you with like-minded individuals wherever you are.

DON’T: Overthink It Too Much

Packing for a trip can be stressful as it is, so try not to overthink your options. With the tips above in mind, you will likely just know if a certain toy you have in mind fits your travel arrangements. And if it’s a “maybe”? Well, if you’re not sure, it’s probably a “no”. Keep it simple and try not to worry excessively! On that same recent trip, our strategy was to give a small figurine or badge that they’d wear or put in a cute little unicorn container whenever they started to ‘lose it’. I was amazed at how simple this strategy was and for long this kept them happy. Little kids are simple and they love surprises so when they get things is just as important as what they get.

Armed with this treasure trove of travel toy wisdom, you're now equipped to turn any journey into a whirlwind of laughter and exploration. 

Remember, whether you're unleashing the power of multi-functional play items, getting crafty with budget-friendly wonders, or even tapping into the charm of secondhand toys, the magic lies not just in the play, but in the unforgettable memories created on the journey.

So pack those suitcases, charge those cameras, and let the good times roll as you set off on an adventure filled with joy and wonder.

Happy upcoming Father’s Day, and may the toys be ever in your favour! 

Liz Iudakhina

Liz Iudakhina

Researcher . Dietitian . Crazy cat lady . Toddler mum

When she’s not decoding the universe or negotiating with a tiny human over juice vs. water ratios, you’ll find her cuddled up with two meowing furballs. A true plate-spinning pro, she turns broccoli into superhero snacks and threads various facets of motherhood into delightful stories.

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