(PSSST! Be sure to forward if you know a relative or friend in need of some helpful ideas…)
You may have many gift ideas in mind that will do well staying home, but how many gifts for your child will you also be glad to take along on your next trek? Consider these travel-friendly gifts for the littlest explorers in your life.
The best holiday gifts for travelers under 5 years:
The Schylling Scuttlebug Travel-Friendly Ride-On Toy
I first discovered this travel-friendly ride-on toy while spending a 7-hour layover at Heathrow with our three young children. Where had it been all our lives as parents so far? All three wheels fold up underneath so you can stow it in your tote bag or beneath your travel stroller. The Scuttlebug weighs just over 4 lbs., has no-scratch wheels, can be used indoors and out, and folds to 4.7”H x 19.3”L x 9.1”W. Better still, it has front-wheel steering for extra maneuverability. Recommended for children 12 months up to 3 years (or 33 lbs.). Click here to see all of its in carnations, including Ladybug and Dragonfly. Available at: Amazon.com
Skip Hop Zoo Rolling Luggage For Little Kids
Let your preschooler pack his own carry on full of fun for your next flight, or watch as she rolls her own suitcase with pride on arrival at Grandma’s house. And in case she gets tired of “towing the line,” a hidden shoulder strap is stored in the back, which enables Mom or Dad to carry the bag hands free if necessary. Back at home, it carries those all-important favorite toys to the next play date. The Skip Hop Zoo collection of rolling luggage for little kids includes a menagerie with monkey, owl, and more. Recommended for ages 3+. Click here to see all of the style options. Available at: Amazon.com
Skip Hop Zoo Travel Blanket
The Skip Hop travel blanket unfolds to a generous 30″ x 40″ to keep your toddler or preschooler cozy on long flights, during wintery road trips, while snoozing in the stroller, or during a favorite TV show at home. It tucks into its own pillow pouch, which has a very useful handle you might use to attach it to your carry-on bag or stroller (a carabiner clip always works well). In its compact form, the “travel pillow” Measures 9″ x 10″ x 3″ deep. Machine washable. Click here to see all of the Zoo travel blanket choices. Available at: Amazon.com
Star Kids Snack and Play Travel Tray
Load up the side pockets of this travel tray with a fresh set of markers, a notepad, a deck of Go Fish! playing cards, a starter box of animal or Goldfish crackers, and perhaps a travel-size Doodle Pro, and you are giving a gift that will keep on giving through road trip after road trip (trust me), long flights, and even trips across town. We’ve been using our Snack and Play travel tray for nearly 10 years, and it is still with us on the long migration north each year! Available at: Amazon.com.
Melissa & Doug Trunki Rolling Kids Luggage
The Trunki is another great carry-on luggage option for little kids with one definite advantage: They can actually ride it to the gate for their next flight, down the aisle the train on your rail adventure, or down the lengthy hall of your ship on your family cruise vacation. It’s stabilized for small passengers and includes a pull strap for parents plus a shoulder carrying strap. Holds up to 75 lbs. Optional accessories such as the saddle bag and suitcase stickers help personalize the Trunki, while the new Trunki Tote helps keep items organized within the Trunki (or can be used as an additional bag). Click here to see all Trunki options and accessories. Available at: Amazon.com
Skip Hop Giraffe Safari Puppet Activity Book
Save this one for the flight! This crinkly book for babies features built-in finger puppets that can pop through holes in the pages the help punctuate your animal tale. The multi-page book includes a teething toy for added interest and a Velcro strap that lets you attach it easily to the stroller or car seat strap. Available at: Amazon.com
LeapFrog LeapPad3 Learning Tablet
The WiFi-enabled LeapFrog LeapPad3 is recommended for children 3 to 9 years and comes loaded with ten apps, utility suite, and choice of one free LeapFrog download. When using the WiFi or LeapSearch features on this tablet, kids browse only web content that has been pre-screened and approved by learning experts. Additional parental controls are included if you want to do additional fine-tuning. More than 1,000 educator-approved games, ebooks, and apps are available for this tablet to match children’s interests as they grow (separate purchase). To make it truly travel friendly, be sure to include the padded LeapFrog headphones. Available at: Amazon.com
For more gift ideas for travelers under 5 years–and their parents–click here to browse all Pack This! features and take a look at the recommended Great Products & Gear for travel with babies and young children.
Recently at Family Travel 411: Matter of Perception: Visiting the San Francisco Exploratorium
Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby guidebooks