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20 Genius Things To Keep Kids & Babies Entertained & Calm When Traveling

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Remember how boring road trips used to be? I was without a doubt one of those kids who asked "are we there yet?" every five minutes. And it's probably because ,my parents didn't stock the car with any genius things to keep kids entertained and calm when traveling. Lucky for millennial parents, times and technology have changed.

Back in the 1990s, when there weren't any tablets or DVD players, I remember my parents handing me a map to keep myself entertained during our long, painful road trips across Puerto Rico to visit family. I would use the map to keep track of all the towns we passed, which made the car ride go a lot faster. Although my roundup does include an awesome travel map, paying homage to my childhood, there are also travel toys for kids, portable sound soothers, and other gadgets to make plane and car rides more enjoyable for kids. All I can say is, I wish these gadgets were around when I was a kid.

No matter what the destination is, these travel essentials will make babies and toddlers calmer and more entertained along the journey. No more tantrums, whining, fighting, and "Are we there yet?" questions. Now, you and your baby can travel in peace–fuss free.

1. A Child-Proof Source Of Entertainment

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HDE Shock Proof iPad Case for Kids Bumper Cover, $16, Amazon

Use a kid-friendly iPad cover to avoid having your iPad scratched, smudged, or even broken. The case is made a foam material that's easy to grip and protects the tablet from finicky tots. It also allows the tablet to remain in an upright position, perfect for airplane travel.

2. Kid Size Headphones To Keep The Noise Down

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LilGadgets Connect+ Premium Volume Limited Wired Headphones, $22, Amazon

Your kids insist on watching a movie, but you can't stand to hear the noise. These headphones are sized for kids as young as two and have excellent sound quality. What I love most about them is that they have a share port, so multiple kids can tune into the in-flight movie without fighting.

3. A Kooky Rattle for Babies

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Grimm's Beads Grasper Wooden Baby Rattle Toy, $25, Amazon

Got a fussy baby in your hands? Stash this colorful rattle in your baby bag next time your little one acts up. Perfect for babies as little as three months, this rattle helps them learn the concept of grasping. Babies will love turning and shaking the balls, keeping them entertained all day long, so you can grocery shop in peace.

4. A Clip-On Stroller Friend

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Infantino Hug and Tug Musical Bug, $8, Amazon

Whether it's a day of errands or a day trip to the park, this friendly musical bug will be by your baby's side. This guy clips on to your stroller to keep fussy babies entertained. Babies will love tugging the bug to activate music sounds, and playing with its clacking rings and peek-a-boo mirror.

5. A Silly Sticker Pad

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Melissa & Doug Make-A-Face Sticker Pad, $5, Amazon

Sometimes the most fun toys aren't the ones that include batteries. This Melissa & Doug sticker pad features 20 faces and more than 250 facial features and accessories to create the kookiest of faces. They're also reusable, so the fun goes on to and from your destination.

6. A Travel Game

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Melissa & Doug Flip to Win Bingo, $17, Amazon

And Bingo was his name-o! The classic game now comes travel-size for fun on-the-go. This version has eight travel themes, including signs, towns, and vehicles. And for younger kids who don't quite understand the game, they'll just enjoy opening and closing the flaps. Perfect for the longest of road trips.

7. The Ultimate Road Trip Book

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National Geographic Ultimate U.S. Kids Road Trip Atlas, $5, Amazon

Get your kids in on the road trip fun. National Geographic's road trip atlas features maps, games, and other activities to keep the fun going during those long, boring car rides. And, they'll learn a thing or two about their country, including national landmarks and roadside attractions.

8. A Super Fun Activity Ball

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Bright Starts Clack and Slide Activity Ball, $10, Amazon

With endless activities and motions, your baby will have a ball with this activity toy. Perfect for running errands, road trips, and other types of traveling, this activity ball features rolling beads, squeakers, and clacker rings to keep your kid busy. It's also lightweight for easy carrying.

9. Mad Libs Junior Book

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Mad Libs Junior Book, $4, Amazon

As a kid, Mad Libs was the bomb dot com for all road trips. This classic word games is designed for younger kids, teaching the basics of grammar. For each story they have a list of nouns, verbs, and adjectives to choose from based on the symbol shown in the blank. The best part about this game is that parents can get in on the fun, and your kid will giggle for hours reading the crazy story you all came up with.

10. A Doodle Pad

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AquaDoodle Drawing Pad, $14, Amazon

Drawing is always a traveling pastime, but with crayons getting lost and markers staining clothes, it can also more stressful than ever. This doodle pad gets rid of that stress. Just add water to this portable pad, and your kid can draw anything they desire — it's like magic.

11. Sharpen Reading Skills & Expand Vocabulary

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VTech Touch and Teach Word Book, $17, Amazon

Let your toddler sharpen her reading skills on-the-go with this touch and teach word book. This book responds to touch and has more than 90 unique sounds and 15 melodies to help your kid expand her vocab.

12. A Mess-Free Travel Snack Container

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Ubbi Tweat Snack Container, $9, Amazon

When your kid cries of hunger during traveling, just hand them their favorite snack this adorable mess-free container. Ubbi is shaped like a bird and small enough to fit a child's hand. It comes with a soft-spilled guard to prevent from spilling, and the container wobbles, making for an enjoyable snack time experience.

13. A Rattling Toy

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Travel Activity Spiral Hanging Play Toy, $8, Amazon

This hanging play toy is perfect for car seats. Just strap it on, and your kid will have a blast tugging and playing with the rattles and stuffed animals.

14. A Trip Around The World

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Adventures Around the Globe by Lonely Planet Kids, $10, Amazon

Is your kid going abroad? Explain to your kid the destination you're heading to with this fun book on the world. Your kid will learn about the continents, plus fun facts on each country through a variety of games, puzzles, picture,s and other activities. Warning: Your kid may also get a case of the travel bug.

15. A Travel-Friendly Sippy Cup

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Zoe Kids Travel Water Bottle with Straw Sippy Cup, $15, Amazon

This sippy cup is great for long drives, running errands, and plane rides. The spout opens easily to sip from comfortably, and the cap tightly seals everything to prevent spills and leaks. The handles also allow your baby to grip it easily.

16. A Portable Sound Soother

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mybaby HoMedics SoundSpa On-The-Go, $15, Amazon

Long car rides can make event the good babies super fussy. This portable sound soother straps on to strollers, diaper bags, and more, so babies can stop fussing. With four sounds (heartbeat, white noise, ocean, and lullaby), this soother will calm even the fussiest of babies, so you can have a peaceful journey.

17. A Cozy Neck Pillow For Supporting Little Heads

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Animal Planet Kid's Neck Support Pillow, $10, Amazon

Whether it's a plane or a car ride, traveling long distance can put a strain on your neck. Enter this super adorable neck pillow. It's incredibly soft, and the giraffe doubles as a stuffed animal to keep your little one company.

18. A Classic Road Trip Game

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Melissa & Doug License Plate Game, $14, Amazon

Remember when you would shout out the license plate states on the road? This game takes it one step further. Kids will learn to identify all 50 states  through license plates. Have them flip all the plates over, turning each one as you pass by a new state.

19. A Teething Ring That's Also A Toy

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Manhattan Toy Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Activity Toy, $13, Amazon

I'm not sure if there's anything more stressful that dealing with a teething baby while traveling. This rattle and sensory teether toy puts his (and your) nerves at ease. He'll be mesmerized by the bright colors and soft rattling noise. And the gummy strands allow him to chew, putting his teething troubles at ease.

20. A Interactive Learning Tablet

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LeapFrog LeapPad Glo Kids Learning Tablet, $46, Amazon

Your toddler will have no complains running errands with you, as long as she has something to keep her entertained. This learning tablet will keep her favorite educational games, music, books, and other activities in this one device. Now, you'll never hear the words, "I'm bored" on a trip ever again.

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