Last Updated on March 31, 2021 by Travels with Kids
As parents ourselves, we know that it can be hard to find just the right present for a birthday, Christmas or another occasion. If you’re giving to an adventurous family, then gifts for kids who travel are a great idea. Especially when they’re practical and compact enough to be taken away with them!
This guide is here to help, by giving you some inspirational ideas about what to give as a travel gift for kids. Packed with useful and practical kids’ travel gifts, this article covers all sorts of items in various price and age ranges. Tried and tested, every gift in this list makes a fabulous present.
You can find the perfect travel gift for kids without scrolling through a seemingly endless list, because we’ve divided the products into categories – and also age ranges. Read on to find the ideal adventure gifts for kids, as well as the best travel gift for a teenager, tween, or anyone in-between. Some of these gifts would even be great for adults.
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The Top Three Gifts For Kids Who Travel
If you tend to be pushed when it comes to time, then you might well simply want to cut to the chase. So what are the very best gifts for kids who travel? At every stage – and all ages – these are our three top picks. They are suitable for kids of varying ages and varying budgets.
Travel Journal For Kids
A travel journal for kids is a great idea. Not least because it’s a great way to develop their writing skills. A kids’ travel diary can be used to record what they see and do on holiday, or they prefer to use it to write stories of their own. Collectables such as stickers could also be added to a kids’ travel journey, and they could also draw their own pictures. A travel diary for kids is a great way to unleash their individuality and creativity in a way that they’ll love!
We recommend this Lonely Planet kids’ travel journal. It encourages kids to keep lists, create a scrapbook, draw, write and add color. This backpack-friendly book has a bright, appealing color and is packed with illustrations.
As a family, we love our GoPro camera. While it’s not the cheapest kids’ travel gift around, it will last for years and does so much. You can read our full article called Using A GoPro For Travel With Kids.
We bought our GoPro a couple of years ago and it’s still in regular use. For those buying now, we’d recommend the GoPro HERO 6, which is the more recent model. It has a relatively modest price tag, yet is packed with fun and useful features.
Aerobie Pro Flying Ring
Forget all you know about frisbees – the Aerobie Pro is in a class of its own. This affordable flying ring will make you want to throw out any frisbees you already own. Lightweight, compact, and super simple to use, the Aerobie Flying Ring is a must for any vacation. It’s great for the whole family and it will amaze you with how far it can fly! It comes in a range of attractive, bright colors too.
Best Experience Gifts For Kids Who Travel
What do you give the kids who have everything? An experience, of course! We are big fans of giving children an experience they’ll never forget – instead of yet another material item. Another plus is that the whole family can often get involved.
We often use the four present model when considering gifts. This is based on giving the child something from each of these categories. Something they want, something to wear, something they need, and something to read. After those boxes are ticked, it’s the turn of the gift experience.
Any kind of experience can be included – from horse riding, a day at a theme park, or a visit to an ice cream parlor. For older kids, it could be a spa day, concert tickets, or even music lessons. A lot of giving a gift experience is in the presentation, and it’s easy to make your own ‘vouchers’ if your chosen present doesn’t come with those. Check out our post How To Pick The Best Experience Gifts For Kids.
Travel Gear Gifts
A School Or Travel Backpack
If your kids are due a new backpack for school or travel – why not give one as a gift? This can also be applied to items such as footwear or waterproofs. Why wouldn’t a cool pair of sandals or hiking boots or a stylish new rain jacket make a great gift – especially for older kids?
Again, this is a topic we’ve already covered in depth. You can find out more in Sharing The Load: The Best Kids’ Travel Backpacks.
Kids’ Carry-On Luggage
You could also gift a larger travel bag, like this Disney 21 inch soft-sided carry-on spinner suitcase by American Tourister. It comes in 6 different Disney designs and has incredible reviews. A gift like this might even last them well into adulthood.
Kids’ Travel Clothing
Clothes make a great travel gift for kids – especially when they have an upcoming trip to look forward to. Depending on where they’re headed, you could treat them to some special versions of items they would need to take anyway. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Light-up Rain Boots
How about a pair of light-up rain boots, available in 4 colors?
A Kids’ Swimsuit
A Kids’ Hat, Snood And Gloves Set
You could buy the child in your life a matching hat, snood, and gloves if they’re going somewhere cold.
Adventure Gifts For Kids
A pair of their own binoculars is a great travel gift for kids. Children are all about discovering the world around them and satisfying their natural curiosity. Kid-sized binoculars give them a helping hand, so they can see what that animal or plant in the distance really is – and examine it more closely.
This pair of binoculars for kids has it all. A high resolution and a shockproof casing for protection. They come in green, pink or blue, too. There is soft rubber around the eyes to prevent injury and a built-in safety breakaway neck strap. A wiping cloth and carry bag are included, and kids can see up to 8 times closer when using them. Water-resistance means they can also cope with rain.
A wind-up torch is a great kids’ gift idea. It helps them to see their way in the dark, so it’s very practical. This stormproof crank light offers much more besides, including a built-in radio which they’ll love to tune into. As it’s designed to withstand stormy or wet weather, it can also cope with being handled by kids. It can be charged via the crank handle or included USB cable. 1 minute of winding up will provide 10 minutes of radio or light power.
A Kids’ Snorkel Set
A kids’ snorkel set is a great idea for kids heading to tropical climes. If there’s underwater life that can be viewed from the beach, then you can guarantee that they’ll want to see it! Again, we have you covered! You can read our whole post called Diving In: The Best Snorkeling Sets for Kids.
For smaller children, a playset for pretend camping is great for getting them interested in the outdoor lifestyle. It is also good for keeping them occupied for hours! This kids’ camping set with a tent includes everything they need to play at camping – including a pop-up tent that can accommodate a couple of toddlers during the daytime. The 45-piece set also comes with a toy gas light, stove, binoculars, multi-function whistle, watch, cooking equipment, and play food, plus even a hat and carry bag.
Outdoor Adventure Kit
If they love catching bugs, an outdoor adventure kit makes the ideal gift for kids aged anywhere between 3 and 12. This children’s explorer set comes complete with a safari vest and hat so they can even look the part. As well as the dressing-up gear, the kit comes with a compass, flashlight, binoculars, bug catcher, tweezers, magnifying glass, and even insect net, pot, and badges. Owners can also access a free bug e-book.
Educational Travel Gifts For Kids To Learn
A Kids’ Globe
A kids’ globe makes a gift that’s educational as well as fun. The LeapFrog Magic Adventures Globe attracts great reviews and can keep them amused for hours as they tap on various areas, learning facts as they go. This is a good one for getting them seriously interested in the destination before setting off on any trip. An LCD screen plays videos and animated presentations, while interactive games can be played using the stylus.
Sticker Atlas of the World
How many children do you know who doesn’t love a sticker? Precisely none in our case. This is exactly why a world atlas sticker activity book is a really good gift idea. This one from National Geographic includes 8 maps and over 200 stickers. There are fun facts and activities to teach them all about the animals, flags, and landmarks of the planet.
Books About Their Travel Destination
If the family has a trip booked to a specific destination, then one or more books about that place would make the ideal gift. For example, we love to travel to Peru, so we have a dedicated post on the Best Books About Peru For Children. If they are visiting the US, for instance, then the National Parks of the USA makes a great read for kids of various ages.
Best Travel Games For Kids
When you’re traveling with kids, you need entertaining games that are compact and lightweight to carry – as well as being fun to play. Here are some of our recommendations, based on the best travel games for kids that we’ve discovered.
Kids’ Card Games
UNO is a classic, a card game that all the family can get involved in. This version comes complete with a bright and durable storage tin.
Think you need hours to play a game of Monopoly? Think again – the ever-popular board game loved the world over just got smaller. This travel version can be played by up to 5 people, and in as little as 5 to 45 minutes depending on the number of players.
A newer invention than Uno or Monopoly, Spot It is a fast-paced card game suitable for anyone ages 6 or over. Adults enjoy this game – known as Dobble in some countries – just as much as kids do.
Rat A Tat Cat
This is a great game for progressing kids’ mathematical skills as well as training their memories and improving timing. Designed for age 6 plus, this one is for 2-6 child or adult players.
Other Kids’ Travel Games
Bananagrams is a little like Scrabble, but great for on the go as it takes up so much less space. All the letter tiles are stored in the included case that looks just like a banana. This double Bananagrams game is particularly highly rated.
SmartGames IQ Twist
120 unique challenges are included with this version of SmartGames IQ. Again this is good for kids aged 6 or older, and everything packs neatly into a compact travel case. While it’s designed for single players, it can also be fun to solve the puzzles as a team.
Travel Gifts By Age
Travel Gifts For Babies
If you’re looking for travel gifts for kids aged around 1, then make sure you check out this dedicated post listing the very best travel gifts for babies. This includes items such as teething toys, activity balls, board books, and much more. Best Travel Toys For 1 Year Old is filled with all our tried and tested recommendations.
Travel Gifts For Toddlers
Why not check out our comprehensive list of toddler travel activities for use when flying? It includes a section on the best toys to buy when traveling with a toddler. Any of these could also be given as gifts. Suggestions include Lego Duplo, craft supplies, and of course stickers. For all our recommendations, check out Brilliant Toddler Plane Activities.
Travel Gifts For Tweens And Teens
This portable, waterproof, wireless speaker uses Bluetooth technology to keep owners occupied. One of the best travel gifts for teens and tweens, it has a crisp, clean sound full of bass notes – enough to impress even a dad who’s fussy about his sound systems. The Wonderboom by Ultimate Ears is fully waterproof, and can even float. Mud isn’t even a problem, as it can simply be rinsed off, making this the ideal camping gift for a teen. The battery can last for up to 10 hours too.
This PopGrip from PopSockets acts as a handgrip and stand for your tween or teen’s smartphone. It helps when carrying the phone in their hand, and can be tilted for taking selfies for Instagram, watching YouTube, or recording video clips for TikTok. This is a small gift with a very modest price tag, but it’s one they’re sure to love. A range of cool designs means it doesn’t even matter if they have one already!
If a teen that you know is likely to resist the idea of practical travel footwear, then take a look at buying a pair of Birkenstocks as a gift. This respected brand is loved by teens, and this pair is more streamlined than some of the other designs. Available in black, mocha, or tobacco, they’re sure to go well with whatever she’s wearing.
A set of 6 bandanas makes an ideal gift for teenage boys or girls alike. You can choose between packs of plain or camo colors, and there are so many ways to wear each one. Tie or loop around the head, wrist, or neck, or wear as a headband, snood, or even a hair tie. Made from moisture-wicking, breathable fabric, these soft stretch fabric bandanas offer protection from UV rays, wind, and dust. They can also help to keep biting insects at bay.
The Verdict – Gifts For Kids Who Travel: 29 Top Picks
We hope this guide provides some inspiration when choosing the ideal gifts for kids who travel. We all know someone who is tricky to buy for, but a kids’ travel gift is always a great idea where adventurous types are concerned! From a card game, book, or phone holder costing just a few dollars to a GoPro camera, Wonderboom speaker, or interactive travel globe, there is so much out there to discover. Good luck with your selection!
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