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Tired of toys piling up in your home? Or maybe your family has some big adventures planned in the future? It can be a fine line between making sure your kids have gifts to open and trying to cut back on the amount of stuff they have. Giving travel related gifts are the best of both worlds. Travel gifts for kids help encourage their sense of adventure while still having a present to unwrap. Check out this list with the best travel gifts for kids.
I am really big on experience gifts for my kids. I would rather create memories then have a million toys that they just end up dumping out on the floor anyways. But even I can admit there is not much excitement to being given a zoo membership card for your birthday, Christmas, or any other special occassion. Being told you are going to Disney is great, but you still want something to unwrap right?
This year, my family is focusing on getting our kids gifts that we can use in all of our adventures. I have spent countless hours researching, reading reviews, and more to figure out what to wrap up and give our kids this year. I am excited to share the best travel gifts for kids with you! But SHHHH… don’t let my kids see this list as many of the items will under the tree for them.
*This post contains affiliate links. This means I make a small amount of money when you purchase through these links, but you don’t pay anything extra.*
Best Travel Gifts For Kids -Pack It Up
One thing my oldest has loved is having his own luggage and travel gear. So this year, I am going to be getting the twins their own travel gear. From luggage to travel comfort, these are some of the items that are at the top of our list of travel gifts for kids.
*You can click any picture in this guide to shop for that item*
Now lets get exploring…
Skip Hop Rolling Travel Backpack
I absolutely adore Skip Hop products and so do my kids. For the Goof, we once bought a different brand and it honestly has not held up as well his Skip Hop rolling backpack, so I know we will be going with Skip Hop for the twins. My kids do not need full on luggage, but they love having their own bag that they can roll around so the Skip hop Rolling Travel Backpack is the perfect option. Plus…SUPER CUTE!
Skip Hop Toddler Backpack
For those longer trips where I do need a full size suitcase for my kiddos, my kids still love to have their own carry on or backpack to keep their entertainment items and snacks in. For that I love Skip Hop’s Toddler Backpack line. Again super cute, but they are also great quality. These are great because they have the convenient features of a full size backpack such as a water bottle pocket, adjustable straps, and more, but is the perfect size for toddlers or preschoolers.
Do you plan on jet setting with your little one? Or maybe you have a long road trip planned. One thing of the best travel gifts for kids is a comfy travel pillow. The Goof has been eying these cute ones by Critter Piller for a while now. Since he already is set for his luggage and backpack, this may be ending up under the tree for him this year. At under $10 (at time of this post) these are great stocking stuffer or filler gifts.
The Best Water Bottles!!!!!
I have raved on Facebook several times about the Swig Savvy Water Bottles. Seriously, these water bottles are AMAZING! They are stainless steel and vacuum sealed. They keep ice for the entire day. When we have taken ours to Disneyland we have filled them with the free ice waters in the parks, and then when we go to refill, we have to ask for water with NO ICE because the ice is still completely frozen. I also love that they have 3-4 different lids that you can order and are interchangable so you can pick the one that is best for you. My family has both the 24 oz and the 32 oz ones. Fair warning, while my 32 oz one fits fine in my van’s cup holders, it doesn’t fit in my husband’s cup holders in his sedan. So if your cup holders are smaller, you will want to go for the 24 oz option.
As a parent of twins, and even a parent of more than one child, I also love that these are available in so many awesome colors. It helps make sure everyone knows which water bottle is theirs.
Best Travel Gifts For Kids – The Great Outdoors
My family loves hiking and we are excited to get back into camping now that the twins are older. For that reason, we have several great travel gifts for kids on our list for the great outdoors. Here are just some of my favorites
Hiking Backpack/Filtration Pack
One of the biggest necessities during our hikes is a pack that can carry a hydration pack. While hydration only packs may be small enough for a child to wear on their back, we often find the straps are way to large. Our kids love to have a backpack area as well. I love the ZippyRooz hiking backpacks for little ones. They come in bright colors that kids love and includes room for snacks, a hydration pack, water bottle, and even an area to bring one of their favorite adventure buddies (stuffed animals) along if you choose. It also comes with a whistle right on the front of the straps, which is great for hiking safety.
My kids are in no way ready for a nice pair of binoculars, but they love to have some to look through. In fact, binoculars are a popular play item even at home or when we go to the park or a nature center. There are lots of kid friendly binocular options out there. The Goof has a pair from Yellowstone that we really like. The twins have each had a pair that are just cheap plastic from kids meal toys and do not adjust, so we are looking to get them each a better set. I love these ones by Kidwinz because they are drop proof. Great for my twins since they like to take something from the other one and toss it over a gate or on the ground.
If your family is spending a lot of time hiking or camping, a compass is a great gift for kids. You can use it at home too! Scavenger hunts using direction, learning about geography, and so much more. A quality, kid friendly compass is a great gift. They are fairly cheap and small so they can be used as a stocking stuffer, or a little add-on to another gift. You can find compasses at your local outdoor shop, or even many retailers in their camping section. Be sure to get one that is easy to read for kids.
A Small Tent
A few years ago, our friends gave The Goof a small tent for his birthday. It has been one of the best gifts ever! Not only do we have the option to take it on camping trips, but it is great for living room or backyard campouts to get kids used to the idea of camping. I suggest a 3 person tent if you ever plan on sharing the tent with your kiddo, but if it will solely be fore kids, a 2 person tent is plenty. They usually run around $60 for a quality 3 person tent.
The big reasoning for experiences in our family is that we are creating memories, so we want our kids to learn how to record their journey so they can go back and remember some of the smaller details and moments that happen on the vacation.
I love the idea of a travel journal for kids, especially those that are old enough to write. If you have an elementary age child, check out some of the fun travel journals you can find. There are so many different types of travel journals that you can find one for every style of journaling. My personal favorites are ones that let you record multiple vacations in one book. I don’t like a lot of extra items, so I prefer one book that can hold a few vacations instead of 5 smaller journals.
Camera or Video Camera
Of course one of the best ways to record a vacation is with pictures or video. Technology is amazing and you can find cameras or video cameras for kids of all ages. From cameras for toddlers and preschoolers to affordable waterproof cameras for older kids, you can find it all. I definitely suggest a digital camera because you can easily delete or load photos. Most cameras built for little kids are very durable, but require you to load photos to your computer, instead of having a memory card, so take this into account that you may end up needing to bring a laptop to load pictures on midtrip to clear up space for more pictures.
You will have a blast seeing what things your kids want to take pictures or video of. We have loved handing a camera to the Goof in the past, and can’t wait to see what the twins do with their own cameras.
For older kids and teens, they often want a GoPro or similar camera. While these are great, they can also be quite spendy. There are plenty of quality, more affordable options. Don’t get me wrong, GoPro‘s are definitely worth the money if they will be used often, but I do suggest starting with a more cost-effective option until you know it is something that they will want to use often. The AKASO brand comes highly recommended by several of my friends who have purchased them for their kids who wanted to capture video while skiing, snowboarding, water skiing, and more.
Best Travel Gifts For Kids – Entertainment and Electronics
If you are heading on a trip, entertainment is a must to avoid the dreaded “Are we there yet?” or the endless “He’s touching me!!!” Below are some of our favorite entertainment options, as well as some additional electronics that might be a great gift idea.
Atlas for Kids
My oldest loves maps. Give him a map and he is pretty happy. I love the idea of an Atlas with maps and other activities right inside of it for him. National Geographic has some awesome ones out. We will be picking up the Road Trip edition for our son.
Remember Mad Libs? I love these for a stocking stuffer idea that can also go on a road trip for a fun car activity. They even have Mad Libs specifically for travel.
Coloring is a great activity for the car or plane. A super simple art kit with a carrying case is a great option for kids to be entertained during long hours of sitting.
So the Goof had some money one time and went to the toy store. We tried so hard to get him to pick out toys we thought he would like. He insisted on getting one of these maze balls. It has been awesome! Nothing entertains him longer in one sitting then this maze ball. He is happy to sit for hours doing it, and for a kid with severe ADHD that is extremely unusual.
Magnetic Puzzles or Pattern Blocks
Puzzles may not seem like a smart idea for travel, but again, this is something my kids love and will keep them happy for quite a while. Plus they are great for down time in the hotel room. The trick is to pick up some magnetic puzzles or pattern blocks so that you don’t have to worry about lost pieces all over.
When the road trip gets tough, the tough break out the tablets. Sometimes a little screen time is just a sanity saver for us parents. Each of our kids has a kindle fire (well the Goof has a very old iPad) that we break out only for errands and road trips. We have them loaded with preapproved apps and such. I also love that Netflix now lets you download some shows and movies for later, so we don’t have to worry about having WiFi or data available on the road.
If you are giving your kids a tablet, there is no reason you should be stuck listening to their apps or shows. Be sure to pick up a pair of headphones for them. I prefer wireless headphones that can be paired with their device. For toddlers or young children, make sure you get headphones that limit the max volume to a safe limit so that you don’t have to worry about them damaging their ears. I like the ones below for toddlers because they are soft foam, can be twisted or dropped without breaking, and still are wireless.
The one thing we knew would be on our shopping list this year was a GizmoGadget or GizmoPal for the Goof. You see, with his ADHD, he has started having a hard time keeping with us during vacations. In fact, he got lost in Disneyland TWICE in June! And even though we had prepared him for what to do if he got lost, he was nervous and forgot my phone number. So we are getting him a Gizmo Watch device through Verizon Wireless to be able to program our numbers in, and utilize the GPS feature if ever needed. He will be excited to have a smart watch, and we will feel more relaxed knowing that he can easily get a hold of us but doesn’t have the ability to call anybody we don’t program in his watch.
The Gizmo can be purchased through a third party and then activated with Verizon. If you are not with Verizon, there are similar devices on most networks. You can find most of these devices on Amazon for the same price or cheaper than through many networks.
Find these and other travel gifts for kids on Amazon!
You can find these and other travel gifts on Amazon. I have an entire list going of travel gifts for kids that includes the gifts here and other items. You can find it by clicking here.
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!