You probably know the feeling… There is a birthday coming up, it’s almost Christmas or there is a special occasion. Time to look for a present! And responsible as we are, we want to look for something useful or educational. But let’s be honest with ourselves, we also want the kid to be thrilled with their gift. So we’ve made a list of our favourite travel gifts for kids to give you some inspiration.
A lot of us travel anyway, so why don’t we just buy something for the kids they can use during our travels? Both useful and fun, with happy parents because they needed it anyway!
The kind of gift will depend of course on the type of travel. Families that are travelling for a long time want to travel light. If you are heading to the campground with your own car, there might just fit a bit more in the trunk. In our article about van life essentials, you can find some fun gifts for kids as well.
But in the end, they all have to be small, light and be an asset to the travels instead of holding you back. The products we mention are items we use during our travels or stuff we heard really good things about. Let’s discover our top choices for the best travel gifts for kids!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you buy something through one of the links, we get a small commission without any extra cost for you.
Luggage – Organisers
Kids always like to have their own backpack, even if they are very small. Our girls never went anywhere without their own backpack, filled with stuffed animals, a few toys, a water bottle and some other things. It is one of the best travel gifts for kids. Our top choices are:
Skip Hop Toddler Backpack: Toddlers will love this backpack. They come in all kinds of animals, such a unicorn, dragon, dog, butterfly, fox, zebra, … For really small kids, they even have a front clip that secures the two shoulder straps and a leash for parents who want to use that in crowded places.
Check all the Skip Hop Toddler Backpacks or click the picture for this cute unicorn
Osprey Jet 18 Kid’s Hiking Backpack: We use an Osprey daypack for ourselves and they have some great kids’ daypacks too, such as this Jet 18. With different compartments and a front clip with an emergency whistle, they are the ideal daypack for little adventurers until the age of 10. They have a great backpack for every age, so check the complete range of Osprey.
Check all kids’ daypacks by Osprey or click the picture for our choice
The longer the kids want to handle their own suitcase the better for the parents. So we better buy them an attractive one. We found some amazing suitcases for kids, we wish our kids would have had!
Trunki Ride-on and Carry-on Suitcase: Isn’t this just the perfect suitcase for small kids? No more whining they want to sit down. They have their own seat with them! It doesn’t hold a lot, but is ideal for young travellers! They come in 8 colours and different animals.
Heys America Travel Tots Kids 2pc: Now how cool is this set for your kid? This sturdy suitcase will survive everything and the matching backpack can be taken for your daily walks. They come in all kind of designs such as a panda, owl, unicorn, …
Organisers – Accessoires
OK, maybe this gift is one we actually want for ourselves. But you’ll love your packing cubes and other organisers when you’re travelling! And if we buy them in an attractive colour or print, our kids will love them too ?. We use them all the time! They’ve made our lives so much simpler! No more messy suitcases or backpacks and you will save lots of time when packing or unpacking!
my FL Luggage Organisers Packing Cubes Set: my FL has some amazing sets of packing cubes for kids. Each set has 8 different pieces and they come in different designs such as whales, flamingo’s, polar bears, … No more messy suitcases!
Kids’ Luggage ID Tags: Our girls, Yuna and Hanne, love their own luggage ID tag. It makes them feel grown-up and makes sure everybody knows which suitcase or backpack is theirs. There are so many different kinds out there, so just check which ones are the favourite for your kids.
For Travel Days
Those travel days… Hours of waiting, being on the plane, sitting in the car, … Whiny kids, tired parents, … There are lots of ways to make it more pleasant for everybody. Toys and distraction are one of course, but we’ll speak about those products later on. Luckily there are also a few gadgets that make the perfect travel gift for kids, that will distract them or make life a bit easier.
Travel eye mask: Do I need to tell you how happy our kids were when they got these eye masks? And yes, their girls so unicorns were a big hit of course! But they have lots of cool ones for boys too! The perfect small gift for travelling kids!
BCOZZY Kids’ neck pillow: No more bobbing heads while the kids sleep in the plane, train or car. This BCozzy neck pillow supports the neck, head and chin!
Passport Cover: The moment you arrive at passport control and you need to find out which passport belongs to whom… Recognizable? With these cute passport covers, you don’t only protect them but you also can identify really easy each passport. Choose between hundreds of designs and there are even personalised ones!
Kids and their toys… You can’t leave without them! But especially when you travel far or for long, they’ll have to be light and small. Buying or taking the right toys can make so much difference! A holiday will be much nicer when the kids play for hours in the car, at the dining table, in the garden, … And they make great travel gifts for kids! Something every child likes to get!
Our girls play for hours with their card and board games. It’s also a fun activity to do as a family! A good tip when travelling is taking the games out of their original boxes and put them in small bags. They will fit way more easily in your suitcase or backpack.
Card Games: The absolute favourite games of our family are card games. They are easy to take along during our travels, you can have hours of fun with the whole family and there are just so many great card games out there! Our favourites have been the all-time classic Uno, Skip-Bo (we got to know this one in Australie, from the makers of Uno), Monopoly Deal and Exploding Kittens.
Check out other great card games or click on the pictures below for our favourite ones
Board Games: Another hit during our travels, but the downside is a lot of board games are too big to take along. Therefore, one of our favourites is Yahtzee. You don’t need much for hours of fun. Other games we love are Top Trumps (a great educational game), Family Talk (creates hilarious family conversations) and Simon Micro.
Check out more great board games or click on the pictures below for our favourite ones _
Single Player Games: Sometimes the kids just need to play alone, because mum and dad are busy or their sister/brother doesn’t want to play with them. And then the single player games come in handy! Our girls really love those! There are Thinkfun games, Smartgames and also some kind of magnetic games.
Hot Wheels Cars: I know, we have girls. But Hanne, our youngest one, played with cars since she was a toddler and still loves them! And they are perfect for travel!
Find other sets of Hot Wheels or click the picture for our choice
Lego building blocks and sets: Another unusual travel gift for kids, I know, but this is the one thing they play most! Hours and hours of building fun! We never go anywhere without some Lego. Most of the times, they choose a few sets and general building blocks and put them all together in a bag.
Check other Lego sets or click the picture for thos basic set
Pencil Roll-Up Case: I used to sew these myself, but I have to admit I can’t make them as good as the ones we bought afterwards. Those wrap cases are a great invention to keep all of the kids’ pencils organised. And Yuna and Hanne just love to unroll it and wrap it back up! There are all kinds of pencil cases out there, even leather ones, but we loved these for all their colours.
Find more pencil roll-up cases or click the picture for this colourful one
Sketch pad: Yuna, our oldest girl, just likes to draw all day. She loves to have her own sketchbook to be creative, draw what she saw during our travels, design her own clothes, … It doesn’t take up much space but is a great travel gift for every little creative mind.
Although during our travels, the kids mainly use their Kindle e-reader, there are some great books that would fit any suitcase or backpack. Choose whatever you prefer, most books can be bought both as paperback or ebook. And if the child has an e-reader, it does benefit the weight of the luggage to buy an ebook of course. One of the best travel gifts for kids!
Lonely planet – National Geographic
Lonely Planet Kids Books: Have you read or owned one of these before? They are fantastic! One of our favourites is definitely the Travel Book, with so much useful information on the countries of the world. But they also have the city series, animal books, world atlas and so many more! Available both as paperback or ebook.
National Geographic Kids Books: National Geographic also has a great range of kids’ books, from this amazing world atlas to encyclopedias about almost every aspect of this world. A great travel gift for kids that are interested in learning more about their environment and all the species living in it. Most books are only available in hardcover.
My Travel Journal: During our long term travels, the kids both have a travel journal. It is a great way for them to write down what they see, how they feel and draw their experiences. An amazing souvenir when you come home, memories never to be forgotten. A great travel journal for kids is the Lonely Planet Kids Travel Journal.
The Everything Kids Travel Activity Book: This kind of books are an absolute must if you travel. All the kids love them. A great one, although maybe not an activity book in the true sense, is ‘The Everything Kids Travel Activity Book’. You’ll have so much fun with this one while doing a road trip. There are a lot of other ‘The Everything Kids’ books, worth a look.
The Best Ever Backseat Games: Another book that will make those long hours in the car much more bearable. Hours of fun and no more whiny or bored kids!
Audiobooks Audible: A great solution for reducing the weight of your luggage is buying audiobooks. Amazon even has an app, Audible, which allows you to listen unlimited to their audiobooks. You get a free trial period first and after that, you pay a membership fee. Perfect during those long hours in the car or on the plane.
Electronics – technology
Living in the 21st century, technology and electronics are present everywhere. And that means also in our travels. As we work and travel, we have a lot of technology with us. The kids can’t stay behind. So here are some of the top things we use during our travels. And they make great travel gifts for kids, as they all like to get electronic stuff as a present!
Photography – Video
Anyone who follows our Instagram can see we take a lot of pictures. Which means the kids have to be in the picture or have to wait while I’m taking one. Initially, that was the reason why we bought them their own camera. But the wonderful thing is, after travelling a lot, they have now developed a love for pictures themselves! Our tip when buying a camera for kids, make sure it is a robust one and being waterproof is a nice plus! Our kids were so proud to take a picture of a sea turtle when snorkelling. You’ll probably find cheaper cameras than the ones I’ll suggest, but out of my own experience, I can really advise a slightly more expensive one. The pictures will be so much better (and you don’t want a blurry picture when you finally meet that manta ray) and you can be more relaxed about the waterproof aspect.
Nikon Coolpix W100: This is the camera our kids have. We bought them when we left for our full-time travels. They really liked it, it’s waterproof and quite robust. Although for our next buy, I would spend a bit more money so the image quality is even better. After months of intensive use, they started to be less waterproof. But you can’t expect everything for that price I guess? They come in different colours.
Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera: First we bought the girls a Nikon waterproof camera, but unfortunately they didn’t seem to be as waterproof and robust as promised. After reading some reviews and talking to other people, this will probably be there next camera. It can take the most amazing underwater pictures.
GoPro Hero6: Yes, we know. It’s not a toy and definitely not for small kids. But for those bigger adventurers, Go Pro is still one of the best action and waterproof cameras out there. They will love taking their Go Pro with them in the pool, while they are snorkelling or riding their bike.
A great travel gift for kids and an essential item in our backpacks! Our kids love to have their own headphone, makes them feel grown-ups. And they can use them on the plane, in the back of the car or anywhere else where they want to listen to music or watch a movie. And we can have a decent conversation in meanwhile ?.
Explore Foldable Headphone: We love our foldable headphones for the kids! It makes them so easy to take along during our travels. There are many foldable headphones out there, but we prefer this one with its volume-limiting sound, so the kids can’t have any ear damage. They even come with stickers to personalise their own headphone.
Mindkoo Cat Ear Bluetooth Headphones: If you want a wireless headphone, check out this cool Bluetooth headphone. This one will definitely be a hit with his LED light cat ears! And he comes in different colours.
Lilgadget Headphone: One last headphone we wanted to share with you is the Lilgadget! We didn’t buy them (because we didn’t know) but friends of ours have and they were so enthusiastic about them. They are foldable, volume limited and have a SharePort. Which means two kids can listen to the same device with their headphones.
This is definitely an item we use a lot during our travels! If we’re in accommodation with good WiFi, the kids always turn our Bluetooth speaker on to listen to their music. Buy a waterproof speaker, and you can even have your own music by the swimming pool or at the beach!
Bose Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker: This is the one we bought for our travels and we would still choose him. The sound is amazing, the famous Bose sound and bass! It is very easy to use through the app with different devices. And it’s kids proof with the robust exterior and waterproof qualities. Easy to hang anywhere with the strap in the back. Comes in black, blue and orange.
Logitech Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker: Another great Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker out there, which is a bit cheaper than the Bose one (the difference is mainly the sound quality). But it is a great travel gift for kids if you are not willing to invest as much!
Tablet and accessories
We all want to reduce the screen time of our kids. But for us, the tablet is an essential part of our suitcase. We use them to homeschool, look something up on the internet and it is also the only screen the girls have. No television in our lives. Luckily, when you’re travelling, screen time is less of an issue, as they are so much more outside and experiencing other things! But anyway, a good tablet and some great accessories can be essential for your travels in the 21st century.
iPad: Although not diehard fans, we are iPad lovers! We have owned them for a while now and they have never failed on us! We have two iPads during our travels, which allows us to work, homeschool, watch a movie, play a game or look something up on the internet. Our tip, invest a bit more for more GB because when you don’t have WiFi, you’ll be very happy with that space to put on an extra movie for the kids.
Tablet Covers Kids: The downside of bringing those tablets along during your travels, is you really don’t want them to fall on the ground! Especially in those little kids’ hands, that can be tricky business. So invest in a good tablet cover to prevent them from breaking!
In our eyes, the one electronic item you should take along during your travels if you have kids that can read already! We started our travels with one but soon bought another one because the girls were fighting all the time over who could use the e-reader. They are ideal for those long hours in the car, when you have to wait, before bedtime or anywhere else! It made them really good readers, way ahead of the level they should be at for their age.
Kindle E-reader Paperwhite: This is the one we own and we are very happy with them. They are waterproof, have an internal light build in and their battery time is amazing! So no problem going off-road for a while! Don’t forget to buy a good cover!
Discover other e-readers, a lot of other brands have some amazing e-readers too
A great travel gift for kids is an ebook, check out the huge range of ebooks here
For little adventurers
Kids need to be outside! One of the main reasons we travel is to let our girls explore more, let them experience nature and all it has to offer! So some of the best travel gifts for kids are items that encourage them to play outside and go on an adventure.
Buy an activity
Give them an experience anywhere in the world: One of the best travel gifts for kids is giving them an experience. Something that will open their eyes to the rest of the world. Get Your Guide has the most amazing activities all over the world. Choose one near your own home or in your travel destination.
Our kids love to be active! Snorkelling, swimming, riding their bikes, explore nature, go on a walk or any other activity! They’ll love if you give them one of these travel gifts!
Kids’ Snorkel Gear: We’ve done many snorkel tours, but unfortunately during a lot of them the kids didn’t have good masks. They were either too big or broken. So if you have a place in your luggage, it can really pay off to take your own snorkel gear. If you want a normal snorkel, we’d recommend this one. But have you heard of the full face masks? They are much easier to handle for small children. And they are foldable, so easy to bring along!
Lightweight fishing set kids: Do you have little outdoor adventurers? Then this fishing set might just be the perfect travel gift for them! Our kids loved the excitement of fishing when we were in France! This lightweight and compact set is ideal for your travels.
Cool unicorn floaties: A lot of vacations consist of a decent amount of pool time. And what’s more fun than some great floaties to play around with or relax in. They have always been a big hit with our girls, especially unicorns, swans, a watermelon, … But there are so much more nice floaties out there, both for kids and adults. Because let’s admit it, we like them equally as much!
Do your kids like to be outside too? Our girls are the happiest when they can explore outside. Here are some of our favourite travel gifts for kids that they can use to explore the outside. Whether it’s for camping, looking for animals or discovering all those amazing details nature has to offer.
Kids’ exploration kit: Yuna, our oldest daughter, absolutely loves to go outside and explore! She has loved taking along the items from this kit during our travels. Looking at the plants in New Zealand, magnifying that curious animal she spotted in Australia, … The best travel gift for kids that love to discover their
Camping Hammock: I’ll admit, maybe this one is more of a present for the parents. Although, now that our kids are growing older, they learn to appreciate the hammock more for relaxing while they read a book. These hammocks are very strong but lightweight at the same time! They come along all of our travels!
Binoculars for kids: This is difficult to advise on, as there are best choices for different ages. For smaller kids, we really liked Bespin. Once they get older, Bfull and this waterproof and fogproof binocular by Bushnell are great!
Flashlight Maglite Mini: My mother got me this one when I was little and it still works! Talking about quality and durability! Although I realise there are other ones probably more attractive to kids, I would still buy this one. We always bring our own flashlights, one for the kids as well. And I must say we have used them many times during our travels.
Reusable Water Bottle: We can’t stress out enough how important we think it is you should take a water bottle with you during your travels. You’ll save a lot of plastic and it’s so handy to always have your own bottle with you, especially with kids. We all have our own bottles. Recently, friends of ours introduced us to this one. Isn’t he cute? Ans he can roll up when empty! He also comes in pink.
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