You probably know the feeling… There is a birthday coming up, Christmas is just around the corner or there is another special occasion. Time to look for a present and you’re running out of cool gift ideas for kids? Have you thought of travel gifts for kids?
Kids often have too many toys and we want to give them something useful or educational. But let’s be honest with ourselves, we also want the kid to be thrilled with their gift. To give you some inspiration, we’ve made a list of our favorite gifts for kids who travel.
These kids’ travel gift ideas are mostly for kids between 6 and 12 years old, but there are some travel gifts for toddlers and travel gifts for teens, as well.
Being a full-time travel family, we have a lot of experience with the best travel items for kids. Our girls love and use these things a lot! They are perfect for a family or child who loves to travel but can be given to any kid. And best of all, these travel gift ideas for kids are affordable, fun, and compact!
Let’s discover our top choices for the best travel gifts for kids!
Read more: Fun camping gifts for kids, toddlers, and teens
1. Kids’ travel backpack
Kids love to have their own backpack, even from a very young age. 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:
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 to use in crowded places.
We love these Kanken backpacks by Fjällraven. We’ve used them during a lot of our travels. You can choose the mini Kanken for smaller kids and the classic Kanken for bigger kids.
Read more: Our review of the Fjällräven Kanken backpack
Osprey Daylight Kid’s Backpack
We use an Osprey daypack for ourselves and they have some great kids’ backpacks too, such as this Daylight. With different compartments, 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.
2. Travel suitcase for kids
The sooner the kids want to handle their own suitcase, the better for the parents. Plus, they love the responsibility of packing and taking care of their own luggage. There are some amazing suitcases for kids out there. Here are our favorites.
Read more: Best travel luggage and suitcases for kids
Jetkids ride-on, carry-on (and in-flight bed) 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! They can ride this suitcase through the airport or be pulled on it. You can even use this suitcase by Stokke as an in-flight bed!
Heys America Travel Tots Kids 2pc
Now how cool is this travel gift idea for kids? Heys America has all kinds of designs, but we love this set! This sturdy suitcase will survive everything and the matching backpack can be taken for daily walks.
3. Luggage ID tag
Our girls love their own luggage ID tags and it makes the perfect traveling gift for kids. 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 favorite for your kids.
4. Travel eye mask
Do I need to tell you how happy our kids were when they got their own eye masks? They use them on planes but also to sleep while camping in our van or tent. The perfect small gift for traveling kids!
5. Kids’ neck pillow
No more bobbing heads while the kids sleep in the plane, train, or car. These neck pillows support the neck, head, and chin!
6. 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 each passport easily. Choose between hundreds of designs, or make a personalized one!
7. Card Games
Kids and their toys… You can’t leave without them! But especially when you travel far or for a long time, they’ll have to be light and small. Card games are perfect for that! They are a fun activity to do as a family and they make great affordable travel gifts for kids!
Our favorites are the all-time classics Uno, Skip-Bo (we got to know this one in Australie, from the makers of Uno), and Monopoly Deal.
But there are so many fun card games for kids out there, such as Spot-it, Scavenger hunt card game, Exploding Kittens, and Guess Who. So take your time to check which one would be great as a gift for your kids.
8. Travel (board) games
Another hit during our travels is board games, but the downside is a lot of board games are too big to take along. A good tip, however, is to take the games out of their original boxes and put them in small bags. They will fit way more easily in your suitcase or backpack.
Therefore, one of our favorites is Yahtzee. You don’t need much for hours of fun. Other games we love are Family Talk (which creates hilarious family conversations), and Catan. And, of course, a good old travel chess game always comes along in our suitcase!
9. Single Player Games
Sometimes the kids need to keep themselves entertained because mum and dad are busy or their sister/brother doesn’t want to play with them. This is where single-player games for kids come in handy! Our girls really love those!
This amazing series of educational and brain games are a perfect travel gift for kids! They are fun, compact, and can be played alone.
These fun and addictive games make your kids stretch their minds. We love how innovative they are! Perfect family vacation gift ideas!
Magnetic games are perfect kids’ travel gifts. We always have a few of these with us. There are plenty of magnetic games out there, both for the entire family as for single play. We love them mostly for the latter!
10. Travel-themed Lego
Maybe not the usual travel gift for kids, I know, but this is the one thing our kids love most! Hours and hours of building fun! We never go anywhere without some Lego. Most of the time, they choose a few sets and general building blocks and put them all together in a bag. The biggest success here is if we choose the travel- or camping-themed lego sets as it makes them excited for an upcoming trip or re-live a past vacation.
11. 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 afterward. Those wrap cases are a great invention to keep all of the kids’ pencils organized. Our girls 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 colors.
12. Sketch Pad
Our oldest girl 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.
13. 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.
14. World Atlas
National Geographic World Atlas
If you’re looking for gifts for kids who travel, a world atlas is perfect! Both educational and fun!
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.
14. The Travel Book
The Travel Book (by Lonely Planet)
This amazing book takes you on a journey through every country of the world. It’s the perfect Christmas gift for kids who love to travel (or for any other occasion really).
Have you read or owned any of these Lonely Planet Kids‘ Books before? They are fantastic! One of our favorites 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.
15. Travel Activity Book
The Everything Kids’ Travel Activity Book
Travel activity 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 at.
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.
Some of our favorite audiobooks for kids are Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the Magic Tree House.
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 traveling a lot, they have now developed a love for pictures themselves!
Read more: How to take better family pictures on your next vacation
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 snorkeling. And a camera is a fantastic travel gift for teens (and tweens), but even 6 – 10-year-olds will love it!
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.
Waterproof camera for toddlers and small kids
This is the kind of camera our girls had when they were small. Perfect to learn about photography, but also an affordable gift for kids. However, now that they are bigger, this one lacks quality.
Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera
This camera isn’t cheap, but it’s the ultimate robust and waterproof camera for kids with great quality pictures! After reading some reviews and talking to other people, this will probably be their next camera. It can take the most amazing underwater pictures.
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 snorkeling or riding their bike. The perfect birthday or Christmas travel gift for teens!
A great travel gift for kids and an essential item in our backpacks! Our kids love to have their own headphone, makes them feel like 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. Plus we can have a decent conversation in the meantime.
BuddyPhones Foldable Headphones
We love our foldable headphones for kids! It makes them so easy to take along during our travels. This one has a volume-limiting sound, so the kids can’t have any ear damage. They even come with stickers to personalize their own headphone.
Mindkoo Cat Ear Bluetooth Headphones
If you want wireless headphones, check out these cool Bluetooth headphones. This one will definitely be a hit with his LED light cat ears! And it comes in different colors.
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. This means two kids can listen to the same device with their headphones.
19. Bluetooth Speaker
This is one of the items we use most during our travels! If we’re in an accommodation or on a campground 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 Bluetooth speaker we bought for our travels many years ago and we would still choose this one. 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.
20. Tablet and cover
We all want to reduce screen time for our kids. But for our family, a tablet is an essential part of our family travel packing list. We use them to homeschool the kids, 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 traveling, 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.
For smaller kids, a shockproof tablet is a good idea. This Fire 7 has amazing reviews, comes with a cover and they’ll replace it if the kids break it after all.
Although we are not diehard Apple fans, we are iPad lovers! We have owned them for a while now and they have never failed us! They allow us to work, homeschool, watch a movie, play a game or look something up on the internet. Our tip, invest a bit more in terms of 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.
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!
An e-reader is, in our eyes, the one electronic item you should take along during your travels if you have kids that can read! 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.
This is the one we own and we are very happy with it. 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!
Some of the best travel gifts for kids are definitely ebooks. It’s the only books our girls can take along during our travels.
22. Give an activity
One of the best travel gift ideas 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.
23. 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. You could buy a normal snorkel for kids 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!
24. Fishing Set Kids
Do you have little outdoor adventurers? Then this fishing set might just be the perfect family travel gift for them! Our kids loved the excitement of fishing when we were in France! This lightweight and compact set are ideal for your travels.
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 many more nice floaties out there, both for kids and adults. Because let’s admit it, we like them equally as much!
26. Exploration kit
Do your kids like to be outside too? Our girls are the happiest when they can explore outside. Whether it’s for camping, looking for animals, or discovering all those amazing details nature has to offer, these exploration items are always fun.
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!
Binoculars are a fantastic gift for kids who love to be outdoors. Although it’s hard to advise one that works for every age, this Think Peak binoculars is a great one for many young explorers.
All kids love their own flashlight! Whether it’s to play around, a nightly toilet break, or a walk in the dark. They are the perfect gift for kids who love to camp!
A fun alternative for a classic flashlight is to buy a headlight as a gift for kids who love to be outdoors. They have the regular ones, but aren’t these animal-themed ones a lot cooler?
29. Water Bottle
We can’t stress out enough how important it is to 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 one for each family member.
30. Scratch off world map
If you’re looking for a gift for kids who travel a lot, this might be the right one! They get to scratch off all the countries or states they’ve been to.
31. Kids travel drone
Maybe not the first thing you think about for the best travel gifts for kids, but you’ll make them very happy with this drone for kids. It will learn them the first basics of drone flying and videography.
This DJI Mini drone might be the perfect birthday or Christmas gift for teens who love to travel. It is expensive and there are cheaper versions available, but this DJI drone is the real deal. It has the best quality and possibilities!
32. Reusable sticket set
These reusable sticker sets are the perfect, affordable travel gifts for kids. They can use them on the plane or car windows, be creative with them in the book that comes with it, …
33. Led portable night light
Our youngest girl needs a light next to her bed, wherever she sleeps. So we can’t leave without a night light in our travel luggage. These portable LED lights are perfect for that! And kids love it as a gift!
Other related articles you might find interesting
We hope this article gave you some new ideas for the best travel gifts for kids. Do you have any other suggestions or remarks, let us know in the comments!
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