travel gifts for kids

Looking to find the perfect travel gift for kids? These 27 gift ideas are fun and functional making them perfect not only exciting for kids to unwrap, but also super useful for their next trip, adventure, or vacation!

This blog was updated in November of 2019 for accuracy, relevance, and the addition of the latest, new travel gifts for kids.

We’ve jumped on a plane and traveled to 26 different countries with our five kiddos.  Traveling with kids is incredible experience and the right gear and gadgets can make it super easy.

These are some of the best things we’ve used or wish we had used when we traveled with our kids and will make great gifts for a travel kid in your life.

Also note that this blog isn’t catered purely toward toward little kids. We’ve included travel gift ideas for a variety of different ages from 6 to 16. We hope this helps you shop for travel gifts for older kids as well.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. When you make a purchase through one of these links we receive a small commission at no extra charge to you 🙂

Low Price Travel Gifts for Kids – Up to $25

Monopoly Deal

We have killed hours and hours of waiting in an airport by playing this game.  It’s hard to find a board or card game that everyone enjoys, but this one, my 7 year old loves just as much as my teenagers do.

Travel Sized Cribbage

Cribbage is a classic family card game that can be both engaging for teens and also simple enough for kids as young as 7. Cribbage board can be big, bulky and not so travel-friendly but this travel sized is perfect for kids to stay entertained while traveling. As a bonus, there are dozens of other games that can be played with this board.

Headlamp

You don’t have to be trekking a mountain at sunrise to need a headlamp while traveling. Headlamps can be really helpful while traveling and kids love having their own stuff and there have been many occasions during our travels where it’s been great for our kids to have their own headlamp.  

From walking to the bathroom in a campground to reading a book at night  When you start traveling, electricity often becomes a luxury not a necessity and a rad headlamp is always appreciated.

This Luxolite headlamp shown below is not my top pick for my own headlamp (see our gift guide for adventure travelers if you’re interested in the east headlamp) but it’s perfect for kids who often break things…it’s true.

Mensa Games Calendar

I know what you’re thinking, what kind of kids gift is this? But her eye out. My older kids loveee doing Mensa Puzzles while we’re traveling. They’re perfect for long car/bus/plane rides and it keeps us busy and engaged for hours! This gift is definitely suited to a certain type of kid and definitely don’t get this for the kind of kid who hates any schoolwork outside of school.

Kid’s Travel Journal

I wish so much that I had bought this for each one of my kids when we traveled through Europe for six months.  This is a fun way for kids to track their journey and creates a memory that they will cherish in the future. 

Unlike a plain old travel, journal, this travel journal shown below gives easy prompts for kids to track their travels more simply.

Durable, Packable Headphones

A high quality headphone is a must for kids traveling.  My kids spend all their time on an airplane watching movies and when we are driving long distances in a car or RV, they are usually listening to music.

We’ve bought cheap headphones in the past and they always break, but not here ones. These headphones shown below are foldable and highly durable so they can hold up to the demands of travel.

Headphones For Young Kids

Sometimes it’s hard to find headphones that stay on little kids’ heads.  This is a cool new design that I wish we had when our kiddos were younger.

Lightweight Packable Backpack

I like each of my kids to have a lightweight backpack that they can carry on a plane as their personal item so that they can quickly access their phones, iPads, Kindles, or laptops.  I also throw a few snacks in there, their headphones, packable jacket, and an electronic device.

These ZOMAKE backpacks are nice because even if you don’t use it on the plane, they pack down so small that you can throw it in your suitcase and use it for hiking or to walk through the city.

If you don’t need your backpack to be packable, we love the REI Flash packs.

Tip: Be creative and give this gift filled with yummy snacks, bars, and gum for the plane. 

Kindle Case or iPad Case

Traveling with some form of electronic device is kind of a must these days (see below for kindles and iPads).  For most young kids, having an iPad or Kindle is essential for keeping them entertained during long flights and drives.  Protecting their kindle with these cute cases are fun and practical.

Packable Umbrella

My youngest kids hate to share.  She would love if she had her own umbrella while we traveled!  I like that this one has a travel case to protect it and that it packs down so small that she can carry it in her own backpack. 

Travel Legos

Electronics have their time and place, but my kids still prefer to play with things they can touch.  This travel lego set is great for entertaining kids 10 and under while traveling. 

Travel Pillow

If kids are traveling on a red eye flight, a sleep pillow is a must to help them be comfortable overnight.

Mid Price Travel Gifts for Kids – $25 to $50

Packable Down Jacket

I love using Patagonia Nano-Puff Jackets everywhere we go, but they are expensive and the kids versions don’t pack down.

Patagonia Down Jacket, travel gifts for kids
Patagonia Down Jacket, travel gifts for kids

I still love Patagonia Jackets and highly recommend them if you’re not tight on space in your travel bags however if you do want to a collapsable version, I reocmend these Rokka & Rolla jackets. They are half the price, have a hood, and pack down very small. 

Push Pin Travel Maps

This is an amazing gift for kids 8+. Not only does this let your kids keep track of all the applies they’ve been, but it also gives them a great room decoration and their favorite will absolutely be putting each pin in after their trips.

Our favorite travel maps are Push Pin Travel Maps and their maps come in a variety of different styles that are all customizable. You can get state, USA maps, and world maps and they come as simple flat maps and canvas style.

Push Pin Travel Maps, Gift guide for adventure travelers

High Price Travel Gifts for Kids – $50 and up

Rolling Luggage

I made the mistake of not having rolling luggage for my youngest two kids when we travel and Victor and I ended up carrying two bags each through the airport.  It’s better to have a soft luggage because often when we land in a new country, our rental car doesn’t have enough space and we can smoosh backpacks and soft luggage down by kid’s feet.

This Lillian Vernon luggage shown below is cute and stylish, making it great for a girl age 10 and under.  The Rockland rolling duffel luggage is more practical for a boy and in their other designs, they’re perfect for a girl as well.

With so many pockets and zippers in both, these pieces of luggage are highly functional making getting through airport security quick and easy (something all travel families can appreciate).


Kindle Fire

The all new Kindle Fire 8 has a ten hour battery life making it perfect for long haul flights.  Plus it has twice the storage as Kindle Fire 7 which means they can download so many more movies for when they are away from wifi on a plane or road trip.

If you have older kids, you could also consider a Kindle Reader instead.

For more fun, throw in a $10 Amazon gift card so they can buy a few apps right away or for older kids, get them an Amazon Kindle Unlimited Membership for acesss to unlimited ebooks and audiobooks!

Plane Tickets

If your kids like traveling, then obviously there's no better gift than travel itself. There's nothing that has blown my kids away more than surprise plane tickets. Search for flights now on Skyscanner to that next surprise destination.

Pro tip: Type in "Everywhere" into the "To" box to search for the cheapest deals for your destination.

Travel Experience Gifts

As someone who doesn't the love the consumerism of giving gifts, I believe experiences are the best gift your could give your kids. Experiences not only provide kids with memories that will last a lifetime, but there's a good chance they'll be far more excited about an experience gift rather than any material item.

If you have some travels coming up, make the experiences specific to your trip. Instead of just going to a city and walking around, get them a special excursion or tour that they would find fun.

Some examples of experiences based gifts while traveling are:

Amusement Parks

You get this one, right? Disneyland, Universal Studios, Magic Mountain, and more 🙂

Waterparks

Every kid loves water parks but don't think you have to be traveling to big city to find one. Sure Six Flags Hurricane Harbor is awesome but small town waterparks are also surprisingly fun and your kids will never see it coming makes for great surprise.

Ski Resorts

By ski resorts, I mean a few things. First is you could just give them the gift of learning to ski or snowboard at your nearest ski resort. This combines travel int the gift by traveling to the beautiful mountain destination itself.

Ski Trip Pack List: Essential Gear for Skiing or Snowboarding
Doesn't matter if you ski or snowboard, we're all here to have a good time

Even better than lift ticket though, whether it's summer or winter, ski resorts almost always have fun, family excursions.

In the summer, many ski resorts have ropes courses, big slides, obstacle courses, and more. In the winter you can find ice castles, inner tubing, and festivals.

Axe Throwing

You didn't see this coming, did you? These unique indoor excursions are popping up all over the world lately and are wayyyy more fun than you could imagine. We once went axe throwing in Whistler, BC and it turned out to be one of our best family memories of all time.

Axe throwing is not hard and requires no fitness level other than being able to competently wield an axe. This makes it extremely family friendly for even young kids.

Some places have do a 10+ age limit whereas as others don't so be sure to check before getting this travel gift.

Rock Climbing

While you could pay for a day of rock climbing at a local climbing gym, if you want your gift to be travel related and truly unforgettable, pay for a guided rock climbing trip at your travel destinations.

climbing the smoke bluffs in Squamish
Family climbing in Squamish, BC

All you have to do is Google search for climbing guides at your next destination and you'll find a huge variety of professional guiding companies that are sure to provide an epic time.

This is especially perfect if your travels take you to scenic, outdoor destinations.

Ropes Courses

Roped courses are increasingly popular and though I'd probably pick rock climbing over this, rope courses are best for those who want a little less adventure, are more fearful, and don't like heights.

Ziplining

This is surely not for fearful kids, but for the daredevils and older kids, zip lining is wild fun and you can't go wrong with this choice. This is once again especially perfect if your travels are taking you to scenic destinations.

Ninja Warrior Gym

This one may come as a surprise but Ninja Warrior gyms are a big up and coming activity. You don't have to be super fit and athletic to enjoy the swinging, jumping, and climbing obstacles.

best things to do in Squamish, Ninja Gym
Dozens of different jumping and hanging challenges kept us challenged and entertained

Ninja Gyms are not super popular yet so they may be hard to find but if there is one near your travels, this is a great gift for kids.

Concerts

My kids love music and if yours do too, they will be over the moon excited to go travel to see their favorite band. This one is a really great way to combine travel into your gift. Search for concerts by artist and let far away venues be a possibility.

Movie Tickets

Though going to see a movie is something you could do anytime in your hometown, if you're traveling for a long period of time or there's a movie your kids really want to see, movie tickets are still a perfectly great gift. There have been multiple times when we've gone and seen movies amidst our long summer trips (usually to see the latest Marvel movie).

Related: Gift Guide for Adventure Travelers and Outdoor Lovers


Have questions or want recomendations? Don't hesitate to ask us in the comments section below!

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