I’m always a bit lost when I want to gift someone because I have no idea what ‘normal’ people these days like. And I’m pretty sure ‘normal’ people have no idea what to give traveling kids and families. So, I decided to write a whole post with ideas we would love to receive and that I’m sure any travel-loving family would! You can give it in cash or in pre-paid travel cards so they can use it all along!
With Christmas approaching, it’s always good to have some cards up your sleeve!
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Travel gifts for kids who travel
Gifts for kids of all ages
I know it’s not ideal, it’s not personal, but they’ll be able to buy whatever they want with it, be it an actual gift or an ice cream, an e-book or anything they want.
Not all kids like to read, I know. It doesn’t have to be a boring book, it can be a comic, a manga, or something they like. I know my kids have a spreadsheet full of the books they want.
If you don’t know what they may like, ASK what format book they can read and get them a gift card. It’s very important to ask because Amazon works with Kindle and Rakuten, with Kobo. Apple for Ipods, iPads, and iPhones. Amazon and Rakuten have downloadable free apps to allow people to read their books on any device.
If they’re too small to read, the parents or even older kids can read for them.
– Something edible
It’s usually delicious, it ends and doesn’t need to be carried around, it can be shared, and it’s pure love. Couldn’t go wrong.
There’s a whole post with our favorites here, but there are so many options, you’re bound to find a fun travel game. It doesn’t HAVE to be an actual travel game, just something small and light. Just please don’t buy one for each kid. They’ll be able to play together, so one per family is more than enough.
– A notebook
We love notebooks. I’m stationary-maniac. My kids love drawing and they use their notebooks for a lot of things, from making lists to drawing, to writing a reminder, to playing games, anything. They’re very useful – just choose a lighter one.
The little artists are gonna love it. There is the common and super affordable stuff (just choose a small one) and the fancy, high-quality ones. We have the tiny and cheap kind for Coral and the high quality for Melissa.
– A gift card
Seriously, you can buy a lot of types of gift cards these days. My kids loved getting Google Play cards, or Apple Store cards because they could buy games, movies, music, upgrades. Just make sure it’s a card they can use. I know we can use cards from NZ, but not from Brazil, for instance. It can also be a gift card for the movies, taxi, bus, meals, trains, massage, an activity, from a store. There are so many options nowadays!
They are great. We love ours. If it’s a thermal one, it keeps the water fresh, it doesn’t make waste, it can be super good looking, and it’s one of the most practical gifts ever. I know they need replacements sometimes because they get lost (yes) or damaged. It happens. A small one, 300~500 mL is enough for kids, while 0,5~1L is a great size for teenagers.
You’ll need to know their size and be aware that it’s usually more expensive than the regular clothing BUT they’re breathable, lightweight, and super small. It could be socks, seriously. They may not love it at the moment, but when they’re using it, they will.
It couldn’t be more eco-friendly. The travel cutlery sets are small and lightweight enough to be carried everywhere, avoiding the unnecessary disposal of plastic stuff. They come in all sorts of materials and colors, it’s easy to find one that will appeal.
It’s beyond useful and everyone can wear it! Choose one that’s lightweight and packs small, on their favorite colors! We use it even as beach mat. Some even come with hidden pockets!
– An adventure set
– Headphones and/or an airplane adaptor
Airplane headphones almost never fit the kids. A headphone is a wonder. Even the big headphones are great, my kids wear them around their necks when we’re traveling, so it won’t break inside the bags.
The adaptors are great too because, on some airplanes, the regular headphone plugs don’t work, so having this tiny piece can be lifesaving.
Well, this is our new addiction. They’re small, they’re cute, and they are great. Kids can play with them and can hang them from their bags so it doesn’t take up the precious inside space. We love it!
For older kids, these are cool gifts
– An action camera
Who wouldn’t love it? A small and cheap one would be perfect, even more if it comes with a strap or something to make it even more portable. They are more resistant than the usual cameras, easy to use, and super cool!
Something like Nintendo Switch, or DS, or PSP. They do a lot more than allow you to play games these days. Sure, they cost a lot, but it’s a gift everyone will love and use for a long time. A lot of people could join to give the kids one of those.
If the kid has a computer, a case is never a bad thing to have. They are cool and protect the beloved laptops from all the traveling.
– Power Bank (solar battery)
My kids use their phones a lot. They said this is the only thing they’d want now. There’s a tip, family. It’s also great for longer trips, so they can use their devices for longer.
– A drawing tablet
Angelo gave me a Wacom tablet and Melissa stole it. Seriously, she first borrowed it but then it just never returned. If you know an artistic kid, this might be the perfect gift!
Travel gifts for families
It’s always useful and you may be able to help a family pay for their next trip, or someone’s new shoes, or to replace that old camera.
– A fun map
Scratch maps, maps that don’t rip, cork wall maps, all kinds of maps are loved by travel loving folks. If they have a home, you can get anything. If they’re traveling full time, get a nice, lightweight, resistant, and portable one.
Seriously. It’s one of the most useful things we’ve ever bought and it’s so small there’s always space for a new one. Look for one that doesn’t require pegs – they’re usually 2 lines wrapped around each other, so we can just pinch the clothes between them. Great stuff.
Well, TSA approved. We use it for everything. Even to store leftover food. It’s never too much.
We want it. Well, we don’t really have the space to carry it right now but this would be amazing. We saw people using them at the beach and we got really envious.
The world has just too many different plug types and it’s hard to keep tons of adapters in hand. One universal plug adaptor useful and not too expensive, therefore, the perfect gift for a traveling family!
Now, this is my favorite option for all kinds of gifts:
– Take them out!
If you can, grab them for movies, popcorn, ice cream; a day at the park; an afternoon at the public pool; a dinner. Just take them out anywhere. It’s our favorite present ever and makes lots of memories instead of material things.
How to choose the perfect gift for travel friends
You’ll need to think about what kind of traveler they are. Are they carry-on only? Luxury travelers? Backpackers? Campers? Do they travel mostly overseas or domestically? Do they travel by bus, train, planes, cars? Do they hike, trek, climb? How old are they?
Then you think about the kind of people they are. Are they ecologically concerned people? Are they posh? Are they funny? Are they nerdy? Do they like classics or modern? Are they artists? Are they geeks? Are they religious? Are they activists?
And you think if what you had in mind would fit them, their bags, their life. In doubt, ask! I’ve never offended anyone by asking. If you really don’t want to ask, take them out! You can even give them a gift card made by you with something like ‘One dinner in your favorite restaurant’ or ‘A day out with uncle John’ if you want to hand them something.
These are our favorite options for gifts. What would you like to receive as a gift?