Holidays are for spending time with loved ones, eating calorie-dense foods, sappy Hallmark films, and gift-giving. But if we’re honest, oftentimes shopping for presents is more stressful than joyful. After all, what are you supposed to buy for someone who has everything? This is especially true when shopping for kids. Of course, you could always take the easy way out and buy another baby doll or race car, but gifts like these get played with for a few hours and then tossed into the abyss of forgetfulness. If you really want your gift to stand out, consider some of these travel gifts for kids. Not only are they fun and kid-approved, but they are super practical for children who spend much of their time on the road — or in the skies. Here are 22 of the best travel gifts for kids.
The gift ideas are vetted by The 2 Idiots. Links included here are affiliate links which generate a small income to us if you choose to use them, at no cost to you.
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Standing in long lines at the airport or in customs can be torture for young children. The Look What I Made Govinci suitcase has a drawing board on the outside so your child can color and stay occupied when stuck waiting for a flight. The suitcase is wheeled and easy for kids to pull, weighing just 2.5 pounds. A matching backpack is also available.
Another great suitcase we love is the Trunki suitcase. The suitcase comes with long pull straps for parents to pull and two hand grips for kids to hold. This durable, wheeled suitcase weighs nearly four pounds and can hold up to 110 pounds of riding weight. Choose from various designs, including firetrucks, ladybugs, zebras and other kid-friendly designs.
Help your kids stay comfy on the road with these adorable neck pillows. They are available in many styles, including a panda, lion, and zebra. The neck pillows are super soft and comfortable and stuffed with premium polyester.
Traveling with an infant on long flights may mean traveling with bottles and formula. With the PopYum Baby Bottle, you can store formula in the cap of the bottle so when your little one starts to get hungry, just a push of a button drops the powder into the water for easy one-hand mixing and measuring. The set includes three five-ounce bottles and is made with BPA-free medical-grade silicone and polypropylene. Additional nipples are available as well.
Between the tangling of cords and annoyance of earbuds falling out of little ears, we’re surprised more parents don’t travel with CozyPhones. The comfortable fabric headbands with built-in, removable headphones stay on and keep kids warm. Select from fun designs, like pandas, lions, pirates, bunnies, and unicorns. If the headband gets dirty, just remove the headphones and pop it into the wash.
Road trips and train rides are ideal places for games the entire family can play together. But carrying board games with many small pieces can be tricky. Try a card game instead, like the Not Parent Approved card game. Older kids and teens will especially enjoy this game that pushes boundaries, includes gross humor and – gasp! – a burping contest. Guaranteed to have you laughing together, this game is brought to you by the same folks who make Cards Against Humanity.
Getting comfortable on long flights just got a little easier with this inflatable footrest. When deflated, the 17x11x17-inch cushion fits easily into your carry-on. Once on board the plane, inflate the cushion to prop up your feet. You can also inflate only the smaller cushion to provide a travel pillow for your child on a plane, train, or anywhere!
Give your tot a stuffed animal to sleep with attached to their very own soft sleeping bad for overnight getaways. There are nine different options, from sports-themed baseballs and soccer balls to cuddly animals like monkeys and koalas. The BuddyBagzs serve as a pillow and bed, all in one, and can be used as a backpack for storing other items for easy carry-all.
Finding a high chair won’t be an issue with this portable cloth high chair. Small enough to carry in a purse, the Cozy Cover Easy Seat High Chair can fit all chairs and provides safety harnesses to keep your baby comfortable and safe. It’s also machine washable.
10. Kids’ Kindle
The new Fire HD 8 Kids Edition Tablet helps when nothing else will. Use it at the airport, on the plane ride, in a restaurant, or while taking a long drive. With a kid-proof case, 8-inch display, and 32-gig tablet, this is the real deal and not a knock-off toy. Included is one year of FreeTime Unlimited with more than 20,000 apps, games, videos, books and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, and Disney. There are even more than 1,000 items in Spanish. The Fire can also connect to Netflix, YouTube and Minecraft.
A scratch-off map is an excellent way for your child to keep track of all the places they’ve visited. Just scratch off the gold foil to reveal the country’s flag and famous landmarks. The map even comes with a magnifying glass to enlarge small details, a scratching pick (in case you don’t have a coin lying around), a brush to clean the map after scratching, and memory stickers to mark special places. The best travel gifts for kids are educational ones, and this scratch off world map most definitely will help your kid learn as they explore the world.
Headphones are practically a necessity for airplane trips and long car rides. This set has LED lights that flash up and down according to the frequency of the music. Or, if you wish to save power, you can turn off the lights. Because they are Bluetooth-operated, your little won’t be bothered by annoying cords. However, should the battery run out, you can use one of the included wires to keep listening.
Luggage tags are essential for airplane travel, and unique luggage tags make the best travel gifts for kids. These are available in a range of designs and colors, including cupcakes, unicorns, and funny sayings. The eye-catching appearance will make your luggage stand out on the conveyor belt while the waterproof film protects your information, even if your bag happens to get wet.
Long plane rides are no fun for anyone. The obvious solution? Sleep. With this travel pillow and blanket set, your little ones can doze off in comfort and style. Designed as a cute penguin, kids can slide the padded cover onto their armrest for a makeshift pillow and bundle up with the cozy blanket. And when the plane ride is over, just fold the blanket into the armrest cover, and your kid has a cute little penguin toy. A three-in-one deal, this is definitely one of the best travel gifts for kids.
Keeping a kid entertained on a long trip can feel like a nightmare. After all, there are only so many stories to tell, dolls to play with, and books to read. But this kids’ travel tray can buy you some precious moments of peace. The toddler tray is outfitted with mesh pockets for pencils, a waterproof surface, a tablet holder and zipper pocket, a cotton strap and buckle, and a padded front bumper. The tray easily folds up and can be stuffed in the storage bag within seconds. Whether eating snacks, coloring, or playing with toys, the toddler tray is ideal for train rides, road trips, and airplane travel. But keep in mind that the tray doesn’t include anything besides the tray, the storage bag, a carrying shoulder strap, and an eBook. You’ll have to purchase your own colored pencils, coloring books, etc.
Help your child develop their fine motor skills and color recognition with this magnetic maze game. Slide the magnetic wand over the plastic cover to guide the magnetic spheres along intersecting tracks and into their parking garage. This game is awesome for travel because the magnetic wand is tethered to the board, and the magnetic spheres are held in place by the plastic cover. That means entertainment for your child without you having to continually grope for missing pieces beneath the chair in front of you. That’s a win-win in our book!
Some of the best travel gifts for kids are also educational. Your kid will have a blast learning using this basic skills soft travel toy and activity book. Full of fun challenges, your little one will have the opportunity to practice buckling, zipping, snapping buttons, tying shoes, and even telling time. It’s quiet, educational, and machine washable. Just toss it in the included zippered washing bag and into the washing machine.
Even though iPads can be great learning and entertainment tools, we often feel guilty if we let our son binge on it for too long. With this fun travel scavenger hunt card game, your kid will be asking, “What iPad?” The goal of the game is to find the objects on your cards. Look for things such as motorcycles, tow trucks, people walking, and more. You can’t really play this game on an airplane because there usually aren’t too many people walking around in the clouds, but it’s perfect for road trips. Just make sure the driver knows he can’t join in on the fun! Sorry.
Road trip bingo is an awesome way to keep little ones entertained without the use of electronics. Much like regular Bingo, the goal of the game is to get five in a row. But instead of calling out numbers and letters, you’re looking for things such as train gates, police officers, rivers, and cows. What’s cool about this Bingo is that it doesn’t come with markers, which would spill all over a moving car. Instead, the boards have little shutters that you can open and close. Fun for people ages 2.5 and older, don’t be surprised when you hear your children requesting a road trip just so they can play travel Bingo.
Rubberneckers is another fun game the entire family can enjoy on the road. It’s similar to the game “I Spy.” Pick a card, and compete against your fellow passengers. You’ll search neighboring cars for people picking their noses, drinking, eating, and many other unusual and ordinary sightings. With millions of vehicles on the roadway each day, see what you can spot while playing Rubberneckers.
For a child that often travels, getting used to sleeping in a different room or place can be a challenge. Give them a little comfort with a portable and rechargeable night light. These lights offer a gentle and soothing glow for children of all ages. It is battery operated, so it’s cordless but can also be charged and powered via the micro USB outlet. The nightlight is easy to control, thanks to the remote with timer. And it’s available in a few designs, including an owl, bear, and unicorn.
22. Travel Backpacks
Most kids love the independence of carrying their own stuff. So if you know a kid that travels often, get them a cute travel backpack. They’re available in a range of colors, sizes, and styles. And if you’re feeling particularly generous, you can even stuff the backpack with some of the best travel gifts for kids we’ve mentioned above.
We’re always on the lookout for great travel gear for our trips with our son, and would love to hear from you on what you found works well. We welcome you to share your favorites with us in the comments below.