We’ve compiled some of the best travel gifts for kids including things that kids who travel will need (and love). We’ve also found fun gifts to inspire travel and curiosity about the world, from travel-themed books to puzzles and games.
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At the bottom of this post, download a free game of Would You Rather: World Edition to play on your next family trip!
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Best Travel Gifts: Travel Gear for Kids
These are great, lightweight, easy-to-pack items for kids who travel a lot, are full-time travelers, or who just love to travel!
Toddler Backpack with Harness
For the littlest traveler, this toddler backpack holds their personal treasures, and means mom or dad can hold on to them in busy places. The provided harness can be clipped on or off. Great for clipping to a stroller if you need to keep track of two little ones at once! Choose between several different adorable animal characters. Skip Hop is a brand we’ve used many times for our kids, they always have great quality.
This Kids Backpack from REI is one of our family favorites. The Tarn 18 liter is a great durable backpack with plenty of room for adventure with lots of pockets, including mounting for a hydration reservoir (not included), and a great stash pocket for a rain jacket or sweatshirt. Rated for ages 8-12, but our four-year-old wears hers comfortably with plenty of room to grow.
These Wireless Bluetooth Headphones from JLab are our top choice in kid’s headphones. They include volume limiting so you know they are safe for young ears. With 35+ hours of wireless playtime, they come with a USB cable for recharging. For longer trips, there is an included standard 3.5mm headphone cable and share port, so two kids can watch the same show and not disturb you.
We have tried a lot of headphones and these are our favorite for travel. See our full review in The Best Kids Headphones.
Our girls love their cute, fuzzy sleep masks. They are especially useful for napping on car trips or sleeping on planes. The elastic back means there’s no adjusting or fidgeting to get these on comfortably.
Kids Polarized Sunglasses
Our kids love their Knockaround Polarized Sunglasses, and for the price, we love them too! With so many fun colors and designs to choose from, each kid got to pick their own pair. With full UV400 sun protection, we feel good about their eyes being protected, but also know it is not the end of the world if they break them.
Kids Watch & Fitness Tracker
This Fitness Tracker and Watch for kids 5-12 is great for travel. Small and lightweight, this easy-to-read watch also tracks their steps, distance traveled, and calories burned by tapping the watch display or on the free phone app. Each set comes with two color band options and lasts a week on a two-hour charge with a USB port.
The Dorcy 55 Lumen Floating Waterproof LED Flashlight is great for kids. Its rugged design will stand up to even the toughest abuse and will last over eight hours with the included 3 AA batteries. With colors kids will love, it is sure to be a favorite, whether camping in the wilderness, the back yard, traveling, or in their bedroom.
Fidget Poppers are great for getting out some excess energy when kids can’t move around much. S loves hers in the car, or when she’s struggling to focus on schoolwork. Fidget poppers are great for long lines, and long plane rides!
Best Travel Gifts to Inspire Kids
These are great travel and world-themed gifts to inspire curiosity, wanderlust, and learning in kids!
Felt World Map
This felt wall map of the world is large-(49 x 26 inches) and is a terrific graphic addition to any room. It comes with pins to mark the map as you wish. Printed in one color, it has cities labeled, but no country or continent borders.
World Map Tablecloth
This world map tablecloth comes with ten washable markers. You can color in the world over and over again. Mark your past trips, color in your bucket list, doodle away, whatever you feel like. What a great family project!
Lego Duplo Town Airplane & Airport
This Airplane and Airport from Lego Duplo is a great way to get little kids excited about traveling. Perfect for 2-4-year-olds, you can explain all about what happens with you get on a plane.
Lego Classic Around the World
This Around the World Lego Build set comes with 950 pieces and instructions for 15 iconic animals and objects from around the world. It also includes a wall map of the world and lots of colorful extra pieces to create your own masterpieces. Perfect for kids 4 and up.
Lego Architecture London Skyline
The London Skyline set from Lego Architecture is part of a whole series of cityscapes from around the world. This is a wonderful way to introduce kids of all ages to famous landmarks and iconic buildings.
For added fun and effect, check out this cool LED Light add-on Set for the London Skyline. This is not Lego but it is designed specifically for this set to light up.
Little Passports World Edition
Little Passports subscriptions are a great way to introduce kids to different cultures! E(4) gets the Early Explorers edition, which focuses on a different theme each month, from space to animals. S(7) loves her World Edition, which focuses on a different country each month.
We love the Scooter Stories that come with each of the first six months of the World Edition and read them aloud as a family. S was disappointed when those stopped being included each month. Hopefully, the Little Passports team is busy writing more!
There are five different versions of the subscription to choose from based on age range. These are a great way to spread out the holiday fun all year long.
National Geographic Kids
National Geographic Kids magazine is a great way for kids to learn about the world from the comfort of their own room. From animals to cities and culture, a subscription to this magazine is a wonderful way to get kids excited about making positive changes in the world. Best for ages 8+.
Best Travel Gifts: Puzzles and Games for Kids
These jigsaw puzzles and games are educational and inspirational, and a great way for families to spend time together. We love pulling out a puzzle that we can all work on, or figuring out a new board game we call all play together.
For more on-the-go entertainment options, check out 60+ Fun Road Trip Activities for Kids: How to Keep Kids Entertained on a Long Car Trip
Map of the World Puzzle
This Map of the World Puzzle is 78 pieces- perfect for kids ages 4-8 to do on their own. Includes continent labels, landmarks, and animals around the world. Made by Mudpuppy, who always makes high-quality kids’ puzzles and games.
GeoPuzzles Jigsaw Puzzles
Geopuzzles are a puzzle of a certain geographic area, such as Europe or Asia. Each puzzle piece is the shape of a country! These are fun, colorful ways for kids to learn geography.
For puzzles with higher piece counts, don’t miss The Best Family Travel Gifts Under $100!
Wild Kratts Board Game
Our girls love the Wild Kratts on PBS Kids! In this Race Around the World board game, players race to collect creature power suit cards while learning about animals and habitats. For 2-4 players, best for ages 5+. Add your own rules to make it more complicated.
Continent Race Board Game
Continent Race is a trivia board game, where you try to collect cards from countries on each continent. This game won Creative Child Awards 2020 Game of the Year. Best for ages 7 and up, with a focus on matching cards while learning geography. There are different levels of difficulty so you can adjust it easily to fit your family.
Passport to Culture: Travel Edition
Passport to Culture is a game where you gather magnetic stamps in your passport while answering questions about various countries and cultures. Best for older kids and adults. A great family game!
Best Travel Gifts: Travel Books for Kids
These books teach kids about other cultures or inspire kids to learn about the world.
Not sure which book to buy? How about a gift card to Bookshop.org?
Bookshop.org is an online bookstore that helps to financially support local, independent bookstores. You can choose a specific local bookstore to support, or your order will be distributed evenly among all the locally run stores that Bookshop.org supports.
Little Park Ranger Board Book Series
This series of board books for the littlest travelers includes books organized by plants, animals, water, and land. From Carlsbad Caverns to Arches National Park, this introduces young kids to some of the natural wonders of the United States.
There is not a lot of text in these books, so the focus is really on the images. They also have a Little Traveler Series that covers food, vehicles, landmarks, and animals around the world. The biggest complaint about these books is that they are too short!
The “Good Night World” Series
We love this bedtime board book series by Adam Gamble! We were given Good Night California when S was born, and soon added Good Night New York City to our bookshelves. Whether you choose your home state or city, or where Grandma lives, with over 100 titles this books series is sure to engage little minds.
Babies Around the World Dancing
Babies Around the World Dancing is a board book that shows babies dancing together all around the world. Includes China, Brazil, South Africa, and more. An adorable introduction to cultures around the world.
Where Would Santa Go?
In Where Would Santa Go? two kids travel with Santa (the world’s greatest traveler) from Germany to Tanzania, Antarctica, and more, learning as they go. A fun, festive picture book for kids to learn about different places around the world.
Celebrations Around the World
Celebrations Around the World is full of colorful illustrations of celebrations around the world, from Carnival in Rio de Janeiro to the Hindu festival of Holi. This picture book is a wonderful way to introduce children to different cultural traditions around the world.
Father Christmas Goes on Holiday
Father Christmas Goes on Holiday was one of my favorite picture books as a child. My mother would bring it out around the holidays and this might have been the book that first inspired me to travel. Where does Father Christmas go when he is not working? In this book, he tries out Scotland, Italy, France, and the US.
The Travel Book by Lonely Planet
The Travel Book by Lonely Planet is releasing its second edition of this very popular kids’ book on December 21, 2021. Pre-order now!
This book covers every country in the world, arranged by continent. Best for ages 9+.
Fairy Tales for Fearless Girls
Fairy Tales for Fearless Girls features fairytales from all over the world that showcase strong, empowered heroines. Includes fairy tales from Greece, Argentina, Niger, China, and more.
If You Lived Here: Houses of the World
If You Lived Here illustrates some of the different houses people live in around the world- from caves to floating houses to yurts. Santa may just be bringing this book to us this year.
A Year Full of Stories
A Year Full of Stories: 52 Classic Stories from Around the World charts the changing of the seasons with stories about different traditions and holidays around the world. Each chapter represents a month of the year. Includes various perspectives including stories from Iroquois, Arabic, and Buddhist traditions. Illustrated by Christopher Corr, this is a beautiful book to read aloud all year long!
There You Have It!
These are some of the best travel kids for kids that we’re excited to give (and get!) this year. From practical gear to fun games and puzzles, you’ll find something to inspire every little traveler on your list.
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