Travel Gear

Holiday Gift List for Traveling Kids

The holidays are a perfect time to stock up on inspiring travel gifts for kids. As family travel becomes more mainstream, there are more and more beautiful options from which to choose.

Conveniently, the gift-giving season corresponds with holiday travel so the gifts get to be tried out right away — always a bonus!

Skip Hop Backpack

Skip Hop backpacks

I love creating this list every year. It’s a great excuse for me to test out new products and indulge in the latest toys and gear. Last holiday season, we highlighted our favorite travel items in Travel Gift Ideas for Kids of all Ages — this list is still very current and worth a re-visit.

In addition, Summer Travel Retail Therapy offers useful travel items families for all family members. Here is what caught my eye this season.

Milan Art Kit

Milan Art Kit


Art Packs – My favorite category and appropriate for every age!!  I often find myself drawing while on vacation. I love the Messenger Style Tooth Bag from Milan because it’s all contained in the four zip pouches with colored pencils, markers, ruler, eraser, etc. and they are removable. Perfect for distributing among multiple children.

For the older kids, this beautiful Double Decker set from Milan is very smart. I also loved these marker and pen sets from Dilly Baby. Chalkboard mats travel well because they are reusable and double as a placemat.

Prepackaged Toy Kits Kid Kits packs age appropriate toy bundles for the busy parent looking for easy, eco-friendly entertainment on the go. Also, Kids Travel Happy will whip up a travel toy kit personalized for your child.

Suitcase & Backpacks – Let’s start with the cute gear. Come on, who are we kidding, it’s as much for the moms as it is the kids. These suitcases by Beatrix are adorable. Also, the Zoo Backpacks by Skip Hop are durable and irresistibly cute.

Toy Carriers – Does your child love toy cars? Look at this fun and space efficient Car Carrier that doubles as a play mat. Something a little more versatile that carries toys and your child if needed is the Trunki.

Travel outfits – Great travel clothes are comfy, look cute and travel well (patterns are great to hide spills). I love the 5-piece sets from Tea because they all mix and match. Plus, their cotton is so soft and lasts forever. Their boy clothes are suitably boyish enough and their girl sets have very cute lines.

Barefoot Books Atlas

Barefoot Books World Atlas

School Age Kids

The Barefoot Books World Atlas This Atlas is worthy of it’s own post. I can’t recommend it highly enough. First, it’s gorgeous. The illustrations are beautiful!  The information is interactive using flip-up sections and uniquely interesting tidbits.

My kids have poured over this atlas repeatedly and learn something new every time they pick it up. If you are familiar with Barefoot Books then you know about their dedication to sharing global stories accented by stunning illustrations.

Cameras – There are plenty to chose from, but I love this new 12 MP waterproof camera from Kodak – Easyshare Sport C123. With a great price, just $73, you get a lot more bang for your buck than with the little kiddy cameras, which often cost more. New this year is the “Easy Share” feature, which links directly to the social media sites.

Books – The new Kindle family of products offers touch screen and color. Personally, we still love the black and white, now starting at just $79. It’s easy on the eyes, doesn’t have issues with glare and not having a backlit screen helps my kids fall asleep better when reading at night. As far as packing light, it doesn’t get better than the kindle. No lugging heavy books around – ideal for travel.

Mobile Desks – When you are on the go, you have to hit the books, mobile desks are ideal. They help us stay organized with pens, pencils, etc. while providing a good writing surface. These new ones from PB Teen are super stylish.

Spinners – My new favorite type of suitcase. Using the upright cases allow you to rest a carry-on bag on top of the suitcase and not contort your arm back behind you. These just glide right beside or in front of you. There are many options out there, but I love these Britto suitcases by Heys. You can also find a variety of Heys products sale. My kids just got them all at TJMaxx.

Coats REI is a wizard with kid coats. These raincoats are perfect for travel. Seriously, why do kids clothes have to be so darn tempting? This pint-size trench coat from Burberry is adorable!


Speck iGuy

The iSection

Apple has made travel easier for everyone. Let’s face it, screen time limits go out the window when we are on the road. From my little one watching Dora to my husband watching Modern Family, Apple deserves a standing ovation from us travelers. It’s even fun finding all the cool gear to go along with the products.

Covers – iPads, iPhones, iEverythings are valuable, so how do you protect them on the road and from your kids? Look at these creative products: Speck iGuy for the iPad, a soft doll version Woogie, cute animal cases like this Turtle and this toddler Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Apptivity Case for the iPhone and iTouch. Finally, these will save your phone when your toddler gets a hold of it.

Headphones – These are so important for kids 2 and over. Even 2 to 6-year-olds have a hard time with earphones, so comfort is key! I love this new headband (also offered as a skullcap). The headband will need to be pinned because it is adult size, but still a worthwhile option. These cute animal headphones by Califone are offered in different animal variations.

Tales2Go – We use this app every day. It offers a collection of music, stories and books. My little one loves the silly songs, like “Who Stole the Cookie”, while my older kids appreciate the current novels. A year subscription is $99 and makes a perfect family gift.

Charitable Gifts

For the tot that has it all or wants to give back, here are some great travel related charities that are easily understood and appreciated by children.

Heifer International Gift CatalogPick from a menagerie of animals and learn about the country at the same time.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)The Adopt an Animal Gift Program is ideal for kids! Did you swim with turtles on your last trip or see a Killer Whale at Sea World? This program offers a huge selection of animals to symbolically adopt and includes a stuffed animal, certificate and gift bag

Defenders of WildlifeWildlife Adoption Center offers 27 animals to adopt and information about the animal. With the same concept as the WWF, this also makes an excellent gift for kids!

If you need more little trinkets and tricks for plane rides, check out Entertaining Kids on Planes.

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