Packing Tips

Travel Gift Ideas for Kids of All Ages

This contest is now closed. We will announce the winners soon.

The countdown is on and there’s shopping to be done.The good news is many companies have finally figured out traveling families can mean big business, so more and more products that make parents (and kids) lives a little easier on the road are showing up every day. We’ve broken down the gift list by age group. Nancy Solomon covers gifts for babies, toddlers, and school age kids and Dana Rebmann covers gifts for tweens and teens.

And, to cheer you up if you’re feeling stressed by all the shopping to be done, we’ve combined our gift list with a giveaway since you just might need a family getaway to decompress after the holidays.

Omni Mount Washington Resort sleigh ride. Photo courtesy of Omni Hotels

Favorite Holiday Gift Giveaway!

Thanks to our friends at Omni Hotels and Resorts we’re giving two of our readers a free weekend night at any Omni hotel in the US or Canada. Omni’s Sensational Kids program offers traveling kids a special welcome gift upon arrival. Plus kids have access to suitcases filled with games and books to enjoy during their stay.For the ultimate family getaway, the new Kids’ Fantasy Suite with bunk beds and bean bag chairs is available at select locations.

Two lucky readers will win. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment before 11:59pm PST on Thursday, December 16, 2010 and tell us the name of a favorite gift idea. Feel free to include notes about the age-appropriateness of the gift as well.

Our comment form will ask you for your email — be sure to include it! Your email will not be shared outside of Ciao Bambino and we will only contact you if you win. On Friday, December 17th we will have a random drawing for everyone that leaves a valid comment. The winners will be announced on Ciao Bambino when they are confirmed.

Get more Prize and Contest details at the end of this post.

Travel Gift Ideas for Babies, Toddlers, and School Age Kids

Here’s my list of the best gifts for kids to keep them well-equipped, happy and busy during your travels. – Nancy

Get Packing

Let’s start with the basics, suitcases. Now, let me clarify upfront … I’m a gear person. Before I had my fourth child, I actually had to stop and think if it was just all that new and improved baby gear that I was really craving. Suitcases in our house need to be rugged and light. My favorite ones are the L.L. Bean Duffel bags. They are light and help in avoiding those nasty airline weight requirements.

However, it’s always fun to pick up a cute suitcase for the little ones to help them gear up of the trip.Here a few more interesting options.

Trunki: Ride-on suitcase in many different designs.

Disney suitcase: Boy and girl options with a sturdy frame

Land of Nod suitcase: Like Pottery Barn, Land of Nod has a selection of luggage that pop with their fresh designs.

Kids travel neck pillow by Noodle Head.  Photo courtesy of Noodle Head

Comfort is Key

To keep those kids at peace and hopefully asleep, being comfortable is important.Here are a few items to help keep kids cozy.

Head Pillows by Noodle Head: Soft and not too bulky, these will help in the plane and car.

Travel pillow 3 piece set: This set also comes with a stuffed animal and blanket.

Lug Pillow and Blanket Combo: We have used these non-stop both in the car and on the plane.Now that the airlines don’t offer blankets, this has become a necessity.They clip on bags so you can save space for other items in your carry-on.

David Fussengger Blankets: Adorable, funky, thick blankets, but best of all for traveling is that they are compact when folded up.

Flat-Out-Bears recommended by our friends at Babyccino: These cute sheepskin bears make a delightful spot for anyone to rest their head.

Power up

Electronics can save your sanity. One can only play with toys for so long.If your little one likes TV shows or movies, it gives everyone a nice break.That said, comfortable headphones are critical (I’ve learned that the hard way on a 6-hour flight).

iFrogz Tadpole iPod holder: This was one of my best finds.This adds sippy cup handles onto your ipod.The protective case is also invaluable.

Speaker pillow: We used this so much that I’m now ordering my second one.By combining speakers on a neck pillow it allows my toddler to listen to music without having headphones on.She loves this for the stroller.

Adorable DVD and camera from Pottery Barn Kids are sure to bring big smiles.

Volume Limiting Headphones: Take care of those eardrums.

Travel Kiddy bag for ages 6-9. Photo courtesy of Travel Kiddy

Entertain Them

The number of creative toys that kids can use to keep themselves busy has increased this year. Gift options range from basic toys to pre-packaged kits.For more ideas, you can see my post on Entertaining Kids on the plane but here are some of my favorites.

Chalkboard Mat: This is similar to a placemat and comes with vibrant chalk markers.

Magnatiles: Although these are a little heavy, all my kids love them and play for hours stacking and un-stacking them. They are a savior in hotel rooms when kids need something to do.

Giant Pipe Cleaners: Both the big version and little versions of these can be used in many ways.Bring pasta, cheerios to lace onto them.

Travel Kiddy Bags: Pre-packaged for kids of any age.

Eco-friendly Play Dough: Similar to the original stuff, but without any dies or preservatives.

Kidz Travel by Klutz: Klutz makes great activity sets.This one and Totally Tape are perfect to hit the road.

Kiddywampus: I felt like I hit the mother load when I landed on this site.They have the easiest and best selection of random little travel toys.

Exposures kids travel journal.  Photo courtesy of

Track It

Travel journals are a creative way to document your adventures.

Barefoot Books: Dedicated to offering a wide selection of global stories, Barefoot Books has this creative journal.

Exposures Kids Travel Journal: Kids sticker-based travel journals are available in many colors and certainly are making it to our house this holiday season! They have the perfect ratio of prompts to open space.

Beautiful travel journals: Leather-bound journals make gorgeous gifts.

Teach Them

What’s better than keeping the learning going on the road?

Little Passports: This incredible service sends you interactive learning material each month covering a different country.

Tales2go: This iPhone app offers an unlimited selection of kid stories and music spanning all ages.This brings peace to my back seat! Like Pandora for kids.

Calliope Magazine: A world history magazine just for kids.

Travel Gift Ideas for Tweens and Teens

The older your kids get the cooler it can be to shop for them, because the things on their wish lists just might be on yours too. -Dana

For good or for bad, high-tech electronics have made things like magnetic travel games obsolete.The plus, there’s less to carry and no more little pieces to lose.The downside:electronics have a much bigger price tag than a magnetic checkers set.But while games can sit in a closet collecting dust when your family’s not on the road, I’ve found when I’ve made the investment in high end gadgets, they become something that gets used regularly, so in the end, the price tag may be higher, but you get so much more.

iPad by Apple. iPad photo courtesy of on Flickr

iPad Tops the List

When your kids hit school age, gifts often shift from cute and cuddly to practical and entertaining.The days of doing crazy things to get ahold of Tickle Me Elmos and Cabbage Patch kids are over. Whether you’re a kid or all grown-up, the hottest travel gift this year is the iPad.Once again, Apple has caught the world’s attention with its slim tablet that lets you do just about anything you or your kids can think of.Watch movies, listen to music, read books and magazines, surf the web, email and even write that school history paper. (Hopefully not necessary over break, but you get the idea.)Hit Best Kids Apps to read reviews and get recommendations on high quality apps that your kids won’t lose interest in after just a few plays.

The only downsize to the iPad is its $500 price tag.

iTouch A Good Alternative

If the sticker shock has your head spinning, consider the iTouch.For about $200, the iTouch offers many of the same great options as the iPad, just in a much smaller package.The iTouch easily fits into a pocket or purse and with wireless signals popping up on street corners and restaurants around the globe, accessing information like directions to good paella in Spain, is just a touch away.A warning of sorts, because the iTouch is smaller, I think it’s also easier for kids to lose or misplace.But the smaller price tag will hopefully prevent you from going into cardiac arrest the first time your kid leaves it on the plane, at the restaurant, or in the pocket of their favorite sweatshirt that just got thrown in the washer.Take a deep breathe now, it’ll happen, you know it will.

Noise Canceling Headphones

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I made a big mistake on a family trip to Jamaica last summer.At one point on the flight from San Francisco to Miami, I handed my 12-year-old my noise cancelling headphones.She noticed right away how much nicer they were, so guess what’s on her list this year?I also have a theory that they also provide a good excuse “not to hear” anyone trying to get her attention like her sister or myself.Bose is the industry leader, but pricey at around $300.Shop and compare reviews, there are cheaper options out there to be found.Regardless, my daughter knows I’m not willing to share them, so she’s pretty confident she’ll find them under the tree.

Digital Underwater Camera

It doesn’t matter whether you’re on the Jersey Shore or in Paris. Kids love to take pictures—hundreds of pictures of great things, and lots of fingers and feet. Now that film and the cost of developing film is a thing of the past, there’s no good reason not to give your kids a digital camera and let them go for it. Along with being designed to take the bumps that come along with young photographers, more and more cameras are waterproof.So places once off limits to kids and cameras, like the beach, now offer thousands of shots to choose from.At the end of the day, just delete most of the toe pictures and keep any award winners that sneak in.When we’re traveling, my kids love to upload their shots to the family iPad and pick out pictures for their travel journal.

Nice Travel Journal

My kids have been keeping travel journals since they learned how to write.It’s a fabulous travel tradition.I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found them lying on their beds, reading about and remembering the trips we’ve taken.I have some pretty specific criteria when it comes to finding good travel journals for kids, but when my girls were younger, I made a point not to spend a fortune.Now that my oldest daughter is 12, I will admit, I’ve upgraded her journals.Yes, leather is an expensive perk that can get beat up on a trip through Northern Ireland, but that’s kind of the point.When she pulls it off the shelf, it makes her smile before she even gets it open.I have a feeling those journals are going to be around for a long time, so the upgrade costs are worth it.

Cash is King

The most obvious of great travel gifts is one of the easiest to forget. Money.Kids love to buy trinkets for friends and souvenirs to remember their trip.

“Teens and tweens want independence when traveling,” says Mary Turner, Publisher of Travel with Teens and Tweens. “Give them some spending money in the form of a prepaid debit or charge card—then make sure you let them use it on whatever they want, even if mom and dad think it is tacky!”

Many prepaid debit cards can be replaced if lost or stolen, which is perfect for younger shoppers who aren’t the best at keeping track of cash.But check before you buy, some prepaid debit cards are not accepted outside the U.S.You don’t want your daughter to head out on a Paris shopping spree only to find out her card won’t work in France.

If your kids are headed to a place like China, or even much of Mexico, cash, especially small bills might be the way to go.In places where bargaining and shopping go hand in hand, having exact change is a must.

What are your favorite travel gifts for kids? Let us know in the comments section of this post to enter our Omni giveaway!

Omni Kids’ Fantasy Suites. Photo courtesy of Omni Hotels

Prize Details

Two readers will receive a gift certificate for one free weekend night at any Omni Hotel in the US or Canada.Weekend nights are Friday and Saturday. Certificate is redeemable for one night only, including taxes.Parking and resort fees where applicable are not included.

The certificate is valid for 2 adults and in most locations, 2 children, 17 years old and under.(In New York City children are 12 years old and under).Black-out dates and booking conditions vary by hotel location. The certificate expires November 30, 2011.

Giveaway Terms

This contest is now closed. We will announce the winners soon.

Only one comment per person per giveaway. Duplicate comments, anonymous comments and comments with vulgarity, profanity, personal attacks and comments not directly related to the topic will be discarded.

Please make sure that the email address in your comment form is valid (email addresses are never public). Winners must claim their prize within three business days after the date of notification of such prize. A Sweepstakes winner’s failure to respond to the prize notification within the specified three business days will be considered such Sweepstakes winner’s forfeiture of the prize and an alternate winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate winner may also be selected from the pool of eligible entries. To enter, you must be age 18 or older.Winner gives Ciao Bambino the right to use their name and/or photograph for sole purpose of announcing the winner of the giveaway.

Employees, partners, and vendors of Ciao Bambino and their immediate family members are not eligible to enter. We will disqualify any entries that we believe are generated by scripts and other automated technology. When applicable, the winner may be required to execute and return within five business days an Affidavit of Eligibility and a Liability and Publicity Release to be eligible for the prize or an alternate winner will be selected. All prizes will be awarded. No substitutions including for cash are permitted, except that Ciao Bambino reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater monetary value for any prize. Winners shall be responsible and liable for all federal, state and local taxes on the value of their prize.

Big thanks to, Contests for Moms, Online-Sweepstakes, and Sweepstakes Advantage for spreading the word about our giveaway!

Relevant Links:

Cool Mom Picks holiday gift guide

Top 10 Packable Gifts from Hip Travel Mama

Holiday gifts for the traveling family by Eileen Ogintz

Holiday gifts for kids from Culture Mom

Holiday gifts from Moms Gone Global

Start a Discussion

  • What a great list! I definitely second the vote for cute backpacks/suitcases for little ones – my youngest loves his Jet Blue backpack that’s shaped like a plane and gets excited every time he gets to pack it.
    In terms of travel gifts for school-aged kids (I’ve got one in kindergarten and one in third grade) mine absolutely love Magic Pen books (you can find them online at retailers like Amazon and in many book or toy stores). The younger one likes the “painting” books and sports trivia is always a good bet for my older baseball lover. The reason these are great for travel is that even if the caps come off the pens inside those cute backpacks, they don’t leave any marks.

  • The noise canceling headphones are a great idea since the background noise on airplanes and in terminals can make it hard to hear. I like them because the kids are less likely to turn them up too loud compared to their regular iTouch earbuds.
    Great giveaway too! The Omni Mount Washington Resort is on our list of best New Hampshire ski resorts for families with teens. If we win that is where we’ll be heading!

  • I’m always a fan of giving kids good books to read. Nothing can make travel time pass faster than losing yourself in a good book, no matter what your age.

  • We travel a ton with our kids – I have have yet to get them individual suitcases because when we fly, we try to pack into a couple larger suitcases instead. But I do like them to have their own fun backpack to carry in the airport and keep their toys in – and it limits what they bring – because they have to carry it! I put the animal neck pillows on my ‘wish list’ for my kids – very cute idea and I can’t believe we don’t have them yet 🙂

  • I love the ride-on suitcase! Must get that for my daughter! In terms of a great travel gift for a toddler, we love the Fisher-Price IXL. It keeps our daughter occupied for long stretches of time!

  • A favorite gift is a thinkfun game called Rush Hour. We bought the Junior Version for our preschooler and found all ages have fun with it. It travels well and you can play solo or work together.

  • What a lovely giveaway and an amazing gift guide!
    I love giving kid something practical and something fun. The kid-sized wheelie suitcases from Beatrix NY are sturdy and solid, and so so cute. Then I think your idea of a digital underwater camera is fantastic! Great way to get kids involved with the trip and seeing things in their own way.

  • I love the gift of books! My daughter loves to read just to relax… I want to encourage this as much as I can! I also love the iTouch as a gift. Pricey but fun for adults and kids! Buy 1 for the entire family to share.

  • Travel journals are cheap, educational, and help the trip last longer in everyone’s memory. We have tons of fun looking over old ones, reliving events, and seeing how everyone has changed and grown.

  • I love the kids travel books by M. Saslov. This is Paris, This is London, etc. They are wonderful books to read before a visit to a new city and a nice souvenir after a trip. For the plane I think the Boy’s (or Girl’s) Doodle book by A. Pinder are great for keeping the kids entertained on flights.

  • My favorite gift idea for my 11 year old is a list of states. As he finds each state on a license plate, he markes it off. We usually pay $0.25 per license plate, and pick a special state that is worth $2. That will usually keep him busy for awhile!

  • Before every trip I get my kids some new activity books, crayons/pencils, mad libs, books and a travel board game so those would all make good small gifts. As far as a specific slightly larger travel gift, I’d recommend a new toiletry case or even a new suitcase.

  • I agree that books are good travel gifts, but I Love the travel games by Milton Bradley, such as Connect 4 and Battleship.

  • Cool ideas!
    My GF and I have 4kids(2 children each from previous relationships) and varying ages from 6-13.
    Car rides are always noisy! We always have a tote at the ready filled with colouring books, books and travel games for long trips as well as non persihable snacks. It never fails 10mins after leaving the house somebody is “hungry”.
    We try to encourage games/toys that are less electronically involved and more creative. Board games, crafts etc.

  • My great gift idea for a teen girl is a cosmetics bag filled with travel size necessities, a hairband ball, and travel size makeup brushes. For boys, same sort of thing but with a shaving kit bag. Favorite for all ages…definitely the portable dvd player. What a lifesaver!

  • I have 2 different ideas that would both be HUGELY successful.
    The first is for kids; especially older kids that are past the toy age. They LOVE iTunes Gift Cards. Each has their own music preference which can change at a moments notice and this way they can get what they really want and put it on their MP3 device.
    I have also found that adults love Kindle Readers! They are more expensive but if that is in your budget for a particular person it is great. It takes much less room than books, is easy to carry around and there are even a ton of free books!

  • Roadtrip Bingo! It’s great for the whole family, really, and if you can’t find a set to buy (or don’t want to), making the cards is an easy, fun pre-trip activity. For younger children, use pictures–for older children, you could do car makes or something more difficult.

  • We are strong believers in the gift of experiences instead of things. In particular love a special day out 1-on-1, their choice of where!
    Of course, things are fun to get sometimes too. 😉

  • My favorite kind of gift to give is either a gift card to a store that you know someone loves or tickets to an event that you know someone wold enjoy.

  • My favorite gift to all ages is music cds or concert tickets. Music lifts the spirit everytime.

  • The city adventure series Look Out World, Here I Come! always gets my kids in the traveling spirit! Great way to prepare kids for what it’s like to travel and what they may see in the big city!

  • Awesome giveaway!
    I beleive that the greatest travel gifts for children are portabel DVD players (with movies and headphones), travel-sized games, coloring books, puzzles, and books to read. The way to keep children busy on a long trip is to have travel-sized items, in their favorite pasttimes, handy. They are less likey to get bored and fussy.

  • Great gift list! I got lots of new ideas from it!
    For my 2 and 4 year olds, the best travel gift is more about variety. My kids quickly get bored with the same old toys/books. I’ll stuff their stockings with dollar store finds like a box of dominoes, portable board game, deck of cards, scribble pad, etc. Getting something new to play with will hold their attention for longer every time!

  • We got our son a Fisher Price camera so he can make his own memories. Fisher Price also makes Kid Tough Binoculars, that we might give to him for the next trip.

  • Love the Land of Nod suitcases/duffle bags. Would be cute to have matching ones for my boys!

  • I have a homemade decorated cardboard Christmas tree with little slots in it. Every year I fill it with giftcards from various places. We have a big party and the kids can pick out the gift card they like the best. I make sure to pick out places that I can use too in case there are any leftover cards.

  • Love the ipad idea – actually can entertain all ages. But the Samsung Galaxy (very much like the ipad) is also a good choice and uses WiFi or the cellular network for even better coverage.

  • The idea of books is great, and there are pop-up books, activity and/ or sticker books, and many other varieties!
    I love having a book with me wherever I go, and I’d keep some handy for the kids too…

  • Did you know that apps make great stocking stuffers? Ruckus Media has classic storybook tales like Goldilocks and the Three Bears and John Henry as apps for the iPhone, iTouch or iPad that range from .99-$3.99 each. Each is narrated by a celebrity like Meg Ryan and Denzel Washington. They run around 20 minutes and are interactive and stimulating for kids. Plus, they’re portable and economical to ease packing and trip planning.

  • All of the aforementioned are wonderful travel gifts for kids. Over the years, my boys have been thrilled to receive monogrammed rolling suitcases, cute neck pillows, journals with stickers. A promise of their souvenir of choice (within budget) gets them excited about a trip, too!

  • I like disposable cameras because they can freely take pictures AND don’t have to worry about being delicate with “the camera”.

  • I like the “Sesame Street Take Along Li’l Twister” since its compact and comes with a carrying case. The kids can play in the hotel room. Who doesn’t like Twister!

  • I love to include books for reading and a new coloring book and notebook with a pen/pencil attached to it (I buy several from Michael’s in the $1 bin area) the kids draw and write things they see on the way. We took a trip road trip from Richmond VA to Atlanta and they drew giant peaches, soda bottles, whales and we keep the books in a box labeled trips we have taken. I also put new crayons into old eye glass cases, it keeps them all in one place and its such a treat to get new crayons :).
    The travel lap desks work well for activities and eating snacks and we do have a portable dvd player but we only use it in case of horrible travel delays

  • I suppose it depending on the ages of the kids but for ours we have a portable DVD player for each of them. The kids bring their favorite movies and it keeps them occupied during and trips we’ve taken.

  • I love the Trunki as a gift for a toddler/small preschooler. Another great gift for a baby 0-24 months is a good quality carrier. There are so many choices out there so be sure to be fitted and shown how to use properly by a qualified Person. I find a carrier easier to deal with than a stroller when traveling.

  • When I’m stumped, I give a Borders or Barnes & Noble Gift Certificate. I think that they are great for any age.

  • The best travel gift idea for a toddler is Travel Aquadoodle. It helped us survive our recent flight to Hawaii with our 20 month old. It’s light, affordable and kept our daughter entertained during the flight better than any other toy we brought with us in our travel toy bag.

  • On our recent trip to Italy the IPod Touch was invaluable with our 7 and 9 year old boys. Another great item we picked up at Disney along the way was an electric fan and mister – looks like a water bottle with a built in fan and mister at the top – great for hot destinations when you’re doing a lot of walking.

  • When my kids were younger and we had to travel we live 1200 miles one way from all our family
    I would go to the dollar tree and walmart and pick up healthy snacks and items like markers, dry eraser boards, story books
    and craft items, little toys
    I would make up gift bags and evry so often on the trip they would get a bag it kept them happy and entertained
    Now that they are teens I know they would like a ipad
    but until I get rich they stay entertained by taking their game console and we have a plug for it in the car and they play games on the trip
    Thank you so very much for giving me a chance to be a winner
    Thank you for all your time, effort and hard work

  • My favorite gift idea is board games like clue or monopoly. You have to play with friends or family so they always bring people together. Great for kids of all ages.

  • I love to give books to kids, especially sets of books. I bought my nephew (who is going to be 2) a set of Toy Story clapboard books that come in a box that he will be able to carry with him anywhere. If he’s anything like other toddlers, I am sure he will fill the case with other toys and books and carry it around.

  • I love to give board games for family gifts and books for individual.
    mercsmercado at yahoo dot com

  • One of my sons favorite gifts was a chance to get to go to a Timberwolves game with his aunt.

  • I am excited to see how an electronic hangman game works for our next road trip. This is going to be a Christmas gift, bought from a Young Explorers catalog. My son really wants a DS, but I didn’t want to go there yet. Especially now that he grabs a book many times to get some reading in.

  • My granddaughters are 18 and 21 and I try to give them each one piece of nice jewelry at gift giving occasions. mcgillrmcgill(at)charter(dot)net

  • LeapFrog makes a series of digital cameras for children and I think it’s a great idea. They always see adults taking pictures and can join it. It even has editing on the computer for older kids!

  • My husband is an amazing mechanic so he usually gets a really expensive ($299-$399) ratchet, or special GM tool. He’s like a kid in a candy store when he opens up a shiny new tool! LOL I love to see that look on his face 🙂

  • Favorite gift? I-pad all the way! Why? I’m a professional musician, and with an I-pad I could put hundreds of music books on it, set the ipad on the music stand and have thousands of songs at my finger tips, instantly! My favorite gift to give is something home-made that makes my wife love me more deeply, life a special photo from the place I first laid eyes on her! (i really did that!) Thanks for the opportunity!

  • I always brought a backpack for my son to carry with all his favorite toys, books and snacks! Worked great for me!

  • I give each of my kids 4, 5, 6 and 8 disposable cameras so they can each take pictures of things they think are special when we take trips. They love it and love to get the pictures back!

  • Our favorite gifts are for the family. We like to come up with a creative way of announcing our family vacation. Sometimes it’s a stuffed animal as a clue, sometimes it’s a calendar with clues, sometimes maps, etc.
    The kids really look forward to figuring it out (even if it’s just a weekend away). The best part is that they have time to think about it, read about it. Time together is priceless!

  • My favorite travel gift is a roomy kids backpack and a pair of pj’s!! I prefer the backpacks from pottery barn kids and carters brand pajamas !

  • Digital cameras for my kids this year! Can’t wait to see our vacations through their eyes!

  • My favorite gift idea is the comfort is the key one. Traveling can be grueling especially with small children. I likethe 3 piece travel pillow set. My personal favorite gift certificate is anything that makes life easier or pampers like a restaurant gift certificate or a massage

  • We travel a lot by train. I find that books, art supplies, a camera, a deck of card and dice are wonderful easy things with which to take while traveling with kids….

  • My favorite gift idea is a personally made gift basket with special little gifts that I know the recipient will like. This can be tailored for a child (toys, games, books, etc.) or an adult (coffee, chocolates, goodies, favorite novels, etc.).

  • A good travel gift for my kids is a Magna Doodle where they can draw endlessly and when they are done with their picture they can erase it away and draw another one. We also like to get travel pins for a lanyard. We like to give them to represent cities or hotels we have visited. This is like a travel badge of honor for my kids.

  • Definitely an iPod of some sort and a gift card; everyone loves music and a gift card for them to choose what they want (within reasonableness)!

  • i love the travel neck pillow for kids. my daughter always falls asleep in the car so this is a fantastic idea. a runner up would be the digital camera.

  • I think a favorite gift idea is puzzles. They can be for all ages by varying the number of pieces in the puzzles you buy. They’re great for spending time together working on them when you want to fill your time with “non electronic” family time. They’re also great for small motor skills and problem solving. We’ve often taken a puzzle on vacations to give us something to do together in our room during down times.

  • It may sound silly but, when we had our cat, she loved getting an empty box or an empty bag — it was a new place to play, to hide, to attack, to sleep, etc.

  • If you’re going to one of the Disney parks, it helps to buy a few Disney items that you know the kids will like in advance, at places or times when they’re not at the high amusement park-level. That way, you can give them to the kids while there and they’ll be happily surprised… hopefully

  • Hola! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good work!

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