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As Christmas fast approaches, and we prepare to spend our first one travelling in the motorhome, we find ourselves continually having to politely decline gift ideas from our friends and family. We totally understand that grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends all want to make sure our kids don’t miss out on Christmas gifts this year, but honestly, if it’s fragile, footery, large or bulky, then it just isn’t going to fit with our minimalist, and limited, storage options while we travel. With that being said, and finding ourselves facing this question a lot recently, we decided to compile a list of suitable gift ideas for travelling kids.
So, if you are keen world travellers or you know a travelling family, you’ll find our gift ideas for travelling kids useful. We hope.
In this post we include travel related gifts, often educational, as well as small gifts to pack in a suitcase, backpack or, if you travel like us, gifts that can be easily stored in a Motorhome that won’t take up too much space.
We promise, no annoyingly noisy, migraine inducing flashing, or made-up-of-3497-teeny-tiny-irritating-little-pieces-that-you-spend -14 hours-of-each-day-rounding-up type toys have made it onto our list.
Mums and dads, you’re welcome.
Anyway, here are our best gift ideas for travelling kids, like ours.
Gift Ideas For Travelling Kids
1. Buy Them The Gift of An Experience Anywhere in the World
Tickets to the zoo, a cultural attraction, theme park or entertainment venue. Surf lessons or a day on the slopes. You can buy an experience gift for just about anywhere in the world using Get Your Guide, or similar websites. Click through and get some ideas on what’s available for kids and families.
2. A Travel Journal
A travel journal can be a whole-family project, or something for each child to complete themselves. Either buy a hardy travel-resistant journal, or a dedicated travelogue like the options listed below.
Make sure your choice is age appropriate though. Our kids are 5 and younger so a traditional journal wouldn’t get used for it’s purpose in our family. We recently found this Up (the kids movie) themed scrapbook, which we think is perfect for younger kids to enjoy and fill themselves with pictures, attraction tickets and mementos they collect along the way.
3. Kids’ Character Neck Pillow
No matter how you travel, kids will always fall asleep. These cute, but comfy, neck pillows will always come in handy!
4. Cute Passport Holders
Protect their passport, help them identify it in a pile and help them be the cool kid with one of these.
I really love these fun, personalised ones.
5. Travel Games and Card Games
I don’t really like travel games as they almost always contain small parts that, in our family, inevitably end up lost or chewed up by the dog.
These ones though are not only fun for all the family, but are educational. Young kids pick up numbers and reading through playing card games like these, and so for us, that’s a huge bonus that they can be learning as they play.
For older kids, try the Top Trumps cars games. Choose depending on their interests, like history or general knowledge, or by destinations on their travels. This Wonders of the World edition is fab too.
is just like regular Monopoly, without the huge box or the time commitment. It’s purely a card game, no other pieces involved, ideal for travel.
This little box comes with pencils, backdrop and little people. It encourages children’s creativity using something other than their iPad during flights or road trips. Younger kids will adore colouring in the little people and then creating a whole imaginary world during their trip. It’s compact and fun.
7. A Scratch Off Travel Map
These work for adults and kids, and this one has been on my Wish List for a while now! You could buy the smaller travel version, Luckies of London, Travel Sized Personalised World Map Poster, which comes in a tough carrying tube so that you can pop it in your backpack, or opt for the larger Deluxe Edition to keep at home.
I love the idea of having a permanent record of where we have been, educational and fun, but also stylish enough to frame and hang on our wall if we ever decide to settle in a house again.
These fab little trunki cases come in so many designs and characters and kids will love being able to choose their own. The great thing about these kids cases is that not only do they have wheels making it easy for little ones to pull them along behind them, but they also make a perfect seat for tired legs at airports and check-in queues.
This stylish yet practical backpack is perfect for older kids. It’s anti-theft design makes it a perfect option for bigger kids carrying laptops, tablets and mobile phones. And also comes with the teen-essential USB charging port and earphone port.
9. Head Torches
Kids love playing with head torches, sometimes they use them for reading in bed, other times playing outside in the dark. they’re very handy for power cuts too or lighting the way to campsite toilet blocks at night. You could get them a sensible one, or you could get them a super cool LEGO Star Wars Stormtrooper Head Lamp.
Our oldest daughter Flora (5) has been asking for a pair of binoculars from Santa and we’ve chosen these Aoneky Compact Mini Rubber Kids Binoculars.
They come in a choice of kid-friendly colours, have a rubber surround (perfect protection from knocks and drops) and compact enough to fit in a pocket.
There are loads of travel inspired books out there that will fire up the imagination of young travellers.
Here are a few of our favourites….
These next two books are both part of a much larger series and so have many more cities/countries to choose from. Tailor your gift choice to tie-in with your travelling kid’s destinations and make their experience more fun and educational.
12. Electronic Gift Ideas for Travelling Kids
If you know a child who loves books a Kindle is essential travel gear. These can be preloaded with kids’ books; picture story books for younger kids, reading books for the more advanced readers, before setting off on their travels and easily added to and updated along the way.
The battery life is said to be amazing, it’s small, light and easy to carry.
As an extra add-on, you could buy them a Kindle case or cover too, to help make their Kindles, that all important, kid-proof.
iPads and Tablets
These really depend on the parents’ personal preference on whether these are classed as suitable gift ideas for travelling kids or not.
Before we left our ‘normal’ life to travel full-time, we didn’t allow our kids to use tablets or iPads, preferring them to play with educational games and toys, reading with them or playing outdoors.
Before leaving, we decided to relent a little and bought our kids these Lenovo TAB3 7 Essential 7-Inch Tablets. Our kids are ages 2-5 so the Lenovo tablet fits our needs perfectly, plus it isn’t too pricey. We’ve added a couple of educational apps, like alphabet, colour and number games which the kids can all play and learn from at the same time. The memory is also large enough to store a couple of their favourite movies. A handy little piece of arsenal to whip out when they’ve all had enough on a long drive and the bickering starts.
These are probably a bit basic for older kids, and so an iPad may suit better. If opting for an iPad, try shopping for the older models as these are often much better priced than the latest model.
These are essential, especially if you have more than one travelling kid. At times we have 3 different movies playing on 3 different tablets, so these make a huge difference in terms of noise. Make sure they are noise limiting headphones to protect young ears.
Our kids especially love these novelty ones.
14. Cameras and Digital Recording
Children adore cameras so instead worrying that they will drop yours, get them a small point-and-shoot to record their own travel adventure memories. Will your little one snap something you never imagined?
Action Cameras and Go Pro
Is your travelling kid a budding videographer?
We admit, these are top end of the budget gifts, but older kids are all about technology. Plus, we still think these are educational and if they inspire the next generation of videographers, YouTubers and editors, then they are worth adding to our list of gift ideas for travelling kids.
The model below is the latest, greatest Go Pro Hero 6.
A Kid Priced Drone
We’ve seen so many people on our travels use drones and so here is our best child priced drone gift idea.
So there it is, our top gift ideas for travelling kids. I’m sure there are many more appropriate gift ideas out there and probably we will add to this list as time goes on (or we receive something really amazing from Santa this year that we haven’t thought of!).
Hopefully this has been useful, let us know what you think!