If your kids are like mine, they certainly do not need any new toys at Christmas! From the time my 3-year old, Harrison, gets his hands on the Toys R Us Christmas catalog and goes to town circling everything he would like, it’s a fight to remind him how many toys he already has without taking away his excitement for new things on Christmas morning. It can also be hard to remind family members of the overflowing toy chests and cluttered playrooms when they ask for gift suggestions; you want to be able to suggest something you know your child will love, but something more useful than a toy they’ll probably lose interest in before the New Year. If your kids are little explorers, or you’re shopping for a child whose family is always off on new adventures, then take a look at these awesome ideas for Christmas gifts for kids who love to travel!
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means that if you purchase an item after clicking on the link, I will receive a small commission from the sale. This is at no extra cost to you, and as always, all opinions and recommendations are my own.
1. Their own suitcase
For Harrison’s second Christmas, my sister bought him a Trunki, and to this day whenever we travel, he gets so excited to get the Trunki out and start packing. This case is made of a hard plastic so it’s durable, but lightweight, and the perfect size for a carry-on bag. It also has wheels, so not only can you roll it through the airport, your kids can ride on it too! This has saved us in a long security line, when Harrison was able to sit down on his Trunki and wait. Another great choice for a child-size suitcase is the Skip Hop Rolling Luggage Bag, which come in really cute designs. Harrison loves feeling grown up by carrying his own bag, and gets so excited to pack it with the things he wants to take on a trip with him. Plus if they are carrying their own bag – that’s one less bag for you to carry! Score! We love this Trunki so much that it is in our very own Travel Shop, where we list the products that we use when we travel with the kids.
Harrison doesn’t know it, but this is one of his Christmas gifts this year! He has a map of the world in his playroom and loves to stand in front of it, asking questions about the different countries and where we’ll go to next. So I thought a globe, something he could touch and spin and really examine, would help inspire him to learn more about the world and keep asking those questions. Or maybe he’ll just love spinning it!
This desk globe is the exact one we’re getting for our little explorer this year!
I am one of those people who constantly takes photos of everything; we have hundreds of albums, thousands of photos, and when we travel, I can usually be found behind a camera. Harrison has started asking to take photos, and a child-friendly camera is a great idea for a kid who loves to travel. For young children, a basic digital camera would be perfect; something that will take good quality photos, but is also durable because let’s face it, it will be dropped over and over. For an older child, a Polaroid-style camera would be really cool; photos that print right from the camera for instant gratification!
For a kid who flies a lot, their own headphones are a must. Not only are these a necessity for them to keep themselves occupied with movies and games, but they can help eliminate the noise from the cabin that can sometimes be overwhelming for a child. Planes are noisy places, and a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones can tune all of that hustle and bustle out, making it easier for a child to relax and enjoy the ride.
These LilGadgets headphones are the ones we have, and we never board a plane without them.
5. Jigsaw puzzles
I absolutely love jigsaw puzzles, and I’m super happy that Harrison seems to be following suit; this past year he has really gotten into them, and there will definitely be a few on his Christmas list this year. I love puzzles with pictures of the different countries or states, where we can talk about places as we complete the puzzle together. Puzzles with planes, boats, cities, and animals are also fun to do as we talk about new places to visit and things we might see.
6. Travel journal
On pretty much every trip I take, if you asked me what I did on any given day, I’d have to go back through my photos to actually remember – I suffer from trip amnesia! This year I’ve started keeping trip journals that I update at the end of each day while on the trip, so I can remember what we did, where we went, and any funny or cute things that happened that I might forget later. I’ve decided this might be a fun gift for Harrison too. A trip journal is not only something that will keep him occupied while on the trip, but will be something he can keep as a souvenir to look back on. There are some great travel journals out there geared towards kids of all ages with places to write (or draw) memories, put photos, and even games and puzzles for entertainment.
7. Travel pillow or blanket
Comfort is key on a long trip, and a travel pillow or blanket is a great gift for a child who takes long car or plane trips. Airplanes often get cold, and the blankets they give you on a plane – if they give you one at all! – are usually thin and pretty useless. A cozy blanket can be used to snuggle up under to keep warm! On a night flight, a pillow and blanket ensures that a child can get a few hours sleep, which is great for them and for you!
We have a Disney pillow pet, which is a stuffed animal that doubles up as a soft pillow to sleep on. I also love this travel blanket/pillow combo from Lug that folds up nice and small to easily fit into a carry-on bag.
8. Activity kits
Any parent used to traveling with young kids will tell you that, among the items to pack in your child’s carry-on bag, activity books are a must. Coloring books, sticker books, puzzle books – anything that will keep them occupied and quiet for more than a few minutes. If you can find a book that has a little of everything, that works out best since it takes up the least space, and keeps kids from getting bored doing the same thing over and over.
This activity kit is awesome! It has toys, games, crayons, stickers, and tons of other things to keep kids occupied.
9. Travel book
I am a firm believer that kids can never have enough books, and books on travel are some of my favorite books to buy for them. We love books where you can learn about different countries and cultures, especially when we are going to visit a new place for the first time. I am a huge fan of the Good Night books; these books feature different cities, states, and countries, and show all of the most popular things to do in those places. I buy the books before we go on a trip to get ideas for things to do when we visit, and Harrison has always loved looking at the pictures of what we might see. After we return, it’s fun to read the books together and point out the things that we did on the trip and the memories we made – as well as plan what we will do on our next visit!
Visit the Good Night books website to see all of the locations available.
10. Little Passports subscription
This will be in Harrison’s stocking this year! Little Passports is a subscription box service that encourages children to learn about the world through crafts, games, and fun activities. There are different subscription plans based on your child’s age and interests, such as Early Explorers, World Edition, and USA Edition, and each box has a different theme. I know Harrison will be excited to get this in the mail each month, and eager to open up the kit to see what there is to do.
Check out the Little Passports Collection here.
Do you have any great recommendations for gifts for kids who love to travel? Let me know in the comments below!