20 Family Travel Christmas Gift Ideas
By the TWM Writing Team
These family travel inspired gifts were handpicked by TWM staff members. They are all available on Amazon, so you can order them online and skip the long holiday lines.
With four kids, I have bought and discarded more umbrella strollers than I’d like to count. I scored big when I came across this compact, light, good quality stroller that I could easily maneuver through airport security as well as hit the amusement park pavement. Its full reclining capability sets it apart from the competitors. Can we say nap time please? It also has a nice storage space under the seat like most full size strollers which makes carrying everyone’s stuff a cinch.
2 | Kids Digital Cameras and SD Cards
I don’t know about you, but I am always going through my phone and deleting about a bazillion photos, usually of the same frame. My kids love to take pictures and videos and, until recently, would steal my phone whenever they got the chance since they could access the camera without my code to keep them out. Enter kid friendly camera and voila! I have my phone back. Most of the time. Here are a few different suggestions depending on the age of your child.
Pre-teen and teenage kids
Although not waterproof, this little camera offers 18 pixels and video capabilities. Cheap enough that if it gets banged up it won’t be a catastrophe but quality enough to take a good photo.
Perfect for a little photo lover. This camera offers 12 pixels and can be taken underwater. Great for your beach vacation, backyard swim party, or sightseeing on your next road trip.
3 | iPods
My kids love to listen to music, and they are always asking me to make playlists. The problem is, without their own listening device, they are always stealing my phone. Apple hands down, makes the best music listening devices. There are lots of cheaper imitations out there. . . but you get what you pay for. Apple also makes a variety of styles, which is great if you have kids ranging in ages. From an iPod Touch for tweens to an iPod Nano for slightly younger children, to an iPod Shuffle if you don’t want your kids mixing in screen time, Apple has you covered.
Pre-teen and teenage kids
This king of coolers is my husband’s favorite product. Whether you are road tripping or camping, this is the perfect cooler for any travel family. It offers more insulation than your traditional cooler guaranteed to keep things cold all-day long. The lid interlocks with the cooler itself making it spill and bear proof. While it is on the spendy side, it’s also worth its weight in cooler gold.
While there are a variety of travel trays out there, this one is our favorite. It is versatile enough for planes, trains, or automobiles and packs up into a lightweight shoulder bag for easy transport. Good for coloring, craft projects, and eating. This tray allows kids to easily reach their necessities without the mess and frustration.
This Osprey pack is my favorite material possession. It is well worth the cost if your family hikes and camps as much as we do. My son practically lived in this backpack from 3-months to a year. When he was smaller, I was able to carry all the equipment needed (including his chubby-cheeked self) for a two-night backpacking excursion near Bryce Canyon. Now, at almost three-years-old, he still fits in his Osprey carrier, which he nicknamed “my walkie pack.”
We were traveling so much when my son was a baby, those 50-pound deluxe everything-and-the-kitchen-sink highchair contraptions were not an option. Our friends recommended Phil & Ted’s Lobster High Chair, which we used both at home and on the road. Its sleek carry pouch and industrial appearance make me feel cool when I whip it out at a Denny’s. Not every restaurant on your next road trip will offer highchairs, but, hey, you don’t need them anyway, because you’re a cool, collected, self-sufficient parental unit.
I remember enjoying this set of miniature easy-to-read books as a small child, especially the story of Pierre the headstrong boy who just “doesn’t care.” Originally printed in 1964, these carefully illustrated stories were created by the author of Where the Wild Things Are. Measuring only 3” x 4”, the entire set of four books will fit easily in a carry-on bag if you’re flying with kids, and it makes the perfect stocking stuffer.
Despite my dedication to adventure, I despise feeling dirty and oily. It’s even more difficult to sneak in a shower between buses and trains, trailers and tents. These are my favorite towelettes for traveling, because the natural witch hazel makes my skin feel tingly and fresh. Wet wipes are always handy for bums, noses, and dirty kid faces, but these witch hazel wipes are mine. I plan to sneak a few of these into my own stocking this Christmas.
I used to be one of those anti-kids-and-technology people. . . until I became a parent. After all, I’m a travel blogger who works on a computer constantly, and my son is fascinated by the curious buttons and touchscreens that are essential to our family lifestyle. It only took a few apple juice spills on my keyboard before I made the decision to give my son his own tablet. Why Amazon Fire?
My son loves to play ABC learning games on his tablet, especially during a long drive. If you make sure to manage your children’s screen time, a tablet is a fun, safe way to introduce them to the technological universe.
Strollers have their place, but I believe that place is not in airports. Going through security with a tiny human and added baby gear is rough, but it’s going to be even worse if you throw a stroller into the mix. Baby carriers are SO convenient because they keep your baby strapped to you during the whole trip. Most airport security screening centers don’t even make you remove your baby from the carrier! I also love baby carriers for on-the-go because they provide a comfortable place for baby to sleep.
If you want happy travels, your baby’s gotta nap. And if you’ve ever held a baby during an entire nap, you know that they tend to feel heavier and heavier the longer you hold them and eventually your arms fall asleep. Enter: Boppy. While it’s technically a pillow to support nursing mothers’ arms, it’s the perfect-sized pillow to support a sleeping child. It will save your arms on long, overnight flights and give you a chance to get some sleep. If your kid decides not to sleep, you can use it as a giant neck pillow. I won’t judge.
Breastfeeding a tiny baby discreetly on a plane is, luckily, pretty easy, especially if you’re in a window seat. However, nothing beats the convenience of a breastfeeding shirt. Rather than pulling up your shirt and juggling baby and a nursing cover at the same time, you can just pull open the shirt and latch baby on. And nursing shirts are useful everywhere you go! It isn’t uncommon to see me nursing my baby on hiking trips and at festivals. Breastfeeding shirts really are an amazing convenience.
My husband and I both have one of these, and we love them! Not only do they make it simple to access toiletries on vacation, but they make it easy to keep track of them, too. To be honest, we keep our toiletries packed in these hanging bags year-round. When we want to travel, we just roll them up and we’re good to go. It makes packing a breeze!
Someone gave these to me for a baby shower. At the time, I had no idea just how useful they would be. I use them all the time to keep track of baby toys when I travel. I connect my baby’s toys to her stroller, to her car seat, or to a restaurant high chair so they don’t get lost when my little one decides to experiment with gravity. This means my baby can play with her toys without me constantly worrying she’ll lose them.
My son is a checklist person and loves to travel. His goal is to visit every state in the United States, so this was perfect for him. It hangs on the wall in his room and he gets excited every time we visit a new state so he can scratch it off.
Every mom should have one of these! This cover changed the way that I travel with babies. It is lightweight, stretchy, and can be used as not only a car seat and nursing cover, but I have also used it as a swaddle in a pinch.
This company is owned by one of my good friends. All of their products are awesome!
This phone holder was a game changer when I drove to Utah by myself with 5 kids. I stuck it to my dashboard and then I was able to easily see the navigation on my phone and even FaceTime with my husband along the way. It securely holds my phone but also has an easy release button.
These aren’t just for hospitals and doctor’s offices. You won’t be sorry you packed a stack of these when you have a car sick kiddo in the backseat. I’ve also heard they work well in emergency potty situations, although I haven’t tried that myself.
These boxes are perfect for road trips. I pack them up before we hit the road and toss them back when I hear an empty tummy complaint. They also come in a big pack and are cheap enough that I don’t feel bad if one gets lost along the way.
Check out my article “Road Trip Food 101” for some delicious snacks to pack in your new boxes.
These are all products we personally use and believe in, so please drop us a line if you have any questions.