If you’re looking for some gift ideas this Christmas, here are some suggestions for the best travel gifts for kids!

Updated: November 23, 2022

Buying gifts for kids is always fun, but sometimes you have no idea what to get them!

Chances are they already have the toy that you’re considering buying, or maybe they’re not into that trend anymore. It’s hard to know with kids!

But for families that love to travel, buying travel gifts for kids is perfect! The gifts will be useful, practical and still be fun!

So if you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some of the best travel gifts!

These aren’t just gifts for Christmas though! The ideas below can be used as birthday gifts for kids that travel, or any other time you’re looking to purchase useful presents for kids.

Take a look, I’m sure you’ll find something perfect for the little traveler on your list!

Books as Gifts for Kids that Travel

Books are always a great idea for kids, well really, for anyone! Here are some great ideas for little travellers.

World Atlas

An atlas is a must-have for any kid who loves to travel!

We have this one by Basher Geography that we love. It’s small and compact, with lots of info and interesting facts about countries. It’s our go-to that we read before we travel somewhere new.

We also have this National Geographic one, which has more photos and is great for the boys to read through independently.

5 Minute Stories

These 5 minute stories are great to take travelling!

Although they’re a bit heavy and a touch large, they’re well worth the space and weight they take up in your luggage.

With quite a few different books, from Disney and McQueen to the Berenstain Bears and even Daniel Tiger, you’re sure to find something for any young kid.

The books have anywhere from 12 to 18 stories in them, easily providing you with many stories to read on your travels.  

I Spy Books ( Look and Find for toddlers)

We love these books!  The boys started with the Look and Find books when they were toddlers and they are great for travelling!

Whether we were driving in the car, passing time on a flight or even just reading in a hotel room, the boys could look at these books over and over again.

Now the boys are a bit older and enjoy reading the I Spy books – we always have at least one or two in our suitcases.

Read more | Best Travel Books for Kids: Fun and Educational Books to Inspire Wanderlust

Activity Books for Kids that Travel

Water Wow

Melissa and Doug make these great Water Wow books. There’s no need for crayons, markers or anything else, just water!

As kids ‘paint’ each page with water, the scene will change colours. When done, simply let the page dry and then reuse again next time!

We used these on our first trip with the boys and they were great!

Each hotel that we were in had tile floors (or we’d use the bathroom) and if the water spilled, no problem! They would ‘paint’ each page over and over again!

We took these books (different themed ones) each time we travelled until the boys were 4 or so. Well worth the purchase!

My First Paint

These first paint books by Melissa and Doug are a step up from the Water Wow, but basically the same idea. You only need to use water to ‘paint’ the pictures on each page.

Once dry, you can hang them up to decorate a hotel room, or send them home to family members as a nice surprise/semi-postcard!  

Read more | Perfect Travel toys for 2 & 3 year Olds

Scholastic Sticker Workbooks

We discovered these sticker workbooks a year or so ago, when they boys were school-age (In Canada, kids can start school at 4).

They’re a great, fun way to practice preschool skills, using stickers to complete the pages. Anything with stickers is a hit with my kids right now, so these books are perfect for them.

The stickers are included in the book, so there’s nothing extra you have to bring, and no worries about crayons or markers dropping on the floor while you’re driving or flying.

These books are great for the plane and road trips!

Wiki Stix

Although this isn’t an activity book, I had to include wiki stix in this list as they’re amazing! There are so many things to do with them and they’re virtually mess-free!

If you haven’t heard of them before, wiki stix are reusable little sticks that can bend into any shape and the stickiness helps the pieces stay in place.

Kids can use them to make shapes, letters, words, pictures, the list goes on and on!

Once you’re done, simply put them back in the package and use them the next time!

Games as Gifts for Kids that Travel

Games are a fun and educational present, and even better, they’re something the whole family can do together!

Scrabble Junior

This popular game is a favourite in our house. Scrabble Junior has a few different versions, and one of ours (yes, we have more than one!) folds up small enough to fit in the boys’ suitcase.

It’s lasted us through several month-long trips and it’s still going strong in our house!

Chutes and Ladders

Board games are a great gift for kids, as they provide all kinds of learning opportunities, while keeping it fun!

Chutes and Ladders is one of those classic kids’ board games. And somehow my kids never tire of this game!

Like Scrabble, we have one that folds up small (we take it out of its’ box) and fits perfectly in the boys suitcases.   

Read more | 10 Great Travel Games for Families

Story Cubes

I LOVE these story cubes.

They’re small, easy to pack and are great to pull out anytime you’re waiting somewhere (in the airport, a restaurant, camping or even passing time on a long train ride).

Using the pictures that you rolled, you create a story!

Deck of Cards

Cards are another game that’s super portable and we always have a deck of cards when we travel.

Young kids can start with Go Fish (there are specific decks of cards you can get for this, or you can use a regular deck).

There are so many games you can play, but some good ones for young kids are Crazy 8’s, Snap, or our newest favourite is Kings and Cabbages.

Cards pass the time while you’re travelling, camping or even spending a rainy day at home.  

Uno is also a great game that we always travel with now!!


Puzzles are another one of those great gifts for kids of any age!

And since we’re talking about kids who travel, these map puzzles are a great gift!

Melissa and Doug makes one with larger pieces that is great for smaller kids, but there are also some with more pieces for young kids, like this great one that’s one the boys’ wish list this year!

Toy Gifts for Kids that Travel

These are the fun presents, the presents that tick off the ‘something you want’ box. But they’re also practical and great to take travelling!


I can’t say enough good things about Magformers.

We LOVE them!

The boys love playing with them, and mom loves that they keep them occupied for awhile!

The boys got their first basic set at age 4 before we went to Eastern Europe for 6 weeks and they used them every single day.

Over the years we’ve added additional sets of magformers to our collection and even at age 7, my guys still use them.

They’re also a great road trip activity, and have kept my kids amused for hours in the car.


At first, Lego might not seem like the best idea to take travelling, but as long as the Lego is a small set or in some sort of case, it’s a great thing to take with you.

If you have the classic set or even a small set or two, there are so many things kids can build!  

Here are some more great toys for travelling with 4-5 year olds.

Gear for Kids that Travel

These are the practical presents, the presents that tick off the ‘something you need’ box.

You’re going to need some of the things to travel anyways, so why not wrap them up as a gift and get the kids excited to go on their next adventure?


A flashlight isn’t necessarily a travel item, but it is a good thing to take travelling!

We started including them in our packing list when we went camping, but it’s come in handy while travelling too!

There’s been a few times that we’ve used it in hotels, especially in the middle of the night if you have to get up and don’t want to turn on all the lights!

Water Bottle

A must have for any traveler, a water bottle always comes in handy!

Whether it’s for the plane ride, or when you’re out and about during your travels, a water bottle will always be used.

Mom tip: Make sure to look for one with a loop or hook to easily attach it to a backpack or purse.


Now this is more of a fun present!

If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll love using binoculars!

It keeps them occupied on the plane (even though they usually just see clouds out of the window, they still keep checking!), while you’re out sightseeing, going for a hike or even just in the hotel room.

Try a game of “I Spy” using the binoculars!


Doesn’t every traveler need a camera?

Whether it’s using your phone or a camera, I bet you take pictures when you travel! And kids always want to be just like their parents!

The boys started asking me if they could use the camera too when we stopped to take a picture.

They’re actually not bad at taking pictures! But I’m not sure I want them using my expensive camera all the time!

These kids cameras are great – they’re a perfect size for little hands, they take real pictures but you can also add some fun ‘stickers’ while taking the picture AND they come with a strap so the camera won’t get dropped or lost.

Hooded Towel

This might seem like a bit of an odd present, but these are GREAT towels!

So cute, practical and kids will love the little carry bag that they come in!

Whether you’re travelling or heading to the beach in the summer, these microfiber towels are perfect.

The towels come in a carry bag, and then we add sunglasses and a sun shirt to the bag.

The towels are hooded, lightweight and super cozy.

We’ve used ours for multiple trips, MANY beach days at home and they’re still in good shape.

Another well-used and favourite present for my guys.

Mifold Booster Seat

This is a bit of an odd present too, but I’ve included it for two reasons.

One, they’re amazing to travel with, and two, my kids were SO excited to get one!

The mifold is a portable travel booster seat, good for kids aged 4 and up AND over 40lbs.

It folds up and fits in my large purse or fits easily in the boys’ suitcases so I wasn’t lugging around a big booster seat around.

So I’d buy this, even it was just because it was something kids could use (and helps parents out too!).

But they boys LOVED getting it – because to them, it meant they were ‘big boys’ and could sit in (almost) a real seat in a car!

We’ve used them for several trips, which included a few long days in a car, and they worked well!

I still prefer the five point harness at home, but the mifold is great for travel.

Luggage Tag

This is a great stocking stuffer present, or add to the top of another present. You can find cute luggage tags in all kinds of shapes and sizes (one of my guys is getting cactus one this Christmas).


Of course, every kid could use a backpack, especially if they’re travelling! Keep in mind your child’s size when purchasing a backpack. The bigger the backpack, the more they can put it in and the heavier it will be! The boys started with small backpacks and are now carrying 8-10L backpacks as their carryon.

Subscription Gifts for Kids that Travel

Subscription boxes might not seem like a gift for kids that travel, but read on and I’ll tell you why I’ve included these ones.

Green Kids Crafts

Now while this isn’t a true travelling gift, who doesn’t love crafts? We love this box because we can take it while we travel and not have to carry extra crafting stuff! 

Our challenge while long term travelling is always how to bring along the ‘stuff’ needed to create things. Well this kit does it for us!

Little Global Citizens

This box is perfect for kids that live in the United States (unfortunately they only ship within the U.S. right now).

You can purchase individual boxes or sign up for a subscription.

Shipping is free and there is no contract!

The boxes arrive every two months and are filled with crafts, activities, recipes, a story book and a guide about the country.

You can find more info here and check out past boxes.

Little Passports

This subscription box is for kids who love to travel or are interested in learning about new places.

With different subscriptions for different ages, you are guaranteed to find something for kids of any age.

Shipping is available to the U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand, U.K. and Canada.

You can learn more here.

I hope these suggestions have given you some ideas of travel gifts for kids! If you have any other suggestions, let us know in the comments below.

Happy shopping!

For more family travel ideas and tips for travelling, be sure to check out these posts:


  1. Great list! I love the idea of Subscription Gifts, especially, ”Little Passports”! When I will have children, I hope I will still find something like this! 🙂

  2. The activity books are soooo cute!

  3. I need these in my life!

  4. My husband is from Europe, so we travel a lot. These are some great ideas to keep my toddler entertained on the trans-Atlantic flights!

  5. We just got a dinosaur-themed Water Wow for our son and he loves it! I can’t wait to bring it on our next trip!

  6. Great gift ideas! I especially liked the little passports!

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