Last Minute Holiday Gifts for Traveling Families

The holidays are right around the corner and I’m getting that panicked feeling in my stomach because not only have I not finished my shopping, I haven’t even made my shopping list! I’m sure I’m not the only one doing some last minute shopping so if you are looking for a holiday gift guide for travelers and stocking stuffer ideas for traveling families, here are some ideas.

Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers with suggestions for kids, tweens, teens, adults and even stocking stuffers!

Holiday Gift Ideas for Traveling Kids

1. ANiMALZ by Retrak Headphones for Kids

My daughter loves hats and earmuffs with animals so these adorable headphones immediately caught my eye. These fun, furry headphones make a perfect accessory for family road trips, airplane rides and casual listening. Parents will be happy that they offer volume-limiting technology of 85 decibels to protect young ears and a retractable cord for tangle-free travel and storage. Kids will love the six fun fabric animal designs including a bear, panda, bunny, dog, monkey and shark. ANiMALZ have an MSRP of $24.99 and can be found at Best Buy, Toys R Us and Amazon.

2. Travel Buddies Luggage Sets by Trendy Kids

These adorable hard-shell luggage sets are perfect for smaller travelers that want to be independent (and why should you have to carry all their stuff?) Travel Buddies may be purchased as a set, which includes a 17” hard-shell wheelie case and matching 13” backpack, or bought separately. All cases feature a polyester lining with dividing pocket and zip compartment, internal garment straps and easy-roll wheels that are color coordinated with the case exterior. An adjustable, multi-length handle makes for easy maneuverability for kids and adults alike. Sets sell for $89.99 each; individual pieces are priced at $64.99 for the case and $29.99 for the backpack and are available online. Sets are available in multiple animal shapes including aliens, ladybugs, penguins, butterflies, parrots and robots and Trendy Kids offers tween designs for older kids.

3. Little Passports Subscription

I’ve written about Little Passports before, but I think this is a great way to get young kids interested in travel and geography without even leaving home. Each month, your budding traveler with follow the adventures of Sam and Sophia around the world. Your monthly subscription will include letters, activities sheets, stickers, and a souvenir. Little Passports now offers kits for different ages including Early Explorers (ages 3-5), World Edition (ages 5-10) and USA Edition (ages 7-12). Subscriptions start at $10.95 per month and for a limited time you can save 15% on all new Little Passports subscriptions with code CHEER15 (note: affiliate code).

Holiday Gifts for Tween & Teen Travelers

4. Travel Journals

I’m a big fan of travel journals (as you may have noticed), and have even written a list of travel journals worth checking out and created a free downloadable travel journal printable for kids. There are so many excellent travel journals for kids, tweens, and teens available but in addition to my recommendations, I’d encourage you to check out Etsy for personalized journals or destination-specific journals.

5. Olloclip Telephoto Smart Phone Lens

If you have a tween or teen that loves Instagram and photo editing, your budding shutterbug might like the Olloclip telephoto lens, which clips on to an iPhone 5 or 5s. We have a Olloclip clip on lens for our iPhone 5 and 5s that offers a wide angle lens, fish eye, or macro lens; but I think the telephoto lens could be even more useful when traveling. The company also offers lens for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as the Samsung Galaxy phone. The Telephoto + CPL Lens for the iPhone 5 / 5s is $99.99.

6. Magellan eXplorist GC Geocaching Handheld GPS

As kids get older, it can get harder to find things to do together that don’t involve electronics. However, with geocaching you can develop a hobby that your family can do together — and your tween/teen can still get to hold a gadget! The Magellan eXplorist GC is 100% dedicated to geocaching with an uncomplicated interface and the ability to sort and search thousands of pre-loaded geocaches. It supports up to 15 hours of outdoor adventure along with a highly-sensitive SiRFstarIII GPS chipset that provides 3-meter accuracy. The eXplorist GC has tons of fun graphics, such as smiley faces for logs and merit-based awards and comes packed with common outdoor GPS features, such as waypoint creation, a worldwide basemap, active tracking, and trip odometer. The Magellan eXplorist is available on Amazon starting at $114.88.

Holiday Gifts for Traveling Parents

7. Two-handed Luggage Scale

The way airlines are constantly adding on fees for luggage, seats, meals and everything else, the last thing you want to do is have to spend even more on a flight because your checked bag is over 50 lbs. And trust me, when you are trying to minimize the number of checked bags you have to pay for, I know how easy it can be to go over the weight limits. I ALWAYS weigh my bag before I leave the house but now, this light-weight two-handed digital luggage scale makes it easy to weigh on the return trip too (and doesn’t involve having to step on any scales!) to make sure those souvenirs aren’t pushing you over the edge! Its ergonomic design lets you use both hands, making it easier to lift large or heavy bags (capable of weighing bags up to 110 lbs.). Once it’s stabilized, it locks in the weight of your bag on a clear, easy-to-read LCD screen. Plus, it’s only 4 oz., so small enough to pack so you can weigh again before you fly back home.  Available from the Container Store for $19.99.

8. DigiPower 4-Port USB Travel Charger

If you are traveling with your family, chances are you have a lot of devices to charge…phones, iPods/tablets, cameras, computers…you name it! I love when hotel rooms have easy access to electrical outlets or even offer powerstrips with USB outlets, but you can’t always count on that. Therefore instead of packing a big bag of charging bricks, I recommend a multi-port USB travel charger that can charge up to four devices at once. Just remember, you still need to bring a few cords and if you charge all the devices at once, it might take awhile but it works well for overnight charging. Available from Amazon from $22.41.

9. Eagle Creek Compression Cubes

This summer was the first time I used packing cubes and now I’m hooked! I love the Eagle Creek packing folders for more formal shirts and pants but the Eagle Creek Compression Cubes are perfect for casual t shirts, shorts, etc. First of all, I love how it helps me fit more into my suitcase, but I also like that it helps me organize my packing, especially if I’m making multiple stops along the way. One cube can be for destination #1, one for destination #2, etc.. That way when I unpack, I don’t have to take everything out of the suitcase at each destination. Eagle Creek Compression Cubes are available online or at the Container Store and other retail outlets, with sets starting at $30.40.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Traveling Families

10. Mophie Power Reserve

I don’t know where we would be without our Mophies! You know how quickly phone batteries die, especially when you are using location-based services like maps, taking lots of photos, or posting to social networks. We always travel with two back ups, a Mophie battery case for the iPhone 5S and the Mophie Power Reserve, which fits on a keyring and plugs into any iPhone that supports a lightning connector. At $49.95 it is the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for any traveler.

11. Travel Books

If you know someone has a trip coming up, how about a guidebook or a phrasebook? You could also pick a novel that inspires travel or a more generic travel book like Rick Steve’s Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler or Jane and Michael Stern’s Roadfood, for someone that loves trying local foods. Next up on my reading list is The Farm to Table French Phrasebook by Victoria Mas.

12. Travel Remedies

When you travel, not only are you exposed to more germs, but your system can also get out-of-whack as you experience jet lag, changing schedules, and new foods. Why not put together a travel kit for your traveler with remedies like Airborne immune boosters, Culturelle Probiotics, and the zzzQuil Plug in Sleep Enhancer (this also comes in handy in the room to mask any underlying odors.)

Well, that is my 2014 holiday gift guide for travelers — do you have any recommendations to add?


31 Comments on “Last Minute Holiday Gifts for Traveling Families

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  1. I havent started shopping yet either but I think the travel journals are a great idea!

      Thanks Nicky! I just ordered one fir my niece who will be going to Paris for the first time.

    How cute are these gift ideas!
    My immediate family are kind of the only family members that love to travel. So that leaves me with a lot of cousin’s kids that I am trying to recruit. These would be a good way to get them on my side for potential future travels together!

    We love Little Passports! The kids enjoy that so much and have a lot of fun with the maps and other items inside. That is a great gift suggestion.

      I’m glad to hear Drew! I like that they now have something for older kids too.

    It’s good to know I’m not the only one…I am so far behind. The holidays really snuck up on me this year (how, I don’t know…but they did)! These are some fun recommendations, even for the local-traveler.

    These are great suggestions and I am like you – I haven’t finished up my shopping yet – YIKES!! Soon soon! While we won’t be traveling this holiday it’s helpful to get tips on products for future travel as I hope our family can travel more in 2015!

    Great list! Although both of my daughters are beyond the Little Passports age range, that would have been something that would have been my Christmas gift list for them! I have a college age daughter who is constantly worried about the weight of her luggage, and yes, my husband steps on the scale with it every time she travels back to school. That luggage scale will be the perfect stocking stuffer!

      Great! I am so glad it was useful for you!

    I love all these gift ideas. This year I want to start traveling more as a family too. I love that you included little “healthy travel” gifts/stocking stuffers. I swear by EmergenC and I know people love airborne too! I just heard about the clip on lens recently too. That looks like a fun toy for mom too!

      Thanks Leah! Some of these definitely cross categories. I’m glad you like the stocking stuffer ideas too!

    Great suggestions – I love the OlloClip lens and the travel charger – thanks!

    Love this list! I would absolutely say that the luggage scale is a must have for any traveler and have gifted so many travel journals in the past. Wonderful resource and should solve many gift-givers problems!

    we LOOVE compression cubes. seriously makes traveling so much easier bc you can pack more things in but it also keeps your clothes organized. 🙂

    I love the olloclips how you can adjust the lens. Especially since everyone just uses their cells for everything.

    Oooh yes, the compression cubes! I want a set of these myself! I have just the normal packing cubes, and my boyfriend has the compression ones, and I’m so jealous!! They really do pack down flatter. I would like like one of those iphone lens. I have one of those light DSLR’s but I have no idea how to use it properly!

    I really need to get some of those packing cubes. Right now I just stuff everything into “borrowed” hotel laundry bags. 🙂

      I use those too but the cubes are great.

    There are so many things on this list that I want to try. My kids are too old now for those adorable headphones. Love them! I also am intrigued by the packing cubes.

    We never travel without our travel scales for weighing the suitcases after we’ve bought far too many souvenirs! Best gift ever. Also love the little animal suitcases, do you have to be a child to have one? 🙂

    I swear by Hyland’s Motion Sickness tablets. They work for our kids and adults. Thanks for the fun travel gift ideas!

    Excellent list! I had the OlloClip for my iphone4 but need to get it now that I have the 6. (Thanks for the reminder!) 🙂

    Great list! I’ve gotten my niece Little Passports for the past few years and she loves it.

    This is a great list! I love those headphones for the kids and thanks for the little passports reminder, such a great idea. Thanks for joining in my #wednesdaywanderlust link party this week

      Thanks Malinda! Those kid headphones are super cute.

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