Family Travel Gift Ideas
Are you struggling to find the perfect travel gift for your travel companion, family member, or kids? If so, we’re confident one of these gift ideas will do the trick.
We feel it’s important to note that we’ve used these travel items and recommend them. We don’t bring every item on every trip (it depends on the length of the trip and the destination), but each item has been proven useful for our family travels.
Note – most of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you purchase one of these items we will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Read this post for recommended baby travel items.
Best Travel Gifts for Adults
Let’s start by sharing a few of our recommended travel gifts for adults.
The following items range in price. Some are less than $10 USD and would be great stocking stuffers, while others are a little more expensive, like the GoPro Hero action camera.
We’ve selected these travel gift ideas because we currently use them or we’ve used them in the past and found them helpful.
Cell Phone UV Sanitizer
This might be the hottest travel gadget for 2020. Most of the portable sterilizing boxes eliminate up to 99.5% of germs and bacteria. There are several models at varying price points. This makes for a great travel gift because many people do not own a portable smart phone sanitizer and would appreciate having one.
More info about this mobile phone UV Sanitzer here.
Huzi Infinity Pillow
There are a lot of travel pillows to choose from so it can be a little confusing as to what pillows actually work. One tip we recommend is to avoid blow up pillows. Although blow up travel pillows save space, they are not very comfortable.
The Huzi Infinity neck pillow is soft and versatile. We like that it allows you to wrap the pillow as you like, so it works well in different environments. It’s soft, durable and made of breathable bamboo fabric. It’s also machine-washable, hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial, which is a nice bonus.
The Huzi Infinity Pillow makes a great travel gift. More info here.
Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow
If you prefer something a little more firm, we recommend a memory foam pillow. It will mold to your neck and provide support to your head and neck.
Get one that has an adjustable clasp because that will offer chin support. It also adjusts to accommodate different neck sizes.
Learn more about this memory foam neck pillow here.
Soft Travel Blanket Pillow for Airplanes
A soft blanket pillow is so useful when traveling. We’ve had to use travel blankets many times on cold air-conditioned buses and/or flights. We also use it to block light when are boys are trying to sleep. Look for a travel blanket pillow that is a soft plush and comes with a carrying case.
Research travel blanket pillows here.
Portable Power Charger
This portable power charger is the perfect gift for your traveling friend or family member. Everyone can use one of these. There’s nothing worse than running out of power on a long flight, train or bus.
This model is good value. It can recharge 3.5 x iPhone 8 charges or 2.5 x Galaxy S10 charges. It’s really a useful travel item that will surely come in handy.
Research portable power chargers here.
External Memory Drive
We take a LOT of photos and video when we travel. It doesn’t take long to fill up our memory cards. We like to transfer photos and videos to an external hard drive so that we avoid that dreadful situation where the memory card is lost or damaged.
We also use external hard drives at home. Laptops can break or be damaged at any time. Get one with plenty of memory (at least 1 TB). You’ll be amazed at how quickly you fill it up.
We have this one. It has over 100,000 reviews on Amazon.
Travel Shampoo Bar
A shampoo bar is great travel gift for someone who prefers to travel with carry on luggage. It’s an eco-friendly option for men and women.
It’s perfect for traveling, camping, washing up after the gym or a trip to the beach. It also comes in a travel tin which provides convenient storage.
This vegan shampoo bar is equivalent to 24 ounces of liquid shampoo.
Compression socks provide a number of benefits for all types of travel. They promote blood flow from the feet to your heart. They also help with leg swelling, prevent blood clots and help overcome the uncomfortable effects of travel.
There are lots of compression socks to choose from. Start here.
HP Sprocket Mobile Printer
The HP Sprocket is the newest device to join our tribe. We got ours last years and had fun testing it our over the holiday season. This device allows you to print 2×3 inch stickable snapshots from virtually anywhere.
You can also connect your social media accounts to the HP Sprocket App and turn your online photos into color prints. The app has filters, borders, emojis and drawings so you can get creative with your prints. It’s about the same size as your smart phone, so it’s lightweight and easy to transport.
Learn more and get pricing on Amazon here.
A similar gift idea is the Polaroid Originals camera.
TSA Approved Luggage Locks
You can never have too many of these luggage locks! For some reason, EVERY time I travel to the USA my luggage is searched by US Customs.
These locks are TSA approved so border agents can easily access your luggage without breaking the lock. Before we purchased these TSA approved locks, we had several cheaper locks broken by agents (not cool!).
It’s worth spending the extra few dollars to get the durable option.
Rosetta Stone Language Course
Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Are you traveling to a foreign destination for the first time and you want to nail down the basics?
Why not share the gift of language this season?
You can download Rosetta Stone and learn to speak French on your terms. There are different programs and options available, including individual courses, live online tutoring sessions with natives and online learning games.
Learn more and get your online subscription here.
Folding Water Bottle
Another convenient travel gift is this folding water bottle. We like this water bottle because it can be folded from 9.8 inch to 5.9 inch in height. This collapsible design allows you to save almost 50% space.
It can also be hung from backpacks or a belt when hiking or running. Unlike easily broken glass bottles, the soft silicone body resists daily drops, bumps and scratches.
Learn more about the folding water bottle.
Multi Charging Adaptor
We don’t leave home without our multi charging adaptor. It’s very useful for hotel rooms when you need to charge multiple devices at once. Every traveler should have one of these.
We found it very handy on our Alaska cruise because our room only had one power outlet. Without it, I’m not sure how we’d be able to charge our camera batteries, phones, tablets and laptops. It’s been a life saver on many occasions.
This is the multi charging adaptor is a great gift for any traveler.
Portable Luggage Scale
Have you ever been charged an additional $50 or $100 for luggage that is overweight? We have. And it sucks! We’ve had moments where we’ve had to open our luggage and transfer items from one luggage to another, just to save a pound or two. It’s so annoying.
A luggage scale allows you to see exactly how heavy your luggage is BEFORE you depart for the airport. It will save you from having to re-organize at the check-in counter or paying extra fees.
You can purchase this model on Amazon.
Airplane Foot Hammock
The airplane foot hammock is the perfect travel companion for long flights. It comes with an extra long strap so travelers of any height can find comfort with this foot hammock.
Basically, you wrap your foot hammock around the seat tray in front of you and adjust the strap to your desired length. You can also use this portable foot hammock in the office or where ever you go, making it a versatile holiday gift idea.
Research airplane foot hammocks here.
Portable WiFi Travel Device
On our trip to Japan we decided to get a portable WiFi device. This allowed us to have WiFi at all times.
It’s a very useful travel item, especially when you need Google maps for directions.
We rented this portable WiFi device from Roaming Man. It worked well.
Running out of memory for your camera, drone or phone is the worst. The last thing you want to do is run around a foreign city looking for new memory cards.
We always bring extra memory cards when we travel. You can’t go wrong with these as a travel gift.
Get 2 x 64GB cards on Amazon.
Luggage Packing Cubes
These things are the best! If you aren’t already using packing organizers for your luggage or backpack, you should. Luggage packing cubes are great for all types of travel, but especially for family travel.
We often pack our boys clothes in the same luggage, so things can get disorganized. Our boys wear different sizes, so it’s not fun when their clothes are grouped together.
These luggage packing cubes make things super easy and efficient. We like the ones that come in a variety of sizes. That way we can get creative with our packing.
We recommend these luggage packing cubes.
Noise Canceling Headphones
Last year I upgraded my ear buds to these full sized headphones. It was a good move. These particular headphones are not noise-canceling, but they do block out most sounds while on the plane.
My ear buds are noise-cancelling (read our product review here), but I prefer to use these Bose headphones because they’re so much more comfortable, especially when using them for long periods of time.
If you prefer something less bulky, Airpods are a hot gift item this year.
You can purchase these Bose headphones here.
GoPro Hero waterproof action camera
We purchased the GoPro Hero 6 two years ago and really like it. It’s a huge upgrade from the Hero 4 that we were using previously. The new GoPro Hero 8 is one of the hottest cameras on the market right now, so this would be a homerun gift for that special someone.
If you’re in the market for a lightweight, compact camera, this is the one. Even if you don’t plan to use it for snorkeling or snowboarding, it’s a high performance camera that’s great for family travel.
Check the latest deals for GoPro cameras here.
GoPro Underwater Shooting Dome
Sticking with the GoPro theme, this is one of the coolest accessories for the GoPro camera.
Have you seen photos where half the image is above water and the other is below water? Like this one. Have you asked yourself, ‘”how the heck did they get that shot?!”
Well, the answer is the GoPro Dome.
Get your GoPro dome on Amazon. Find prices here.
Flex Safe AquaVault
We won this Flex Safe AquaVault last year but have not had the chance to put it to use, yet. We spend a lot of time at the beach so this will come in handy on future trips.
Basically, it’s a secure bag that you can attach to anything.
You put your phone and special items in it when you go for a swim or walk on the beach. We could have used this a few years ago when our stuff was stolen while swimming in Costa Rica.
You can purchase this bag here.
BONUS – while you’re at the beach or camping, consider bringing a Pouch Couch, an inflatable couch lounger for additional comfort. The easy roll up design allows the lounger to fit into a small pouch (included) so you can take it wherever you want to go.
Lonely Planet Travel Guides
Lonely Planet travel guides make a great gift, especially if you know the destination that your gift recipient will be visiting. If you don’t have a specific destination in mind, there are several compilation books that will surely spark wanderlust.
We have The Travel Book: A journey through every country in the world, which is a kids book that takes covers over 200 countries. Our boys love it. It opens their eyes to the world and gives them an opportunity to help with our travel planning process.
Search for Lonely Planet travel books here.
Extending Selfie Stick (Monopod w/Remote)
Before you selfie haters roll your eyes, this inexpensive monopod is much more than a selfie stick. We use it primarily for our Go Pro Hero camera because the camera is so small that we need something to attach it to. BUT, it also makes selfies super easy, which is important when taking photos with kids.
This model comes with additional accessories for Bluetooth capabilities and it has a mount that works with most mobile phone devices (we use it for our Google Pixel 2 and iPhone 7).
You can purchase this selfie stick here.
Waterproof Smart Phone Camera Pouch
This protective waterproof pouch fits virtually all smart phones and pocket digital cameras. It’s perfect for the beach or water activities like kayaking or snorkeling.
It also holds personal items like credit cards and cash, so you don’t need to bring a big dry sack with you. It came in handy on our bioluminescent kayak tour in Puerto Rico earlier this year.
BONUS – the Life Proof waterproof hard case is another great gift idea.
Gift cards for iTunes, Amazon or AirBnB
You can’t go wrong with holiday holiday gift cards. We often purchase music and apps from iTunes, mostly kids games and shows, so we’re appreciative when we receive a gift card.
Gift cards are easy and cheap to mail (or email) to friends and family in far away places. They may not be the most creative gift idea, but everyone appreciates a gift card.
Did you know you can buy gift cards for AirBnb? I thought that was an interesting option.
You can purchase gift cards directly on Amazon here.
Best Travel Gifts for Kids
Bringing the right family travel items makes all the difference.
Below are a few family travel gifts that we use with our two boys. You don’t need to break the bank to find useful travel gifts for family and friends.
Gaming Device with 168 Games INCLUDED
The best part – it comes with 168 unique FC games, including Super Mario, Contra, Tetris and other classics. So you don’t need to worry about bringing extra games or memory cards. It’s a great gift for traveling kids.
This is the gaming device we have and we really like it.
Mifold Booster Seat
This compact booster seat is more than 10x smaller than a regular booster seats and it’s just as safe.
You can use this innovative booster seat for every day use, but it’s really meant for travel or for those moments when you need a spare booster seat (like visiting the grandparents for the holidays).
Instead of bringing a clunky booster seat with you on the plane, you can pack this in your checked luggage or even your carry-on. It’s designed for kids aged 4 and up, 40 to 100 lbs, and 40 to 57 inches tall.
This travel booster seat can be found here.
Portable Travel Games
We always bring portable games when we travel. We bring compact, lightweight models and stick them in our boy’s carry-on bags or backpacks.
You can purchase portable travel games here.
LeapPad for kids
This learning tablet for kids is an affordable alternative to the ipad or other expensive tablets. It has a shatter-safe touch screen and it’s thoroughly drop tested, so you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged. Our boys have put it to the test and it’s still in the same condition as when we first bought it.
The LeapFrog learning library has 1,000+ educational games, eBooks, videos and more. Games adapt to your child’s learning level and draw from 2,600 skills across reading, math, and writing.
We like that it has strong parent controls that limit the type of internet access they have. It also has a built-in camera, so our boys have fun taking selfies and photos from their travels.
Learn more about the LeapPad here.
Kids Travel Tray
This is the perfect item for family road trips. The kids travel tray creates a sturdy and flat surface for eating, playing games, reading and watching shows on a tablet (this is the tablet we use).
This item has removable and accessible side pockets for toys, crayons, books, games and snacks. The dimensions are 15 x 12 inches. These trays can be used by children of all ages, starting around 2 years old.
Purchase your kids travel tray here.
Kids Travel Neck Pillow
This neck pillow for kids has overlapping arms to give your child support, comfort, and it helps prevent their chin from dropping forward. It’s a great item for planes, trains, and cars.
This travel neck pillow is great for kids.
We like these ear phones because the ear pads and headbands are covered in a breathable mesh material. They’re wireless and work with most bluetooth devices, so they won’t get tangled in a cord.
These kids wireless ear phones can be found on Amazon here.
Kids Travel Luggage
This kids travel luggage has four spinner wheels that allow the suitcase to move seamlessly through 360 degrees of motion. It’s lined with multi-use pockets, making it easy for packing clothes. It also comes with a built-in lock so you can ensure your kid’s valuables are secure and safe.
We prefer hard shell luggage. It fits easy under the seat or in the overhead compartment.
Search for kids travel luggage here.
Kids Waterproof Camera
Our boys love taking pictures when we travel. Last year, we purchased a waterproof camera for our oldest boy. He enjoyed capturing his own photos when we were in Mexico last year. See his photos from Mexico.
We recommend you purchase a durable waterproof camera. They might not take it in the pool or ocean, but it helps keep it safe when it’s raining.
This waterproof kids camera can be found here.
They love taking photos with their own digital cameras.
Blow-up Leg Pillow for Travel
If you have young kids and are flying soon, this travel item is a game changer. Blow up leg pillows are placed on the floor and act like a small blow up bed for kids. We use them all the time and they work like a charm.
The picture above is our 8 and 6 year old boys fast asleep on a long haul flight from Vancouver to Japan. The model used in this photo is no longer available, however this kids blow up leg pillow is similar.
It’s a unique gift idea that will win you some bonus points for creativity.
Get this travel gift on Amazon here.
Kid’s Luggage Tags
Our kids like to have their names on their luggage. These fun Star Wars luggage tags are an easy and inexpensive family travel gift.
Purchase these Star Wars luggage tags here.
Now that tablets are reasonably priced, our kids each have their own. This way, they get to choose what games and shows they want on their device. It also prevents arguments over who’s turn it is next.
We recommend the FIRE handheld tablet. It’s relatively inexpensive and has the basic features you need.
See the latest prices for tablets here.
What did we miss? What are your top family travel gifts?
Share your top travel gifts in the comments section below. Our readers thank you!