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 you will find something in this list of family travel gifts.
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 – many of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you decide to make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Also, some of the items were gifted. We thank you for your support.
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 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.
Portable Power Charger
In my opinion, this is best travel gift you can give someone. Everyone needs another portable power charger. And they’re relatively inexpensive, so they also make a good “Secret Santa” gift, too!
This portable power charger is the one of the best travel gifts for your traveling friend or family member (or you!). Everyone can use one of these.
It’s really a useful travel item that will surely come in handy. There’s nothing worse than running out of power on a long flight, train or bus.
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 250,000 reviews on Amazon.
Keen Winter boots
During the winter we are often spending our days on the ski hill so it’s very important that we have the right footwear to keep our feet dry and warm.
We just got the kids Puffrider Waterproof Winter boot (gifted) for Braydon to use this winter. He likes ski racing so we need good winter boots to keep his feet warm and dry when he’s on the hill and not in his ski boots. He finds these boots really comfortable and warm.
I love my Howser Slides. I’ve had these for more than 3 years and they are still in excellent condition. They are my favourite fall/winter shoe. I often get compliments and questions about them. Here are the newer versions of the Howser Slides for women.
Related – The best ski resorts near Vancouver, BC
You can purchase Keen shoes here.
Andobil Magstick Tripod
This extendable tripod has been a great addition to our travels. It’s lightweight, comes with its own carry case.
We love that it also includes a detachable Bluetooth wireless remote. It fits a variety of different phone sizes and the top holder is removable which also allows flexibility for different adaptors.
We also like that the base is sturdy, which helps us capture great family photos.
We have this one. You can find it on Amazon.
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 Trtl neck pillow is soft and versatile. We like that it also portable, lightweight and can attach to your luggage. It’s also easy to travel with since it’s half the size of a traditional travel pillow and only weighs 148 grams.
The Trtl Pillow makes a great travel gift. More info here.
TSA Approved Luggage Locks
Another classic gift for the traveller in your life. 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.
It’s worth spending the extra few dollars to get the durable option.
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.
If you prefer something less bulky, Airpods are a hot gift item this year.
You can purchase these Bose headphones 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.
Stanley Water Bottle
Another convenient travel gift is this a good quality water bottle. The Stanley is a very well known brand that keeps your drinks cold, iced or hot for the day.
I recently heard of a story where a car caught on fire and the person had a stanley water bottle in their vehicle filled with cold water and ice. Even after the fire was put out, the stanley didn’t completely burn and it still had ice cubes in it.
This gift will be a winner for anyone traveling to a warm climate and wants their water cold or to a snowy destination and someone wants to keep their tea, coffee or hot chocolate warm.
Learn more about Stanley water bottles.
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.
Digital Camera Memory Cards
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 while on your vacation.
We always bring extra memory cards. You can’t go wrong with these as a travel gift.
Get 2 x 64GB cards on Amazon.
Luggage Packing Cubes
These packing cubes 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.
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.
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.
GoPro Hero waterproof action camera
We recently purchased the GoPro Hero 10 and really like it. It’s a huge upgrade from the Hero 6 that we were using previously.
If you’re in the market for a lightweight, compact camera, this is a good 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.
The Insta360 is also one of the newest adventure cameras to come on the market. We plan to purchase one very soon. You can check them out here.
We only travel with carry-on luggage now. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 1 week trip or 3 weeks we make it work and you can too!
Within the last year we did two trips to Europe (both were over 2 weeks long) and we only took carry on luggage. We just plan an opportunity to do 1 load of laundry to refresh on our trips and it’s been the best change we’ve made for our travels. We save time at the airports and we save money on checked bags.
You don’t need to buy expensive luggage. The trick is to find the right size and luggage that is durable. We like this luggage. It’s a good size, has the lock included, spinner wheels, comes in lots of colours, and it’s less than $100.
Get your luggage on Amazon. Find prices here.
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. This is one of those inexpensive family travel gifts that most people do not currently own.
You can purchase this model on Amazon.
Airplane Foot Hammock
Okay, so this is a unique travel gift idea.
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.
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.
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.
BONUS – the Life Proof waterproof hard case is another great gift idea.
HP Sprocket Mobile Printer
We got our HP Sprocket a few years ago and had fun using it 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.
Trip Chaser Card Game
Check out the Trip Chaser Card Game, created by our friends at @HeckticTravels. It’s a travel-themed game that gives you all the thrill of adventure, right at home.
And for every game purchased, one tree will be planted to help offset carbon emissions.
Learn more about this fun travel game here.
Gift cards for Amazon (or AirBnB, iTunes, etc)
You can’t go wrong with holiday gift cards. They may not be the most creative gift idea, but everyone appreciates a gift card.
Gift cards are easy and cheap to mail (or email) to friends and family in far away places.
You can purchase gift cards directly on Amazon here.
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 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.
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.
The newest addition to our device arsenal is a nintendo switch. We love that you can hook it to the TV to play, but it’s also portable and our kids mainly use it as a handheld device.
It is an investment, but our kids play it for hours. Some of their favourite games are FIFA and Mario Cart.
This is the gaming device we have and we really like it especially for on the plane and during our travels.
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. They are an easy and inexpensive family travel gift.
Our boys are hooked on their tablets, so we try to make time for playing board games like Connect 4, Snakes and Ladders, Checkers, Battleship and Trouble. They also love the UNO card game.
You can purchase portable travel games here.
Kids Headphones / Earbuds
Our boys are now using wireless earbuds that are connected to their phones or tablets. However, up until last year, they were using wired over the ears headphones.
These are the headphones our boys used for years.
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 inside airplanes.
Search for kids travel luggage here.
Kids Waterproof Camera
Our boys love taking pictures when we travel. A few years ago, we purchased a waterproof camera for our oldest boy. He had fun capturing his own photos when we were in Mexico. See his photos from Mexico here.
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 kid’s digital cameras.
Blow-up Leg Pillow for Travel
If you have young kids, and plan to fly 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 was taken 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 bonus points for creativity.
Order this unique travel gift on Amazon 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 for younger kids. It’s relatively inexpensive and has all the basic features you need.
See the latest deals for tablets here.
What did we miss? What are your family travel gifts ideas?
Share your family travel gifts in the comments section below. Our readers thank you!