Travel Tips, Reviews, & Giveaways

The Ultimate Gift Guide for the Family That Travels

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Traveling Families

Need inspiration on what to get your travel-loving friends and family members? Playground has searched high and low to compile what we think is the quintessential gift guide for every traveler on your list.

These are items that we’ve personally tested and love, not sponsored promotions. Read on for our guaranteed-to-please gift ideas for jet-setters of all ages:

For the Fashionable Flyer


Practical meets style with this metallic luggage tag and passport holder. Bling for a very reasonable price ($10)


Mario Badescu Facial SprayCabin air = dry skin. Those little bottles of Evian water sprays are well-known, but Georgette’s pick for the best facial spray is Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs, and  Rosewater. It smells amazing,  moisturizes, and it comes in a 2 oz TSA approved travel size. Bonus: At $5  it makes the perfect sticking stuffer!



 LUSH Shampoo Bars

She’ll always have good hair days with LUSH Shampoo Bars (and room in her bag. The amazing smelling bars are small, long-lasting bundles of concentrated shampoo that do the job of two to three bottles of the liquid stuff. ($9-$11)  Buy her the cute tin to store it too. ($4)


cashmere eye mask

This luxurious cashmere eye mask is perfect for long flights and a great night’s rest in a hotel room. And she’ll look fabulous while napping. ($58)


The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Traveling Families

Lions & giraffes & pyramids, oh my! Our pick for favorite travel jewelry is Jet Set Candy, a year-old company that makes charms, rings, and necklaces that represent high-flying destinations around the world including silver and gold luggage tags and fun charms ranging from airplanes to cocktail shakers (from $38 for silver airplane earrings).


For Busy Jetsetters

ecbc bags

Juggling your laptop, a carry on, and a kid through security can be tough. And if you’re traveling for business, just keeping track of your priceless report on your electronics as they go through screening is nerve wracking.  ecbc bags are the only bags with TSA Friendly FastPass technology.  At airport TSA checkpoints, the FastPass system zips open, lays flat and the whole thing simply passes through the conveyer belt with no need to unpack cords, devices, and valuables into TSA bins!  This stylish Hercules backpack fits up to a 17″ laptop and has separate sections for everything from sunglasses to a water bottle. It’s perfect for every frequent flier on your list. ($139.99)


The Ultimate Gift Guide for Families that Travel

Squeeze Pod is a new line of all-natural, leak-proof, single-use toiletries. Long weekend away? Simply throw their clever gift pack into a bag and you’ll have everything you need. Their holiday-themed packs are perfect stocking stuffers.  ($14.99)


For Little Travelers

scratch map

We encourage inspiring wanderlust in your kids, and this Scratch Map from Uncommon Goods is a fun way to do just that. Track your family travels by scratching off the places you’ve visited on this map that charts globetrotting in a fun, colorful, and innovative way. Oh the places they’ll want to go! ($28.95)


travel stub diary

Kids can preserve travel memories in this Travel Stub Diary.  While older generations kept a record of their travels on the lid of their steamer truck, with this handy take-along album newer generations now have a place to store and share the priceless fragments kept from journeys. ($12)


 Itty-Bitty Speaker With Bluetooth® keychain

Teens will love  the Itty-Bitty Speaker With Bluetooth® keychain. The mini speaker broadcasts cool, clear audio from any Bluetooth-enabled device (iPod, tablet or portable gaming console) making listening to tunes much cooler. ($20)


The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home

Give your child the ultimate travel experience with her very own personalized copy of a “The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home” book by The book features your child (you choose a character with similar features) finding his or her way home from somewhere in the galaxy. With the help of NASA’s open source photography of outer space and mapping technologies, the book will feature a map of your home and landmarks near it. Add in her name in stars and it’s an out of this world gift. ($29.99)


subscriptions for kids

A subscription is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s so exciting to receive a new gift every month or several times a year. Our picks for inspiring a love of the world, culture, and travel are National Geographic Kids and Little Kids magazine ($12 – $15), Little Passports Adventure Kits ($11.95 – $13.95 per month), FACES magazine ($19.95), and Cultured Owl Country Box kits (&19.95 – &29.95).
The Ultimate Gift Guide for Families that Travel

Let your little one show their local pride with these super cute Tees by Maptote (don’t miss the onesies for the littlest jetsetters, too). ($26)



For the Jetsetting Gent

gin and tonic carry on cocktail kit

Help him travel in style – old fashioned style – with his very own Gin and Tonic Carry-On Cocktail Kit from Uncommon Goods. It comes with tonic syrup, a stainless steel jigger, linen cocktail napkin, mini bar spoon, and recipe card. He just has to order a mini bottle of gin and a can of club soda, sit back and drink in Don Draper style. ($24)


Ultimate Gift Guide for the Family That Travels

Give him First Class style with this textured-leather passport holder by Saint Laurent. Packaged in a presentation box with its own protective dust bag, it a perfect gift for stylish globetrotters. ($245)


Bottle Cap Map

Satisfy his love for travel and beer with this laminated wood bottle cap map of all 50 states and Washington D.C. He can drink his way across the U.S.A.! ($39)


For the Foodie

AeroPress coffee maker

Coffee-lovers know that it can be difficult getting great brew on your travels. The AeroPress coffee maker is the answer. This compact press makes a great cup of Joe or espresso.— It’s lightweight, compact, durable, and comes in a zippered nylon bag—making it perfect for traveling. ($29.99)


Try The World Box

Feed their love of travel with a Try The World Box subscription. Try The World collaborates with notable chefs to curate a selection of products for every box. Every two months, you receive a box from a new country. (We tried the Holiday Collection box and it was filled with addictive treats including panettone from Italy and sweet acai sauce — like dulce de leche — from Brazil).  It’s a “ticket to the foods and cultures of the world delivered to your door.” (Starting at $39)


For a One Size Fits all Fix gift cards

A gift card is perfect for all travelers. They can book a room at any of 150,000 hotels worldwide, from budget friendly to luxury. gift cards range from $10 up to $2,000 and there’s no expiration date or fees. ($10 – $2,000)




Give the gift of an adventure with Excitations. You can choose from a variety of experiences across the U.S.: a Schooner Lunch Sail in Boston, an Antique Fire Engine Tour for Four in San Francisco, or a Family Tree Top Adventure for Four in Washington DC, to name just a few.  Excitations will email or mail the experience gift certificate to your recipient, or you can print it out for an instant gift. Whether you know of your recipient’s already planned trip or want to inspire one, this is a great gift idea. ($50 – $1000)


The Ultimate Gift Guide for Families That Travel

In case you missed it, the hottest trend right now in bookstores is coloring books for adults. The recent surge in adult coloring is not just attributed to nostalgia, but also its seemingly therapeutic effects similar to meditation that help fight anxiety.  We’re fans of travel size Portable Coloring for Creative Adults series from Skyhorse — perfect for anyone on your list who needs a breather from the occasional stresses of travel. ($12.95)




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