Travel Tips, Reviews, & Giveaways

The 2016 Playground Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels

Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels


Need inspiration for what to get your travel-loving friends and family members for the holidays? Playground has searched high and low to compile what we think is the quintessential holiday gift guide for the family that travels.

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

For the Fashionable Flyer


The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels

Fashion meet function.This soft and, stylish Secret Pocket Infinity Loop Scarf has a pocket  large enough to carry your passport, phone, small guide book, glasses, lip balm or any other item you want to secretly stash! And it’s so pretty, too! ($55)


The Ultimate Gift Guide for the Family That Travels

Organization is key when traveling and that’s why our favorite travel bag is The Weekender from Birdling Bags. With it’s cleverly designed pockets and interior sections, the bag makes travel easier and much more stylish, whether you’re going on a quick weekend getaway or a week long trip.


The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That TravelsCabin air = dry skin and Georgette doesn’t get on a plane without a nourishing facial spray. Her latest fave is Kiehl’s Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng Hydrating MistIt’s soothing and very moisturizing, plus, with a blend of lavender, geranium and rosemary, it also smells amazing.



Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That TravelsThe Tiara Weekender Jewelry Case is the ultimate accessory for the fashionable flyer to keep jewelry neat and organized on the go. Chic and compact, this origami-inspired case features 10 individual compartments with 6 built-in pouches and 4 removable pouches to keep all your bling tangle-free and ready to travel. ($55)


Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels

Buy her a Homesick Candles of her home state for her travels and she’ll always have a bit of home with her. The company crafts specific scents for each state, like this one of New Jersey that’s reminiscent of the Jersey Shore. ($29.95)


Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels mopi bracelets

Doublehighfive Brooklyn bracelets are handmade using recycled rubber flip flops by women in Mopti, Mali, and provide fair wages to the workers who create them. They’re durable, beautiful, and perfect for travel since they can be worn in the pool, shower or while you’re working out since they’re rubber. For the holidays, they arrive gift wrapped with a personal note of your choice. ($8)


For Busy Jetsetters


Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels eagle-creek-pack-it-organizers

Eagle Creek’s Pack-It Cubes are Melissa’s new obsession. Fill each light-weight nylon packing cube with clothing essentials, pop into your suitcase, then unpack by placing the cube into drawers or onto shelves when you reach the hotel. Color coordinate with a different set for each member of your family to keep even the smallest hotel room organized. (Inside tip: the small quarter cubes work great for kids’ toys, snacks, or even to make a first-aid kit). ($28)



Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels backpacker-air-tripod

No need to drag a full-size tripod when you’re traveling — they’re both heavy and bulky. Instead, keep this portable, and fashionable version in your suitcase for your next photo adventure. The Backpacker Air comes in 7 colors weighs just 2 pounds,  folds up to just 10 inches and expands to nearly 5 feet. ($125)


For Little Travelers

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels

We encourage inspiring wanderlust in your kids, and this National Parks Explorer Map from Uncommon Goods is a fun way to do just that. Track your family visits to our amazing National Parks by marking your discoveries on the map with the included numbered tree stickers. $55)


The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels crayola wonder stow and go


As moms, we know how important travel toys and activities are for a stress free road trips or long flights. That’s why we love the Crayola Color Wonder Stow & Go Travel Studio. This great travel tote gives your little artist a portable writing surface and keeps all your Color Wonder materials ready for each magic coloring session.


Little Passports


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 ZigZag City Guides,  Little Passports Adventure Kits, FACES magazine, and A Kids’ Year book series.


The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels

For the toddler (or his older sister) who loves to explore, we love Raconteur Kid’s adorable “Come Explore” onesie and t-shirts. We’re also fans of their other cool nature and adventure loving t-shirts.









You know the conundrum: Little kids, big stuff. Sometimes it seems as though your kids are outweighed by their gear a thousand fold. But the GB Pockit travel-friendly stroller is ideal for families constantly on the go looking to travel light. It’s the world’s smallest folding stroller (no, really, they even got the Guinness Book of World Records to prove it); the full-size stroller folds into a handbag and weighs just 9.5 pounds. ($250)


For the Jetsetting Gent


 Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels

His on-the-go vodka, gin, bourbon, or rum will look dapper in this stainless steel and faux bonded leather Shot Flask from Uncommon Goods. With a simple twist, he can pull out the collapsible 2 oz shot glass and enjoy a drink. It’s a cheers-worthy combination. ($25)


Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels jcrew-inflatable-neck-pillow

For comfort in the air, leave the giant neck pillow behind and get him one of these cool blow-up versions from JCrew instead. When not in use it rolls into a small sack for easy packing; in the air it’s easily inflates with just  a few quick breaths. ($28)



For traveling gadget fans, the Lug Loc will be their favorite new tech toy. With GSM-GPRS technology, the small digital device lets you track the location of your suitcase anywhere on the globe from your smartphone. Why didn’t the airlines think of that? ($70)



Don’t be fooled: Although this looks like a simple white T-shirt, the fabric in this “Threadsmiths” shirt is, and we quote: “An advanced hydrophobic nanotechnology application that repels water and dirt”. In other words, accidentally spill a cup of coffee or splash some red wine across the front and the liquids simply bead off and fall away, no staining. Check out the cool GIF of the shirt in action at Hintd (and check out Hintd’s curated collections of gifts while you’re there). ($49)


For the Foodie


Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels

Give them a journey through the world’s most beloved food destinations with the Epicurean Journeys cookbook and five spice gift setFeaturing legendary chefs like José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian and foodie travelers like Helena Christensen, Ruth Reichl, and Sophie Dahl, this book and spice set will bring memories to life for your travel and food enthusiast. ($120)


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 an amazing great cup of Joe or espresso.— It’s lightweight, compact, durable, and comes in a zippered nylon bag—making it perfect for traveling. ($30)

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels retap

You won’t believe how much better water can taste until you drink it out of a Retap water bottle. The BPA free, non-plastic, refillable glass bottle is sturdy, lightweight, and travels well. The sleek design is a bonus too. Pair it with the textile Retap sleeve for travelers.($12.99)


For Your Best Friend (The 4-legged Kind)

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels

This Dog Bowl Water Bottle from Uncommon Goods will keep your canine companion well-hydrated on the go wherever your travels take you. Just squeeze the bottle, and the attached dish fills with water at the perfect height for dogs to drink. ($20)


Why should humans have all the travel fun? Bring the Taj Mahal, Kremlin, White House, even the Sphinx and Eiffel Tower and other usually not-pet-welcoming architectural wonders of the world home for your cats to enjoy with Poopy Cat (yes, that’s their real name) Landmarks of the World cardboard cat houses. ($45)


For a One Size Fits all Fix

AirBnB gift card | Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels

An AirBnB gift card offers endless possibilities. With over one million homes, your recipient can stay in their dream destination and the cards never expire. Choose from $25 and up, depending on how generous you’re feeling, and then purchase online. AirBnB will send the gift via email. 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)



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