Travel Tips, Reviews, & Giveaways

The 2017 Playground Holiday Gift Guide for the Family That Travels

holiday gift guide travel

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:

Related: Carry-On Beauty Products That Don’t Have to Go in Your TSA 3-1-1 Bag

For the Fashionable Flyer


holiday gift guide travel | Convertible Travel Pillow Infinity Scarf

This Convertible Travel Pillow Infinity Scarf is not only stylish, but it’s a multitasker! Unfold and inflate and you have a travel pillow anywhere you need one. ($40)


holiday gift guide travel | birdling bags travel kit

Organization is key when traveling and that’s why we love the latest from Birdling Bags. This stylish folding/hanging travel kit comes equipped with clear zippered pockets, a large zippered canvas pocket, and a clear snap-in pouch. It comes in navy or berry and goes perfectly with our favorite Weekender Bag. ($68)


holiday gift guide travel | Passport Cover Luna Studio Designs

Send bits of poetry, personal notes, or travel wish lists off into the blue skies with your fashionable flyer with these personalized Special Memories leather passport holders from Luna Studio Designs on Etsy. They come in nine colors and can be engraved with up to six lines of text. ($27)


For Busy Jetsetters

For the tech loving, adventure seeking, gearhead, or honestly just anyone who loves cool new stuff for their travels, you can’t go wrong with the new GoPro Hero 6 which automatically sends footage to your phone as edited movies, even the ones your dog takes (see our 4-legged Friends, below). ($499)


holiday gift guide travel | Eagle Creek Suitcase

For adventurous travelers who need to carry heavy gear and keep it safe, this sturdy  ORV Trunk from EagleCreek has no competition with its weather resistant features, durability, and easy-to-carry technology (that’s Melissa toting her 30 inch size to Canada this past winter).

holiday gift guide travel | Craghopper vest

For adventure travelers who are always on the go, this vest from adventure clothing company Craghoppers will be the gift that keeps on giving. It has 36 hidden pockets (including a few that are waterproof or can be detached), plus it’s treated with a special insect-repellent so they don’t have to worry about being bitten while they’re out and about. (Women’s version, shown, $130; men’s version $120)


holiday gift guide travel | Dot&Dot electronics organizer

Don’t forget about organizing your tech gadgets. Chargers, cables, and cords all in one place with no tangles with this Dot&Dot Electronics Organizer! This electronics organizer even fits right in your laptop case or carry-on.  ($18.99)


For the Foodie

holiday gift guide travel | Lunch Pot

Gourmet on the go with this super cool Lunch Pot from Black+Blum. You can pack a healthy snack or lunch for you and the family (get multiples for long trips to pack a real meal for all the family). Melissa tried it out the two stacking waterproof containers on a a road trip with layers of salad (with dressing!) on top and berries on the bottom — everything was leakproof and in perfect condition when it was eaten. The handle makes it easy to carry when full (there’s even a spork attached!). When it’s empty, the pieces stack inside each other for easy transport. ($25)

holiday gift guide travel | How to Read the Menu: France, Italy and Spain

These How to Read the Menu: France, Italy and Spain pamphlets will help you order like a native on your European vacation. ($10)



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)


For Little Travelers

holiday gift guide travel | 100 places scratch off poster

Teens will love to scratch off must-see destinations as they travel on this 100 Places Scratch Off Poster. ($18)

holiday gift guide travel | BubbleBum Booster Seat

The BubbleBum Booster Seat is the best travel carseat around. This portable, lightweight, inflatable car seat for kids ages 4-11 easily deflates and folds flat to be carried in a backpack or purse, making it perfect for family travel.


holiday gift guide travel | Children’s “This Is” Travel Series

These 10 titles from the This Is travel series, written and illustrated by the painter Miroslav Sasek, are a fantastic way to introduce children to cities, states, and countries around the world. ($200)

holiday gift guide travel | Zig Zag City Guides

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.


For Your Best Friend (The 4-legged Kind)


Solvit’s HomeAway Pet Travel Organizer Kit keeps everything your pup needs when you head out on a trip including food, water, and treats organized in a sleek easy to tote bag. ($35)

Honestly, Melissa’s dog Pepper probably wouldn’t be down for this GoPro pet harness, but if you can get your pet to live feed his day on your next adventure, we’d love to see it — so send it our way! ($39)


For a One Size Fits all Fix

holiday gift guide travel | Tinggly experience box

A Tinggly Experience Box offers one gift, hundreds of experiences, anywhere in the world and two years to decide. Tinggly has standardized pricing on amazing experiences all around the world. Purchase a Tinggly Experience Box for $125, send it as a gift, and the recipient can redeem the voucher for any experience they choose, book it for when they want, and then go on an amazing adventure. ($125)


holiday gift guide travel | Malawi Streets of the World

The Streets of the World travel photography book by photographer Jeroen Swolfs who traveled to 195 countries in the span of 7 years capturing a single unifying element: a street in each city he visited. It’s a great coffee table addition for armchair travelers or wanderlust seekers and is the basis for a National Geographic movie, too, exploring how travel brings people from different cultures and backgrounds together. ($49.95)


holiday gift guide travel | AirBnB gift card

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.


holiday gift guide travel | gift card

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)

(Top Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash)


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