The Best Travel Gifts for Families, According to a Travel Editor

If your family is all about the jet set life, these travel gifts are the perfect way to say “bon voyage”

With many families making 2023 the year of travel, it’s time to up your travel game, replace those roller bags you’ve had since the 5th grade, and give your travel gear an upgrade. If you are traveling with a baby, we have the ultimate backpack that will make your life a million times easier as it has a compartment for literally everything. Want new luggage but are short on space to store it at home? We have the perfect choice for that too.


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Families looking to go more the experience gift route will love our recs for tours you can take with your kids. And if you want to remember that trip to Tahiti that you took when the kids were oh-so-little, we have gifts to make all your travel photos really shine.

The Getaway Bag from No Reception Club

No Reception Club

If you’ve ever boarded an airplane with a baby, you know that the amount of stuff a small person needs is in inverse proportion to their size. Diapers, wipes, a change of clothes for all parties, snacks, a breast pump, and more and more and more—they all need to fit into your carry-on bag. That’s where No Reception Club comes in to save the day. The narrow shape makes it easy for any parent to carry and the stylish black exterior makes it more of an everything bag than a diaper bag. Our favorite feature is the flexible organization system with two “shelves” that velcro securely into the main compartment.

Buy here, $235

Related: Easy Travel with Kids? The Solution We Can’t Stop Talking About

Vintage Travel Poster Made from Your Photo

YourLifeIsAWorkOfArt

These vintage travel posters made from your travel photo have been topping our list of gifts to give and receive for many years. We love how they take an everyday image and make it into a framable moment, perfect for displaying. Choose a digital-only option and get it printed yourself, or order the print to be delivered and make it that much easier on yourself. 

Buy here, $30 and up

Zinc Flyte

There are plenty of scooter suitcases on the market but parents in the know always choose the Zinc Flyte. It comes in two sizes—the mini and the midi—both of which are carryon-friendly. Getting your little one to take care of their own luggage is the best way to level up your travel experience and these scooter bags are the way to go. They will get you through the airport in a flash, with some fun thrown in. We only wish that there was an adult-sized version. 

Buy here, $75 for mini and $108 for midi

ToursByLocals Gift Card

One of our favorite things to do when visiting a new city is to take a tour with ToursByLocals. You'll get a little bit of history, tips on where to eat, and someone else to answer all of your kids' incessant questions. Gift cards make great gifts and you can even book a tour in a city near you to get to know it a little better. 

Buy here, available in any amount

Related: Oui Oui, Paris! Our Guide to the Best Things to See & Do with Kids

National Parks Playing Cards

Piatnik

These playing cards featuring vintage posters of our favorite national parks fall into many of our top gift-giving categories: portable, useful, inexpensive, and aesthetically pleasing. 

Buy here, $12

INSTAX Wide Printer

Fujifilm

Raise your hand if you have a phone full of snaps, and no actual photos for your kids to look at. This tiny photo printer makes it easy for you to pick your favorite photos from a recent trip and print them out to display on the fridge or on one of those cute string lights with clips that all the teens seem to have. 

Buy here, $160

Apple AirTags

Apple

We secretly love a practical gift and this is one that any traveler would love. With airlines losing luggage left and right these days, AirTags are the essential way to ensure that your gear gets back to you safe and sound. 

Buy here, 4-pack for $93

Related: Our Editors’ Top Tips to Make Traveling by Air a Little Easier

S'well Water Bottles

S'well

With most airports these days offering refillable water bottle stations, it's a no-brainer that you should add a water bottle to your packing list. We love the sleek designs from S'well and appreciate that their prices are reasonable enough that you won't lose your cool too much if one doesn't come home in the backpack at the end of the school day. 

Buy here, $20 and up

Rollink Collapsible Luggage

Rollink

If you have a pile of suitcases taking up valuable real estate in your closet or garage, feast your eyes on the collapsible luggage from Rollink. Choose from the Vega line which includes both carry-on and checked bag sizes, or the Aura line with a few more bells and whistles like an exterior pocket for your laptop and a built-in magnetic closure to secure the bag when not in use. We tested these out and found them very sturdy, even when under pressure to carry home too many "treasures" picked up while traveling. 

Buy here, $185-285

Wander and Perch Wet Bag

This travel gift suits many purposes (and is cute, too). Pack it in your carry-on for stashing wet clothes if one of your kids needs a mid-air change, and then use it for porting those still-wet swimsuits home with you. Loads of other patterns from flamingos to seahorses are available. 

Buy here, $44

National Park Incense

Uncommon Goods

Sometimes the scent of a place just really brings back all the fond memories. Choose incense with the scent of your favorite national park like Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, or Yosemite. Each comes with 25 incense cones that have a scent to last up to 4 hours. 

Buy here, $25

LectroFan Micro2 Sound Machine + Bluetooth Speaker

A noisy hotel room does not make for a fun family vacation. We suggest packing this tiny white noise machine that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker to keep everyone sleeping soundly. Sure, you can use an app on your phone but we love having a stand-alone speaker so you don't have to surrender your device when the kids go to bed. 

Buy here, $35

NOMATIC Compression Packing Cubes

There's one thing that sets apart expert travelers from amateurs and that is packing cubes. They keep all your clothes organized and free up a lot of room in your suitcase. We especially love these from NOMATIC as they come in three sizes and the see-through mesh tells you what's inside. The big bonus is that these compress down after you've filled them to take up half the room when first packed. Brilliant, especially if you are playing the carry-on only game. 

Buy here, $20 and up

KidCo Peapod Infant/Toddler Travel Bed

Give your little one their own place to sleep when you travel with this travel bed that folds down to almost nothing in your suitcase. It is perfect for rentals that might not have cribs available or when you want to save on space and still let your toddler have a comfortable night's sleep. 

Buy here, $80

Subpar Parks 1000-Piece Puzzle

If you don't follow the hilarious @subparparks on Instagram, you really need to add them to your list. Artist Amber Share takes real reviews of national parks and turns them into posters, a calendar, and even this puzzle. Your family will enjoy this activity and laugh at the hilarious reviews like this one for Yellowstone: "Save yourself some money. Boil some water at home." I mean, really? 

Buy here, $29

Portable Charger with AC Wall Plug

There's nothing that can derail a family vacation faster than uncharged devices. We like this 10,000 mAMP option because it is slim, has an AC wall plug, and includes three cables to connect to whatever you need. 

Buy here, $40

Secret Food Tours Gift Card

Paris with kids eating pastries
Kate Loweth

With locations all over the world, you can book a chocolate tour in Paris, a walking tour of Rio, or a spice market tour in Istanbul. We love this as a gift idea for families because these tours are interactive enough to keep kids engaged and will also expose everyone to foods they might not have tried before. 

Buy here, $10 and up

If you buy something from the links in this article, we may earn affiliate commission or compensation.

 

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