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Traveling to visit family, friends, or just a wonderful new location is a great way to spend Christmas. But deciding what to buy, pack, or bring is especially difficult at Christmas. Here are some thoughts on the best children’s gifts for Christmas while traveling as well as some creative ideas about handling the logistics of a Christmas on the road.
#1 Gift Experiences
Even if you aren’t traveling for Christmas, gifting experiences is a great way to build memories as a family and avoid accumulating stuff. One year, an Aunt and Uncle gifted the entire extended family an indoor skydiving flight. During the days following Christmas, we all went as a group and had a great time. Even the small children could participate and we got pictures of everyone in our suits!
The experiences don’t have to be cashed in so quickly though. Here are some more ideas that would be great for children of all ages.
- Theatre tickets
- Could be anything from Broadway-style to a community production.
- Museum, zoo, or aquarium membership
- Museum, zoo, or aquarium special entrance
- Special events, behind-the-scenes tours, animal encounters, etc.
- A semesters worth of classes
- Dance, martial arts, soccer, art, etc.
- A workshop-style class
- Anything that is 1-2 days in length. Cooking, windsurfing, etc.
- Electronic subscription
- Summer camp
- Parent-child date
- Fun restaurant, movie theatre, ice skating, etc.
#2 Gift Subscriptions
There are tons of great subscription services now and they make great gifts whether you are at home or traveling. Arrange to receive the first box and bring it with you. The boxes tend to be smaller and full of consumable projects so you won’t have to carry too much and the kids can enjoy them wherever they are.
- Give the gift of Adventure! with Little Passports. Learn about new countries or states with fun souvenirs and activities.
- Dive into an art project with Kiwi Crate. These would make especially good Christmas-afternoon activities since the kids and parents can work together to complete the activities.
- Magazine Subscription
- National Geographic Kids, Sports Illustrated Kids, Zoobooks, Lego Club Magazine, etc.
- Electronic Subscription
- Audible, Netflix, Apple Music, etc.
#3 Travel-Friendly Gifts
The items in this category are small, not too fragile, multi-purpose, and/or practical. These items can go anywhere and can keep the kids happy in the car, on a plane, or at home.
- Kindle 2. Kid’s Tablet 3. Costume Hoodie 4. Fun and comfy headphones 5. Reusable Activity Books 6. Travel Games
#4 Gifts That Pack Small
Gifts that can be easily folded or disassembled can be taken home in a checked bag or the trunk of the car. If you are staying with family and friends, try having these gifts delivered directly to them so you only have to deal with the logistics of a one-way trip. This is the perfect solution for parents who want to have something big under the tree Christmas morning.
My kids will be getting scooters this year and we’ll be bringing them back in our checked bags.
#5 Gifts They’ll Use to Travel
While the travel-friendly gifts are good while traveling or at home, these gifts are just for travel. Choose something specific to your location, like snorkel gear or snow gear, or some fun travel gear they can use for all their trips.
There you have it! I didn’t follow my own advice this year and I have 3 suitcases full of gifts to check on our flight to Texas! Hopefully, after we pass out gifts to our family we’ll have enough room to at least bring the kid’s gifts back.