Do you know a family planning air travel with children five and under? Here are some great ideas for gifts for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners (and their parents) getting ready to travel by plane for vacation, adventure or to visit family for the holidays.
Take a look at this list to help you brainstorm some amazing presents for the travelers on your gift list!
Or, are you the one getting ready to hit the airport with one or more small children?
If so, take a look at this list of suggestions to help prepare yourself and your little ones for the upcoming adventure…
If you make a purchase using the affiliate links below, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see detailed disclosures here.
It’s all about some preparation…
Books – If this is a child’s first time traveling, talking about the trip in advance could be invaluable. Along with new backpacks (we talk about them here), my children received several air travel books months before our planned trip.
With every reading, we had a chance to anticipate the visit with family, as well as discuss any concerns about the logistics of the trip.
These are great ideas to give at any point before or during the trip, as these new gifts can provide entertainment at their destination or as a novelty item for the return trip home.
Staying hydrated – Water bottles for everybody! And, all of these options have a handle, to allow for easily attaching to bags when empty.
Yes, the bottles may need to be emptied at TSA checkpoints, but most of the time (traveling or at your destination), you’ll be grateful you have them.
Plus, it’s nice to be able to hand the kids something no-spill when you’re on the plane and only have one change of clothes…
… And distraction
iPad or other tablet – I don’t think most modern parents need to be told how helpful a little technology can be once in a while. If you already have a tablet, just take a few minutes to make sure it’s charging fully and operating well.
Right now, we have a pair of “original” iPads (easily going on 5 years old now) for our kids. When either of those finally need to be retired, I’ll be searching for either another refurbished iPad or a budget friendly Amazon Fire.
Be sure to click around in Amazon (or check out Honey if you’re shopping from a desktop) if you decide to get a Fire tablet – I’ve noticed semi-regular sales and “special offers” available.
At the time of this writing, here’s a great value:
Screen cover – Either you love them or hate them. But with kids especially, just buy one. So many grubby fingerprints…
Here’s one sized for an iPad Air, but just search for the right size for your device…
Protective case – I probably don’t need to convince you why you should buy a case… But, why this one?
Well, we have been using ours since 2013 and 2014, and two iPads have survived to this day. No guarantees, of course, but these have survived toddler-hood, threenagers, and keep on going, so I’m a satisfied customer!
Headphones – Our LeapFrog headphones (purchased in March 2016) don’t appear to be available any longer.
Here are some of the highest rated headphones for smaller children, with many of the same features I liked in our headphones purchase.
Portable Charger(s) – Many parents (me included) have been so grateful for technology distractions during travel. You don’t want to suddenly lose that option because of a charged-down device.
Here are four of the best reviewed portable charging options currently on Amazon. (I’m not listing units that I own here – in the six months since I’ve purchased my last charger, better and more affordable options have hit the market!)
Yes, I’m seeing more frequent options for powering devices in-flight. The last few flights I’ve been on had some pretty nifty built-in USB options (yay!) But, I’ve also been assigned seats for long flights with non-functional charging outlets.
I typically go with having several of the cheaper options charged up and tucked in different bags, to allow for possible loss, charge down or damage of one unit.
And, it’s not just in-flight charging that is challenging. The charging towers in the gate area (when they exist) are often full pre-flight. With small children, parents may be too busy anyway with a dance party or a game of tag (get that energy out!) to keep watch of one more thing.
Great gift, and honestly, if your recipient already has a few, that’s okay, there’s always a place for a spare charger (in the purse, in the car, in the gym bag, in the laptop bag, in the backpack, in the overnight bag, etc.)
Audible – Consider gifting an audiobooks subscription for parents or child. With the subscription, they’ll receive 2 free audiobooks.
Deliver Gifts to Destination
If you are providing a gift (like diapers) that will be used or consumed completely at their destination (and is not needed during travel), consider if circumstances allow you to have Amazon ship the items directly to the destination.
The duration of the visit, family preference and lodging arrangements will help determine how realistic this option is for the family. Definitely only go this route after speaking with the family, to be sure this is as helpful for them as you intend!
However, if a family with small children is visiting a destination for more than a few days, this could be a potentially huge help in freeing up luggage space and stress!
A Few More Tips Before You Buy…
Most of the links above are for products available on Amazon.com.
Sometimes Amazon prices are the absolute best deal, and other times, Amazon is just the most convenient source (but best value, not so much.)
If you’re not sure about the family’s travel needs but want to surprise them, you can ask if they have an Amazon Wish List or try your best to buy something from an online retailer with a bricks-and-mortar store close to their home (or their destination).
Do you have some more ideas for the family travelers in your life? Do you see something missing in this list? Tell me your favorite must-haves in the comments, and let’s make gift-giving easier for our loved ones (and the next reader!)
Have you already checked out the Gift Guide for Family: International Travel Edition? Or, how about the Gift Guide for the Family: Road Trips Edition?
I’ve packed these gift guides chock full of our family’s entertainment and survival items from our trips in the car, by air and solo (just mom and 3 month old baby!) So head on over and take a look for more inspiration.
P.S. Before you buy, do a quick search of Amazon’s Wish List feature (I talk about it here) to see if the family in question already has a public wish list!
If you’re shopping via Chrome browser, take one more minute to download the Honey extension to price check. Check out tip #2 here for my screenshare of the Honey extension at work.
Have you already checked out my other Gift Guides for the working mom or traveling for the holidays? I have a lot more ideas over there!