Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gift Ideas for Traveling Families

I've been finding some great gift ideas for families that travel on Pinterest lately. I wanted to share a few in preparation for Christmas shopping. I love these because they're affordable, practical, creative, and just plain fun!

For Map Lovers:
I'm old school: we still kick it with a map when we travel. Even if you don't, here are a few ideas to help you use travel memories to decorate your home!

Commemorate a great trip from the past year, or build anticipation for a 2012 trip by embroidering a map with your route marked out. Don't be scared that it's from Martha Stewart's site, I think it looks very do-able!

Source: via Nicole on Pinterest

I'm a huge fan of traveling around the Midwest, so I love this handmade pillow with a map of the upper Midwest I found on Etsy. It appears the shop (SaltLabs) has pillows with lots of other geographical locations, like Florida and Manhattan.

The Arrow has a blank wall in his new "big boy" room and I'm thinking of doing a small map of each trip we've taken with him to hang there... and we can just keep adding more!

Since you're shelling out all that dough on Christmas gifts for your kids, why not make a few of those presents travel-related?

I love the blog Gone With The Family, and they are prolific travelers. So I trust this family's review of Lonely Planet's "Not for Parents" travel guidebook series. As The Arrow gets older and learns to read, I'm really interested in cultivating his interest in travel destinations through books, so I'll certainly be keeping this fun series in mind.

We haven't yet ventured to any of the Disney theme parks, but I imagine someday we will. And from the many trip reports, reviews and other posts that fill my Google Reader about Disney-inspired travel, I know many families have or are planning trips to see Mickey. You can't beat a free souvenir, and this post shows you how to get a free character autograph.

This one may not earn you too many oohs and aahs immediately upon opening, but I love these "road trip clips" for encouraging good behavior on a family road trip. Perhaps you could even have the kids open these up a few days before Christmas and put them to use during the car ride to grandma's before the holidays begin!

I'm always on the hunt for fun things to fill The Arrow's stocking that's not just another junky toy or trinket. Here are a few travel-inspired stocking stuffers!

I love these small shadow boxes to build excitement for a trip or destination and to teach kids the value of a dollar. My husband and I don't go too crazy with Christmas gifts for The Arrow in part because we consider some of our trips to be gifts themselves. This will be a great tool to show him in a visual way what it means to save for something special, but still gives you something to open on Christmas morning.

I don't sew, but I have several friends and family members who could probably produce these cute luggage identifiers. I think these would be helpful not only at baggage claim, but even on a road trip if you personalized the tags with each family member's initials.

Jennifer at Two Kids and a Map always buys her family the same snack (Swedish Fish) for each trip they take. What a great idea! Since we became a couple, my husband and I always bring the Market Pantry Monster Trail Mix from Target on our road trips. I think I'll put these treats in his stocking this year in anticipation of our first trip in 2012 (whenever/wherever that may be!)

More Ideas
I've read a couple of great posts in the last few weeks with even more gift ideas for traveling families, like this Best Gift Ideas for Travelers by Jody Halsted from Family Rambling. And I really loved this 11 Toys for a Traveling Kid's Wishlist from the Traveling with Kids blog. I think a few of those might end up in The Arrow's pile this year!

For more of my own ideas, last year I wrote a post about locally-made gifts for traveling kids. All those products have remained a hit in our house when we're traveling. You can also review my products page for additional items that our family puts to good use on the road and at home.

This post is a part of Things I Love Thursday at The Diaper Diaries and Saturday Stumbles at Simply Staci.

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