55+ Best Travel Gifts for Tweens They’ll Use & Love

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Who’s ready for the tween years? Travel with 9 – 12 year olds can be a lot of fun, as the world is opening up for them. We’ve gathered our top ideas for the best travel gifts for tweens to inspire wanderlust and to help them make the most of all their adventures.

Not only that but they are handy kids gift ideas for Christmas, Birthdays, Easter, road trips, or any special occasion. Most would work for teenagers too.

We’ve traveled extensively with our family through Canada, the USA, Cuba, as well as Europe, Central & South America solo, so we know what makes the most useful travel gifts

Our youngest also just hit the tween years and these are some of our must haves that our tweens have used and loved over the years.

These tween travel essentials are all “tween vetted and approved” by her.

Table of Contents

BEST GIFTS FOR KIDS WHO TRAVEL

Don’t have a lot of time? Here are our most popular, and go-to picks for tweens, perfect for the Holidays.

Skullcandy Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones
BCOZZY 3-7 Y/O Kids Travel Pillow for Car & Airplane, Soft Kids Neck Pillow for Traveling in Car Seat, Provides Double Support for Toddlers Head & Chin in Road Trips, Washable, Small Size, Navy
WATERFLY Crossbody Sling Backpack Sling Bag

  • Travel Neck Pillows – Comfy rest on the go, like a soft hug for their neck. Over 10 colors to choose from. Out of the 4 my youngest tried, this was her favourite, she takes on all travels.

  • Crossbody Day Pack – just the right size to fit everything they need for the day. Can wear in front for extra safety, or on their back. Over 15 colors to suite their current mood.
Ultimate list of travel gift ideas for tweens. 9 gifts in rows.

Tips for buying gifts for traveling tweens

We often get the question from friends and family members, what would your tween like? And as we’re also planning a 6 month adventure travel gifts are on our list.

Frequent travelers know there are some key things to look for when buying tween travel essentials. Here are some things to consider:

  • Light & Compact – items that can be compressed down, and don’t weigh a lot are essential. Hauling around a 50lb backpack is not on the top of anyones list. 
  • Quality Gear – cheaper isn’t necessarily better, especially if your tween will be using the travel gift a lot. Buy items that are rugged, that can handle being shoved in a backpack and tossed around planes, trains,  campsites etc.
  •  Age of child – While these ideas are geared towards 9-12 years old, you know your tween(s) best. Adjust for activities, maturity, lifestyle.  
  • Activities – what sort of travel will they be doing? Someone who is going on outdoor adventures more frequently will need different travel gear then tweens who are sticking to more urban settings.
  • Method of travel – Consider their travel style –  By RV, plane, car or a combo? Adapt your travel gifts to how they travel. 
  • Experiences – some of the best travel gifts for tweens, kids & teens are experiences. As most people remember feelings & experiences over things.

Travel Activity Gifts for Tweens

Travel activity gifts are one of the best gifts for kids who travel. Keep your tweens busy and entertained on road trips, plane rides and all sorts of travel.

1. Snorkelling Set

GoOsprey Kids Snorkeling Set with Flippers/Fins + Mask

Dive…Dive! Explore the waterways of your vacation destinations with a colorful snorkeling set.

Perfect for snorkeling vacations, or even a fun pool or lake activity. Swimming & snorkeling is always on our list of top activities to do as a family.

2. Travel Journal

Lonely Planet Kids My Travel Journal
The Ultimate Travel Journal for Kids
My Awesome Adventures: Travel Journal for Kids 9-12

Let your tweens write down their favorite travel stories, and moments in a sweet travel journal.

I love looking back on my travel journals over the years, and reading those tidbits I’ve forgotten. Great souvenirs.

3. Scavenger Hunt Books

Mission London: A Scavenger Hunt Adventure (Travel Guide For Kids)

Mission impossible? Nope, Mission Scavenger hunt books. Take a trip through history and figure out the clues in these interactive books.

They offer major destinations around the world like  Rome, and Barcelona. We’ve found activities like this keep our older kids entertained through some more “boring” to them activities.

4. Inspiring Travel Books

Lonely Planet Kids America's National Parks
The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World (Lonely Planet)
New York City Trails

Inspire wanderlust with some true travel tales for tweens, or travel inspired books.

My daughter loves her Lonely Planet The Travel Book: A Journey through every country in the World.   She will often flip through it to tell me where she would like to travel next. This is definitely a keep at home book though.

Or grab Travel Guides to their next destination so they can help plan out your next trip. 

5. Travel Games for Tweens

Happy Little Dinosaurs Cute card game for kids, teens, & adults
The World Game - Geography Card Game
UNO, DOS and Skip-Bo Travel Game Bundle

Travel games are a great way to pass the time on a long flight, and bonus points if they are a bit educational. Think classics like Uno, Apples to Apples Junior or even just a few card games.

Our latest favorite family games are:

7 Travel game ideas for tweens, on a small outdoor side table. Happy Little Dinosaur, Bananagrams, Travel sequence, Sushi Go, Skip-Bo, The world Game.
Family favorite travel activity gifts are portable games

6. Frisbee

Aerobie Pro Ring Outdoor Flying Disc

Frisbees are the perfect travel activity. Small enough to tuck in their suitcase, and perfect for running off some pent of energy after a long day of travel. 

Pull them out at a park, the beach, or campground or start a friendly ultimate game.

7. Single Person Games

SmartGames  Portable Travel Game

Sometimes family members are up for epic family game time, and sometimes not so much. So having a couple of solo games in your back pocket is essential.

Think Solitaire, but without the cards.

Keep the tweens busy & their brain engaged without excessive screen time. 

Grab a fun logic  travel game by Smart Games for those times when the kids (or adults) need a solo game. They have many travel options to choose from.

8. Coding Gifts for Tweens – A Coding Dog 

Educational Insights Coding Dog Robot for Kids

A coding robot dog is a cool & educational small gift for tweens who love science. Great STEAM activity, that doesn’t require an internet connection. Keep them learning on the road.

GIFTS FOR TWEENS & KIDS TRAVEL EXPERIENCES

9. Travel Experience Gift Card

Grab a gift card and they can choose what they want do.

Maybe it’s something adventurous close to home they haven’t tried yet. Or maybe it’s for their next next family vacation.

Either way a gift card gives them control & let’s them choose. Which we’ve found made our kids more engaged & excited for the trip.

10. Buy A Tour or Tween Friendly Activity

Know where your tweens are travelling to next? Give the gift of travel experiences.

Buy a cool experience their family can take on their next vacation. Something you know your favourite tween would like.

Everyone from young kids on up to teenage girls, boys and adults woul love this great gift idea.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

You’ll be their favorite adult forever.

FUN TRAVEL GIFTS FOR KIDS & TWEENS

Electronic Devices- Essential Travel Accessories For Tweens

11. Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Skullcandy Over-Ear Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones

Headphones are one of the best gifts for tweens, especially those that love travel.

Grab a wireless over the ear pair for maximum comfort, with volume limiting to protect their ears. Ensure they are noise cancelling headphones to give your tweens some peace and quiet when they want to tune out the world (or their annoying younger sibilings).

Skullcandy is a popular brand with tween travelers, that comes in a few colors and stylish shape. These headphones are great for traveling tweens due to:

  • Their quick charge ( 10 minutes gives 4 hours of play), or fully charged 40 hours,
  • Bluetooth wireless with mic or a cord; and
  • Noise cancelling.

Plus they’re collapsible with a travel bag. Definitely tween travel essentials.

12. Airpods

Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Wireless Ear Buds with USB-C Charging,

If you want to splurge a little, then, you can’t go wrong with Apple AirPods.

While these babies do pack a bit of a price tag, there are a lot of benefits like noise cancelling, effortless set up, comfortable fit and great sound quality. 

A practical travel gift that can be used in daily life too, which we love. 

13. Eco-Friendly AirPods Travel Case

Grab an eco-friendly travel case to go with the AirPods. Cool colors and compostable, one less thing to worry about in our tech heavy society.

Travel gifts for tweens they’ll love.

14. Samsung Galaxy Buds

SAMSUNG Galaxy Buds 2 True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

For android devices, the stylish and superior sound quality of Samsung Galaxy Buds can’t be beat.

We love the active noise cancelling, up to 6 hours of playtime, and wireless charging case that comes with.

And it comes in lavender color! or the usual black and white too.

15. Waterproof Speaker 

Ortizan Portable Bluetooth Speakers

A waterproof bluetooth speaker will have your kids rocking the beach, hotel room or just hanging with friends at home. 

This JBL speaker is another favourite tween gift brand, that also has a clip, to hang the speaker up.

16. Digital Camera

Kodak PIXPRO Friendly Zoom Digital Camera

If your kids don’t own a smartphone, then a digital camera is a great travel gift idea for tweens.

Tweens will love capturing all those special moments and memories on their vacations. It also gives them a different way to look at the world around them, and pay attention more closely. 

17. Instant Camera

Kodak PRINTOMATIC Digital Instant Print Camera

Or bring a little Instant Camera retro souvenir action into your holidays.

A great way to have photos to hang on their wall, gift to new (or old) friends and family members along the way.

18. Game Console & Travel Case

Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy‑Con

Ask any car full of preteen boys what makes the top of their travel list and you’ll hear a Nintendo Switch…..

Bringing a game console on vacation may not be your top priority, especially if you are trying to wean them away from technology to spend more time as a family.

It can however be useful for long travel days, and is a compact entertainment system.

Just be sure to bring a good protective travel case, like this durable Nintendo Switch travel case. 

19. Nintendo Switch Light

Nintendo Switch Lite - Turquoise

This Nintendo Switch Lite, is even more compact, making it perfect for travel, if you don’t have a lot of spare room.

20. Power Bank

Portable Charger 38800mAh,LCD Display Power Bank,4 USB Outputs Battery Pack Backup, USB-C in&out Dual Input Phone Charging Compatible with iPhone 15/14/13 Pro Max/12,Android Samsung Galaxy Pixel Nexus

A portable charger is an essential travel gift for kids who bring phones, & tablets, along on their vacations. Go for high-tech convenience that is compatible with all their devices.

21. Travel Adapter

SAUNORCH Travel Adapter Worldwide, Universal International Power Plug Adapter W/2.4A 3xUSB-A and 3.0A Type-C Wall Charger, European Travel Plug Adapter for Europe UK EU US CA AU Italy Asia-Blue

Let your tween charge their devices without frying them, with this international  travel adapter.  They will be able to charge up to 5 devices at once, in over 150 countries. World traveler in the making.

22. Electronic Organizer Travel

Electronic Organizer Travel USB Cable Accessories Bag

This travel electronic organizer is perfect for keeping all their gadgets and cords organized.

23. Waterproof Cell Phone Pouch

Hiearcool Waterproof  Phone Case

This waterproof cell phone case will help keep your tweens cell phone safe from water, and sand . Perfect for beach vacations, or camping trips.

24. Laptop Sleeve

Canvaslifee Rainbow Peacock Patten Laptop Sleeve

Protect their devices with a cool laptop sleeve.

Choose a color or pattern that suits their style.

Travel Accessories for Tweens

If you are looking for useful gifts then you can’t go wrong with travel accessories for tweens. Fun, practical and just the right size for their carry on or luggage.

All the tween travel essentials they shouldn’t leave home without.

25. Personalized Passport Wallet / Holder

Personalized leather passport holder with the words and so the adventure begins.
Photo: Riverside Bridal77

A personalized passport holder is a thoughtful touch, and a great way to help them keep track of which passport is theirs if you have multiple siblings traveling. Pick your tweens favorite color. 

26. Clear Toiletry Bag

Packism Clear Makeup Bag

Sail through TSA clearance with a clear toiletry bag. Easily find the toiletry items you need. Your tween will love this  

27. Hanging Tween Toiletry Bag

Open, Hanging Toiletry Bag for travel

Or get them this more “grown up” Sea to Summit Travelling Light Hanging Toiletry Bag in a fun color. 

28. Water Bottle

Klean Kanteen Classic 27oz (w/Sport Cap) Lemons

Kleen Canteen stainless steel water bottles are our favorite eco friendly addition to traveling. Avoid contributing  to plastic overwhelming the planet. Perfect gift for the eco concious kid

29. Filter Water Bottles

LifeStraw  BPA-Free Water Filter Bottle for Travel

Lifestraw Go Water Filter Bottles  are a popular choice for travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.

This bottle will filter out 99.9% of bacteria, making it perfect addition to your  traveling tweens packing list. 

The microfilter lasts for up to 1000 gallons, which means you don’t need to constantly purchase filters.

30. Travel Pillow

BCOZZY  Kids Travel Neck Chin Supporting Pillow for Traveling

Practical present, travel neck pillows are great gift ideas for tween girls and boys.

Give the gift of a good night of sleep by giving them a comfy neck pillow. One of the best travel accessories for tweens!

Young girl sleeping in plane with cozy travel pillow.
BCozzy travel pillow is my daughter’s favourite.

31. Colorful Luggage Tags 

Set of 5 Cute Luggage Tags

Be a pineapple in a sea of black… or something like that.

A fun luggage tag will make spotting their travel gear much easier. 

32. Dopp Kit

BAGSMART Toiletry Bag for Men

Choose a Dopp Kit for your young travellers who need a shaving & toiletry kit.

Even if they aren’t shaving yet, it can be used for their toiletries in the meantime.

33. Travel Bottles Set

Morfone 16 Pack Travel Bottles Set for Toiletries

A travel bottle set is an essential travel accessory.

No reason to take up more room in the suitcase than necessary.

Travel Gift Ideas for Tweens: Essential Travel Gear 

34. Travel Backpack

Osprey Fairview 40L Women's Travel Backpack, Night Jungle Blue

Every kid needs their own travel backpack.

Store their toys, travel activities, games, electronics, and even a snack or two.

The best thing about buying a quality backpack is they are multipurpose and can be used for travel, school, hiking, camping, you name it. They can also be used as carry on luggage for your tweens.

Check out all our top travel backpacks ideas for kids, tweens and toddlers.

35. Crossbody Sling Backpack

WATERFLY Crossbody Sling Backpack  (Teal blue)

Trendy, and practical, this WATERFLY Crossbody Sling Backpack is super handy for packing their day out essentials.

Wear in front for extra safety in busy cities, or on the back. Multiple compartments, a hidden headphones hole, and waterbottle pocket for all their important stuff.

36. Best Carry-On Luggage for Tweens

Pink Away carry-on suitcase

A carry-on sized tween suitcase in a cool color or design will have your tween stylin’ and ready to go. This size allows for a good amount of clothes, without being too bulky or heavy.

Away Suitcases are a favorite, made for travelers by travelers, and will last your tweens a very long time. In many colors & well worth the investment.

37. Packing Cubes

8 Set Packing Cubes Mixed Color Set (Blue Green)

Packing cubes are essential travel accessories for tweens (and all travelers). A great way to keep everything organized and well contained. Especially helpful if traveling with a small backpack or carry-on suitcase. 

Multiple packing cubes can hold individual outfits, or organize by activity, day or type of clothing. I don’t know how we did it before I discovered this trick.

38. Binoculars

BRIGENIUS 8x21 Small Binoculars

Bird & sloth watchers delight!

A pair of travel sized binoculars for kids are perfect addition to tropical or safari vacations to watch monkeys, whales or other animals roam, fly and swim. 

39. Period Undies for Tweens 

Period Undies are sooo great for tweens who get their periods.

Lightweight, and leakproof, these period underwear come in many cool colors, styles and designs

Eco friendly travel gift for tweens. 

40. Headlamps

Foxelli LED Headlamp Flashlight for Adults & Kids, Running, Camping, Hiking Head Lamp with White & Red Light, Lightweight Waterproof Headlight with Comfortable Headband, 3 AAA Batteries Included

Who wouldn’t want to run around in the dark with a headlamp? 

Foxelli headlamps are durable and come with a rechargeable option, making them a more eco-friendly travel gift. 

Headlamps are the perfect tween gift for exploring a campsite at night, reading after dark, or night hikes. Maybe even an impromptu shadow puppet play.

41. Chaco Sandals – Ultimate Tween Travel Sandal

Chaco sandals with rainbow webbing.
Photo: Chaco

Chaco Sandals are the ultimate in travel footwear.

Quick to dry, good grip for hiking and just general all round good sandal for travelling & camping.

42. Travel Hammock

Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Hammock

A packable travel hammock is a fun gift for tweens.

It packs down small, so can easily fit in their backpack for camping, road trips, or beach vacations.

Eco-Friendly Gifts for Tweens Who Travel

43. Bamboo Utensil Set

A set of bamboo utensils in a cloth carrying case. An Eco friendly gift idea for tweens.

Grab a bamboo utensil set for an eco-friendly gift that will save on plastic. Picnics and meals on the go just got easire.

44. Collapsible Travel Straw

Eco-Pals | Collapsible Straw Travel Straw with Soft Silicone Mouthpiece,

I don’t know about you, but my kids love using straws.

A collapsible and reusable straw is a great option to reduce garbage, and small enough to tuck in their backpack.

45. Nylon Bataan Hip Pack – Cotopaxi

Four Cotopaxi repurposed nylon hip bags with zippers.

Your tweens will love this one-of-a-kind hip pack made with 100% repurposed nylon that was headed to the landfill. They come in a variety of colors. 

So remniscent of the 90’s fanny packs craze. 

Large enough to fit just the essentials for the day.

46. Bamboo Travel Toothbrush

Better & Better Natural Bamboo Toothbrush

Tweens will want to have fresh breath.

A Bamboo travel toothbrush fits the bill.

Best Travel Gifts for Tweens – Gift Cards

47. Audible Gift Card

Buy an Audible Gift Membership for your favourite tween. Gift the gift of books read out loud. Perfect for those long road trips or plane rides.

48. REI Gift Card

REI gift card with adrawn image of a road by ocean, mountains and desert.

An REI gift card is perfect for tweens who are outdoor adventurers, or are looking for a good day pack.

49. Disney Gift Card

A Disney Gift Card is perfect for Disney lovers of all ages.

No matter if they’re looking for a light sabre, a hoodie with their favourite characters, or a Disney themed lego set.

50. Other Tween Gift Card Ideas

So many gift cards to choose from that would suit a tween traveler. More ideas include:

  • ITunes Gift Card
  • Netflix
  • Visa or Mastercard Gift Card
  • Food (Mc Donald’s, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Subway etc)
  • Clothing Gift Cards to stock up before their trip

More Fun Tween Travel Gift Ideas

51. Would You Rather

Would You Rather? Family Challenge Edition

Would You Rather questions to lighten up any moody tween and their parents.

Hilarious, thought provoking questions.

52. Kids Cruise Travel Journal

Kid’s Cruise Travel Journal Write, Doodle, and Draw Your Vacation

Keep the memories, cruise style with a Cruise Travel Journal.

53. National Parks Board Game

Underdog Games Trekking The National Parks

This wildy popular National Parks boardgame will help everyone learn all about National Parks before their trip. Or to bring along a road trip when there’s extra space.

54. Inflatable Lounger

WEKAPO Inflatable Lounger

Beach vacation solution!

Inflatable lounger makes for an increbibly fun gift. You may have to buy one for all the kids.

55. Taco vs Burrito

Taco vs Burrito Family Card Game

My tweens new favourite portable game; Taco vs Burrito. She asks us to play it all the time.

Fun for the whole family. Plus it was created by a 7 year old, how cool is that.

Final Thoughts: Best Travel Gift Ideas for Tweens

I hope you found our list helpful for finding a fun travel gift for kids they will use and love. These gift ideas are tween approved by our daughter.

Here’s to exploring the world with tweens.

Did we miss your favorite travel gift ideas for kids and tweens? Let us know in the comments below.

More family gift ideas, travel tips and destinations:


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