Need to buy a gift for the travel-loving teen in your life? You’ve come to the right place! Teenagers are great to shop for, because they need all the same essentials as an adult but are still delighted by fun toys, games, and gadgets.
Whether you’re looking to give a more practical gift or something fun and whimsical, this list of the best travel gifts for teens (as chosen by teens!) is a great place to start.
After four years of full-time travel with four kids, we know a thing or two about the best travel products! Having the right gear on hand can make or break a trip, and you want to be sure to have all the essentials without any extra stuff weighing you down.
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Travel Gifts for Teens
Our teens have lots of experience traveling the world — by car, bus, train, plane, boat, and foot! I consulted with them on this list of the best travel gifts for teens, so you’ll know exactly what to get for the teen who is always on the go.
Essential Travel Gifts for Teens
We’ll start off first with travel essentials, because before heading off on their travel adventures, a teen’s gotta have the basics!
Our teens’ specifications for a great travel backpack include a padded compartment for a laptop, plenty of space for clothes (but small enough to carry on to a plane), stowaway straps, a water bottle pocket, and of course, a stylish look!
Making sure your backpack is safe and secure is a travel must, especially for teens whose favorite items are stored inside. These backpack locks are perfect for doing just that! The password is a combination of 3 numbers, so it’s easy to set one you’ll remember, such as a birthday.
Don’t get your bag mixed up! Make sure you have a reliable luggage tag on every one of your bags, so you’ll always know you’re grabbing the right one. And if it ever does get lost, it’ll have your information so hopefully a kind person will make sure it gets back to you.
Packing cubes are a great way to stay organized when traveling. We love EzPacking’s color-coded packing cubes for easily knowing which cubes below to which family member! Grab a set for each person in their favorite color!
Makeup bag / snack bag
As you browse through this gift guide, you may notice my teen daughter’s affinity for cactus prints! She loved this small bag that could be used for storing makeup, snacks, or other small items.
We love our teens, but…how do I put this nicely? Sometimes they get stinky. Make sure they stay fresh and clean throughout their travels with a travel-sized toiletry kit!
These water bottles fit easily into your backpack’s side pocket and are great for teens to have their own source of refreshment. They come in both solid colors and beautiful designs, so you’re sure to find one that your teen will love. These water bottles are also easy to clean and very lightweight, perfect for traveling!
A great travel jacket goes a long way, especially if you’re traveling across different climates. Be prepared for cool weather, rain, snow, and anything else you might encounter with a versatile, waterproof jacket.
When you’re out and about, seeing the sights, you might not always want to carry a big backpack. The perfect travel purse holds your daily essentials like money, ID, phone, and sunglasses, and includes anti-theft features to stave off pesky pickpockets!
Keep your load light with a simple, slim travel wallet that holds your ID, money, and cards. This can slip easily into a pocket, but we recommend keeping it in your front pocket or even a hidden chest pocket to keep it safe.
This travel journal is perfect for a teen who loves writing about her adventures! It has a 3D gold embossed cover with a vintage map, as well as a ballpoint pen to match. Encourage your teen to write daily about his adventures, so he’ll have a great record of memories to look back on.
Let your teen capture the most memorable moments of her trip with her very own instant camera. Later on, she can use the photos to decorate her room and look back fondly on her adventures!
Car Travel Gifts for Teens
The life of a traveling teen can be very exciting, but it also often means long hours spent in the car, on a bus, on a plane, on a train… These gifts are great for helping teens stay entertained and comfortable during long trips.
Your teen will be a lot easier to deal with if he’s had a good night’s sleep. Make that easier on overnight trips with a flexible neck pillow that will allow him to sleep in a variety of positions.
Whether or not your teen has a phone, an MP3 player is a perfect choice for listening to music while on the go. Not only is it small and compact for travel, but the battery can last up to 10 hours on a single charge! For long hours on the road, teens can listen to their favorite music without worrying about their phone battery running low.
Give your teen the gift of listening to music, while giving yourself the gift of peace and quiet! A set of headphones, especially foldable ones that take up less room, are great to have on a long trip.
Make sure your teen’s devices stay charged on a long travel day with this portable charger that has several attachments that are sure to fit all types of electronics.
We always make sure our teens have books to read when we’re traveling, but physical books are heavy and take up a lot of space. Luckily, an e-reader like the Kindle Paperwhite can store thousands of books, so they’ll always have something to keep their minds occupied!
Nothing helps a long trip go faster than listening to an audiobook. Your teen can put on their headphones, sit back and relax, and get caught up in a mystery, historical fiction, teen romance, or fantasy story. For bonus points, choose books that take place in their target destination!
Nintendo Switch Lite
Gifting to a gamer? They’ll have hours of fun and entertainment on the Nintendo Switch Lite. It’s small enough to slip into a backpack, and they can download games rather than carrying around physical cartridges.
Puzzle books are a great way to get through the long hours of travel. Grab one where all your teen needs is a pencil to enjoy all the games inside!
A fun and compact travel game can entertain for hours. Kanoodle is one example of a game that can fit in a pocket and be played over and over again.
Travel Gifts for Teens Going Abroad
Teens who are heading overseas have some unique needs. Give these gifts to them, and you’ll be their hero. You might even get a postcard!
If your teen will be carrying his own passport, make sure he won’t lose track of it with a colorful passport holder, like this one with a Starry Night theme. Practical and classy!
Universal plug adapter
You’ll be a gift-giving hero if you give your jet-setting teen a universal plug adapter that fits all international outlets. This one is especially useful because it includes multiple outlets.
Teens who are heading overseas will likely encounter foreign languages. Give them a headstart in communicating by gifting a Duolingo subscription. They have fun while learning a new language, and you’ll be surprised by what they remember when they are out and about in a foreign country!
Yes, most travel information is found online these days (you are, after all, currently reading a travel blog), but there’s still value in physical travel guides that can be brought along to help you plan the perfect day out in an unfamiliar city. They can also serve as mementos of an amazing trip!
Help your teen be prepared by exchanging some money ahead of time and gifting her with some paper money in the currency of the country she’ll be visiting. She’ll be ready when she wants to grab some street food or spies the perfect souvenir!
Travel-themed Gifts for Teens
What do you get for the teen who has already traveled the world and now come home? You get them something to remember all their amazing travels!
Travel-loving teens will appreciate gifts that represent their love of travel as well as personalized gifts that help them remember their favorite travel memories.
Teens will love decorating their room with travel posters of all the exotic places they’ve visited. This set includes many of the most popular travel destinations!
Travel stickers are a great, versatile gift for a teenager. He can use them to decorate his room, luggage, school folders, etc. She can put them in her journal where she writes about each location. The possibilities are endless!
Try this pack of travel stickers, a great under $10 travel gift for a teenager!
Travel photo frame
Your teen can curate her favorite memories to showcase on her wall with this multi-photo frame. Even better, she can add some descriptive or inspirational words on the letter board in the middle!
Scratch-off world map
Your teen will love keeping track of all the places he’s visited on this scratch-off world map and proudly displaying it on his wall.
Travel Christmas ornaments
Commemorate a year of travel with a travel-themed Christmas ornament. Gift this Earth ornament that shows all the countries of the world, or find an ornament of your teen’s favorite destination.
Your teen can show off her love of travel with gorgeous, travel-themed jewelry. If you’re traveling along with your teen, try buying her something made by a local artisan. If not, get something that will remind her of all the amazing places she’s been.
Travel games and puzzles
Teens will love learning more about places around the world and remembering their favorite travel memories while having fun. Games like Ticket to Ride and Pandemic center around cities from all around the world!
Travel Experience Gifts for Teens
Sometimes the best gift is the gift of a wonderful memory. Gifting an experience is almost like giving a double gift — your teen gets the excitement of getting the gift, and then they get to enjoy the experience itself!
Plus, teens won’t have to make room in their backpack and carry this gift around!
Gift your teen with a guided tour of their next destination so he can learn more about the location and its hidden gems. Bonus points for finding a tour specifically geared toward teens, so he can meet other kids his own age.
If your teen is known for taking great selfies, she’ll love having her very own photo session. She’ll feel like a celebrity and have incredible photos to commemorate her travels.
If there’s one thing I know about teens, it’s that they love to eat! And what better way to learn about and celebrate a new city and culture than by trying all the best local foods?
Every destination has its own unique activities to try. Look for something to do that you can’t do anywhere else! Our favorite resource for finding unique activities is Airbnb Experiences.
That wraps up our tour of the best travel gift ideas for teenagers! I hope we’ve helped you find that perfect something for the globe-trotting teen in your life. Remember, the best presents are those that marry style with function—a cool-looking water bottle that keeps hydration at hand or a snazzy instant camera for capturing those “wish-you-were-here” moments.
Our own teens have selected and approved each item on this list, so you’re perfectly positioned to delight any teen traveler on your gift list. Now you just have to make your choice and watch your favorite teen adventurer unwrap it on the big day!