Prepare your budding explorer for a lifetime of adventures with a gift that’s sure to spark their wanderlust—and keep them occupied en route.

By Danielle Bufalini
Updated March 21, 2016
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Johner Images
Mark Louis Weinberg


Think outside the lunchbox and wrap up a playful and plush sushi set ($20) from The Felters Market.



There’s safety in numbers, so next trip, make sure they bring a friend. Made of lightweight foam, the iGuy iPad Mini case ($30) is a soft, easy-to-hold travel companion that literally stands on its on two feet.

J. Crew


Travel companions come in all shapes and sizes. Max the Monster ($60) has glow-in-the-dark eyes and looks about as excited as your junior globetrotter will be when unwrapping this surprise.



Calm on-the-go tots with a cuddly Sleep Sheep ($44) that makes traveling less stressful. The loveable little lamb lulls babies to sleep with four soothing sound options.



Keep your audiophile in tune with a pair of headphones from Kidz Gear ($20). They fold flat for easy packing, and are equipped with a maximum volume limit so little ears are safe.

Uncommon Goods


Our vote for the most fun and educational gift goes to Uncle Goose’s state blocks ($100). The handmade set features details (capital, bird, flower, tree, and motto) for all 50 states that’ll make future civics teachers proud.



Aw, snap. This classic Fisher Price camera ($20) from 1968 is back and ready to inspire budding photographers with three picture disks featuring classic nursery rhymes.



Let mini explores color their way around the world with portable maps from OMY ($10). Just don’t forget to pack the crayons.



If you’re at all keen on stopping the “are we there yet?” questions coming from the backseat, you might consider letting them unwrap the Road Trip Word Game ($25) before the long holiday drive.

Courtesy of Little Passports


A subscription to Little Passports ($14 per month) is just the ticket to spur your kiddo’s imagination. The monthly kits feature country-specific goods like maps, letters, souvenirs, stickers, photos and games.


This stylish wonder ($205), based on a classic Icelandic sled, will have them dashing downhill before you can say “snow day.”


Start off their art collection with a map print ($38) that inspires global compassion and encourages little ones to learn about people and animals around the world.



Czech artist Miroslav Sasek takes curious explorers around the globe with his beautifully illustrated "This Is" series. Make sure to clear some space on the shelf because the set of ten books ($200) is sure to become part of the permanent collection.



Steve McDonald’s “Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined” ($15) is hardly child’s play. His coloring book, featuring meticulously drawn cityscapes and mandalas, is best for kids who know how to stay in the lines –– and even better for adults who need to unwind.



Water warriors may have their sites set on swimming with the sharks, but thankfully, a scuba license—and parental veto power—can put that dream to rest for several years. In the meantime, let them experience the life aquatic with a snorkel set ($30) while you paddle nearby.

Jennifer Liseo


In nostalgic nod to ’60s design, Candylab Toys presents a set of wheels that’ll make even the most screen-obsessed kiddo hit their digital breaks. Woodie ($35), made with real walnut veneer side panels, has a magnet on the roof that keeps a surfboard in place, while a magnetic tow hook allows a camper (not included, but well worth the splurge) to trail behind.



Crumpled City's Junior Maps ($7) are lightweight, waterproof, and virtually indestructible. Making them ready to be jammed into pockets, dropped into puddles, or neatly tucked under pillows while new adventures are plotted.

Pottery Barn


Floral accessories are always in season. (Suit)case in point: Jenni Kayne’s blooming set of storage containers ($30) are just the thing for little ladies with wanderlust.



An Arctic quest awaits the lucky recipient of “Stickyscapes Adventure Book” ($15). The cool activity book has foldout pages featuring polar landscapes, over 100 stickers, and fun facts about the North and South Poles.



For more travel gift ideas, head to the main Travel + Leisure Holiday Gift Guide.