By the time your kids have reached their teenage years, it’s likely that you’ve already succeeded in instilling within them a love of all things travel. Some may have begun to embark on their own journeys or pursue their own interests on family trips. This holiday gift guide for traveling teens will help you find the right present to expand their views of the world and help them to develop their own travel style along the way.
For the budding photographer
Teens with a pension for artistic photography may have a specific model in mind when they ask for a camera, but those teens who are simply looking to document their travels will adore the compact Olloclip lens that attaches directly to their iPhone for a quick and easy upgrade to their photos. Portability isn’t the only plus, however. The ability to take beautiful photos while still using his or her phone will allow your teen to instantly email, post, instagram or tweet photos and videos so friends and family can keep up with their travels.
For the social butterfly
The perfect complement to Olloclip lens—the Postagram app is ideal for teens who love to stay in touch with friends on the go. This app allows users to expand their use of social media by turning photos from Facebook, Instagram and their camera roll into actual postcards they can mail virtually anywhere. Simply choose a photo (preferably one with plenty of ‘likes’), type a message and Postagram will do the rest. Although the app is free, users pay a fee for each post card, so get your teen started by gifting a Postagram fund.
For the techy teen
From tablets and cellphones to cameras and laptops, your teen loves all things electronic and has somehow already suckered you into gifting a myriad of gadgets over the years. Help them to keep everything up and running so they can stay entertained and in touch during their travels with a multi-device portable charging hub. Prices can vary depending on complexity and features, but we recommend the portable charging station with cable rack system from AviiQ. Not only will this charging station keep your teen’s gadgets going, but it will also keep chargers and cords organized on the road.
For the international traveler
Whether your family has traveled internationally before or your teen will be experiencing international travel for the first time in the coming year, this set of international power adaptors from Magellan will prepare your teen for wherever his travels may take him. Even if you are only planning to uses a few of the adaptors in the near future, your travel-loving teen is likely to find himself needing other adaptors in the future, so this gift will be used time and again as they continue to explore the world.
For the free spirit
Most teens are all about what’s trendy, and if your traveling teen loves adventure and new experiences, he will fall head over heels (or should we say paws) for his own SpiritHood. Originating in Los Angeles but quickly becoming popular around the world, these trendy hat/scarf combos are the perfect gift for the free-spirit globetrotting teen in your life. The hoods are designed to resemble a variety of creatures—each with a different personality or “spirit” that the wearer embodies. The brand encourages exploration and a reverence for the world we live in (10% of the net profits go to organizations helping endangered animals). The soft, faux fur SpiritHoods are crafted from makes them perfect for hunkering down in an airport or staying warm on an extreme adventure, all while looking exceptionally stylish.
For the planner
After years of following the family itinerary, let your teen get in on the action for your next trip. While we encourage traveling families to consult a variety of sources (especially Pure Wander) when planning a trip, guidebooks are a good starting point for teens that are new to making travel plans in new places. Pass on your expert planning skills by gifting guidebooks to some of your family’s upcoming destinations or destinations that are on your teen’s travel bucket list. You could even surprise your teen by announcing an upcoming trip with plane tickets and the corresponding guidebook.
Not only will this gift help them to research and plan for the trip, but it will also be a great memento upon your return home. Imagine a shelf full of well-loved guidebooks collected over the years that your teen will keep with them as they grow up and begin taking trips on their own.
Add to this gift with portable planning options: eBooks and apps. Lonely Planet offers a comprehensive selection of eBook versions of their guides—covering popular destinations around the world. In addition to these digital guides, Lonely Planet has begun to offer interactive mobile guides for select locations (new locations are still being created). These guides include special interactive features to enhance your planning experience and offer details about a destination on-the-go.
For the traveling teen who has everything
If your teen is already such a seasoned globetrotter that they have every travel gadget in the book, consider an experienced based gift instead of just another toy. Experiences can range from extended trips with teen-only tour groups or flights to visit a family member or friend who has moved away. If your family has a trip on the books, you could even gift tickets to a show or event that coincides with the trip. Your teen will love the freedom that comes with (almost) solo travel or an activity that is all their own. Not to mention the memories of new experiences are likely the reason they fell in love with travel in the first place.
Meghan Miranda has worked with a number of travel and lifestyle publications including Little PINK Book and Four Seasons Magazine. She is also the World Events Editor at Pure Wander. Learn more about her losing battle with the travel bug by connecting with her on Twitter @Meghan_says