Even if you aren’t a ‘minimalist’ you probably still struggle with kids’ toys and clutter all over your house. Most people struggle with getting rid of stuff but kids are probably the toughest to ask to part with their toys and trinkets, even though many of them sit untouched for months on end. Instead of asking them to give their stuff away, perhaps we should stop giving them stuff and gift them a travel experience.
Help them catch the travel bug
If you think about it, travel really is the perfect gift for those who already have everything they need. The travel bug is easy to catch at any age. Get them started early, we say!
The first gift to consider is a map and some travel guides. You can even save on the expense of buying travel books by borrowing from the library or utilizing online resources. What’s also nice about this phase of the travel experience gift is that it can be an educational piece as well. A trip to Washington D.C. to expand on U.S. political history, a visit to the Grand Canyon to explore geographic phenomenon, or a travel abroad to explore other cultures all have educational benefits and can really add to book study.
Planning inexpensive trips
Travel can get expensive so you don’t always have to think long or faraway trips. A simple weekend road trip could be just perfect for your kid. Maybe even a special trip with mom and dad without any other siblings would be the cherry on top.
Consider fun location trips including hotel water parks, theme parks, major metropolitan areas with tickets to a stage production or concert, staying at a ski lodge, lake cabin or working ranch. The time that you give them of yourself un-tethered from their siblings or work is valuable in and of itself.
Independent travel experience for teens
If your child is a teen, consider a solo trip to visit an aunt or uncle in another part of the country. You’ll pay for their airline tickets, help with meal costs and spending money, but you won’t need to cover lodging costs!
Summer camp can also be a great gift, especially if it fits into a talent or hobby, like music, sports or scouting. It gives your older child the chance to gain independence and experience the world around them in safe and inviting environment with other people that share their interests.
How about a study abroad program for your college aged kids? They will earn college credit and get exposed to new cultures at the same time. Many area colleges have resources for parents to make study abroad affordable for students.
Travel gifts for kids that are affordable
If you can’t afford to give your child travel as a gift you can give them gifts related to travel that they could inspire or help them on future travels. Here are some travel gifts that you can give your child that don’t cost a lot of money:
- Their passport
- Luggage and travel gear
- Travel books and memoirs
- Framed travel photography for their room
- Digital camera
- A photo album, box or scrapbook supplies or shadow box to store their travel memories
- Gifting some of your travel miles/points to get them started
- Free airport parking
What are some of the places that you would take your child to experience the delights of travel?