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7 Family travel gifts recommended by a travel journalist

Parents who are always on the go are sure to love the latest travel gifts offered by some of the top retailers this holiday season. While some of these gadgets and toys are guaranteed to offer kids a sense of entertainment, others are created to help parents get through those long car and plane rides. As a travel journalist, here are some of my favorite picks this year.

1. ABC animal mat

Image: Giggle

From online parent store Giggle, this fun and foldable activity mat helps tots learn their ABCs with some plushy friends. Kids will have fun pairing each animal figure with each letter of the alphabet. The mat is ideal for travelers and folds up into a carrying case for easy travel. (Giggle, $75)

2. Beauty 360 portable manicure kit

Image: CVS

Available exclusively at CVS, this portable manicure kit is ideal for moms and dads who want to keep their nails looking in tip-top shape while on the road. The kit comes with interchangeable heads that help shape, file, and polish nails. (CVS, $10)

3. Smart Toy

Image: Toys R Us

This cute stuffed bear can provide endless fun, especially during long car or train rides. The Smart Toy from Fisher-Price is an interactive bear that could help keep toddlers entertained for hours. How? The stuffed animal can actually have “conversations” with your child. The smart bear can even remember your child’s favorite things and name. It also tells stories and create games. Ages 3-5. (Toys “R” Us, $100)

4. Foldable Micro Maxi

Image: Micro Kick Board

With this scooter from Micro Kickboard, kids will never have to leave home without it. The board joins the list because its super easy to travel with. The lightweight kickboard can fold up into a suitcase or car trunk with ease. Ideal for wheeling around both urban and suburban neighborhoods. Ages 5-12. (Micro Kickboard, $140)

5. Wi-Fi Monitor

Image: Summer Infant

Mom and dad can be at ease knowing their baby is safe with the latest Wi-Fi baby monitor from Summer Infant. The monitor comes with a color LCD flat-screen, allowing parents to view the baby right from their smartphone app. The smart design also enables remote pan, scan and zoom with two-way communication. (Summer Infant, $290)

6. Motorola Talkabout T400

Image: Amazon

Two-way radios are a great way for family members to keep track of each other. These new two-way radios by Motorola are made for the outdoors — perfect for that next hiking or camping trip. It uses NiMH rechargeable batteries or three AA batteries to stay charged. (Amazon, $69)

7. i-Hide car seat organizer with tablet viewer

Image: Munchkin

The BRICA i-Hide Seat Organizer helps keep all your kid’s gear organized in the car. This organizer easily hangs right over the seat for easy access. A see-through pouch also keeps tablet within reach. (Munchkin, $25)

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