Global Gifts for the Little Adventurer

by Madeleine Deliee
Nov 22, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. ET

Whether you’re shopping for the junior jet-setter in your life or just a kid with a planet-size desire to explore, the holidays are the perfect time to give kids a chance to expand their horizons.

As Helen Keller said, “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.” Sometimes, adventure means hitting the road — whether to a new country or just a drive to Grandma's. And sometimes, adventure means simply imagining all the amazing places you might find yourself someday. After all, armchair exploration can be an awful lot of fun too — even when circumstances (and finances) don’t allow you to put that worldwide backpacking plan into action quite yet.

So whether you gift kiddo the perfect pants for a long car ride, a monthly assortment of snacks from another culture or a globe of their very own, the picks on this list are sure to help your future adventurer get inspired.

1 /10: American Tourister hard-side spinner

1/10 :American Tourister hard-side spinner

Behold: a suitcase that, according to reviews, easily accommodates a week’s worth of clothes, is easy to find at baggage claim and is cool enough to go from little kid to big kid. 

21-inch hard-side spinner, $79.99 at eBags

2 /10: National Geographic Kids magazine

2/10 :National Geographic Kids magazine

Not only does this come with National Geographic’s always-phenomenal photography and engaging stories, it also provides an added (and little-known these days) thrill for kids: getting real mail addressed to them! Kids is for ages 6 and up, and Little Kids is for ages 3 to 6. 

10 issues of National Geographic Kids, $15 at National Geographic

Six issues of National Geographic Little Kids, $15 at National Geographic

3 /10: Mudpuppy Travel Journal

3/10 :Mudpuppy Travel Journal

This journal offers short, directed prompts (“What I did,” “What I saw") and includes helpful sections such as a packing list and a page for important addresses. It's a great way to commemorate a trip — and keep brains busy.

Travel journal/diary, $9.99 at Mudpuppy

4 /10: Mudpuppy I [Heart] Museums activity book

4/10 :Mudpuppy I [Heart] Museums activity book

Whether kiddo is visiting her 10th museum or gearing up for her first, this activity book has something for everyone. From designing a kimono to writing your name in hieroglyphics, creative interactions abound.

I [Heart] Museums activity book, $12.99 at Mudpuppy

5 /10: Children’s Place fleece joggers

5/10 :Children’s Place fleece joggers

Anyone who has ever had to rouse a child at an unreasonable hour for an early flight will attest to the genius of "wear it to bed and roll into the car/onto the plane" attire. Warning: These pants are so comfortable, you may not be able to convince them to wear anything else ever again.

Fleece joggers, $19.95 at Children’s Place

6 /10: Roller Rabbit sun hat

6/10 :Roller Rabbit sun hat

It's pricier than your run-of-the-mill kid hat, but it's adorable sun protection and is probably worth it if you're heading on a winter vacation to warmer climates — especially if it helps you rest easy about whether you managed to get every inch of your kid's face covered in sunscreen.

Sun hat, $35 at Roller Rabbit

7 /10: Universal Yums snack box

7/10 :Universal Yums snack box

What better way to prepare for an international trip — or just learn about a new place — than through that country's snack food? Bonus: If you're going to be traveling for a long time, some munching distraction will be highly useful.

Snack box (six-plus items), $16/month at Universal Yums

8 /10: Skip Hop travel nightlight

8/10 :Skip Hop travel nightlight

Even the most fearless explorer can be afraid of the dark sometimes. Luckily, this guy runs on batteries (no messing around with cords or adaptors) and is also available in monkey and butterfly versions.

Travel nightlight, $18 at Skip Hop

9 /10: Paper globe

9/10 :Paper globe

This colorful, lightweight globe comes ready to mark with pins or stickers to record kids' travels. It's a beautiful addition to any explorer’s shelf.

Paper globe, $12.95 at The Met Store

10/10 :Pin it!

Pin this and hit the road.