If you’re in the market for a travel gift for a teenager this year, try one of these ten ideas.
1. A digital camera. Whether your teen is a budding photographer or not, they’ll enjoy snapping their own photos during a family vacation. Be sure to provide them with an extra memory card so they can practice to their heart’s desire and a case to protect the camera from scratches.
2. A nice travel journal/album. Choose a funky colorful design for a younger teen or a handsome embossed leather album for a sophisticated teenager. If you’ve recently taken a family vacation, fill the album with pictures of the trip. If not, encourage them to use it for an upcoming trip.
3. Toiletries. If you travel a lot with your teen, tiny toiletries make great stocking stuffers. Teeny tins of dental floss, miniscule bottles of a favorite shampoo, a new toothbrush holder, earplugs, or a travel-sized hairdryer are good options.
4. A toiletry bag. If your teen lugs along a lot of products she (or he) can’t be without, give them their own toiletry bag. This is also a gift to yourself; you won’t have to root through six tubes of hair mousse looking for the toothpaste!
5. Special gear. If your teen has always wanted to try snorkeling, kayaking, or downhill skiing provide them with a set of starter equipment. For a bonus gift, plan a family vacation where they’ll be able to put their equipment to use.
6. Their own suitcase. Eliminate arguments about overpacking with your teen. Provide them with their own rolling suitcase that they can stuff with whatever they want (as long as they carry it and pay any overweight baggage fees!). Get a decent quality one made of a rugged material with inline skate wheels; they’ll be able to use it when they head to college or their own apartment.
7. An MP3 player. If your teen doesn’t already have one, now is a great time to buy. Prices have dropped substantially, even on high-end models. Provide two sets of earphones since the first is sure to be misplaced.
8. A portable DVD player. If a long flight or drive is in your future, get your teen a portable DVD player and a few favorite movies.
9. A magazine subscription. If your teen is really into traveling, get them a subscription to a travel magazine. Frommer’s Budget Travel is inexpensive and caters to a large audience, including the young and hip. The articles are short and easy to read with lots of graphics and illustrations.
10. A trip. If you want to go full out, get your teen a plane ticket to somewhere they’ve always wanted to go (Paris? Hiking in the Rockies?). Then take them there! The memories you make will be just as good (or better!) than any gift in a box.