Stocking ideas for families who travel

Need help filling those Christmas stockings this year? We’re back with this year’s 10 stocking ideas for families who travel! Whether you have small children who need entertainment on long road trips or teens who love the outdoors, the following holiday stocking stuffers will fit the bill!



1. GSI Outdoors MicroLite Bottle:

Last year, we recommended the GSI Outdoors 5L vacuum bottle, which we still love. But new this year is the MicroLite, which is a sleek, slim thermal bottle perfect for hot drinks. It’s lighter than any other thermal insulated container we’ve seen, and has the best lid, which can lock or unlock, plus has controlled flow so you won’t burn your tongue.

2. Noso patches:

This is fun: you can now buy patches for any ripped or worn clothing that require NO sewing (get it…noso?). These patches come in cute shapes and designs, and work especially well on performance fabrics like nylon and Gortex. They’ll also work on tents, backpacks, and travel totes. I’ve used one on an insulated puffy jacket. They’re under $15 for a package!

3. ReFuel Grab and Go Family pack:

This is great! If you have a family with several people using smart phones, iPads, or cameras that need charging on the go, the ReFuel Grab and Go pack gives you ample power to share. It comes with three separate recharging banks on one charger, so family members can come grab…and go. Each power bank will fully charge a phone.

4.Klymit Pillow X Large:

Klymit, the company that makes our favorite sleeping pads for backpacking, has several pillows on offer. The Pillow X Large features the same advanced self-centering X design as their Pillow X, but in a wider, thicker and softer configuration. The pillow weighs only 3.2 oz, making it easy to take camping or backpacking, or on the plane.

5. Brilliant Reflective Stick-ons:

This is genius! You can stick Brilliant Reflective stick on strips on just about anything! We’ve used them for the backs of the kids’ shoes during Halloween, on bikes, on helmets, and even on things we want to find easily, like flash lights. They’re also great for use on backpacks and water bottles. And they come in large packs, so a few packages will last a long while!

6. Camelbak Chute:

The Chute is one of our favorite Camelbak water bottles, and the insulated version is ideal for both hot and cold drinks while traveling. Add a carabiner and attach the Chute anywhere! Best of all, it’s one of the few water bottles we’ve tested that NEVER leaks!

7. Adventure Medical Kits Dog series:

Fido should be cared for while on vacation, too! If you bring your dogs along on hikes, to beaches, or for city walks, either at home or while away, bring along the Adventure Medical Kits dog care kit. It weighs just over one pound, and is filled with any emergency supplies you’d need, including a triangular bandage that can be used as a muzzle (sometimes necessary when dogs are in pain).

8. Darn Tough Vermont ski socks:

We love Darn Tough Vermont’s new patterns of ski/ride socks for kids this fall, especially the patriotic stripe sock. And we can always trust Darn Tough to deliver quality and comfort. Plus, their socks last through several seasons, then become hand-me-downs for years!

9. myCharge PowerGear Sound case:

The name is a mouthful, but what exactly IS this thing? The small clamshell case is about the size of your palm and houses your bluetooth earbuds. That alone is useful…how often do they end up at the bottom of my tote or backpack, out of reach? But as the name suggests, the myCharge case also charges your earbuds. It has a special configuration for Beats earbuds, but if you have another brand (I love my Sol Republic Relays earbuds), the interior casing can be removed to accommodate any type. You get 10x extra life for your earbuds when you travel!

10. GSI Outdoors Pack Kitchen:

Consider the GSI pack kitchen to be a family gift! It’s cute as a button, while remaining utilitarian as well. Because the pack kitchen comes in its own mesh bag, we bring it on camping trips, yurt stays, and backpacking trips. It would do well in any RV, too. Included in the pack kitchen are condiment containers, a travel salt-and-pepper shaker, a camp towel (worth the price alone), scrubber, and two lightweight utensils for camp cooking. Pick up the entire GSI Outdoors Pack Kitchen for only $14!

11. Pourtables:

If you haven’t heard of Pourtables, you’re not alone: I hadn’t either! But these organic, gourmet coffee packets are ideal for travelers. I am excited to try them both on a cruise (why can’t cruise lines get coffee right?!) and while backpacking. These individual coffee pouches are about the size of tea bags, but once opened up and attached to your coffee mug, they make a rich, satisfying brew. Just place the pouch over your mug, add one ounce of water to soak the grounds, then slowly pour six ounces of hot water through.

12. Buff Merino wool neckband:

I love Buffs…I use them while traveling all the time! They are especially dear to me while skiing, as they’re thin enough to not hinder my breathing when wearing them over my face. But now they’ve gone to a new level of awesome with Merino wool Buffs. They’re still thin, but warmer and better at wicking. Plus, when I take them traveling, they don’t collect odor, thanks to the wool.

13. Buff wool hats:

Sticking with a theme, I cannot travel in winter without at least one knit hat. Buff has a selection I never knew about: I especially love their Liz hat, which is a wool/cotton/alpaca blend. The Liz will be on my next ski trip with me!

14. Matador Transit 30 duffle:

This one’s so cool: if you haven’t heard of Matador, they make super smart travel products. The Transit 30 is a 30 liter duffle made of ultra lightweight ripstop nylon with weatherproof zippers. That’s all well and good, but get this: it stuffs into a bag the size of my fist. This is the perfect bag to stash inside my carry-on for those trips when I know I’ll want to check a bag of souvenirs home (it happens more often than you’d think). Pick it up for $50.

15. Lander Cascade Power Bank:

This rugged, portable charger comes in three sizes: 2600 mAh, 5200 mAh, and 7800 mAh. All can be used to charge a USB device, tablet, mobile phone, or MP3 Player. We checked out the 5200 size, which is under $50 and easily fit in the palm of my hand. It’s super easy to charge, and I love that there’s a light indicator so you can see when the charge is getting low. Pick it up for $49!


Need more ideas? Check out more holiday gift picks from Pit Stops for Kids!

Photo credit: Flickr/popofatticus

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.




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  3. I love those animal headphones! I want a pair for myself!

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