Having a teen who’s been bitten by the travel bug can be a blessing and a curse. There’s the cost and the concern. But having a kid who loves traveling as much as you do means years of incredible shared experiences on the horizon.

As you’re brainstorming what to buy them for the holidays, consider something that gets them excited—and a little more prepared—for their next trip. We’ve rounded up some of the best gadgets, equipment, and accessories for intrepid teens. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even find yourself borrowing some of their cool travel gear on the next family vacation.

A Portable, Waterproof Speaker

speaqua barnacle pro speaker

If you teen is the type who always needs tunes around, they’ll appreciate being able to take their music on all of their wild adventures. The cute, portable Speaqua Barnacle Pro can handle a lot. It’s waterproof, dust/sand proof, and shockproof. It even floats, so no worries about it sinking to the bottom of the ocean or pool. $70, speaqua.com 

The Perfect Travel Pillow

cabeau s3 travel pillow

On long flights, mom or dad’s shoulder makes for an okay stand-in for a pillow, but it can’t really compare to the comfort of Cabeau’s Evolution S3 Neck Pillow. This thoughtfully designed travel pillow has straps to secure it to the seat to prevent annoying head flop. It also has raised side supports and a slim back so the wearer stays supported and comfortable. $40, cabeau.com

One Backpack to Rule Them All

Does your teen have trouble keeping their gear together? Well, the Skyway Rainier Deluxe Backpack is the solution. With a 17-liter capacity, this comfortable, attractive bag has separate compartments that fit a phone, laptop, charging cables, and more. It comes in gray, blue, red, and black so you can some options for matching your kid’s style. $200, skywayluggage.com

A Handy Headphone Adapter


Those basic free headsets you get on longer flights are pretty uncomfortable, and it can be annoying getting tangled up in their wire during meals and bathroom breaks. With the AirFly, your kid can keep wearing their beloved wireless earbuds for in-flight entertainment. The AirFly is a wireless adapter that you connect to your wireless earbuds and then plug into the seatback headphone jack for easy listening. $35, twelvesouth.com

A Stylish Sunglasses Clip

city bred sunglasses clip

It’s not just us old people who are constantly losing their specs. But this magnetic leather clip from City Bred makes is easier to hold on to sunglasses and more. It clips gently to a collar, bag, backback strap, pocket-top or shirt placket. The Hang Glider comes in vegetable-tanned leather or a vegan version, and makes for a great stocking stuffer. You might just want to nab one for yourself. $25, wearcitybred.com

Conveniently Collapsible Luggage

rollink collapsible luggage

Whether your teen is sharing a dorm room or you just want to maximize space, collapsible luggage can come in very handy. Rollink’s version is made from lightweight, sturdy polycarbonate, has spinning wheels, and folds down to just 2 inches thick. It also checks the all-important style box. From $185, rollink.com 

Foldable Travel Slippers

hang travel slippers

With something as simple as some comfy travel slippers, your teen can feel a little bit more at home wherever they are in the world. Hang Accessories’ plush travel slippers come in lots of fun designs like some with palm trees and others with cheetahs. The other great thing about them is how easy they are to pack since they fold in half and come with a matching drawstring bag. $36, hangaccessories.com

A Portable Charger with Personality

hang portable charger

If there’s something your teen wants, it’s probably longer battery life for their phone. As a parent, you can worry a little less about them getting stuck somewhere alone with an empty phone by gifting them one of Hang Accessories’ portable chargers. They’re slim and come in lots of colorful prints so your kid won’t have any reason not to tote theirs around. $35, hangaccessories.com

A Full Set of Packing Cubes

Mumi travel set in suitcase

Does your child hate packing? Mumi design’s ultimate packing bundle makes it all a little bit easier. The set comes with packing cubes in different sizes plus toiletry cubes, shoe bags, and a travel laundry bag. They won’t magically transform a messy kid into an organizing wizard, but they might be inspired to stay a little more organized while traveling. $130, mumidesign.com

Cindy Brzostowski is a freelance writer covering food, travel, and other lifestyle topics.