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Taking the Kids: Holiday gifts for your favorite little traveler (and big ones, too)

By Eileen Ogintz, Tribune Content Agency on

For outdoors lovers -- or wannabees -- give a gift card to, which offers secluded campsites, complete with hiking trails, swimming holes and an already set-up platform tent, bed, wood stove, fire pit, even camp toilet and table and grill. You can even opt for luxury bedding or a kayak or bike rentals. enables the lucky recipient to choose an activity from more than 400 in 100 countries -- starting at $79 while promises unique adventures led by talents in their fields. Think paragliding with an expert or meeting the lead in a Broadway play.

Everyone I know who has enjoyed a private tour, whether designed for kids at the Vatican or the Louvre or a cooking class that includes a visit to a local market, reports it to be a highlight of a trip. One of my friends still talks about the day we spent truffle hunting in Tuscany rather than on a traditional shore excursion offered by our Mediterranean cruise. My beer-loving (grown) kids gave high marks to the Eating Prague beer-tasting and history tour.

If you know where the travelers in your family are going, you can offer a gift card for them to have an experience they might not have otherwise, but one they can choose themselves. (Maybe a VIP tour of a theme park? Dinner in a restaurant you love in that city? A snowshoe adventure under the moon? A yoga class?)

Millennials and kids are always concerned about running out of juice for their devices. But which battery booster would they like? There’s a power tassel keychain from Rebecca Minkoff ($50).

Anyone stuck in a crowded airport, especially with kids, would appreciate a digital Priority Pass membership with access to some 1,000 airport lounges around the world. (Depending on how generous you are, you can include the fee for the first couple of visits.)

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The key is to be thoughtful -- choosing something you think will be well-received, but allowing everyone to make their own final choice.

And think of all you'll save on shipping and gift wrapping! Happy Holidays!


(For more Taking the Kids, visit and also follow "taking the kids" on, where Eileen Ogintz welcomes your questions and comments.)



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