The Half Pint Travel Holiday Gift Guide!
For our first annual gift list, I’ve hand-selected items for rookie family travelers, savvy little jetsetters, and everyone in between. And guess what else? All of these goodies were designed and created by women. (This wasn’t exactly my intention from the start, but apparently I have very good taste.) Read on for gifts ranging from airplane essentials and carry-on worthy toys to special occasion outfits.
Best of all, there’s a slew of discounts for you, my Half Pint Travel readers.
Merry Merry indeed.
One of the hardest things about traveling with kiddos is the pile of dirty clothes that builds up in your suitcase. Even when you have access to a washing machine, who wants to do laundry on vacation? Enter the Better Bib by Little Dumplings. Created by two moms who met as expats living in Shanghai, this comfortable little overcoat is made with natural and organic fabrics, and is a cute and washable solution to the mess that is mealtime. And art time. And play time. And in-the-dirt time.
Why I love it: Not only will it keep your kiddo’s limited travel wardrobe cleaner, it’s also adorable, so grandma won’t mutter under her breath about ruining the family holiday dinner photos. It’s also easy to clean, dries quickly, and tucks into its own space-saving pocket.
Half Pint Holiday Special: Use the code DEC18 at littledumplings.com for 15% off through December 26, 2018.
You and your children can log their flights in this little airline journal. Along with keepsake details like your route, airline, and miles flown, there’s also dedicated space for the pilot’s signature and flight notes. Aussie-born founder Bronwyn Darnoc says her customers are full of good stories, including one feat that we travel writers know is nearly impossible these days: “One captain was so impressed with a child’s flight logbook that he upgraded him to Business Class mid-flight.”
Why I love it: I grew up with an Areomexico logbook, but I hadn’t seen one since. And as I reported to Condé Nast Traveler, every time Thomas has asked the pilots to sign his book, it’s earned him an invite into the cockpit!
Half Pint Holiday Special: Use the code SIMPLYFLY at simplyforflying.com for 20% off through December 26, 2018.
If you’ve read my articles, you know I’m a big believer in dressing up your kiddo at the airport and on vacation. It makes every day a special occasion, and I’m convinced it earns you better treatment on the airplane and at hotels. So I was thrilled to discover Classic Childhood. Originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, Pamela Torres designs rompers and shirts in plush but comfortable fabrics—often Peruvian pima cotton—and sells beautiful sweaters, socks and other chic finds from España.
Why I love it: After spotting a little girl in Spain in a stylish romper with pink knee-high socks, I chased down her parents for the brand details. They sheepishly told me it was última temporada, or last season, basically a sin in Spanish fashion circles. Thankfully I met Torres two weeks later—and her classic designs never go out of style.
Educational and fun, this subscription program for kiddos ages 3-12 delivers boxes full of activity books, toys, and travel journals to your doorstep every month. Founded by two moms (not to mention stellar professionals) in San Francisco, each delivery explores a different country or U.S. State, and is designed with input from educators, scientists, and award-winning writers.
Why I love it: Life’s obligations often keep us from packing our suitcases. Little Passports still lets you explore the world—and gets your kids excited about their next trip.
Half Pint Holiday Special: Use the code PR8B5G for 15% off at littlepassports.com through December 31, 2018.
These sweaters are just beauties. They’re made of pima cotton—it’s oh-so soft but also durable—and have hand-stitched details. They’re also lovingly and responsibly made: Designed by Austin-based Jacquie Moesel, they’re sewn and embroidered by a small group of trained artisans in Lima, Peru who are fairly paid and have a safe and healthy work environment.
Why I love them: I’m a sucker for sweet embroidery, and it’s nearly impossible to find this kind of hand-stitched quality in the U.S. I also adore a well-dressed kiddo, especially when it means supporting ethical fashion.
Half Pint Special: Use the code HALFPINT for 15% off at MoeselClothing.com through December 26, 2018.
Every time Nicole Bookman, creator of this travel savvy tray, flew with young children, the same issues came up: Toys fell to the floor (and nothing inspires the F word like picking something up in that not-so-roomy legroom zone) and the airport travel tables were germy, if not outfight filthy. So, she did something about it: She designed the Go Happy Tray, a sleek and functional tray with a lip and silicone mat—so toys stay put—and an underside grip.
Why I love it: This is a mini table on the go. You can whip it out on the airplane or on a road trip for a useful play surface. And if you’re staying with family or friends who aren’t equipped for kids, it helps contain big messes during meal and playtime.
Where to buy: Here’s the link on Amazon.
The Carpenter Bag by Lavender and Canvas
Jesse and Riley, a mom and daughter team out of Los Angeles, design stylish and functional bags that are great for travel. While they’re not diaper bags (a win in my book), they’ve got streamlined, mom-friendly essentials: The fabric is water resistant, they’re designed with interior pockets and shoulder straps, and there’s loads of room for everything from the diapers and wipes to dolls and magnet tiles.
Why I love it: I’m always on the hunt for a non-traditional diaper bag, as well as a carry on that’s big enough to store my growing list of in-plane essentials. This is a sleek and sturdy option, and one I’ll continue to use when the kids are old enough to carry their own load.
These adorable dolls and animals, designed in Brooklyn and stitched by artisans in India and Cambodia (among other countries), are made with organic cottons, and—for the screen-free obsessed among us—encourage imaginative play. They’re also small, soft, and fans of tiny outfits and accessories, making them ideal carry-on friendly companions.
Why I love them: Children often grow attached to a lovey or stuffed animal, and many won’t travel without them. Once, walking down the jet-way, I saw a three-year-old carrying a life-sized Big Bird, one that, I have to assume, required its own airplane seat. Before you fall victim to a similar fate, encourage a Woodland Friend instead.
Where to buy: HazelVillage.com, or visit the store in Brooklyn, New York (510 Third Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11215).
Why are there so many long lines at the airport? Where does your luggage go? And when will we get there? Lisa Brown—the author and illustrator who’s also behind Baby, Mix Me a Drink, and The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming—makes air travel basics fun and entertaining for kiddos in this essential pre-flight picture book.
Why I love it: I’ve had a hard time tracking down good books about air travel, so I was thrilled to find this gem in an independent bookstore in Canada. Luckily for you, it’s also available on Amazon.
Where to buy: Here’s the link on Amazon.