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What to Get Well-Traveled Teens This Holiday Season

Buying for the pickiest-shopper just got easier.

We take holiday shopping for children for granted—give them a toy from their list and they’ll be pleased and polite. It’s only once they reach the teen years that you realize just how easy you had it. No longer are long lists being created and no longer will a smile always be feigned. Rather, someone’s (the teen’s) parents will ask someone (you) if they’ve still held onto the gift receipt.

While you might not understand TikTok or be a K-pop stan, you do know the importance of giving a good gift, and that’s where we come in. We’ve picked out the perfect gifts for the well-traveled teens in your life—we’re expecting fewer gift receipt requests and more, “Aunt Lisa, how did you know?!”

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For a Relaxing Trip

Aromatherapy has been having a moment. Stylish diffusers have popped up at all of your favorite stores and essential oils have never seen popularity quite like this. For your teen who needs a moment to wind down, there’s this relaxing travel kit that will make any hotel, hostel, or even campsite feel like home. This kit comes with Campo’s signature relaxing essential oil, portable diffuser, and travel bag. It’s stylish, cute, and the perfect way for a teen to wind down from a day of SAT test-prep or (for your teen taking a gap-year) a week of backpacking.

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For a Gym on the Go

There’s nothing quite like a long day in the car or on a plane to make even the youngest of backs stiff. This yoga mat by Yeti Yoga is as functional as it is Instagram-able, while this leather strap makes it easy for them to take their workout on the go. This is a gift they’ll cherish in quarantine when their regular gym equipment has been hard to come by and one they’ll appreciate pulling out after a long day of road tripping.

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For the Jewelry Obsessed

From sophisticated to flashy to quirky, your favorite fashion-forward teen has a lot of jewelry. There are certain colors for specific moods and earrings that really only go with one outfit—but, when on the road and outfits remain unknown, it’s all necessary. To help simplify the jewelry packing and unpacking process (no more spending hours untangling necklaces), there is this travel jewelry case by Mark & Graham which can be customized with your teen’s initials. Break the habit of shoving your finest jewelry into plastic baggies before it’s too late!

INSIDER TIPStart the jewelry case off right by including a new pair of earrings sure to become favorites. Studs, a popular piercing studio and jeweler in NYC, is a great place to start the hunt.

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For the Jet-Setter Turned Camper

With much of the world off-limits, maybe your teen who joined family and friends for epic travel adventures has, like the rest of us, turned towards their backyard. Camping is the new way to travel; it’s socially distanced and gets you out of your home and into nature. Camping gear can be less than cute, however. But why forgo style for functionality when you can have both (and your teen wants both)? Free People has searched the market for all of the best and stylish camping accessories, and in doing so found this packable puffy blanket and the perfect (easy to transport) sleeping bag. Both are durable, easy to throw in a backpack, and cute enough that they can make a cold tent feel (at least kind of) homey.

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For the Coffee Drinker

So, the teen in your life went to Europe and came back with a coffee addiction? After quality lattes in some of Paris’ best cafes, they can’t seem to stomach the sugary Starbucks they once loved. For quality espresso at home, consider this Nespresso Mini, perfect for creating their ideal latte on the go. Not only will it keep them caffeinated through finals, but the assortment of colors also make this appliance cute dorm-room décor.

And if your caffeinated teen also happens to be into YouTube (trust us, they are), YouTube giant and teen herself Emma Chamberlain released her own line of coffee. This bundle comes with steeped bags for an easy, homemade cold brew as well as coffee bags for a more traditional roast.

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For the Amateur Esthetician

Teens know the importance of skincare, especially those that travel. No matter the length of flight, airline, or destination, a plane ride will inexplicably cause a pimple. For teens who find themselves jetting from one destination to the next, a quality skincare routine is a must. Create the perfect travel pack with some of their favorite products. Glossier’s Milky Jelly Mini is perfect for taking on the road to wash off a day of travel-grime and can be followed by a quick swipe of Milk Makeup’s Cooling Water Mini, which reduces puffiness and is oh-so calming. And if they struggle with the occasional stubborn breakout (after a plane ride, don’t we all), Starface’s pimple patches are really the only way to go. Not only will they quickly zap a sudden breakout, but they’re so cute this teen might be tempted to leave the house in them.

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For Improving Your Phone’s Camera

Let’s be honest, we all want our selfies and trip photos to look perfect, teens just get all the attention for it. Rather than shaming them for wanting to look good, let’s instead help them capture the perfect photo with these camera accessories. This phone case, shaped so aptly like a camera, gives your teen-photographer the perfect grip, as well as buttons to make zooming, shutter, and selfies all the easier (and better). Add on this KODAK Smartphone Lens to get an ultra-wide angle, as well as one for close-ups.

And after capturing the perfect picture with their new accessories, Fujifilm Mini Smartphone Printer allows those very images to be printed out with ease onto the vintage-inspired film. Removing the camera part of the Polaroid camera removes the risk of a bad photo and film wasted—this smartphone hookup lets them choose the best of the best for their hard copies.

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For the Eco-Friendly

Your teen knows the importance of environmentalism because—not to bum everyone out–it’s really going to affect them. Grabbing them a cute reusable water bottle will not only fit into their green lifestyle, but it’s perfect for how on-the-go this traveler is. Collapsible water bottles are great for those who find themselves going through TSA more often than others. They collapse down to (nearly) nothing, taking up little space in your carry on. And once you’ve made it to your gate can be easily topped off at the nearest refill station. This option from Stojo comes in a large variety of colors while this one from Que has four and a half stars with over one-thousand reviews.

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For the Teen Who Needs a New Suitcase

Your teen loves to be on top of all trends, suitcases not excluded. While this might not be the ideal gift for just any teen under the sun, it’s perfect for the one in your life who fancies themselves a traveler—you may have been around longer, but they’ve managed to one-up you on countries visited. Away has quickly become the it brand in the world of luggage for its durability, style, and charging station. Their Bigger Carry-On allows for a little overpacking while still avoiding a checked bag.

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For Wheels on the Go

While your teen might have a favorite bike or skateboard, packing those wheels–oftentimes on the larger side–isn’t always the easiest. Allow them to forego the “your luggage is taking up too much space on this road trip” fight by gifting them a small, but still perfectly practical, penny board. Penny Skateboards is the original penny board, meaning that it’s a great place to start. Their 22-inch boards are easy to use while still compact, and come in seriously cool colors and designs. Opt for something graphic or give them the space to decorate it with stickers from their favorite skate shops and brands.

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For the (Future) Art Historian

And on the topic of skate brands, Vans teamed up with MoMA to reimagine their classic designs. The collaboration features an assortment of sneakers—this one is a play off their favorite checker design—as well as Monet inspired hats and a seriously cool Dali long-sleeve tee. For teens who have traveled the world to take in every museum from the Met to the Louvre, this collaboration is the perfect mash-up of the art they adore and the street-style they favor.

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For the Teen Studying Abroad

For your favorite teen who is about to head overseas for their next semester at college, consider something as simple (but useful) as a Visa gift card. The gift of money allows them to buy what they need or just want while abroad. Forgot to pack outlet adapters? That gift card they’ve been holding onto now has them covered. Or maybe they’re in Paris for the weekend and want a beret to remember the trip by? It’s cheesy, it’s cute, and you got it for them. While it’s not thrilling, sometimes practicality is important to travel—a gift card that transfers to the currency of the country it’s in allows them to easily make purchases thanks to you!

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