It’s that time of year again.
Time to wrack your brain and figure out the perfect gift for everyone on your list. If you’re like me, you know a lot of travel lovers, but each one is a little different. It’s hard to find generic items that will match each of their travel personalities and styles.
Luckily, there are so many great travel-themed gifts out there, you’re sure to find the right item for each traveler in your life – no matter what kind of traveler they are.
I’ve broken this post up into six different categories of travelers (the ones I’m most familiar with): Athletic, practical, stylish, artistic, outdoorsy and foodie.
For those that like to stay active while on the road.
Amphipod Airflow Trail Pack: These are basically a stylish version of a fanny pack, but with much more versatility. The pouch expands to fit anything travelers need to bring with them on a run, hike, bike ride, etc. The packs are super lightweight and bounce free, which is great for runners. I never leave home without mine. I can store my phone, keys, ID and a snack, all in one pack, leaving me hands free on my morning runs.
Price: $19.95 on Amazon
CamelBak Dart Hydration Pack: This is great for runners and hikers. The lightweight bag offers a snug fit and breath ability. It can hold about 50 fluid ounces, which usually keeps me well hydrated for an 8-10 mile run, depending on how hot it is outside. It features an easy to use valve, and a hydro lock to shut off the water to prevent any leaks while you’re traveling. There’s a zippered front pocket, which is great for holding any small items you may have with you.
Price: $51.99 on Amazon
Brooks Radical Lightweight Tab Running Socks: If you’re a runner, you’ll love these socks! They’re made with DriLayer(R) Glide yarn for maximum ventilation, and the Achilles tab helps prevent slippage as you run. The fabric works great on long runs. They even offer arch compression for a little extra support. They’re easy to pack, and easy to clean for those traveling for an extended period of time.
Price: $19.99 on Amazon
Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Bands: When you’re traveling, there isn’t always a gym available. And if you’re not a runner – or the weather doesn’t permit – hitting the trail isn’t always an option. Resistance bands are super easy to pack, take up little to no space, and can be used anywhere for an effective workout. This set from Fit Simplify offer heavy duty loop bands that come in five resistance levels. They can be used for general workouts, strength training, yoga or stretching. There are even videos featuring exercises with the bands – very useful while traveling.
Price: $10.95 on Amazon
For those travelers who love functional accessories that serve multiple purposes.
AMPL Smart Back Pack: With all the technology in our lives today, it’s hard to leave home
without some gadgets. The biggest hassle? Trying to charge all those devices at the same time. Enter the Smart Back Pack, a brand new product that charges, protects and monitors gear while you’re on the go. The bag features a USB port in every pocket so you can plug in all your gadgets. Then, a single cable from the bag charges all the items at once, without you needing to unpack. The bag has extra padding to make sure everything is protected, and there’s an App that goes with it so you can control the charge levels of your devices.
The Smart Back Pack isn’t available yet, but you can reserve one today and the AMPL will notify you when it’s ready to ship.
Price: Starts at $249 on AMPL’s website
Cord Taco: One of the last things I tend to pack when I travel is my headphones, which means I barely wrap them up and just throw them into the first available pocket. This usually means I’m searching around for and then untangling them in my time of need. A cord taco is a simple accessory that stores headphones and cords easily and neatly. Just something to make life a little easier while traveling.
Price: 3 cord tacos for $16 on This is Ground
eBags Packing Cubes: These are heaven for neat freaks. You can divide all your items into different cubes (underwear and socks in one, shirts in another, and pants in another). It keeps everything neatly contained, and maximizes packing space. Even if you aren’t a super organized person, these are seriously a godsend for traveling. They’re so easy! And, when you get to your destination, unpacking is really simple, too. All you have to do is take the cubes out of the suitcase and put them in the drawers, and you’re done.
Price: Set of 4 cubes for $24.99 on Amazon
Cabeau Evolution Cool Pillow: Sleeping on a plane is difficult, unless you’re one of those magical people who can fall asleep anywhere. I’m not one of those people. I like to have a nice place to rest my head, that won’t give me a sore neck by the end of the flight. The Cabeau pillow is made with dual-density memory foam, and features air circulation vents to keep you comfortable. It’s adjustable to fit all neck sizes and comes with memory foam earplugs, too. Plus, it quickly rolls up into a compact travel bag for easy storage.
Price: $59.99 on ebags.com
For the travelers who like to look good, without breaking the bank. I’ll admit, these are mostly geared to women – due to personal experience.
Speakesy Hidden pocket loop scarf: Stylish, comfortable, warm and practical, this scarf is perfect for
both men and women. There are a range of designs, colors and fabrics you can choose from, depending on who you’re buying for. The best part of these scarves is the secret pocket. It’s big enough to fit a passport, phone, glasses or any other item you want to stash away without anyone being the wiser.
Price: $55 at Speakeasy Travel Supply
T3 Compact folding hair dryer: I’m not one of those lucky souls whose hair air dries perfectly with no additional styling (that’s the dream). If I’m traveling around without consistent access to a bathroom and a hairdryer, this little baby is a godsend. It’s ultralight and dries hair quickly. The folding handle makes it easier to pack without taking up much space. Great when you need to get ready quickly and efficiently while on the road. It’s a little pricey, but the advanced technology makes it worth it.
Price: $150 on Amazon
Travelon Anti-Theft Crossbody Bag: One of the best accessories a woman can have while traveling is a stylish, anti-theft purse. This crossbody bag/clutch has a sleek design that makes it perfect for a night out somewhere, and casual enough for day to day activities. It features a number of compartments to keep things organized, and you can wear it two different ways depending on the situation. The RFID blocking cards keep you personal safe from potential hackers looking to steal your credit card information. The bag also features locks, for additional security.
Cost: $40 on eBags
Vera Bradley Travel Cosmetic Bag: It’s impossible for me to leave home without my cosmetic essentials, and if you know anyone like that, this is a great gift. The cosmetic bag is small enough to pack easily, but also spacious with multiple packable pouches to hold a variety of items. There’s also a fold up make up brush holder for the many different brush styles women can carry. Plus, the colorful flower design is much more fun than a basic black cosmetic bag.
Price: $46.40 on eBags
Free to Live Fleece-lined leggings: These are great for trips during winter or to particularly cold destinations (or even to wear on a long flight, because, let’s face it, planes can get cold!). Not only are the leggings lined with fleece for extra warmth and comfort, but they come in a range of colors to match any outfit. Travelers can wear the leggings by themselves, or with a dress, skirt or long shirt. You can even wear them under pants for extra warmth.
Price: Set of 6 leggings for $29.95
For the photographer, artists and writers who love to see the world, and share their experiences.
Clip-on smartphone camera lens: If you know someone who likes to take pictures with their phone and is looking to create more artistic photos, this is the perfect attachment to give them. There are a variety of clip on lenses, but AUKEY’s Ora iPhone lens kit is probably one of my favorites. It comes with two lenses that easily clip on to any phone and fits more devices. The 120 degree angle lens is great for creating wide angle images and videos, while the macro lens captures crisp close up shots. It takes smartphone photography to the next level.
Price: $24.99 on Amazon
Camera strap: Many serious travel photographers have camera straps, but it never hurts
to have more than one – especially ones that are a little more fun than the standard, functional black strap. Capturing Couture has a variety of funky camera straps with colorful designs, as well as comfortable scarf camera straps, for even more stylish flare.
Price: $39-$45 on Amazon
Personalized passport holders: passport covers are great to have, especially for people who
travel a lot. They protect passports from the wear and tear of travel, and make them easy to spot in a bag filled with numerous other items. Rather than get your loved one or friend a basic cover, personlize it with their name or initials for something a little more special. Handmade Curious offers a range of different designs from fun travel quotes to maps to destination images. You can select the one that best fits the person you’re shopping for and customize it with their name.
Price: Starts at $10.20 on Amazon
Manfrotto Phone or Camera Tripod: There are times while traveling that a selfie just won’t do, it doesn’t capture everything that’s going on behind you. But, you don’t always have someone around to take your photo. A versatile tripod is a great way to capture not just high quality self portraits, but also images that require a steady hand (which isn’t always easy). Manfrotto makes a variety of different tripods that suit cameras and smartphones. No matter what photography level your loved one or friend has, there is something for every level – from beginner to professional. Personally, I take more pictures with my smartphone than a regular camera, and the Pixi Smart tripod for smartphones is perfect. It’s compact, easy to set up and can work as a selfie stick, too.
Price: $35 on Amazon
Slightly different than the athletic traveler, the outdoorsy types love to be one with nature. They like to camp, hike and be outside as much as possible.
Fatboy Lounge Chair: When you’re camping, hiking, or even just spending the day in the park, there’s not always a great spot to sit and take a break. The Fatboy Lamzac Lounge Chair is the simple solution. It weighs less than three pounds and is super compact, making it easy to take anywhere. When you’re ready to use it, just fill it with air using the company’s unique filling technique and then sit back and relax. It can be used anywhere, and can hold up to 440 pounds. It’s durable and easy to clean, too. The perfect accessory for the outdoor enthusiast.
Price: $59.99 on eBags
Quick dry towels: If outdoor adventures take your travel loving friend to waterfalls, lakes, rivers or oceans, quick dry towels are an awesome gift. They are ultra compact, super absorbent and dry ten times faster than normal cotton towels. They’re super handy when you need to clean cooking utensils while camping, to dry off after a swim if you’re not close to your hotel or airbnb, or to lay out on at the beach. Wildhorn Outfitters Microlite Travel Towel bundle includes three different size towels for everyday use no matter what the situation.
Price: $27.99 on Amazon
First-aid kit: It goes without saying that anything can happen when you travel. This is especially true for those adventurous types that back pack and camp in various destinations. A first-aid kit should be an essential part of any travelers suitcase or backpack. This lightweight, 85-piece kit is easy to pack, waterproof and includes all the basics that one might need in an emergency. Don’t leave home without it!
Price: $12.99 on Amazon
Hydrapak water bottle: Hydration is crucial for all travelers, but those who spend a lot of time outside definitely need it readily available. There are all kinds of water bottles out there you can buy as a gift, and for a long time I was a big fan of Nalgenes. I still love them, but they’re bulky and take up space in my bag. The Hydrapak water bottle, on the other hand, is a soft-walled, collapsible bottle that features an innovative molded top and bottom that snap together for easy storage. When ready to be used, it can expand and hold about a liter of liquid. Perfect for camping, travel and every day use.
Price: Starts at $12.59 on Amazon
Pocket knife: Definitely an essential for camping enthusiasts, a pocket knife is super handy. There are some that have dozens of tools, which is great for the intense outdoorsmen/women. This tinker pocket knife is small and only has 14 functions that are useful for the everyday camper. A large blade, small blade, Phillips screwdriver, bottle opener with large screwdriver, and scissors are just of few tools featured in the Victorinox Swiss Army Knife.
Price: $29.95 on Amazon
Those who love food and drinks from cultures all over the world, and enjoy little indulgences on the road.
Carry-on cocktail: Those longer flights are made a little more tolerable with a nice cocktail. Some airlines offer complimentary alcoholic beverages on international flights, while others sell them for anywhere from between $5-8, depending on what you get. For travelers who enjoy something a little more fancy than just vodka on the rocks, a carry-on cocktail kit has enough material to mix two cocktails mid-air. You can pick from six different varieties: The Bloody Mary, The Hot Toddy, The Champagne Cocktail, The Moscow Mule, The Gin & Tonic and The Old Fashioned.
Price: $24 on W&P
International recipe book: The best souvenir from travel is food, especially food you can enjoy for years to come. A recipe book is perfect for those who love to cook and want to bring memories from their trips into their homes. In Her Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from Grandmas Around the World highlights grandmothers from around the world and their signature recipes. The Food Lover’s Guide to the World features culinary experiences that will transport you all over the world, without leaving your kitchen.
Price: Vary depending on the cook book
Aeropress: For me, coffee is a must in the morning, whether at home or on the road. However, good coffee isn’t always available. You could go to a local coffee shop (which I definitely recommend for any traveler to do at least once), but that can get expensive to do every day. Hotels will usually have a coffee maker in the room, but let’s face it, those coffee grounds aren’t the highest quality. An Aeropress coffee and espresso maker comes in handy at these dire moments of caffeine deficiency. All it takes is some hot water, ground coffee (which can easily be purchased from local grocery stores for about as much as a cappuccino would cost at a cafe) and some steady hand pressure, and voila! A great cup of coffee in less than two minutes. There are a few pieces to keep track of, but everything is relatively small and easy to store.
Price: $29.95 on Amazon
World Atlas of Beer: Whenever I visit a new place, I have to try the local beer. Not only do I love beer, but I appreciate each country or city’s variations on it. It says a lot of the culture and culinary background of a place. The best way to take a brewery tour around the world is with the World Atlas of Beer. This book takes travelers on a beer journey to over 35 countries, where they will learn about “everything from the wheat beers of Bavaria, Belgium’s Trappist ales, and Finnish sahti to British bitters, barrel-aged Californian beers, Vietnamese bìa hoi, and more.” The authors also include an interesting history of beer and a look at the science behind brewing it.
Price: $30 on Amazon
This list only scratches the surface of the many possible gifts to get the traveler in your life. I could have doubled the options for each category, as there are so many wonderful items out there. In fact, if you have any gift suggestions that aren’t on this list, please feel free to share them in the comments. I’d love to hear about the things you would like this holiday season for all your future travels.