The holidays…they seem to sneak up on me every year. I always say I’ll get my shopping done early, but time just slips away. And I always struggle with gift ideas.
If you’re like me, you’re probably still wracking your brain for the perfect gift for everyone on your list. I can’t help you pick out the right sweater for your grandma or a toy for your nephew. But I can give you some advice on what to get the travel enthusiast in your life.
As someone who loves travel, I often seek out gift items that I would like to have on my trips. I’ve built on my list from last year, featuring some of the same products that I still think are good options. I also added in some new discoveries that I think are pretty cool. Hopefully, this list of gift ideas will help you find the right present for that special traveler, no matter their travel style or interests.
For those that like to stay active while on the road.
Gaiam Yoga Socks: Yoga is an activity you can do practically anywhere. With these slip-resistance socks, you get the security of a yoga mat – without actually having a mat. The Gaiam sock gives you the feeling of being barefoot with its five-toe design. They’re perfect for travel, and an easy way to get a quick workout wherever you are.
Price: Starting from $6.99 on Amazon
FitBit Alta: When you travel, hitting those daily steps is made a little more attainable as you explore new cities. But to get a real idea of your progress, it’s good to have an activity tracker. Easily measure steps, calorie burn, heart rate and sleep patterns every day with the Fitbit Alta. This has become my favorite travel accessory. I can monitor my fitness progress, but also keep track of my meals, water intake and how well I’m sleeping. Because, let’s face it, traveling makes it a little harder to stick with a diet routine.
Price: From $147.40 on Amazon
Collapsible Sports Water Bottle: Be friendly to your body and the environment by traveling with a reusable water bottle. Some of my favorites are great for work or the gym, but they can take up a lot of room in my suitcase. This collapsible water bottle is easy to pack, but also sturdy and leak proof. It’s the perfect companion for anyone trying to get their daily allotment of water, without taking away precious cargo room.
Price: From $21.95 on Amazon
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 runs.
Price: starting at $18.45 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.
Anti-Jet Lag Tablets: Traveling internationally is a special experience, but it can wreak havoc on your immune system. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come down with a cold after a long flight, or felt rundown and exhausted. The flying environment at 30,000 feet is incredibly dry, and the confined space is a breeding ground for germs. These tablets help with hydration, support circulation, immunity and natural defenses. Quicker recovery after flying is definitely something I think every traveler can get behind.
Price: From $18.99 on Amazon
Pear Pillow: Sleeping on planes is nearly impossible – at least for me. And if you know someone who struggles like I do, this pillow is a great solution. The pear pillow is designed supports the head, neck and chin for one or two travelers. Yes, that’s right. You can share this pillow with someone else. Or if you travel alone, it squeezes in perfectly on a window or a wall.
Price: $31.99 from Pear Pillow
World Adapter Plug: It’s a fact that electronic devices play a big role in our lives. And when we travel, those handy smartphones, tablets and laptops usually need to come with us. The best way to power all those, especially in foreign countries, is with an adapter. This worldwide adapter can be used in over 150 countries. It’s fitted with US, UK, EU & AU/CN plugs, as well as USB ports. It can be used with several different plug designs, and can charge three devices simultaneously. A nifty little tool perfect for that always-plugged-in traveler.
Price: From $14.95 on Amazong
Memory Foam Slippers: On the road, one can sometimes miss the comforts of home. Give the gift of coziness with these memory foam slippers. The insole offers a soft, spongy surface that forms to your foot. The slippers even have a rubber sole that’s waterproof and offer anti-slip protection. They are perfect to wear on the plane, in a hotel room or apartment rental. There’s nothing quite like slipping your tired feet into a soft slipper at the end of the day, especially when you’re traveling.
Price: From $14.99 on Amazong
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. And look how cute the designs are!
Price: 3 cord tacos for $9.95 from RuMe
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
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.
Beach Snow Chick Head Warmers: Travel doesn’t always take you to warm destinations. Hitting the slopes and skating on a frozen lake are activities I tend to take part in at least a few times a year. To keep my ears toasty warm, I rely on this colorful, knit head warmer from Beach Snow Chick. They come in a variety of colors and designs, and are all handmade in Big Bear Lake, California. I wear mine all the time, even if it’s not that cold out. It’s super cozy and doesn’t itch!
Price: $18.00 on Etsy
Face Moisturizer for Men: Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the gentlemen out there. Travel can do a number on your skin. Airplanes are extremely dry, and the different climates and environments have an impact, too. Rugged & Dapper makes a facial moisturizer formulated just for men. It fights aging, environment damage and post-shave irritation. It’s perfect for all skin types – dry, oily, combination – and is made with nutrient rich ingredients. It also comes in a travel-friendly spray bottle. Men can douse their skin whenever and wherever they like. It quickly absorbs with a shine-free finish.
Price: From $23.70 on Amazon
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
Heat Resistant Travel Mat: Since my hair never cooperates, I need something to tame it. My hair straightener is a must-have on my trips. While I usually pack it up when the plates are cool, there are times when I’m rushing to catch a flight, and there’s just no time. I always reluctantly place it in my luggage, hoping it doesn’t singe an item of clothes. But with the OXO Good Grips heat resistant travel mat, that fear is gone. Simply wrap the mat around a curling iron or straightener, and you can safely store it in your luggage while it’s still hot. It’s also great for protecting counters or other surfaces as you style your hair.
Price: From $9.99 on Amazon
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
Gray Malin Luggage: Gray Malin is a master at photography, and he’s made a name for himself with his colorful aerial shots taken in dozens of destinations. His work can be found all over the world, and not just in picture frames. He recently collaborated with Away, a leading luggage company, on three new suitcase designs featuring his pictures on the inside lining. Three colors are available: Coral, Ocean Blue, and Alpine White. These bags are functional, durable, and stylish. Get your travel lover a Gray Malin luggage tag to complete the look!
Price: $245 on away.com
These are the photographers, artists and writers who love to see the world, and share their experiences. They also love to have travel-related accessories, clothing and art in their homes.
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: $19.50-$49 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
Travel Journal: I document all my travels in my personal journal (as best I can). It’s a great way for me to reminisce about my experiences, and keep track of everything I did. I use a standard lined journal, usually one I find in a book store or at a craft market. But there are journals designed specifically for travel that allow you to record your adventures in a different way. The I Was Here travel journal features fun illustrated pages that prompt you to note specific details – weather, places to explore, things to see and do, shops to visit, neighborhood features, and much more. Pick up this journal for the travel writer in your life, and it will encourage them to experience a place in a completely new way.
Price: From $13.84 on Amazon
Map Glasses: As a traveler, I can honestly say I love pretty much anything with a map on it. Clothes, jewelry, cutting boards, glasses. It doesn’t matter what it is, I’ll probably want it. And I love these engraved map glasses from theUncommonGreen. You can pick from several city maps, and have them etched on wine glass, pint glass, rocks glasses, mason jars or coffee mugs. Select the city that best suits the traveler in your life, and they’ll never want to drink from another glass again (slight exaggeration, but you get the idea).
Price: Ranges from $14 – $16 on Etsy.com
Push Pin Travel Maps: A couple years ago, my husband and I started documenting our travels on a map in our study. We stuck a pin in each city we visited. The red pins were his travels, and the blue pins were mine. It’s become a fun visual way to see our adventures. And every time we look at it, we are thrilled at our travel accomplishments, and get excited to add more pins. Give the traveler in your life the same joy and inspiration with a Push Pin Travel Map. These framed maps come in all sorts of designs, and you can customize them with any message you want. You can even select the color of the pin you want them to use. This is a gift they will cherish for a long time, and will be eager to show off in their homes.
Price: From $119.99 on pushpintravelmaps.com
Latitude Longitude Jewelry: I have never had a piece of jewelry trigger more questions than my Lat & Lo necklace. Every time I wear it, someone asks me what my coordinates are. They happen to be Denver, my home town. But you can pick any location around the world and have the latitude and longitude of it custom inscribed on a beautiful gold bar or disc necklace, or a wrist cuff. It’s a very personal and special gift, and allows you to give that person a little piece of a place they love. (These usually take 7-14 days to craft, so order soon if you want it to arrive by Christmas.)
Price: From $64 on Latandlo.com
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
Road Soda Book: For the budding bar tender on the go, the Road Soda Book is the perfect gift. It’s a complete guide to on-the-go cocktail making, with tips and recipes from cocktail experts. Readers can learn how to build a portable cocktail in a flask, beverage can or liquor bottle; or how to make a drink for camping and tailgating.
Price: $20 at W&P Design
Tea Press from David’s Tea: I’m usually a coffee drinker. Lately, however, I’ve found myself gravitating towards tea. I’ve always been a fan of the loose-leaf varieties from David’s Tea, but I tend to enjoy them from the comfort of home. With the Tea Press, I can take them wherever I go! This is a super easy way to steep hot and iced loose leaf. Add the tea, let it steep and then slide the press all the way down to stop the infusion. Done! And you don’t have to worry about dealing with a damp tea bag or an infuser. If you want to give a more festive gift, there’s the tea press travel kit that comes with three seasonal, ready-to-steep portions.
Price: $35 on Davidstea.com
Food Journeys of a Lifetime: Food is a big part of travel. It’s a way to experience a places culinary traditions and delicacies. The travel foodie in your life probably seeks out the best restaurants and markets wherever they go. Food Journeys of a Lifetime showcases some the best food destinations in the world that are worth the trip. Their mouths will water and their minds will wander to some of these incredible foodie destinations.
Price: from $31.08 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.
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