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Do you have a traveler in your life? If you’re looking for fun travel gifts…something every traveler needs… the perfect book for wanderlust…or a gadget to streamline a trip, you’re in the right place! This is a very comprehensive list of all the gifts travelers love most, with plenty of inspired options for every budget.
- Unique Gifts for Travelers
- Cool Travel Gadgets & Electronics
- Best Travel Gifts for Women
- Best Travel Gifts for Men
- Best Travel Gifts for Couples
- Travel Keepsakes
- Travel Essentials
- Best Adventure Travel Gifts
- Travel Books
Unique Gifts for Travelers
Cool Travel Gadgets & Electronics
1. Luggage Scale
Have you ever arrived at the airport after (what you thought was) smart packing only to find out your bag was over the limit for carrying on? Or you’d planned to check it, but now it was going to cost an additional $50 or (yikes) $100 due to weight? Ugh!
A luggage scale makes the perfect gift for someone that travels a lot! And the HotLife portable is super easy to use: Just strap it on your luggage, pull up, and you’ll know how much your bag weighs. It converts easily between pounds and kilograms with the press of a finger.
It’s also lightweight! Just pop it into your bag or purse to weigh your bag before you head home after your trip. (I don’t know about you, but this is my danger zone for overpacking. I love to bring a few special bottles of wine home for sweet memories on a special occasion later.)
2. A Camera for Travel Shots
I adore my Sony Alpha a6000 mirrorless digital camera! Mirrorless cameras make great travel partners because they’re lighter to carry. It can take a little while to master the many controls on this camera, but it’s also easy to use the automatic settings while you learn.
This camera also comes as a kit, with everything you’ll need. It’s the one I bought myself.
If you go this route, you’ll pay just one price, but in addition to the camera, it comes with a 16-50 mm lens, a memory card, two replacement batteries, a camera bag, a cleaning kit, a card reader, and even a tripod.
Or, for aspiring photographers, consider upgrading to the kit with the 55 to 210 mm lens. You can check out the Sony a6000 camera here on Amazon.
3. Portable Travel Charger
This portable phone charger was a serious game-changer in my travels! In fact, I’ve actually been keeping it in my purse when I’m out and about all day later…even when I’m home.
You know those times when you look down at your phone after taking photos all day on a trip and realize (gulp!) you’re down to 12 percent battery? No worries!
Travelers only need to charge up this phone charger once before you leave on a trip. And then they’ll get up to five full charges out of it for a cell phone. (Serious lifesaver when killing time during flight delays or airport layovers.)
4. Noise Cancelling Headphones
This is a literal sanity saver for long, noisy flights. On one of my international flights recently, an unhappy toddler managed to set off a group crying jag of small children, but did it disrupt my napping and movie watching? Heck, no!
I was enveloped in surround sound audio quality thanks to these noise-canceling headphones. When you’re ready to watch a movie or listen to music, you just flip the noise-canceling switch and you will feel like you’re alone in a high-end theater with surround sound. There’s a reason Bose is so recognized for sound quality.
A truly amazing gift for travelers! Check out these Bose headphones on Amazon here.
5. Portable Bluetooth Speaker
So she has booked that sweet beach rental or urban oasis, but does she have tunes? That’s where the Anker SoundCare portable Bluetooth speaker comes in!
This is a great value for such high-quality audio power. A patented bass technology and advanced digital sound processor delivers pounding bass and zero distortion at any volume.
This speaker is also “outdoor proof.” So no need to worry about rain, dust, snow, or spills! You can nab one for your favorite traveler on Amazon here.
As much as I love to hold a real book when I read, bringing an e-reader instead is one of the easiest ways to reduce the weight of my carry-on. So if you’re gift buying for a traveler who doesn’t yet own one, this is the very best gift!
A Kindle makes a great choice as it’s far less expensive than an iPad and unlike an iPad, it includes an adjustable front light that allows you to read both inside and outside, day or night. A battery charge lasts weeks!
Plus, it comes with a three-month subscription to Kindle Unlimited, where you can browse up to 10 titles at a time with no due date.
7. Cord Keepers
Most travelers have experienced the frustration of too may unruly cords that seem to defy organization. There’s the laptop cord, the phone cord, the earbuds cord, the blow dryer cord, and on and on.
But there’s a simple solution: Get a cable organizer. These crazy horse leather cord keepers snap shot with a rustic metal button, proving that the best products do deliver on form and function at the same time. If you’re looking for a small travel gift, consider cord keepers.
Are you looking for a gift for someone who is headed out on a safari or a hiker who frequents the national parks? Consider a set of binoculars.
Nikon knows lenses. After all, they’re loved by professional photographers for the quality of their cameras. Birdwatchers and wildlife fans alike rave about these binoculars.
They’re super user-friendly and equipped with premium glass for a sharper, cleaner, and more brilliant field of view. You can read all the reviews and buy a pair on Amazon here.
I finally broke down and got my first GoPro a few years ago when I was headed to New Zealand for a wilderness cruise in Doubtful Sound. Since then, I’ve taken it snorkeling in French Polynesia and hiking in Hawaii, among other places.
It’s not just for youngsters! GoPro is EASY and fun to use. I have even bumbled my way through several video edits in just 10 minutes…like the one here from when we snorkeled with sharks in Moorea! And that’s why it’s one of my favorite gift ideas for a traveler.
To maximize GoPro fun, you may want to also add a head strap and GoPro QuickClip for hands-free snorkeling. You can get GoPro’s officially recommended mount here on Amazon.
10. Universal Travel Adapter with USB
This one’s on my personal list for 2020!
Chances are good that the traveler in your life has a whole slew of international adapters he or she keeps in a drawer. This requires rummaging through them to find the ones he needs depending on if he’s headed to Japan or France.
Everyone loves this universal travel adapter because its four retractable plugs work in 170 countries. Plus, the four USB ports can charge all devices at the same time! It even comes with a money-back guarantee. It’s a no brainer!
Best Travel Gifts for Women
11. Jewelry Organizer
When it comes to storing jewelry for travel, the best solution is soft, lightweight, and super functional. Bagsmart’s Travel jewelry organizer roll is all of these! Maybe that’s why it made the list of Oprah’s Favorite Things.
It’s foldable with separate storage designed for necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings. The invisible zip pouch makes it easy to see what’s stored inside. You can buy this organizer in either a small or large size and choose from eight different patterns and colors. WIN!
12. Travel Hair Dryer
I do my best to avoid schlepping along a hairdryer when at all possible on my trips. Most hotels have one!
But some Airbnbs and VRBO rental properties don’t include them. (I’m looking at you, recent Maui vacation rental.) Same problem with glamping, camping or other adventure locales where you’re outside all day but want to warm up or glam up at night.
For those that like to travel with a hairdryer to ensure there is one available, it’s important to find one that is lightweight and foldable. Bonus points for dual voltage so it doesn’t short circuit when you use it in Europe (if you’re from the US).
The Connair MiniPRO delivers here on all fronts. It’s foldable, offers all the power of a full-size blowdryer without the weight, and is dual voltage. Plus, it fits in the palm of your hand!
13. Infinity Scarf with Pocket
Every traveling woman needs an infinity scarf with a secret pocket. Why? It’s one of the very best ways to keep her passport, key, money, and iphone hidden from thieves!
Skip the money belts. They’re cumbersome to manage on the go, but infinity scarves are easy. This one is a soft convertible scarf with a zippered pocket. And it comes in plenty of colors.
14. Travel Document Organizer
Women love this travel document organizer. Just read the thousands of glowing reviews on Amazon.
Why? It’s a roomy, vintage-looking tri-fold wallet that opens flat so that it’s easy to find everything she needs quickly. It’s also about the size of an iPad mini, making it easy to store in a purse or backpack.
And its RFID blocking shield keeps thieves from electronic theft. Plus, it comes with a passport pocket, boarding pass compartment, three credit card slots, a slot for tickets, a pouch for cell phone, a key holder, and a pen pocket.
15. Personal Security Door Alarm
Are you buying for a woman who travels solo? I love to travel on my own, but I also like to feel secure when I’m staying alone. That’s where this handy and compact little door alarm comes in.
Just place it at the base of any door and if anyone tries to open said door, they will be greeted with a LOUD alarm. No complicated install required. It’s not a lock as much as it is an alert and a deterrent.
16. Detangler Brush
This silly plastic detangler brush is one of my must-have travel tools! If you’re looking for a cheap travel gift for a woman with color in her hair or frizz, this is the ticket. She will be so happy she has this little brush.
I’m not sure exactly how it works so well, but it effortlessly pulls out tangles without any pain. And since I’m typically in a rush to squeeze the most time out of my days at a travel destination, it means I can be out of the shower and in a ponytail in no time flat.
17. Travel Purse
When you travel, you need every item to count! That’s why the best purses for travel should be lightweight, secure, and super functional. Beyond that though, it’s a question of style, durability, and personal preference.
The options can be overwhelming, however, which is why I wrote a comprehensive post on the best travel purses for 2020 recently. If you’re looking for a stylish travel purse with anti-theft features, I recommend the Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Mini Shoulder Bag.
This bag features slash-resistant body construction as well as slash-proof adjustable shoulder straps and RFID blocking (to avoid electronic theft of your ID and credit cards).
At just 10 ounces, this little bag still holds a lot without pulling on tired back or shoulder muscles. You can get the Travelon bag on Amazon here.
Best Travel Gifts for Men
18. Electronics Organizer
It’s challenging when a guy is on the move hopping from hotel to hotel to keep track of all those phone chargers and devices! Not to mention batteries he might need or mouse for his computer.
Bagsmart is everyone’s favorite electronics organizer. Not only is it made out of water repellent nylon with well-padded covers, but its two-way zipper closure makes it easy to get in and out of the bag.
19. TSA Compliant Multi-Tool
Leatherman makes the ultimate multi-tool and there are many versions of them! But the Leatherman PS is the one you want if your favorite travel doesn’t want to check a bag.
There’s no blade in this multi-tool. That’s because it was designed with TSA carry-on guidelines in mind.
It’s the ultimate pocket-sized tool, including needlenose and regular pliers, spring-action wire cutters and scissions, a flat and Phillips screwdriver, tweezers, nail file, and a bottle opener. It also comes with a carabiner to hook on a belt loop if his hands are full.
20. Pack-It Flat Toiletry Bag
The best toiletry bag is lightweight, waterproof and durable. And truthfully, this one works well for both men and women.
This is the one I personally use because it fits well in a carry on size suitcase. (If you use three packing cubes as I do, you’ll have one spot left for this toiletry bag.)
There are four separate compartments so it will be easy for him to find his toothbrush, liquids, and shaving supplies without too much digging around. Plus, he can hang it on a door for even easier access.
21. A Personalized Leather Hip Flask
Get your whiskey-loving man a travel flask! This classic stainless steel flask is wrapped in leather and comes with a funnel for easy pouring.
When you order, you can get it engraved with the initials of your traveler for a truly personalized gift. This is one of the best unique gifts for travelers for sure.
22. Carry On Cocktail Kit
Sticking with the alcohol theme for a moment, let’s make those long flights more bearable and fun! These make such thoughtful gifts or stocking stuffers at the holidays.
They’re TSA approved and come with the ingredients of your favorite drink. Choose from Moscow Mule, Old Fashioned, Champagne, Gin & Tonic, and more!
You supply the booze and everything else is included.
23. RFID Wallet
What is RFID exactly and why does the man in your life need it? RFID stands for “radio frequency identification.” It’s electronic theft, essentially.
Once at LAX airport, someone approached us with questions about how Uber worked as they asked us to show them on their cell phone. We think what was really going on is they were attempting to electronically skim credit card info from Steve’s pocket (especially since they moved on to ask a next person their questions and ultimately headed back into the terminal).
You can protect yourself by carrying a wallet or purse that blocks RFID. This one is a slim front pocket bifold wallet in genuine leather. No frills.
24. Travel Coffee Press
Is there anything worse than lack of easy access to that first cup of Joe on a trip? I think not. And I know this because Steve gets panicky if he has to wait hours until breakfast for his first cup.
If you have a serious coffee addict in your life who travels, then they need this. Here’s how it works: It’s essentially a stainless steel travel mug that is also a French Press.
Add the coffee grounds, then water, wait four minutes and plunge. Voila! A fresh cup of perfect coffee.
Best Travel Gifts for Couples
25. Headphone Splitter
One of the best antidotes to long plane flights is the opportunity to share downloaded movies or music on your phone with a headphone splitter. The Belkin RockStar 5-Jack Multi Headphone Audio Audio Splitter is a traveler favorite.
It comes with five jacks for attaching headphones or MP3 players. And it even offers independent volume control so each individual can set the volume at the level they prefer.
26. Luggage Tags
Help that traveling couple identify their bags easily with matching monogrammed luggage tags! These beautiful genuine leather luggage tags are foil stamped with the recipient’s initials. You can personalize them when you purchase.
Each luggage tag comes with a secure and adjustable buckle and a matching RFID passport cover to guard against electronic theft. Available in 19 colors.
27. Travel Picnic Kit
One of my very favorite things to pack is our set of Fozzils BPA-free picnic items! Each set comes with a cup, bowl, and dish that lay flat for packing but snap together easily for impromptu picnics on the road.
One of the ways Steve and I stretch our travel dollars further is to limit restaurant meals to once a day. We’ll typically enjoy a picnic dinner of whatever cheeses, meats, and pastry treats we’ve collect at outdoor markets, pulling over for a stunning vista or sunset.
Highly recommended. And also great for backpackers since these are so lightweight.
You can get a Fozzils picnic set on Amazon here. (Buy two sets if it’s for a couple.) And you’ll probably want to pick up one set of “sporks” (fork + spoon) while you’re at it.
28. Travel Scratch Map
What could be better than a map prominently displayed to keep track of where your favorite travel has been and inspire her next travels? Everyone loves a travel scratch map so it’s the perfect if you’re in search of travel themed gifts.
So bring on the memories while revealing brightly colored countries and landmarks with every scratch. Comes with a bonus US scratch map.
29. Travel Journal
We live in an age where digital words are ephemeral. But there’s just something soul-satisfying and timeless about capturing our experiences on real paper with a real pen.
Enter the travel journal. This one is a handmade leather notebook and sketchbook with 200 cotton pages.
This one is on my personal wish list this year. It can be overwhelming to look at all the luggage options, but my first consideration is always weight.
I almost always carry on luggage for a trip to hit the ground running (and check my baggage on the way home stuffed with goodies). Since my goal is to maximize what I can take without exceeding the weight limit, I need a bag that is light.
The Delsey Carry-on Spinner is just the ticket, weighing in at just 4.8 pounds…even though it is a hard-sided luggage case. It’s made from durable 100 percent polycarbonate with spinner wheels for easy mobility.
It has a fully lined interior with zippered dividers and a recessed TSA-accepted combination lock. This beautiful case by Delsey—a Paris-based luggage company renowned for quality—looks far more expensive than it is. Choose from a metallic blue, gray, or pale pink.
31. Packing Cubes
Have you used packing cubes? For the longest time, I didn’t really see the point…until I tried them. They’re another game-changer.
Now I roll my clothes and usually take three cubes plus the pack-it-flat bathroom bag described above.
The best part is that clothing and other suitcase items stay soooo much more organized once a traveler arrives at his destination. No more rifling through everything you brought to find that one item he needs.
If your traveler travels with other family members, consider getting each individual their own color of cubes so everyone knows whose stuff is whose. This is one of my favorite gifts for people who travel.
Packing cubes are the best! Get some on Amazon here.
32. Travel Umbrella
I always carry a travel umbrella in one of the pockets of my daypack. Having a light rain shell and travel umbrella makes all the difference between being unexpectedly soaked and unhappy versus rolling with the bad weather and still enjoying an incredible day out.
What you want here is a windproof umbrella. No one wants to fight a wayward umbrella that’s determined to be inside out. The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella is compact, lightweight, and easy to open. It had me at “wind-defying 9-rib construction.”
33. Turkish Towel
Turkish towels are amazing. This towel is not fluffy like a bath towel; it’s super absorbent, very soft and dries in no time. Extremely packable. It’s one of the best gift ideas for the traveler. Especially if they head out on beach vacations or resorts with a pool.
There’s no better towel for travel! Get your traveler’s your new favorite towel here on Amazon.
Best Adventure Travel Gifts
34. Filter Water Bottle
If your traveler likes to venture to further afield…to, say, Asia, or the Australian Outback…backpacking or fishing/camping/hiking in remote areas…he or she desperately needs an excellent filtered water bottle to avoid parasites.
You do not want Giardia or E. Coli to accompany you on your travels! Hardcore adventure travelers swear by the Grayl Geopress Water Purifier Bottle.
Here’s why: At 24 ounces of capacity, it’s big enough to keep a traveler hydrated while still not being cumbersome to carry. Plus, it’s easy to fill from any tap without straws or pumps. Just clean, clear water that is 100 percent safe.
35. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is one of those things that seems like overpacking…until it isn’t! It’s true that I am pretty klutzy and usually taking a tumble somewhere because I’m looking up at architecture or trees instead of where I’m going, but I’ve had plenty of times when I wished I had a first aid kit.
Keep your favorite traveler safe by ensuring he has this lightweight little kit in his or her backpack. This one covers all the basics and takes up minimal space. You can get it on Amazon here.
36. LED Headlamp
The Black Diamond Spot 325 Headlamp is a traveler favorite because it’s got a low profile design and is powered by just three AAA batteries. Plus, it can toggle between various levels of brightness and is waterproof-tested.
It can be operated at at least 1.1 meters underwater for up to 30 minutes. You can get the Black Diamond headlamp on Amazon here.
If your adventure traveler will be cooking in those remote locations, consider gifting him or her a SteriPen. It looks a little like a bottle of nasal spray but is effective at sterilizing 99.9 percent of harmful microorganisms.
The SteriPen Ultra will deliver 50 water treatments per charge (equal to about 15,000 liters). Then she simply recharges it with a USB port from a computer, wall or solar panel.
38. Waterproof Phone Case
If you have a snorkeler or diver on your gift list, get them a waterproof phone case. This is essentially a dry bag for your phone. It fits all phones up to 6 inches.
Just be sure to test the case at home before you go…before you trust it with expensive electronics. (The instructions walk you through it.) It’s just not worth risking your phone on a boat or kayak trip without a dry case.
39. A Camping Hammock
Every camper needs a fabulous lightweight hammock…whether they’re backpacking and sleeping outdoors overnight or enjoying a book with a glass of wine after a day of hiking.
Fox Outfitters’ Neolite Double Camping Hammock is not just lightweight, but it’s breathable and quick-drying woven nylon as well. And yet, it can hold up to 400 lbs. Comes in 15 colors.
40. Solar Charger
What’s the best way to charge your devices when you’re far from wall outlets? A solar charger, of course.
The Nekteck 21S Portable Solar Panel Charger is a favorite of campers and hikers due to its value for the money. Here’s why:
It’s highly efficient due to the technology of the solar panel cells, it uses smart chip technology to charge up to phones at the same time, it’s portable and foldable for fitting easily into a backpack, and it offers an 18-month warranty.
41. 1000 Places to See Before You Die
This #1 NYT bestseller is everyone’s favorite travel bible to inspire wanderlust! It makes a great gift for everyone from new graduates to those who just retired. It’s jam-packed with bucket list travel ideas and adventures.
In fact, many readers keep it on hand for a quick consult before heading to a destination to ensure they don’t miss important sites.
42. Ultimate Journeys for Two
Buying for a couple who loves to travel? They will adore this book, Ultimate Journeys for Two: Extraordinary Destinations on Every Continent
Chapters are organized by interest area. Browse by mountains, beaches, or desert, for example.
It includes a curated list of one-of-a-kind destinations for couples, along with travel advice from other couples, maps, unique places to stay, and recommended activities. Give it to your significant other with bookmarked pages (hint hint).
43. Rick Steves Guidebooks
Is your favorite traveler headed to Europe in 2020? They need a Rick Steves guidebook! I’ve been using Rick Steves’ books for decades as an efficient way to plan my European travel itineraries and understand the best of what a country has to offer.
I find it particularly helpful that he helps travelers prioritize sites to see with a one- to five-star rating system and offers advice on what to do with fewer days or more days in an area. Best of all, he offers dedicated books for most European countries!
44. Travel as Transformation
Travel as Transformation takes you on a journey of both wanderlust and self-discovery through travel. Author Gregory Diehl challenges readers to consider how travel reshapes identity as he chronicles his own journey from living in a van in Southern California to living and working in 45 countries around the world.
This is a thoughtful deep dive on a topic dear to every traveler’s heart. You can get a copy of Travel as Transformation on Amazon here.
45. Dark Skies (Lonely Planet)
Buying for a stargazer? This is a practical guide to astro tourism! Travel blogger and dark sky expert Valerie Stimac offers detailed guides on 35 dark-sky parks and national parks here.
Learn where to see the aurora, the next decade of total solar eclipse and how to view rocket launches. In fact, the book is divided into sections to plan your dark sky tour. How cool is that?
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