After trying countless products over more than a decade of travel, we’ve narrowed down the best gifts for travelers that have been tested by yours truly. No matter what your budget is these travel gifts are guaranteed to make everyone’s next vacation comfortable and less cumbersome.
We know that finding the perfect gift for travel lovers can be a difficult task but we’ve done the hard work for you. Dave and I have been professional travel bloggers since 2009 and have tried and tested nearly every gadget out there. This comprehensive list gives travel gift ideas that they will actually use at home and on their future travels.
Best Gifts for Travel
Table of Contents
All of the travel gifts we recommend have to fit certain criteria. They should have multiple uses, be lightweight, and not take up too much room in our bags. Here are our best gift ideas for travelers that will get you the thumbs up when opened this season.
Best Travel Gifts Under $25
1. Travel Packing Cubes
There is a reason that these Eagle Creek Packing Cubes are always popular. They make great stocking stuffers and are an affordable option for organizing your luggage contents. I stuff clothes, electronics, and even my dirty laundry to keep them from smelling in my cubes. Everything is neatly packed away in color-coded cubes making my travels more organized and less cluttered. These packing cubes always make one of the best travel gifts every year.
2. Portable Luggage Scale
There is nothing worse than getting to the airport check-in counter finding out you have to pay a fee for overweight luggage. With the Tarriss Portable Luggage Scale, you can weigh it at home before you start your travels. This will definitely help frequent travelers save time, money, and hassle every time they leave home.
3. World Travel Adapter
Finding the right travel adapter over the years has been a challenge but after getting this OREI M8 All-In-One International Worldwide Travel Plug Adapter we love it. It converts plugs for any country in the world at the slide of a switch, which makes for great travel gifts for people who travel for work or leisure. Most importantly it is light and durable so you won’t have to replace it after a few uses like other models we have tried.
4. Portable Carry-on Luggage bag
We have started carrying this type of travel bag on all of our trips because it has so many uses. It is big enough to fit extra souvenirs, to take clothes and towels to the beach, and a laundry bag when we are hiking. The Arxus Foldable Tote folds up really small, is lightweight and durable, and slides right onto the back of your suitcase for easy carryon.
Made from silicone, the TSA approved GoToob+ is something we don’t travel without. They are used for carrying liquids in your carry-on without going over the limit. We also use them to lighten our luggage by putting any creams or liquids into these smaller containers. They have a drip-proof cap that is easy to squeeze so you can get every last drop out. They come in a pack of three and are the right size for carrying liquids on a plane.
6. UV Toothbrush Sanitizer
If you are traveling in the backcountry, sharing hostels or going anywhere with a shared bathroom this Pursonic S1 Portable UV Toothbrush Sanitizer will give you some peace of mind. This toothbrush sanitizer kills 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. We started using this last year and fell in love with it. It is packed on every trip we take now.
Gifts for Travelers at Home
7. Travel Scratch Map Deluxe
Remember the days when you put a pin on a world map to mark where you’ve been? Now there’s something better. The Luckies of London Scratch Map Deluxe has a gold foil layer that you can scratch off as you go and keep track of where you have been. Create your own wall art by showing off your travels and don’t worry about buying those pins to go with it. This is perfect for the person who is dreaming of traveling around the world.
8. Magnetic Globe
This Cork Globe is the coolest gift idea for the travel lover to appreciate when at home. Your travel friends can pin all the places they’ve been onto this handy globe. The globe comes with 30 magnetic pins, but you can buy more from MapMagnet on Amazon.
We just tried these babies out on our flight from St. Lucia and they worked like a charm. I always suggest having noise cancelling headphones on an airplane, but when you go to sleep, it can be difficult keeping them on your head. And they get int he way. These SleepPhones have Bluetooth technology and are wireless. They are no only good for the plane, if you live in the city, these are great to use to fall asleep while listening to soothing music. They are also great for meditation and early morning yoga too. There’s an easy sizing guide that worked great. I ordered medium and it fit perfectly. Check them out and see what you think
Gifts for Travelers under $100
10. The Trtl Travel Pillow
Sleeping on planes can be a pain in the neck (See what I did there?). But with the Trtl Neck travel pillow, those days are gone. This is the Cadillac of all neck pillows and one of the best gifts for frequent travelers who are on planes a lot. It is scientifically proven to support your neck and aid sleep. And let me tell you this works. If you want to be comfortable on your next plane ride then get one of these.
11. Belkin Mini Surge Protector
If you read our blog often, you’ll know that I recommend the Belkin as one of the top pieces of travel equipment out there and one we recommend every year.The Belkin Mini Surge Protector is probably one of the most useful travel gifts you can get someone. It not only protects your electronics from power surges, but it also charges several things at once with 3 outlets and 2 USB ports.
12. Portable Power Bank
Everybody needs some portable power when they are traveling. Nothing is more frustarating than having your phone or iPad die at the wrong moment. That is why we use the PowerCore Lite 20000. It has 2 outputs and saves us from carrying 2 separate power banks. This portable charger is lightweight and it carries enough charge to recharge your phone up to 3 times! For those who want just one outlet, make sure to check out the PowerCore Lite 10000.
13. No Ordinary Eye Mask
One of the things I love about this Pretty Care Travel Eye Mask is that it doesn’t rest on your eyes. It is raised so there is no pressure on them like traditional eye masks. It’s padded it really blocks out the light. It is always in my travel kit to bring on an airplane. I sleep like a baby on long haul flights with this.
14. Collapsible Water Bottle
We have always carried re-usable water bottles when we travel. We started with Nalgenes (which we found a little cumbersome) and have finally settled on the Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle. It is perfect for travel because it collapses down to the size of a pancake, taking up next to no space in my luggage, and it comes with a cool carrying case.
Need some more travel gift ideas? Make sure to check out our Best Travel Gear Guide for more ideas.
Fun Travel Gifts for Women
I love all of these items even when I’m not traveling. But the items below are specially made to be lightweight, small, and easy to organize making them the perfect travel gifts for women no matter what her taste is.
15. The Tangle Teezer
If you have long hair then I know you can relate to this one. Whether we are traveling to a tropical destination or trekking in the Himalayas my hair gets tangled. But, when I found the Tangle Teezer all that changed. This is the perfect stocking stuffer for a reasonable price. It is light, compact and it works!
16. Silk Wrap
I can’t travel without a silk scarf. It keeps me warm on the plane when the air conditioning is cranked too high, it dresses up my evening outfit, and it keeps me modest when walking into a temple overseas. I have found that this particular Silk Scarf by Dana XU is the perfect combination of lightweight and soft.
17. Underwear Travel Organizer
Staying organized is a key factor in packing light. So having all my undergarments in one place is a must. I have ruined many a lovely bra during my travels by squishing them into my suitcase. With this Wowlife Fashion Portable Travel Organizer, I can organize all my undergarments and keep them neat and tidy in one place. It’s the perfect gift for travelers who want to stay organized.
18. Travel Slippers
Nobody likes to look at people’s bare feet when traveling. Carrying these Acorn foldable, lightweight ballet flats on a flight lets me slip off my shoes and feel comfortable. I also wear them around the hotel room and have taken them camping, so they are very versatile.
19. Compression Socks
Compression socks help with circulation and leg exhaustion when traveling on long flights. If you have frequent travelers on your list these make perfect gifts. This Multi-Pack from CHARMKING will give you enough to last for several trips. Compression socks really help if your legs and feet are constantly tired from all that traveling.
20. Airplane Moisturizing Kit
Everyone knows how dry it can get on the airplane, especially on those long-haul flights. That is why we always bring a Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Kit with us on our travels. This is a great kit help to stay moisturized throughout the flight and our travels. With just a little care on the flight, you can arrive a little more refreshed.
Cool Travel Gifts for Him
I had to consult Dave for this one. He owns every one of the items listed below. When I asked him what were some of his favorite travel gifts for men these were his choices.
21. Leather Toiletry Bag
A man needs to be organized and this Dopp Travel Toiletry Kit is a classy way to store all his toiletries in one place. It has two main compartments and 5 mesh pockets to keep everything in place. It comes with a handy strap so you can hang it anywhere and the zippers are heavy duty so this will last for a long time.
22. Arcteryx Delta LT Fleece
After 10 years of traveling full-time Dave has tried many fleece jackets and this one from Arcteryx comes out on top. It’s good for layering, comes in a few different colors and it is stylish enough that he can wear it out at night. Note: These usually fit a little small so you might want to order a size up as I did.
23. Flight Flap – Phone and Tablet Holder
With more and more airlines making watch entertainment on your own device we were looking for something that we could use to hold our devices so our necks don’t cramp. After a lot of searching, we found the perfect solution in the Flight Flap Phone & Tablet Holder that is specifically designed for air travel. These are by far the best gifts for a traveler that wants to watch movies on the plane. Trust me, you will never have a cramped neck again!
24. Nomad Passport Leather Wallet
When we first started traveling, fashion was not really a prority for Dave. But as we have gotten older he is looking into things that not only have great functionality but also look good. The Nomad Passport Wallet fits the bill. It is top grain leather, comes with Tile Tracking, and fits up to 10 cards plus your passport and boarding passes. If you are looking for fashion and function this is one of the best travel gifts for your man.
Travel Gift Ideas for Outdoor Adventurers
25. Steripen Water Purifier
We have used the Steripen in backcountry adventures all around the world. It is easy to use and helps us reduce the use of plastic water bottles. Fill your water bottle with lake water, tap water in a developing country or even a pond and you’ll have clean water in seconds! The Steripen purifies water in 90 seconds for a 1-litre bottle using UV light.
26. Tilly Hat
The Tilly Hat is the best travel hat and we both own one. The wide brim protects your neck and face, and there’s plenty of ventilation to keep your head cool. It’s easy to clean too. If you know someone who does a lot of kayaking, hiking, or spends a lot of time outdoors as we do then they will really appreciate this.
27. USB Re-Chargeable Travel Headlamp
Having tried out many different headlamps over the years we have found Black Diamond to be the most reliable and the best value for your money. The Re-Volt from Black Diamond headlamp is rechargeable, durable, and water-resistant. It is the headlamp we use and recommend. This is a great gift for travelers and backpackers alike. It has so many uses and once you own one you will wonder how you traveled without it.
28. Sea to Summit Dry Bag Set
You never know when you might need a dry bag in your travels. You may find you’re going on a water adventure or you might end up in a water festival in Thailand or Holi in India.
The Sea to Summit dry bags are some of the most lightweight and durable ones around, and we have found they are the most reliable as well.
They have definitely saved our electronics a few times.
29. Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool
This is one of those adventure travel essentials that we don’t leave home without. It has come in handy on so many occasions. When you need a bottle opener, a screwdriver, nail file, or a quick fix to the camera or travel gear this is our go-to tool. We use the Leatherman Wave but there is also a smaller version called the Leatherman Squirt. Any frequent traveler that takes on different adventures should have this in their backpack.
30. Wiseowl Portable Hammock
I was never really a “Hammock” kind of guy but when someone gave me one of these that all changed. This Wiseowl Portable Travel Hammock is lightweight sets up almost anywhere and man is it comfortable. Make sure to throw this in your backpack or suitcase for your next trip to the islands!
Best Gifts for Travel Photographers
Do you have a budding travel photographer on your list? If so, then check out these gift ideas for the traveler who loves photography. They are guaranteed to help them capture the best image possible on their next trip.
31. Sony RX100
Dave loves the Sony RX100 VI as a final addition to his two DSLR Sony bodies. I use it for video and vlogging all the time! It fits great on my gimbal too keeping things lightweight but looking like a million bucks. With a Carl Zeiss lens and 20.1 megapixels, you’ll have professional-quality photos for a fraction of the price of other professional cameras. We love it. It’s small, lightweight and easy to use and we often leave the bulky DSLRs behind for the day and use this as our camera to capture amazing travel photos.
32. Lenspen Cleaning Pens
As a professional photographer, I know that keeping your lenses clean is a top priority. The last thing you want to see on your holiday photos is dust specks. I have been using the LensPen for years now and it has never let me down. This Pro Pack comes with 3 Lenspens that are safe, fast, and easy to use on any lens, filter, eyepiece, or LCD screen. It is everything you need to bring back sharp and clean images.
33. Travel Tripod
Versatility is something we look for in every piece of gear that we own and a tripod is no exception. Whether you want to capture beautiful shots of the milky way or just snap some great selfies while traveling solo every photographer should carry a tripod. The beauty of the Joby Gorillapod 3K is you can practically mount it anywhere. It is lightweight, has a ball head and it will support cameras up to 2.2 pounds. We use this on every trip and it has become a valuable addition to our camera kit.
34. Black Rapid Camera Strap
When it comes to camera accessories Black Rapid Sport Breathe Camera Strap is definitely my favorite piece of gear. This is the best designed camera strap on the market. With a padded shoulder, an underarm strap for more comfort and stability, and the locking carabiner quick-release it covers all the bases. No more missing shots because your camera was in your bag. Be ready to capture any moment just by adding this to your camera gear.
Luxury Travel Gifts
No holiday trave gift list would be complete without including some ideas for the person who loves the finer things in life. These luxury travel gift ideas will help you choose the right present for the discerning traveler on your list this year.
35. Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones
The Beats Studio 3 Wireless Headphones are probably my favourite piece of travel gear. With the advanced noise canceling technology, the comfortable ear pads, and the best quality sound out there these make long haul plane flights bearable. You can control the volume and skip songs at the touch of a finger and with 22 hours of battery life you never have to worry about them running out of juice. If you travel on a plane anywhere these days you have to have a pair of these headphones.
36. Kindle Paperwhite
With a glare-free display, the Kindle Paperwhite is like reading on paper. Even in the sunlight. It is much easier than carrying around heavy books. Plus it is waterproof, and the battery lasts for hours. Load it with some of your favorite travel books and give this bestseller to the travel lover in your life. Get this gift so the traveler in your life can pack light, but still read lots of books!
37. TravelPro Maxlite 5 Carry-on Luggage
I think we have tried every type of carry-on luggage out there over the years and we have found that the TravelPro Maxlite 5 is the best travel luggage brand out there. It has everything we were looking for. It is lightweight (weighs less than 6 pounds), has high-quality spinning wheels, is super durable, and also comes with a lifetime warranty. If you have a traveler on your list that is still searching for that perfect carry-on then this might be the perfect travel gift for them.
38. Sony Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
If you are someone who watches a lot of movies on their laptop or just like to turn up the tunes, the Sony Waterproof Portable Speaker is a luxury you will want to take with you. It is small enough that is doesn’t take up a lot of room it is waterproof and dustproof so it is durable and it has a great sound quality. Many of the other speakers out there may claim to have crisp sound but this speaker actually lives up to the hype.
The Best Books That Make Great Gifts for Travelers
39. Ultimate Journeys for Two
Our friends Mike and Anne partnered with National Geographic to pen this great travel book about adventures for two. Make sure you get your copy. It makes a great conversation starter or coffee table travel book! Cool Fact: We wrote one chapter for this book too!
40. 1000 Places to See Before you Die
If you have someone on your list that loves to travel but has a hard time making up their mind on where to go then make sure to pick up 1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz. This book really has been a big inspiration for us when it comes to looking for new places to travel. It is well written and has destinations that may not even have thought of. And side note: We know Patricia and she is awesome!
41. How to Travel the World on $50 a Day
Do you know someone who wants to backpack or travel the world on a budget? If so then make sure to get them How to Travel the World on $50 a Day by Matt Kepnes. It is full of great advice on things like travel hacking and smart banking, along with tips and tricks to traveling around the world on a limited budget.
And those are the best gifts for travelers for 2020. I hope you enjoyed all of our gift ideas and found something for the traveler in your life. Whether you are budget conscious or a luxury traveler or you are just looking or a fun travel gift for a special occasion we can recommend all of the items above because we actually own them.
And don’t forget to treat yourself a little. If you see something you like then it is alright to get for yourself and say it was from “Santa”. Happy shopping and safe travels.
Need some more travel gift ideas? Make sure to check out our Best Travel Gear Guide for more ideas.
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Looking for more great travel tips and content?
If you liked our round-up of the best gifts for travelers in 2020 then why not check out some other great travel posts that will be sure to help you out on your next trip.
- Best Travel Organizers for Smarter Packing
- The Ultimate Travel Packing List (By Professional Travellers)
- Packing for Travel – 6 Tips to Make Your Trip a Breeze
- Travel Photography Gear Guide: What’s In My Camera Bag?
- The Best Travel Gear – Unique Ideas for Smart Packing
- 48 Best Travel Movies to Inspire Wanderlust in 2020
- The Ultimate Travel Songs Playlist to Inspire Wanderlust
- 24 Best Travel Books to Inspire the Wanderer in You
Do you have any suggestions for travel gifts that we should add for next year? Let us know by leaving them in the comments!
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