14 Minute Read
The gift-giving season is upon us and we’re here to help with our list of the best gifts for travelers (or maybe just a little something for yourself…your secret is safe with us!). We’ve compiled our recommendations for the 84 best travel gifts, so you can easily find something for the adventurer on your list.
You know we’re infamous for sticking to a budget, so we’ve broken down our gift ideas by the cost to make it even easier. How much would you like to spend?
Plus, there’s a bonus guide for Minnesota travelers. You know we had to show our home state some extra love!
Tip: If you want to make it easy, I don’t know a traveler that wouldn’t be happy with some cash or an Amazon gift card. Just saying.
Here are some great gifts for travelers that won’t break the bank.
For the Next Trip
While this item sounds like something to skip, it has two benefits. First, a bright tag can help luggage stand out at the baggage claim (“yes, there’s my bag with the cheeseburger bouncing off it!”). It can also be extremely helpful in the case of lost luggage. We personally bought this three piece set, which is slightly over the $10 limit, but we also like looks of these:
- Initial Luggage Tag with Stainless Steel Loop
- Leather Adventure Quote Tag
- State Luggage Tag
- Personalized Calligraphy Luggage Tag
A passport holder isn’t a total necessity but can be fun way to give a passport a face lift. You can also buy RFID blocking passport holders or cases that help protect the personal information on your traveler’s passport from being stolen. You can learn more about RFID technology here.
I have this wallet that also holds my passport and helps keep my cards organized (it also blocks RFID). In addition, here are a few passport holders we like:
- Eccolo Travel Passport Cover Case (so many pretty colors!)
- Leather Passport Holder with RFID Blocking
- Handmade Fabric Passport Cover
Wallet or Card Organizer
I love stuff that helps keep me organized. For me, a card organizer keeps me a little saner when traveling…I can easily find my cards when I need them without having to dig. In addition to the wallet I mention above, I also have this card organizer. I keep the more frequently used items in the wallet and less frequently used items in the card organizer.
I like this style card organizer because I can pop it open with one hand and see all my cards at a glance. It makes it really easy to find what I’m looking for when I need it. Here are a few different options:
- Case Organizer with Zipper with RFID Blocking
- Blocker Credit Card Case with RFID Blocking
- Metal Credit Card Wallet with RFID Blocking
Gift Card to Apple or Google Play Store
There are tons of travel apps out there to help travelers find flight deals, navigate around a city, take a trek off the beaten path, get deals on fabulous food and much more. With a gift card from the Apple Store or Google Play Store, your traveler can buy an app to make their next trip even better.
If your traveler likes wine, they should never be without a corkscrew. Plus, it’s easy to take and pack on a trip. We’ve heard great things about the Truecap Corkscrew, which you can buy right from Amazon.
Scott switched out his real wedding ring to a silicone ring before we left on our trip – something he’d definitely recommend. It’s light and easy to wear, plus a silicone ring won’t be missed as much as the real thing if someone tries to steal it. A silicone ring is also better at taking scratches and dents or getting dirty – all you have to do is wash it off.
Silicone rings come in tons of colors and sizes for men and women. We bought Scott’s on Etsy (in charcoal gray) and would recommend sticking close to or slightly smaller than your traveler’s ring size to ensure a snug fit. If you don’t know their ring size, try to find a seller (like those on Etsy) who offer free exchanges.
- This Wanderlust Bracelet is so cute!
- Here’s a set of coasters for someone who loves traveling in the USA and hates water rings on their furniture.
- You print off this funny poster about jet lag and pop it in a frame for your traveling friend.
- What about a decal? I think this one for a camper is pretty cool or get one like this to decorate a laptop.
If you’re looking to spend a little extra, these ideas should do the trick.
For the Next Trip
Packing Bags or Packing Cubes
You know I’m all about keeping my stuff organized. I picked up a couple of packing bags from TJ Maxx for $12 before our trip. It’s helped organize my clothes and get the air out so I can stuff even more in my suitcase. I really like the idea of packing cubes too, but just haven’t tried them. Here are a few ideas:
- Set of Four Packing Cubes and Laundry Bag
- Space Saver Compression Bags
- Handmade Wet Bag or Zipper Pouch (I have two of these and use them for storing shoes, delicates, dirty laundry and more. Plus they’re so cute and made in Minnesota by my friend, Kara!)
Makeup Remover Towel
For all the ladies, this towel makes removing makeup super slick. It’s easy to fit in a toiletry bag and dries quickly too. Plus, you just throw it in with a load of laundry when you want to give it a good clean. I have the Makeup Eraser towel, but there are several options available on Amazon.
You might be thinking, “Who needs a watch when everyone has a smartphone in their pocket?” Well, my friend, a traveler might not always have their phone at the ready. Especially if you’re near water. Before our trip, Scott and I both picked up a watch for ourselves and now we both wear one every day. There are plenty to choose from at your local mall, but here are a few you can find on Amazon too at an affordable price.
- Casio Men’s Classic Watch (this is the one Scott wears and is a steal at only $11.99!)
- Casio Women’s Stainless Steel Watch
- Women’s Analog Watch in Rose Gold and Gray (I wear this one on more dressy occasions and it looks great)
Scott has always been a fan of wool socks, but they are a recent discovery for me. While most people assume wool socks are going to keep your feet warm – and they do – there are several other benefits. Wool socks can be the most durable, breathable, wicking and quick to dry. Sounds like four pretty important things when you’re packing for a trip. Here’s our top wool sock picks:
- Peoples Men’s Merino Wool Crew Socks, Made in the USA
- Darn Tough Men’s Merino Boot Socks
- Duluth Trading Co Men’s Midweight Merino Wool Crew Socks
- Kirkland Women’s Trail Socks
- People’s Merino Wool Ankle Socks, Made in the USA
Leggings, Jeggings or Sweatpants
Help your traveler stay comfy on their next flight with some leggings or sweatpants. Considering how often we use these, it’s easily one of the better gifts for travelers. Some we’d recommend:
Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Staying hydrated on the go is super important. You can help your traveling friend stay healthy and save money with the gift of a heavy duty stainless steel water bottle. They should be able to bring in anywhere on their travels and get a quick refill at any nearby drinking fountain or tap. We currently have a water bottle similar to this Mira one on Amazon, but there are a few others we like:
- Healthy Human Stein Water Bottle (and it comes in fun colors!)
- Takeya Insulted Stainless Steel Water Bottle
- RTIC Stainless Steel Bottle
- While we’re on the topic of beverage holders, we love this adventure mug.
- A push pin map to track travel destinations? Yes, please!
- These globe ornaments would be a great addition to any traveler’s Christmas tree.
- How about a phone case? Arla LaserWorks Etsy shop makes a ton of travel-inspired cases from quotes to maps.
- Our friends Katie and Ben over at Two Wandering Soles have these awesome travel inspired shirts.
Here are our recommendations if your holiday spending budget is a little higher.
For the Next Trip
Having a set of reliable headphones is essential for any traveler. However, finding the right pair can be downright overwhelming – and sometimes expensive. Scott and I recommend a pair of Koss Porta Pro Headphones. Scott has been wearing nothing but these for almost ten years. They have a free replacement warranty for life. For about $40, you get headphones that have great sound quality, can be folded up for carrying in a purse or backpack pocket and the fit can be adjusted from light to firm. For Scott, this is one of the best gifts for travelers he can think of.
You’ve experienced how sore your neck can get when you fall asleep sitting up. When you travel, you don’t have a lot of options when you want to take a nap. A travel pillow can come in pretty handy.
To be honest, I had researched buying a travel pillow before our trip, but never pulled the trigger. Now I’m wishing I had. This Trtl Pillow was the one on my Amazon Wishlist since it’s recommended for long-haul flights, looks easy to pack and will hold your neck up.
We’ve become big fans of traveling with a backpack. Since starting our trip, a backpack has become our go-to carry one piece of luggage. While there are plenty of options to choose from, it’s best to consider how your traveler will use a backpack. Is it to carry a laptop? Will it be their only piece of luggage? Do they need a backpack that’s designed for backpackers? Knowing the answers will help you decide on the right one. We would suggest these options:
- Dakine 25L Backpack (This is the backpack I use. It’s a basic bag with padded storage for laptop.)
- Slim Business Laptop Backpack (An option I was considering before I decided I needed more storage space.)
- Osprey Daylite Plus Pack
- Venture Lightweight Packable Backpack
Keeping electronics charged is a constant struggle when you’re traveling. Between laptops, tablets, phones, kindles (we could go on) it seems as though there are never enough places to plug in. A portable charger is something I usually throw in my purse in case we need to charge my phone during the day. It’s also handy to keep a tablet or kindle charged during long flights if there isn’t easy access to a power outlet.
- RAVPower Portable Charger
- Lumia Compact Portable Charger
- Anker Portable Charger (good size for keeping in your purse)
- Add a little touch of travel to the living room with this “eat well, travel often” throw pillow.
- Help your traveler save for the next trip with a travel fund jar. Functional and a little pop of color!
- We love seeing maps used in all kinds of ways. Here’s a cool clutch with a map print and a hint of navy.
- For your travel friends that like a little bling, how about this fearless necklace?
- I have always wanted a hand-painted globe like this. So pretty!
And last but not least, here are gifts for travelers recommendations that will have you spend some serious dough.
For the Next Trip
A good sturdy suitcase can make a world of difference to a traveler. A suitcase can take a lot of abuse from airport baggage employees, getting it up a flight of stairs or shoving it into tight spaces on a train or bus ride.
When picking out a suitcase, we like to make sure it has a few key features. First, we’re a fan of the rolling suitcase with those crazy spinner wheels. It makes things really slick. Our preferred size is a carry on in a bright color so we can find it easily in the overhead compartment. My current suitcase is an Olympia and it’s withstood several airplane trips and now about two months of constant international travel. Unfortunately, my specific suitcase is no longer available on Amazon, but their Hybrid Spinner Carry On and Expandable Spinner Carry On are pretty close.
If your traveler likes to read, we’d highly recommend a Kindle Paperwhite. It’s not as fancy as other e-readers, but that’s what makes it great. This e-reader is lightweight, holds a battery charge for an average of 6 weeks and has no glare. My favorite part is that the screen backlights at night so you don’t strain your eyes in dim lighting.
You can take this gift one step further by buying a subscription to Amazon Unlimited. Scott signed up for a free trial of this service a while back and he really enjoyed it. It’s great for avid readers. For $9.99 a month, the Amazon Unlimited subscriber can download as many books as he or she wants to read.
Portable Hard Drive
This techie gift is a must, especially if your traveler takes a lot of pictures. While backing up picture files can be tedious, it’s worth it, in the end, to be able to look back on all of those travel experiences – which makes it one of the best gifts for travelers you can imagine. Here are a few portable hard drive options that would be easy to take on a trip:
- Travel bracelets for both the guys and girls: Custom coordinates leather bracelet or custom travel bangle.
- Help your traveler store their travel treasures with a world map wooden box.
- Can you tell I have a thing for mountain motifs? (Which is hilarious because I don’t like climbing them.) “The Mountains are Calling” pallet sign would be a sweet addition to your traveler’s home.
- Yes, I’d like something leather and fancy to organize my cord chaos too. Mission accomplished with this map-printed travel electronics organizer.
Now, on to the bonus round…
Best Gifts for Travelers – Minnesota Edition
We aren’t shy about the love we have for the great state of Minnesota. Even when we travel, we like to have a little reminder of home with us wherever we go. The below suggestions are ideal for your Minnesota friend, who also happens to like to travel.
- Minnesota clothes, hats or other gear that makes it easy to display state pride. We’re partial to Nice Minnesota (sorry, we had to plug our own little business!), but we also love designs from August Sparrow, Sota Clothing and Northmade Co.
- The book “How to Talk Minnesotan” is a great airplane read and a reminder of just how unique us Minnesotans truly are.
- Sip from your favorite beverage in a Paul Bunyan inspired travel mug from Minnesota artist, Adam Turman.
- Clean your teeth and support your favorite team with a Minnesota Vikings toothbrush.
- Make toting travel stuff easy with these fun Minnesota tote bags. We like this alphabet tote from The Vintage Studio MN, the “don’tcha know” bag from lilprettydesigns and the Minnesota canvas tote from Lakeside Handmade.
Whew…what a list! Do you have a recommendation for a travel gift we might have missed? What are the best gifts for travelers in your opinion? Sound off in the comments. We’d love to hear your suggestions.