21 Holiday Gift Ideas for Travelers

Train in Belgium

UPDATED: November 2018

Note: This post contains affiliate links. As always, we only link to products we’ve used and that we think add value to our readers.

It’s that time of year again. Time to listen to Frank Sinatra’s Christmas album on repeat, eat dessert four times a day, and stress about what to buy for your dad because you’ve gotten him a tacky tie for literally ten consecutive years.

And while we can’t necessarily tell you what to buy your dad, we can help you choose gifts for the travel-lovers in your life (including yourself. Let’s be real).

Whatever your budget, we’ve got you covered. Here is our list of 21 holiday gift ideas for travelers:

Best Gifts for Travelers Under $50


Afar Magazine Subscription

Though I obviously love reading blogs (and books, and street signs, and the back of cereal boxes…), nothing quite inspires wanderlust like flipping through a glossy travel magazine.

Even though many of the hotels and activities suggested in Afar are out of our price range (not sure we can swing the private island rental at the moment…), the photography is beautiful and it always includes engaging travel stories. Get a subscription here.

$14 (for one-year subscription)


The Geography of Bliss

Every traveler needs a good book to make long plane or bus trips bearable. The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner is one of my favorite travel reads. A self-proclaimed grump, Weiner travels the globe in search of the happiest place on Earth.


Further Reading: Best Travel Books to Inspire Wanderlust


Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel: Our List of the 500 Best Places to See… Ranked

With stunning photography highlighting bucket list-worthy destinations, this is the perfect coffee table book for globetrotters. Buy a copy here.



World Travel Classic Posters 2019 Wall Calendar

Every year, I choose a different travel-related wall calendar to hang in my office, and the World Travel Classic Posters calendar is one of my favorites. Each month features vintage travel art promoting hotspot destinations around the globe. Though staring at pictures of exotic places doesn’t necessarily inspire me to be more productive at work!


Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are life-savers when it comes to travel organization. We never travel without them anymore, and we don’t think anyone else should have to either. We use these ones.



Wet Swimsuit Bag

This bag comes in super handy when it’s time to pack up and move to the next destination, but your bathing suit is dripping wet from your morning swim. Plus, it’s super cute.



Packable Daypack

This backpack is lightweight and ideal for day trips. The best part is that it packs down super tiny so it takes up very little space in our bigger travel backpacks. It comes in super handy when traveling on budget airlines that allow only one one carry-on item per passenger. 



Artistic Travel Journal

Journaling and travel have always gone hand-in-hand. For creative travelers, this unconventional journal is the perfect place to document travel experiences.



Travel Cribbage

Sam and I always throw our travel-size cribbage board into our bag when we travel. It is a perfect activity for days when our feet are sore and we want a break from sightseeing–or when we are waiting for our food in restaurants.



Luggage Scale

Even experienced travelers have slip-ups. To avoid unpleasant last-minute baggage fees, every frequent traveler should own a luggage scale.



Shoe Bags

These shoe bags make packing dirty, smelly, well-worn shoes so much easier. Because sometimes travelers accidentally step in heaps of cow manure while hiking in AsiaThey’re not glamorous, but they’re certainly handy!



Laundry Bag

Again, not the most exciting item on this list, but a laundry bag is essential to keep stinky socks and dirty underwear from contaminating everything else. Because, let’s face it, clothes can become downright disgusting on the road.



Universal Adapter

Varying outlets and voltage levels is the bane of travelers’ existence. I have fried more electronics than I care to admit. This universal outlet adaptor will keep your favorite traveler powered up all around the world.


Power Brick

Electronics always tend to die at the worst times–like when you’re out sightseeing in a foreign country without any immediate access to an outlet. Traveling with a power brick allows travelers to charge their electronics in any place at any time. Ours has come in super handy while sightseeing in Asia, camping in the USA, and on road trips in Europe. We use this one.



Best Gifts for Travelers Under $100


Herschel Duffel Bag

The Herschel duffel bag is the perfect size for weekend getaways. I bought one for Sam several years ago, and he loves it. The quality is great and the design is super pragmatic. It even has a separate compartment to store shoes!




Whether in the mountains or on a tropical beach, nothing screams relaxation more than taking a nap in a hammock. Enos are great for travelers because they pack down fairly small and are easy to string up.



Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Though they take up more space than earbuds, noise-cancelling headphones are a total game-changer on long-haul flights. Rather than turning up the volume so loud you nearly pop an eardrum, these headphones easily drown out the surrounding sounds of the engine, crying children, and the dinner service. Though if the crying children are YOURS, you should probably take off the headphones and attend to them… We have these ones.



Pixter Lens

For Instagram fiends who like to travel light, these lens are the perfect solution. They clamp onto an iPhone and, depending on the lens, allow for much wider angles, clearer closeups, and crisper images. No more lugging around a bulky DSLR camera! Find it here.



Best Gifts for Travelers Under $150 


Osprey Porter 46L

If you’ve read basically any other post on this blog you know that we’re big fans of our Osprey Porter 46L backpacks. Not only are they super durable, but they also fit within the carry-on allotment on even the strictest budget airlines. We’ve been using ours for nearly three years and can’t recommend it highly enough.


Further Reading: Backpack Review: Osprey Porter 46L


Personalized World Traveler Map

This beautiful, push-pin world travel map is the perfect way for travelers to commemorate past trips and dream about future destinations.

Besides, every traveler likes to brag talk about the places they’ve visited. This map can spark conversation and help travelers avoid the awkward “Well, Bill, it’s a nice day we’re having. In fact, it reminds me of the time I took the chicken bus in Nicaragua….” routine.



A “Travel Fund” Donation

Travelers are always more than happy for someone to pad their travel fund! Your donation can help your favorite traveler make memories that will last a lifetime.


Bonus: Stocking Stuffers

Ear Plugs

We’ve all ended up stuck in a hotel room beside people who think it’s okay to blare Justin Bieber at 2:00am, on a flight with a screaming baby, or on a noisy train. And for people who value sleep (aka, everyone who isn’t a complete psychopath), these situations can be super frustrating. For that reason, we always travel with ear plugs. They’ve saved us many sleepless nights! These are our favorites.



Silicone Travel Containers

These TSA-approved silicone travel containers are great for jet setters who travel with only a carry-on.

Rather than spending a fortune on travel-sized toiletries, Sam and I buy our products in bulk and simply refill these silicone travel containers for every trip.



Field Notes Notebook

We always travel with one of these notebooks. They are ideal for recording expenses, hotel addresses, and other important information, and they are small enough to fit in a pocket or backpack.


Eye Mask

Travelers end up in all types of accommodations, including overnight trains and busy hostels. Having a good quality eye mask is essential for sleeping well in any circumstances.



What items would you add to this list?

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21 Best Gift Ideas for Travelers

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