Photo Credit: Kindel Media
50 Perfect Holiday Gift Ideas For The Traveler In Your Life
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or none of the above, the festive season is the perfect time to get a gift for the traveler in your life. Your significant other, friend or family member will surely appreciate a present to take along on their next adventure.
You don’t have to spend an exorbitant amount of money, since, as the saying goes, ‘it’s the thought that counts.’ In the rush of preparing for our travels, we may overlook small, but necessary items, like toothbrush cases, napkins, razors and the like. Little gifts like these come in handy.
If you have deep pockets and want to show your globetrotting associate some appreciation, there are many options, from folding bicycles to various electronics. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s appropriate for the person.
Here are 50 holiday gift ideas for the traveler in your life.
1. Plane Tickets
Hey, why not? Plane tickets can be expensive and a hassle to lock in, so your friend will appreciate you taking that off their hands.
But it’s important that you know your friend’s interests and schedule. It would be a shame to get them tickets to Kenya, only to find out they won’t be able to take the time off from work.
2. BOSE Noise Cancelling Headphones
Many of us listen to music when traveling; it helps the time pass faster. The Bose Noise Cancelling headphones are said to be some of the best on the market.
Price: $299 on Amazon
3. Personalized Travel Gear
Your travel homie can globe trot in style with a monogrammed suitcase, or customized luggage tag. It’ll cut down the chances of drama and confusion at baggage claim. Etsy is a great place to shop for everything!
Personalized luggage starts at: $140
4. Teddy Locks socs
This is a simple, humble gift that goes a long way.
5. E- Reader
Kindle, Nook, whatever you choose, E-book readers really come in handy. They have long battery life and are waterproof.
The cost depends on size, color/black and white and other variables.
On the less expensive end, you can get a Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon Prime for $89.99 and on the higher end, a Boox Note Air for around $450.
Some of us still like the feel of actual books, and don’t want to imagine a world without them.
Is your friend a fan of a quick, easy read that doesn’t require a lot of thinking? Or do they like horror stories that’ll keep them on the edge of their seat till the plane taxis?
Ask what books they’d like to help guide your selection.
7. Gift Card
Does your friend like Best Buy? Macy’s? Amazon? Adidas?
Give them a gift card, so they can get whatever little nick-nacks they need for their trip. Even if you can only afford to put $20 on it, it’s helpful.
Also, Delta Air Lines has gift cards that make it easy for your traveler to book a flight when ready.
8. Olympus OM Camera
No matter how advanced these smartphones are, there’s no replacement for a camera.
This camera model has been deemed the best for travel because of its sleek design and smaller size. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is one of the best portable cameras around.
9. An Actual Calendar
Yes, smartphones already have this feature, but what happens when you don’t feel like looking at a screen to remember those travel plans?
Sometimes, it’s helpful to have a calendar on hand to remind you of that dinner you have at Les Deux Magots in Paris.
10. Portable Phone Charger
We’ve all been there.
We’re so into snapping photos and making videos on our phones, that we don’t notice the depleted battery.
And when the phone does die, it happens right when we want to take that epic selfie. Of course.
If your friend is traveling someplace outside a city, a portable charger could be a lifesaver.
Price: As low as $10
11. Moonshade Awning
Check out the Moonshade portable awning, which is highly recommended for road trips.
Let’s say you’re driving in the country in the height of summer. You’d you’d like to pull over on the side of the road and step out to inhale the fresh air of nature. The trouble is, the sun is pretty unforgiving.
For shade, attach Moonshade to the side of your car using the heavy-duty suction cups or magnets. According to the creators, “the fixed mounting points allow for secure, easy set up on trees, fences, door frames and porch railings.”
Conveniently no larger than a yoga mat, Moonshade can also be used for sporting events, camping and more.
The awning costs $325.
12. Pull-Start Fire
The days of rubbing dry sticks together and getting frustrated are a thing of the past.
Introducing the Pull- Start Fire, which allows you to enjoy a toasty fire in mere seconds. Simply pull the string, and the fire will start. No need for matches or lighters.
Inclement weather and wet wood won’t stop the spark. This is a handy gift for the outdoorsy kind of traveler.
Purchase a pack of three for $20 on Amazon. There are other sizes available.
13. My Medic Aid Kits
Accidents can happen when we travel, and it’s good to be prepared when they do!
Presenting My Medic, which touts itself as offering “the best first- aid kits on the planet.”
These compact medical kits have what you need to care for most kinds of injuries, including bleeding, burns, fractures, sprains and more. There are also hydration supplies.
The My Medic kits come in three categories: Universal, Specialty and Survival. They start at around $50 each.
14. Tastings Tea
A soothing cup of hot tea takes the edge off like nothing else.
The Tastings Tea line is not only delicious, but there’s a special chocolate bar that corresponds with each tea. Each tea is “delicately blended by tea makers in small batches.”
The teas alone start at $11.95 and $3.99 for the chocolates. The Trio Combo allows you to have English Breakfast, Mint and Fusion and Earl Grey (along with the chocolate bars) for $39.95.
Take advantage of the Black Friday sale, with 20% off store wide.
15. PatPat Apparel
Travel in style for a fraction of the price.
The PatPat Apparel line has something for everybody, with a large selection of gear marketed towards children, from babies to adolescents.
The brand not only offers outdoor apparel, but every day clothes, pajamas, shoes and accessories.
Download the app for a quick and painless shopping experience.
16. Paravel See- All Vanity Case
This stylish case, created by Paravel, is great for travel and at home.
For the traveler in your life, consider getting it monogrammed with their initials (this costs extra).
Perfect for makeup, toiletries, medications and much more.
It’s conveniently lightweight and starts at $65 without the monogrammed feature.
17. Lark Adventurewear Matching Pajamas
Lark Adventurewear is a minority-owned company that recently unveiled a matching pajamas line. Now everybody in the family can look stylishly comfortable for bed!
Not only do they look great, but they feel comfortable for the wearer, thanks to the Softek™ bamboo knit fabric, which is soft on the skin.
Moreover, they are temperature regulating, which is a great option for those who get hot or cold when sleeping.
Available for ages 3 months to adults. An adult unisex pajama set, in blue or green, costs $68. Pajamas for babies and toddlers range from $25 to $32, depending on age.
Lark Adventurewear also sells day wear.
18. Westinghouse Air Purifier
You may be thinking-aren’t air purifiers too big and cumbersome to bring on a trip?
Not the ones by Westinghouse, which only weigh two pounds each!
How does it work? Using “medical grade patented NICCO technology,” it is able to minimize or eliminate allergens, germs and viruses, so that you can breathe better.
Good for the car, bus and even the plane. TSA won’t give you a headache over it.
The listed price is $149.99 and is $129.00 for Amazon Prime users.
19. Shell Portable Jump Starter
If you’re on the road, make sure to have a Shell Portable Jump Starter. Not only can it jump start your car, it has multiple USB charging ports for your electronics. There is also a built-in flashlight.
According to Shell, it is fitted with “advanced safety technologies such as short-circuit, over-charge and overload protection,” so you can rest assured it’ll be safe for use.
Whether the gift is for you, or somebody else, it’ll be the best $89.99 you’ve spent in a long time.
As one Amazon user said, “No more waiting around an hour plus for a good Samaritan or for AAA to arrive.”
20. Native Maps
Looking for a way to remember all the US cities you’ve visited? Why not gift yourself a handmade, customized print to put on the wall of your home or office?
Native Maps is based out of Knoxville, Tennessee and got its humble start in 2014. They specialize in making elegant prints in a minimalist style for many cities, from Atlanta to Tampa. They even make maps for boroughs within cities, such as The Bronx.
An 18” by 24” print goes for $40.00. If you’d like it framed, there are a variety of styles to choose from.
The Black Friday sale offers 25% off all maps.
21. Universal Adapter
Traveling to Europe, Asia, or someplace else with a different outlet system?
A universal adapter is just what you need. Connect your device to it, and if the light glows red, you’re in business.
Adapters can run as low as $10 on Amazon.
22. Portable Speaker
There are many different brands on the market. If you want to listen to some music on the beach with your travel buddies, this is useful.
The Sony Bluetooth line of speakers last for hours and have exceptional sound for their size.
Speakers start at only $59.99
23. Resistance Bands
Not everybody likes the cold environment of a gym (or the expense), but they want to stay fit while on vacation.
Consider getting your sporty friend resistance bands for arm and leg exercises.
They are inexpensive and light enough to fit in your suitcase or carry on.
Bands start at $15.49 on Amazon.
24. Camping Equipment
Your outdoorsy friend expresses interest in going camping. But it can be a pricey hobby. Relieve them of some expenses.
The REI Co-op Trailbreak 30 Sleeping Bag ($99.99) has almost a 5-star rating. It’s comfortable, cozy and waterproof.
For climbing hills and rocky terrain, check out these trekking poles. They’re made of aluminum, which is lightweight, but are durable.
Don’t forget the tents! They come in a variety of sizes, colors and shapes.
25. Suitcases and Carry On Bags
Like sneakers, suitcases and carry on bags take on a lot of wear and tear over time. Be a pal and get your friend a replacement!
Want to support a Black-owned company? Check out the Ebby Rane luxury line of suitcases and carry ons, created by Sonja Salmon.
Nowadays, with apps like Spotify, most listen to music on their phones.
But there are still people who like to keep their music on a separate device.
The iPod has evolved since its debut in 2001, when it was clunky and had a black and white screen.
The present models are lightweight with touch screens. The most expensive one has 256 GB and costs $400.
27. Black-owned floats and pool/beach towels
Who says only kids like pool floats? There are plenty of models for adults to enjoy as well.
When your traveling friend wants to lounge in the pool or the sea, get them a float shaped like a unicorn, swan or dinosaur.
Alma Ocean is a Black-owned company selling a line of floats, towels and other miscellaneous products.
It was founded by Danielle Hodge, who was “inspired to add a splash of culture in the water space.”
28. Travel Lock
For that extra layer of security, a lock for your belongings can’t hurt.
As indicated by Nomadic Matt, “this simple item is one of the most important for the budget traveler. Since many hostels have lockers, backpackers need to have their own travel lock when they’re on the road. While you can usually rent them at hostels, those prices add up after a while.”
29. Robes and Sleepwear
After a full day of activities, followed by a hot shower or bath, it sure is nice to put on a comfortable robe.
They are available in a variety of materials, from cotton to silk.
For apparel with a touch of the culture, check out the lounge wear from Adora’s Intimates.
This Black-owned company specializes in “bespoke African print robes and customized apparel” at affordable prices.
30. Passport Holder
A few years ago, when I was traveling to The Dominican Republic, I didn’t think twice about having a passport that had seen better days. All the important pages were still intact so no big deal, right?
It didn’t matter that my passport hadn’t expired. Its condition prohibited me from flying, and the agent at check-in wouldn’t let me through. I encouraged my friend to fly down to the island without me.
Not long after, I got a new passport and a case for it. I also got a driver’s license so I wouldn’t have to bring my passport everywhere I went as proof of my age.
Here’s a list of passport holders.
31. Portable Tripod
You and your crew are hiking, and there’s a fantastic mountain range behind you.
You all want to be in the shot for the Gram, but nobody’s arms are long enough to take the photo. There’s no place to prop up your phone either. Oops.
Enter the portable tripod. For around 20 or 30 bucks, you won’t have to put anybody on “ussie” duty.
32. Mini Cocktail Kit
Here’s a way to take the edge off flying!
No liquor of any kind to be found in these kits, but there’s everything else. You’ll have to get the alcohol from a Duty Free shop or purchase some on board.
These cute, TSA approved kits come in Margarita, Old Fashioned, Mai Tai and Moscow Mule.
You can buy them individually or as a set from The Cocktail Box Company.
Not all backpacks are created equal. Some are for school, others are for hiking, and others are designed for running.
If you’ve ever tried to do long distance running with a standard backpack, you know how uncomfortable all that flapping is after awhile.
Running backpacks are designed to stick close to your body, with just enough space for the essentials. Get one for your active traveler buddy.
Check out these recommendations from Runner’s World.
34. Travel Pillow
If you’re one of those travelers who can slip off to dreamland anywhere, you’re lucky. Some of us are out here struggling.
Help your friend fly in comfort with a variety of different pillows.
There’s the Ultimate Travel Pillow by Travel Rest which snaps around the body like a seat belt. The cushion is close to the head.
For something less ostentatious, get a neck pillow with memory foam.
There’s also the Cabeau Evolution pillow, fitted with mini air conditioning vents to keep your neck cool.
35. Card Games
If your friend has the middle seat on an airplane, and befriends the open-minded adults on either side, Cards Against Humanity is a riot.
There’s a broad selection of sets to choose from, such as 90s Nostalgia, Pride Pack, and the “Nasty Bundle.” That last one is pretty self-explanatory and aptly named.
If your friend isn’t into the saucy and crass stuff, cool. Get them a regular deck of playing cards or UNO.
36. Candles Or Incense
Obviously, you wouldn’t light these on the plane or train, but when you get to your AirBnB, they can make the place smell sweet.
Bath & Body Works has an incredible selection of three wick candles for every season and occasion. Check them out here.
The Harlem Candle Company, inspired by the Harlem Renaissance, also has a great selection of products for online purchase.
37. Lotion Set
Show your loved one some love by buying them lotion.
The Body Shop and Bath & Body Works are popular, but if you haven’t been to Yadain Cultural Solutions, you’re missing out.
With locations in Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Georgia, just about everything on sale is all natural and lovingly presented.
You can scoop the Shea butter into plastic containers on site. It’s one of the best skin moisturizers out there.
Now, fragrances can be tricky.
You can’t just grab any ole’ cologne or perfume, because you have no way of knowing if it will agree with your friend’s PH.
Even if they like floral scents, not all of them will work with their body chemistry.
Your best bet is to get them a fragrance they already use. They’ll be happy to have more of it.
39. Hotel Gift Card
For the traveler who really means a lot to you, why not get them a hotel gift card?
They can be sent as a physical card or as an e-card, and they are available for hotels in over 170 countries.
40. Car Charger
This nifty gadget comes in handy during road trips, keeping your phone charged for the journey ahead.
There are many models, like the Maxboost car charger, available on Amazon. It can charge your digital camera as well.
41. Travel Blanket
The blankets you get on planes can’t compare to what you can buy yourself.
Trip Savvy features several types on Amazon, with the Cocoon Coolmax Blanket as the best overall.
Best bang for your buck? The Microfleece Travel Blanket.
What about for camping? The durable Rumpl Puffy Blanket.
42. Fiber Knit Sport Masks
This is said to be one of the best masks for comfort and durability for both long and short flight travel.
Because let’s face it, mask-wearing isn’t going away any time soon, especially for travel.
MSRP is $22.50
43. Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are a great way to keep your suitcase organized. You don’t want your foundation to spill onto your clothes, do you?
They come in an array of colors, styles and prices.
Travel + Leisure compiled a list of the best ones to help you pack like a pro.
A bike is another thoughtful gift, especially if the traveler is already active.
Restrictions on bringing bikes on cross-country trains helped spawn the creation of the folding bike.
Some have smaller wheels which can fold well, but aren’t as study for riding. The ones with larger wheels are more secure but won’t be as compact.
I Love Bicycles lists the ten best folding bikes for traveling here.
45. Electronics Accessories Organizer
Instead of having your laptop, chargers, iPad, and smartphone in several different bags, why not pack them together?
This one on Amazon, which comes in different sizes, allows you to pack all your electronics and cords in one case.
46. Airplane Foot Rest
The Everlasting Comfort Airplane Footrest is suitable for economy, business and first class. It’s durable, but light enough for easy transport.
It’s fitted with dual foot rest sections, and the straps connect to the tray table in front of you.
47. Portable Hammock
You’re staying at a private villa in the Caribbean, and there are two palm trees that are close enough for a hammock. Thank goodness for your friend who bought one for you!
Actually, Republic of Durable Goods has a hammock that doesn’t require trees at all. Simply unfold it and voilà! Rest anywhere.
48. Sleep Mask
You can wear it on a plane, on a train, in a car…..not to sound like Dr. Seuss.
Studies suggest that “complete darkness boosts your body’s melatonin level, which helps you doze off faster.”
Pay attention to the material of the sleep mask. If it’s too thin, it won’t keep the light out. If it’s too thick, it might put too much pressure on your eyelids.
49. Pirani Reusable Cups
Every traveler needs a reusable tumbler to take while on vacay, and Pirani is the perfect fit. Pirani tumblers hold 16 ounces, are stainless steel, triple-insulated and keep drinks cold 12+ hours; hot up to six. And they feature a lid so no spills while on-the-go!
50. Amazon Explore Virtual Experiences
With over 450 virtual experiences including cultural and historic tours, culinary and mixology classes, and kid-friendly activities, Amazon Explore offers plenty of thoughtful and unique gifts for your loved ones that will stand out from the rest.
- A taste of Tokyo: enjoy sights, smells, and surprises with a Japanese culture experience kit
- Ljubljana love stories: a virtual tour with romantic stories from Slovenia’s capital
- Madrid’s most scenic spots
- Enchanting Rialto: a stroll through the markets of Venice
- Munich: the city of Churches, palaces and beer gardens