The 46 Best Gifts for Travelers
You need a gift for your favorite traveler, but you have no idea what to get them.
What could they want…or need?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
From less than $1 to over $1,000, we’ve picked out gifts that fit any budget.
And with gifts ranging from backpacks to the best earplugs and from Panama hats to cork globes, there’s something here for everyone.
Here are the best gifts for travelers – so start shopping, and happy holidays!
Want to skip to a certain section? Just click a link below:
- Backpacks & Gear
- Stocking Stuffers
- For Men
- For Women
- Heather’s Picks
- Trav’s Picks
There’s no more important item to a traveler than a good piece of luggage, and for almost all situations, I prefer a backpack instead of wheeled luggage (although we also have a wheeled luggage recommendation further down).
When shopping for a backpack, it pays to spend some money and find yourself a good one, and the two listed below are the ones I’ve been using, and loving, for the last 3 years.
Every traveler needs a good backpack, and this is by far my favorite.
I’ve taken my Tortuga with me on every single trip over the last 2 years – whether it be a long weekend or 4 months.
It’s the largest legal carry-on size backpack out there, which means you’ll save a ton of money on checked bag fees and still have plenty of room. Plus, it has my favorite feature – a built in laptop sleeve.
Buy it from Tortuga Backpacks for $179 – regular price is $199, use PEANUTS at checkout to get 10% off.
2. Tortuga Air
Going on a shorter trip and want something more streamlined than the regular Tortuga backpack? The Tortuga Air is the perfect choice.
It opens up like a clamshell, making it super easy to grab something quickly. And my favorite part: the hidden but well padded laptop compartment makes removing it at an airport a cinch while still keeping it safe.
Buy it from Tortuga Backpacks for $157 – regular price is $174, use PEANUTS at checkout to get 10% off.
Want to stay organized and not have your luggage explode once you settle in at your accommodation? Then pick up this set of 3 packing cubes from our friend Dave over at Oventure!
Every traveler worth their salt knows that certain gadgets can make their life much easier on the road.
Grab these gadgets and know that you’re prepared no matter where you’re headed.
Really want to spoil your favorite traveler?
Give them, hands down, the best travel laptop. It’s powerful, lightweight, and durable.
As someone who used to lug around a Macbook Pro, I’m glad I made the switch.
It’s important for everyone to back up their files, but especially travelers.
You don’t want to lose those incredible pictures of an Australian sunset when your laptop crashes, do you?
The Plus Slim is perfect because it’s the lightest external hard drive on the market (no one wants to carry extra weight if they don’t have to) and it has 2 TB of space, which means you’ll never run out of room.
I love reading physical books as much as the next person (and probably even more), but carrying around multiple books at a time isn’t feasible when you’re trying to travel light – and you’re trying to travel light, right?
So grab the absolute best e-reader on the market and have the entire world’s library at your fingertips.
Make sure to splurge for the Paperwhite version, as the built in backlight will pay for itself many times over.
7. iPad Air
As an avid magazine reader, picture taker and app downloader I have to say I miss the presence of an iPad in my life.
We bought the original iPad back in 2010 and it has since been lost, found, cracked and un-updatable. We got a Kindle Fire, which we thought could replace the iPad. It cannot.
For a traveler who doesn’t need a full laptop at their disposable, the iPad Air is perfect. And even if you do need a laptop, an iPad Air is so lightweight that you might want to bring it along anyway!
If it seems like everyone uses a GoPro nowadays, well, that’s because they do!
And with good reason. It’s super small and lightweight, extremely durable, and most importantly of all, takes incredible video.
There’s no better video camera on the market for travelers, and this is the one gift I’m dying to find under my tree this Christmas.
Better not show up in a foreign country without an adapter…or else you’ll be without electronics for awhile!
The Monster Adapter is the smallest, most lightweight one on the market and works in over 150 countries.
Provides four outlets and also folds up flat, which minimizes the space it takes up.
Combine this with the Monster World Adapter and you’ll always have 4 plugs available!
The last thing you want when traveling is a phone with a dead battery.
Stay connected with an external rechargeable battery.
Anker makes quite a few options with varying prices and capacities. This one can charge the iPhone 6 ten times before it runs out!
No one wants to be sick or overly tired when traveling.
Make sure you’re always in tip top shape with some of these gifts.
Whether it’s to drown out a screaming baby on the plane or unwanted construction during an early morning in Bali, earplugs are one of the most important things any traveler can bring with them.
And none of the earplugs I’ve tried my in life compare to Mack’s.
Grab a 50 pack and give them away as the perfect stocking stuffer (and maybe even keep some for yourself)!
When I get home, this is the one item that never gets unpacked, and therefore, I never forget it.
It’s soft, takes up almost no space and dries in a flash. I’d recommend the XL size. Absolutely essential.
On Amazon for $20 (for XL size)
These travel bottles are long lasting and will not break in your luggage. They are worth the few extra dollars as they don’t need to be replaced after one trip.
I usually but the 99 cent bottles from Target but they always end up deformed and broken.
Time to upgrade!
These smaller but essential pieces are perfect for stuffing the stocking of your favorite traveler.
One of my biggest travel pet peeves is paying for bottled water in country’s where it’s not necessary. It’s expensive, bad for the environment, and just generally wasteful.
But traveling with a hard plastic or steel water bottle has never worked for me. It’s bulky, doesn’t fit in my backpack, and always ends up being a nuisance.
Enter the Platypus Plus Bottle. When empty, it takes up almost no room but can carry up to a liter of water at a time. Perfect!
When the power goes out in the third world country you’re traveling through, you don’t want to be the one stuck without a light (speaking from experience).
And having a headlamp makes a lot more sense than carrying around a heavier, and less useful, flashlight.
While most other headlamps cost $20+, the Shining Buddy is just as good, just as light, and cheaper.
The perfect stocking stuffer!
It’s simple and unsexy, but if you’re traveling with a companion then a headphone splitter might be the best bang for your buck on this entire list.
It allows you to watch all your favorite tv shows and movies together without having to play the whole “left ear for you, right ear for me” game that gets old after after a few
What’s the best thing to do when you’re not traveling?
Watching and reading about other people’s experiences!
If you’re stuck without a trip in the near future, get lost in someone else’s adventures with these books and movies.
It took Nate Damm seven and a half months to walk across America. It took me 2 days to rip through his incredible account of his journey.
I loved it, and I know you will too.
Before Leon McCarron was a world famous explorer, he was just a young, confused college graduate. So he did what any self-respecting Northern Irishman would do – he set out to bike from New York to Hong Kong.
14,000 miles later, he wrote about it.
This is one of my top 10 travel books of all time because it combines deft storytelling with honest emotions, quintessential self-deprecating humor, and of course, some great travel mishaps.
The epic story of Ewan McGregor (yes, that Ewan McGregor) and his pal Charley Boorman as they attempt to ride around the world on motorcycles.
I’ve seen each episode at least 3 times, and yet, I still finding myself pining to watch it again.
Be warned: After watching, you’ll want to undertake your own similarly absurd adventure!
If one epic quest isn’t enough for you (and it wasn’t for me), how about a second?
Ewan and Charley are back, this time riding from the very top of Scotland to the very bottom of Africa.
Again, on motorcycles.
And again, with some amazing stories to share while doing it.
Ever dreamed of exploring Eastern Europe? You need this book!
Have no clue why anyone would want to explore Eastern Europe? You need this book!
Francis Tapon’s account of his journey to all 25 Eastern European countries is like the world’s most interesting history textbook combined with a hilarious travelogue.
I’ve read it multiple times, and I still find myself referring back to it every time I get a bit of wanderlust for the “hidden” Europe.
22. The Majic Bus
To this day, my absolute favorite travel book of all time.
What can get better than a professor cramming a group of students in to a sleeper bus for a 6 week traveling summer course, visiting 30 states and 10 national parks, all while reading some of the greatest writers of the modern generation?
Since the course is no longer offered, take the next best thing and read the book!
Half the fun of travel is documenting your adventures and then looking back on them later.
Here are the two best items for taking notes while on the road and then reminiscing about the memories later.
The perfect size for carrying around in your pocket or purse and jotting down important travel notes, like where to find the best baguette in Paris or best gelato in Florence.
I never leave for any trip without at least two moleskins at my disposal.
I’ve been using the ticket stub diary for years, and have already filled up two whole books with mementos from all over the world.
They are one of my most prized possessions and the perfect way to keep track of all those crazy adventures – even after you’ve come home!
Here are six clothing items that have made my travel life infinitely better and saved me tons of room in my pack.
For years, I’ve been waiting for a company to make the perfect travel pants, and FINALLY it’s happened!
Bluff Works chinos check every single box:
- Super comfortable due to the stretchiness of the fabric
- Look awesome
- Special travel pant perks like zipper pockets to keep from being pickpocketed or just having your wallet or phone slide out.
- Made in the US by a company dedicated to quality and their customers.
Since getting these chinos three weeks ago (I have the harvest gold and the blue), I’ve rarely worn anything else – in fact, I’m wearing them right now while writing this!
They are, legitimately, that awesome.
Buy them from Bluffworks for $125 – special offer: use EPOP at checkout to get $10 off your first pair.
Want a classy pair of boots but don’t have the room in your bag for big, clunky ones?
Vivobarefoot, which was started by a great grandson of the famous shoe maker Clarks, has the answer.
Their Gobi boots look very similar to the wildly popular Clark’s desert boots (big surprise) but are half the weight and also fit nicely in luggage due to the fact that they have a minimal sole.
Finally, a boot that where a traveler doesn’t have to sacrifice style in order to fit in to bag!
Plus, they’re available in leather, suede, or canvas and all types of colors.
Buy them from Amazon for $62 (you may have to search around the internet for your size and color)
As much as I like my Vivobarefoot Gobi boots, I like the Tigrays even more! I was blown away by incredible these shoes look and also how well they’ve held up.
I’ve worn them all across the world, and the only issue I’ve ever had is a broken shoelace – which is quite an easy fix.
These are the perfect “dressy-enough-to-go-out-in-but-casual-enough-to-wear-with-shorts” shoes.
For every trip I take, I pack 3-4 pairs of shoes. A “dressy enough” pair (the above mentioned Tigray shoe, Gobi boot or both), a pair of sandals (the Rainbows listed below), and a pair of sneakers.
And in order to pack a pair of sneakers that don’t take up your entire bag, you need to pack a pair of barefoot ones.
While I’m not a huge runner, I have run (slowly) in these plenty of times.
But the main reason I love them so much is that they have just enough padding to hike in (whereas other barefoot shoes have too little), their semi-waterproof, and yet still pack very, very easily.
After trying out numerous pairs of barefoot sneakers, the Merrell Trail Gloves are still my all time favorites.
Rainbows have been my go to sandals for the last 10 years for two reasons – they are the most comfortable thing I’ve ever worn and they look great no matter what you’re doing.
Any time you can wear the same pair of sandals to the beach or to dinner, I’m in.
I always splurge the extra few dollars for the double layer version so they’ll last even longer.
Traveling to a hot location? Cotton underwear just isn’t going to cut it!
These will keep you dry all day, are much cheaper and more comfortable than the popular Ex Officio brand, and can be washed easily in the sink if need be.
All women’s gifts are recommendations from Heather Sherry, brainchild behind the fashion site Sartorial Stripes and the one who constantly stuns everyone by how good she looks while travels – and who keeps me from wearing sweatpants around the world.
I have been searching for the perfect travel tote, with specifications that include a classic shape, durable but quality leather and, of course, style.
Now, I’ve found two that meet those requirements. The best part – not only is the leather beautiful but you can add a personal monogram to both brands!
I hope I have one of these under the Christmas tree this year!
32. Travel Hats
For all of those days when your hair won’t cooperate or you just need to cover it up, here are three of my favorite hat options.
I have searched far and wide (including various countries and continents) for the perfect panama hat, not wanting to splurge on this hat at J.Crew.
But after looking for and wide, this is the BEST panama hat out there.
So hopefully Santa will bring it for me this Christmas and when we head back to Thailand, I will have it in my travel arsenal.
Whether this hat supports your favorite sports team or is just a neutral version, it will come in handy on any trip you take.
I like this affordable hat from H&M for a fun and fashionable way to cover up a bad hair day. This would be perfect for a European vacation in those cooler months.
The Nike Internationalist is the perfect dual purpose sneaker – it looks fashionable while sightseeing and feels comfortable when exercising on the road.
I used to pack both my running shoes and casual shoes but I have since started packing just one and I have been hiking, running and walking around the world in these.
34. Flat Ankle Boots
This pair of Sam Edelman booties are a tried and true ankle boot. The same style is available every year because of its versatility, style and comfort. I can wear these boots walking around all day and my feet never hurt! There are a lot of colors available, but I love the black because they can be casual or dressy.
Leggings are a travel must-have. These Topshop leggings (above) are affordable and look great with a cozy oversize sweater for those long plane rides but look equally stylish when you land. (Similar pair on Amazon.)
I wear mine constantly paired with ankle boots or sneakers.
These versions from Ann Taylor (which I just purchased and love!) or J.Crew are a little more expensive but are thicker and dressier – meaning you can feel comfortable wearing them out to dinner.
36. Travel Sweater
A cardigan jacket is a nice supplement to your winter coat. This Zara one (above) is perfectly neutral but structured enough to wear with leggings or jeans whether you’re waiting at the gate, sleeping on the plane, or hitting the streets once you arrive.
This sweater is also a great option with a hood.
Now that we’ve got the clothes out of the way, here are a few more of Heather’s personal favorites that will make your travel even easier and more stylish.
I have yet to join the crowd of travelers who wear large headphones around their neck while walking through the airports.
if when I decide to indulge in this trend, this is the pair I’m choosing.
I am not a backpack person. I don’t pack quite as lightly as Trav does, and I really dislike the pain involved in schlepping around a heavy pack that hurts my neck (no matter how ergonomically designed they are) and causes my clothing to bunch up in weird places.
Therefore, I am dying to upgrade my well worn Samsonite to this highly rated hard shell case from Traveler’s Choice.
Buy it on Amazon for $240 (for a 3 piece set)
39. Baggu Bag
The past few months we have been traveling through Southeast Asia, and I cannot count how many times I wish we had a reusable tote bag.
From all those trips to the market in Chiang Mai for rice cakes and fruit shakes to throwing our towels and swimsuits in, this would be the perfect bag.
And at $9.00, the perfect price.
One of my favorite pieces of jewelry is my customized Layered + Long Wanderlust necklace. I wear it daily layered with some of L+L’s other necklaces. On my wishlist this year are these luggage tag charms from Jet Set Candy. You can chose your home airport or pick your favorite destination – such a fun way to wear your travel memories!
These beautiful Scandinavian inspired himmelis are a great way to add a bit of travel charm to your home space. There are quite a few design options to choose from, but the Moravian star is my favorite.
It’s perfect for the holiday season but I would leave it up all year… possibly placed on top of a stack of travel books.
42. Leather Pouch
I like to organize my miscellaneous items (chapstick, headphones, wallet etc) in a leather pouch, which can also double as a clutch to elevate an outfit.
A special selection of what I consider some of the coolest and most unique travel gifts you can buy, including things for your home, office, or bedroom that’ll keep that travel fire burning even when you’re home.
43. Mighty Wallet
Talk about a conversation starter!
More people have asked my about my “paper wallet” (it’s Tyvek, the stuff that can’t be ripped) than any other piece of luggage or clothing I own, combined.
Since it’s Tyvek, it’s extremely durable, super thin, and even somewhat waterproof – mine’s gone through the wash at least five times – perfect qualities for a travel wallet.
Plus, you can pick from an array of cool designs on their website, or if you’re an artist, create your own.
I can’t foresee a day where the wallet I own is not a mighty wallet…they’re just too cool!
44. Cork Globe
Want to brag about all the places you’ve been to without really bragging?
Or enjoy dreaming of your next trip while at home?
This cork globe is the perfect piece to do just that.
Set it on your desk or end table, pin where you’ve been and where you’re going, and let the wanderlust begin.
Buy it from Uncommon Goods for $129 ($70 less than Amazon)
What better way to reminisce about where you’ve been (or show off to others) than a scratch map?
Every time you go somewhere new, come home and scratch off that area, revealing the map behind it. All the fun of buying lottery tickets, just less expensive and better for travelers!
I’ve got one of these hanging in my office, and it’s one of the coolest gift ideas I’ve ever seen.
And there are multiple types, ranging from the US to country specific maps.
If you like beer…and you like maps…well, we’re kindred spirits. And since that’s the case, you also probably reallyreallyreally want this map too – which I first saw at Sanitas brewery in Boulder and instantly fell in love with.
Every brewery, all 3,500 of them, is listed – yes, even that small, local one you’re sure isn’t on there.
It may be expensive but it’s big, unique, and it will make an incredible gift (especially for your favorite travel blogger…hint, hint!)
What’s on your travel wishlist? Did you buy anything from the list above? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!