The 12 Best Gifts for Travelers

The 14 Best Gifts for Travelers - picture of back of woman sitting in beach chair with arms out

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Being the frugally-minded frequent flyer that I am, I don’t like to spend a lot of money on stuff. I’m not a gadget guy, nor do I like to carry a bunch of junk all-around the world with me. The less clutter in my, life the better.

But, when you’ve surrendered to wanderlust like I have, you tend to find some things that come in handy during your journeys. The fact is, certain items just make traveling easier. And while I don’t think stuff adds value to your life, the right stuff can make your trip all the more memorable.

Whether it is being able to recharge your devices on the fly or capturing once in a lifetime memories on video, these 12 gifts for travelers are great to give any time of year.

Best Gifts for Travelers

1) Power Banks

When you’re on the go, it can be difficult to recharge your device. Running out of power while snapping a selfie in front of the Roman Colosseum sucks hairy squirrels. That’s why power banks are one of the all-time best gifts for travelers.

Seriously, these bad boys are an absolutely invaluable asset for any serious traveler. Find one of my favorite power banks here.

2) Travel Pillow

Getting a good travel pillow is a great gift for any traveler. There are all kinds of travel pillows on the market, but I’ve found – for me – the J-Pillow works best for long plane rides.

Instead of having to lay my head back, the J-Pillow supports my head in front and on the side. Since I’m tall and can’t get comfortable with my head back, I’ve found this pillow to be much more comfortable than any other travel pillow I’ve tried.

Just to show you I’m not blowing smoke, it won the 2013 award for British Invention of the Year. Find out more about the J-Pillow here!

3) Waterproof Pouch

Hitting the beach is one of my favorite types of vacations. The sun. The sand. The water. I love it all.

Of course, that salty paradise can also wreak havoc on your possessions. That’s why getting a waterproof pouch is one of the best investments any traveler can make. Just stick your room key, credit cards, even cash in the pouch and keep it dry all day long. (Personally, I still refrain from taking my cell phone into the water, but that’s up to you.)

I’ve used several different kinds, but the miniature version of the Dry Pak is easily my favorite. I simply fold it up, wrap the put it in the pocket of my swim suit or around my neck, and my cash stays dry. Seriously, this might be the best $10 I’ve ever spent. Find the Dry Pak I use here!

4) Selfie Stick

Speaking of selfies, getting the traveler in your life a selfie stick is another great gift idea. Yeah, constantly walking around with a selfie stick can annoy the people around you. And sure, the constant bombardment of selfies on social media gets overwhelming. But, if your loved one likes to travel, a selfie stick is a must have.

Rather than asking some random tourist to take a photo, getting a selfie stick makes it easy to capture all of your memories by yourself. They’re easy to use, and the pictures just look better. I finally succumbed to getting one, and I’m really glad that I did.

5) Bubba Mug

Another beach vacation must is getting your very own Bubba mug.

Seriously folks, getting my first Bubba was a life changing event. I never realized how much more relaxing a beach vacay could be when you reduce the amount of trips you need to make to the bar! With the Bubba, I keep my lazy bum plastered to my beach chair for about 3 times longer than I could using those tacky plastic “bar” cups. Now, I can hit the bathroom, grab a drink on the way back, relax, and repeat. My friends, that’s working smarter, not harder.

Personally, I’ve found that the 34 oz. mug is the perfect size. Its not so large that all the ice melts, but just big enough to make it to your next bathroom break without needing a refill. Just so you don’t mix them up, they’ve even got them in “His” and “Hers” handles too! Find your own Bubba mug here.

6) GoPro Hero Camera

Want to get some great adventure shots? Look no further than the GoPro Hero camera!

If you’re doing any swimming, snorkeling, or diving, an underwater camera can help you capture the moment. Same goes for ziplining, climbing, or hiking. The GoPro Hero takes awesome photos and videos both below and above water.

Additionally, you can purchase a special selfie stick or a head mount for hands free action shots.

Seriously folks, this camera is totally rad and packs a huge value! Check out the GoPro Hero here.

7) Kindle Paperwhite

If you know a frequent traveler, chances are they are also a frequent reader. Whether they’re lounging on the beach or sitting on a plane, reading is a great way to pass the time. Having a Kindle makes reading even more convenient.

With a Kindle Paperwhite, travelers can take their favorite books anywhere they want. Plus, carrying around a Kindle is a lot lighter than lugging around a bunch of books.

Personally, I never travel without mine. So, if you’re looking for some great gifts for travelers, you should definitely check out the Kindle Paperwhite!

8) Undercover Fanny Pack

Let’s face it, fanny packs look freakin’ dorky – which is why most people hate to wear them. Still, they are a great way to lug around some of your necessities while you travel.

Fear not! Holly spent hours searching and found this undercover fanny pack that I absolutely love! 

We’ve used these while traveling all across Europe. They make it easy to carry our cash, credit cards, and passports.

The best part is that they are flat! We just strap the money belt around our waist, pull our shirt over the top of it, and nobody even realizes it’s there. Plus, with all of the pickpocket problems in Europe, these packs keep our money and important documents close to our bodies, making it very difficult to steal from us.

You can get the one we use right here!

9) Travel Backpack

Traveling with a laptop can be a pain. Standard laptop bags only hold your computer, so you have to carry an additional bag for all of your other junk.

The best travel backpacks solve that problem. Stick a laptop into one compartment, shove your other stuff into the pouch, and carry it on the plane for easy access.

One of our favorites is the Travelpro Crew Executive Choice Backpack. It slides easily under your seat, has tons of space for things other than your laptop, and holds it shape so nothing inside will get crushed. Holly has used it for years, and it is the real deal. Follow the link above to check it out.

10) Quilted Carry-On Bag

My mom bought Holly a quilted travel duffel bag a few years ago, and we’ve taken it everywhere.

Quilted carry-ons are perfect because they hold a ton of stuff, and the quilted material is extremely flexible. They are also fashionable, which is a plus. You can also use them in an RV so you don’t bang up the interior with a hard suitcase.

If you’re looking for a quilted carry-on, you can find them styled in all types of designs and colors. Being a dude, I prefer one that is a bit more neutral. Here’s a bag that comes in several different styles.

11) Bucket List Map

I think this map is super cool, and it’s definitely one of the best gifts for travelers. It is a “scratch-off” bucket list map! Yep, I said scratch-off!

Just hang this map on the wall and reminisce about all the places you’ve been. Each time you visit a new country, scratch off the silver coating like you would on any other scratch-off item.

Sure, it isn’t as practical as the other gifts…but who cares?!? It’s fun! You can pick up a copy of this map here.

12) Rain Ponchos

Nothing stinks more than getting caught in a downpour while you’re trying to do some sightseeing. Usually, you don’t have time to get back to the hotel, so you’re soaked and uncomfortable for the rest of the day. That is why carrying a poncho with you can be a lifesaver.

Rather than getting one of the disposable kinds that tear and leak, get a decent one. You can reuse it, plus they are a bit more stylish. Most importantly, it will keep you dry.

Find a nice polyester rain poncho here!

Happy Traveling

Finding gifts for the travelers doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. There are plenty of practical and fun options for you to choose from. Giving any of these travel gifts will make a wanderluster’s day!

I hope you liked my list of the “Best Gifts for Travelers!” If you did, please share this piece with all of your traveling friends. Enjoy and safe travels!

What are your favorite travel gifts? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. Love the suggestions, especially the money pouch and power bank, two things I’m looking into for an my trip in a few weeks.

    1. I love everything on this list, but those are definitely two of my favorites. I’m a pretty practical guy, and those are both super practical. If you’re going to a beach, the water pouch is absolutely essential. I’ve used that thing so many times that I wore mine out and bought a new one – the exact same model.

      Shameless plug alert – If you decide to order them, feel free to click on our affiliate links in the piece 🙂

  2. There are many gifts for travelers. I think I’d be satisfied and happy to receive that waterproof pouch and that laptop backpack. To those friends who are planning to give me a gift, you now have an idea what I want. I just wish they’d read this.

    1. A power bank is a great gift! If you give those sorts of gifts, I think we need to become real-life friends 😉

      Shameless plug: Feel free to order it using our affiliate link above 😀

  3. I’ve been wanting an underwater camera for so long, but I haven’t pulled the trigger. I’ll check this out! As for travel pillows, YES! Two trips ago, I forgot mine and almost bought one at the airport. Instead, I saved $30 and leaned on my poor husband for four hours. I also think fold-up ponchos (even cheap ones) are great gifts for travelers!

    1. You know what, ponchos are a great idea! I’ll have to add those to the list when I update this piece.

      I’m so glad we got an underwater camera. We went with this one because it is relatively cheap, but it also has pretty good reviews. Like I said, if you’re a photography snob, this probably isn’t the camera for you. But, if you just want to get some cool pics, it definitely is worth the money.

  4. I love the idea of a bucket list map–how fun! We have definitely gifted and/or lent out Rick Steves books and the travel pouch many times! I just wrote a post partly about why I don’t have a Kindle, but I absolutely see why they’d be awesome for traveling.

    1. Isn’t that map cool? I actually don’t have one of those, but I want one. Christmas, anybody?

  5. Great ideas Greg! We have a water proof pouch and that thing has been all over the world with us – well with the expense. My kindle, on the other hand, collects dust sitting here at home but does tend to get used pretty heavily when on vacation.

    1. Ha! I’m the same way with my Kindle, although I go through spurts. I need to load a few books onto it for our upcoming flights to Italy.

    1. Aren’t those maps swank? I love those things. I actually need to get myself one. I think that is the only thing on this list that I don’t actually have. Mom, if you’re reading, that would be a great Christmas gift.

    1. Thanks Natalie. Yeah, the power banks are super cool. We’ve used ours several times already. Which reminds me that I need to charge it up for our trip to Italy!

  6. Great suggestions! I carry a bunch of SIM cards in my wallet so l can easily swap them out. I flew Etihad for the first time, and they actually had neck pillows for all, that was cool. I just love my rolling carry on 🙂 .

    1. We have a rolling carry on as well, but Holly’s duffel is freakin’ sweet! We love that thing. It is like a bottomless pit, and it will fit in any overhead compartment.

      Other than the pillows, how was your experience with Etihad? I’d like to know more about them.

      1. I can’t complain. I would go as far as to say that the seats might be at least an inch or two if not more wider than the U.S based airlines. Service and food was good, but l hate their medical visa policy! It totally sucks and for that l would not fly them again if l have a choice!

  7. I have a travel pillow and a very nice carry-on bag. I love those and I have never regretted buying those! I even take those to road trips. Your post made me wanting to travel again 🙂

  8. I love that map! We currently have a map in my son’s room where we put pins into the countries we visit, but this would be awesome! Just might be a gift for my daughter for Christmas!

    But I HATE selfie sticks! I think I’m definitely in the minority there given how much we see them on our travels (we just got back from Belize where someone was using one on the plane!). I’m so glad that some places, like Disney World, have banned them. But maybe it’s not the stick itself that I dislike, but the “selfie” obsession that has taken over the world?!

    1. Yeah, the selfie obsession is a little much. I used to feel the same about the stick until I got one. The pictures are so much better, plus you don’t have to ask anybody to take it for you. Usually when somebody else takes it, the picture stinks anyway. With a selfie stick there is just a lot more control.

      Try it. You might like it 😉

  9. Hmmm, just depends where I go! Oddly enough I’d say podcasts. I like to download a bunch so I have them ready to listen to on a plane. And it’s frugal!

  10. A good alternative to international SIM cards is a SIM Sticker from KnowRoaming. You apply it to your SIM card once and it’ll give you access to voice and data in 200+ countries. You can even still take calls from your home number if you decide. Similar to international SIMs, the price does vary but everything is listed on their website.

  11. I just came back from a weekend trip where I packed everything into a 40L backpack. Traveling with just one pack, instead of a backpack and a roller bag, is SO MUCH BETTER. I felt as light as air, even though I had the slightly larger backpack, and I’m never going back if I can help it.

    1. Nice! I hate carrying so many bags. And when I travel with the wife I’m usually carrying both sets of bags 🙂

  12. My Kindle Paperwhite is probably one of my most prized possessions. I am obsessed with it and couldn’t imagine getting on a plane without it in my purse. I love the bucket list map, too, though. I think I’m going to get one for my son for Christmas. And I see that you are predominantly focusing on your travel planning services and I have to say that I couldn’t recommend you more!! You have helped several of my clients and they are all happy after I send them your way. Thank you!!

    1. Awesome! Thanks so much for the referrals and the props Shannon! We very much appreciate it 🙂

  13. Awesome ideas, Greg! Love the selfie stick and the waterproof pouch. I’ll be keeping this as reference for our Christmas list!

  14. I wish I had seen this list about a month ago when I was wondering what to give a friend of mine who was going away on vacation for a month. I think the most useful is probably a battery bank or a multi-socket power plug. Phones these days get discharged super quickly and it absolutely necessary to have a decent amount of charge left in it, not only for taking good quality pictures but also for personal safety reasons.

    1. Power adapters are another great gift! I’m going to have to add that to the list as well. Just make sure that you also get a voltage converter as well so you don’t fry your electronics!

  15. Ha, I love the selfie stick! Just be sure you include a note that 20 people died taking selfies last year. (Sadly, I’m not kidding.) So they need to be careful.

    1. Zoinks! Don’t get so close to the edge people.

      Seriously though, that is sad.

  16. The bucket list map is so cool! I may have to pick one of those up. These are all great gift ideas that any traveler will appreciate. We spend lots of time at the beach so we love water pouches too.

    1. Isn’t that map sweet? I stumbled upon it one day and just had to include it!

  17. The bucket list travel map is awesome. We have a similar one here at home. It inspires us to travel more.

  18. Holy cow I had no idea those power banks were so expensive! I played in a poker tournament a couple weeks ago and they were giving these away like crazy. If I had known it was worth $35 I would have been a bit happier to have won it!

    1. They are a pretty great gift! I love ours. I think I saw that they were currently on-sale for like $15 though. Get them while they’re cheap!

  19. I love everything in this list especially power banks plus I received nice suggestion for birthday and Xmas gifts

  20. This looks like a great list! I’ve started traveling more frequently recently (for work though, not pleasure) and have noticed some small annoyances that I could probably correct with the right product. I really like the idea of the power bank! I’m constantly searching for outlets in airports and get way too excited when I see USB plugs on planes.

  21. I got a wheeled bag that fits perfectly under the airplane seat. I always get that look from flight attendants and when I tell them it fits under the seat, they are always amazed. I travel for work and it’s the best travel investment I’ve made. The zippers are on the top of the bag (when under seat, front otherwise) and I can get in to it while seated. It’s Samsonite and I think technically is a ladies toiletry bag but it holds my laptop and assorted goods well. It was $130.

  22. My best friend gave me a power bank exactly as that above. I use it whenever I go especially when I travel. It’s very reliable and I am glad that I have it, Greg.

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