The Ultimate Travelers Gift Guide

‘Tis the season for the gathering of family and friends, holiday cheer, and gift-giving. As wonderful as all that is, finding the perfect gift can prove to be a real challenge, especially when shopping for rootless. If there is someone on your gift list who travels frequently you might find yourself searching for holiday gift ideas. You may ask yourself, “what can I give that is meaningful, useful, compact, or all the above?”

To take some of the stress out of your holiday shopping, I’ve put together the ultimate gift guide to finding the perfect gift for your favorite nomad. No matter your price point, here, you will find unique travel gifts and awesome stocking stuffers. Hopefully, this list will take some of the pain out of gift shopping at least when it comes to the traveler in your life.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means by clicking on links within this post, I may receive a small commission. But don’t worry, this will not change what you would normally pay for any item from the retailer. It also means I can continue to bring you amazing content and pay the bills. Ty.

Gift Ideas over $100

The Ricoh Theta SC 360° Spherical Video/Still Camera bundle heads up the list because of cost, but it deserves to be here because it’s one of 2018’s coolest travel gifts. Even Oprah thinks so.  This amazing little high-resolution camera is sure to change your worldview.

This next item is a must-have for the hosteller on your list. Staying in hostels no matter how much you enjoy the communal lifestyle can be challenging at times. The Skullcandy Crusher ANC Personalized Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones allow your vagabond to shut out the world and at least get some peace, if not privacy. A must for long flights too!

Gifts Under $100

I love Sandpiper of California Bugout Backpack because it has tons of compartments and loops on the outside to attach things such as the Sandpiper of California Laptop Case (Black, 15x12x2.5-Inch) It is large enough to pack for several days away and small enough to fit the requirements for carry-on luggage. It is super versatile as it can be used as a backpack, slung over the shoulder or carried like a suitcase. A lot of bang for the buck.

Packing cubes are a must for any serious traveler. With the ever-expanding restrictions by the airlines, space is at a premium. There are two types of cubes: the kind that keeps everything organized and optimally utilize space and the type that also allow you to compress them to expel the air. There are benefits to each. However, there is a drawback to the compression bag. Because you can fit more into each bag by compressing it, I caution that if you are not careful you could easily end up with an overweight bag.  This could result in additional fees.

This next travel-themed gift is genius. Even the cleanest house can accumulate dust quickly and hard water can stain toilets if left standing. And, let’s face it no one likes to come home to a dirty house. So, why not give a Gift Certificate for a house cleaning service? What a wonderful “welcome home” whether your nomad had no time to clean before leaving or they’ve been away for an extended time. I put this in the under $100 category but could be any amount. Thank you to Rob Taylor of for this stroke of brilliance.

Gift Ideas Under $50

What’s worse than needing to do laundry when on the road? Spending a lot of time and money doing it. The Scrubba Portable Laundry System will allow travelers to pack a little lighter as it provides a way to wash clothes anywhere. Furthermore, it only weighs 5 ounces and doubles as a dry bag.
Include the Travelon Laundry Soap Sheets and this Outdoor Windproof Clothesline and your traveler will have everything she needs to launder and dry all her garments in a pinch. Great for backpackers, campers, and boaters.

The next two items come courtesy of Matthew Holmes of; the Anker PowerPort 6 Port USB Charging Hub) and Anker PowerCore 13000, Compact 2-Port Ultra-Portable Phone Charger Power Bank. Each runs in the mid-30 dollar range. We all need a boost every now and then.

When I asked travel bloggers what they consider great gifts for a traveler, several said interactive maps, meaning one that allows you to use a sticker, marker, or scratch-off to identify the places visited.  I like Maps International Scratch-off  World Map because it breaks out the States so you can scratch them off as you go rather than scratching the entire country after visiting one or two states. It also provides more detail than some others.

If you are planning a United States road trip with your kids this scratch-off map of the United States of America would make a great gift for them to take on the road. You could gift it to them as a way to let them know the cross-country tour is the primary gift.

No matter how we get from Point A to Point B the Trtl Pillow will make the trip a little more comfortable. While it is called a “pillow,” it is more of a neck support. This lightweight, super soft fleece “scarf” cradles your head in an ergonomic position allowing for restful travels.

Gifts Under $25

While socks are never an exciting gift, a pair of Compression Socks just may save your vagabond’s life. Unfortunately, as we age we become more prone to blood clots.  Compression socks are probably the best way to prevent them when flying. But air travel is not the only time they can be a concern. Anytime we are sedentary for a prolonged period we become more susceptible.

Travelers would like to carry their favorite shampoo and conditioner with them on every trip but it adds weight to their luggage. Then there are those TSA regulations that say all your carry-on liquids must fit in a quart-size bag. The solution is Ethique Eco-Friendly Solid Shampoo. It stows in its own little compostable container. No worries about leaking or having too many liquid toiletries. How cool is that?? TSA-friendly and eco-friendly?

Most travelers document their adventures usually with pictures or journaling. This lovely leather bound journal is sure to please both the men and women on your holiday gift list.

I bought the Cocoon GRID-IT Organizer for my nephew a few years ago while he was in college because I thought it would help him keep all his gadgets organized. When I received it in the mail, I thought, well that’s not really exciting. I think he thought the same when he opened his gifts. However, the next time I saw him he told me how great it was and he used it all the time. Travelers face this organizational dilemma all the time. If you want to take your Traveling Gadget Wrangler to the next level, there is the Cocoon Innovations GRID-IT! 8-Inch Accessory Organizer with Tablet Pocket

Safety and security are always important but few things can dampen your travels like having your valuables stolen or even lost. For under $20, nomads can stash their passports, money, credit cards, and more in this sleek Travel Money Belt. In addition to thwarting pickpockets, it has built-in RFID Block technology to protect against scanning technology. Plus, it comes with Theft Protection (up to $250). Finally, PEAK GEAR has partnered with ReturnMe, the world’s largest lost & found company to assist in the recovery of property.

Gifts Under $15 – Inexpensive Gifts and Stocking Stuffers

When I travel I like to take something home as a reminder or token of the places I’ve visited. However, travelers, especially those who are on the road for an extended period can’t collect big bulky print materials from every site or museum they visit. Why not give them a way to keep all their entrance passes organized in this Travel Stub Diary?

This TSA-accessible lock allows your traveler to protect their luggage from would-be thieves while still permitting TSA to access their gear if necessary. It operates with a keycard so there are no loose keys to be lost along the way or combination to remember. 
The Moleskine mini journals (Set of 3)(3.5 x 5.5) make awesome cheap stocking stuffers. They are a way for those on the go to jot down brief notes to jog their memory when journalling later.


I know it sounds cliche but this one really is priceless. It could save a loved one’s life. RoadId is like a medical alert bracelet on steroids. The interactive version allows the user to enter all their medical information into a database for first responders to access. Even if your loved one doesn’t have any chronic medical conditions this is a great tool. It allows the user to input all their past and present medical information and more. If the traveler in your life is ever in a situation where they can not speak for themselves Road ID Interactive speaks for them. Even when I am traveling with others I wear mine. It is peace of mind.

I hope these gift suggestions for useful travel presents help make your holidays a bit less humbug and a lot more joyous. If you know of any great travel-related presents tell us about them in the comments. I’m sure others who want to pull their hair out over their holiday shopping conundrums will want to know about your amazing gift ideas.

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Susan Decoteau-Ferrier

Travel writer/blogger, photographer. Avid potter and wanna-be artist. Wife, Mom to 6 fur kids, gardener, coffee snob.


  1. I love the Sandpiper backpack. Brilliant gift idea… and I could use a new pack… just sayin’. And then a plane ticket to somewhere to test it out…. Again, just sayin’… 🙂

  2. Godiva shampoo! Yes please. Thanks for the great gift ideas.

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