The Ultimate Gift Guide for Travelers: The One List You Need

In compiling this year’s holiday gift guide I’ve concluded that I am much more easily impressed than I have been in the past. While this year’s list does include some cool cutting-edge high-tech items, it seems to lean more toward inexpensive and practical items. Maybe it has something to do with my age. But whatever the reason, I hope this gift list provides you with some fresh ideas for this year’s gift-giving.

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.

Stocking Stuffers and Inexpensive Gifts (Under $20)

Those who do a lot of walking when traveling, know that shoes take a beating. They get scuffed and covered in road dust. There’s a quick, easy, and lightweight solution for that; the KIWI Express Shoe Shine Sponge. I recommend the clear color because you only need to travel with one. It is so lightweight that you won’t even realize you’ve added it to your luggage, but you will be glad you did. This item makes a great inexpensive stocking stuffer.

Cruise Luggage Tags are the perfect stocking stuffer for the cruiser in your life.  These high-quality transparent plastic tag holders are rainproof and make cruise luggage tags easy to read. The metal ring prevents your luggage tags from being torn off and lost. They come in two variations and are suited to multiple cruise lines.

PopSockets PopWallet+: Swappable and Repositionable Wallet makes the list because I honestly can’t believe these things aren’t more popular. I’ve had one on my phone for years and love it. I replaced it when I purchased new phones. At this point, I’ve been able to do away with a handbag because I can secure my credit card and identification in the elastic wallet and go! I drop my phone far less often than I did before having the Popsocket. You can also use it to prop up the phone for watching videos or taking selfies. It’s just an all-around nifty gadget.

Safety is always a concern at home and abroad. While you may opt for something like pepper spray, a stun gun, or something more harmful at home, getting these items on an airplane is a bit of a challenge. But the Safe Sound Personal Safety Alarm is a more TSA-friendly safety device. With a 130dB Siren and Strobing LED Light you will effectively call attention to yourself if you find that you are in an unsafe situation. Because this device is non-lethal or even physically harmful it is safe for use by just about anyone and cannot be exploited by an assailant against the user. This personal alarm makes an inexpensive stocking stuffer that might just save your or a loved one’s life.

Whether you are hiking in the woods or exploring a new city, having a lightweight bag is essential. This is why I love the 4Monster Hiking Daypack. This durable lightweight (4 ounces) and water-resistant backpack is perfect for travel. Toss it in your suitcase so that it is handy when you need it. Perfect for camping, hiking, day trips, and shopping. Available in 16, 24, and 32L sizes and a range of colors.

This Universal in-Flight Airplane Phone Holder Mount is the in-flight must-have item. Its sturdy clamp attaches to seat backs, and tray tables for hands-free in-flight video viewing. Offer 360-degree rotation and works with most phones. Foldable and compact.

Must-Have Travel and Adventure Gifts (around $20 to $120)

As we age many of us find that our vision just isn’t what it once was. And at that point, a magnifying travel mirror becomes an essential item. This lighted Travel Makeup Mirror with 10X Magnifying Mirror makes the perfect travel companion. It offers 3 Color Lighting options and 75 to 90 degrees of rotation so you can find the perfect light and position for applying makeup or inserting contact lenses. And it uses Rechargeable 2000mAh Batteries.  

I don’t know about you, but I love the convenience of portable power banks for my gadgets, but I hate having a brick dangling from my phone by a cord. Well, there are solutions. The first is the iWALK 4500mAh Portable Charger USB C Battery Pack which works with almost any electronic with a USB C input. Use with your Samsung, Note, Moto, LG, or Pixel. This tiny charger plugs directly into the C input and fits snugly against the phone without any cords tethering the device. If you are an iPhone user, try the iWALK Mini Portable Charger for iPhone. It’s compatible with many iPhone models. Both variations come in multiple colors and styles.

If you are a regular reader you may already know that one of my favorite things to do when traveling is visiting local spas. But I also enjoy a bit of pampering in my daily life. This item makes the list because it is something I use regularly to add that bit of “aaah” to my day. It’s the Bare Botanics Himalayan Salt Body Scrub. I use the Lemon Orange which has a refreshing citrusy smell.  Free of dyes, synthetic fragrances or perfumes, greasy nut oils, and harsh chemicals you’re going to love the way your skin feels after showering with this. The gorgeous packaging and quality ingredients will make this a favorite gift this holiday season.

Campers and backpackers will love the Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Hammock. This lightweight nylon hammock weighs only 24oz and folds to the size of an eggplant. Take it anywhere. Comes in two sizes and with tree straps and carabiners. Despite being lightweight, the single hammock holds up to 400 pounds, and the double up to 500 pounds.

This item made last year’s Gift Guide for Adventurous Female Travelers but since I still love it here it is again. This item will make the Beans, Bikes, and Blooms Holiday Gift Guide as well. It’s the riemot Luggage Travel Cup Holder Free Hand Drink Caddy. This 3-pocket caddy attaches to your luggage pull and holds two cups of coffee, has a pocket for your phone and passport or other small incidentals freeing up your hands. It’s available in a variety of colors and prints.  Love, love, love it!!

You probably already know that sonic toothbrushes provide better oral care than manual ones. But rechargeable brushes add weight to your luggage when every ounce counts. This makes the quip Adult Electric Toothbrush – Sonic Toothbrush with Travel Cover perfect. It’s lightweight. Uses a single AAA battery and has a travel cover to keep it clean.

Unpacking in a hotel is a pain in the butt especially if you are only there for a night or two. But living out of a suitcase is no fun either. The TABITORA Portable Hanging Travel Shelves Bag is the answer. This is a collapsible packing system that fits in your suitcase but when it lifts out it acts as shelves and can be hung directly in the closet. This lightweight yet durable shelving system keeps everything in its place and organized. No more shuffling through your entire bag to find that one thing that is of course on the bottom.

Keep all your in-flight essentials handy with the WATERFLY Crossbody Sling Backpack. Measuring 7 x 3.5 x 15 this backpack features an adjustable reversible shoulder strap, several interior compartments, side mesh pockets, a breathable padded back, and a separate and convenient compartment for your phone.  This makes a suitable gift for a man or a woman.

Travelers delight in reliving their explorations and looking ahead to new adventures. The Push Pin Travel Map with Black Frame and Pins is the perfect way to track past and future trips. This beautiful National Geographic Executive World Map is framed in a 2-inch frame measuring 39.5X 27.5 and includes 100 multicolored push pins.

Hi-Tech Gizmos and Gadgets (Between $100 and $300)

When compiling these lists, I always strive to include things that might be brand new to you. I want to include things that you have never seen before. This might be that thing: Ray-Ban Stories Glasses. This is a collaboration between Ray-Ban and Meta. While they look like regular sunglasses, they have a built-in camera for capturing stills and video. Here’s why I love them: they let you stay in the present moment. So often, I find that when I want to capture an experience or a place that I end up with a camera/phone in front of my face and therefore experiencing the world through a lens. In addition to taking photos and videos with voice commands, these smart glasses allow you to play music and make phone calls. Additionally, they have lenses that transition in different lighting making them good for indoor or outdoor use. They come in a variety of styles and colors. Unfortunately, they are not available with prescription lenses yet.

You may not always be able to stay on top of your sleep routine when you’re traveling but Halo Rise – Bedside Sleep Tracker with Wake-up Light and Smart Alarm can help when you are at home. And for the ladies of a certain age, you know how precious quality sleep can be.

So, what is it? It’s a small device that sits on your bedside table that works with the Halo app to track your sleep and provides recommendations for how to improve your sleep quality. It monitors body movement and breathing along with room temperature, humidity, and light.

The Halo wakes you naturally by emitting a light that simulates the colors and gradual brightening of sunrise. Additionally, the Smart Alarm senses the ideal sleep stage for waking up. Your purchase includes a 6-month Halo membership which auto-renews at $3.99/month + tax after the initial 6 months.

Say goodbye to selfie sticks, tripods, and handing your phone to a stranger. It’s time to up your game when it comes to recording video. The Pivo Pod Active Auto Motion Sensor Tracking Smartphone Pod & Holder is a portable AI Powered Handsfree 360° Video Recording Camera Stand with Bluetooth Remote Control. This gadget is like having your own personal camera person on vacation with you allowing you to be the star of the show.

You know you are wild and free when traveling but at home, you want to be in command of your household. The Echo Show 15 puts you in the control seat. The Echo Show with a 15.6” Full HD (1080p) smart display and 5 MP camera gives you at-a-glance organization, entertainment at your fingertips, and so much more. Family members can create their own personal profiles. And it’s compatible with your Ring doorbell.

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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.

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