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As the holidays come upon us, far too quickly, it seems, Steph and I wanted to give our loyal readers some ideas for their holiday wishlists! Whether you’re a traveler looking for new gadgets and gear to ask for from your loved ones, or you’re planning your first adventure and don’t know what you need, or you have a loved one in your life that is as infatuated with travel as us, these are some of our best gifts for travelers this season!
I’ve been essentially living out of a suitcase for almost 5 years now, and Steph was a lost cause a long time ago. There are plenty of things out there geared towards hooking travelers to spend valuable $$ that just aren’t necessary or are far too frivolous for the average traveler. I’m breaking down things that have actually been on my list this year or years past that absolutely should make their way onto yours!
Planning a Trip? Check out our Packing Lists For Tips and Advice!
All pricing is accurate at the time of publishing, November 22, 2017.
There are affiliate links used in this article, this means that if you purchase something through one of these links, Steph and I will make a small commission from your purchase at no extra cost to you. This will help us to continue to run this site smooooothly.
Best All Around Gifts for Travelers
Packable Warm Winter Coat
As my travels get more advanced, I’m venturing further away from the equator. And there is nothing I hate more than being cold. This is number one on my list this year! A packable, WARM, semi-attractive winter jacket. There are quite a few brands that make things like this. Uniqlo is a hot commodity at the moment, but Patagonia, Kathmandu and basically any other outdoorsy brand will make a version of this. Look for goose-down, whatever you do! That’s what’s essential!
Every traveler needs to look good while protecting their eyes! I switched to contacts this year so I could FINALLY start buying cheap sunglasses! I love me a good pair of aviators! Every traveler really can’t have enough sunnies, they’re bound to leave a pair in almost every country they go 😉
A Big Floppy Hat
I’m not sure there’s anything that screams travel more than a big floppy hat! AND they are good for your health! they help to protect your face from those harmful rays from the sun!
Quick Dry Towel
I went many years without a quick dry towel, and for many years I always thought I should get one. From getting caught in the rain to using really gnarly and dirty hostel towels, a quick dry towel could certainly come in handy. Sea To Summit are the most popular brand out there and come in a variety of sizes from a face cloth to a full body sheet.
CamelBak Water Bottle
Reusable water bottles are so useful while traveling and are way better for the environment than constantly buying plastic disposable bottles. I like the CamelBak brand and recently found this style that doesn’t have the straw that constantly gets full of mold.
Lonely Planet Guidebooks
I am such a sucker for a guidebook and I love the Lonely Planet ones the most. Whenever I see them in used bookstores I grab them, even if I don’t have a trip planned. If you have a traveler in your life with a trip on the horizon, an LP Guidebook for their trip would definitely be appreciated and always make it on my list of best gifts for travelers!
Price: $18.56 on Amazon or Buy 1 Get 1 Free on LonelyPlanet.com through Sunday with code – ONE4FREE
The Home T
My momma got me one of these shirts a few years ago and I bring it with me everywhere. Just a little reminder of where I came from and where home will always be.
Best Gifts for Travelers Who Have Homes
If you know a food-loving traveler who has a wall to fill, these are amazing reminders of the delicious eats they encounter during their travels. They are designed by my dear friend Jodi from LegalNomads.com and hand-drawn by Ella Sanders. You can get these beautiful maps as a poster, bag or T-Shirt. Jodi has unfortunately, had a very long, series of unfortunate events and struggling health problems. She’s currently battling a spinal fluid leak that is as bad as it sounds. If you’re looking for a way of giving back this holiday season, a few of her friends have put together a Go Fund Me to help with her ever growing medical costs.
The Best Gifts for Travelers Who Love Tech
Durable iPhone Charging Cord
I have been obsessed with these cords since discovering them. If you’re anything like me, you don’t always take good care of your nice things. I destroy Apple iPhone charging cords. Literally, eat them for breakfast. Within weeks it seems, they get frayed and zap me as I’m plugging them in. These Belkin ones have a strong outer wrapping that protects the cord for a lot longer. Color me obsessed. Speaking of color! They come in a bunch of pretty colors too 😉
I don’t think I could function in society as a normal human without one of these bad boys. I have the RavPower 16750mAH box with two USB connection points and a flashlight. It’s my second one, the first took a tumble into a toilet and I wasn’t going to see if it would still work afterwards. This thing is worth the $23 dollars. Sure, you can get the little nugget ones that fit in your pocket, but those MAYBE will charge your phone once and then you need to remember to plug it in every single day. This big kahuna charges a phone around 10 times so I only have to remember to charge it once a week max. It’s heavy, but it’s SO worth it. I can’t tell you how many times friends are so thankful I have this thing after their own little dinky chargers run out of juice.
External Hard Drive
Even if your traveler isn’t a blogger or techy at all, an external hard drive is priceless. I personally use mine for all of my photos and then I fill it with tons of movies, tv shows and books that I *magically acquired somewhere on the internet*. If you are a blogger or you value your documents, etc. I definitely recommend having two. I keep one at home and one with me while traveling. While traveling, I constantly backup to the one I have with me and then when I get home I back up everything to that one. You never know when or if your bag will get stolen or wet and you don’t want to lose all of your memories or hard work. Your computer will last longer without all the extra junk on it as well. And take it from a girl that opened her computer to a blinked folder with a sad face on it, you want your stuff somewhere other than your computer should your computer decide one day to go to that big computer heaven in the sky.
If you know me at all, you know I love this thing. If you have a small-handed or clumsy person in your life, these things are amazing! They stick to the back of your phone and can be moved a few times and pop in and out. They are relatively flat when flattened, it takes a little while to get used to it, but eventually, you barely notice it’s there. When popped, the thing-a-muh-jig fits between your fingers to better secure your phone in your hand. It’s awesome, trust me.
Best Gifts for Travelers: Luggage + Suitcase
I LOVE PACKING CUBES! I’d scream that from the mountaintops if I could. These things are everything to me. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and styles. My personal favorites are the Eagle Creek ones. This 3-pack has essentially what you need for a carry on bag: a large bag that fits jeans, sweaters, etc., a medium size for tanks, light shirts, etc. and a small one for undies and socks. I personally prefer this style because it compresses my clothing to some degree and doesn’t require rolling because who actually likes to roll their clothes. If you know a traveler or are a traveler packing cubes have to make it on the list for best gifts for travelers.
4-Wheel Spinner Suitcase
This is another one of those things that I always lusted over but never realized just how amazing they were until I got one! Talk about luxury! Being able to wheel your luggage any way you wish is something you don’t really realize you need until you have it. They aren’t any more expensive than two-wheeled luggage anymore, so why not take the plunge! I have a cheapish Travelers Club one and it works great for my needs and I am not a gentle traveler, let’s just say.
My love for Osprey is probably starting to sound like a broken record to you. This brand is godly. It doesn’t break, when it does, they’ll fix it. They are durable, beautiful and well thought out. There are pockets where you need pockets and straps where you need straps. They are comfortable and fit well for all of your backpacking needs.
Do you have any other must-haves on your list of best gifts for travelers in 2017?