Happy holidays, traveling friends! We’re one week into December and I still haven’t gotten gifts for everyone yet. I’ve usually got everyone taken care of by the end of November. It’s been a weird year. I blame grad school.
If you’re still looking for the perfect gift for the traveler in your life (or just wanna treat yourself), look no further! My 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers has arrived! I’ve got gift ideas for all budgets and all ranges of travelers. Let’s go!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost you, I will earn a commission if you click and make a purchase. As always, my recommendations are based on my own experiences and I am very grateful for your support. Thank you!
Table of Contents
Gifts Under $10
1. Phone Ring Holder Plus Kickstand
This is great if you’re visiting a place where petty theft is common (so… everywhere). You can use the ring to get a more secure grip on your phone so it won’t be swiped as easily. Perfect for me as I have my phone out always. Mostly because Google Maps can track your location offline if you’re lost. I’m always lost.
(Plus, the rose gold is pretty!)
2. The Body Wipe by Showerpill
For all of you camping aficionados, this is the best thing to use when you are shower-less. They’re super thick and were designed to withstand intense temperatures and still work. So if you share a tent, you won’t gross your tent buddy out.
3. Cooling Towel
Back at it with recommendations for my hiking and camping folks. A cooling towel is a great option if you’ll be out in a super dry and hot climate, or if you’re like me and start sweating anytime it’s about 70° F. It comes with a little pouch so you won’t lose it too.
4. Arae Case for iPhone
This case is awesome for keeping ahold of your phone, cards, cash and any other miscellaneous garbage while you’re on the go. I bought this before I left for Prague for a semester and it was insanely useful. And don’t worry about not being able to take pictures when your phone is in the wallet, there’s a little window for that.
5. Reusable Straw
This is one of the prettiest items on the list (look at that rainbow duochrome!). This is a great gift for the eco-conscious traveler. You can easily collapse it into its little storage container and onto a keychain. It also comes with a cleaning brush so it won’t get gross on the go.
Gifts Under $30
1. Airplane Foot Hammock
Thanks to medical reasons, I’m one of those folks that needs to keep the blood flowing in my legs, otherwise I run the risk of a blood clot. My usual mode is to get up and walk to the bathroom every hour. I also try to do squats and whatnot while I’m up, without getting in anyone’s way. Suffice it to say, if I could just keep my feet elevated, the whole charade might not take place nearly as much.
Enter, the foot hammock. It attaches to the seat in front of you so your legs can be elevated and you can maybe get in more than like, an hour of sleep before it’s squat time again.
2. Backpack Rain Cover
I wish I had this when I was in Boston. I had packed all of my stuff in a backpack for the weekend, and made a stop at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum so I’d get enough time to see it all before it closed. It started pouring. And the line went out the door. And I didn’t buy a ticket in advance. And the line was moving veeeeerrrrryyyy slowly.
TLDR: all of my clothes, toiletries and additional nonsense was thoroughly soaked by the time I got into the museum. Never. Again.
3. Trtl Neck Pillow
I’ll admit that the Trtl looks bizarre, but it works so well! You’ll sleep like a post-finals senior! I’ve realized that previous neck pillows just don’t give my neck the support it needs. If you’re someone who struggles to sleep on a plane, try this.
4. Packing Cubes
I was admittedly skeptical of packing cubes, mostly because I’m pretty organized already. But they’re an absolute game changer. I’m not sure how (magic, maybe?) but whenever I pack with them I somehow have more space. And they’re great to have for separating clothing, even to use as a temporary divide between dirty and clean clothes while traveling. I’m a convert.
5. LifeStraw water bottle
Not every destination has perfectly pure spring fed water that’s never heard of a toxin. It’d be nice though. But LifeStraw will cut through all the bacteria to make the water in your chosen destination safe to drink. Plus, it’s good for five years! So it’s not gonna be something that you use on one trip that immediately falls apart.
6. International Travel Adapter
You’ll never have to worry about whether or not you can charge your phone at your international hostel/airport/Starbucks with this. It works in over 200 different countries, so you won’t be fumbling around with multiple adapters, trying to figure out which one is the one for Europe and which one works in New Zealand. All taken care of.
Gifts $30 and Over
1. Membership to Scott’s Cheap Flights
No, I’ll never shut up about how great this service is. For $49(!) a year, Scott and his team will find wildly cheap flights no matter where your home airport is. Don’t believe me? I live in Kansas, right in the middle of inconvenience. MCI (or KCI, it doesn’t matter) is my home airport. You’d think that would cancel me out of any good deals. Those only go to airports in cities like Chicago and New York, right?
$315 roundtrip to Europe. It took everything in my power not to book. All this and more when you sign up for a membership.
2. Enrollment in the Global Entry program
I just did this and am kicking myself for not enrolling sooner! My last layover in Toronto Pearson Airport is what motivated me to bite the bullet and pay the $100. I barely had enough time during my layover to get through security, customs and make it to my gate. By the time my sweaty self arrived at the gate, they were boarding the last group. Thank goodness.
Global Entry is valid at over 75 international airports (including Toronto) and includes TSA Pre✓® and reduced wait times when going through customs. I’ll be doing quite a bit of international traveling coming up, so the timing couldn’t be better.
3. Tilley Airflo Hat
Tilley hats come with a lifetime guarantee and they do not mess around with that. My dad has had his for nearly 20 years. Still kicking, and in great shape too, no less. He even got one for me for our upcoming Costa Rica trip, and I know it will outlive me.
Of course, the best gifts in life are free! And I’ve got the perfect one. Sign up for my emails and I’ll send you a bunch of traveling coupon codes just cause I care. Sign up form is below. Do yourself a favor and save some cash. Happy holidays!
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