Here in the United States, it happens 2 minutes after the last Halloween trick or treater has knocked on the door. It happens suddenly when you least expect it. Perhaps you hear the distinct shake of sleigh bells on a TV commercial while you’re grabbing a snack in the kitchen. Or maybe you walk past your favorite coffee shop on an otherwise unassuming November day and spy a poster announcing the return of a holiday-flavored latte.
There’s no denying when another holiday season has arrived.
The air has a fresh chill to it and the places around you sparkle with bright lights and decorations. Along with all of the festivities comes the joy of holiday shopping.
Admittedly, I’m a horrible shopper. I’ve been known to analyze an item’s price and quality to death. I’m especially practical and prefer to shop for gifts I know are wanted by or will be useful to the recipients. I fully understand the spirit behind true gift-giving, but I’m just not a fan of “stuff” and prefer to receive gifts I actually need.
With that being said, I’ve put together a list of super practical items every traveler, regardless of their age, budget, and travel style, will appreciate.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, you’ll get the same fantastic shopping experience you’re used to, as well as a big thank you from me (Thank You!) and I’ll receive a small bit of compensation to support The Globetrotting Teacher.
12 Must-Have Practical Holiday Gifts Every Traveler Needs
You know those small refillable plastic bottles travelers use to pack small amounts of their shampoo and face soap? Have you ever been able to get that last bit at the bottom of the bottle out? Don’t worry. Neither has anyone else! But, GoToob lets you squeeze out every last drop with ease and they’re the perfect TSA-approved size for your carry-on.
Share podcasts, audio books, movies, and music with up to 5 people. This handy, lightweight gadget lets others plug in their headphones to listen and watch together. It’s compact and easy to store in your bag. It’s perfect for the kids on a family road trip, friends or couples traveling together, and solo travelers looking to make new friends.
Rooms in hotels, guest houses, and hostels never have enough outlets. Add to that only having a single plug adapter for that international electricity flow and you’ll barely be able to charge all of your devices, never mind any family members or travel companions who need to do the same. Plug your Monster To Go Power Strip into your plug adapter and have 4 outlets at your disposal. An absolute must for all travelers!
These tiny locks are durable and secure. They loop through backpack zippers and keep all of your belongings safe inside of your bag.
The ultimate in versatility, an Amazon gift card puts over 200 million products at your fingertips. Whether you’re heading to the Caribbean and need a fresh batch of e-books for your Kindle or you’re planning a trek through the rain forest and need new hiking boots, Amazon has got you covered.
This has been one of my top travel purchases this year. The straps are comfortable across the shoulders and along your lower back. It’s super light-weight and the full “U” zipper that opens the pack up, as well as the top loading flap, help keep your belongings organized and in reach, without unpacking everything. It fits in the overhead bin on an airplane, which means you don’t have to risk losing your bag by checking it. All travelers are sure to love this backpack.
If you’re like most travelers, you take 100s, if not 1000s, of photos when you travel. Free up space on your camera’s memory card by unloading photos onto an external hard drive. If something should happen to your camera or memory card, your external hard drive safely stores your precious memories.
I’m a total packing cube convert! Packing cubes stop your belongings from being jumbled and keep everything in your bag organized. You can roll your clothes and compress the packing cubes to allow for even more space in your bag. You can quickly find what you’re looking for by only taking the cube you need out of your bag while keeping everything else neatly stored.
I love my Gregory backpack for carrying all of my things when I travel, but a smaller day pack is needed for shorter, daily outings. Osprey’s Daylite backpack is sleek and compact, with compartments and pockets to organize and keep secure all of your belongings. I’ve dragged this bag across 4 continents, in all kinds of weather and I’m consistently wowed by its functionality and durability.
There are many cameras recommended for travelers and I am certainly no expert. But, after borrowing the older Canon G11 from a friend for my trips to Patagonia and Southeast Asia, this little camera has helped me take incredible photos! The new model is Wi-fi enabled for easy social media sharing and you are sure to be impressed by its zoom capabilities.
Who has the space or wants to lug around a bag full of books while they travel? The traveler in your life will thank you many times over for giving them access to thousands of e-books on a device that weighs less than a single paperback and lasts for weeks on a single battery charge! The built-in light feature is perfect for reading day or night.
An eye mask is an absolute must for every traveler. Block out light and sleep no matter where you are. Whether you’re on a long-haul flight or a family road trip, you’ll fall asleep easier and feel refreshed when you arrive at your destination. It’s compact and lightweight. I always have my eye mask in an easy-to-reach spot in my bag no matter where I’m heading.
Did your favorite travel item make my list? Which ones would you like to get this year?
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