Useful travel gifts might not sound terribly exciting. But if you’ve got a traveler on your holiday shopping list, you can bet they’ll put these gifts to good use no matter where they’re traveling.
I’ve personally tested these travel gifts, as have many frequent travelers and readers of this blog. Whether you’re buying for him or for her, young, old, solo, or families, useful gifts for travelers are always en vogue.
12 Useful Travel Gifts Every Traveler Needs
There’s just no denying when another holiday season has arrived.
Here in the United States, it happens 2 minutes after the last Halloween trick-or-treater has knocked on the door.
You’ll hear the distinct shake of sleigh bells on a TV commercial or you’ll walk past your favorite coffee shop and spy a poster announcing the return of a holiday-flavored latte.
And whether you love or hate the shopping that comes with the season, the fresh chill in the air, the bright lights, and the decorations bring about a contagious holiday cheer.
If you’re like me, not wanting to just give “stuff” or always looking for unique travel gifts that’ll capture something special about the person, shopping can feel impossible!
So, I’ve put together this list of useful travel items in the spirit of knowing all travel-lovers will not only love these gifts but also use them all the time!
You know those small refillable plastic bottles you use when you travel to pack small amounts of 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 3.4-ounce TSA-approved size for your carry-on. Better yet, the locking cap means never having to worry about finding shampoo all over the inside of your suitcase!
Nowadays, who doesn’t store everything on their phones?!? From contacts to photos to travel confirmation emails and documents, it would be a real nightmare to damage your phone while traveling.
This useful travel item fits a wide array of cell phone sizes. It has a clear front and back and touchscreen capabilities so you can take photos and videos while keeping your phone safe and dry.
This is something every traveler needs for trips to the beach, adventurous activities like kayaking and snorkeling, and even winter trips to the mountains to ski, snowboard, and snowshoe.
The pouch is compact enough to take the whole set with you or simply choose which adapter(s) you need for a particular trip. I pair the right plug adapter with the Anker PowerPort Cube to charge more than one device at a time.
These tiny locks are durable and secure. They loop through backpack zippers and keep all of your belongings safe inside your bag.
You can lock your bags even if they’re checked because these locks are TSA-approved. And, they’re perfect to keep a bag locked and safe from pickpockets while out exploring.
This is one of the most important travel items on this list! The right luggage is a must and certainly one of the most useful travel gifts you can buy.
One of the most durable pieces of luggage I’ve ever owned has been the Delsey Paris Chatelet Air Hardside luggage. I use the checked 24″ medium-sized suitcase. The lined sides include straps to keep everything secure. I can easily fit 3-4 compression packing cubes, depending on their size, to fit more than 2-weeks worth of clothes.
The suitcase is lightweight with spinner wheels making it extremely easy to manage. It also comes with a 3-dial TSA-Approved lock and a lock on the handle to stop it from moving if you’re on a train or bus.
It also fits in the overhead bin on an airplane, so you don’t have to risk losing your bag by checking it or pay hefty checked bag fees.
If the traveler on your list is like most travelers, they probably take 100s, if not 1000s, of photos. Whether in Barcelona or Iceland, this handy external hard drive has a ton of space to free up space on your camera’s memory cards.
Travelers can also use this hard drive to store a copy of their photos. If something should happen to their camera or memory card, the external hard drive safely stores all precious memories. It’s absolutely one of the most useful gifts for travelers and their photos.
I’m a total packing cube convert! Packing cubes keep everything in your bag organized.
I’ve moved on from regular packing cubes and now use compression packing cubes. You simply roll your clothes and compress the packing cubes to allow for even more space in your bag. I couldn’t pack my bag without them.
It’s easy to quickly find what you’re looking for by only taking the cube you need out of your bag while keeping everything else neatly stored.
Even when packing for a road trip, these compression cubes are great when you only need a few things for an overnight hotel stop and don’t want to bring in your entire bag.
Of all the useful travel gifts on this list, these are in my top 3 necessities for every trip!
Osprey’s Daylite backpack is sleek and compact, with compartments and pockets to organize and keep all of your belongings secure.
I’ve dragged this bag across 4 continents, in all kinds of weather and I’m consistently wowed by its functionality and durability while being incredibly compact!
There are many recommended cameras for travelers. I loved and used the Sony A6000 Mirrorless Camera as my go-to travel camera for many years before upgrading to the Sony a7 iii.
This compact camera takes incredible photos and was so much easier for travel compared to carrying a big DSLR camera.
If you want to give a fantastic, lightweight travel camera, the Sony A6000 deserves your attention. It’s sold on its own or as a bundle with several handy accessories.
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 whether from a tent, the road, or an airplane cabin.
No trip is fun when you’re not getting enough sleep. An eye mask is an absolute must for every traveler.
Block out light so you can 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 and something I always have in an easy-to-reach spot in my bag no matter where I’m heading.
The travel-lover on your list can’t travel without a portable charger! I take mine on every trip.
This handy device can recharge devices for days without needing to be recharged. Whether the traveler on your list needs to charge a phone, camera, laptop, or e-reader, this powerhouse can handle it.
I’ve used this to charge my devices on everything from European trips to wilderness camping in the Okavango Delta with no electricity for a few days.
Useful gifts for travelers go a long way! They’re guaranteed to get used again and again no matter the destination!
Looking for more travel gift ideas? Check out these travel gift guides.
- Road Trip Gifts
- Budget-Friendly Etsy Travel Gifts
- Home Decor Travel Gifts
- Travel Gifts for Hikers
- Genealogy Gifts for Travel-Lovers
So, which of these useful travel gifts will you give the traveler in your life?
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