Best travel gifts for photographers

The best gifts for the travel-obsessed photographer

These gifts make traveling with your camera equipment a breeze.

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Shopping for travel gifts for a photographer this holiday season? There are plenty of presents in this guide that we are sure will delight them. Whether you are looking for a big-budget jaw-dropper (like a camera or a drone) or something with a more reasonable price point—we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn more about the gifts that we think the traveling photographer in your life will love.

Best travel drone: DJI Mini 3 Pro

Best travel backpack: lowepro photosport bp 24l aw iii.

  • Best hard camera case: Pelican Air 1535 Case

Best lightweight camera backpack: WANDRD PRVKE Lite

Best camera strap: peak design slide camera strap.

  • Best compact travel tripod: JOBY GorillaPod 5K Kit

Best full-size travel tripod: Peak Design Travel Tripod

Best editing console for travelers: loupedeck creative tool, best sd cards for travel: sony tough cards, best case for organizing memory cards: pelican 0915 micro memory card case.

  • Best action camera : GoPro HERO11 Black Accessory Bundle

Best international plug adapter: Sublimeware Multi Port Electric Plug

Best noise-canceling headphones for quiet journeys: bose noise cancelling headphones 700.

  • Best way to encourage printing photos: Mpix Gift Card

Best backup power when on the go: Anker Portable Charger

Best tool for smartphone videographers: dji osmo mobile 6 smartphone gimbal, best starter kit for smartphone cameras: moment iphone 14 starter kit – three lenses, best way to keep gear clean: urth glass cleaning kit.

  • Best packing cubes to stay organized: Cotopaxi Cubos Travel Cubes  

Best way to keep files safe: LaCie Rugged SSD 1TB

Best large duffel for big trips: patagonia black hole wheeled duffel bag 70l, best notebook for travelers: moleskine voyageur notebook.

The DJI Mini 3 Pro travel drone

Sure, a camera is great for documenting travels. But if the photographer in your life wants truly unique, wow-worthy photos and videos, a drone is the way to go. The DJI Mini 3 Pro is the best option for globetrotting due to its tiny size (about the size of a soda can when folded), stability in the air, user-friendly flight modes, and quality camera. It also only weighs 249 grams (8.78 ounces), which is below the FAA’s requirement for registering drones in the United States. Though regulations will vary in each country, many have similar weight restrictions, meaning there will be fewer issues getting this little thing in the air while traveling.

Lowepro PhotoSport BP 24L AW III photography backpack

The LowePro PhotoSport backpack is a fantastic travel gift for a photographer who loves to explore the great outdoors. This is the third iteration of the backpack design, so you can trust lots of kinks have been worked out by now. The top-loading backpack is designed with plenty of space for hiking gear and personal items. It also features a dedicated insert for camera equipment that offers side access. The bag is lightweight (3.31 pounds), is made of 75 percent recycled materials, and features an ActiveZone harness system to help ensure that the weight of the pack is distributed evenly on your back.

Best hard case: Pelican Air 1535 Case with Foam

Pelican Air 1535 case is the best travel gift.

If you know someone who travels with a lot of camera gear and wants the ultimate level of protection, the Pelican Air case is the premier choice. The case is crushproof, dustproof, and watertight. Despite all that, it’s 40 percent lighter than traditional hard cases. The case comes with the customizable TrekPak divider system to keep gear safe while in transit. Or you can choose Pick N Pluck foam or padded dividers as well. It has integrated wheels for easy transport through airports. And two stainless steel padlock protectors keep everything secure.

WANDRD PRVKE Lite camera backpack

Sometimes, you just don’t need a giant camera bag. Whether going on a quick day trip or wanting to travel quickly and lightly, many times, a small bag is best. The WANDRD PRVKE Lite is our favorite lightweight option. It has a built-in camera cube, a laptop sleeve, tons of pockets for personal items, and a roll-top design that easily increases its carrying capacity. 

The backpack has three points of access: a side pocket for quick camera access, a lay-flat clamshell opening (great for getting through security at airports), and the previously mentioned roll-top. And the PRVKE bag is made of durable, water-resistant tarpaulin and nylon. Photographers won’t have to worry about their camera gear getting ruined if they get caught in some bad weather during their travels.

Peak Design Slide Camera Strap

Peak Design

The Peak Design Slide is an industry-favorite camera strap. It’s made of padded nylon webbing, has a minimalist design, and can be used as a sling, a neck strap, or a shoulder strap. Peak Design’s unique anchors and quick-pull handles make it incredibly fast to get this strap attached to your camera so you can start shooting. Our favorite part? Those handy anchors can be attached to any camera body, so you can purchase an extra pack and move the strap between multiple camera bodies without much fuss.

Best compact travel tripod: JOBY Gorilla Pod

JOBY GorillaPod 5K travel tripod

Joby’s GorillaPod is one of the best tripods for travel and adventure. The tripod has a unique design with flexible legs that can be wrapped around nearly anything for stable shooting and interesting angles. It features a ball head with a 360-degree panning bed, 90 degrees of tilt, and a bubble level to keep your horizon lines straight while shooting. The GorillaPod only weighs 0.86 pounds, making it easy to pack alongside their camera equipment on their next trip.

The Peak Design Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod

While the GorillaPod is great as a compact tripod, sometimes photographers need something full-sized. The Peak Design Travel Tripod offers the benefits of a full-size tripod yet is only the width of a water bottle when folded down. It supports a wide range of shooting angles and even features an integrated phone mount. This particular version is made of carbon fiber and weighs just 3.4 pounds. If you’d rather have a lower price point for a travel gift, the aluminum version is also fantastic.

Loupedeck Creative Tool

Having an excellent camera to capture your adventures while traveling is really only the first step. A lot of the magic of photography happens in the editing room. The Loupedeck Creative Tool is a customizable console aimed at improving your efficiency while editing. It can be used to edit photos, videos, and even audio and works with a number of Adobe programs and Capture One. Functions can be customized based on your specific workflow, and it’s a lot more ergonomically friendly than using a mouse or a trackpad for long periods of time. The console has a relatively small footprint as well, making it easy to pack along on your adventures.

Sony Tough SD card

The Sony Tough Card is the world’s first one-piece molded SD card. This design makes the card more durable than traditional SD cards, which feature tiny ribs that have been known to break off inside of cameras and wreak havoc on the precious files that are stored inside. They also happen to have an IPX8 waterproof rating , are dustproof, and have fast enough read and write speeds that they can handle 4K video shooting and burst mode. When photographers are making photographs far away from home, having cards they can rely on becomes extremely important. So far, Sony’s Tough cards haven’t let us down.

Pelican 0915 Micro Memory Card Case

Having more than one memory card is essential, especially on longer trips. But, without a dedicated method of keeping them organized, they are liable to get lost. We love this tiny Pelican case because, like the company’s larger cases, it is made of rugged polycarbonate resin. Even if it ends up on the bottom of a pack, cards won’t get crushed. And it has a water-resistant seal with an IPX4 rating. It can hold 12 SD cards, six mini SD cards, and six micro SD cards, which is more than enough for even lengthy journeys.

Best action camera: GoPro HERO11 Black Accessory Bundle

GoPro HERO11 Black Accessory Bundle

While GoPros aren’t a full replacement for a standard camera, they really are fantastic travel buddies, which is why we couldn’t leave them out of our travel gift suggestions. The Hero 11 is rugged and durable without needing any additional accessories. It’s even waterproof without a case down to 33 feet. That saves space (and money) while packing. It features a larger sensor that allows for 5.3K video and 27-megapixel photos and supports social media-ready vertical video. Plus, the video stabilization is truly outstanding, so even if they are mountain biking or trail running on rugged terrain, the footage will be smooth.

Sublimeware Multi Port Electric Plug

Sublimeware

Those who travel internationally will encounter all sorts of plug varieties. It can be challenging–and annoying–to make sure you have multiple types on hand if going to a few different countries on one trip. That’s why a multi-port adapter is a fantastic gift for world travelers. This particular plug works in 150 countries using US, UK, EU, or Chinese outlets. It also has four USB ports, so it can charge four devices at once if needed. 

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

It can be hard to get quiet time when you’re on the road. Whether traveling by plane, train, or bus, having a good pair of noise-canceling headphones can be life-changing. These Bose headphones provide 11 levels of noise cancellation, so if the traveler doesn’t want to entirely tune out the world, they’ll have options. You’ll have peace of mind knowing they can get some sleep in noisy situations but worry less about them being totally unaware. These headphones provide excellent sound quality and also contain a mic for hands-free calls. And they offer 20 hours of battery life, plenty for even the longest flights. 

Best way to encourage printing photos: Mpix gift card

Mpix gift card

Photographers are typically notorious for not printing their own work. That’s an extra shame for travel photographers. A gift card to a reputable printing company is a fantastic and unexpected way to get them to print their own photos. Mpix offers a wide variety of products: They can select from standard flat prints, canvases for walls, photo books, cards, or even mugs or luggage tags. And sure, gift cards aren’t the most exciting. But chances are, you don’t have the files to print their work, and allowing them to choose the format will likely be appreciated. 

Anker Portable Charger

I’m sure anyone who has traveled even a little has run out of phone battery at just the wrong time. A battery pack is a must for situations like these. It can literally be a lifesaver. Anker’s portable charger is nicely slim, so it will easily slide in a backpack or even a jacket pocket. When fully charged, it will provide 2.25 charges for iPhone 12, 1.6 charges for Galaxy S20, and 1.2 charges for iPad mini 5. And it doesn’t make any annoying high-pitched noises when charging devices like others we’ve used.

DJI Osmo Mobile 6 Smartphone Gimbal

Sometimes, photographers like to travel without their cameras but still want a way to document their journey. If they like to create videos of their travels, this DJI phone gimbal will help provide smooth results even while the photographer is running around. It features easy-to-use controls and a compact design. And it offers a built-in extension rod for unique angles and extra reach when it’s needed.

Moment iPhone 14 Starter Kit - Three Lenses

Another way to help creatives document their trips without bringing a full camera kit is a set of phone lenses. Moment’s mobile lenses are some of the best you can buy. Despite being made for mobile phones, they are made of the same high-quality glass that you’ll find on high-end 4K film lenses. This starter kit comes with a case–which is required for attaching lenses–and three lenses of your choosing. They make kits for many different phones, so just be sure to get the right one. 

Urth Glass Cleaning Kit

Traveling will inevitably put you in dirty conditions at some point. And try as best we might, it’s impossible to keep lenses pristine. This lens cleaning kit comes with everything needed to keep lenses spotless. And, unlike lots of kits, it all fits in a weatherproof, recycled nylon case with a zipper. All cleaning supplies will stay put in one spot instead of falling out and potentially getting lost. Plus, Urth plants five trees in areas impacted by deforestation with each purchase, making this an even more beneficial purchase.

Best packing cubes to stay organized: Cotopaxi Cubos Travel Cubes

Cotopaxi Cubos Travel Cubes

If the photographer in your life likes to travel with one big stuff sack for camera gear and clothes, packing cubes will be extra helpful. They help keep clothes (or gear) organized, somewhat less wrinkled, and can separate dirty from clean clothes. They won’t have to dig around endlessly in the bottom of a bag before finding the shirt they need. Plus, these Cotopaxi cubes are made of repurposed materials for less waste. They are lightweight and breathable. And they feature handles on top for easier grabbing out of bags.

LaCie Rugged SSD 1TB

It’s easy to take thousands of photos on trips, even relatively short ones. And while it is tempting to leave them on a memory card until you’re home, it’s much safer to back up the files as frequently as possible. Having a small, portable hard drive is the best way to ensure files are safe. We love this LaCie Rugged solid-state drive because, well, it’s rugged. It provides IP67 weather resistance, can withstand a nearly 10-foot drop, and offers two-ton car crush resistance. You can literally drive over the thing, and your photos will be fine. 

Patagonia Black Hole Wheeled Duffel Bag 70L

If you know someone who likes to go on long trips, a large pack will be a welcome gift. We love this Patagonia duffel in part because it is made of 100 percent recycled materials. That includes a recycled polyester ripstop with a weather-resistant TPU-film laminate. It won’t stay dry if dunked in water but can handle some rain or snow. It features a large opening to the main compartment for easier access. A zippered external side pocket, as well as mesh pockets inside the lid, provide space for smaller items. And there are wheels for easier airport maneuvering. 

Moleskine Voyageur Notebook

We at PopPhoto are big proponents of notebooks for photographers. We think they are an invaluable tool, especially because of how simple they are. And for those who travel, having a notebook to job down trip details, plans, and memories is even more important. Beyond assisting with travel plans, it will help tell the stories of the photos better down the line. And it can just be a nice thing to reflect on later on. 

Moleskin specifically designed its Voyageur notebook for travelers. It features detachable packing and to-do lists, a planning section for scheduling purposes, and budgeting pages. And, of course, it also has plenty of journaling space. It even has an expandable inner back pocket for storing flat keepsakes like ticket stubs.

Abby Ferguson

Abby Ferguson is the Associate Editor for Gear and Reviews at PopPhoto, joining the team in 2022. She has been involved with the photography industry in various capacities since her undergraduate training at the University of Kentucky, with work ranging from client photography to program development and management of the photo department at Evolve, a vacation rental company.

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Savvy Travel Advice

Ultimate Travel Gift Guide 2024: 75+ Gifts for Travelers

Last updated: January 1, 2024 - Written by Jessica Norah 29 Comments

Buying gifts can be difficult, so we’ve put together a travel gift guide with over 75 different gifts for travelers. We have gift ideas suitable for all budgets, travel styles, and occasions.

Laurence and I travel for a living and know a thing or two about what makes a good travel gift. We’ve also tried and tested so many travel products and services over the years that we wanted to share a list of what we think would make a good gift for a traveler.

First, we’ll go over some tips for choosing the perfect gift for the traveler on your shopping list. Remember that thoughtfulness is key!

Next we’ll share over 75 travel-related gift ideas that include everything from the typical travel pillows, luggage, and tents to things like automatic pet feeders, cocktail travel kits, and carbon offset gift cards. We have gift ideas that will suit just about any type of traveler from backpackers to campers to cruisers to luxury travelers. We also have plenty of ideas for the armchair traveler.

Our gift ideas are suitable for any budget, whether your budget is $0 or $10,000, we have you covered. The first gift idea on our list is free and the majority of the travel gifts on our list are under $50, so there are loads of ideas for those who don’t have a huge budget. But we also have plenty of ideas if you have a big budget as well!

So let’s dive in with our ultimate travel gift guide!

travel gift guide best gifts for travelers traveler gift ideas presents

Table of Contents:

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Travel Gift

Before we delve into travel gift ideas, we wanted to get you thinking about what would make the perfect travel gift for your friend or loved one.

Gift giving by humans likely dates back to prehistoric times although today we have a lot more gift options than the Neanderthals. In fact, with huge shopping malls and online shopping, we are perhaps too overwhelmed with choices! If only the decision was as easy as choosing between the shiny purple rock and the tiger tooth.

We’ll go over some tips and advice to help guide you into choosing the perfect gift for the traveler in your life.

travel gift guide best gifts for travelers traveler gift ideas

Decide on the Type of Travel Gift

It can be helpful to know what kind of gift you want to give the friend or loved one on your shopping list. Do you want it to be something practical and functional, or do you want it to be something funny that will make them laugh?

Do you want something that will inspire them to travel or something that will make their next trip more comfortable? Or do you want it to be an experience they can do on their next vacation? Or maybe a gift that will remind them of a special trip they have already taken?

Do you want it to be something that multiple people can enjoy, such as pinning locations on a map pin board, a family cooking class, or a travel-inspired film pack?

How personal do you want the gift to be? Obviously a gift given to a colleague at a work party is not likely to be as personal as the one you give your spouse on Valentine’s Day.

Do you want the gift to take them by surprise? Or do you want to give them something you know they already need or want?

Has the person already told you or hinted to what they want? If so, we’d recommend getting them something from their wish list as this research study  found that people who provide gift suggestions are happiest when they receive gifts they want.

Answering these questions can help you narrow down what kinds of things to consider.

If you really have no idea what they might want or what to get, go for something practical. Research, like this study , shows that people generally prefer gifts that are feasible and practical versus those that are fun but unpractical.

scratch off map of world travel gift guide best gifts for travelers traveler gift ideas

Consider the Tastes of the Traveler

What kind of person is the traveler you are buying a gift for? What kinds of things do they enjoy doing? What kind of clothes do they wear? What kind of trips do they take? Are they travel newbies or have they been traveling the world for decades?

Are they a dreamy backpacker type, a practical person who plans every minute of their itinerary, an outdoors loving camper, an environmentally conscious volunteer worker, an adventure-junky risk taker, a 5-star luxury lover? A good practical gift for an RVer would likely be very different from a good practical gift for a luxury traveler who vacations at exclusive beach resorts.

What do they do on their travels? How do they get around (bus, car, RV, plane, train, boat)? What do they enjoy doing most? Would you be more likely to see them in a museum, bungee jumping, going on a food walk, or lying on the beach?

Think about anything that is unique about them and the way they travel. Do they worry about getting robbed when they travel? Are they obsessed with coffee? Are they worried about their carbon footprint? Do they go to classical music concerts in every city they visit? Do they use guidebooks? Do they pack too much? Do they love taking photos? Do they love trying out new-fangled tech gadgets?

If you want to give someone something practical for the trip, consider how they travel and how much space they have. A family embarking on a National Parks road trip in a van may appreciate a nice cooler to keep their drinks cold, but that same gift doesn’t work for someone who normally travels by plane.

Use these things to help guide you to the right gift for the travelers on your list. Remember, the gift should be something that they’ll love, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be something you personally love.

Belmond Venice Simplon Orient Express British Pullman train

Take Into Account the Occasion

The type of occasion may influence the type of gift you buy as most gifts are purchased to celebrate holidays, events, and rites of passage. Are you buying it for a birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, graduation, honeymoon, retirement party, a gap year send-off, or some other occasion?

Why are you giving the gift? It may be to show others that we are thinking of them, to show we value our relationship with them, and/or to celebrate a special moment. And sometimes we feel obligated to give gifts during a special holiday or because someone gave us one and now we are in a never-ending gift-giving cycle!

Does the size of the gift matter? Are you getting them something that will fit in a card, a stocking, or a gift box under the tree?

Will the gift be opened in public or in private? Some gifts may be more suitable for being opened in an intimate setting versus a workplace party.

Have you been given any strict budget or rules around the gift? Perhaps the gift has to be under $20 for an office party, or it has to be something vintage, handmade, or recycled for an environmentally friendly gift exchange?

If it’s a college graduation or gap year send off, consider what a young and inexperienced traveler might be needing. If it’s a retirement, consider what might be a meaningful gift for the way that person plans to travel after they retire. A honeymoon couple might appreciate a romantic or experiential gift they can do together like a cooking class, spa day, or boat trip.

Perhaps you are gifting to someone you don’t know very well like a work colleague, a church or club member, or a friend’s daughter. In such cases, if you don’t know much about someone, you might go for a less personal gift like a gift card, a popular travel book, or something universally useful.

RV camper pillow travel gift guide best gifts for travelers traveler gift ideas

Maximize Quality Within Your Budget

Obviously you need to take your budget into consideration when shopping for a gift. We provide price ranges for each of the suggested gift items on our list to help. I’d try to get a gift that maximizes quality within your budget.

Although it may seem better to buy a number of cheap things rather than one more expensive item, you want to make sure what you are giving is a quality item that the person is likely going to want and is going to use.

For example, a person has a gift budget of $25, wants to get something practical, and knows the person wants a new water bottle for their upcoming hiking trip. You check options and find that you can buy two inexpensive plastic water bottles for $10 each, or spend $20 for a much nicer and more stylish stainless steel bottle.

I’d recommend going with the latter. Although two gift items might sound better than one, the person is likely to appreciate the nicer bottle and it will likely be more durable and last longer.

You don’t have to have a huge budget to get a quality item, it is about choosing the right type of item. If your friend really wants a mirrorless camera, a $70 budget is not going to buy you a camera, but it will buy you a high quality camera case, strap, or bag.

Although people giving gifts worry about the cost and value of a gift, research shows that generally the receive feels no less appreciative of a $15 gift versus a $150 present if they believed the gift was thoughtful. Instead of worrying about cost, pick something you think they will want and is good value for your money.

If you have only a small budget, don’t despair. Thoughtful gifts don’t have to cost you anything but time. We provide gift ideas on what you can for free or what you can buy for very little money. This might include offering to watch your loved one’s pets, picking them up at the airport, or cooking them dinner when they return. Or maybe it’s a DIY gift like handmade luggage tags.

travel ring dish trinket dish travel gift guide best gifts for travelers traveler gift ideas

Consider Personalized & Custom Items

A customized or personalized gift shows obvious thoughtfulness and makes the item special and unique. You can create a completely custom item or just personalize an item with the person’s initials, a quote, or a special image.

There are an almost endless amount of items you can have personalized or customized, from luggage tags to toiletry bag to jewelry to clothing to luggage. I love buying handmade gifts on Etsy , and many of the artists can personalize items for you. For example, I have gifted three personalized toiletry bags in the past couple of years.

Just note that handmade and personalized items are going to take longer to receive than an off-the-shelf one. So not a great idea if you need the gift as soon as possible.

Be sure to order handmade and personalized items well in advance of when you need them as in our experience, they often take longer than anticipated. We’d also recommend factoring in return time just in case something needs to be fixed.

personalized leather toiletry bag dopp bag travel gift guide best gifts for travelers traveler gift ideas

Remember that the Thought Really Does Count

You have likely heard the popular American idiom: “It is not the gift, but the thought that counts.” This is what your mother told you when your aunt gave you those ugly socks for Christmas.

But is it really true? Yes, actually, gift giving is a very symbolic thing. Giving someone a gift shows your appreciation, love, and/or respect for that person. It also conveys that you think about them and that they are included within your personal circle.

However, this does not mean just marking a date on your calendar for someone’s birthday and then shipping them the first thing you find online as their birthday present. The gift is not likely going to be perceived as being very thoughtful and it may convey a lack of care and respect for the receiver. Bad gifts can damage a relationship.

Research studies show that the most treasured and memorable gifts are those that the receiver knows that the person put some thought and effort into getting or making. People like things that show the giver’s knowledge of them. So, for instance, giving a leather purse to a vegan or earrings to someone without ear piercings shows low knowledge of that person. But giving someone tickets to their favorite rock band or buying them a much-needed new backpack shows knowledge and thoughtfulness.

People also like gifts that they know a person put effort into choosing, obtaining, saving for, and/or making. People also like things that are unique such as a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry or handmade scarf.

This research study also found that women are often better at choosing gifts than men. However, the relationship again seems to be driven by the fact that women, on average, put more thought into the gifts and perhaps had more personal knowledge of the receiver.

If you did put a lot of thought into a gift but are not sure if the giftee is going to love it or not, consider adding notes or a card saying why you chose the gift items. Tell her that the lavender candle is to remind them of the trip you took together to Provence, the camera strap is because he complained of neck pain from his camera, or that you think the scarf color will go well with her favorite travel dress.

So even if you don’t choose the perfect gift, it is the thought and effort behind it that does count the most to people. Something to keep in mind if you can’t figure out the perfect gift. Just give them something that shows how much you appreciate and know them.

The fact that you know they love travel and are looking for travel-related gifts is already a good start!

gift boxes travel gift guide best gifts for travelers traveler gift ideas

75+ Great Gifts for Travelers in 2024

We’ve put together a giant list of gift ideas for travelers that should fit any budget, travel style, and gift occasion. The cost of the suggested travel gifts range from free to $1,000+, with the majority costing less than $100 so that you can find the perfect present no matter what your budget.

We feel a gift should be special and specific to the traveler. For some of the travel gift ideas we do suggest a specific product, but for most we suggest different options. For example, there is no one-size-fits-all luggage set but we do give you recommendations and suggestions on types and specific sets and brand that might be a good fit.

We’ve listed the gift ideas in approximate order of budget, starting with items that can be purchased for under $10. However, keep in mind that you can purchase a $30 tent or a $500 tent so the order is somewhat relative, and we recommend skimming through the full list.

If you like to shop on Amazon, you can check out our curated gift list here that includes many of the items in our list that are available online via Amazon.

We’ve used many of the suggested products and services in this list, so please feel free to ask us any questions in the Comments section at the end of the post if you have any questions or want an opinion about a gift option.

Without further ado, here is our ultimate travel gift guide with over 75 gifts for travelers:

Offer to Watch House, Pets, or Children

Not all gifts cost money. Sometimes the most thoughtful thing you can do for a traveler is to offer to help them out with something while they are away. There are always plenty of things that most people worry about when they go away, and you can help offer to take care of one or more of these things while they are away.

This might be offering to water the plants, collect their mail, run an errand, check the house, watch pets, babysit children, or mow the lawn. Or maybe its a ride to and/or from the airport.

free travel gift ideas travel gift guide best gifts for travelers traveler gift ideas

If you want to make it more gift-like, consider creating a nice voucher (you can do it for free using Adobe Spark, Canva, Microsoft Word, etc.) and getting them a card.

Price: FREE

Word Puzzle Books

Buying for a traveler who likes word puzzles and games? Consider getting them a book with crossword puzzles, word searches, and/or sudoku.

Word puzzles are great for airports, planes, trains, and so many other situations where you are sitting and waiting while traveling. Save your favorite traveler from boredom on their next trip, and give their brain a workout!

travel gift camera

There are lots of word game puzzle books out there, including large-print versions and ones designed for kids and families.

Another option is coloring books, for adults or kids, but this means they’ll also need to pack crayons, colored pencils, or markers. You can see some travel themed coloring books here .

Price : ~ USD $6 to $15 per book

Face masks have become a daily way of life in much of the world. For travel, whilst as of 2024 most countries no longer require them, you might still want to wear one for peace of mind and to avoid getting sick.

Etsy has become one of the most popular places for buying reusable face masks, and this is where we have purchased all of our own masks. There are hundreds of sellers making masks, some of which can be personalized. You can see a very wide selection here on Etsy and even more options on Amazon .

reusable face masks

The CDC has a great guide to choosing, wearing, and washing face masks and coverings you can read here. We personally buy handmade reusable cotton masks from Etsy that are made from double layers of cotton fabric with an extra filter pocket (we’ve been using the Filti material since April 2020 to make mask filter inserts). We’d also recommend masks with adjustable nose wires to achieve a snugger fit around the nose.

One of the issues we have with face masks when traveling is that it can be difficult to wash them every day. So traveling with a number of masks is important and also having a travel-sized bottle of detergent so I can hand wash them as we go has been important. We keep a sealable bag for dirty masks and hand wash them at every stop where they have enough time to dry.

Other great gifts you might want to put together with some face masks are filters for the masks, travel sized laundry detergent (if person is going to have to hand wash masks on trips), travel sized alcohol-based hand sanitizers (CDC recommends at least 60% alcohol), moisturizing lip balm (masks can cause dry lips), and sanitizing wipes.

Price : $3 to $10 per mask

Children’s Travel Games

Do you know someone heading off on a long road trip or a set of international flight with children? Make their lives a little easier by gifting them a game or activity the kids can play in the car or plane.

Most kids spend too much time in front of screens, so consider a game that is low-tech and interactive like the Take N Play games and this washable marker drawing set . For road trips, we really like games such as this USA license plate game , the Rubbernecker game , Mad Libs for the road, and this travel scavenger hunt game .

travel gift camera

Just be sure to check the suggested age range for any game you buy to make sure it is suitable as some games may contain choking hazards for small children or may be too simplistic for older ones.

Price : ~ USD $5 to $22

Travel Inspired Scented Candles, Perfumes, and Soaps

Smell is one of the most powerful human senses and it is the sense most closely associated with memory. The scent of something has the ability to transport us back in time to past experiences and places, and this includes to places we’ve traveled.

If you are looking for a gift for a traveler, consider getting them something scented that will evoke past travel memories to places they enjoyed. Or take them on a sensory journey around the world to exotic places that they have yet to explore. This can be in the form of a candle, soap, perfume, body spray, beard oil, incense, etc.

Often we have specific smells associated with different locations and experiences. Lots of different scents may evoke a travel destination for someone. For example: pineapple (Hawaii), lavender (Provence), roses (Bulgaria), oranges (Seville), coconut (Caribbean), pine (Finland) frangipani (Seychelles), rosemary (Tuscany), lemongrass (Thailand), cardamom (India), tobacco (Havana), burning wood (camping), or whisky (Scotland).

A small company called Homesick makes soy candles which are supposed to smell like specific U.S. states, cities, and countries to remind people of their hometowns or places they love. For example Pennsylvania apparently smells like “ caramel, maple, buttery rum, and malty molasses balanced with dark cocoa and dry tonka bean” and India smells like “a simmering pot of curry with the ever-present scent of cardamom”.

Many of the Mer & Sea candles and other fragrance products are inspired by travel and locations, especially the seaside. They also come in really pretty jars and packaging for gift giving.

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We also love these two small artisanal shops which have created handmade travel-inspired candles, perfumes, wax melts, soaps, perfume oils, and more: Wanderlust Scents  and Adventuress Soap Co . We regularly use the soy wax melts from Wanderlust Scents and the perfume oils and lip balms from Adventuress Soap Co.

These kinds of items can also make perfect inexpensive stocking stuffers or additions to a larger gift basket.

Or if you have a bigger budget, consider taking a look at the latest from the fragrance companies which usually have a travel inspired scent or two. For instance, Penhaligon’s currently has a line of 19th century Trade Route destination inspired fragrances.

Price: ~ USD $7 and up

Travel Perfume Atomizer

A travel perfume atomizer is perfect for taking your favorite fragrance on the go. A full-sized glass perfume bottle is not ideally suited for life on the road, so a travel atomizer allows you to take a smaller bottle, protect the bottle from getting broken, and are ideally leak-proof.

So perfume atomizers generally can be filled in one of two ways. The most common type, like this one , is that you attach the atomizer directly to the tube of the perfume bottle and pump it directly into the atomizer. The second type, like this one , can be filled directly by pouring, spraying, or pipetting the perfume into the atomizer, and normally come with a mini funnel and/or pipette.

I personally avoid the first type as they can waste perfume if the seal isn’t perfect and they don’t work with all perfume bottles. The second type will generally work with any type of perfume or cologne and won’t waste perfume if you do it carefully.

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Be sure to check the sizes as some are very small (e.g. 3 ML) and won’t hold much perfume if someone is taking a longer trip or travels a lot.

I love my little Fragonard perfume atomizer and so far it hasn’t leaked, but I could not find it available for sale online. These make for a great inexpensive gift or stocking stuffer.

If you budget is a little higher, this more pricey set of 4 atomizers is very well reviewed. If you are in the UK or Ireland, we recommend taking a look at these well-reviewed atomizers .

Price: ~ USD $8 to $20

Luggage Scale

Know someone who tends to overpack and is always having trouble keeping their suitcases under the weight maximum for airports? They may benefit from a digital luggage scale which will allow them to easily tell how much their suitcases weigh before getting to the airport.

The great thing about a luggage scale is it keeps you from needed to unpack and repack your luggage once you are at the airport which is often stressful and a bit embarrassing, not to mention time consuming. Know what it weighs before you leave so you can ensure it fits airline guidelines before you leave home.

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With many airlines imposing stricter weight requirements on luggage, a luggage scale is a handy item for frequent fliers who have to pack a lot or have to carry very heavy gear (e.g., video or photography gear).

There are a lot of digital luggage scales out there and you can find a good one for an inexpensive price, like this one , so they make a good budget-friendly travel gift.

Travel Related Coffee Mug

A coffee mug can be a great inexpensive but thoughtful gift to remind someone of their love of traveling and your love for them every morning when they drink their coffee or tea.

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If you don’t see what you want you can also make your own custom mug if you prefer to add your own words and images. So the possibilities are endless.

Price : ~ USD $8 to $20

Eye Mask and Sleep Aids

For frequent fliers (and light sleepers like Jess), there are a range of products that can make for a more comfortable experience. Most important of these in our mind is a good eye mask to block out the light. This is helpful on both flights and at hotels, as well as on overnight bus or train rides.

There are a lot of eye masks out there and often it takes a few tries to find one that is best for one’s face and sleeping style. You can see reviews for lots of popular eye masks here .

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One of our favorites so far are the eye masks from Manta Sleep , which Laurence loves. They are a bit pricey but they are comfortable to wear and offer complete blackout of the light without exerting any pressure on the eyes. The eye cups actually adjust so you can achieve a much better fit.

Of course, an eye mask is not the only useful sleep aid and you might consider putting together a travel sleep kit as a gift for a traveler. Another useful sleep aids is ear plugs to block out sound and I personally use these Mack’s ear plugs . Other items might include a travel pillow, a drape clip, pillow mist, and/or silk travel sleep sack.

Price: ~ USD $8 to $30

Travel Journal

If you are looking for a gift for a traveler who enjoys writing, doodling, or sketching, a travel journal would likely make a thoughtful gift. A travel journal allows them to document their travels and be able to go back and read about them years from now.

There are lots of options out there for travel journals , such as this very popular and budget-friendly Maleden refillable travel journal with a synthetic leather cover and compass design. Or consider a personalized design to make it personal with these handmade travel journals .

Lifetime Leather and Leather and Earth Co . both make some beautiful handmade leather journals that can be personalized. Bound by Hand does a lot of vegan-friendly journals.

Personally, I like a really slim book and have filled up a few of these Paperblanks journals which reproduces a 1688 binding protecting L’Office de la Semaine Sainte. These are really slim so they are not for everyone, but larger sizes are available by Paperblanks .

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Things to think about are the dimensions of the journal, whether you want the pages lined or not, do you want a journal with planning or checklist pages, and how many pages it has. Will it be used for journaling only or will the recipient also likely be using it for planning, making lists, sketching, scrapbooking, etc.

If you are looking for a quality classic style writing journal there is of course the well-known Moleskine journals , but you’ll likely find better paper quality from journals such as Rhodia Webnotebooks or this one by Lemome .

If you are looking for a travel journal for a child, this notebook is one to consider.

For more tips on choosing a travel journal, you can check out our travel journal review article.

Price: ~ USD $8 to $25

Reusable Water Bottles

We think every traveler should have a high quality reusable water bottle to take with them on their travels. Having a water bottle handy keeps you hydrated, saves money on buying bottled water, and helps reduce single-use plastic waste which is bad for the environment.

There are tons of types of travel water bottles out there, from collapsible bottles for minimalist packers and campers to streamlined double-walled ones to fit into car cupholders to gallon-sized ones for those who need to carry a lot of water. There are also these popular wide-mouthed ones for those who like to add ice cubes or powder mixes.

If you are not sure what brand and are looking for a good but not too expensive reusable water bottle, then I’d suggest checking out the bottles by Nalgene . They are one of the most popular brands and have a wide range of options.

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For those trying to avoid reusable plastics, we recommend getting an insulated stainless steel bottle or one of the glass water bottles with protective silicone skins.

Although tap water is safe to drink in many parts of North America and Europe, it is not safe to do so in many countries or areas of the world. So travelers and hikers may need to take a portable water filter system or purification tablets to make local water safe to drink.

Travel Wall Decals

Wall decals are great for decorating a wall and adding some personal taste to a space. Most are made of vinyl, and they are designed to affix and peel off a wall without damaging paint or a wall’s surface.

There are a lot of travel wall decals to choose from on Etsy, from world maps to travel quotes, and you can see a list here . One great thing is that you can customize wall decals so you can get a decal of your favorite travel quote, word, or destination.

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We personally own a set of travel decals from Blue Design Co . Conquest Maps also makes a range of wall decals , including some that you can peel off the places you visit.

Price : ~ USD $8 to $50 per decal design

Films to Inspire Travelers

Most people enjoy watching movies, and there are many films that have inspired us to travel. Consider putting together a film pack as a gift for a travel-loving friend. These could be general travel related films or ones related to an upcoming or dream destination.

Films can be purchased in so many formats these days (e.g., DVD, Blue-Ray, digital, online rental), that they can suit almost any device.

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Just a few films to give you some ideas are Midnight in Paris (Paris), Eat, Pray, Love (Italy / India / Bali), Roman Holiday (Rome), Under the Tuscan Sun (Tuscany, Italy), Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (India), Out of Africa (Kenya), The Way (Camino de Santiago), and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (New York City). Of course there are also lots of travel-related documentaries out there as well.

There are also lots of children’s films with exotic destinations such as Madagascar , Ratatouille (Paris), Lion King (Africa), Mulan (China), The Princess and the Frog (New Orleans), and Rescuers Down Under (Australia)

Of course, if the person is more into TV than films, consider getting them a collection of episodes of a travel-related show. Some ideas include Rick Steves Europe , Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown , and BBC’s Planet Earth / The Blue Planet .

Price: ~ USD $10 to $20 per film

Travel Adapter

One of the more frustrating aspects of traveling with electronic items is the wide variety of power sockets around the world. Travel adapters are a necessity for international travelers.

If your travels are mainly taking you to one country, you can get fairly inexpensive travel adapters that you put on the ends of your plugs to make them fit into the electrical outlets in that country. For instance, an American traveler to France may want to get a set of these plugs . We’d recommend packing a few for a trip.

However, if the person regularly travels to a number of different countries, then you might get them a couple of universal travel adapters like this that will work in just about any country. This is a cost-effective yet highly practical gift and is needed by all international travelers. The one we recommend includes surge protection as well as USB charging ports.

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Note that a travel adapter is not the same thing as a travel voltage converter which has to do with the voltage. So for example if the person is traveling from the US, which uses a 110v power system, to Europe, where it’s 220v, they’ll have to check to make sure any electronic equipment they want to bring is compatible.

If you are not sure what kind of travel adapter you (or the gift recipient) will need, check out our guide to travel adapters . It also explains the differences between plug types and the differences between travel adapters and converters.

Price: ~ USD $10 to $20

Books to Inspire Travelers

If you are shopping for someone who loves traveling and reading, consider getting them a travel-related book. It can be a book to inspire them to travel, to learn about an upcoming destination, or a book to read during their trip. Put together a collection of books to turn it into a larger gift.

There are a lot of general travel books out there. There are books that give information about iconic destinations like National Geographic’s Destinations of a Lifetime and Patricia’s Schultz’s popular 1,000 Places to See Before you Die , inspiring and funny travelogues such as those by Bill Bryson , or books that provide tips on how to travel in a certain way such as on a budget .

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If the traveler in your life has an upcoming trip planned or a dream destination, consider putting together a thoughtful book pack that includes several books that each have something to do with that destination. I love to read books about a destination before and while traveling there.

So if you know someone heading to California, perhaps buy them a collection of fiction novels set in California and a useful California guidebook.

If you are looking for travel books for children, there are also lots of kid-friendly books out there for kids of all ages.

Price: ~ USD $10 to $20 per book

Selfie Stick

To be honest, we are not big fans of the selfie stick but millions of travelers use them and they can be invaluable to a solo traveler who wants to get some photos of themselves while traveling. Also great for getting couple photos.

They are also small, cheap, and fairly easy to travel with and most can sync to your phone using Bluetooth so you don’t need to fiddle with wires.

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Selfie sticks come with a number of different features these days. Before choosing a model, make sure it is compatible with the traveler’s phone’s model, operating system, and size.

Price: ~ USD $10 to $25

Luggage Tags

Luggage tags are used to include identifying information in case your luggage is lost and are much more durable and nicer looking than the paper tags provided by airlines. They are also perfect for making it easier to spot your suitcase as it comes around the luggage carousel at airports.

If you are getting someone a luggage tag as a gift, we recommend you get them a unique tag. It is easy to get a personalized or custom luggage tag made. There are tons of handmade options on Etsy that you can see here .

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For privacy reasons, we recommend getting a design where the traveler’s full name and contact information is hidden inside the tag rather than displayed on the outside.

We received custom leather luggage tags as a wedding gift from a friend that includes our first names and date of our wedding. A thoughtful gift for frequent travelers.

Passport Wallet

It can be a hassle to dig in and out of your purse or suitcase for your passport, travel documents, and boarding tickets while at the airport or while traveling by train. A passport wallet can make this a lot easier by keeping all your documents together in one convenient place.

Some features to look for include a pocket big enough for a passport, ID and credit card slots, a place for boarding tickets, a place for cash, and a zipper pouch where you can store coins. Most also have RFID blocking. We recommend taking a look at this well-rated wallet .

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If you are traveling as a family and want to be able to store multiple passports and identity cards together we recommend this family travel wallet which can hold several passports plus other travel documents.

If you are looking for a passport holder that can be personalized with initials, names, or quotes, there are a number of handmade and customizable ones available as well.

Microfiber Beach Towel

Traditional beach towels are often too heavy, take up too much space, and dry too slowly for traveling. If you know someone who loves to go to the beach or lay by the pool on vacation, consider getting them a microfiber beach towel.

Microfiber beach towels are thinner, more lightweight, and dry faster. They are great for people on the go. Also great for camping, hostels, and other places you may need a towel when traveling.

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A couple of microfiber towels to consider are these colorful ones by Dock & Bay and these ones . These towels are not going to be as soft or thick as regular towels, but they are perfect for travel.

Travel Pillow

For travelers who have difficulty sleeping on planes, a travel pillow can be a lifesaver for long-haul flights. These can help you get to sleep, get better quality sleep, and wake up with fewer aches and pains.

There are so many travel pillows out there! There are the typical U-shapes ones, ones that allow you to lean forward and rest using the airplane tray tables, ones that go across your chest like a seatbelt, memory foam mini traditional pillows, and ones that fit like a neck brace. These all have fans and devotees and it really depends on how a person likes to sleep.

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You can see a list of some of the most popular models here . It can be tricky choosing a travel pillow because often people need to try a couple of different types to find the one that works best for them. If you are not sure what kind they might like best, I’d just go with one that sounds good and is well-reviewed.

If space is a concern, as it is with many people, we recommend looking at those that inflate rather than those that are filled. This way they will take up only a small amount of additional room. Of course, the filled ones often provide more support and will be longer lasting than the inflatable ones.

Price: ~ USD $10 to $30

There are a lot of variations on the money belt out there. We can personally recommend the money belt products by Eagle Creek , which makes several money belts and other types of travel security products.

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In addition to money belts, there are many other ways to keep money safe if a money belt isn’t a good fit. These include hidden pockets which fit onto belts, bra stashes , neck wallets , and this pocket and strap system that can be worn in multiple places.

Price: ~ USD $10 to $35

Travel Coffee Mug

Know a traveler who loves to take along their morning coffee? Consider getting them a quality travel coffee mug or thermos.

These spill-proof coffee thermoses are designed to be carried with one hand and to fit well in car cup holders. They keep your coffee hot longer and their reusability allows you to avoid using single-use paper and styrofoam cups.

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A travel coffee mug is perfect for travelers and workers on the go, and can help save travelers money by being able to brew their own coffee in their hotel room or take along coffee from the morning hotel breakfast. No need to buy that second cup of coffee later. Perfect for road trips.

A couple of popular brands we have used are Contigo and Stanley .

Price: ~ USD $12 to $30

Travel Themed Holiday Decorations and Tree Ornaments

If it’s Christmas and the person you are shopping for likes to decorate for the holidays, then you might consider getting things like travel-themed holiday decorations, Christmas tree ornaments, stockings, candles, and other types of decor. You can see a number of ideas here on Etsy .

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Christmas tree ornaments are a popular gift and some examples include these globe ornaments , these personalized suitcase ornaments , and these custom floating photo ornaments (great for displaying a special travel photo). There are also things like globe tree toppers , travel themed Christmas stockings , and map luminaries .

The great thing about the majority of the travel-themed Christmas decorations on Etsy is that they can be personalized by adding text, monogramming, adding photos, choosing colors, etc. So that you know the gift will be unique and memorable.

Price : $15 and up

Travel Guidebook

Even as travel bloggers, we still love to read a good travel guidebook as they have all the information you need in one place, are organized, and easy to take along on your travels. Many travel guidebooks these days are available in both printed from as well as in digital form, and some purchases come with both a physical and a digital versions.

A travel guidebook is a great gift for a traveler planning their next big trip, or for the armchair traveler who wants to some day travel to their dream destination. Get them one step closer with a travel guidebook.

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There are lots of travel guidebook brands out there. Your choices will be narrowed down by destination and language. Each brand is a bit different, for instance some are better known for budget focus (Rough Guides and Lonely Planet) or their photography (DK Eyewitness Guides).

Lonely Planet and Fodor’s are two brands we recommend taking a look at that have English-language guides to destinations around the world. Rick Steves’ guidebooks are designed for North American travelers going to Europe. We have guidebooks from all three of these brands, and each brand has its strengths and weaknesses.

In the United States, we like to find state-specific guides written by local writers as these tend to be the best and often include smaller places and better advice than guides written by the big travel brands.

We recommend looking for a guidebook specifically focused on where you are traveling (e.g., if traveling only to Paris, buy a Paris guidebook instead of a France one) and be sure to buy the most updated version. Most guidebooks are updated every year or two.

Price: ~ USD $15 to $20

Packing Cubes

We’re not sure that anyone loves packing, but as it’s a necessity when you travel, you might as well do it right.

We find that the whole process of packing and unpacking is greatly simplified when we use packing cubes. They let us easily sort all our different items into different sections in our bags, making it easier to find things and repack.

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With packing cubes, you no longer have to go hunting through your whole bag to find that one thing you suddenly need. You can just locate the correct packing cube, and know that it’s going to be in there!

Packing cubes come in a variety of sizes, making them handy for different items and different sizes of luggage. We recommend this set which have mesh windows that allow you to see what’s inside and they also come with a laundry bag. We also really like Eagle Creek brand items and they make this cube set which we can also recommend.

Jess uses a couple of smaller packing cubes plus an Eagle Creek packing folder for her main clothing items (shirts, pants, jackets).

Price: ~ USD $15 to $35 per set

Travel Sized Beauty Items

If you are buying for someone who is into skincare or cosmetics, then you might consider putting together some travel-sized items for them to pack on their next trip. Depending on their preferences and lifestyle, these could be eyeshadow, lip balm, lotion, beard oil, sheet masks, sunscreen, hairspray, lipstick, etc.

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If you are not sure exactly what they might like, consider the brand Wander Beauty for a great travel-themed gift. The brand has a on-the-go travel-themed branding and packaging and most of their products are the perfect size for travel.

Wander Beauty offers both skincare items and make-up items; two of the brand’s most popular items are their Baggage Claim eye patches and their Mile High mascara . The eye patches are something that just about anyone can use regardless of their makeup or skincare preferences.

If you are looking for more sustainable beauty products for someone who wants a more minimalist routine and likes to travel light, consider the plastic-free sustainable beauty brand Axiology. You can see all their multi-use and plastic free products here .

They offer multi-sticks and balmies, all of which can be worn on the lips, cheeks, and lips. So even if you don’t know the perfect color to get, these are pretty versatile and most can be used by pretty much anyone with any skin tone. They also come in multi-pack sets which can make a nice gift.

If you are putting together a larger gift, an idea might be to get a makeup bag or toiletry bag and then fill it with a few skincare, hair, and makeup items that you think they’d love.

Price: ~ USD $10 to $50 per item

Camping Cookware

If you are buying a gift for someone who loves camping and exploring the great outdoors, then we would suggest that some camping equipment might be just the thing for them. One thing that any outdoors person needs is a good camping cookware kit or camping mess kit, which is a set of versatile cooking equipment and utensils designed for cooking outside.

This allows them to cook in almost any situation and the kits should include a number of versatile pieces, and be easy to clean and pack up. Ideally, they should take up a minimal amount of space when packed.

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One good option is this very well-reviewed and budget-friendly camping cookware kit , which is a set of cooking equipment and utensils that will fill a variety of roles and includes a small stove. Or perhaps this more elaborate 4-person mess kit is well suited for families.

Price : ~ USD $15+

Travel Jewelry Organizer Bag

If you know a traveler who likes to travel with several pieces of jewelry, consider getting them a travel jewelry bag. These bags provide a cushioning to help better protect jewelry and keep it organized. They come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes.

Two of the most annoying things about traveling with jewelry is being able to find it quickly and keeping it from getting tangled up, but an organizer bag can help prevent these issues. Those traveling with more expensive pieces can also easily place the whole case in hotel safes to keep it safer while traveling.

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I have had a silk brocade jewelry roll like this one for about 10 years which has several zippered compartments, a snap roll for rings, and folds flat. The problem is that necklaces and earrings can get tangled if not kept in the separate pockets.

If I was buying a new one I’d probably get a bag like this or like this which has special earring boards and places to hang necklaces to prevent them from getting tangled in the bag.

For those who are wanting little pockets for individual pieces to put into a larger travel or toiletry bag rather than a full-sized jewelry roll, consider these little jewelry pocket packs . These can help keep your jewelry more protected and separated when placed in another bag.

Price: ~ USD $15 to $35

Travel Scarfs with Hidden Pockets

Travel scarfs combine fashion and functionality and have hidden zippered compartments where you can store valuables, including cash, credit cards, passports, locker keys, and IDs.

These are a great security solution for those who enjoy wearing scarfs and like to travel.

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Almost all these sort of scarfs are infinity scarfs because the design is best suited for the hidden pockets and to allow for the extra weight of the items being stored. There are lot of different designs and brands making these scarfs so there are a lot of choose from, and you can see a selection of them here .

For a wider list of all kinds of travel scarves, with and without hidden pockets, see our travel scarf guide .

Toiletry Bag

Almost all travelers have a toiletry bag (sometimes called a dopp kit for men) where they store all their toiletry and shaving items. Much better than throwing your toiletries in a plastic bag.

We recommend looking for a toiletry bag that has a water resistant or waterproof interior so that it can be wiped clean easily if anything spills. Some toiletry bags have hooks so they can be hung in a bathroom or shower if that is a feature you want.

A couple different bags under $20 to consider are this hanging bag and this more traditional looking toiletry bag . You can check out some of the most popular toiletry bags online here .

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Recently, I bought two of these handmade leather toiletry bags on Etsy as gifts. It is a bit more expensive than many of the toiletry bags out there, but I liked that it was handmade, made in the USA, personalized with embroidered initials, and had an inner nylon liner. Laurene also has one of these leather toiletry bags and it has held up to travel very well.

If you are buying someone a toiletry bag, you may also want to fill it up with a set of travel-sized toiletry bottles (so they can fill with their own products) or with travel-sized toiletry items from brands they love.

Price: ~ USD $15 to $50

A globe is a perfect travel gift for someone who loves to travel. They are both decorative and functional, and can fit perfectly into someone’s living room or office. They are also great for kids as they are educational and inspire a bit of wanderlust and interest in geography.

There are a lot of globes out there and some are designed more for decorative purposes and some are designed more for educational purposes. They range in size from the tiny hand-sized ones to the giant floor sized models. Many have special features such as this one , which has lights which show the constellations in the evening.

Personally, I like the Replogle brand globes as they tend to be good quality for the price and most of them are made in the USA. These are a bit more expensive but tend to be of much better quality than some of the cheaper globes.

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I had a globe as a child and remember spending a lot of time looking at it and spinning it to play the “where will I travel” game. Today, I still have a bit of an obsession with globes and made sure to visit the Globe Museum on our trip to Vienna .

If you have a very large budget (or just want to look at awesome globes) we recommend taking a look at Bellerby & Co Globemakers’ website . The London-based company creates custom handmade and handpainted globes, from tiny desktop globes to giant Churchill globes (50 inches in diameter). Feel free to buy one for me!

Price: ~ USD $15 and up.

Travel Jewelry

A piece of travel related jewelry is a great gift for a traveler who loves to wear jewelry. It can show off a passion for travel, remind them of a special trip, and inspire them to plan their next adventure.

There are lots of options out there for travel jewelry such as rings, necklaces, bracelets, brooches, and earrings. Remind someone of travel or a special destination. Such as this dainty airplane necklace , Pura Vida bracelet style packs , the travel-inspired fine jewelry by Cristina Ramella , or Pandora Disney charms for Disney park lovers.

Consider a personalized or custom piece which are easy to find and create on Etsy . Make your jewelry piece unique with special coordinates, initials, quotes, photos, or messages.

Travel jewelry is also not just for women, as there are plenty of rings, necklaces, arm cuffs, cuff links, and watches out there for men as well.

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See our travel jewelry guide for lots of ideas on choosing the perfect piece of travel jewelry for you. We own a number of pieces and are also happy to give recommendations.

If you are buying jewelry for a frequent traveler, consider whether the item is going to be travel-friendly or not. Chunky pieces can be difficult to travel with, delicate items can break, and flashy expensive pieces can draw unwanted attention.

Price: ~ USD $15 and up

Lifestraw Water Filter

A LifeStraw personal water filter makes contaminated water drinkable by filtering out both waterborne bacteria and waterborne parasites. This allows a person to be able to safely drink from most streams, wells, ponds, etc. Each straw will filter up to 1,000 gallons (4,000 liters) of water.

Some LifeStraw filters and purification systems can also filter out chemicals, viruses, and lead.

These are perfect for anyone who likes to camp, hike, fish, boat, or do other outdoor activities where they may run out of water or need to filter available water. They are also perfect for international travelers visiting countries with questionable public water supplies and for emergency situations. They are regularly used by international aid workers and military personnel.

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You can purchase the straws individually , in packs, or you can purchase a LifeStraw that is already fitted into a LifeStraw water bottle . We have a LifeStraw water bottle which has been perfect for hiking trips and are planning to get a second one for a trip to East Africa.

Price : ~ USD $20 – $60

Dual Voltage Hair Appliances

Know someone who is planning to travel internationally and needs to blow out, straighten, or curl their hair every day? You might want to find out if the hair appliances they have are dual voltage or not.

Different countries use different electrical voltages and most hair appliances are not designed to work with other voltages. If used with the wrong voltage the appliance will often stop working, short out, or even catch on fire if used with another voltage. Dual voltage products can work with both voltages.

In the United States and most of North America the standard voltage is 110V or 120V, but in Europe and much of the rest of the world the standard voltage is 220V to 230V. So if you are traveling from the United States to France, you would want a hair dryer that support 220V.

You can purchase dual voltage hair dryers , hair straighteners , and curling irons .

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If you are getting someone a dual voltage hair appliance for their trip, I’d recommend first checking out what kind of brands they are currently using. For instance, if they love Conair, Chi, or Babyliss, but the product they own is not dual voltage, you can probably find a similar dual voltage model.

We personally have a Conair dual voltage travel dryer, which is a much older version of this one which must be about 20 years old now! It is small, inexpensive and works well for its size. I also have a dual voltage straightening iron but they don’t seem to make the model anymore.

One thing I like about my dual voltage flat iron is that it came with a heat resistant bag cover that allow me so pack it when it is still warm (although I wouldn’t risk it being too hot). If the hair straighter and/or curling iron you purchase does not come with one, I’d recommend getting one. It also doubles as a resting mat for the hair tool when it is hot to prevent burning surfaces when in use.

Price: ~ USD $15 to $60

Canvas Print of Travel Photos

A great gift for travel lovers is a way to help them remember some of their most memorable trips and experiences. A good way to do that is with a high quality canvas print of one or more of their favorite photos.

travel gift camera

We take so many photos on our trips, but the reality is that we rarely see them. By giving someone a canvas print that they can hang on their wall, they’ll have a regular reminder of a trip they loved!

Canvas prints come in a wide variety of sizes, from small 8″ x 10″ all the way up to much larger prints. A lot of photography shops, drug stores, and department stores offer the option to make photo canvases. You can also see online size and price options for canvas prints here .

When choosing photos, be sure to upload the most high-resolution images you have for the best results.

Price: ~ USD $15 to $80

Travel Cord & Electronics Organizer

If you are buying a gift for someone who has a lot of devices and cords, they may appreciate an electronics organizer to keep their gear together.

Electronics organizers generally have pockets and straps to keep cords and electronics in place, and then they fold or roll and then slip into a carry-on or suitcase. They often have different pockets and compartments that hold cords, cables, chargers, batteries, dongles, adapters, stylus pens, ear buds, SD cards, hard drives, travel adapters, and other tech accessories.

For example, this well-priced electronics organizer has room for several cords, chargers, batteries, a smartphone or hard drive, and other accessories. If you are bringing along a tablet, multiple hard drives, mice, keyboard, and/or laptop you’ll likely need a larger electronics organizer. You can see a lot more options here .

electronics cord organizer

If you are looking for something handcrafted and unique, then I’d check out some of the handmade electronics organizers that you can customize and personalize. These make for great gifts for tech-loving travelers.

Price: ~ USD $15 to $150

Travel Home Decor

Consider giving them something that will inspire them to travel but also something that is decorative and/or functional for their home. For instance, If they need a new shower curtain or throw pillow, consider getting them ones with a travel-related design.

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The options are almost endless and could work with just about any budget. Some ideas are travel-themed artwork , shower curtains , throw pillows , duvet covers , fridge magnets , nursery decorations , jewelry dishes , or really anything else they might want or need. Most of these items can also be personalized to make them unique gifts.

See our article on travel themed home decor for a lot more gift ideas for the home.

Travel Scratch Map

A travel scratch map can be a fun way to keep track of the countries you have visited on your travels. You simply scratch off the countries you have visited and it is a fun activity for couples and families.

There are a lot of world maps, like this one , available but you can also find more detailed regional or country maps, such as large maps of just the United States and Europe .

travel gift camera

In addition to just regular maps, there are also scratch maps focused on specific types of locations and hobbies like keeping track of U.S. National parks visited , golf courses played , and origins of craft beers .

We own both a world scratch map and have gifted a beer related map. They have been well-received. If you are giving a scratch map to someone who is likely going to want to hang it on the wall, you might also to also get them a frame as part of the gift.

Price: ~ USD $20 to $30

Carry-On Cocktail Kit

If you are searching for a gift for a person who loves a well-made classic cocktail, consider giving them a carry-on cocktail kit. These pocket-sized kits include all the ingredients (other than the alcohol) needed to create a nice handcrafted cocktail.

The best known ones are made by The Cocktail Box Co who currently creates different classic cocktail kits that you can take on the go so you can have a cocktail on an airplane, train, party, or at your hotel. So far they have released several kits, including an Old Fashioned kit and a Champagne Cocktail kit . You can also get a combo kit to try 4 or 6 different kits at once.

travel gift camera

The travel cocktail kits come with all you need to make your drink, you just need a glass and the alcohol. Each kit makes 6 drinks. For instance, the Old Fashioned comes with bottles of aromatic, grapefruit, and orange bitters, raw cane sugar cubes, steel cocktail pics, 1 muddler spoon, and a linen cocktail napkin. Just add bourbon!

Making a few drinks for other passengers is a great way for a solo traveler to make friends during a long plane ride or train journey!

For a traveler who really loves their drinks, you might consider getting them a travel bartender kit so they have the tools need to make their favorite drinks wherever they go!

Price: ~ USD $22 and up

Eco Friendly No Waste Travel Kits

If you are buying for a gift for a traveler who wants to be more eco-conscious, you may think about getting them an eco-friendly travel kit. You can purchase an assembled kit of items, or build your own kit.

These kits usually contain several items that are eco-friendly and made of natural renewable resources. Generally, items are also vegan, plastic-free, reusable, cruelty-free (not tested on animals), and recyclable.

eco friendly travel kit gifts for travelers

You can put together your own eco-friendly travel kits with some of your favorite products such as soaps, hair care items, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, reusable make up pad remover pads, cosmetics, cutlery, razors, period products, laundry soap, reusable straws, reusable face masks, reusable water bottle, etc. An eco-friendly toiletry bag or tote bag could make for a great gift bag.

Or if you don’t want to buy a bunch of individual items, you can purchase a pre-assembled travel kit. For instance, we like this popular eco-friendly kit by Battle Green which contains eco-friendly shampoo, soap, travel tins, cutlery set, wooden comb, toothbrush, and toothbrush holder.

The shop also sells a number of other eco-friendly products such as natural deodorant, cutlery, reusuable makeup remover pads, feminine hygiene products, kitchen items, and travel soaps. You can search their full product line here .

Price: ~ USD $20 to $40

Car Power Inverter

If you know someone who is going on a road trip, and who also likes to pack along electronics, they may enjoy receiving a car power inverter.

These plug into the car’s cigarette lighter and transform the electrical currents from DC to AC while the car is running. This allows you to charge devices such as laptops, e-readers, tablets, TVs, breast pump machines, DVD players, and game consoles. However, most of these are NOT designed for use with high wattage devices like hair dryers or flat irons.

travel gift camera

We bought this model in the U.S. before our Pacific Coast Highway and Route 66 road trip , and found ourselves using it almost every day. It is one of those things we never knew we needed until we had one!

Be sure to check to make sure your purchase works for the make and model of the car being driven and converts into the correct voltage for your appliances.

Carbon Emission Offset Gifts

Know a traveler who is concerned about the environmental impact of travel and would appreciate a gift that gives back rather than a cool travel gadget? Consider donating to a worthy cause such as a carbon offset project in their name.

Travel, especially flights and cruises, has a huge carbon footprint and many travelers are concerned about the huge impact travel can have on the environment. Many travelers seek to offset their carbon footprint by investing money in ways that reduce, avoid, or remove greenhouse gas emissions (of which carbon dioxide is the biggest) from the atmosphere, or otherwise have positive environmental impacts.

There are a number of companies that allow you to purchase gift certificates for contributing to carbon offset projects and other environmentally positive projects. These include terrapass , the United Nations , and Cool Effect .

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There are a number of good carbon footprint calculators that can be used to calculate one’s personal carbon footprint such as this one (global) and this one (U.S. focused) so you can be sure to give at least at the level of the carbon footprint estimated for the person’s trip.

If you think carbon offsetting is expensive, it is not. If fact, it costs very little. For example, for a round-trip 8-hour each way flight, there is about 1.32 tonnes of carbon dioxide created per person on the airplane. It costs less than USD $12 to offset this cost.

Of course if you are thinking about a gift that gives back, it doesn’t just have to be strictly related to reducing carbon dioxide emissions. There are lots of other worthy non-profit organizations that help save wildlife and forests, provide disaster relief, and provide medical treatment around the world. Some examples include the World Wildlife Fund , World Land Trust , UNICEF , the American Red Cross , and Doctors without Borders .

Just be sure to do a quick bit of research on any organization you choose to make sure it seems legitimate and that the donation actually goes towards the cause.

Price: ~ USD $20 and up

Travel Scrapbook or Photo Album

If you know a traveler into scrapbooking or who enjoys taking photos, consider getting them a scrapbook or photo album. This will allow the person to create a special book with memories of his or her trip.

Or if you went on a trip with them and have access to photos and items from the trip, you can create a special photo album or scrapbook about the trip to give to them!

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A co uple of options are this multifunctional synthetic leather one and this photo album with map cover. But we recommend that you consider personalizing one if are giving it as a gift to make it extra special.

On Etsy, you can find loads of custom travel scrapbook and photo album options so you customize the album with names, initials, locations, and/or trip details. For instance, we really love the ones at The Pink Shop Crafts store , and we also like the look of this wooden scrapbook album and the ones by woodlack .

Price: ~ USD $20 to $50

Travel Router

A travel router is a wireless range extender and access point designed for people who are on the go and need to connect to the internet when they are away from home. They can make a great gift for travelers who need to be able to get online and connect multiple devices securely.

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Our current recommended model for most people is the GL.iNet GL-MT300N-V2 (Mango) as its small, inexpensive, and has all the basic features. But it depends on which features are most important to you. We personally use this bigger and more advanced model by GL.iNet .

You can see our travel router guide to help choose the best model for you.

Price: ~ USD $20 to $70

Portable Aromotherapy Kits & Essential Oil Diffusers

Know someone who loves aromotheraphy and love to travel? Consider getting them an aromotherapy travel kit like this one by Scentered . The kit includes 5 different mini balms in a travel kit; the balms are solid rather than liquid so easier to travel with and use on the go.

Or perhaps consider getting them a travel-sized diffuser or cool mist humidifier. These mini gadgets can diffuse essential oils for aromatherapy, help purify hotel rooms, and put moisture into the air to prevent dry eyes and scratchy throats.

You can’t pack a full size diffuser, but there are mini ones like this one and this one that are portable and can be used for travelers. If you have a bigger budget, you might consider this mobile mini nebulizer that is wireless and requires no heat or water to run!

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You might also consider also getting them a set of mini essential oils to pack with them. Just note that many users of essential oils also have strong preferences regarding brands of oils, so if they are already using essential oils, I’d try to find out what brand and scents they use to help guide your purchase.

Price: ~ USD $25+

Travel Coffee Maker

If you have a friend who isn’t functional until they’ve had their morning coffee, you might want to get him or her a travel coffee maker.

A travel coffee maker is great for being able to get a cup of coffee whenever you want it, saves money on purchasing coffee, and allows you to make coffee when camping or outdoors. Also great for those who love coffee but hate instant coffee which is often provided in hotel rooms.

Travel coffee systems vary and include French Press style ones, pour over systems, and others. Some are better for American style coffee and some are better for espresso. But you have several models out there to choose from.

travel gift camera

The easiest design to travel with is a French Press style like this one which also doubles as a travel mug! All the users have to do is add ground coffee and hot water, and then it is good to go! This model is leak proof, easy to clean, and designed for travel.

For those who want more control over the coffee making process or who don’t like French Press coffee makers, you might consider the popular Aeropress coffee system . This travel coffee system has more parts and isn’t nearly as convenient, but gives you control over making a perfect espresso style shot or cup of coffee. The Aeropress Go is an even more portable version that comes with a mug and lid.

See our full review of the AeroPress and AeroPress Go to see which might be the best option for your gifting needs.

If you are shopping for someone who likes freshly ground coffee, you might also consider a travel coffee maker that includes a coffee grinder like this one as part of the gift. For more ideas, see our guide to the best travel coffee makers .

Price: ~ USD $25 to $45

Travel Medicine Organizer

Medical issues can be a hurdle to traveling and can be a major source of worry and travel stress . Make it easier for someone by getting them a travel organizer to help safely store their pills and medications, medical information, and medical supplies in one safe place.

We recommend getting a pill organizer like this one or this one that will hold a number of pill bottles and medicines, a pill organizer, medical documentation, and additional medical supplies. If the case doesn’t come with a locking mechanism, you can add a small luggage lock to if you want to be able to lock the case.

travel gift camera

We always recommend keeping all important medications and medical documentation in your carry-on bag and to not pack it in checked luggage in case that luggage is delayed or lost.

If you are traveling internationally, some destinations require that pills and medications are accompanied by their prescription. This is also useful if you get stopped and need to prove that something is not illicit. So it is generally best to keep pills in their original prescription container whenever possible.

Price : ~ USD $25 to $45

Camera Strap

A camera strap is a great gift for the traveler who enjoys carrying a camera, but maybe doesn’t have a camera strap or is using one that is uncomfortable. Most cameras in our experience come with manufacturer straps that are neither attractive nor very comfortable.

The type of strap is going to depend on the size and weight of the camera. If are buying a camera strap for a smaller and more lightweight camera, you have more options. For more lightweight cameras, I have used these stylish camera straps which are designed to appeal to women and I like the look and quality of them. They are also really colorful!

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However, for our heavier cameras, we use Peak Design straps which are more heavy-duty straps that are designed for heavy and bulky cameras. Laurence has found these to be the most well-designed and comfortable straps out of all the brands he has tried over the years.

The specific straps we use for the DSLRs are the Peak Design Slide straps . This strap allows us to sling our camera across our body, which is a lot more comfortable for prolonged usage, and means the camera isn’t always bumping off our chests!

Looking for gifts for a photographer? Check out our guide to gifts for photographers for dozens of photography related gifts that will make any shutterbug happy!

Price: ~ USD $25 to $75

Outdoors Bluetooth Speaker

An outdoor Bluetooth speaker is great for listening to music while on the go, whether it is at the beach, car, on a boat, or next to the pool. They sync wirelessly with your phone by Bluetooth to provide louder and clearer sound.

The COMISO Bluetooth speaker is splashproof, rainproof, dustproof, and sandproof. They are lightweight and portable, making them suitable for traveling.

travel gift camera

Note that many Bluetooth speaker models, like this one, are oftened marketed as “waterproof” but they are only water-resistant and cannot be partially or fully submerged in water. Most are not waterproof.

However, if you have a bigger budget, you can get a truly waterproof Bluetooth speaker such as the Wonderboom speaker by Ulitmate Ears, which is waterproof, dustproof, and can even float! It runs up to 13 hours on a built-in rechargeable battery.

Price: ~ USD $30 and up

Dog Travel Bag

Looking for a gift for a dog lover? Consider getting a dog travel bag that includes all the space pet owners need to store all their pet’s dog food, toys, and accessories. The bag is perfect for long trips to the park, traveling, and for dropping off the dog at the dog sitter or kennel.

This dog travel bag comes with insulated food cases, collapsible silicone food bowls, water bottle pouch, and storage for toys and leashes. It is also TSA compliant so it can be taken onto a plane. You can see many more pet bags here .

travel gift camera

Although most are designed for dogs, these bag can also be used for those traveling with cats, rabbits, or pet pigs.

Price: ~ $30 to $60

Custom Travel Photo Blanket

If you are looking for a unique gift, consider making them a custom travel photo travel blanket that includes photos of some of their favorite travel memories.

There are a number of custom photo blanket options out there that you can customize with your own photos and get in different sizes. A couple of examples are this photo fleece blanket and this custom throw .

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Be sure to check the size, and thickness, and fabric details before ordering to make sure you know what you are getting. All designers should also give you a color proof for your approval before printing to make sure the photos are arranged as you wish.

I would look for a machine washable blanket that has been printed (normally via sublimation) so that the images won’t fade, crack, or peel during washing.

Price : ~ USD $30 to $85

Travel Purse

Most women (and some men!) take a purse when they travel to keep their money, valuables, travel guides, and daily essentials handy when exploring. Although any purse can work, many people purchase a purse specifically for traveling.

We recommend a sturdy crossbody purse that is large enough to hold all the essentials but isn’t too big or flashy. We also recommend one with several compartments to keep your items organized and handy. Many travel purses contain anti-theft related features like RFID blocking, slash resistant straps, and locking compartments.

travel gift camera

When choosing a purse as a gift, think about what the person is most likely going to put in it (e.g., does it need to fit an iPad, a guidebook, an oversized wallet, or a water bottle?) to determine the best size. The lighter the load the better for traveling.

There are travel purses designed to fit any budget and style. For a general all-round travel purse, I like this one by Peak Gear . But there are several travel brands out there specialize in travel purses or have a travel purse line including Travelon (best selling travel purse brand), Tumi (more upscale brand), and Baggalini (lots of good value options).

Pric e: ~ USD $30 and up

Travel Wrap

A travel wrap is a great versatile travel garment that can work as a shawl, scarf, or travel blanket. A good travel wrap can keep you warm as a blanket on a cold plane, cover your shoulders on a cool evening, and dress up a plain outfit.

travel gift camera

There are a lot of different travel wraps out there in a variety of styles and fabrics. A few ones we recommend taking a look at are this USA made HappyLuxe wrap , this wool wrap , or the many travel wraps by Mer & Sea Co .

If you have a larger budget and are looking for something more luxurious, you might consider a cashmere wrap like this Ovcio wrap or this classic cashmere wrap made in Scotland .

For more suggestions, see our travel wrap guide that has tips for selecting a travel wrap that will fit just about any budget.

Travel Tripod

If you are looking for a travel-related gift for a keen photographer, consider a travel tripod. These help keep cameras steady to prevent blurry photos, help photographers take photos in low light conditions, and to do more advanced photography techniques.

Travel tripods are smaller and more lightweight than regular tripods which make them much more suitable for travel. Travel tripods come in all sizes and there are ones designed to work with all types of devices from smartphones to professional DSLR cameras.

travel gift camera

We ourselves almost always travel with a tripod and use Vanguard VEO tripods . But there are lots of options out there to fit any budget and you can see our travel tripod guide to help you choose the best model for the person on your gift list.

Price: ~ USD $30 to $200

Knitting Travel Kits

If you know someone who enjoys knitting, consider getting them a travel knitting kit. These little kits include all the knitting essentials in a travel-sized kit.

For example this kit includes a needle gauge, stitch markers, mini scissors, U-shaped cable needle, sewing needles, and more. Another useful item might be this handy wrist bag to hold yarn for knitting on the go.

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If the person is planning to fly and knit on the plane, be sure to make sure that the knitting needles and scissors are compliant with the airline’s standards to be taken in carry-on luggage.

Price: ~ USD $32 for full kit

A tent is an essential item for those who plan to camp outdoors, and is a perfect gift for someone who is looking either to start camping for the first time or is in need of a new tent.

Tents range in prices from about $40 to over $1,000 depending on size, brand, and features. But you don’t have to spend a lot to get a decent tent, especially if you just are looking for a small and simple one. This well-reviewed 2-person Coleman tent currently starts at just $50 (although price seems to fluctuate wildly)!

travel gift camera

Although tent material is already usually water-resistant, it is recommended for most tents that a waterproof spray be applied before first use to make them more weather-resistant. This is often particularly important for the tent seam area. So you may want to buy a can or two of spray for the new owners as part of your gift.

If someone is new to camping, they probably need a lot of other camping gear as well, so if your budget is larger you might also think about getting them some other camping stuff like a sleeping bag , sleeping mat , and cooking kit .

Price: ~ USD $40 and up.

Picnic Basket

Do any of the people on your gift shopping list love picnics? Considering getting them a picnic basket to help them better transport all their food and goodies to local parks, hiking locations, campsites, or just the neighbor’s backyard.

There are of course, the more traditional basket wicker picnic basket designs like this one . But for those who often hike before a picnic, a picnic basket backpack may be a better fit as these are designed for campers and hikers.

travel gift camera

The picnic baskets and picnic basket backpacks come with all the basic plates, silverware, and glassware and a large insulated area to store food. Most also come with extras like wine corkscrews, picnic blankets, cloth napkins, cheese boards, and dirty dish bags.

Price: ~ $40 to $100

When traveling, as well as a main bag, most travelers will also appreciate a good quality day pack. This is where they’ll put all the stuff that they take out during the day, which may include a water bottle, rainjacket, guide books, snacks, and so on. Also great for putting on for a day hike.

travel gift camera

A day pack is also useful as a carry-on bag for flights. We like to stash all our valuables and essentials (e.g., important trip documents, medications), main electronics (e.g., laptop), and anything we need for the plane ride (e.g., travel wrap, snacks, headphones) in this bag.

We’d suggest a day pack in the region of 15L to 30L would be ideal for most travelers, depending on how big you need it to be. Just note that backpacks are often not allowed into museums or attractions and will need to be left behind or stored in a locker.

We’ve traveled with and used both Osprey and Eagle Creek daypacks and suitcases for years, and have found both brands to be reliable, quality products. Key features to look for in a daypack in our mind are multiple compartments so gear can be separated, space for a water bottle, room for a tablet or laptop, and a hip belt / sternum belt combination for extra comfort.

We’d recommend checking out the latest Osprey day pack and Eagle Creek packs . That should give you a good start to your day pack search.

Price: ~ USD $40 to $150

Map Pin Board

A map pin board is a great gift to give a traveler who loves to keep track of his or her travels. It hangs on the wall and you use pins to indicate all the places on the map that you have been (or want to visit!).

You can get boards that cover the entire world, a specific country, or a specific state. These boards are nice reminders of all your past travels and also can help you decide where to travel next. A thoughtful gift for any traveler who has some available wall space!

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Although there are lots of travel pin boards out there , we can personally recommend pin boards by Conquest Maps which are handmade in the USA and made with digitally printed cotton/poly blend matte canvas stretched around am internal frame created especially for the pin boards. We have this one hanging in our apartment!

Another great option is the  Push Pin Travel Maps products which are also American-made and the framed options come with your choice of a 2-inch wooden frame. A variety of maps are available including world maps, USA maps, continent maps, U.S. state maps, and maps of other individual countries.

Just note that if you want to see finer details on a map (beyond just countries, states, major cities), you’ll want to go for the larger size map boards. Or I’d look for a pin board that just has that particular region, country, or state.

Every traveler needs luggage. If you are giving a gift to a traveler who is new to traveling, they may need a luggage set. Or a more veteran traveler may be in need of a new piece of luggage or an upgrade from a cheap set of luggage.

Luggage comes in a variety of shapes, colors, and prices. It is good to know if the traveler you are buying for is a carry-on only traveler or a person who packs multiple suitcases for a trip. Also they may have a preferences about soft luggage versus hard sided luggage which can help guide your gift selection.

travel gift camera

If the person is a light packer or business trip taker, they are probably the carry-on only type, and I’d look for a good quality carry-on suitcase that fits their travel style.

I’d look for a 21 inch suitcase as this should fit any international baggage guidelines for a carry-ons. In the United States the standard carry-on allowance maximum is 22 inches X 14 inches X 9 inches (56 cm X 35 cm X 22 cm). We like the look of these snazzy Steve Madden carry-on bags .

If they are someone who is going to pack multiple bags, consider getting them a 2 or 3 piece matching set, such as this set by Samsonite .

Price: ~ USD $40 and up

Travel Washing Bag

If you are looking for travel gift for a traveler who goes off on extended travel and does laundry while traveling , you might consider a travel washing bag.

The Scrubba is a portable washing bag from Australia helps you get your clothes cleaner than hand washing them in the hotel or campsite sink and is great for campers and travelers.

travel gift camera

The Scrubba is best for doing essentials and small loads of clothing and you can wash and rinse a small load in about 3 minutes. There is a flexible internal washboard that helps you get clothes cleaner than in a sink or dry bag alone.

Scrubba is the best known, but there are also a couple of competing bags out there on the market as well. We haven’t tried these but they appear to work in a similar way to the Scrubba.

Other accompanying products that you might want to add to the gift are travel-sized washing liquid , travel laundry line , and a laundry bag for dirty clothes.

Price: ~ USD $30 to $50

Travel Gift Certificate

If you are not really sure what the traveler on your gift list may want, you might consider getting them a travel related gift card or gift voucher. This allows them to spend it on travel related things like tours, activities, concerts, and hotels around the world.

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Here are just a few to consider:

One great gift card to consider is a GetYourGuide certificate as they can be redeemed against any of the 30,000+ tours and activities offered on their website. They offer experiences worldwide but have a particularly large number of tours within Europe and major cities worldwide.

Tinggly gift boxes are gift certificates where the recipient can choose from the hundreds of different experiences and activities offered on that card for free. These include things like food tours, spa treatments, hot air balloon rides, and walking tours. There are cards geared to different geographical locations and types of travelers, and range in cost from USD $80 to $350.

Although better known for their wedding and honeymoon gift funds, Honeyfund also has gift cards you can purchase and use towards travel oriented purchases. They can be redeemed with over 20 brands which currently include Amazon, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Hotels.com, and Columbia Sportswear.

Price: ~ USD $50 and up

Automatic Pet Feeders

Know a traveler who is out of the house a lot and worries that their cat or dog is not getting fed on a schedule when they are traveling? Consider an automatic pet feeder. These allow you set a schedule with automatic feeding times and program the amount of food delivered at each meal time.

The two main types of automatic feeders are gravity fed and electronic ones. The gravity-fed ones don’t need a power source, but the electronic ones require an electric or a battery power source.

We recommend checking out the PetSafe automatic feeders like this one as the company has been making electronic pet products for a long time.

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While these won’t replace the need to have someone check on the pets when someone is away on vacation, they can certainly make it easier for the carer and allow them to visit less frequently. These also allow you to make sure your pets are being fed the right amount of food at the same time even when you are away.

For cat owners, you might also consider a self-cleaning litter box , which makes litter box cleaning much easier for pet carers when the owners are traveling.

Price: ~ USD $60 to $200

SCOTTeVEST Vests

SCOTTeVEST is a travel clothing company which specializes in clothing that is designed to hold and organize a lot of objects without being too bulky. Their signature item is a vest and they have several designs for both men and women.

The vests are designed to hold all your valuables and handheld electronics including wallet, phone, iPod, keys, change, passport, ID documents, sunglasses, tickets, cosmetics, chargers, etc. They can even hold larger items like tablets and e-readers, travel journals, and paperback books.

travel gift camera

In addition to vests, they also make shirts, jackets, pants, dresses, and other items. All items are designed to look nice, be durable and rugged, and have a lot of pockets. You can see more of their clothing here .

Laurence owns two of the vests, a long-sleeved shirt, and a pair of boxers from SCOTTeVEST and finds them to be well-made and lightweight with lots of pockets. Useful for going through airports and also for holding his photography gear when out shooting.

Price: ~ USD $100 to $175

Know someone who is setting off into the wide blue yonder on a classic backpacking adventure? Whether they are gap year newbies or fit silver-haired veterans, their adventure will be greatly enhanced by a nice backpack.

Backpacks allow you to travel with just one piece of luggage and not have to drag along a wheeled bag. They also allow you to easily transition from plane to city to hiking trail to campsite easily.

travel gift camera

We’re big fans of Osprey for their backpacks, and we’ve had both backpacks and daypacks from Osprey that have lasted us for years. Osprey have a number of great backpacks, which you can see here . The Osprey Atmos in particular is a quality product that will last for many years of backpacking.

Whilst there are many backpacks available online, we would very much urge you to go shopping in person with the person you are buying the backpack for or just be sure to get one with a good return policy.

Getting the right fit for a backpack is very important, and this can really only be done in person and by testing out the backpack with some weight in it.

Price: ~ USD $70 to $300

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is highly recommended for any international traveler. However, some travelers forego travel insurance to save money or because they don’t think anything bad will happen to them. But you never know when you might get sick, injured, have a tour canceled, miss a flight, or have your luggage lost.

Travel insurance covers things like trip delays and cancellations, lost luggage, and overseas medical care. Some also include things like protection of travel gear, rental car insurance, and medical evacuation to your home country.

Giving the gift of travel insurance is a great way to help protect the health and trip costs of your favorite traveler. While you can’t purchase their policy for them, you can research an appropriate policy and get a quote so you can gift them an appropriate amount.

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There is no one-policy-fits-all insurance. Some things that will affect the cost and suitability of a policy is traveler’s country of residency, age, destinations visited, and length of travel. Be sure to check carefully what is covered (and to what extent) and what is not covered.

The COVID-19 pandemic has really made the need for travel insurance clear. But it has also made it clear that a lot of policies have limitations. So do read the fine print and ask questions. The “cancel for any reason” policies tend to offer the most coverage but are also the most expensive.

We’d recommend starting with your current insurance agency and see if they offer travel insurance as you may get a better rate for an additional policy. If you don’t have an insurance company in mind, World Nomads will cover people from just about any country and trips to just about any destination. They are especially recommended for extended and long-term travels.

Price: ~ USD $0.40 to $20 per day of trip. Can vary widely.

If you have a friend who likes to stay connected as they travel, but doesn’t need a full laptop (or even a keyboard), then a tablet would make a great gift.

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These devices are good for checking e-mail and keeping up to date on social media, as well as for travel tasks like researching destinations, booking accommodation and restaurants, and looking up directions. It’s also much nicer to read a book or watch a movie on a tablet than on a tiny smartphone screen.

There are a number of tablets on the market. Our advice would be to find out what sort of phone your friend has so you can get them a matching tablet as this will let them use their favorite apps across devices.

If they have an Apple phone, they would like appreciate an Apple iPad like this. If they have an Android phone, it would make more sense to get them an Android tablet like this .

If you looking for something under $100, we’d recommend taking a look at the Amazon Fire tablets .

Price: ~ USD $70 to $400

Wireless Hotspot

You can help your loved one stay in touch while they are traveling by buying or renting them a wireless hotspot. This is great for travelers heading overseas who want to stay in touch, but are worried about high data roaming fees. They allow for multiple devices to connect at once.

These pocket-sized devices can be purchased (and person pays a low data usage amount) or are available to be rented for a fixed daily rate. These devices allow people to access the Internet without having to worry about finding a free WiFi hotspot or paying data roaming fees, and can be an easy way to stay connected when traveling.

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If you want to purchase a wireless hotspot device, there are a number of devices out there , and we’ve personally used hotspots from both Netgear and GlocalMe. You can see their latest hotspot models here. You can see our guide to choosing the best mobile hotspot for travel to help find the best model for you. 

Check out our article for more options for getting online when traveling if you are looking for other solutions.

Price: ~ USD $9/day (rental) or USD $75 to $200 (purchase device)

Noise-Canceling Headphones

Noise-canceling headphones are perfect for any traveler who loves listening to music or watching films while traveling, or people who just need peaceful moments in noisy places. Perfect for airplanes, noisy buses, and long commutes.

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Active noise-cancelling headphones have a microphone, amplifier, and speaker incorporated to also cancel the lower-frequency portions of ambient noise. Active ones generally are better at reducing noise than passive ones.

The quality and price varies widely for noise-canceling headphones from about $30 to over $500, and for a gift we’d recommend spending at least $75 or more to ensure quality. We recommended looking at options from Bose and Sony which are industry leaders in this category. If you have a larger budget, we recommend taking a look at this highly-rated pair by Bose .

Price : ~ USD $75 and up

Silk Sleep Sack

A silk sleeping bag liner or sack is a travel sheet that can be used when you don’t feel comfortable using hotel or motel sheets or when camping or staying in a hostel. It makes for a perfect camping bag liner.

Often you need to bring your own sheets when hosteling, camping, glamping, or staying in cabins. So this is a perfect fit for that and the fact that it is made of silk which is super soft and hypoallergenic, gives you that added bit of luxury.

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There are a lot of sleeping bag liners and sleep sacks out there, made of a variety of fabrics, and you can see several options here which can fit just about any budget. Note that most of the less expensive “silk” options are not real silk. But we recommend this silk sleep bag if your budget is a little larger.

This works for almost any type of traveler as it can be used in any sleeping situation from a campsite to a nice hotel to a sketchy motel to an unexpected snooze in an airport. The recommended silk sleep sheet also has a built in pillowcase pouch where you can place the hotel pillow (or you own pillow).

The recommended silk sheet sack weighs less than 6 ounces and folds up into a 6 inch by 8 inch pouch. Even though it is made of silk, this one is machine washable.

Note that some sleep sacks and sleeping bag liners claim to deter or prevent bed bugs , but we do not know of any research that supports such claims. Bed bugs are highly persistent and the best prevention is to look for signs of bed bugs and not stay in a room where signs of infestation are present.

Price: ~ USD $20 to $50 for non-silk; $90 to $150 for silk

Travel Photography Course

Know a traveler who wants to improve their photography skills? Then an online photography course, local photo workshop, or how-to book would make a perfect gift.

We can specifically recommend an online course such as Laurence’s online travel photography course . It covers all the basics of photography that is perfect for those at any skill level and then goes into more advanced photography concepts and techniques. It also covers photography editing and even tips on how to sell your photos.

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With over 60 lessons across 10 weeks, optional homework assignments, lifetime access, interviews with several professional photographers, we think the course is pretty amazing value for money. You can also do it at your own pace as you have lifetime access to the content.

You have direct access to Laurence for help and feedback with the homework and any other questions you have about photography. There is also an exclusive Facebook group where you can post questions and receive feedback from the other members of the course, and take part in regular fun photo challenges.

You can purchase the course for yourself or as a gift to give to someone else. Customizable gift certificates are offered for gift purchases and can be customized for the person and special occasion (e.g., Christmas, birthday, gap year, graduation, etc.).

You can learn more about it here and read testimonials from some of the over 2,000 people who have already joined the course.

Price: USD $129

Ebook E-Readers

If you are looking for something for an avid reader, consider getting them an electronic reader. Packing a large number of books can add a lot of weight to luggage, and an e-reader, a digital table designed for reading books, is a great solution for having access to lots of books and travel guidebooks without the bulk.

Kindle is the best known brand of e-reader, but there are also a variety of other ebook e-readers and tablets out there as well, and you can take a look at this list .

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There are a variety of models available which offer many of the same features. The latest Kindle versions are lighter, thinner, and even waterproof (I’d read that as water resistant!)

If you are familiar with ebook readers, consider setting up the e-reader for them and downloading some ebooks you know they’ll love and some guides and helpful books related to their upcoming travels.

Price: ~ USD $90 to $200

Most people’s most treasured souvenirs from a trip are not something they purchased, but the photos they took during the vacation. Smartphone cameras keep improving, but a “real” dedicated camera can take better photos and allow for more advanced photography capabilities.

The best types of cameras for most travelers are either a compact camera, a mirrorless camera, or a sports camera. We’ll go into some thoughts about each of these types of cameras and which might make the best gift for your special traveler.

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If a person you are buying for has never really used a camera before, a good-quality compact camera , or point-and-shoot camera, may make a perfect gift. The pros of a compact camera are they are small, lightweight, easy to travel with, and fairly easy to use. The downside is they give you less control and may not perform well in certain situations. Perfect for those who want something that can fit into a pocket or purse.

If you are buying a travel gift for someone who is more keen on photography and does have some photography experience, then you might look at a mirrorless camera. Mirrorless cameras come with interchangeable lenses and offer more features and versatility than compact cameras. Although heavier than compact cameras, they are often smaller and less heavy than DSLR cameras .

If the traveler you are buying for is a bit of a daredevil and adventurer, you might consider an action camera or sports camera instead. These are similar in capabilities to a compact camera, but are designed for sports, action, and are normally water-resistant or waterproof.

Action cameras are small, durable, and built to withstand elements such as dust, water, and some bumps and bruises so are great for the more outdoorsy and adventurous travelers. The best known type of these cameras is the GoPro series .

You can read our travel camera guide for even more options. We also have guides to the best compact cameras for travel , best action cameras , best bridge cameras , best mirrorless cameras , and best DSLR cameras . Have a question about choosing a travel camera or travel camera accessory, feel free to ask us as we have a lot of experience buying and recommending cameras to people of all skill levels.

Price: ~ USD $125 and up.

Give them a Weekend Getaway

Know someone who could use a weekend getaway but maybe can’t afford it or doesn’t have the time to plan because of personal or work related responsibilities? Plan and book a weekend getaway for them, so all they have to do is pack something and go. It’ll be a thoughtful gift and experience they’ll always remember.

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This might be a getaway with you, a solo getaway, or one you help organize with their partner or family. It could be a weekend spa getaway, a family beach vacation, an all-inclusive cruise or tour, or a fun city break. Or maybe its just a hotel stay in your own city for needed time away from the house and daily routine.

It helps of course if you are close to the person and know their day-to-day schedule and availability. But if you don’t, perhaps get in touch with someone who would know this such as a spouse, parent, or best friend and enlist their help.

Price: ~ USD $150 and up

Home Security Camera System

If you know someone who travels regularly, one thing that they might love is a networked home security camera system. These devices will let them keep an eye on their home (or their pets!) when they’re away from home, and they can be configured in a variety of ways.

Lots of different systems are available , but we recommend the Netgear Arlo range, which have been around for a while now and we’ve used in the past. Another popular option is the Ring home security system .

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Versions are available for indoor and outdoor use, as well as with night vision capabilities and 2-way audio. Most send you an email or text alert when motion is detected. Many are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Echo Show, Fire TV, Google Assistant, etc.

You can see what’s going on and control the cameras with a smartphone app, tablet, or computer, making these cameras an excellent option for peace of mind when you are on the go.

Cruise Tickets

If you know someone who is looking for a fun trip where they’ll be able to experience new destinations without the hassle of having to pack and repack on a regular basis, a cruise might be just the gift for them. Whether it is a weekend party cruise or a 3 week expedition cruise to Antarctica, you’ll likely find something to suit their taste.

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Cruises are available at a wide range of price points, and cover a huge variety of destinations and travel styles. There’s everything from luxury river cruises to transatlantic cruises to family-friendly cruises . There are even expedition cruises to some of the more far flung corners of the globe.

There are hundreds of cruise companies out there, and it will depend on what kind of cruise you are after. We have booked most of our cruises from a Carnival weekend cruise to Mexico to our Cunard Queen Mary transatlantic cruise ( where we got married !) via Priceline.com as they often have special deals and offers, and we have found their phone and online customer support to be good.

Price: ~ USD $150 and up.

Round Trip Plane Tickets

Perhaps there is nothing more romantic and exciting than receiving round-trip airline tickets to some exotic destination!

Of course, you may not know the dates, times, and passport details necessary to book tickets for someone else, so you are probably better off giving them a card with the money, check, or gift card they can use towards the purchase of the flights.

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If you know which airline they like to fly, some airlines including United Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines offer gift credit or gift cards that you can purchase.

Also if the traveler on your gift list has an airline miles account, most airline miles programs allow you to gift miles to another account. So that is another option. Just be sure to check any expiration or exclusion details.

Price: ~ USD $200 and up

Flytographer Photographer

Give the gift of lasting memories by hiring a professional local photographer to take photos of your loved one on their next holiday. 

It is difficult to take good photos of yourself if traveling solo, take good couples photos while traveling , or get those perfect family photos on the road, and the best way to get great photos is a professional photographer.

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You can, of course, hire a specific local photographer for them, but an easier solution is to give them a gift card for a service, such as Flytographer, that specializes in pairing travelers with photographers in over 200 cities around the world.

You can get a discount on your first Flytographer shoot by signing up here .

Price: ~ USD $250 and up

If you know someone who is into photography or making videos and is maybe looking for a new way to capture images, a drone makes for a fantastic gift.

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There are a number of drone options out there. In terms of brands, we can recommend the DJI line of drones which make some of the best drones out there. The DJI Mini  is a great portable starting drone option and is really lightweight. We personally have a DJI Mavic 2 (more recent version is the Mavic 3 ) but it is too bulky for the average traveler.

Or if you know a traveler with a drone, you might consider getting them some cool accessories. You can see our drone accessories guide here.

Just note that there are a lot of restrictions related to drones and travel, and it can be difficult to travel with drones to certain countries. They are also not permitted in places like in U.S. National Parks or near airports. So you’ll want to do your research before packing a drone for a trip.

Price: ~ USD $400 and up

Space Camp is an educational camp which provides a fun interactive learning experience that is based on the training that U.S. astronauts receive when going into Space. It is operated and located at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center . There are also special programs that focus on things like robotics, cyber technologies, and aviation.

The majority of attendees are children who attend as part of a school or club groups, but Space Camp is also open to adults and families. The standard program is 6 days for children or a weekend or 3-day programs for families and the Adults only program.

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A trip to Space Camp has been on Laurence’s bucket list ever since he saw the 1980’s Space Camp movie. We were finally able to make that happen on a trip to Huntsville Alabama , and you can read all about our experience visiting Space Camp .

If you want to give Space Camp as a surprise gift but not sure of what dates would work, you can create a registration and instead of picking a date, you will select ‘choose your dates later’.  The person who receives the gift can then call later and schedule the dates they would like to attend.

There are also space-related camp programs that are now offered in other parts of the world as well, including Florida, Norway, and Russia. These are not exactly the same thing, but may be a good alternative for those living closer to these locations.

We think that a trip to Space Camp would be the most amazing gift for anyone interested in space, no matter their age!

Price: USD $499 and up per attendee

Travel Laptop

Travel is often a time we want to get away from everything, but this isn’t always possible. For longer trips, or for folks who just take their jobs on the road (like us!), a travel laptop is a necessity rather than a luxury.

There’s a huge range of travel laptops to choose from. Our suggestion would be to go for something that is very portable and has good battery life, but is still powerful enough to do everything you need to do when traveling.

Some good lightweight traditional laptops are the Dell XPS 13 series for Windows users and the Macbook Air series for Apple users.

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If you like the idea of something that can be used as a laptop or a tablet, one of the best options is the Microsoft Surface Pro 8 (try the older Pro 6 or 7 versions if you have a smaller budget), which is a very portable laptop. It has both stylus support and a detachable keyboard (both sold separately ).This makes it great for use as a tablet for watching movies, and the keyboard can be added for writing e-mails or other word-processing tasks.

If you are buying a gift for someone who is likely to do things that requires a more powerful laptop, like photo editing, video editing, or gaming, see our guide to the best laptops for photo editing to get some ideas of what is available.

Price : ~ USD $750 and up.

Travel Related DIY Gift

As noted, a travel gift doesn’t have to cost money. Consider giving them something thoughtful that you made yourself.

Do you knit, do crafting, woodworking, or make candles? Some examples could be a travel themed charm bracelet, a handmade wooden photo frame of one of their vacation photos, a needlepoint of their favorite destination, a leather luggage tag, a handsewn fabric passport cover, a knitted scarf for their next trip, or a scented candle to remind them of favorite travel memory.

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Perhaps you are a great home cook. Consider cooking for them or filling their fridge with some meals before they return from a trip to save them from grocery shopping and cooking when they first get back.

Got a gift for choosing great music? Create an amazing playlist for your loved one’s next road trip.

If you are doing a gift with children, perhaps get together to make the person a surprise Welcome Home banner and throw them a little welcome home party.

Price : Priceless

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So that is our travel gift guide! Hopefully we’ve given you some great gift ideas for the travelers in your life.

If you want to see the items all in one place (or at least those available online via Amazon) you can check out our gift list here that includes many of the items from our gift guide.

Going to be needing to buy more gifts for travelers in the future? Pin this article on Pinterest to read it again later:

The ultimate travel gift guide with over 75 gift ideas for travelers suitable for all budgets, travel styles, and occasions chosen by full-time travelers. We provide travel-related gift suggestions to fit almost any gifting situation and also provide tips on how to choose the perfect gift for your friends and loved ones. This is a perfect holiday gift guide for the travel lover in your life! #travegiftguide #travelergifts #gifts #traveler #traveller #travel #giftguide #holidaygiftguide

I hope you’ve enjoyed our gift guide for travelers! Which of these products would you want to receive as a gift yourself? Know of a travel-themed gift idea not on our list, feel free to tell us about it.

If you have any questions about any of the gift suggestions, please let me know in the Comments section below!

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Idelle Longman Post author

October 15, 2022 at 9:28 am

Hello Jessica,

This is the most comprehensive and well-thought-out gift list ever written. Thank you for your diligent research. I might have missed it, but did you have anything for a well-made rain jacket? Good to have in your suitcase when mother nature does not want to cooperate.

Jessica & Laurence Norah Post author

October 17, 2022 at 12:45 pm

Yes, a good rain jacket is a great idea for a traveler gift. We personally own rain jackets from Trespass (UK company) and North Face. I just got a new North Face one (they have several rain jacket options) that is really lightweight and easy to pack and good for warmer climates. I also have a thicker, warmer one I use for colder places from Trespass. You can see some rain jacket options on Amazon here and on REI here (if in the USA). North Face, Outdoor Research, Columbia, REI, Marmot, and Patagonia all have a number of rain jacket, parka, and poncho options but any of the outdoor stores/brands carry some good options.

I would just make sure you get one with a good hood, useful pockets (preferably zippered and sealed), and is the right weight/warmth for where you plan to travel. Reading reviews online can also be helpful. If needing one for a warm/hot place, I would recommend something really thin and packable so it doesn’t take up much space in your suitcase.

Hope that helps!

Best, Jessica

Jan Post author

December 9, 2021 at 10:10 am

Great gift guide here! Wondering if you could help direct me to what kind of camera might be good for a beginner. I have no real knowlege of cameras and my son, age 19, is taking interest in photography and would like to get him a decent camera that he could perhaps upgrade in future. What models might be best. What else would he need, such as basic accessories just to get started. Budget for camera around 500 to 600 euros.

December 9, 2021 at 12:36 pm

What a lovely gift idea.

I’d recommend either a mirrorless camera or DSLR camera . So at that price point we would probably recommend a DSLR camera, because mirrorless cameras tend to be a bit more expensive (although you might also consider a used or refurbished camera as well where you can get more for your money).

For a new DSLR at that price point (for both the camera body and a lens), we’d recommend something like the Canon EOS 250D , which you should be able to get with a lens for around €600. Canon have a huge range of lenses, so he can upgrade further down the road if he wanted to.

In terms of accessories, you’d want to make sure the camera comes with a battery, charger, and camera strap (most cameras come with these included) and you’d also want to probably get him a memory card (16GB or greater). Those are the basic things he would need to use the camera and get started!

Hope that helps and just let us know if you have any other questions!

December 9, 2021 at 6:35 pm

Thanks Jessica! this is super helpful and very kind of you to get back to me so quickly. That recommendation sounds good as I know he had a little Canon camera when he was a kid that he loved. This gives me a good jumping off point to start from and I will also check out the camera articles you link to try to educate myself a little more about the basics.

Much appreciated!!! ~Jan

December 10, 2021 at 5:06 am

You’re very welcome and just let us know if you have any other questions when camera shopping! Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season.

October 17, 2022 at 8:22 pm

Hi Jessica,

Your information is very helpful, especially concerning jackets for colder places.

Erma G. Post author

December 4, 2021 at 8:29 am

Fantastic travel gift guide! Just wanted to say thanks as it gave me lots of ideas as I do my holiday shopping this weekend 😉

December 4, 2021 at 8:35 am

Glad you found our gift guide for travelers useful for your holiday shopping! Thanks for taking the time to comment, we always love hearing that our content has been helpful 😉

Wishing you luck as you shop and a wonderful holiday season!

Connie D. Post author

November 7, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Very detailed list ! How about adding some travel translators like Travis or Pocketalk? They’d fit right well with the theme 🙂

November 8, 2019 at 3:45 am

Hi Connie, Glad you like our gift guide for travelers. Yes, a travel translator could also make a great gift for someone traveling internationally to a country where they don’t speak the language. Thanks for the suggestion!

Suzanne Walsh Post author

October 28, 2019 at 5:13 am

Such a wonderful and thoughtful gift guide for travel lovers! I have a couple of questions if you don’t mind as would like some advice.

1.) What would you think would make a nice travel related stocking stuffers for a family of 4 (parents in late 20’s, girls 5 and 7)? My husband and I are purchasing a trip for our older son and daughter in law and their two kids to go to Costa Rica this year – it will be their first time out of the country. Big gift for them all and then we wanted to just give them some stocking stuffers that would go with it so they have something else to open.

2.) On a sort of related note, I really like your articles about cameras and am thinking about getting a camera for my stepson. He’s 17 and interested in photography. He really likes nature and landscapes as well as taking photos of our dog, family, and documenting our family travels. Currently he has his phone as well as an old point and shoot camera (5+ years old now). Was thinking of maybe a mirrorless camera and budget is around U.S. $500. Any thoughts on a specific model?

Thank you very much indeed!

October 28, 2019 at 6:16 am

Hi Suzanne,

That sounds like some exciting holiday gifts for your family – I am sure they are going to be very excited and thankful for such a big gift! For stocking stuffer travel gifts, I would perhaps consider some things that are related to their upcoming trip. You can get them small things to help them get excited for their trip, things to help plan their time in Costa Rica, and/or things they will need for the trip.

Here are a several ideas:

-Passport holders for their new passports, you can get them personalized with their first names or initials, you can see some options here -Candles or soap that smell like Costa Rica to get them excited, like this soy candle -Guidebook to Costa Rica to help them plan what they want to do, there are a lot of options with most of the major travel guide companies having one on the country -The girls may like coloring books about Costa Rica they can do before the trip and on the flights -Costa Rica themed jewelery, such as a necklace or bracelet, see some options here -Christmas tree ornament related to Costa Rica, such as this one that can be personalized for the family -Toiletery bags, packing cubes, travel sized bottles, etc. are also great things to gift, especially for those new to international travel

In terms of a mirrorless camera for your stepson, I would probably recommend the Canon EOS M200 . This is a great entry level mirrorless camera with all the manual controls that you need to get to grips when learning photography and doing some experimenting, but at a reasonable price point. It is slightly over your budget, so you could get the older model EOS M200, but we think the price difference is worth the upgrade in this case.

Hope that helps and wishing you a happy holiday season!

October 30, 2019 at 3:19 am

Thanks so much Jessica, so many great thoughts. Love the idea of making them about Costa Rica and you’ve saved me from many hours of looking and searching for the perfect gifts!

Aksel Post author

September 3, 2019 at 2:52 pm

This is such a thoughtful and amazing guide, so many great gifts for travellers!

I am wondering if I can get your help as bewildered husband in Copehagen. My wife and I love to travel when we can and I want to get her something she could use on an upcoming trip. We don’t normally do gifting at birthdays but it is going to be her 45th birthday and wanted to get her a little something. Something tasteful and something that would be good for travelling but also would be useful in other situations. I have read your great guide and just can’t make choice, if you have any ideas that would be great. Budget is 150€ to 200€.

September 3, 2019 at 4:43 pm

I am happy to try to provide some suggestions, although it is of course difficult without knowing your wife’s tastes or travel style.

The thing that popped into my mind as I was reading your comment was a cashmere scarf or travel wrap. It is tasteful, useful, and could be used for traveling as well as at home in Denmark. I have a couple from Ovcio that are within your budget that I can highly recommend, you can see those here .

Other birthday gift thoughts:

-A nice piece of luggage, perhaps a carry-on bag that could also be used for other situations? Or a weekender bag? -A nice set of noise-canceling headphones -A monogrammed toiletry bag or travel jewelry case -An e-reader or tablet

Hope that helps you decide, and I am sure your wife will love whatever you get her!

Roslia Santamaria Post author

July 9, 2019 at 4:07 am

wow!! so many great things in this gift guide for travelers and amazing pictures – love it. Thanks for sharing this.

July 11, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Hi Roslia, Glad you are enjoying our travel gift guide – lots of great options for travelers!! Best, Jessica

Scott Post author

May 20, 2019 at 10:29 pm

Wow! Awesome post, really loved reading it. Thank you for sharing all these travel related gift ideas with us.

May 21, 2019 at 5:22 am

Hi Scott, Thanks, glad you enjoyed our post, hope you find the perfect gift for the traveler on your gift list (or for yourself)! Best, Jessica

MF Post author

May 8, 2019 at 5:47 am

Hey, Great content and amazing tips. The list of gifts for travellers contains a list of items that are utmost necessary. Will surely help when next travelling. Thank you for sharing and Keep up the good work.

May 8, 2019 at 8:46 am

Hi MF, Glad you enjoyed it, hoped it helped you choose the perfect gift for the traveler in your life or for yourself 😉 Best, Jessica

Valerie Post author

May 2, 2019 at 5:47 am

Fab travel gifting guide! I am looking for something for my granddaughter, a 17 y.o. (soon to be 18) who is graduating from high school next month and is very interested in traveling the world and joining Peace Corps in future. She is going on a trip with her family to Florida over the summer, but no other travels planned before she starts university. Would like to get her something travel themed but not necessarily something that has to be used for travel since not sure how much traveling she will get to do in near future. Just wanted to see if you had any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

May 2, 2019 at 6:32 am

Hi Valerie!

There are lots of possibilities and it depends on your budget and her taste obviously, but here are a few ideas:

-A piece of jewelry such as this compass necklace which makes a nice graduation gift for a travel lover. But you can see our guide to lots of travel themed jewelry for lots of options. -Something for her university dorm room such as this sheet set . Will need to know the size of her dorm bed. -A nice smartphone phone case with a travel theme such as these ones -A weekend bag she can use for shorter trips, going to the gym, trips home, and nights at friends. You can have it personalized with her initials such as this canvas bag .

Hope that helps! Jessica

May 2, 2019 at 7:02 am

Thanks so much for your thoughtful response, Jessica. These are some great ideas and I think I may go with a necklace and a dorm room sheet/comforter set – just need to check with my daughter about sheet sizes. Thankss so much, Valerie

Ruth Zelger Post author

April 29, 2019 at 8:52 am

This is an amazing list of gift ideas for travelers – the best I’ve ever seen! Very thoughtful list and you can tell you did some research into so many of this products and ideas. I am doing some gift shopping for some college graduation gifts for a few of my nieces/nephews and partners who are headed off on a European backpacking trip and this guide has been incredibly helpful so thank you for that!

One question: You mentioned that some people avoid reusable plastic water bottles – is there anything but BPA that I should be avoiding? Just wondering as planning to buy a few water bottles as part of the gifts.

April 29, 2019 at 9:19 am

So glad you are finding our travel gifts guide helpful! Sounds you have a number of gifts to buy this Spring.

So I am not an expert on the research on reusable plastic bottles, but obviously BPA (bisphenol-A) is one chemical that has been deemed as unsafe by a number of organizations and most plastics bottles are now made without BPA. However, a number of scientists are now concerned about BPA alternatives and similar chemicals used in reusable plastic bottles and containers as they may have the same health effects. The health consequences aren’t from a new bottle, but from a bottle used over time as the chemicals can leech through as the bottle wears and gets older or if it gets scratched etc. You can read more in this article .

How much BPA or other chemicals truly effect an individuals’ health or how often bottles leach into drinks/food is unclear, but if it is a concern, the best recommendations are for uncoated stainless steel bottles (be sure if it is coated, the coating does not contain BPA) or glass bottles.

Seana Turner Post author

April 25, 2019 at 6:24 am

Wow – this is one comprehensive list! I’ve actually given or received a number of these, including the travel adapter, the Bose earphones, the scratch off map, the pin map, the water bottle and the travel vest (which my husband loved when we went to Israel). I love that you started with the idea of watching children.. that is probably the hardest one to get, and is such a sacrificial and loving gift!

April 25, 2019 at 11:23 am

Hi Seana, Glad you like it and wow, sounds like you have already given and received some great gifts for travelers – we have many of those same products 😉 Yes, indeed, sometimes the most thoughtful gift you can give is your time! Best, Jessica

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The 32 Best Custom Photo Gifts of 2024

Make the most of your travel memories with these innovative present ideas.

travel gift camera

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more .

Travel + Leisure / Marcus Millan

If travel is all about making memories, then one of the best ways to do that is to take photos of the places you discover and people you meet along the way. Printing photos onto everyday items is a great way to showcase your favorite shots (rather than relegating them to a social media album that never gets looked at again). These custom photo projects also make the perfect gift for your travel-obsessed friend or family member. 

Alternatively, you can use personalized photo items to create precious mementos of home for loved ones that travel a lot for work or live overseas. To this end, we scoured the internet for the best options to turn those beautiful photos into memorable gifts. From the humorous (mini-me pillows and socks with your face on them) to the sentimental (photo-engraved jewelry) to the travel-appropriate (personalized passport holders, suitcases, and luggage tags), here are our top picks. 

Image 3D Create Your Own Reel Viewer

Tap into your loved one’s nostalgic side with the Image3D Custom RetroViewer, a blast from the past inspired by their favorite childhood toy — except better, because this time the images are personalized. They can use the redemption code included with the viewfinder to add their favorite travel snapshots to the made-to-order reel. Viewfinders are available in a choice of four colors from red to black, and each reel holds seven images. Additional reels and a retro wooden storage holder can be purchased separately.

ScreenCraft Gifts Custom Travel Photo Coasters

Uncommon Goods

Rhode Island-based family business Jon and Julie Rousseau offers an innovative way to keep travel memories fresh with these cork-backed, marble coasters. Available in sets of four, the coasters are printed with images of your choice in a retro, instant-camera style. They’re a great conversation starter when you have guests over, or the perfect prompt for reminiscing about your favorite adventures while enjoying that end-of-the-week beverage together. Upload pre-cropped, square images for the best results.

CraftsByAleja Memory Film Keychain

CraftsByAleja takes the idea of a standard photo keychain to the next level by allowing you to add up to 10 images to a vintage film roll. We love the idea of ordering one to commemorate a special vacation; or perhaps filling one with family images to give to a loved one before their next work trip or solo overseas adventure. Whoever you buy the keychain for, you can add a customized message to the pull-out tab and choose from five different colors for the film roll itself.

SweetGiftMart Personalized Photo Wood Ornament

The ideal stocking filler or addition to your family tree, this personalized ornament from SweetGiftMart pairs a handmade wood slice with a natural twine hanger for a gorgeous, rustic look. You can choose to have yours printed with a different photo on either side, or you can add personalized text to the reverse instead. Measuring roughly 4 x 4 inches, we think this is a beautiful way to immortalize your loved one’s favorite travel shot(s) while also ramping up the festive cheer.

Wucidici Custom Music Plaque

We love the idea of this Custom Music Plaque as a gift from one spouse to another to celebrate a destination wedding. The high-quality, transparent acrylic plaque can be printed with the name and artist of your favorite song, with your photo where the cover art should be. There are four styles to choose from — one with space for a collage of four images, the others with space for one photo and a scannable Spotify code. All styles have a wooden base with integrated LED lights that illuminate the plaque with seven different colors.

West & Willow Custom Pet Portrait Phone Case

West & Willow

Looking for a thoughtful gift for the passionate pet lover in your life? These impact-resistant, clear TPU phone cases from West & Willow come personalized with a digital animal portrait inspired by your photo. Each image is created by hand without the use of apps or filters, resulting in unique artwork that’s the ultimate tribute to your furry friend (making it a little bit easier to say goodbye when traveling overseas). Cases are compatible with wireless chargers and available for a wide range of iPhone and Samsung phones.

InterestPrint Custom Crew Socks

If your jet-set friend or family member has ever joked that they wish they could pack you in their suitcase, well, now they can. These custom crew socks come in more than 40 different patterns, all of which put your face (or that of a loved one) front and center. Styles range from cute ones perfect for Mother’s Day to humorous ones entirely covered with close-up mugshots. The socks are machine washable and blend polyester, cotton, chinlon, and spandex for just the right combination of flexibility and comfort.

Heirloom Video Book

If a photo is worth a thousand words, how valuable is a video? Heirloom video books allow you to collate all of those vacation reels and move them off your phone and into a keepsake book where you’re more likely to actually watch them (and less likely to accidentally delete them). Decide whether you want yours to run for 10 or 20 minutes, then choose from a range of pre-designed, themed covers or design your own custom-printed photo cover for a small extra fee.

Meshka Design Photo Lining Clutch

These gorgeous French lace purses come with a photo of your choice printed onto the inner lining, making for a very subtle and hugely meaningful gift for the traveling lady in your life. If you’re planning a destination wedding, we also love the idea of ordering these as gifts for members of your bridal party (or even for yourself as your very special “something new.”) Customization options include a choice of differently embroidered patterns in delicate shades of ivory or white.

PicturesOnGold Photo Engraved Dog Tag

PicturesOnGold

Sometimes, having to travel frequently can be hard, both on the person traveling and the loved ones they leave behind. We love the idea of this photo engraved dog tag, which allows those on either side of the separation to wear the people they care most about close to their heart. PicturesOnGold offers options for every taste and budget, with four sizes and five materials to choose from (from sterling silver to 14-karat white or yellow gold). Photos are laser engraved in color and are both scratch and water resistant.

VistaPrint Custom Blanket

What better way to stay warm this winter than with a cozy blanket printed with images of your favorite sun-soaked vacation destination? Made from soft polar fleece with hemmed edges and fade-resistant, full-color printing, these high-quality comforters come in two sizes (50 x 60 inches or 60 x 80 inches). Use the online template to create your bespoke design. Whether you orientate your blanket vertically or horizontally, use a single statement image, or create a collage masterpiece is up to you.

Shutterfly Gallery of Ten Travel Mug

The commuter in your life will thank you for this personalized travel mug, which employs double stainless steel walls and a vacuum seal to keep their favorite beverage at the optimum temperature. Choose from a range of templates to upload as many as 12 images in whichever way they look best — whether that’s portrait, landscape, cropped to a square, or a combination of all three. You can adjust the cropping until you’re completely satisfied, choose different backgrounds, or add text to get that extra special message across.

Squared Photo Magnets

These photo magnets from Squared are so simple, effective, and utterly affordable that you might be tempted to add extras to your cart for yourself. They're an affordable option for anyone looking for gifts for under $10 . The hardest part is deciding which of your favorite vacay shots to use. Then, choose one of six shapes and sizes from square to heart-shaped (our favorite is the polaroid-style option known as Retro). All shapes can come with or without a border in a glossy or matte finish, and all are printed on premium quality photo paper backed with flexible magnetic foil.

Artifact Uprising Baby Board Book

Artifact Uprising

We all know that photo books are a great way to display your travel photos and there are certainly plenty of online photo book makers to choose from. We also know that they don’t mix well with inquisitive youngsters — until now. Artifact Uprising makes indestructible photo books especially for little ones with thick card pages, baby-safe rounded edges, and minimalist layouts that aid visual recognition. Need a lasting memento of baby’s first vacation? Want to remind them of faces they don’t get to see as often as you’d like? Here you go. There are four themes and three page counts to choose from.

Frameo Wood Grain Digital Picture Frame

We’d be remiss not to include at least one digital picture frame on this list, and this one from Frameo stands out for its traditional aesthetic and affordable price tag. With 32GB of storage it has space for over 80,000 images — enough for even the most trigger-happy travel photographer. Images auto-rotate for vertical or horizontal display, while a 10.1-inch screen with 1280 x 800 resolution ensures optimal picture clarity. Tech-savvy recipients will appreciate that the frame is Wi-fi enabled and compatible with the free Frameo app.

Hipparoo Photo Golf Balls

Whether they’re playing a round at their local club or teeing off at one of the world’s most famous courses, these personalized photo golf balls are sure to add a touch of class to their game. Select three photos to be printed in high-quality full color over a 1-inch print area on each ball. Customization options include a choice of generic, Titleist ProV1, or TaylorMade TP5 balls. There’s also the option to add a wood or acrylic display stand on the off chance that your recipient loves their gift too much to actually play with it.

PersonalizeWithStyle Personalized Sequin Makeup Bag

Glamour queens of all ages can appreciate a stylish makeup case for travel and this personalized sequin bag adds some feminine fun and sparkle to any carry-on suitcase. Use the brand’s dedicated customization app to upload your photo(s), create a collage if you’re using multiple images, and even add names or other text. At 7.75 x 6.5 inches, the bag is perfectly sized for makeup essentials — but we can think of a dozen other uses too, from serving as a pencil case for little girls to storing needles and thread for those that like to travel with a sewing kit.

Nations Photo Lab Luggage Tag

Nations Photo Lab

If your friend or family member has had a brush with lost luggage in the past, this could be just the solution to restore their confidence. After all, it’s unlikely that a fellow traveler will claim their suitcase by accident if it has their face on it. The tags are made from durable hard plastic, with your photo on one side and more than 20 stylized prints to choose from for the reverse. These range from bridal themes for newlywed couples to themes for graduates and world travelers.

Suphelpu Custom Projection Photo Bracelet

If you love the idea of gifting custom photo jewelry but know that your recipient’s tastes are a little more subtle, this projection photo bracelet could be the perfect solution. By engraving your image onto a miniature projection stone, it’s kept completely invisible until you look closely through the pendant’s magnifying viewfinder. As a bonus, the waxed rope bracelet looks great on men and women and is suitably lowkey for travelers who frequent destinations where flashy jewelry is inadvisable (and better kept in a travel jewelry case ). There are multiple color combinations to choose from.

Shutterfly Photo Gallery Keepsake Box

Looking for an innovative way to celebrate a special trip taken together? Adorn this adorable keepsake box with your favorite photo, then fill it with treasures from your time away. It’s crafted from imported oak with a mahogany lacquer finish and a soft, felt-lined interior. In terms of customization, there’s a slew of styles to choose from, whether you want to include a single photo on the lid, a collage, or perhaps an image emblazoned with a meaningful word, phrase, or monogram.

VistaPrint Custom Tote Bag

There are a hundred uses for a trusty tote bag, and just as many reasons to love this custom one from VistaPrint. Made from durable, high-quality canvas, it’s generously sized for everyday use at 18.5 x 15 inches. Choose yours in all white or white with black accents, and decide whether to print on one or both sides. The brand offers a range of customizable layouts for adding images and graphics to your photos, too, so your best shots look more professional than ever.

ArtPix 3D Crystal Photo Block

While you can certainly find cheaper laser-etched photo blocks, this one from ArtPix stands out for its near-perfect reviews and exceptionally detailed 3D rendering of your favorite image. Made from ultra-clear K9 crystal, you can choose to add a color-changing LED light base, transforming it into a mesmerizing nightlight for anyone who misses their loved one while they’re away. There are four sizes to choose from, from small (2.9 x 2.9 x 1.2 inches) to extra large (6.9 x 6.9 x 3.1 inches).

Snugzy Mini Me Face Pillow

For the long-distance couples, the kids of deployed parents, and the best friends going off to college, we have the perfect gift — a mini-me version of their favorite person, in huggable pillow form. Snugzy’s premise is simple: They print faces onto people-shaped pillows. There are hundreds of variations to choose from, though, whether you’re going for humorous (the mankini face pillow), meaningful (the soldier face pillow), or kid-friendly (the bat hero face pillow). And, at roughly 18 x 12 inches, they’re even suitcase sized.

Migned Custom Photo Playing Cards

How many times have you been left with nothing to do, waiting for a delayed train or an interminable bus journey to end with no juice in your phone? Save your loved ones from a similar fate by gifting them the traveler’s best friend — a deck of playing cards. These ones come with a difference that elevates your gift above a basic stocking filler: You can add your favorite photo to the reverse of each card. The pack is regular poker size and crafted from premium, easy-to-shuffle laminated card stock.

Shutterfly Photo Gallery Christmas Stocking

If you’ve been counting down to the festive family vacation of a lifetime, why not make the big day even more special with these personalized Christmas stockings? We love that you can add a single photo, or make a collage of up to five images. Add text (a name, perhaps, to prevent squabbling among the kids come Christmas morning), and choose natural, cranberry, or winter green for the color of the velvet cuff and cord trim. These are high-quality, beautifully finished stockings with a length of 16 inches.

KandVPrints Color Change Custom Photo Mug

Admittedly coffee mugs are one of the most obvious custom photo gifts out there, but clichés are clichés for a reason — everyone loves a good mug and you can never have enough of them, This one from KandVPrints adds a little extra pizazz with its color-changing abilities (your photo is only revealed when hot water is added). Made of ceramic with beautiful rounded edges and a sturdy, C-shaped handle, the mug is microwave and dishwasher safe and comes in two sizes: 11 or 15 ounces. You can use them to sip tea at home or pack them with your favorite camping coffee maker to take on an outdoor adventure.

Live x Maintain Ltd Personalized Photo Suitcase

Luggage is, of course, the ultimate gift for any traveler — and this brand offers personalized photo suitcases in four sizes, including kids’, carry-on, medium, or large checked. Your images look their best on the high-gloss polycarbonate shell, which also flexes to withstand rough handling while remaining impressively light. All suitcases have four 360-degree roller wheels and a retractable push handle, an integrated TSA-approved lock, and a fully lined interior with zippered pockets and tie-down straps.

Photomaps 50 States Photo Map

For your friend that’s always planning the next road trip, we present this ingenious map of the 50 states. Choose a style (frame or hanger), a background color, and whether to add text. Then, upload images taken in each state to be converted into state-shaped stickers that your friend can add at home. Still ticking destinations off their bucket list? Sticker tokens let them add to their map over time. Photomaps also offers a whole range of other options, from world maps to maps of Canada, Europe, and individual states.

CatchyGiftShop Leather Photo Keychain

A somewhat subtler alternative to the film roll keychain listed above, this one’s for the minimalist with a sentimental streak. The keychain cover is made of soft leather in one of eight colors from tan to burgundy or light blue. Inside, add up to three metal inserts that can be printed front and back with up to six photos. You can also mix photos with text if you have a special message to convey. Photos are printed in full color and the keychain measures 3 x 2.5 inches.

ByJackAndJess Custom Photo Puzzle Cube

We can see this one playing out one of two ways: either you upload photos of friends and family to serve as a memento of home for the recipient on their travels; or you add their favorite vacation snaps so the cube can be a brilliant (if sometimes frustrating) souvenir upon their return. Either way, we love the idea of revamping the classic colored Rubik’s cube faces with personalized photos. This one from JackAndJess on Etsy comes in regular or large sizes, with the option of adding a smart display stand.

Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 Smartphone Printer

Remember the instant gratification of a polaroid camera? You can have that again with the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link 2 printer, which uses Bluetooth to connect to your smartphone and print photos directly. You can use the app to add frames, filters, sketches, and more to your images before printing, and even print stills from your latest Insta reel. For the ardent travel photographer, it’s the perfect marriage of retro cool and cutting edge technology — also a great gift option for digital nomads . There are four colors to choose from including clay white and soft pink.

Chaco Customizable Z/1 Sandal

Anna Popp / Travel + Leisure

Know an outdoorsy dog lover? You can't go wrong when gifting a pair of Chaco's iconic sandals featuring their fur baby's face. The brand offers customization in a number of sandal styles , including flip-flops, slides, and its Z/2 sandal with a toe loop for added stability. You can pick the strap, footbed, buckle, sole, and heel riser colors and upload a pet photo for a small additional fee.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Ever since she was given her first camera on a trip to Alaska, aged 7, Jessica Macdonald has obsessively photographed all of her travels and now does so professionally. She’s photographed more than 50 destinations across six continents, and is always looking for new ways to display her photos back home. The digital photo frame that sits in her kitchen is one of her greatest treasures. 

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The Planet D: Adventure Travel Blog

26 Best Gifts for Photographers for 2024

Written By: The Planet D

Travel Photography

Updated On: January 5, 2024

Finding the right gifts for photographers can be a challenge. Having been a professional travel photographer for 15 years, I’ve tested my fair share of photography equipment from cameras to accessories. To help you choose a gift for the photographer in your life, I’ve rounded up the best photography gifts to suit every budget.

Table of Contents

Best Gifts for Photography Lovers

Let’s face it, photographers can be a picky bunch. We know the brands we like and tend to use the same gear over and over. That can make it really difficult for someone who is not into photography to come up with the perfect holiday gift that they will like. But I’ve made it easier for you.

best Gifts for Photographers

I have broken down these photography gifts into different categories from photo gifts under $25 dollars to gifts over $100 dollars . I’ve created a list of accessories that photographers will love and fun gifts for the office and home . So are you ready to get shopping? Let’s go!

Best Gifts for Photographers under $25

After years of being a professional photographer, I know I am always looking for photography gear that will help me take better photos, be lightweight, and make my job of capturing beautiful images easier.

These are some of my best photography gift ideas that will help you get the right gift for those photographer friends in your life. If you are looking for photo gifts that are practical and can be used right away, the items below are where you want to start.

1. Memory Card Holder

best photography gifts Memory Card holder

In today’s world, we need to carry multiple memory cards with us. A good way to keep them safe from the elements and organized is with a dedicated memory card holder. This is one of those great gift ideas that you will thank me for. They are economical, useful and every photographer needs them.

I like to go with the hard case myself as I am usually photographing in all different types of weather situations and it is important to me to keep what I have shot safe after I take it out of the camera. This is one we recommend .

2. Lens cleaning kit

best Gifts for Photographers Lens Cleaning Kit

One thing that every photographer knows is how important it is to keep your camera lens clean. So getting this inexpensive lens kit is the perfect gift that every photographer will love.

I use this one from LensPen forever as it includes a blower, a microfiber cleaning cloth as well as the LensPen itself. If you are looking for a great gift that will be appreciated and not break the bank this is a great choice.

You can also get a complete camera cleaning kit that includes Cleaning Solution, Cleaning Swabs, a Cleaning Cloth and the Lens Pen and Air Blower for DSLR Cameras.

3. Lens Sensor Cleaning Kit

gift for a photographer lens sensor cleaner

Having dust in your sensor can ruin a shot. Great care is needed when cleaning your sensor, that is why a specialized brush and kit are important. Photographers can never have enough cleaning swabs and will appreciate this lens sensor cleaning kit.

The package includes 14 sensor cleaning swabs for full-frame sensors. They are made in a dust-free environment and each package is individually vacuum-sealed. The design was made to cause no damage to the sensor and won’t leave any streaks. This is a great gift under $25

4. Memory Cards

Photography Gifts Memory Card

It doesn’t matter if they are into landscape photography, macro photography, travel photography or you are a wildlife photographer, you always need memory cards. These are one of the best gifts for photographers because you always need more!

This is what makes them one of those perfect gifts. Most cameras nowadays use SD cards, unless it is a drone then they actually use micro SD cards. I use the Sandisk Extreme cards as they are fast and come in high capacities. If this is your first time buying an SD card then I would suggest you look at something like this 64GB Class 10 . It will work in almost any camera and is fast as well.

5. Microfiber Cloths

photography gifts Microfiber cloths

You can never have enough Microfiber Cloths in your bag. I use them to keep my camera lens clean as well as my viewfinder. You don’t want smudges and fingerprints ruining your images.

These make the perfect gift for a photographer because they work for any type of digital camera, phone camera, DSLR camera.

6. Lens Cap Holder

photo gifts lens cap holder

I’ve lost a lot of lens caps over the years. I’ve talked to some photographers who have given up and don’t even bother with a lens cap. That in my opinion is nuts. We spend a lot of money on lenses and keeping them safe is my number 1 priority. A lens cap holder is an excellent accessory that works for Sony and Canon lenses.

Lens Cap Keeper is a leash that prevents your lens cap from getting lost and is one of the more unique gifts for photographers as I hadn’t really thought of this before myself. So, if you are looking for a stocking stuffer, consider a lens keeper.

Gift Ideas for Photographers under $100

7. camera accessory pouch.

best gifts for photographers camera accessory pouch

Most photographers I know like to keep organized. Knowing where everything is in your camera bag and how to get to it can make the difference between getting the shot or not. I use these pouches to keep all my charging cords, battery chargers, spare batteries, and other camera accessories nice and organized.

This organizer is a wonderful gift for a photographer because it is something they probably wouldn’t purchase themselves. I love the clear windows in these ones as I can quickly see what is inside.

8. Portable Tripod

Mini tripod Photography gift ideas

Any photographer would be happy to get a tripod as a gift. They come in all different sizes and materials, it just depends on how serious your photographer friend is. I don’t recommend buying full-size tripods as gifts for photographers because they usually know exactly what they want when it comes to tripod heads and stands, but a small portable tripod is always a good idea.

When considering portable tripods, my favorite is the Jobi flexible tripod. It’s perfect in a pinch if you want to take group shots without setting up a tripod and you can mount it to nearly everything.

For someone who travels light and uses mainly a point and shoot or phone, something like this mini tripod would be perfect. If they are more on the professional photographer end of things then you will want to lean more toward a higher-end model like this one. It comes with a ball head, has a numbered scale on the base that lets you accurately repeat 360 Degree pans and holds DSLR cameras with lenses up to 5k (11 pounds).

9. A Functional Camera Strap

Best Gifts for a Photographer Camera Strap

Camera straps have come a long way from the basic neck strap. In recent years and there actually 2 brands that I recommend. There is the Cross Body Camera Strap by Black Rapid , which I have used for years and love, or there is the quick-release camera neck strap from Peak Design, which is innovative and convenient.

The benefit of the Peak Design strap is if you use that system of mounts, packs, and accessories then it works seamlessly with it. I do find that if you are walking all day and are not using that system then the Black Rapid Camera Strap is much more comfortable.

10. Waterproof Camera Cover

Gifts for a Photographer Waterproof Camera Cover

Most cameras nowadays are at least water-resistant, but not many are truly water-proof. If you have a photographer friend that likes to spend a lot of time photographing outdoors (wildlife photographers), then this is the perfect gift for them.

Sizing them can be a little of a challenge, but my suggestion is if they are using a DSLR camera then go for the larger size and if they are using a Mirrorless digital camera then you can usually get away with a smaller size.

11. Peak Design Capture clip

photo gifts Peak Design Capture clip

I have a lot of photographer friends that love their Peak Design Bags and accessories . Peak Design has done such a great job at thinking about little details that make capturing great images a little easier.

The Peak Design Capture clip is one of those accessories. It attaches to any backpack strap, belt, or bag, and has an Arca tripod-compatible plate that screws into the bottom of your camera. It can be attached to any camera that has a tripod mount.

It keeps your camera secure while hiking, walking, or any other activity. You won’t have to worry about missing shots while trying to get your camera out of your bag in time. I think I might get myself one this year.

12. Remote Shutter Release

Gift Ideas for a Photographer wireless remote shutter

Does that photographer in your life enjoy taking photos of themselves in a destinations? If they do then a wireless remote would be a great gift for them. It works through Bluetooth technology to release the shutter button remotely. No more handing off your camera to someone else to take a photo.

Just throw your camera on a tripod, frame it up, and shoot away. It also helps eliminate camera shake when shooting in low-light situations. These are camera-specific, so you will have to know what brand of camera you are buying it for. Here is one for Canon Cameras , Nikon Cameras , and Sony Cameras .

13. Spare Batteries

best gifts for photographers spare Battery

Spare batteries are an essential piece of photography equipment. The last thing you want to do is miss shots because your battery ran out. We never head out in the field without them. A photographer needs extra batteries all the time. Batteries can be very expensive, so they will appreciate this practical gift.

Batteries are something that is also camera-specific, so when looking for a gift for photographers, make sure to know the brand and camera your photographer friend has will be needed. You can check out this list of batteries to get started .

Photography Gifts Over $100

If you are looking to spend a bit more when looking for gifts for photographers, I have some ideas for splurge items and much-needed equipment. Enjoy these luxury items for your photography friend or loved one.

14. DJI Mini Pro Drone

If you are looking for luxury Christmas gifts for photographers, the gift recipient will love the DJI mini 4 Pro. Its small size and lightweight design make it incredibly portable, allowing photographers to easily carry it to different locations.

The drone’s camera quality is top-notch, with the potential to capture 4K video and high-resolution still images, thereby providing photographers with the tools they need to take their aerial photography to professional heights. The DJI Mini 3 Pro Intelligent Flight Battery Plus has a flight time of 47 minutes.

15. Sandisk Portable SSD External Hard Drive

photo gifts Sandisk Portable SSd

Having enough storage to put all of your digital photos is always a challenge. A photographer needs external storage and they can always use more . That is why this portable SSD hard drive is perfect for any photographer who travels. It is rugged and small and it is reliable. It’s not much bigger than a business card, so it’s perfect for travel photographers to plug into all their devices.

I never leave home without at least one of these to back up my photos on the road. They come in different capacities from 500GB up to 4 TB, it just depends on how much you want to spend.

16. Camera Bag

Gift for Photographers Camera bag

Photographers who want to up their game and look more professional and organized will eventually want to splurge on an expensive camera bag. But bags can be a personal choice and come in many different sizes depending on how much camera gear you want to carry. So choose wisely.

If you are looking for a camera bag that can carry a lot of camera equipment, check out this bag from Shimoda . It can carry 2 DSL Cameras, extra camera lenses, and photography accessories and it is weatherproof as well. I have used it for years and love it. Plus the new version now has a water bottle holder. This is something I find invaluable if I photograph outdoors, go on an adventure or even want to have water handy while taking street art photography.

17. Photography Magazine subscription

Photography Subscription

If you are looking for a unique gift that won’t break the bank but will be appreciated by all photography lovers out there then a photography magazine subscription to Outdoor Photographer, Popular Photography or even National Geographic will inspire everyone.

It is where I got a lot of my motivation and inspiration as well. Learning from the masters will always help you elevate your photography.

18. Storage Subscription

Gift ideas for photographers backup storage

After you take your photos you have to store them somewhere right? Nowadays a cloud system like Smugmug or Backblaze is a great way to back-up your photos and not worry if something happens to your cards or hard drives.

You can simply pay a monthly or yearly fee and have the upload automatically to the cloud. It is a worry-free backup option that all photographers should take advantage of.

19. Flashdrive

If you don’t want to purchase a subscription, a great alternative is a portable hard drive. Depending on your budget you can purchase a small portable flash drive or an iPhone to put in a stocking stuffer, or you can splurge on a portable drive with a lot of space.

This Sandisk Extreme Pro flash drive offers 1TB of storage letting the photographer in your life safely transfer photos to have as a backup system.

20. Photography Course

best gifts for photographers photo course

For photographers who want to keep learning, this photography course is an excellent addition. I always take new courses to keep on top of the latest technology and this course by Elia Locardi really upped my photography skills. It is a very extensive course packed full of information and education you can  buy it right now here. 

This is a unique photography gift that will keep on giving. Read all about it here .

21. Digital picture frame

photo gifts Digital Picture Frame

Everyone loves to display their digital photography and the best way to do this is with a digital picture frame. You can load as many photos as you like on this one and it is a great way to show off your images regardless of whether you are an amateur photographer or a professional.

If you are looking for a gift for a photographer that will let them show off their work, this is it. You can control what photos are displayed using their smartphone app via Wi Fi. I bought one last year, loaded some of my images on it, and gave it as a gift.

It’s much more practical than a photo book as they can load their own photos into the frame down the line. This is also the perfect gift for travelers as well to store their memories. Check it out here

Fun Photo Gifts

Sometimes the best gift for a photographer doesn’t have anything to do with business and simply can be a lot of fun. These are some fun and quirky photo gifts to help you start thinking outside the box.

22. Fujifilm Instax Mini Instant Film Camera

gift for a photographer insta film camera

Retro is all the rage these days and some photographers are getting back to their roots. While you may not want to splurge on a vintage SLR film camera, a Fujumax or Polaroid instant camera is a lot of fun.

I love displaying my old cameras around the house and these cameras offer that vintage look, that can be used for parties or during your travels. This is a fun gift for photographers who like to share the photography experience with their friends.

We love to give people a copy of our instant prints when taking photos in villages and at a party, fill a camera with film and let friends snap some memories that are safe from being plastered up on social media

This polaroid is as vintage as it gets or you can purchase this retro-feeling FujiFilm Instamax Camera on Amazon that has a vintage camera design with a mondern twist

23. Camera Lens Coffee Mug

gift for a photogrpaher lens mug

This coffee mug is perfect for photo geeks that need everything photography in their lives. It is a stainless steel vacuum thermos mug is perfect for photo shoots and events. It comes complete with a lens cap and coffee spoon. Whether the one you love is out shooting street photography, wildlife or simply editing photos at home, this is the perfect companion for photo buffs.

Ths lens mug is a gift for photographers who want to look cool at a photo shoot. Check it out here.

24. Fun Neon Camera Sign

gift for photographers with style neon light

For the home office, this Neon lights camera sign is a great addition to create a photography space in the office. The sign is 30 cm / 30 cm (12×12) so it’s not too big but will add enough zing to the room making it playful and fun.

Photographers will love this gift. It’s the ultimate gift for photographers with style.

25. Photo Printer

best gifts for photographers pocket printer

When it comes to printing, photographers will want to go through a professional lab, however, a fun gift is a pocket photo printer to be able to create art with the flick of a switch.

Sometimes you just want a hard copy to be able to give someone or to frame and put on your nightstand. All photographers will appreciate this gift to add a little fun to their photography. It’s also perfect for holiday parties.

26. LED Panel Lights

best gifts for photographers led light

If you know a food photographer this is an excellent addition to their camera gear. The LED Panel light transports a mini studio light to the palm of your hand. The adjustable LED lights are dimmable and come with light filters . It works with Sony, Canon, Nikon, and other cameras. This also helps to take travel photos and people portraits in dim light without needing to use your flash or a tripod.

27. Photography Gloves

best gifts for photographers photography gloves

Even if you live in a warm climate, you may be traveling to cold places. I’ve used gloves from the Arctic to Antarctica. Taking gloves on and off when photographing can be a pain, but these photography gloves let you be ready to shoot in seconds. Keep your hands warm while exposing only your shooting fingers and thumbs. They are made with merino wool and Thinsulate insulation keeping your hands warm while you shoot.

I’ve tried smart gloves and after a couple of uses, they really don’t work. I need dexterity in my fingers and these gloves are a good option. When traveling anywhere from Yellowstone National Park to the mountains of Switzerland, the Vallerret Markhof Pro V3 gloves do the trick.

28. Smart Phone Lens Kit

More and more people are reaching for their smartphones to take photos these days. Even Dave will go out every once in a while with just his iPhone. So, why not invest in a high-quality lens kit for iPhones? This camera kit comes with a Fisheye Len, 25X Macro Lens, and a 0.62X Wide wide-angle lens. Clip-on Cell Phone Lens Camera Compatible with iPhone Samsung Android Smartphones

29. Kodak Sport 8004707 Disposable Camera Waterproof

If you are looking for something fun to give the photographer who has everything, what about a disposable waterproof camera? Waterproof housings can be expensive and are camera-specific and chances are the gift recipient already has a GoPro, so this is a great option. They can take it with them on vacation without worrying about their camera falling in or getting wet when going out on a boat or snorkeling. It’s waterproof up to 50 feet and it is durable with a shock-proof rubber shell

30. B&H Photo Gift Card

Whenever we go to New York, we always pop into B&H Photo. It is the leader in photography. But you don’t need to go to NYC to shop there, B&H delivers worldwide. The git cards never expire and you use them online, over the phone or if you do happen to go to New York, in the store!

So there you have it, my recommendations for cool gifts for a photographer that they will truly love to use. These make for excellent holiday gifts for photography lovers. If you would like some more ideas you can check out my Photography Gear list , which includes a lot of these items as well as a more detailed breakdown of the camera gear that I use as a professional photographer.

Check out our Amazon store for more gifts for travel and gear. The Planet D’s Amazon Store

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If you enjoyed our photography gift guide, save it to Pinterest for future shopping.

Check out our other Gift Guides

  • 44 Best Gifts for Travelers
  • 32 of the Best Gifts for Outdoor Lovers and Adventurers
  • 30 Best Work From Home Gifts – Great Ideas for Remote Working
  • Travel Charities – Gift Giving Ideas for the Holidays

Disclosure:  The links above are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. We receive affiliate commissions, but it’s no extra cost to you!

Travel Planning Resources

Looking to book your next trip? Why not use these resources that are tried and tested by yours truly.

Flights: Start planning your trip by finding the best flight deals on Skyscanner

Book your Hotel: Find the best prices on hotels with these two providers. If you are located in Europe use Booking.com and if you are anywhere else use TripAdvisor

Find Apartment Rentals: You will find the cheapest prices on apartment rentals with VRBO . 

Travel Insurance: Don't leave home without it. Here is what we recommend:

  • Allianz - Occasional Travelers.
  • Medjet - Global air medical transport and travel security.

Need more help planning your trip? Make sure to check out our Resources Page where we highlight all the great companies that we trust when we are traveling.

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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine , the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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1 thought on “26 Best Gifts for Photographers for 2024”

Thank you for sharing your gift list, it’s so useful! When you work in cold places photography gloves are really necessary and very handy. I feel that these gloves must be very warm because they are made of merino wool.

Pocket-lint

These are the 8 gadgets to gift travelers this holiday season.

From the slim Anker portable charger to Bose headphones, these are items every globe-trotter wants, chosen by an avid traveler.

As the holiday season quickly approaches, it's time to start thinking about what to get your friends and loved ones. Gift giving can seem like such an overwhelming task, especially when you're shopping for your jet-setting friends who are always on the go. Speaking as the friend who is always on the go, I know how difficult I make my friends' lives when it's time for them to buy me a birthday or Christmas present. Of course, I always appreciate a nice outfit or a pair of shoes, but the best presents are gifts that can be put to practical use for my travels.

Monos Carry-On Plus Pro

Birdie personal safety alarm, apple airtag, bose noise cancelling headphones 700, kodak pixpro, etekcity luggage scale, anker nano power bank for iphones, monos carry on plus pro, best travel organizers: storage for tangle-free cables and tidy tech.

If you're not a traveler yourself but want to get the best present for the travelers in your life, we've got you covered. Here are gifts that will make the best gifts for all types of travelers. Trust me, I will be sending this list to my friends and family as a subtle hint for what to get me this holiday season.

Best travel gifts: Our top 8 picks

A carry-on bag that has enough space for your clothes and technology.

The first thing any explorer needs to get started is a bag to pack their items in. The Monos Carry-On Pro Plus allows travelers to pack their clothes and tech all in one space.

  • Laptop Sleeve
  • Large color variety
  • Laptop sleeve makes the bag a bit bulky

Monos' Carry-On Plus Pro is one of my favorite carry-ons I've gotten over the past few years. The bag has a hard-shelled case which can withstand hard throws and drops plus the bag has a TSA approved lock, so you can add an extra layer of security to your items while abroad. The biggest distinction of this bag from the rest is the laptop sleeve featured on the front of the bag which can fit a 16-inch laptop and a few smaller items.The only downside to the bag is that since there's the extra laptop sleeve, the bag can be a bit bulky and may be deemed "too big" by some airlines to count as a carry-on. For the most part the bag is able to fit in all overhead bins, so you shouldn't have any issues.

Solo travel safely with the Birdie

Traveling alone can be daunting but the Birdie personal safety alarm can help put your mind at ease. Simply pull the top of the keychain off and an alarm will sound if you're in danger.

  • Can be brought into every country and on planes
  • Attach to your keychain
  • Can be reset
  • Can be easily triggered
  • Not to be used for actual defense

Whether I'm exploring new cities or walking home from work I'm always looking over my shoulder as I walk the streets alone or even when I'm with my friends. The Birdie Self Defense Alarm gives me some peace of mind while traveling alone. All you do is pull the top of the device off and a loud alarm will blare, hopefully attracting attention to you and frightening off anyone trying to cause you harm.

Just a heads-up, the alarm is loud so make sure not to accidentally pull it like yours truly did, causing an extremely embarrassing scene. The Birdie Self Defense Alarm made our list for best travel tech , topped our list of best personal safety devices (and why you should have one) and is an item I confidently, personally recommend.

Don't lose your baggage, wallet or keys ever again

Don't lose your baggage ever again with Apple's AirTag. Simply attach the AirTag to any item you fear you'll lose and track the tag via Find My on your Apple devices.

  • Small and convenient
  • Can easily track from your Apple device
  • Harder to use with Androids
  • Need to buy a holder for them

In 2018 my baggage got lost going from New York to Australia; oh how I wish Apple AirTags were a thing then. AirTags change the game when it comes to losing luggage, keys or wallets. It's simple, you attach the tag to any item you fear you may lose, and then you'll be able to track your items wherever you go. AirTags are a great way to never be subjected to lost luggage ever again.

AirTags can't be set up using an Android but Android users can track AirTags using the Tracker Detect app. The app tracks Bluetooth trackers and is compatible with Apple's Find My programming. Although the app helps Androids track AirTags I would recommend looking into other Bluetooth trackers to track your items while traveling.

Block out all the crying babies and engine noise on the plane

Bose's Noise Canceling Headphones 700 are perfect for those in need of a pair of headphones to block out all the background noise. The Bluetooth headphones have adjustable noise cancelation and come with a charging case.

  • Adjustable noise cancellation
  • Good battery life

Whenever I fly I always make sure to pack a pair of headphones that can be connected to the in-flight entertainment systems, so I don't need to buy a pair of cheap wired earbuds they sell on the plane. I previously owned the Bose Noise Canceling Quiet Comfort 45 headphones which were good enough for the small daily tasks I was using them for but the Noise Cancelling 700 headphones are definitely a step-up.

When walking around New York City I've always been weary of headphones that completely cut out all the surrounding noise, but these headphones allow for you to adjust the noise-canceling levels on the Bose Music app which gives users more control over volume levels. Plus, the Noise Canceling 700 allows you to use Alexa and can be used without power.

Compared to competitors such as Apple's AirPods Max , which run a hefty $500 price tag, the Bose Noise Canceling headphones prove to be better value. Bose's Noise Canceling headphones easily connects to both Samsung and Apple devices plus they have a typical battery life of 21 hours compared to the 20-hour battery life of AirPods Max. Overall, I'd say the Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700 boast solid ANC quality, and definitely worth the more expensive price tag.

Blast music anywhere you go

This portable and weatherproof beauty is still an excellent pick for showers and on-the-go users.

  • Can clip onto any bag
  • Lightweight
  • Good sound for the size
  • Sound isn't as loud as bigger speakers
  • Runs on the more expensive side

The best type of person to be is the person with the speaker . When you're traveling you want to limit the amount of bulky items you bring with you as much as possible which is why the JBL Clip 4 makes for the best speaker for travelers. Although the speaker is small it still produces pretty good sound. I always attach this speaker to my personal item and bring it with me when I go hiking, head to the beach or even when I'm going on a quick bike ride.

Take pictures the early 2000s way with the Kodak PixPro

Tired of smartphone pictures? Bring this portable digital camera out with you on your nights out to capture every memory.

  • Good quality pictures for a digital camera
  • Has the ability to record video
  • Not a travel necessity
  • Need an SD card reader slot to upload photos to computer/phone

Two years ago I invested in a real digital camera to document my travels. What I didn't see being an issue was that the camera I bought was pretty bulky and very expensive, so I didn't want to bring it on fun nights out which is why I bought the Kodak PixPro to capture casual bar nights and adventures. The PixPro can easily fit into your bag or pocket making it the perfect travel-sized camera for those who are tired of standard smartphone pictures .

After your night of taking pictures you can just come home, put the SD card in your computer and upload all your photos to share with your friends.

No scale, no problem

In need of a small stocking stuffer for your travel lover? This portable luggage scale can weigh your luggage and more.

  • Relatively accurate
  • Budget-friendly
  • Can only handle up to a certain weight

Anyone who's ever checked a bag in on a plane before knows the anxiety-inducing moment of standing in front of the bag drop desk hoping your bag is under the maximum weight. When I was packing my bags to move to London from New York I tried weighing my bags on my bathroom scale the night before but still managed to mess up resulting in me having to pay an extra fee for an overweight bag. Etekcity's portable luggage scale helps to eliminate added stress.The handheld scale hooks to the handle of your luggage, after you attach it you simply lift your bag and the scale will show the weight of your bag. The luggage scale can handle up to 110 pounds and is relatively spot-on with its accuracy. The scale includes an overload indicator, so you know when your bag is too heavy, plus the scale gives you the ability to save previous baggage weights. Help your traveling friend avoid the stress of overweight baggage with the Etekcity portable luggage scale.

Never let your phone die

A portable charger is an absolute travel necessity. Anker's Nano Power Bank is perfect for all iPhones.

  • Easily portable
  • Long battery life
  • Only compatible with Apple devices
  • Not compatible with USB-C device

Before I got a MagSafe phone case and charger, the Anker Power Bank was my go-to portable phone charger. Unlike other portable chargers this charger can fit in your jean pocket without your pocket busting at the seams. The battery life is pretty long, and Anker consistently releases solid, reliable chargers that have never failed me in the past.

Best portable chargers for USB-C phones: Universal charging on the go

This portable charger in particular only works with Apple devices but if you own an Android or a device that has a USB-C plug there are dozens of options available on Amazon or Anker's website.

The bottom line: What is the best gift for travelers?

It's hard to say exactly what the best gift is because everyone is different but if you want to give a gift that your loved one will get the most use out of then I would splurge on the Monos Carry-On Plus. A solid bag you can rely on is the most important product a frequent traveler can own. Give the gift that keeps on giving with the Monos Carry-On Pro Plus.

If the Monos Carry-on Pro Plus is a little out of your price range or not what your loved one needs, two other items I highly recommend gifting from the list above are the Apple AirTags and the Etekcity Luggage Scale. I've raved about AirTags before, but I truly think they changed the travel accessory industry for the better. AirTags are an easy and convenient way to keep track of your items especially in the case of luggage that gets stolen or lost in transport during a flight.

The Etekcity Luggage Scale may not seem like the most glamorous gift, but it definitely is one of the most practical. For only $10, the scale eliminates so much of the stress that comes with packing. Weighing baggage and getting an accurate reading using your own at-home scale is a skill few have mastered. The small handheld luggage scale gives an accurate reading and allows you to weigh your luggage anywhere you go making it the perfect stocking stuffer surprise for the jet-setters in your life.

How did I pick the best gifts for travelers?

Over the past couple years I backpacked across Europe, flew back and forth from Hawaii to New York and made the move across the pond to London. Throughout the course of my travels I found all the products above to be the most helpful on my adventures. The best gifts for travelers are ones that will enhance different aspects of their journey which is why I made sure to include an array of products that add to everything that comes with going on a trip.

AirTag tips and tricks: 10 features to get more out of your tracker

Should i travel with airtags.

You don't need to attach an AirTag to every single item you own, but I highly recommend attaching one to your checked bags at the very least. AirTags are TSA approved and don't have enough lithium in them to mention, so there's no reason not to get one. You can track your AirTag easily on any Apple device using the 'Find My' feature . Whether you're known for constantly losing your keys or worry about your luggage being lost in the hustle and bustle of things, AirTags are a great way to ease your nerves.

Can I travel with a smart suitcase?

Yes and no. I personally never used a smart suitcase which is why I didn't include any on the list, however most smart suitcases include lithium batteries which are not allowed on planes and typically aren't TSA approved. If your suitcase includes a removable lithium battery then you should be okay to travel with them. Before you purchase any suitcase make sure the website says that any special features such as locks and built-in phone chargers are TSA-approved .

Does Southwest Airlines allow smart luggage?

As of 2018, Southwest Airlines requires that a smart bag can travel in the aircraft cabin as long as it has a removable battery. Additionally, if you check your bag at any time, the airline makes it clear you must remove the battery before boarding. Other major airlines, like United , Delta , American , and JetBlue echo this removable battery policy, but it's best to double-check with the arline before packing and flying.

More holiday shopping ideas:

  • Best gifts for $100 or less: Perfect presents without premium pricing
  • Best gifts under $75: Quality tech on a budget
  • Best gifts under $30: Get 8 cool items on a budget
  • 8 tech gifts for remote workers to level-up their WFH setup
  • 8 fitness tech gifts to get your active friends this holiday season

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20+ Gift Ideas for Travel Photographers

Looking for photography gift ideas for someone who enjoys travel photography? We’ve put together a list of gift ideas for travel photographers that are perfect for anyone who takes pictures while traveling!

The list of gift ideas includes camera gear, “how-to” photography books, online classes, electronics, and accessories all geared toward the travel photographer!

travel photography gifts

Whether they’re a beginner or a pro, there are plenty of great gifts out there that will help them take their photography to the next level. From camera bags and lenses to tripods and filters, these items make excellent gifts for any traveler who loves capturing memories on film.

You’ll find 20+ photography gift ideas that are perfect item for the travel photographer on your list!

get the free photography checklists

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Travel photography equipment.

Check out these camera gear checklists for travel photography featuring best cameras, tripods, and accessories that make wonderful gifts!

  • Best Cameras for Landscape Photography
  • Best Budget Vlogging Cameras
  • Camera Accessories
  • Lightweight Travel Tripods
  • Photography Gear for Hiking

Wildlife Photography Gear

  • Best Cameras for Wildlife Photography
  • Best Tripods for Wildlife Photography
  • Best Tripod Head for Wildlife Photography
  • Best Lenses for Wildlife Photography

Camera Gear at B&H Photo

camera accessories

Photography Gift Ideas

If you’re looking for even more photography themed gifts , check out this list of ideas:

  • Photography Gifts for Men
  • Photography Gifts for Women
  • Funny Gifts for Photographers
  • Gifts for Beginner Photographers

Gift Ideas for Travel Photographers

Travel photography books.

travel gift camera

The Enthusiast's Guide to Travel Photography: 55 Photographic Principles You Need to Know

  • What Makes This Place So Special?
  • Color as the Subject
  • Street Photography
  • Taking Mouth-Watering Photographs
  • Shooting from a Window
  • Nighttime Cityscapes

travel gift camera

The Travel Photography Book: Step-by-step techniques to capture breathtaking travel photos like the pros

• What makes a great travel photo (including what to shoot and what to skip).

• Which lenses and accessories will get you the best results (including when to use them and why).

• How to post-process your images in Lightroom or Photoshop to get incredible results.

• Tips for getting great portraits of the locals and even how to get them to pose for your shots.

• When it makes more sense to use your cell phone’s camera instead.

• Travel photo recipes that show you the ingredients for creating specific types of travel shots.

• How to compose your travel images, how to keep your gear safe when traveling, and a ton of killer tips to help you create better travel images, and make your entire trip that much more fun.

travel gift camera

The Travel Photographer's Way: Practical Steps to Taking Unforgettable Travel Photos

Nori Jemil's ground-breaking practical photography book considers not just how to get better images, but also why and when to take them. It guides you to becoming a more confident and reflective travel photographer, as well as covering all the technical knowhow needed. 

travel gift camera

Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Photography 5

  • How to get started in travel photography
  • What kit is required - whether you?re an enthusiastic amateur photographer or a budding professionals - and how to use it
  • Types of software and computers needed to process pin-sharp images
  • On-the-ground advice, including photography etiquette, safety and security Essential advice and know-how on lighting, composing and shooting great images
  • How to choose the best lense, set aperture, shutter speeds and exposure
  • Detailed instructions on taking photographs of moving subjects, portraits of people, landscapes, cities, wildlife, festivals, food and drink
  • Processing, saving and sharing digital images using various software programs, and even selling travel images.

travel gift camera

The Rainbow Atlas: A Guide to the World’s 500 Most Colorful Places (Travel Photography Ideas and Inspiration, Bucket List Adventure Book)

Take a colorful tour of 500 eye-poppingly brilliant spots around the world with The Rainbow Atlas.Spanning natural phenomena, architectural wonders, art installations, and more, the contents of this book range from the pink salt lakes of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula to the eye-catching home façades of Cobh, Ireland.

travel gift camera

52 Assignments: Travel Photography

52 Assignments: Travel Photography is a mission brief, a portfolio of photographic workshops, a personalized journal, and an inspirational guide to putting the creativity back into your craft. Small enough to fit into your travel bag, it is filled with a year’s worth of weekly commissions and concepts for composing and creating eye-catching travel photography in all its forms. 

Travel Photography Online Courses

travel gift camera

Travel Photography: Take Beautiful Photos on Your Adventures

  • Take amazing photos on your next trip.
  • Travel smarter with the right equipment.
  • Be confident taking photos in any situation.
  • Edit photos to make them look even better.
  • Share your photos and grow a following on social media.

travel gift camera

Travel Photography for Beginners: Take EPIC Travel Photos

  • After completing the course, students will gain a strong sense of what travel and adventure photography is about
  • Know what to look for when buying a quality photography bag
  • Learn how to keep your photos safe and secure when traveling or off on an adventure
  • Learn how to keep yourself and your equipment safe
  • Know what to pay attention to and how to take dramatic photos that capture the moment and the feeling of that moment
  • Become an all-around better photographer through the pro tips and advice that will be shared by the instructor
  • Learn how to earn money with travel and adventure photography
  • Know what a good photography kit for travel and adventure photography looks like

travel gift camera

Becoming a Professional Travel Photographer

  • How to find jobs as a documentary photographer or photo journalist
  • How to expand your current photography clientele to other countries
  • How to monetize your social media accounts
  • How to maximize your income with stock photography
  • How to utilize alternative methods like online teaching, photography blogging, and more.

travel gift camera

Ultimate Guide to Landscape and Nature Photography

  • You will gain the ability to find subjects and scenes worthy of photographing.
  • You will understand what great light is and the best light for different subjects.
  • You will learn to master composition and compose better photographs.
  • You will understand what photo equipment is best for broad or narrow landscapes.
  • You will learn the Exposure Triangle and capture perfect exposures each time.
  • How to take a mundane RAW file and make it look fabulous.
  • In the Field Trip section, the instructor takes you into the field and demonstrates important techniques.
  • Bonus lectures include Amazing Places in America, how to find them, and how to photograph them.

travel gift camera

Landscape and Nature Photography COMPLETE Guide

  • Understand your camera gear and camera settings to achieve the best results.
  • MASTER photography basics, ISO, Shutter Speed & Apeture.
  • How the exposure triangle effects the overall image.
  • Learn how to read and understand a Histogram.
  • Master exposure in landscape & nature photography.
  • Basic & advanced composition techniques
  • Practical in-field tutorials demonstrating when and how to apply certain methods.
  • How to create fantastic unique landscape and nature images.
  • Low-Light Photography Samples

Travel Photography Electronics

travel gift camera

HP OfficeJet 200 Portable Printer with Wireless & Mobile Printing

Easy portable printing wherever you need it. This durable, compact printer fits in your car, backpack, and more, for convenient printing anywhere. Start printing in minutes - HP Auto Wireless Connect makes setup easy

travel gift camera

Kodak Dock Plus 4x6” Portable Instant Photo Printer

With the KODAK Dock Plus photo printer, you can dock your phone to print your favorite photos instantly. This printer also supports reliable and stable Bluetooth connection.

travel gift camera

Anker Portable Charger, 325 Power Bank

  • Ultra-High Cell Capacity: The massive 20,000mAh cell capacity provides more than 5 charges for iPhone XS, almost 5 full charges for Samsung Galaxy S10, more than 4 charges for iPhone 11, and over 2 and a half charges for iPad mini 5.
  • Twin USB ports allow you to charge two devices at the same time. The USB-C port cannot charge other devices.

travel gift camera

LaCie Rugged Mini 5TB External Hard Drive Portable

  • Travel with a massive capacity of up to 5TB in an ultra compact portable external hard Drive
  • For those who have a need for Speed, seamlessly connect to usb 3. 0 computers and transfer content Fast with speeds of up to 130MB/s
  • Trek confidently with an external Hard Drive that offers all terrain durability of drop, crush, and water resistance

travel gift camera

WD 5TB My Passport Portable External Hard Drive

  • Slim Design
  • Software for device management and backup with password protection. (Download and installation required. Terms and conditions apply. User account registration may be required.)
  • 256-bit AES hardware encryption
  • SuperSpeed USB port (5Gbps); USB 2.0 compatible

Travel Photography Accessories

travel gift camera

36 Slots Memory Card Case

Water-Resistant Anti-Shock Memory Card Wallet for 24 Micro SD SDXC SDHC TF Cards and 12 SD SDXC SDHC Cards

travel gift camera

Memory Card Case Holder with 22 Slots - Microfiber Cleaning Cloth Included

All 22 slots (small and large) will fit SD, SDHC, Mini SD, Micro SD, Memory Stick Pro Duo, XD and MMC cards. The Compact Flash (CF) cards can be stored in the 8 large slots.

travel gift camera

Electronic Organizer Small Travel Cable Organizer Bag

  • Small Travel Cable Organizer Bag for Hard Drives, Cables, USB, SD Cards
  • Construction of heavy-duty, durable and water repellent nylon molded case with elegant design protects your item from scratches, dust and accidental dropping

travel gift camera

Water Resistant Electronic Accessories Case with Handlle

This travel electronics organizer is designed with multiple pockets and various size of elastic bands providing great flexibility for organizing electronics accessories such as USB Cable Cord, Flash Drive, Wall Charger, SD Card, Hard Drive, Power Bank, Earbuds, Camera, clipper. With a large zipper mesh pockets suitable for ipad mini

travel gift camera

Altura Photo Professional Camera Cleaning Kit

CAMERA SENSOR CLEANING KIT INCLUDES: 6 Altura Photo 16mm Dry Sensor Swab + Altura Photo All-Natural 2oz. liquid lens cleaner + Hard Carrying Case + Lens Cleaning Pen + Lens Brush + Air Camera Blower + 50 Sheet Tissue Lens Paper + 1 Large and Original MagicFiber Microfiber camera lens cleaning cloth.

travel gift camera

Microfiber Cleaning Cloth, Extra Large [8 Pack]

  • Product Dimension : Approximately 8.0" x 8.0" (20cm X 20cm)
  • Machine Washable

travel gift camera

Vintage World Map Design Genuine Leather Cotton Canvas Strap

  • Anti-Slip surface and high-tensile plastic fasteners helps you to prevent accidental slip of your expensive or vintage camera.
  • The adjustable length makes the camera strap applicable to everyone.

travel gift camera

Camera Lens Luggage Tags

  • Large Information Card has Enough Space To Write Your Personal Information
  • Size: 3.8 Inch

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10 Awesome Compact Travel Cameras

10 Awesome Compact Travel Cameras

Must Have List of Travel Photography Gear

Must Have List of Travel Photography Gear

Camera Accessories For Landscape Photography

Camera Accessories For Landscape Photography

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jaleh michelle

travel, life, etc

The Ultimate Travel Gift Guide: 40+ Unique Travel Gifts (That People Actually Want!)

November 8, 2020

If you’re short on time and low on travel gift ideas, this post is going to save your life this year! I’ve spent the past three years traveling full-time, so I’ve got a prettty good sense of what gifts travelers actually want – and which will just end up collecting dust in a box somewhere.

Whether you’re looking for gifts for friends going travelling, something sweet for your special someone, or making a last-ditch effort to shop for that random person who has everything — I GOT YOU. This giant list of unique travel gifts & ideas will have something that’ll pique your interest, I promise.

( PS : This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission, at no additional cost to you. I’m also a participant in the Amazon Associates program, and earn commissions on any qualifying purchases made through this site)

Unique Travel Gift Ideas

Table of Contents

Unique Travel Gifts $50 and Under

You definitely don’t have to break the bank to find good travel gifts! So many of my favorites are under $50 and would make great travel stocking stuffers, or nice going-away gifts for friends going travelling. I tried to include a good mix of fun travel gifts and practical travel gifts in this list.

I own and use many of these already, and most of the others are sitting in my various carts for future trips. Real-Life Traveler Approved™.

Enjoy the Wood Wooden World Travel Maps & City Maps, $50+!

Unique Travel Gifts Enjoy the Wood Wooden Travel Maps

My TOP unique travel gift idea this year!! It’s one of the best ways I’ve found to commemorate my travels and keep all my travel memories alive 🙂 These handmade wooden world travel maps can be customised with flag pushpins for all the places you or your loved one have visited. They make an incredible accent piece for any home.

I am also stoked on this brand because of their focus on sustainability and their small-scale manufacturing. Most importantly – they’re based in Ukraine. Their manufacturing centre was completely destroyed and they’re currently trying to offload their existing inventory and rebuild. Every purchase helps them do so. The maps are extremely high quality and just a really lovely, thoughtful travel gift. I’m obsessed and couldn’t recommend these more highly as a gift for people who like to travel.

Click here to check out all the Enjoy the Wood wooden travel maps , or make a donation through their site to support Ukraine. Use code JALEH10 for 10% off 🙂

  iPhone/Android Tripod, $19.99

For anyone who loves taking photos — this portable phone tripod is a must! The flexible arms can wrap around railings, furniture, or other objects to create the perfect angle for a photo. This will definitely help to up anyone’s Instagram game, especially solo travelers who struggle to get good shots.

Custom Travel Theme Metal Pins, $1-50

Travel Gift Ideas for Adventure Lovers Custom Travel Metal Pins

Looking for meaningful but inexpensive travel gifts? I’m currently  obsessed with these jewelry-quality custom metal pins. These are PERFECT gifts for travel lovers and offer endless style options for anyone who wants to add a little personality to their travel outfits.

These travel gift accessories easily upgrade a whole look, whether popped onto a hat, jacket, or backpack! The pins are fully customizable with unique elements like name, destinations, or travel quotes. They make a fantastic custom travel gift for this year.

 Shop & check out the best custom metal pins manufacturer here ! There’s a 40% bulk discount right now, so it’s a great time to pick up a few gifts for friends who travel!

Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips ($40)

travel gift camera

If you’re looking for a gift for adventure lovers or wanderlusters missing international travel, this is it!!! This incredible book from National Geographic is devoted to travel inspiration around the world and features their typical (stunning) full-color photography, plus in-depth explanations for each destination. There’s something here for everyone.

This is such a thoughtful travel gift and would make an amazing gift idea for someone who misses traveling. Guarantee they’ll be thanking you for the inspiration for their next trip.

Click here to take a look inside the book and pick up a copy! 

Chromecast, $35

If you want bang for your buck, this is the option for what to gift someone who loves travelling. Most hotel rooms and even some in homestays/hostels have TVs, but they can be pretty much worthless in certain countries. I have watched more hours of TV in languages I don’t speak than I could count lol. Chromecast solves that problem, allowing you to stream Netflix/anything from your browser directly to your TV. It’s a LIFESAVER.

Check out reviews and click here to purchase!

Airplane Pendant Necklace, $49.99

travel gift camera

The PERFECT travel gift for her this year — this gorgeous pendant necklace features a plane and a globe, in classic sterling silver dotted with cubic zirconia. Cute, stylish, and tarnish-free, it’s one of the most unique and functional gifts for the traveling woman! This is probably one of my favorite pieces on this travel gift guide – it’s SO cute in person, too.  

Check out reviews and purchase here! 

Vaccine Card Holder

Is this a little sad? Yes, lol. But in current times, will it come UNBELIEVABLY IN HANDY for your favorite traveler? Yes, lol. This is a super basic, durable, clear plastic card holder to protect your card – literally one of THE best 2021 travel gift ideas. My card is not encased in one of these bad boys, and only 3 months and 5 countries later it is completely BATTERED. I would definitely recommend this as a travel stocking stuffer this year or including it as one of your travel gift basket ideas!

Click here to view prices and purchase a vaccine card holder. 

Margarita Travel Kit!

travel gift camera

For anyone (me, lol) who loves getting a little tipsy during their flights but craves a PROPER cocktail, this is a BRILLIANT affordable travel gift idea!! The kit comes sans tequila but contains everything else your fave traveler (or you) needs to make a marg in-flight. And it’s TSA-approved. Yes. YESSS!! Seriously such a fun travel gift. I’m picking these up for my friends this year.

Airbnb Gift Card, $50

If nothing else, give the gift of free travel! There’s a whole world of unbelievable Airbnbs out there. And I don’t know any traveler who wouldn’t jump at a few nights of free accommodation in a cosy house or laid-back beach bungalow.

Please note Airbnb gift cards are currently redeemable to USA ACCOUNT HOLDERS ONLY.

Check out here to purchase an Airbnb gift card!

  Stainless Steel Water Bottle, $21.95

A stainless steel bottle is great for travelers and the environment – win-win. This is a GREAT practical travel gift that most people never get around to buying for themselves. This one has tons of color & size options and it’s top-rated.

  Packing Cubes, $21.63

These are an organizational godsend and probably my favorite travel item I own. They make packing an absolute breeze because they compress to save space and help organize your items. They’re an absolute game-changer. Buy these as gifts for someone going travelling and I guarantee they will use them on every single trip.

  Clip-On Phone Camera Lens, $28.99

Another great gift for travel photographers! This clip-on lens attaches to the phone to allow a wider frame and higher quality shots – and it’s compatible with iPhone, Samsung, and Google phones. The macro lens also allows for close-up detail shots. These are SO much fun to shoot with and make a really fun travel gift.

  Travel Adapter, $9.99

Boring, yes, but necessary. A good travel adapter will always be appreciated, and most travelers just opt for the cheapest version when shopping for themselves. Pick up a compact but multi-functional one with extra USB ports to charge devices, and you’ll get some SERIOUS brownie points.

Portable Phone Charger

This is another must-have that will get a ton of use. There’s nothing worse than your phone running out of juice in middle-of-nowhere, Uzbekistan (I can tell you from experience). Go for a slim, lightweight version to make sure your favorite traveler can always keep it on-hand, just in case!

  Memory Foam Neck Pillow

This is the single best travel gift I could recommend if you’re looking for value. If you know any travelers who don’t have a neck pillow, get them one. Immediately . It will change their life and make flights so much more comfortable & restful. I’ve been using this wraparound pillow for 2+ years and refuse to travel without it, but the one pictured is better-rated and offers a bit more support.

  Foot Hammock 

If you know someone who struggles to sleep on flights, get them a foot hammock!! They hang off the tray table and allow you to elevate your feet, creating a much more comfortable resting position. I MacGyver myself a hammock with a sweatshirt or blanket, but would definitely appreciate a legit version. Elevating my feet has completely cured my plane insomnia and saved my life on long flights.

  Travel Towel 

A lightweight, quick-drying travel towel is a godsend for any long-term traveler. This is one of those things people often don’t realize they need until they’ve already left.

  Pushpin World Map / Scratch Off World Map  

My mom got me the scratch off version for Christmas last year and it was one of my best travel themed gifts! It’s so satisfying scratching off new countries, and it makes a cute conversation piece in my room. One of my best friends has the pushpin version which I love too. These are definitely awesome gifts for any avid traveler.

  Collapsible Mug

Perfect gifts for environmentally conscious travelers. I use mine for everything, from coffees to hostel water refills. It’s super compact and lightweight and fits easily in my bag, it’s cute af, and I love that I’m not contributing to creating plastic waste (especially in developing countries where that plastic is likely going to end up in the ocean).

Around the World Spice Set

travel gift camera

This is the perfect gift for world travelers – especially in 2020, where lots of us are stuck at home unexpectedly and unable to travel 🙁 You can gift a little taste of feeling abroad with a round-the-world spice set featuring blends from Morocco, Jamaica, and Thailand, among others! It’s a super unique travel gift idea and one I’d love to get myself.

Click here to check out reviews and purchase! 

Waterproof Phone Case

Pretty much every traveler I know has destroyed their phone at least once due to an accident, flood, or falling into a lake (last example being me). Save your traveler friends the hassle and gift them a STURDY waterproof phone case to protect their electronics, so that they too don’t end up abroad with a fried phone. Again, a great practical travel gift that a lot of people won’t bother picking up for themselves, but will literally KISS you for gifting them when they get home. 

Click here to check out phone cases!

Extension Cable, $15.19

Another “boring” but unbelievably useful travel gift. For some reason, many countries like to put their power ports in completely incomprehensible positions – and it is NOT A VIBE. I never thought to bring one but would have KILLED for one the past 8 months in Vietnam as I’ve navigated housing with the literal dumbest wiring imaginable. Your traveler might go “wtf” when they open this one, but I PROMISE they will use it on one of their trips and bless you for saving them from a really common inconvenience.

This one also has USB ports and is super compact for travel. I just bought one and am looking forward to trying it out on my next trip!

Click here to check out reviews and purchase!

Unique Travel Gift Ideas Under $200

If you’re looking for super useful travel gift ideas for the travelers in your life, here are some solid mid-range options.

KnackPack Medium, $195

Practical Travel Gifts KnackPack

I cannot & will not stop raving about this backpack lol. The KnackPack is a first-of-its kind multifunctional luggage and is by FAR the best travel backpack I’ve ever used. It’s an AMAZING practical travel gift idea. It has a ton of unique and thoughtful features for travelers looking for something sleek and functional. My medium pack is TSA-approved as a carry on but fits literally an INSANE amount of stuff in it. 

Amongst other features, it packs like a suitcase, and has a ton of additional pockets, making storage super easy. It also has a side water bottle pocket, comfy padding on the back, and a trolley sleeve for easy stacking on my roller bag. I genuinely cannot recommend this bag more highly.  They’ve thought of EVERYTHING and I truly couldn’t recommend this more highly as a unique travel gift this year!! It’s a game-changer.

Click here to check out color options and reviews for the Medium KnackPack , or here to check out their full range of sizes .

  Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader, $129.99

Books and travel are… not compatible. When you’ve got limited space in your bag, it’s really not practical to lug around more than a book or two (if that). And that SUCKS if you love to read. If you know a bookworm who loves to travel, get them an e-reader and they will love you forever. Curling up in bed or passing a long train ride with all your favorite books at your fingertips… that’s priceless. I would love  to get one of these… are you reading this, Mom? 😉

Check out reviews and prices here!

SplayTray, $55

Useful Travel Gifts Ideas Splaytray

This nifty invention by a friend of mine is a patented-design carry bag that expands out into a fullsize tray. It’s SO HANDY. The sides are magnetised so once you want access to all your makeup, art supplies, etc at once, you just pop the sides and everything is laid out – no more rummaging through your bag for what you’re looking for. It comes in small/medium versions and a ton of different color options!!!

  Nanopresso Machine, $64.90

For the caffeine-addicted traveler. I had no idea a “nanopresso” was a thing until recently, but it looks AMAZING. Basically it’s a teeny-tiny portable machine that brews coffee! Just add coffee grounds and water. I was a bit skeptical of the functionality, but the reviews are actually solid – so this one is a safe bet for coffee lovers! Grab the NS adapter to make it Nespresso-pod compatible!

  Fujifilm InstaX Polaroid Camera, $72

Especially in the age of ultra-curated social media, there’s something really special about real  snapshots. Your fave traveler will have a blast snapping pics with one of these, and they’ll come home with a stack of absolutely priceless photos. My favorite travel photos are consistently the grainy, garbage quality late-night snaps on friends’ Polaroids – those are always the real moments, and the ones I most want to remember!

Check out reviews, colors, and prices here!

Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

There’s something about speakers that makes everything more fun – whether you’re laying on a beach in Thailand, enjoying a beer in Germany, or hiking in Switzerland. This one is waterproof, compact, and the sound quality is amazing! My flatmates have this exact model and it’s survived countless trips to Bondi Beach.

 Mobile Wifi Hotspot 

For anyone who lives online, a mobile hotspot is a must have travel gift! This little contraption creates a mobile wifi network, so your favorite traveler can stay connected, even in the middle of nowhere. This is great for people who travel frequently because I guarantee they are sick of weak wi-fi and dropped connection.

Priority Pass Membership, currently 40% off at just $55 (normally $99!)

Unique Travel Gifts for Friends Going Travelling

Priority Pass is an exclusive service that grants members discounted access to hundreds of airport lounges around the world. Especially between long-haul international flights, it makes a huge difference to be able to relax, take a shower, and squeeze in a (complimentary!) gin & tonic. Whoever you pick this one up for will LOVE you.

Check out pricing and membership tiers here!

Unique & Useful Travel Gift Ideas $200 and Over AKA Presents For People You REALLY Love

Kidding, I know you can’t put a price tag on love 😉 But if you’ve got a bit higher budget, here are some mid-range to luxury travel gift ideas that your giftee would DIE to have, but probably won’t splurge on themselves.

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones, $199.99 (on sale from $299.99!!))

An absolute game-changer on flights, and probably one of the greatest investment items for a frequent traveler. You don’t realize how loud and disruptive airplane or outside noise can be until you can switch it off with the flick of a button. It makes a huge difference in sleep and comfort to upgrade from regular headphones. This Bose pair is one of the highest-rated noise cancelling headphones on the market, and my personal fave.

GoPro Hero 8, $299.99 (on sale from $349.99!!)

For any adventurers, a GoPro is a must have travel gift!! This bad boy can handle any weather condition and the picture quality is amazing considering how compact it is. It’s so fun to shoot with one and I’ve always come out with some gorgeous, in-the-moment adventure snaps. Don’t forget to pick up a GoPro dome to take some seriously cool half-underwater photos!

DJI Mini Drone, $399.99

DJI drones are some of the highest-rated on the market. They create spectacular aerial shots and are one of the best gifts for travel photographers. This is a definite investment but seriously opens up a whole new world of possibility for photos! I personally would kill for a drone, especially as a solo traveler who often struggles to take pics unassisted.

Chic Luggage Set, $325

Who wouldn’t love some sleek new luggage? My personal favorite brand Calpak makes beautiful luggage sets in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The rose-gold (pictured) is the most popular, but I own the white marble set , and have my eye on the rainbow gradient . They’re super lightweight but very sturdy and well-made.

Shay Mitchell’s Beis line is also EXTREMELY well-rated and very sleek. Revolve currently stocks a ton of luggage options including a 29” roller linked here , or a 21” roller linked here (both come in black and beige!).

Panasonic Lumix Mirrorless Camera, $479.99

If you know anyone who loves photography and travel, get them a mirrorless camera. An iPhone simply doesn’t do incredible destinations justice, but a DSLR is way too bulky to be practical for travel (I hate lugging mine around everywhere). A mirrorless camera gives you all the quality of a DSLR without the heft – it’s the perfect travel camera. I’ll be swapping out my Canon 6D for the Panasonic as soon as I can afford it!

  FitBit Versa 3 Smartwatch & Activity Tracker, $229.95

Traveling does a number on your body, and it’s really hard to stay in shape (especially when you love trying new foods). Any long-term traveler would love a tracker to help monitor their activity and stay on top of their health while abroad. This was my personal most-wanted item this year, and I’m confident I’ll get a ton of use out of it on future travels.

Gift an Experience

If all else fails, and you don’t want to burden your traveler with more Stuff – give them a gift they’ll never forget! Like a Harry Potter studio tour in London . Or a hot air balloon ride over Sydney’s Hunter Valley wine country. Or a romantic dinner cruise through the San Francisco Bay .

Or… just grab them a gift card and let them choose their dream experience .

Unique Travel Gifts for Her

Silk sleep mask.

Trying to sleep on a flight or in an unfamiliar environment (like a night train) can be absolutely miserable – a sleep mask will help to get some shut-eye. I have this pink silk version and it’s so  cute and super soft.

Shampoo & Conditioner Bars

The number of times my shampoo/conditioner have leaked into my bag and destroyed some important possession are like… endless. And continually lugging around/purchasing new (sh*tty) hair products is both impractical, and bad for your hair. Solution? Gift travelers shampoo/conditioner bars (and bar soap!), which travel easy and leak-proof, while keeping hair sleek and moisturised even in the most remote destinations.

Cute Leather Luggage Tags 

Especially if someone has indistinct luggage (like a basic black case), these will help avoid any mix-ups at the airport. And in case the bag gets lost, airport staff will easily be able to identify it. Plus they’re cute. My ex’s family got me these one year and I LOVE them – I use them every time I fly!

Personalized Leather Passport Holder 

Your passport is the most important thing you take with you on your travels! And especially with frequent trips, they can get pretty banged up – mine is literally falling apart. If you know someone whose passport looks a little worse for the wear, get them a passport holder. They look nice and they’re a super functional travel gift.

Also, Socks

I know it’s a running joke that you know you’re old once you get excited about socks for Christmas, but like, I would really love some socks lol. Whatever you decide to buy this year, just chuck some socks in the package too.

If you or someone you love needs socks too, here’s a link . You can never have enough socks, guys.

ANYWAY, I hope this helped you sort out your last-minute Christmas shopping this year!! Hope you guys have a lovely holiday season, and please let me know if you ended up buying any of these gifts for world travelers in your life. I’d love to hear about it! 

Don’t forget to PIN this post or drop a comment below if you found this list of unique travel gifts helpful! And subscribe to my email list below if you’d like to receive monthly updates with new posts, tips, and travel recaps! 

(Disclosure: This post is a paid collaboration with Enjoy the Wood, Pins US, and KnackPack) 

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travel gift camera

December 3, 2019 at 7:10 am

Those socks! Where have they been all my adult life?!

travel gift camera

December 3, 2019 at 6:30 pm

I don’t know, but what I do know is that everybody is getting socks from me this year LOL

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2023 wrapped 🎁 pretty avg on paper lol but wonderful in reality -- grateful for new & old friends, FINALLY reuniting w some of my best friends (and more comin in 2024!!!), amazing travels, average (i'll take it lol) mental health, and clownery with my favorite 🥲💛 lucky 🍀

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The Best Travel Gifts For All Kinds of Globetrotters

By James Stout

yeti water bottle go pro camera dopp kit

Beyond a voucher or a wad of cash put towards some imminent vacation, the best travel gifts go one step further to ensure that the actual trip itself goes off without a hitch. Any number of potential pitfalls can put a snag on that blissful OOO sojourn, from an unfamiliar outlet that can't charge your devices to screaming infants on your flight, but there are gadgets and gear that you can bestow upon someone to pre-empt all the expected challenges. And outside these purely practical choices , there are also some select splurges that will help fulfill their wildest travel dreams, like a souped-up GoPro camera or a piece of status-y luggage .

They'll have you to thank every time they slip on their favorite travel tee , or glide down the terminal with a shiny new carry-on bag. And you'll feel slightly less envious about all those dazzling photos from sandy beaches when you know you helped them capture all those moments, or made their trip a little smoother. Without further ado, all the best travel gifts for your favorite gallivanter.

All products featured on GQ are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

travel gift camera

Go Travel Coffee Press

Aeropress' eminently travel-friendly designs use wafer-thin filters and an impressive plunger design that requires almost no cleanup for your coffee grounds whatsoever. It's a no-brainer for any frequent traveler who wants consistently delicious coffee no matter where they are, on or off the grid.

travel gift camera

Instead of relying on WiFi or Bluetooth, Air Tags ping billions of iPhone users all around the world to pinpoint their locaiton. Twenty eight bucks isn't much to spend for the gift of knowing your bag made it onto the flight, and isn't in fact spinning out somewhere over the ocean.

travel gift camera

Mega Pillow

If he's secretly like the princess and the pea when it comes to pillows , this travel version (which packs down to the size of a soda can) will be a game-changer. Tell him to combine this with a window seat for the best sleep experience available in economy class.

travel gift camera

Lightweight Standard Mouth Trail Series

This bottle will become his companion at the gym, on the trail, and on long trips. The Trail series Hydroflask bottles are 25% lighter than standard models, but still keep your water cold for up to 24 hours.

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travel gift camera

America the Beautiful Pass 2023/2024

This pass is easily the best 80 bucks you'll ever spend, securing you entry to public lands from coast to coast.

travel gift camera

Add some yee-haw energy to his travel rotation with these roper boots that have a slightly more accommodating fit than most, making them a great choice for first-time cowboys.

travel gift camera

Random House

'There and Back: Photographs from the Edge,' by Jimmy Chin

Jimmy Chin has lensed some of the least-explored places on earth. With this coffee table book, maybe he'll find some inspiration to plan some of his own adventures, even if they're a little less extreme.

travel gift camera

No Sweat Pants

We all know someone who needs to lose the sweatpants. Duer's "no sweat" pants look a little more dressed-up than joggers, but have the comfy feel of a lived-in piece of leisurewear.

travel gift camera

Black Hole Wheeled Duffel 70L

Patagonia's iconic Black Hole duffels switch gears easily between white water rafting trips and weekends in the Hamptons. The wheeled version will even help him haul his gear across the airport or to the trailhead.

travel gift camera

Accents Kit

With these high-vis Tumi accents, he'll never have trouble locating his bag in the crowded luggage carousel.

travel gift camera

Sleep Mask Pro

The GOAT of sleep masks blocks out all sunlight with molded eye cups. It's not the prettiest sight in the world, but it may be the only thing that'll actually help him cure his jet lag.

travel gift camera

Introduce him to his new favorite travel tee. The Manna is soft, sustainable, and odor-resistant, which makes long days navigating railways and airports a little bit less unpleasant.

travel gift camera

Peak Design

The guy who is constantly untangling the giant bundle of cables he carries around everywhere could probably use a pouch that has all the space and organization he needs to achieve charging serenity.

travel gift camera

Titanium Spork

Airline cutlery is the worst, and ordering takeout to your hotel with no utensils in sight is just as disappointing. But with this shiny spork in his bag, he'll be prepped to chow down whether he's in the mountains or in a meeting.

travel gift camera

GoPro HERO11 Black Camera

Getting footage of your vacations is fun, but hauling around a clunker of a camcorder like your dad might have is not. The Go Pro Hero 11 Black Camera is small enough to stuff into pocket, and gives him a way to film on days when he wants to leave his phone back at the hotel.

travel gift camera

Wave+ Multi-Tool

A good pocket multitool has all the essentials you'll need on the road in one lightweight attachment. The Leatherman Wave+ uses a 1/4" bit driver to allow you to customize the tool set to your needs.

travel gift camera

Sea to Summit

Hydraulic Packing Cube Set

Sea to Summit's new Hydraulic packing cubes are water- and dust-proof, while keeping bulk to a minimum. Their translucent sides will also help him remember what he's packed, whether he's backpacking or booking into business class.

travel gift camera

International Travel Adapter & Charger

Replace his bag of region-specific adaptors and USB converters with one that covers all his bases for charging just about anything, just about anywhere.

travel gift camera

Moto Buds ANC True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

Portable, noise-cancelling buds that don't feel as bulky as over-ear options when you're trying to get some sleep on a packed flight or just aiming to run some laps in your hotel gym.

travel gift camera

Nalgene Polyethylene Bottle - 2 fl. oz.

If he likes to save money, or just wants to save the planet, these tiny, indestructible bottles are great for toting his toiletries on a trip—minus the mess.

travel gift camera

Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket

Rumpl's puffy, lightweight down blanket works just as well on a flight as it does for sleeping under the stars on a summer night, and comes in tons of great colorways like this Blue Ridge-themed one.

travel gift camera

Durable Bifold Wallet

This classic, GQ -approved canvas bifold is built to stand up to the rigors of hard winters in the outdoors, so it should do just fine in his back pocket. These wallets are also vegan, and can avoid unwanted snooping on his credit cards with their RFID blocker.

travel gift camera

These over-ear headphones look great and sound even better. They also boast an active noise-cancellation feature that's efficient enough to drown out the drone of a plane engine, or the screaming baby a few rows back on your flight.

travel gift camera

Field Shirt

Arc'teryx

Lightweight collared shirts are a timeless travel staple that can be dressed up or down for the occasion, and this Arcteryx Veilance model is one of the most versatile, blending modern fabrics and design with the utility of the classic safari shirt.

travel gift camera

Fenix 7 Pro S

Garmin's Fenix 7 Pro S can run more than a month on a single charge, and functions as a fitness tracker , smartwatch, and GPS in one package. It's the perfect splurge gift for the guy who likes to stay in shape (or just micromanage his bio stats) while he travels for work.

travel gift camera

PowerVolt Travel20 Wall and Car Travel Charger

Not being able to charge your phone in a rental car is frustrating, but not quite frustrating enough to travel with a 12V adaptor. This handy plug works as a wall to USB-C adaptor as well as a 12V to USB-C adaptor so he'll never be seeing the dreaded red blinking battery light.

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The Atlas Heart

71 Best Travel Gifts for Every Budget and Type of Traveler

* This article contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you.

A comprehensive guide to the best gifts for travelers, written by a world traveler.

Every year, my mom asks me, “what do you want for your birthday?” She asks, knowing that I’m a frequent traveler and live most of my life out of a backpack or suitcase, hopping from plane to train, traveling from country to country.

Travelers tend to value experiences more than material items (e.g. ziplining in Costa Rica or eating gelato in Italy).

However, most of us can’t afford to buy our best friend a full vacation, which is why I put together this list of the best gifts that travelers will actually use. 

Finding the perfect gift for the traveler in your life is about balancing usability with meaning. It’s ideal to give something that won’t weigh a traveler down or be forgotten about in a closet at home. 

Gifts for travelers should be fun and special but also practical for a more nomadic lifestyle. 

My rule of thumb when buying gifts for travelers is to find something that makes them feel free. Encouraging freedom means giving gifts that are lightweight, increase efficiency, or give that little push to help someone live their travel dreams.

Travel gifts also need to be durable, dependable, and make it through airport security.

This gift list will help you find the best travel gifts for friends, family, colleagues, or partners who love traveling.

gifts for travelers

Table of Contents

Best Stocking Stuffer Travel Gifts

Wild socks by crazy dog t-shirts.

wild socks by crazy dog t-shirts

My favorite gift for travelers who have a sense of humor is fun socks. These aren’t your grandma’s socks, though. 

Crazy Dog socks come in vibrant colors and with silly prints ranging from bananas to awesome opossums. 

My adult friends always laugh when they receive socks with funny sayings like “Swearing helps” or “Give no f*cks.”

Travel Cutlery Set

Travel Cutlery Set

Last year, my best friend got me a backpacking spork, and I have gotten so much use out of this perfect stocking stuffer. 

It’s something that I can appreciate while eating lunch at work or while eating a parfait at the airport.

Carrying a set of reusable cutlery in carry-on bags also helps travelers cut back on single-use plastics.

You can even personalize this Etsy set with your friend’s name.

Self-Care Face Mask

Self-Care Face Mask

If you’re looking for gifts travelers will love, remember the importance of pampering. 

My favorite thing to do after returning home from a long trip is to relax in an Epsom salt bath with a face mask and candles. 

The benefit of face masks over mud masks is that they hardly add any weight to a bag and can pass through airport security if your traveling loved one wants to relax in a hotel room.

Soap Leaves

Soap Leaves

More times than not, the restroom at a park or trailhead doesn’t have a handwashing station—or they do, but it’s missing soap. 

Whether your loved one is road tripping across their home state or flying across the world, carrying soap leaves in a travel bag or purse gives them the basic luxury of washing their hands whenever and wherever. 

This is especially relevant for reducing the spread of diseases while traveling. Plus, these make a great stocking stuffer!

CHECK PRICE ON:

Laundry Detergent Leaves

Laundry Detergent Leaves

While we’re on the subject of soap, let’s talk about laundry. 

For the love of good-smelling clothes, it doesn’t hurt to get your traveling friend a pack of pocket-sized dry laundry detergent leaves. 

Sea to Summit detergent is biodegradable and phosphate free. They won’t push the weight limit for backpackers, and they’re less messy than traditional detergents.

Massage Ball

Massage Ball

Drop one of these golfball-sized fellas into someone’s stocking, and you won’t have to rub their feet after a long day at Disneyland . 

This ball is made of solid rubber. It’s gentle on tender spots and strong enough to work deep knots.

Best Travel Gift Ideas Under $50

Sleep mask & ear plugs.

Sleep Mask & Ear Plugs

Sleep is always crucial, no matter if your loved one travels for fun or goes away for business travel.

Give frequent travelers the gift of improved sleep. Over the years, I’ve used complimentary in-flight eye masks, but they lay flat on my eyelashes and often let light in from the corners. 

The Alaska Bear eye mask is soft and contoured for eye comfort without light leaks. It comes with a carrying pouch and earplugs.

Waterproof Phone Pouch

Waterproof Phone Pouch

If the traveler in your life is taking off on a beach vacation or plays water sports, give them a waterproof pouch for their phone. 

This pouch not only protects from accidents, but it can take underwater pictures too. The Pelican phone pouch also floats, setting it apart from cheaper comparisons.

Travel Charm Keyring

Travel Charm Keyring

Personalized keyrings are fun travel gifts, especially if you’re looking to get something inexpensive for a big group of travel friends.

Travel Size Watercolor Palette

Travel Size Watercolor Palette

The Winsor and Newton Cotman pocket watercolor palette changed the way I paint. 

Usually, I leave my art supplies at home because they’re too bulky, but with this mini palette, I can drop it into my carry-on luggage and paint anywhere.

The palette is about the size of a large cell phone, and the travel paintbrush has an internal water compartment. It all folds down into a convenient carrying case. 

This is the convenience gift of the century for traveling artists.

Microfiber Travel Towel

Microfiber Travel Towel

At first, I was skeptical about trying a microfiber travel towel because I don’t like the clingy feeling of microfiber cleaning cloths. But these travel towels are not clingy! 

I’ve had no issues with sand, dirt, pine needles, and general crud sticking to my towel.

Gift your beach babe, Parisian hostel hopping, or gym rat loved one a lightweight, quick-drying towel.

Bar Shampoo and Conditioner

Bar Shampoo and Conditioner

Alright, it’s time to get down to business: who here has been stopped at TSA for packing too many liquids in your luggage? 

Pouring shampoo and conditioner into tiny travel bottles that always leak is a thing of the past. /liv/ Nature shampoo and conditioner bars actually work and come in TSA-friendly tins. 

Not only does this gift make packing easier, but it’s also more environmentally friendly than those tiny single-use plastic shampoo bottles in hotels.

Travel Journal

Travel Journal

Self-discovery and storytelling are quintessential aspects of traveling. The best gifts for travelers keep this in mind.

Every traveler needs a trusted journal where they can jot down thoughts, brainstorm future travels, and vent about the monkey who stole their phone.

I received my first Zequenz Classic 360 notebook as a present, and after it was full, I purchased a new one. 

As a traveling writer and artist, I love this journal because it can be rolled up to fit in a purse or lay open without the pages turning on their own. 

While I prefer blank paper, this journal style also comes with grid paper or ruled paper.

Cell Phone Camera Clip-On Lens

cell phone camera clip-on lens

I first learned about lenses for phone cameras from a photography professor whose son switched to phone photography. 

There are three clip-on lenses for 15x macro, 180° fisheye, and 0.6x wide angle. For context, my Google Pixel 6 has a 20x macro and 0.7 wide angle function built into the camera, but it doesn’t have a fisheye setting.

This kit is best suited for someone who wants to upgrade their phone camera without dropping a thousand dollars on the newest phone.

Best Travel Gifts Ideas under $100

Polaroid camera.

polaroid camera

Polaroid cameras are no longer a thing of the past! 

Travel lovers of all ages can print pictures on the go with the Fujifilm Instax Mini. I have a friend who documents her travels with one special polaroid picture per day.

Camera Strap

Camera Strap

Interested in travel gifts for a photographer? Add a pop of color and personality to a loved one’s camera with a vintage camera strap.

Camera Cleaning Kit

Camera Cleaning Kit

Camera cleaning kits are another piece of camera gear that your photographer friend will use time and time again.

Travel Hotel Sheet or Sleeping Bag Liner

Travel Hotel Sheet or Sleeping Bag Liner

Travel hotel sheets and sleeping bag liners are essentially thin sleeping bags made out of bed sheets.

If you know someone who sleeps in hotels often, a travel sheet offers extra protection from whatever lingering germs in their hotel room would light up under ultraviolet light. Yuck.

For your loved ones who prefer camping, hotel sheets or liners protect the inside of their sleeping bag from dirty feet and stinky armpits after a long day of hiking.

BeFree Water Filter Bottle

BeFree Water Filter Bottle

BeFree filter bottle carries one liter of water, the same as a trusty old Nalgene water bottle. 

It’s BPA-free, collapsible, easy to pack, and can help your friend avoid water-borne illnesses while traveling.

Exercise Resistance Bands

Exercise Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are a lightweight gym on the go. Most travelers I’ve met have trouble maintaining an exercise regimen while traveling long-term. 

A set of non-slip resistance bands and a foldable yoga mat will keep the traveler in your life fit and toned on their next big trip.

Best Travel Gift Ideas for Her

Hidden pocket infinity scarf.

Hidden Pocket Infinity Scarf

Seriously, why are scarf pockets not more common? The patterns on these infinity scarves are so much fun, and now I don’t have to hide things in my bra.

Pacsafe RFID Cross Body Bag or Travel Purse

pacsafe rfid cross body bag or travel purse

Before learning about PacSafe, I used a system of safety pins to “secure” the zipper on my purse while traveling. This year I learned about the anti-theft security zippers on PacSafe bags, and I’m hooked.

I like this Pacsafe purse in particular because it expands to just the right size for carrying a journal or a book.

Looking for more anti-theft bags? Read our guide to the best travel purses .

Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket

patagonia nano puff jacket

If the outdoorsy traveler in your life is always cold, consider buying her a Patagonia Nano Puff Jacket. 

This puffer has 60g of PrimaLoft recycled insulation and a recycled polyester shell. 

She can cram it into an already bulging backpack, fold it into the compression pouch, and use it as a travel pillow on the plane.

SHOP WOMEN’S:

SHOP MEN’S:

Travel Pants

Travel Pants

Whether the traveler in your life is hanging out on the beach or dressing up for a night out, these pants will be at the top of her packing list .

The Brooklyn Ankle cut fit the classic style of many European countries with the comfort of leggings and light material for summer travels.

These are my favorite travel pants because they are easy to pair with any shirt and can be dressed or down. Versatility is key when it comes to travel.

VIVAIA Shoes

Vivaia Shoes

VIVAIA shoes are made of recycled plastic water bottles and hold up to daily wear at the beach or walking through cobblestone streets. 

If you know your friend’s shoe size, this can be a great gift for the traveler who still likes to look nice while traveling.

Read our detailed review of VIVAIA shoes and compare them with Tieks , Rothy’s , Birdies , and Allbirds .

Best Travel Gift Ideas for Him

Cocktail mix kit.

Cocktail Mix Kit

Alright, this is one of the best travel gifts for dads, hubbies, and swanky people who like to mix their own drinks. 

Each box contains the dry ingredients and mixing tools for making cocktails, meaning they can pass through airport security. 

Make sure the gift recipient knows that they will have to procure the alcohol and tonic from a flight attendant or bring it to the campsite. 

The Cocktail Box Co has several different recipe boxes, so you can give several to the same person or buy them as individual gifts for different friends.

Mini Razor

This mini razor and leather pouch is a classy gift for family members who love to travel.

Hanging Toiletry Bag

hanging toiletry bag

If the man in your life doesn’t have a leather toiletry bag, gift him the KomalC hanging travel kit.

This buffalo leather shave kit has a surprising amount of storage space. It can be hung next to the bathroom sink to avoid pooling water and dirty countertops. 

By unfolding it, your giftee can see everything and is less likely to lose small items at the bottom of the bag.

Travel Security Money Belt

Travel Security Money Belt

Money belts are an excellent alternative to fanny packs and purses. The Jasgood money belt has an anti-theft pocket for hiding cash from pickpockets at densely packed tourist destinations.

Headlamp

Another practical present for the outdoorsy traveler in your life is a waterproof headlamp. 

Hands-free headlamps are more versatile than flashlights and won’t drain phone battery, which is important on long trips. 

While traveling in Costa Rica, I used my headlamp for a nighttime hot springs tour. It was perfect until I dropped it in the water, which is why I now recommend going for the Ghost Bird Seiker waterproof headlamp.

As a bonus, one percent of Ghost Bird profits goes to the World Owl Trust .

Looking for more outdoorsy gifts? Read our guides to the best gifts for outdoorsy women , the best gifts for hikers , and the best gifts for campers .

Best Travel Gift Ideas for Couples

Airbnb gift cards.

airbnb gift cards

Send your favorite couple on vacation by paying for their accommodation away from home. Airbnbs are all over the world and range from luxurious to rustic. 

Maybe the travel duo already has their accommodation covered—no problem! Airbnb users can book experiences like cooking classes and kayaking tours as well.

Travel Challenges Card Game

Travel Challenges Card Game

Are your friends adventure travelers? Pick up a deck of Couples Edition adventure traveler cards. 

Each card has instructions for travel challenges tailored toward meeting locals, exploring the city, and creating unique memories.

Ticket Stub Organizer

ticket stub organizer

I don’t know about your friends, but mine have old concert ticket stubs, movie tickets, and boarding passes coming out of their ears. 

Just the Ticket is like a hybrid scrapbook—trading card organizer. Each ticket has its own slot and a few lines to write memories. 

If you want to make an extra special gift for your partner, surprise them with tickets for an upcoming travel experience or show.

Travel Snacks

Travel Snacks

One of my favorite gifts from a sorority sister in college was an assortment of dried mandarin and mango slices and an artisan hot chocolate mix. 

The dried fruit went straight into my travel backpack for my next trip through airport security. 

Other easy-to-pack travel treats include nuts and candies. Bonus points if you find your friend a snack with sentimental value.

Best Gifts for Someone Traveling Abroad

Universal outlet adaptor.

Universal Outlet Adaptor

When a friend goes abroad for the first time, I casually ask if they have an outlet adaptor. 

This is one of those lightweight gifts to take abroad that won’t add unnecessary clutter to their suitcase. Outlet adaptors are easy to forget about but essential.

Passport Holder

Passport Holder

The second question that I ask when a friend travels abroad for the first time is, “do you have a passport holder?”

My sister bought me a passport holder before my first study abroad trip to India. It was a meaningful gift that I still take with me around the world.

Plus, the RFID-safe material blocks potential thieves from scanning the cards inside.

Eurail Global Pass

Eurail Global Pass

If you know someone planning a trip to Europe, consider gifting them a Eurail Global Pass. 

Eurail passes are essentially an open-ended train ticket. The pass-holder can hop on and off of trains across Europe over a predetermined period of time. 

Eurail isn’t the cheapest option for booking train tickets, but it’s the easiest.

A traveler with a Eurail pass can book a last-minute seat or miss their train and catch the next one. It’s essentially a priority pass to the European rail system.

This is what I would buy my graduating senior who is backpacking across Europe.

Scratch Off Map

Scratch Off Map

Every traveler needs this scratch-off map to showcase where they’ve been and discover where they’ll go next. 

If you’re looking for slightly less practical travel-themed gifts, maps are easy-to-hang dorm decor and interesting backgrounds for Zoom meetings. 

Also, scratch-off maps don’t require push pins, making them safer for small kids and less destructive to walls if the giftee lives in an apartment.

Read our guide to the best US national park scratch-off maps .

PacSafe Camera Bag: Anti-Theft Daypack

pacsafe camera bag anti-theft daypack

For someone able to fork out the money for high-quality photography travel gear, check out the PacSafe CamSafe X25 pack. This backpack is worth every penny.

My favorite part is the anti-theft zippers that latch together and can be locked for extra security while walking in crowded touristy areas. 

The front of the bag and the straps are constructed with slash-resistant material. Inside is an RFID-safe pocket to protect from unwanted credit card scanning, and the bottom half of the bag opens separately for equipment-only access. 

It also has a water bottle pocket, extra padding, hip and sternum straps, and a rain cover.

For more backpack recommendations, read my article on the best EDC backpacks .

Thin Fanny Pack

Thin Fanny Pack

Venture’s slim pouch is large enough to carry a phone, money, keys, and passport but thin enough to conceal it under a t-shirt, button-down, or skirt before letting loose at the dance club.

Fashion tip: this year, many of my European friends are wearing their fanny packs as a crossbody bag (from shoulder to hip instead of around their waist) during the day.

Is your friend more outdoorsy? Read our guide to the best hiking fanny packs .

Best Gifts for Someone Who Travels a lot for Work

Packing cubes.

Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are a hot item among travelers right now because they help keep things organized and reduce wrinkles. 

I use packing cubes to compress my clothes while backpacking and replace the need for a laundry bag.

My friend backpacked in Malaysia last month and got caught in a rainstorm that soaked through her outer bag, which is why I recommend the waterproof Veken set. 

I don’t know why it took so long for packing cubes to become a mainstream item, but your traveling friends and family will thank you for this time-saving gift.

We tested the best packing cubes on the market and assembled a guide to choosing your best fit. Read about our eight favorite packing cube brands .

Laptop Sleeve

Laptop Sleeve

A simple leather laptop sleeve makes an elegant graduation gift for your favorite traveler. 

With this Allinside laptop sleeve, you’ll help them feel and look professional at business meetings around the world.

Lumbar Support Cushion

Lumbar Support Cushion

If your parents complain of lower back pain while traveling, save their asses—or rather, their backs—with a lumbar support cushion.

Folding Yoga Mat

Folding Yoga Mat

One of the trickiest things about frequent travel is maintaining an exercise and mindfulness routine. 

Traditional yoga mats are difficult to travel with, and no one wants to touch hotel floors. 

The Gaiam folding yoga mat doesn’t have much cushion, but it does have the grip necessary for downward dog. Plus, it folds up to the size of a small laptop for frequent travelers.

Mini Travel Steamer

Mini Travel Steamer

A mini steamer is one of those gifts for travelers who need to pack light but still want to look their best in business meetings. Steamers remove wrinkles and even some stains.

Travel Backpacking Pack

Travel Backpacking Pack

Speak to your budget backpacker friend’s heart with a new backpack.

For a beginner traveler, I recommend the Coofay XL backpack .

The Coofay has all of the essentials, like compression straps, zipper pockets, and even a shoe compartment. It doesn’t have a hip belt, but it does have a sternum strap.

If your loved one is ready for an upgrade, I suggest investing in the Osprey Fairview or Farpoint packs (women’s and men’s versions).

These Osprey backpacks are pricier, but they’ll last for years and years to come.

The 40L versions of the Fairview and Farpoint have external stuff pockets, a 16-inch laptop pocket, and hip belt pockets.

Hip belts are super important once someone’s getting serious about traveling because they take a lot of weight off of the shoulders on longer trips.

These Osprey bags are also water-resistant, and the backpack straps stow away.

Looking for more backpack options for an outdoorsy traveler? Read our guide to the best travel backpacks and hiking backpacks for women .

SHOP FAIRVIEW WOMEN’S:

SHOP FARPOINT MEN’S:

Best Travel Accessory Gifts

Travel blanket.

Travel Blanket

You know that friend whose couch is hidden under a pile of blankets? 

The Pavilia travel blanket is my favorite travel gift idea. It’s fuzzy like the blankets back home but compresses into a pillow the size of a standard airplane tray table.

Travel Neck Pillow

Travel Neck Pillow

What I love most about this travel neck pillow is its adjustable shape. 

This is the perfect travel gift for anyone who wants to avoid falling asleep on their seatmate’s shoulder—I am, of course, not speaking from experience *cough, cough*.

Compression Socks

Compression Socks

Searching for the best gift ideas for parents and grandparents? Compression socks promote blood flow from the feet upward to reduce swelling after long flights.

Suitcase and Shoe Deodorizers

Suitcase and Shoe Deodorizers

You know that friend with the stinky feet? Kindly Amazon this gift to their doorstep.

But seriously, Marsheepy deodorizer bags use charcoal and bamboo to absorb and eliminate odors. They work in shoes, backpacks, suitcases, even cars, and around the house. 

Simply recharge the deodorizers in the sun once a month, and they will last for about two years. 

The best part is that once your friend is done with them, the contents are compostable.

First Aid Kit

First Aid Kit

I am definitely that mom friend who gives first aid kits as holiday gifts. This ultralight medical kit weighs only 0.5 oz, making it an easy safety accessory to toss into any suitcase or backpack. 

If you like going the extra mile, I always add Benadryl and menstruation pads (highly absorbent for serious wounds and surprise periods) before wrapping this gift. 

Best Travel Gadgets & Tech Gifts

Noise canceling headphones.

Noise Canceling Headphones

Using advanced noise canceling technology, Bose makes it possible for your favorite world travelers to sleep on the plane despite crying babies.

Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Good sound quality is worth investing in. The JBL Flip 4 isn’t cheap, but it will survive accidental lake dives—oops—and it has a battery life of 12 hours. 

Tech Accessories Organization Bag

Tech Accessories Organization Bag

Having a dedicated bag for organizing tech accessories makes all the difference when traveling with videography and photography equipment. 

Portable Charger

Portable Charger

Portable chargers are travel essentials. If your favorite traveler doesn’t have a portable charger, give them one this holiday season. 

I like the INIU power bank because it’s small enough to carry in a purse, and it can charge multiple phones before needing to be recharged. 

INIU has two USB ports and one USB C port, compatible with new smartphones. 

Laptop Stand

Laptop Stand

The MOFT Invisible Laptop stand is a cool travel gift for digital nomads and business travelers. 

Raising the laptop closer to eye level prevents remote workers from staring down all day, thus reducing neck pain. 

Unlike bulky laptop stands that are intended for home offices, MOFT’s invisible stand adheres to the bottom of any size laptop, weighs 3oz, and folds down to 1/9” in width. 

I prefer this laptop stand as a travel gift because it takes up minimal space in a carry-on bag and can be set up on a tray table for watching movies. 

Luggage Scale

Luggage Scale

Have you ever been charged a hefty fee for an overweight bag? Trust me, it stings. But it’s not like you can stuff a whole bathroom scale in your suitcase when you’re traveling abroad. 

This convenient luggage scale is pocket-sized and super lightweight, so travelers can take it anywhere and always know when their bag is too heavy–before getting gouged at the check-in counter. 

Best Luxury Travel Gifts

Swiss gear carry-on suitcase.

Swiss Gear Carry-On Suitcase

I recommend Swiss Gear for luxury suitcases. My favorite is the soft 21” expandable carry-on roller because it meets the dimension requirements for most major international airlines. 

Looking for more luggage options? Read our guides to the best wheeled backpacks the best hardside luggage sets , Beis Luggage, and Pakt One Luggage .

Airport Lounge Access

Offer to upgrade a loved one’s plane ticket or share your airline points for access to airport lounges. 

I am obsessed with this luxury experience, and it would be the ultimate surprise for a budget backpacker.

To arrange access to airport lounges, you’ll have to know which airlines the giftee plans to fly through. 

Upgrading tickets for lounge access can be expensive, so be prepared to pay big money for this luxury present.

Yeti Travel Mug

Yeti Travel Mug

Looking for a great gift for traveling coffee addicts? Encourage sustainability and style with a double-wall insulated Yeti travel mug. 

Yeti fits in cupholders, and double wall insulation keeps drinks cold or hot.

Foot Hammock

Foot Hammock

Another way to boost frequent flyer comfort for your short friends is with a foot hammock that attaches to the seat back. The sleepy ride hammock is 7 oz and buckles to the seatback. 

Best Unique Travel Gifts

Necklace with photo projection.

Necklace With Photo Projection

Custom photo projection necklaces are an excellent gift for moms (including dog moms) who miss their families while racking up frequent flyer points. 

Unlike lockets, these necklaces are discrete, and no one will know that she has a secret picture unless she shows them. 

Monogrammed Duffel Bag

Monogrammed Duffel Bag

Personalized or monogrammed items are a fun gift to remind travelers that their friends and family back home are thinking of them.

It also helps distinguish their bag on the luggage carousel. 

Looking for more duffel bag options? Read our guide to the best waterproof duffel bags . 

Personalized Leather Luggage Tag

Personalized Leather Luggage Tag

Leather luggage tags are an inexpensive but unique gift for frequent travelers. Leather looks better and is more reliable than those pesky paper tags that crinkle, fade, and fall off. 

With this personalized luggage tag, your traveling loved one will be able to spot their stuff at baggage claim instantly. 

International Snack Subscription Box

International Snack Subscription Box

Universal Yums sends tasty international treats in a monthly subscription box. 

Grandkids can taste snacks from around the world, and college students can have international travel-themed movie nights.

In a pandemic-stricken world, it can be difficult to find gifts for people who like to travel but are still stuck at home. Now they can get their international travel “fix” delivered right to their door. 

ID and Medical Bracelet

ID and Medical Bracelet

On the topic of safety, I wear a medical bracelet while traveling or hiking in the backcountry. ID bracelets are personal items, best for gifting to family members. 

Medical bracelets usually don’t make the “Best Travel Accessories” list. However, they can save lives by providing first responders with the wearer’s name, date of birth, emergency contact information, current medications, and blood type.

For someone traveling outside of their home country, be sure to include the correct international country code in front of their emergency contact’s phone number.

Best Travel Books to Give as Gifts

Kindle (e-reader).

Kindle (E-Reader)

Kindles are one of the best travel gift ideas for saving bookworms from the heartache of choosing which book to pack. With 16GB of storage, they can now pack their whole library.

Make this the absolute best gift by pre-downloading one of the following titles.

The Best American Travel Writing Series

the best american travel writing series

Inspire future trips with an anthology of the best international travel essays by American authors. 

This is the perfect gift for long-haul flights, bedtime dreaming, and displaying as a coffee table book. 

I’m currently learning about Siberian history and culture through an intriguing essay in the 2010 edition. 

The Island of Sea Women: A Novel

the island of sea women a novel

The Island of Sea Women is an epic feminine multigenerational tale about two best friends growing up in the 20th century on Jeju. 

Jeju is a Korean island where women traditionally support their families by free diving to unfathomable depths. 

As the girls become women, their friendship is strained by Japanese colonialism, wars, familial disputes, and shifting traditions. 

What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding

what i was doing while you were breeding

Kristin Newman’s travel memoir is the best gift for Eat, Pray, Love groupies. 

Like Gilbert, Newman is a comedic, reflective, kickass solo traveling woman who will make your friend want to board a plane tomorrow.

The Lonely Planet Travel Guides

The Lonely Planet Travel Guides

Lonely Planet travel guides make perfect gifts for someone who likes to study up on travel destinations ahead of time. They make an excellent coffee table book for travelers while they’re (briefly) at home.

You can choose from hundreds of travel guides that provide information on lodging, transportation, culture, and cuisine based on location and type of travel.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jodelle Marx with short, dark brown hair, smiling at the camera, and wearing a black shirt.

Jodelle Marx

From homemade to luxury, Jodelle’s always scheming about the next best gifts. She even started printing her own stationery to easily brighten a friend’s day with small doses of art. Jodelle’s a sucker for surprises and loves assembling intricate care packages. She starts planning Christmas gifts months in advance so that when the holidays roll around, she’s an expert at gift-giving.

Looking for more gift ideas for your loved ones? Check out our related articles below!

Best Road Trip Gifts

Best Gifts for RV Owners

Best Van Life Gifts

Best National Park Gifts

Best California Gift Ideas

Best Christmas Gifts for Parents

Best White Elephant Gifts Under $20

Best Travel Shoes for Women

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Hi, I'm Mimi! I'm an outdoorsy Californian who has spent over 28 years immersed in the incredible natural beauty that California has to offer. My goal is to inspire others to get out and find their next adventure in California. Whether it’s escaping to an alpine lake in the Sierras, finding peace among the giant redwoods, or road tripping down the PCH, there’s always more to explore in this beautiful state.

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33 practical travel gifts anyone can use.

Shop the best travel gifts for every budget and style this holiday season.

Practical Travel Gifts

Close-up LCD monitor screen rear seat on the plane technology for entertainment. Airplane seats with screen monitor service for passenger entertainment on board.

Courtesy of Twelve South

The Twelve South Airfly Pro Bluetooth Transmitter is one of the year's best travel gifts.

Travel gifts don't have to be reserved for frequent jet-setters and aspiring globe-trotters. Luggage and travel accessories can also be a good option in those scenarios where you just don't know what to buy, but still want to give something meaningful and useful. Read on to find the best travel gifts – including new products and trendy favorites – at a variety of price points.

  • Gifts under $25
  • Gifts under $50
  • Gifts under $100
  • Gifts under $150
  • Gifts under $200
  • Gifts under $300
  • Gifts under $400

Mediheal Sheet Masks

Air travel can be especially drying for the skin, making these restorative sheet masks a favorite among jet-setters. The Mediheal Sheet Masks come in a pack of 10 and a variety of options to suit different skin care needs.

Price: $19.90 or less

TIGARI Passport Holder

Due to unusually long processing times, passport applications and renewals have been a nightmare for many travelers over the past year (plus). Help your gift recipient protect their precious new (or newly updated) travel document with a stylish wallet like the TIGARI Passport Holder, our top passport wallet pick . Travelers appreciate that this wallet comes in bright colors, allowing them to easily locate their passport.

Price: $9.99 or less

Etekcity Luggage Scale

For the chronic overpacker and/or souvenir shopper, the Etekcity Luggage Scale can determine whether or not their luggage weight will meet airline restrictions – and save them the hassle of paying excess baggage fees.

Price: $12.62 or less

Riemot Luggage Travel Cup Holder

It's nearly impossible not to spill coffee when you're trying to maneuver carry-on luggage , locate your gate and keep your travel companions together. This nifty gadget features two pockets for drinks (or other essentials), and recent reviewers confirm it really helps them multitask at the airport.

Price: $16.99 or less

Steeped Coffee

While the AeroPress is a timeless travel gift for adventure travelers, steeped coffee – which is basically a tea bag, but with ground coffee – is a newer option that can be just as good as a freshly brewed cup of Joe. If you can't find it at a local coffee shop, try the brand of the same name: Steeped Coffee. Based in Santa Cruz, California, the company sells a variety of roast profiles.

Price: From $14.95

Conair Handheld Travel Garment Steamer

While garment steamers are prohibited on cruise ships, they're useful to have just about anywhere else you go (think business trips and destination weddings ). Not only is this top-rated option by Conair good for travel, but it's also handy at home.

Price: $24.99 or less

Read: Cruise Packing List Essentials

Veken Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are a foolproof travel gift; there's no one who can't benefit from them, even if they already own a set or two. Available on Amazon, the Veken Packing Cubes include eight compartments in a variety of sizes, including one that's designed for toiletries and another that can hold a pair of shoes.

Price: $29.99 or less

Read: The Best Packing Cubes for Travel

Magicteam Sound Machine

You can't go wrong with the gift of sleep, and this portable sound machine is just one way to encourage a good night's rest (which can be difficult to achieve when you're in an unfamiliar place). The Magicteam Sound Machine offers 20 non-looping sounds and 32 volume levels to ensure your gift recipient will find the perfect setting for soothing. Recent reviewers agree this sound machine is small but powerful.

Stasher Bags

Not only are these reusable bags convenient for everyday use, but they're also useful at the airport – your gift recipient can put their medications and other essentials in the clear bags for easy identification and access. While they're a bit pricey, buyers appreciate that they're sustainable .

Price: $44.99 or less

CALPAK Tech Organizer

Phone chargers, travel adapters, laptop cords – they all need to come with you, but they can be awkward to pack. Enter the tech organizer, a trendy travel gadget that's actually useful. This one by CALPAK offers multiple compartments for storing a variety of cords, and its mesh paneling helps you see where everything is located.

Price: $38 or less

Apple AirTag

The luggage tracking device has become less of an accessory and more of an essential over the past year. Out of all the luggage trackers on the market, frequent travelers agree the Apple AirTag is best at keeping tabs on their belongings.

Price: $28.99 or less

Belkin Apple AirTag Holder

An AirTag holder is necessary for anyone using the popular luggage tracker, and this option by Belkin has great reviews on Amazon. Plus, at less than $15, it won't set you back much if you decide to gift it along with the AirTag itself.

Price: $12.99 or less

Cabeau Evolution S3 Travel Neck Pillow

Not all travel pillows are created equal. For a quality option that will fully support the neck and prevent aches and pains, choose the Cabeau Evolution S3, our top pick for the best neck pillows for travel . Your gift recipient will be thanking you for years to come.

Price: $49.99 or less

Brita Insulated Filtered Water Bottle

This stainless steel bottle not only keeps drinks cold but also filters out contaminants – especially useful when filling it with water in unfamiliar destinations. Because of the filter, reviewers note the bottle can be a tad awkward to drink from, but they ultimately recommend this product.

Price: $31.49 or less for 20-ounce bottle

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Tips on Trips and Expert Picks

Travel tips, vacation ideas and more to make your next vacation stellar.

Happyluxe Wayfarer Travel Scarf Wrap

As perhaps the most versatile travel accessory, a wrap is useful on cold planes and cool evenings, as a swimsuit cover-up, or when you just want to dress up an outfit. Recent buyers say the Happyluxe Wayfarer Travel Scarf Wrap is a wardrobe staple, noting how soft it is.

Price: $48 or less

Travelon Anti-Theft Waist Pack

A modern take on the fanny pack , belt bags are one of the year's top fashion trends; better yet, they're especially useful for vacationing, allowing travelers to both safeguard and easily access their phone, credit cards and other essentials. The highly rated Travelon Anti-Theft Waist Pack takes it up a notch, with locking compartments, a slash-resistant build and an RFID blocking compartment. It can be worn around the waist or across the chest.

Price: $60.60 or less

Read: The Best Travel Insurance Companies

Twelve South Airfly Pro Bluetooth Transmitter

If your gift recipient uses wireless earbuds, they'll appreciate this tiny device that allows them to wirelessly transmit audio from in-flight entertainment (which is otherwise limited to those with wired headphones). It also has 25 hours of battery life so it'll last a long-haul flight. Recent buyers say this is a must for air travel.

Price: $54.99 or less

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12

Instant photos are a great way to commemorate any trip, and they're just plain fun for both kids and adults. The compact design of these cameras – particularly the Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 – makes them ideal for travel, too. Just note that the film is sold separately unless you purchase a package that includes accessories.

Price: $77.35 or less

Tommy Bahama Beach Chairs 

Quality beach chairs can be an investment – but a worthy one for anyone who frequents the sand and surf. The Tommy Bahama Backpack Beach Chair remains the tried and true choice for many beachgoers, who appreciate its portability and comfort.

Price: $89.50 or less

Halfday The Garment Duffel

Halfday The Garment Duffel in blue against white background.

Courtesy of Halfday

One of the best garment bags for travel , this duffel style makes it easy to travel with suits, dresses and other formalwear. Available in several different colors, The Garment Duffel by Halfday gets rave reviews for its durable, spacious design and ability to keep clothing wrinkle-free.

Price: $98 or less

CALPAK Car Organizer

It's easy to clutter a car – even more so when you have kids – which is why just about anyone who drives will find the CALPAK Car Organizer useful for road trips and everyday errands. The water-resistant bag features three compartments and a carrying handle. It also folds down via snap buttons to be used as a makeshift tote bag, a feature recent reviewers love.

Read: Road Trip Packing List Essentials

Allbirds Tree Runner

The Allbirds Tree Runner remains a top-rated choice for those in search of comfortable walking shoes for travel . Available in a variety of colors for men, women and kids, these sustainable shoes are lightweight and breathable; they're also machine-washable. Allbirds wearers appreciate that these sneakers look good and feel good on their feet.

GetYourGuide Gift Card

Regardless of where they plan to travel next, your gift recipient will appreciate a GetYourGuide gift card. Available for any amount, this gift card grants access to a variety of guided tours around the world, from expert-led tours of the Vatican to airboat rides in the Everglades .

Price: Varies

BÉIS The Weekender

One of the year's trendiest bags, The Weekender by BÉIS makes a great gift for any traveler, from college students visiting home to your friend who likes to escape the city on weekends. Owners of this bag especially appreciate the shoe compartment, as well as its variety of color options.

Price: $108 or less

Read: The Best Weekender Bags for Women

RTIC Outdoors Soft Pack Cooler

A cooler bag can go a long way, from tailgate parties to camping trips to beach vacations and beyond. Our top pick for the best cooler bag on the market, the RTIC Outdoors Soft Cooler receives rave reviews for its durability and capacity (up to 40 cans for the largest size). Be on the lookout for sales – these coolers are regularly discounted on Amazon and elsewhere.

Price: $159.99 or less

Delsey Paris Helium Aero 19-Inch Carry-On

This chic bag meets most carry-on luggage size requirements for international airlines, making it an ideal choice for frequent globe-trotters. Recent buyers especially appreciate how lightweight it is.

Price: $179.99 or less

Airbnb Gift Card

From treehouses and houseboats to windmills and lighthouses, Airbnb offers unique accommodations across the globe. Treat your loved one to a memorable overnight experience with an Airbnb gift card, available in any amount. Gifts cards purchased online are digitally delivered, while physical gift cards are available at stores like Target and Walmart .

State Bags Logan Suitcase

STATE Bags Logan Suitcase in blue and green

Courtesy of STATE Bags

With ride-on and even sleep-on options, today's best kiddie luggage makes us want to be young again. But if you're looking for a timeless piece of luggage that's both fun and built to last, the Logan Suitcase by State Bags is highly recommended by parents. It's available in two sizes and a variety of colors and patterns.

Price: $225 or less

Peak Design Travel Backpack

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L in black and sage against white background.

Courtesy of Peak Design

Travelers rave about the versatility of this heavy-duty backpack, which can be used as a camera bag, a daypack, or as luggage for weekend and weeklong trips. Earlier this year we chose it as one of the best travel backpacks for men – but the truth is, it's perfect for any adult and any trip.

Price: $299.95 or less

Monos Carry-On Plus

The Monos Carry-On Plus has been getting a lot of attention, and here's why: It's perfect for frequent jet-setters who want to travel with a carry-on bag only, offering just a bit more space than your average carry-on suitcase. Travelers agree they're also drawn to this bag for its sleek design and color options.

Price: $275 or less

Travelpro Expandable 21-Inch Carry-On Spinner

Whether you choose the hard-sided version or the soft-sided spinner , you can't go wrong with any of the carry-on (or checked) luggage by Travelpro. One of the best luggage brands on the market, Travelpro is known for its quality luggage that is built to stand the test of time (and airport luggage handlers). Look out for luggage sales , as Travelpro regularly offers discounts.

Price: $369.99 or less

Read: Hard vs. Soft Luggage: Which Type Is Right for You?

Solgaard Carry-on Closet

The Solgaard Carry-on Closet is one of the ultimate travel gifts to give right now. Thanks to the patented shelving system that gives the bag its name, travelers say this suitcase lives up to all the hype you've seen on social media and TV. They also note that they've been able to use this as their only luggage for longer trips.

Price: $345 or less

Cotopaxi Allpa Roller Bag

Cotopaxi Allpa Roller Bag in blue against white background.

Courtesy of Cotopaxi

The popular Cotopaxi Allpa travel pack now comes with wheels. Launched in late 2023, this roller bag is slightly bigger than its predecessor but can still be used as a carry-on bag. Larger sizes are also available.

Price: $350 or less

You might also be interested in:

  • The Top Cheap Luggage
  • What Is Allowed in a Carry-on Bag?
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Peak Design Travel Tripod (Carbon Fiber) Ultra-Portable, Stable and Compact Professional Camera Tripod

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Peak Design Travel Tripod (Carbon Fiber) Ultra-Portable, Stable and Compact Professional Camera Tripod

Purchase options and add-ons, about this item.

  • The Travel Tripod brings you pro-level stability, load capacity, and deployed height, yet packs down to the diameter of a water bottle.
  • Unique design allows quicker, easier setup/takedown. Secure, fast, and ergonomic camera quick release. Fast-locking, low profile leg cams.
  • 20lb weight capacity (optimized for a full-frame DSLR or mirrorless cameras + telephoto lens).Suitable for long exposure and Astrophotography when you require a stable but lightweight solution.
  • Built-in and stowable mobile mount. Securely grips any phone/case .Low and inverted modes position your camera inches off the ground . Integrated load hanging hook . Nonslip, shock-absorbing feet .
  • Weather and impact-resistant materials. All parts are serviceable, cleanable, and replaceable. Includes a padded, weatherproof case. Guaranteed for life.

Additional Details

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Peak Design Travel Tripod (Carbon Fiber) Ultra-Portable, Stable and Compact Professional Camera Tripod

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Peak Design SL-BK-3 Slide, Camera Strap, Black

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Product Description

Peak Design PD Logo

LIGHTNING-FAST DEPLOYMENT

  • Unique design allows quicker, easier setup/takedown.
  • Secure, fast, and ergonomic camera quick release.
  • Fast-locking, low profile leg cams.
  • Legs deploy in seconds, without having to flip over like traditional travel tripod legs.

Omni directional head

ERGONOMIC BALL HEAD

  • Ultra-smooth, omnidirectional Compact Ball Head.
  • One single adjustment ring. No bulky or confusing knobs
.
  • Simple locking ring for total security.

L Bracket compatible and arca swiss plates

PRO-LEVEL STABILITY & FEATURES

  • 20lb weight capacity (optimized for a full-frame DSLR + telephoto lens).
  • Stability and vibration damping performance comparable, if not better, than most tripods in its class.
  • Low and inverted modes position your camera inches off the ground
.
  • Integrated load hanging hook
.

No protruding knobs

ONLY THOUGHTFUL DETAILS

  • Anchor attachment points for carrying with Peak Design straps (sold separately).
  • Built-in and stowable mobile mount.
  • No protruding knobs.

Lighting-fast

Ergonomic Ballhead

Pro-Level Features

Thoughtful Details

Whats included

(Please note that the Bushing Removal Tool is supplied in a small, initially hard to find, internal pocket of the Weatherproof Soft Case.)

Specs and Dimensions

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Product information, customer reviews.

Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzed reviews to verify trustworthiness.

Customers say

Customers like the quality, versatility, appearance and portability of the camera tripod. For example, they mention it's an excellent piece of equipment, ideal for long exposure shots and astrophotography, and it'll fit in a small backpack. They appreciate the sturdiness, ease of use, and adjustability. That said, opinions are mixed on the value.

AI-generated from the text of customer reviews

Customers like the portability of the tripod. They say it's easy to pack and travel with, and the compact design allows it to fit in luggage with ease. Some customers also mention that it'll fit perfectly inside their pack.

"...Aside from it being as light as a croissant, it's so tiny that it makes storage a breeze. I've tried inside my bag and out...." Read more

"...Again, there are sturdier tripods, but this is meant for travel and easy carry , and considering how light it is I'm very impressed with the..." Read more

"... This tripod is light . I didn't think I'd use the shoulder bag, but I almost always pack it in the bag. It deploys super fast...." Read more

"...The tripod extension post is skinny , but sturdy - I might not do a long exposure on a windy day with it fully extended, but it makes for very..." Read more

Customers like the sturdiness of the camera tripod. They say it's stable enough, well-crafted, and rigid. Customers also appreciate the way the camera clips in and feel secure.

"...It's bold, it's strong, its stable . The cherry on top is how easy it is to use. Setting and resetting your position is so easy...." Read more

"...Its sturdy and very adjustable. Stability is greatly enhanced by hanging your backpack or other item from the hook on the center post, but even..." Read more

"...The way the camera clips in feels secure . And it's easy to do, even in the dark. It's felt secure and mostly stable...." Read more

"...The tripod extension post is skinny, but sturdy - I might not do a long exposure on a windy day with it fully extended, but it makes for very..." Read more

Customers like the quality of the camera tripod. They mention it's an excellent piece of equipment, well-designed, and well-made. They also say it has no issues with flimsiness or sturdiness, and the ball head is excellent. Overall, customers find it to be a very useful tripod and excellent for traveling.

"...It's bold, it's strong , its stable. The cherry on top is how easy it is to use. Setting and resetting your position is so easy...." Read more

"...While not perfect in all categories, it is the best all-around tripod for most landscape, macro, and home use cases. It however, is very pricey...." Read more

"...folds up super compact, it's very light, adequality rigid and excellent quality ...." Read more

"...The quality is insanely good and the fit and finish are on the level of the price tag...." Read more

Customers are satisfied with the appearance of the camera tripod. They mention that it has a well-thought-out design, and is a nice product. They appreciate the small details and the unusual configuration of the legs and center pole. Overall, customers are happy with the quality and performance of the product.

"...It's bold , it's strong, its stable. The cherry on top is how easy it is to use. Setting and resetting your position is so easy...." Read more

"...That said, it was such a well designed tripod that I was willing to purchase a replacement immediately, which says a lot considering the price of..." Read more

"...First off, the design is genius – compact like a water bottle when packed, yet it expands into a pro-level tripod that's stable enough for my full-..." Read more

" Very well produced . As sturdy as Manfrotto aluminum 3 section tripod (I would still use a remote or timed release in most cases, however)...." Read more

Customers find the camera tripod easy to set up and take down. They say the binders for the legs make it easy and quick. They also say the setup is very intuitive, and the tripod is convenient. They mention that it allows for adapters to other mounting systems, and that the setup speed is as fast as advertised. Customers also say that mounting their camera is easy, and setting and resetting their position is easy.

"...It's bold, it's strong, its stable. The cherry on top is how easy it is to use . Setting and resetting your position is so easy...." Read more

"...The way the camera clips in feels secure. And it's easy to do , even in the dark. It's felt secure and mostly stable...." Read more

"... mounting my camera was easy , especially because they include a wrench set that tucks away on the inside on any of the upper leg section...." Read more

"...Its compactness, stability, and innovative design make it a joy to use ...." Read more

Customers find the tripod versatile and suitable for travel shooting, hiking, and astrophotography. They say it's sturdy and adjustable, making it ideal for long exposure shots and astrophytography, and that it'll be perfect for photography.

"...In use the tripod is great . Its sturdy and very adjustable...." Read more

"...the Peak Design Travel Tripod is close to being the perfect travel tripod . Its compactness, stability, and innovative design make it a joy to use...." Read more

"...fiber tripod was an innovative design, compact, and well suited for travel photography ...." Read more

"...I gotta tell you, this is the epitome of travel tripods . It really is only about 3-1/2" diameter and maybe 15" long...." Read more

Customers like the adjustability of the camera tripod. They mention that it's sturdy, easy to adjust to the desired height, and has lots of flexibility. Some say that it fits their needs well and has multiple settings and an iPhone attachment.

"...It has a lot of adjustability , and I really like using it once I got comfortable with it. But I'm not sure it's quite as adjustable as my Sirui...." Read more

"...day with it fully extended, but it makes for very convenient, quick height adjustment for less extreme days...." Read more

"...the thinnest legs and hung my bag from the hook; and the ball head was easily adjusted to get the shot I wanted...." Read more

"...the most compact, sturdy, full size tripod I’ve ever used and it fits my needs well ...." Read more

Customers have mixed opinions about the value of the camera tripod. Some find it well worth the money, while others say it's pricey.

"...I couldn't be happier. This is well worth the money ." Read more

"...'re serious about your travel photography, this tripod is definitely worth considering - especially if you catch it at a discount!" Read more

"...It's not cheap , but its worth the cost to me.First, it's important to understand what this thing really is...." Read more

"...It is a bit pricey, however I got this on sale and it was totally worth it . I should never have to buy another tripod again!!" Read more

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Camera captures moment East Coast earthquake shakes Statue of Liberty

NEW YORK (Gray News) – A rare earthquake on the East Coast shook millions of people on Friday but thankfully caused no widespread damage.

Video from the EarthCam stationed at the top of the Statue of Liberty captured the moment the earthquake shook the iconic monument.

The camera, which is positioned in a way that looks like Lady Liberty is taking a selfie, shakes violently as it shows the statue and visitors below.

A report from the Associated Press said more than 42 million people likely felt the 4.8-magnitude earthquake, which was centered near Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, or about 45 miles west of New York City and 50 miles north of Philadelphia.

No injuries were reported. Officials say a 4.8-magnitude quake isn’t large enough to cause damage, except for some minor effects near the epicenter.

Still, the quake caused some disruptions. Several flights were diverted or delayed, and traffic was stopped for several minutes.

Over a dozen aftershocks were reported in the region.

According to the Associated Press, earthquakes are less common on the eastern than western edges of the U.S. because the East Coast does not lie on a boundary of tectonic plates.

Copyright 2024 Gray Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

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  • Everything Worth Buying From Sephora’s Savings Event

Portrait of Brenley Goertzen

It’s that time of year when Beauty Insiders everywhere get the chance to score big during the Sephora Savings Event . And I, for one, have been waiting for weeks to snap up some of my favorite rarely on-sale products from brands like Rare Beauty , Summer Fridays , Ilia , and even Dyson .

Before you start shopping, here’s a reminder of how the sale works: Starting today, Rouge members (those spending upward of $1,000 per year) can receive 20 percent off their entire purchase. Starting on April 9, VIB members (those who’ve spent at least $350) and Insider members (all other members) will earn 15 percent and 10 percent off, respectively. And finally, everyone can save 30 percent on Sephora Collection products until April 15 — no account necessary.

To unlock your discount, use the code YAYSAVE at checkout (there’s no limit to how many purchases you can make using the code throughout the sale). As you scroll on below, you’ll notice that I’ve applied the 20 percent Rogue discount to all of the items here. Next week, I’ll be back to update this post with more Strategist-approved products — but until then, here’s a list of all the very best deals I’ve spotted.

Nécessaire Hand Cream

If your post-winter hands are feeling dry and scaly, our writer and resident beauty expert Tembe Denton-Hurst says nothing compares to Nécessaire’s “practically perfect” cream . It’s deeply moisturizing, and leaves her hands with a “subtle sheen without going greasy.”

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Night Cream

Speaking of creams, here’s one of our favorite night creams that’s paraben-free and noncomedogenic, meaning it’s safe for sensitive skin and acne-prone skin.

Merit Clean Lash Lengthening Tubing Mascara

There’s no better time to trade your old mascara for a tubing formula such as Merit’s Clean Lash. It won’t smudge or flake, and our writer Kitty Guo says it’s her pick for an everyday “your lashes but better” look.

Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm

If you’re already a fan of the vanilla lip balm from Summer Fridays, go for this tinted shade that Denton-Hurst — a self-proclaimed “ lip-balm  aficionado” — always carries with her.

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright+ Eye Crème

Our beauty columnist Rio Viera-Newton swears by this  Banana Bright+ Eye Cream  to banish dark under-eye circles. (She also loves to use it to help  under-eye concealer  stay put for longer.)

Hyper Skin Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum

Another brightening treatment is Hyper Skin’s vitamin-C  serum, which is designed to rapidly fade dark spots. After five months of using this formulation, Denton-Hurst says she noticed  less hyperpigmentation on her skin, particularly around her chin.

Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush

We found Rare Beauty’s liquid blush to be the most buildable in our roundup of the best in the category. It’s available in two finishes (matte and radiant) and ten shades, which can even be applied as an eyeshadow or lip tint.

Verb Ghost Conditioner

Thanks to its moringa and jojoba seed oil-packed formula, Verb’s Ghost conditioner moisturizes, detangles, and smoothes hair after a single wash. It also “doesn’t weigh down your hair whatsoever,” says our writer Rachael Griffiths , who adds that it’s suitable for all hair types.

Sephora Collection Best Skin Ever Full Coverage Multi-Use Concealer

When we spoke to Sephora employees about what TikTok-recommended products are actually worth it, they told us about this dupe for Tarte’s Shape Tape. And when our writer Arielle Avila tried it for herself, she reported that it’s actually better: “It’s long-lasting and buildable, and it keeps my under eyes hydrated and glowing,” she says.

Kulfi Free The Brow Volumizing & Laminating Brow Gel

I wrote about Kulfi’s non-flakey brow gel-slash-serum in this week’s edition of our Beauty Brief newsletter. The formula makes my brows look like I just left a lamination appointment, meaning they’re ultrafeathery yet more defined. (Fair warning: It tends to sell out quickly, so I’d snag one ASAP.)

Crown Affair The Dry Shampoo

Last year, Avila swapped her old aerosol dry shampoo for Crown Affair’s talc-free formula and never looked back. “I’m able to go days after washing my hair without an oily or irritated scalp,” she says.

Danessa Myricks Beauty Yummy Skin Blurring Balm Powder Flushed

After testing over 20 cream blushes to find one that actually lasts, Rio crowned this formula the winner. She says the high pigment, in conjunction with the soft, powdery finish, is what makes this Danessa Myricks blush really stick to the skin.

Canopy Humidifier Starter Set

I own our best overall humidifier from Canopy and don’t go a day without using it. It’s compact, easy to clean, and keeps my complexion super hydrated.

First Aid Beauty KP Bump Eraser Body Scrub With 10% AHA

In my new roundup of  the best body scrubs , I crowned this my top choice for treating  keratosis pilaris . It contains tiny pumice buffing beads that work to brush away dead skin cells, so it also works for clearing up buttne ( butt acne ) and loosening ingrown hairs.

Shark FlexStyle Air-Drying & Styling System, Powerful Hair Blow-Dryer, and Multi-Styler

Last but not least, I’ve got my eye on Shark’s powerful blow-dryer brush . It’s half the price of Dyson’s Airwrap and utilizes the same high-speed airflow technology and variety of attachments.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments , rolling luggage , pillows for side sleepers , natural anxiety remedies , and bath towels . We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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Every product is independently selected by (obsessive) editors. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.

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Visitor Center

View of Lick Observatory. Photo by Laurie Hatch .

Lick Observatory’s main Visitor Center and Gift Shop are open to the public Saturdays and Sundays Noon to 5pm.  The main parking lot and outdoor public areas are open 8am-5pm daily.  The Shane Visitor’s Gallery is open to the public daily, 10am to 5pm.

When visiting Lick Observatory, please:

  • Observe social distancing.
  • Vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask indoors. Unvaccinated people are required to wear a mask indoors.
  • All visitors must conduct a COVID symptom check prior to entering our facilities.
  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • Practice good hygiene.

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Visitor Center Hours:

The visitor center and gift shop are typically open year-round. Admission is free.

Closed – Monday through Friday Open 12 – 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Free talks inside the dome of the 36-inch Great Refractor are given at the following times:

12:30 p.m           1:30 p.m         2:30 p.m        3:30 p.m        4:30 p.m

The visitor center and gift shop and visitor center are also open on the following holidays:

Open – New Years Eve and New Years Day

Open – Martin Luther King Day

Open – President’s Day

Open – Memorial Day

Closed – Independence Day

Open – Labor Day

Closed – Thanksgiving Thursday

Open – Thanksgiving Friday/Saturday/Sunday

Closed – Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Open – December 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, and January 1

Make your trip to Lick Observatory a memorable one with our recommendations.

  • View exhibits in the main historic observatory building, built in 1888. Note the original oak and marble interior.
  • Enjoy a short informal talk about James Lick and Lick Observatory history while taking a look at the Great Lick Refractor in the 36-inch telescope dome (no charge). Talks begin at the gift shop, throughout the afternoon starting at 12:30 p.m. continuing until 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
  • At the gift shop check out Lick Observatory sweatshirts, t-shirts, mugs, astronomical photos, posters, educational toys, and other astronomy-related goodies.
  • Take a short walk to the Shane dome to view the 120-inch reflector from the visitors’ gallery (open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Displays at the Shane dome explain the Shane reflector, one of the major telescopes used to first discover extrasolar planets.
  • Take the self-guided walking tour .
  • Enjoy the view of the Santa Clara Valley from the parking lot at 4,209 feet. Bring a picnic lunch to eat, or grab a snack or beverage at our vending machines.

The observatory is more than 20 miles from downtown San Jose along Mt. Hamilton Road at an elevation of 4,200 feet. The road follows a gradual grade laid out over a century ago for horses and carts. It has many sharp curves and is quite narrow in places.

At 4,209 feet, the weather on Mt. Hamilton may be cool and changeable, so bring a sweater or coat. We do have wheelchair access to the main building from the back.

There are no gasoline or automative services at Mt. Hamilton or anywhere along the road outside of San Jose (or Livermore or Patterson if arriving from the east). Take extra precautions driving up to the observatory: mudslides, rocks, gravel/debris, and wildlife can cause hazardous road conditions. Also, please look out for motorcycles and bicyclists–drive conservatively and share the road.

During the winter the road may be closed temporarily due to snowfall. For current road closure information, Visit the  California Highway Information  website and enter Hwy #130.

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Allow about one hour from San Jose, and please drive carefully as the road is scenic, but winding.

Street address for GPS and mapping apps:  Lick Observatory, 7281 Mount Hamilton Rd., Mount Hamilton, CA 95140

Lick Observatory is located on the summit of Mt. Hamilton in the Diablo Range east of San Jose. To get there from Interstates 101, 280, or 680, take the Alum Rock Avenue exit and head east. Turn right on Mount Hamilton Road (CA route 130) and drive 18.5 miles to the Observatory. From the east, take Interstate 580 west to Interstate 680 south. Then follow the directions above. Alternatively, you may take California Route 130 to Mt. Hamilton from the east, but please allow about 1-3/4 hours from Interstate 5 to reach the Observatory. The road is long and winding, but well-maintained. Take the Patterson exit off Interstate 5, and go west on del Puerto Canyon Road (away from Patterson.) At the Junction Cafe, turn left to stay on California Route 130.

All parking at the observatory is free. Parking spaces are available outside of the main building, and down the hill across from the school.

Special parking arrangements must be made for  car ,  bike , and  motorcycle  clubs. If you are planning on visiting the observatory with a group, please contact us at  [email protected] to make advanced arrangements for access.

Lick Observatory UAS / Drone Policy All unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flights at Lick Observatory require prior approval and post-flight reporting. The use of all unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) on Lick Observatory-owned property must be reviewed and approved prior to flight. This policy applies to all visitors, faculty, staff, students, and university contractors, as well as indoor and outdoor use. To give visitors an overview of what is allowed and what is not, please visit this link (University of California, Office of the President). Please contact Lick Observatory Superintendent Kostas Chloros if you have questions regarding UAS at Lick Observatory.

Lick Observatory is covered by the UC Santa Cruz animal policies.   Domestic animals that are not service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are prohibited on all UC Santa Cruz property unless specifically exempted by the UC Santa Cruz Non-Research Animal Policy.  Please see the policy for guidelines and regulations for exempted animals at https://policy.ucsc.edu/policies/BAS/BAS-002.html .

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  31. Visitor Center

    The visitor center and gift shop are typically open year-round. Admission is free. Closed - Monday through Friday. Open 12 - 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free talks inside the dome of the 36-inch Great Refractor are given at the following times: 12:30 p.m 1:30 p.m 2:30 p.m 3:30 p.m 4:30 p.m. The visitor center and gift shop and visitor ...