The Ultimate 2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers

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A Curated List of the Best Gifts for Travelers

The holidays are quickly approaching so that means gifting season is upon us! It may be daunting shopping for the traveler in your life. Travelers often prefer experiences more than things so it’s difficult to figure out what to get them. However, given that travel has effectively stopped with the current pandemic, gifting experiences can be complicated.

Unfortunately, I don’t think travel will become widespread again until at least mid-2021. In lieu of experiences, some wonderful travel gifts will definitely be appreciated. I have visited 14 countries, many of them as solo trips, so I have learned a lot about what things really improve or enhance the travel experience. This gift guide is a curated list of items I love and personally recommend.

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Stocking Stuffers & Gifts Under $25

  • A cute luggage tag! It gives some personalized pizazz to luggage and makes it easier to identify your bag in baggage claim. These ones are extra adorable!
  • An external battery pack. These things are great for traveling because you can easily and conveniently charge any of your devices. Depending on budget, you can get one with 10,000 mAh or even more – but 10,000 mAh is more than enough for most.
  • Packing cubes! They are a game-changer for nice, organized packing. I like different sizes to separate tops, bottoms, and undershirts but my favorite packing cube is the second one… the one for delicates. Socks, bras, underwear – all in one convenient place!
  • A hanging toiletry bag. It’s so nice to be able to stuff all your things into one bag and just hang it up in the bathroom. I really like kits that have side pockets along with the main compartment, but you can shop around Amazon and see what they have.
  • A TSA approved toiletry bag. This guy is great if you need to carry liquids through security. Bonus points: much more durable than a Ziplock bag so it’s more environmentally friendly!
  • A hanging shower caddy. This was a game changer when I was hosteling (easy to carry to communal bathrooms) and I continue to use it now that I’m staying at hotels. It’s nice to hang over the shower head and each bottle holds a LOT of product.
  • A universal plug adapter. Outlets vary by country – even within the EU! A universal adapter ensures you’ll never end up with the wrong one.
  • A compact power strip. Many international hotels are severely lacking on power outlets. A compact power strip gives you more charging ports while only requiring one plug adapter! Bonus points for buying some extra charging cables. It’s always nice to have an iPhone charger, Apple Watch charger, or a standard (anything besides Apple :)) cable on hand.
  • A super-luxe eye mask. You’re going to want something a little better than the free eyemask offered by airline carriers when flying long-haul, I promise you. This one offers space for your eyelashes (weirdly important), plush edges, and a pocket for your earplugs. Simple, but definitely a hit.
  • Some super cute travel jewelry. A nice, simple, travel-themed pendant necklace will match almost any outfit and be something your loved one can cherish while away from home!

Gifts $25 – $50

  • A dual voltage straightener/curling iron. American hair electronics will get fried unless they’re dual voltage so it’s nice to have one on hand. This guy doubles as a straightener and a curling iron!
  • A S’well water bottle. I own like three of these. They keep your water cold for, no lie, 12+ hours. I love cold water, so this is important to me. Most importantly: ice cubes fit through the lid and it won’t spill on you. This bottle helps me drink enough water which is important for beating jet lag!
  • Speaking of S’well… I love my S’well travel mug, too. Twist top. Unspillable. Keeps my coffee hot. I can just throw it into a purse and go about my day with no issues.
  • A super cute carry-on tote. Great for a beach vacay or a trip to Paris, this bag is super functional with a separate compartment for your shoes and pockets for your electronics!
  • An anti-theft purse. Travelon has a ton of options but I specifically like the one below because it can fit my tablet and a water bottle really easy. Plus it has reinforced zippers and is slash-proof!
  • An Amazon Fire TV Stick. Sometimes after a long day of navigating language barriers, I just want to watch something in English. This plugs into most hotel TVs and is connected to your Amazon account. Streaming free content will be limited, but you’ll be able to watch anything you own with little effort!

Gifts $50+

  • A high-end travel pillow. I know what you’re thinking, how can a simple travel pillow be more than $50? Well, this little guy is awesome. I’ve used it on 3 or 4 roundtrip international trips and it’s the only pillow that lets me get any sleep. Cool, supportive, and durable – it’s worth the investment.
  • A GlocalMe for staying connected. This is, without a doubt, the most useful little travel gadget I’ve ever purchased. It allows you to connect multiple devices to the internet much easier than a SIM card and much cheaper than using your home carrier. Read about it here.
  • A Kindle Paperwhite. This is the best if you’re going to be doing a lot of reading in the sun. I know I recommended the Amazon Fire Tablet above but the Paperwhite is great for beach reading. Bonus points: it’s waterproof. Time to sip some daiquiris by the pool while binge reading.
  • The TLS Mother Lode suitcase. I’ve wheeled the traditional, small-wheeled spinner luggage around Europe and it did not go well. This luggage has smooth & rugged wheels, lots of organized space, and feels super durable. I use the 25″ suitcase for longer trips and it almost always come in at 40-45 lbs. The small one is wonderful for short trips.
  • Rothy’s washable, super comfortable flats. Does your traveler hate wearing heels? Rothy’s are wonderful because they are mega comfortable, super cute, and they can be washed! In the washing machine! Game changer. Buh-bye smelly feet, hello guilt-free wandering. If you’re interested in trying Rothy’s, email me for a $20 off coupon! (

Gift Card Ideas

Gift cards are always a hit. My favorite places to get gift cards are:

  • Amazon, of course. I can get probably 98% of what I want on Amazon. I love Amazon.
  • eBags. I love bags but eBags offers so much more. They are basically a 1-stop shop for any travel accessories you may need.
  • REI, especially if your traveler is going backpacking. REI offers excellent customer service and will provide a pack fitting for free to ensure you walk out the store with the right pack. They will help with any of your outdoor needs, honestly.

Christmas shopping is easy with this holiday gift guide for travelers

Although trip planning and actually taking a trip actually give a similar brain boost, I always find that buying (or receiving!) awesome travel swag helps get me excited for my next trip. 2020 may have been chaotic, but this gift guide makes Christmas shopping easy!

Are there any items you LOVE to travel with? Comment below!

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