Having trouble finding a gift for the traveler on your list?

Every year my family draws names for Christmas presents. Every year, no matter where we are, I can hear a quiet groan escape from the lips of the person who draws our name. What on earth would make a good present for someone who has sold everything?! Who carries everything they own in a 50L backpack and chooses every item in it with care?

I’m here to help! Here are 15 gift ideas for travelers; each of which hold space in our packs and so would make a great gift for any traveler on your list.

  1. Document Holder. One place to keep passports, tickets, hotel reservations, maps, and notes. We use one after learning the hard way that keeping it all in one convenient place saves the headache of trying to find that boarding pass that we ‘tucked away in a safe place’.
  2. Packing Cubes. Life is much easier on the road if you know where everything is in your bag. Oh sure, you’ll see plenty of ‘stuff it all in there’ packers and you’ll see them suffering as they frantically rustle through their entire bag looking for that one thing they can’t find. We use packing cubes in our packs and couldn’t live without them. I instantly know where something is plus I can fit way more in my pack when using these handy dandy organizing tools. Win!
  3. Plug Adapters. This international plug adapter kit works around the world. Whether your traveller is flying to Europe, Africa, or Australia, their electronics will be safely charged and ready for use.
  4. Laundry Line. We’re not fans of doing laundry in the sink – there’s usually a laundromat or a laundry service nearby – but sometimes it’s unavoidable. This little gem takes up no room in our bags and yet saves the day when we need it. Definitely worth it.
  5. How To Create A Travel Life You Love. This is a great gift for those with a bad case of wanderlust. Caz and Craig write the popular travel blog YTravelBlog; they have created a resource that will help anyone fit travel into their life in a way that syncs with their values, circumstances, and desires.
  6. Luggage and Cable Locks. Our bags spend more time out of our sight than we’d like. Whether in the belly of a plane, or the luggage rack of a bus, we can’t keep our eyes on them all the time. We use combination locks to ensure the zippers on our bags stay closed and cable locks to secure our bags to luggage racks or benches for added security in airports and bus stations. We’ve never had an issue but the peace of mind is worth it.
  7. Carry On Backpack. For those going on a short trip, or wanting to try out the minimalist packing list, a carry on backpack is all that is needed. No waiting at the luggage carousel, no wondering if your bag has gotten lost; everything stays with you!
  8. Luggage Tags. Hands up who owns a black suitcase. [raises hand…] There is nothing like waiting at the luggage carousel waiting for your bags and lunging at every single black suitcase that makes its way down the line. A unique set of luggage tags can save a lot of time and frustration!
  9. Kindle. When we first started travelling we didn’t have a Kindle. We carted books around from place to place – sometimes up to 4 at a time! Now I have a Kindle and I love that I can carry a bazillion books if I want and it won’t weigh any more than one book. I also love that I can access the bookstore from wherever there is an internet connection. No more rooting through foreign bookstores looking for the English books!
  10. Camera. We just bought this Olympus Tough camera ourselves. We have a dSLR camera which I like but, if I’m being honest, it’s often too big and cumbersome to lug around with me all the time. We also have an iPhone which does take great pictures (in my opinion) but we worry about it getting wet, or being dropped, so we don’t take it out as often as I’d like. We needed an ‘in between’ camera; one that could stand some getting wet and would manage a little bumping around while we cycle around Europe in the spring. This one is a great option. Waterproof, light, and small enough to fit in my pocket. Perfect.
  11. Portable Speakers. We love listening to music when hanging around our room (RadioParadise is our absolute go-to favorite for internet radio music); while we can listen to it from our laptop speaker or headphones, a portable speaker makes the sound richer and more like home.
  12. Books. While traditional books might be too heavy to travel with, they are great gifts for those still planning their travels. The Global Bookshelf is a great place to find books to enhance the travel experience. Stories and tales, novels and history books, travelogues and memoirs; travel the world, one book at a time.
  13. Scarf. A scarf is and absolute must on every woman’s packing list (and I would argue for men too!). They keep my neck from freezing cold air conditioning on buses in tropical climates, stretch my somewhat warm climate wardrobe to cooler temperatures when I have to, act as a cover up when entering temples and mosques, and provide sun cover when I’ve spent a wee bit too long in the sun. They take up almost no room and yet I can’t travel without my favourite.
  14. Multi Tool. This really is indispensable for fixing anything that gets broken, opening packaging, getting into wine bottles, cracking beers open…really, all travelers should have one!
  15. Cutlery Set. Whether we’re staying in a hotel, hostel, or apartment we usually like to self cater some of our meals. We carry a cutlery set with us just for this. We can eat yoghurt, slice cheese, slurp soup, or spread peanut butter on picnics wherever we find ourselves.

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