While a trip would probably be tops on the list for travel enthusiasts for a gift, there are also plenty of other best gifts for travelers that can help make traveling more comfortable and fun.
The team at Go to Travel Gal has compiled a list of our top 15 favorite travel items that we think would make GREAT gifts for you to put on your own holiday wish list or to get the travel lovers in your life.
Please note that some of the items are sponsored (paid) by the company in exchange for inclusion in the gift guide, but we only accepted items we truly recommend. This post also includes affiliate links, for which we may earn a commission if you make a purchase after clicking through to help support the blog. Thank you for using our links!
As I make my own Christmas list this year, I’ve found so many things that would be helpful for travel!
Here are the Go to Travel Gal team’s top recommendations (in no particular order)…
15 Best Gifts for Travelers for the Holidays
Luggage and Accessories
1. TRTL Travel Pillow, Amazon, $19 (on Cyber Monday, beginning at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. Pacific through 1 a.m. ET/10 p.m. Pacific)
Never have trouble sleeping on a plane again with the TRTL travel pillow, which Nancy M. loves, and me, too! I recently slept four hours on an overnight flight to Europe using this super handy pillow that is soft and is designed to more naturally support your neck than other travel pillows.
Nancy says, “My Trtl neck pillow holds my neck more vertical than a traditional neck pillow, so I can sleep upright, even in a middle seat, without neck strain when I wake up.”
Trtl is 35-40% off on Amazon on Cyber Monday, December 2, beginning at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. Pacific. Add it to your Amazon Wish List and buy one on Monday. You’ll thank us 🙂
2. Packing Cubes, Amazon, $18
Most of the Go to Travel Gal team swears by packing cubes for their ability to organize and compress clothes in your bag. In fact, I’d say that packing cubes are the single greatest product I’ve found to improve packing and organize clothes when traveling!
Packing cubes are material bags of varying sizes that zip and have handles on the sides. I use them to separate different types of clothes (swimsuits in one, boxers in another, pajamas in another). “I also love that one can be used to contain all dirty items, so when you get home its separate from clean items and you can just toss everything into the laundry,” says Lisa W.
They are easy to pull out of the suitcase and put right in a drawer when you get to your hotel or accommodation. AND if your bag happens to be too heavy when checking them at the airport, simply pull out a packing cube (with handle on the side) and bring it with you as a carry-on.
This Amazon’s Choice product is a set of five: two large, two medium and one small.
3. Foldable Travel Tote Bag, Amazon, $16
Linda S. says she loves her tote bag that folds up to easily fit in her luggage. She says she can use it for multiple purposes, including trips to the beach, shopping and travel. “In case my shopping gets out of control, I can use it as luggage for the way home (yes, this has happened on multiple occasions),” says Linda.
This foldable tote comes in five different colors, is waterproof, has pockets and folds up into a small pouch when not needed.
4. Travelon Crossbody Bag, Amazon, $44
5. Luggage Scale, Amazon, $11
One of our best (and least expensive!) travel purchases has been a portable luggage scale. This is super helpful in making sure you don’t exceed an airline’s luggage weight limit (we always seem to be pushing it!). This way you can rearrange things BEFORE you get to the airport and are standing in the check-in line, realizing your bag is too heavy.
We used to try to figure out the weight of our luggage by standing on a bathroom scale with and without the bag. Awkward to say the least… But these let you hook them on to the bag, pick up the luggage and get a pretty good idea of what it weighs. Better yet, they are small, so you can stick them in your bag to weigh them before your return trip, because most hotel bathrooms don’t even have scales!
This portable luggage scale is an Amazon’s Choice product with more than 6,000 reviews. It weighs in both pounds and kilograms (which we found helpful when traveling to Europe to ensure we did not exceed our international airline’s allowance) and also tells you the outside temperature.
Travel Services Gift Cards
6. SpotHero Parking Reservations Gift Card, $25-$500
SpotHero allows drivers to find, reserve and pay for parking online in advance, often at a steep discount to drive-up rates. Using the SpotHero website or mobile app, drivers can secure a spot in 300 cities (and near 60 major airports) across North America, saving time and stress upon arriving at their destination and creating a more seamless travel experience.
With SpotHero, you can compare prices at airport parking lots and book your spot in advance, so it’s done, reducing stress when you get to the airport. By booking in advance, you save money, too!
Health & Beauty
8. Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Bar Soap, Amazon, $10 (2-pack of peppermint scent)
John C. says he’s been a fan of this Dr. Bronner’s soap for years. “It’s got, according to the company, 18-in-1 uses (I guess I like versatile products), ranging from body wash to shampoo to ‘toothpaste,'” says John. “I had to use it for my teeth one time when I lost my toothpaste! Um, doesn’t taste good, but it cleans up well.”
Ingredients in the soap are all-natural and vegan and designed to keep your skin from drying out.
John says he used to buy the liquid variety of the soap, but now he prefers to bring the bar soap and forego the hassle of putting it to his TSA quart bag.
Clothing and Accessories
9. Prive Rivaux Sunglasses, $29.95
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A Go to Travel Gal reader introduced me to these AWESOME sunglasses, as the company is owned by his son. I have a terrible time with sunglasses, as I’m forever losing them, breaking them or getting them too dirty in the pool. Plus, I have ZERO fashion sense, so I can always use a hand there :).
Enter Prive Rivaux sunglasses. These glasses are ALL stylish, so I know any pair I select will look good :). They’re also very well made and cost just $29.95. I have had mine since this spring (I first wore them in Palm Springs — see above) and they are still in great shape. I make sure NOT to wear these in the pool and just use my cheapos for pool fun :).
Each pair comes with its own sturdy carrying case (which is what I think has helped save these glasses in addition to being well made) and wipe cloth so you don’t damage the lens.
10. Lily Trotters Compression Socks, Amazon, $28-$40
You might think compression socks are for grandmas, but they aren’t just for grandmas anymore! They’re used by lots of athletes for sports performance and are great for travelers, too. Cami S. says she never travels overseas without them!
Compression socks are designed to keep blood from pooling around your ankles and push it back up toward your heart and lungs to get more oxygen. This is helpful when sitting for long periods on car trips or long flights.
I like Lily Trotters compression socks, because they come in all sorts of fun patterns and colors, are thin so you can wear them with any shoe and are also moisture-wicking (yes, that helps with sweaty feet :)) with padded heels and reinforced toes.
11. Buff Headwear, Amazon, $15
Buffs are popular with outdoorsy types, as these items have multiple functions perfect for being outdoors. An Amazon’s Choice product, “buffs” are designed to be worn on your head in 12 different ways. This includes over the hair, as a headband, as a hat, around the neck, around the mouth and more.
Buffs have 50 SPF sun protection, are wind resistant, wick moisture and dry quickly. They are kind of like a modern version of a scarf, but work for both men and women.
Food and Drink
12. Bodum French Press, Amazon, $19
Stephanie A., of Almost Free Family Travel, likes to travel with a Bodum French press. “I love coffee, but I’m a bit of a coffee snob,” says Stephanie. “Hotel coffee doesn’t work for me, so I never leave home without my French press.”
She says it’s small enough to put in her carry-on luggage. She also usually takes ground coffee, too, but sometimes she buys it at the destination, as well. The press also makes tea.
13. Collapsible Cooler, Amazon, $22
We love this collapsible cooler that can help you keep drinks, snacks and lunches cool on your travels. These are especially handy if you’ll be visiting a National Park where you won’t have easy access to food and drink for a good bit of the day or even to a beach where you plan to hang out all day in the sun.
Cami S. says she’s a big fan of collapsible coolers and uses this version from Coleman, which holds up to 40 cans. “I use it as a carry-on with food I can eat in it, since I’m on a restricted diet,” Cami says. “Usually I have it filled with homemade beef jerky, fruit strips, sweet potato chips, etc. It also came in super handy on our driving trip around Ireland when we went and stocked up at Aldi, too!”
The cooler flattens down to a thin size, so it doesn’t take space in your luggage, and you can pop it out when you need it! It also comes with several pockets to store accessories or other items on the outside, as well, and has handles for easy carrying.
14. Hydro Flasks, Amazon, $30
Nancy M. likes to travel with Hydro Flasks, which she describes as durable water bottles in fun colors and a variety of lid types. They also survive falls well and keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours when using the lid.
“I’m sad I left my favorite one of the top of Pikes Peak!” Nancy says.
15. Starbucks Via Instant Coffee, Amazon, $8 (13 packets)
John C. says he likes to carry Starbucks Via Instant Coffee packets to stay caffeinated when on the go. “If there’s no coffee maker, often the hotel room will have a kettle,” he says. “I don’t want to make a run to a cafe, so these instant coffee packets do the trick. No coffeemaker or kettle? I’ll mix this with cold water and voila, ‘iced coffee.’”
What are your favorites on this list? Which will you be adding to your holiday wish list?
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