We’re pretty sure you’ve probably guessed this, but we LOVE to travel! Every year, we’re broadening our horizons, spreading our wings and flying further than we ever imagined. As people who travel with anxiety, though, we like to be prepared. We’d like you to be prepared too. That’s why we’ve come up with what we believe are the best travel gift ideas !
We’ve tried a lot of products over the years, and we try to only recommend the ones we truly love. Occasionally, we also include items that we haven’t tried but are extremely popular and highly rated among travelers. Okay, now that we’ve gotten that disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk about our favorite gift ideas for travel lovers!
Top 10 Travel Gifts
Before you dive into this lengthy travel gift guide, we’d love to share our favorite gift ideas for travelers. These are things that we use almost every trip and really love!
As someone who needs to keep things sanitary while I travel, the thing I love most about this suitcase is the compartments. I can keep my shoes, umbrellas and dirty laundry in those outside “lungs” without dirtying my clean clothes! The OGIO ALPHA Convoy 526S Travel Bag is great for international travel!
There are so many pouches on this convertible, carry-on travel backpack! I’m able to keep my liquids (like sanitizer and essential oils) away from my boarding pass and passport. This is also the perfect carry-on backpack as it has spacious interior compartments that easily fit packing cubes.
Oh my goodness, I really love this thing! I don’t carry a purse and I don’t want to lug around a huge backpack while I’m exploring a new city. The Eagle Creek Packable Daypack unfolds and has a huge capacity (we can carry snacks, multiple water bottles and still have some space!). It’s lightweight and takes up almost no room at all. Love it!
I’m relatively late to the packing cubes game, but after using them to travel across Japan, I’m sold. Not only do they help take up less space, they keep things really organized. When I go to a hotel, instead of unpacking my clothes, we put my cubes right inside the drawer (much more sanitary). These wipe down easily, too!
Whenever I travel, I like to keep all of my items together — but separated. So, I want my passport, hand sanitizer, earbuds, face masks and emergency stash of almonds in one place, but my OCD doesn’t want them touching. This travel pouch makes that possible. It’s one of my favorite things!
I’m sure it’s not surprising that, as someone with anxiety, I like to plan ahead. Usually, I’ve got a Google doc filled with ideas for my trip. Often, I draw inspiration from Lonely Planet guides and maps. They even sell language books so you’ll be ready with key phrases when you reach your destination!
I’m paranoid about things touching my face in public, but I’ve learned that it’s much worse to fall asleep on a long flight, only to wake up leaning on a stranger’s shoulder. Yeah, the Trtl travel pillow (that I keep clean by carrying in a washable, cloth bag) is a worthy investment.
What a beautiful way to showcase your adventures! This decorative piece will add character to any room, and it also is a great conversation starter when guests come for dinner. I’ve got this on my list this year!
We don’t use much cash these days, but when we do, the best place to keep loose change is in a jar dedicated to raising funds for our next adventure. This is a great place to collect any money you’ve got leftover from your trips so that you can use it again when you go back!
This thing is a must-have for international travel. It’s a portable WiFi hub and power bank, and in our experience it works effortlessly. We sat eating at Coco Ichibanya in Kyoto and recharging this sweet little gadget which never seemed to run out of steam.
Travel Stocking Stuffers
Want to find a gift for a travel lover that won’t break the bank? Here are some great ideas for goodies that will fit right in their stocking!
Passport holder: You don’t really need one, but I really like having a passport holder. There are a lot of great designs, but my favorites are the ones that reflect my favorite destinations. I picked a cherry blossom one for Japan!
GoTubes: We make our own toothpaste, so we use these in our house all the time. They’re also practical for taking TSA-friendly amounts of shampoo and conditioner with you on a flight!
Gift Ideas for Anxious Travelers
Looking for gift ideas for travelers with anxiety or OCD? Here are a few items that might help put their minds at ease.
Antitheft shoulder bag: Many travelers take measures to guard against theft, but people with anxiety might be especially concerned. This anti-theft shoulder bag can provide added reassurance.
Diffuser: We always have a diffuser with us when we travel. We plug it in overnight and fill it with calming scents (as well as those that boost immune function!) so that we can wake up refreshed and ready for adventure.
Lavender essential oil: This is the gold-standard when it comes to calming scents. Research has shown that it can help reduce anxiety, promote sleep and even lower blood pressure. That’s why so many health and beauty products contain lavender!
Power bank: Both Josh and I are completely paranoid about our phones dying while we travel. We’ve had many instances where a flight is supposed to offer power outlets, but doesn’t. We’ve learned to carry a power bank so that we can give our devices a boost when they need it!
Packing list notepad: For anyone who is ever worried that they might forget something at home, this handy notepad is here to save the day!
Gifts for Staying Healthy While Traveling
Due to my obsessive compulsive disorder, I live with a fear of contamination. For many reasons, others also like to do what they can to stay healthy while traveling. No one wants to invest in a vacation, only to spend it sidelined in their hotel. Here are some travel gift ideas that can help!
Compression socks: The longer the flight, the higher the risk of developing blood clots in the legs. In addition to getting up and walking around the aircraft periodically, compression socks can help promote healthy circulation.
Flip Flops: There’s no way that I’m stepping on the carpet in a hotel. No chance. Instead, we always carry flip flops with us. They are easy to keep clean and work great if you want to head down to the pool.
Cleaning supplies: We wipe down the armrests, tray table, and seat belts on our flights. We wipe down the hard surfaces in our hotel rooms and rental cars. We use body wipes to freshen up after a day at the theme park, and carry hand sanitizer with us always. Put all these things together and you’ve got a great gift basket for the holidays!
Motion sickness drops: While we have traditionally used MotionEaze and meclizine, we recently discovered UpSpring Stomach Settle Drops and we love them. They have a great natural ginger and honey flavor and they settle tummies well. It’s a great addition to our toiletries bag!
Phone sanitizer & charger: Your phone gets pretty nasty while you travel, which is why we love the PhoneSoap sanitizer and universal charger. It gives our devices staying power while using UV technology to kill off potentially harmful bacteria and viruses!
Fun Gifts for Travel Lovers
Practical gifts are always appreciated, but sometimes you want something a little more fun. Here are some ideas for your favorite traveler.
Personalized Airport Flight Board: This is such a cute way to commemorate your adventures together. It works great for friends, couples, siblings or any travel companions!
Customizable Boarding Pass: When we surprised Hayley with our flights to Osaka for Christmas last year, this is what we used. Now, they’re safely tucked into a memory box to cherish <3
Travel planner for 2020: It’s so much fun to plan a vacation. That’s why a trip planner is a great gift for the holidays!
Scratch off world map: This is the perfect gift for the world traveler on your list. They will love scratching off countries to reveal the flags of places they’ve visited. They’ll love this for years to come!
Affordable Travel Gadgets
We save most of our money for travel. We’ve chosen not to eat out, we’ve cut cable, and despite having six kids, we’ve only got one car. We also don’t want super expensive travel gadgets because they’d cost too much to replace if something happened! Here are some thrifty tech Travel Gift Ideas for 2019.
Canon PowerShot SX350: While this is still close to $300, it’s definitely a budget camera to other models you’ll find on the parket. It’s a nice point-and-shoot option that will take great pictures for a fraction of the cost.
Travel headphones: Want some reliable headphones that will block out the noise on your flight, allowing you to take a nap or watch a show without being disturbed? These are perfect!
Amazon Fire Tablet: I’m not big on using tablets or even reading on flights, but I know a lot of people who do. The Fire tablet is a great option for travelers, especially for long-haul flights.
Pocket translator: Having this in your pocket will make you feel like you’ve got a tour guide along for your journey. It translates over 100 languages in real time and is also a mobile hotspot!
Electronics organizer: Ugh, I cannot stand wires and cords all over the place in my bag! Maybe it’s my clinically diagnosed OCD, but I need to have everything in its rightful place. This wonderful travel storage accessory helps me stay sane.
Must-Have Travel Gear for Families
We’re a family of eight, so we know a few things about traveling as a family. Here are some gift ideas for travelers we’ve found helpful:
Foldable travel stroller – Have you seen parents trying to navigate airports and board flights with bags, car seats and big, bulky strollers? No thanks! We make it a little easier on ourselves with the Delta Children’s Travel Stroller. We’re always amazed by how small it folds up, making it so much easier to get on and off an airplane.
Portable playpen: Give your baby or toddler a safe, clean place to sleep and play with a portable playpen. If you’ve got a newborn, you may want something with a bassinet insert (be sure to check the age requirements!).
Amazon Fire Kids Tablet: I’ll be really honest and say that I’ve got mixed feelings about kids and devices. That being said, I’m more than willing to let them use a tablet while traveling, especially on a long flight. It can be a real sanity saver for everyone!
Scooter suitcase: Rather than trying to wrangle your kids and their suitcase, put them all together in one place. Small children will love scooting around the airport and you won’t lose track of their bag. Just make sure you’re being respectful and aware of the people around you.
Armrest pillow: After you’ve wiped down the armrest, slide this overtop to give your child a soft place to rest their head. A well-rested kid is a happy kid after a lengthy flight!
Kids airplane bed: If you could curl up on the plane and sleep, wouldn’t you? The JetsKids BedBox is a great option for little ones who want to rest during a flight. You can also save money and use inflatable travel cubes to accomplish a similar goal!
Great Gifts for Outdoor Enthusiasts
We haven’t always sought outdoor adventures, but now that we’ve had some incredible experiences, we love being prepared! That’s why we had to include this great gear in our travel gift ideas list!
Arc’teryx Atom SL Hoody: For men or women, we absolutely recommend the Atom jacket. The very first time I tried it on, I wanted to just use it as a blanket. I couldn’t believe how comfortable it was! It folds up so small that it easily fits in a backpack, but it provides incredible warmth. This is a must-have.
Altra Shoes: It took until 2019 for me to find a pair of shoes that left me feeling like I was running barefoot. That’s the whole goal of Altra’s shoes, it turns out. It’s hard to go wrong with any pair, but my two favorites are the Solstice XT and Superior 4.
Smith Optics: Eye protection is very important, whether you’re scaling a summit, skiing over some moguls or just running on a sunny day. We love that Smith Optics offers an incredible range of goggles, shields, sunglasses and even helmets!
Life Case: We do a lot of extreme activities, from riding up a mountain in a helicopter or strapping into world record breaking roller coasters. Without going into any painful details, let’s just say we understand the value of a strong, waterproof phone case!
Travel Experiences and Tours
Once you pick a destination for your next voyage, here are some Travel Gift Ideas you can buy to enhance your vacation!
Rosetta Stone: Even if you don’t want to become fluent in a new language, learning key phrases and terminology can make your trip more enjoyable (and help you out in an emergency)!
EatWith: This is for my fellow foodies! If you’re looking for authentic culinary experiences with locals, you’ve got to check this out.
Eurail: One of the coolest things about Europe is that you can move so quickly from one country to the next just by hopping on a train. Relax, enjoy some fresh patisseries and watch the scenery!
Japan Rail Pass: My favorite country in the world is Japan, and my favorite way to see it is on the super high-speed Shinkansen, also known as the bullet train. The JR Pass is invaluable. Choose from a variety of options based on where you will travel!
Klook: If you’re traveling to Asia and you want to do tours or visit theme parks, you need to check out Klook. The website is easy to navigate, offers discounted prices and has a convenient app where you can keep all of your passes and certificates.
Viator: Whether you want to find a one-day sightseeing tour of Florence, get priority access to the Eiffel Tower, or visit the delightfully mysterious Stonehenge, you’ll find tours and adventures waiting for you!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of travel gift ideas! It’s always fun to reflect on those treasured items we carry with us as we make memories and see the world. We’re looking forward to finding new goodies to add to next year’s list!