Over many years of travel, I have found some items that make traveling not only easier but even more enjoyable. So, this holiday season, I wanted to share my top 10 gifts for travelers under $50 (and a few under $25).
- The Logitech Keys-To-Go Keyboard. This thing is pretty amazing. It connects via Bluetooth to your phone or tablet and is small enough to slip into a magazine or a flat pocket. If you or your special someone likes to blog about their travels, or are writing a book, or just like to take notes, or list things out (that’s me), this is THE perfect gift. The keys are surprisingly easy to use and aren’t so cramped that you feel like you might as well do it on your phone. It’s a joy to use.
- Compression Socks. My ankles tend to swell up on long flights, so these have become a lifesaver for me.
- Scarf. I think a scarf is one of the most underrated travel accessories. It’ll keep you warm on the ever freezing plane, you can bunch it up and use it as a pillow while you’re waiting in the terminal, you can wrap your camera in it, or even hide a stain on your shirt by wearing it… I may or may not know from experience…
- Merino Wool Shirt. I love merino wool. It keeps you cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. It’s lightweight, breathable, and best of all, it takes a while to stink. I’d argue that it is the best fabric for traveling. I was able to pick up a couple of Patagonia wool t-shirts when they still sold them, but I have also found some through REI and Amazon (linked above) as well.
- Tiger Balm or Essential Oils. When I was in Cambodia, I had a bout of heat exhaustion. I became nauseous and had to ask my motorbike taxi driver to pull over. As I was hurling into a ditch, an elderly woman came up to me with tiger balm in her hands and started rubbing it into my temples. She gave me the bottle with a smile and motherly touch. I still have it, and I still use it any time I feel nauseous. I carry it with me on the plane so that if I feel motion sick or there is a “strong” smell in the air (we’ve all been there) I can breathe this in and relax a bit.
- Battery Bank. Several years back my brother gave me a battery bank and it has been one of the best gadgets to travel with. Other than charging my phone I’ve also used it to charge compatible camera gear, my headlamp, and other odds and ends on the go, and for that, it is priceless.
- Wireless Headphones. I recently got these Skullcandy Grind Wireless headphones and fell in love. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wrestled with the cord on my headphones or earbuds in the past, but these made using them on a plane so easy. Just don’t forget to bring along the provided audio cord if you want to watch a movie on the plane.
- A Subscription to Audible or a travel magazine like Suitcase. One of my favorite things to listen to while I travel is an audiobook. It doesn’t take up any room in my luggage and I’ll have entertainment for hours. And when I’m home wishing I was traveling, there’s nothing like curling up with a good magazine like Suitcase to dream up my next trip.
- Notebook and Pen. I always have a notebook and pen with me. Field Notes has been my go-to notebook, but I also love the timeless Bull & Stash leather notebook. Since using the Pilots Pen, I have found it essential for writing on a dark plane or at night in a hostel without waking up my partner, or a random stranger.
- Fancy and Fun Travel Size Toiletries. I don’t know about you, but I love getting special toiletries for when I travel. It’s a fun little something to make you feel luxurious. Whether it’s something like Marvis Toothpaste or a fancy eye cream, at the end of a long day it’s nice to feel a little pampered. One of my biggest pet peeves about travel toiletries was always the plastic toothbrush tubes. They seemed to always break on me, so I picked up some Bamboo Toothbrush Holders recently and I didn’t realize I could love something as silly as a toothbrush holder! But the love is real. Game changer.
Well, I hope this list gave you some fun gift ideas for the world traveler in your life (or for yourself – nothing wrong with gifting to yourself!). If you have any must-have travel items I’d love to hear about them. Make sure you comment below. Happy giving and happy travels!
Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Not trying to trick anyone here. These are just products that I love using and want to recommend to my friends.