Looking for the perfect gift for the traveler in your life? You’re in luck. Our experts have rounded up the must-have travel gear for every budget.
As international acrobatic teachers and adventure athletes, my husband and I travel all year long. Here’s some of our favorite gear to make travel days efficient and fun. If you have a world traveler in your family or group of friends this year, take a look at our top gifts for travelers to make their next trip even more enjoyable.
Instead of constantly rooting through my bag to search out different cords and charging devices, I now only need to bring out the Thule Power Shuttle. It’s a handy dandy organizer that has different secure loops and zippered pockets that make it easy to charge your devices in it and keep all of them together in one place.
The Micro Puff Hoody is a go-to when you need winter-ready warmth that packs down small. The PlumaFill insulation offers the ultralight packability of down paired with the warm-when-wet performance of synthetic fills. And with a durable, water-resistant shell, this jacket is ready for whatever adventures you find. Whether climbing mountains, hopping on a plane, or sightseeing around town, the Micro Puff can do it all. And at just 8 ounces, there’s no reason not to pack one just in case.
Whether traveling to a nearby city or across the world, the Sea to Summit Ultra Sil Travel Day Bag is always up for the job. I’ve used it as a diaper bag when traveling with my son, as an extra tote to carry groceries back to our pad from the market, and even as a hiking day bag. It’s so small it can fit in any pocket (and even on a key ring!). It’s also insanely light and strong.
BURNOUT Mug: $80-100
Designed by rocket scientists, the BURNOUT Mug brings your coffee to a drinkable temperature and then holds it there for hours. BURNOUT’s dual-chamber design absorbs heat from the drink and brings it to a drinkable temperature quickly. The HeatZorb technology keeps it perfectly warm for hours — no more burned tongue or constant reheating. This made-in-the-USA travel mug is perfect for traveling, commuting, camping, or even enjoying that perfect sip at home.
Pacsafe makes some amazing products that not only keep your things secure but are also durable, functional, and sleek. While I love many of the brand’s bags, I never go overseas without the RFID Blocking Zippered Passport Wallet. It has a place for my passport, a pen (that I’m otherwise always looking for), and several cards. Unlike other passport wallets that are on the clunky side, this one is slim, light, and has the added bonus of keeping people from stealing your identity.
AMK Smart Travel Kit: $50
When I was younger, I never thought about traveling with a medkit because (a) I was invincible and (b) I thought I could get everything overseas. These days, I’m into convenience. And this little travel kit by Adventure Medical Kits has come to the rescue a few times already. Some key features are that it has a language barrier card with pictures so you can show people what you need, all minor medications that you need for stomach illnesses and inflammation, a blister kit, bandages, and a small book on wilderness and travel medicine.
Chrome Industries Modal Bag Collection: $120-200
The Modal Bag Collection from Chrome Industries adapts to any adventure. The Spectre Duffle Bag has a hard-working 22-ounce tarpaulin bottom for extra protection and a flexible compartment to suit your needs. The Pike Backpack is a comfortable chameleon with a molded EVA back panel and flap-secured side pockets. And waist pack fans will love the Vale Sling Bag, which can handle a 13-inch laptop. Whether you go big or small, there’s a bag for you.
Long travel days can get stressful. Having something other than an ibuprofen for a headache that can also calm down the rest of the family is so nice. If you’re into essential oils that have a nonpowerful and soothing smell to them, check out the Road to Wellness Sage Kit. It comes with a Peppermint Halo cooling blend that feels great on the temples and neck for headaches and stress, a Pain Release Oil that also has a very nice and soothing effect to it, and a small tin of arnica for bumps and bruises.
Nite Ize Gear Tie: $5 per 4-pack
Nite Ize Gear Ties are the modern day duct tape. These little reusable rubber twist ties have been used for entertaining my son on planes, organizing cords, fixing backpacks, hanging things off of our bikes, and much, much more. We always have at least five different sizes in our travel bags, and they have not made one trip without being used.
This 1L bottle twists down to a quarter of its size when empty, has an easy-to-carry handle, and can stand up to both hot and frozen water. The hard bottom surface makes it the perfect traveling bottle because it’s both durable and can be filled at any airport fill station. And at 3.7 ounces in weight, it doesn’t add much bulk or weight to your bag. An extra bonus is that if you have young kids, it can also work as a great distraction on the plane! Because who doesn’t like squeezing and rolling a big, squishy water bottle around?
When it comes to packing and staying organized, Eagle Creek has got it figured out. Its packing cubes were a game changer for me, as they made packing my clothes so much easier, neater, and more compact. The Pack It Specter is the same in that it’s still lightweight, yet it has the added feature of having a dirty clothes compartment that is water resistant. I don’t always have the time or option to wash my clothes when I travel, so having a place to put them other than loose in my bag is great. I use the Pack It Specter in my gym bag and on long backpacking trips as well.
Icebreaker Underwear: $21-30
This one is a travel gift for her. Wool undies, in general, are amazing, but they’re even more crucial for traveling. Wool is my favorite material: It’s breathable, doesn’t hold odor, and is quick drying. So when I travel, I only bring Icebreaker underwear because it’s easy to wash in the sink and dries quickly on or off the body. For this reason, you don’t need a ton of pairs of them either.
My favorite is the Siren Bikini for everyday underwear and the 175 Everyday Boy Shorts ($35) for sleeping in. Both pairs feel soft on the skin, are lightweight, and don’t ride up or cut into the waist. They may be on the expensive side for underwear, but I have seriously had some of mine for seven years, and they’re still going strong.
After one bout of bed bugs, I now never go anywhere without my Cocoon sack. It packs down to less than half the size of a Nalgene bottle and weighs 4.7 ounces. On top of feeling good on the skin, the silk material is breathable, keeping you cool in the heat and warm in cooler temperatures. It’s a unique travel gift for the adventurous traveler. I love it because it gives me a sense of home whether I’m stuck in an airport, getting cozy on the plane, or thousands of miles away in a tiny hostel.
RAD Massage Balls: $16
For those travel days that go on forever, or if you’re traveling after a big mission or race, the RAD massage balls are an amazing tool for getting into those pesky knots. My husband and I each have two that we travel with: a bigger one for working on our back, butt, and hamstrings and a small one for our hands and feet. Both are amazing and have worked out some nasty knots as well as served as great distractions when we don’t want to sit or are waiting for a plane.
Pillows were frequently seen as a luxury item when traveling. It wasn’t until I started taking more red-eyes and longer flights that I finally realized how clutch a pillow was. Now, I can’t go on any trip with out my Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Premium Traveler. While it’s a mouthful to say, it’s lightweight (feels like a deck of cards) and takes up less space than my overstuffed wallet. It fills up in two to three breaths depending on your lung capacity and has an easy-to-adjust valve so you can fit it to your body and environment.
For the long-haul travel days where I know I’m going to be confined to a chair for much of the day, the ToeSox Zoe Compression socks are key in making my calves and ankles feel good. The knee-high socks sport a graduated compression stitch that is breathable and comfortable enough to wear for hours and hours. I’ve worn them for up to two days straight and forget that I have them on. And the classic ToeSox design makes it so that you can wear them with flip flops and sandals.
Rumpl Travel Towel: $59
A quick-drying, ultrapackable towel is a travel must-have. And this one from Rumpl is not only hardworking, but also delightfully stylish. It’s extremely absorbent, sand resistant, and fast drying. It even has buttons to secure it at your waist. Whether jet-setting around the world, heading to the local campground, or hitting a hot yoga class, this towel is a go-to.
Chill Angel Crop Pajamas: $120
Rest easy with a set of made-in-the-USA merino wool pajamas. Moisture-wicking and temperature-managing, these jammies will help you sleep better and feel refreshed. Best of all, you can happily wear them around the hostel, to yoga, or out and about. Double-duty gear means you can pack less and do more.