Last Updated on February 1, 2019 by Larissa
Every year readers ask our suggestions for gifts for travel lovers. Whether it’s luggage, gadgets, clothing items, or even nifty travel-themed doodads to have at home, we travelers have our favorites. When compiling a list of Christmas and holiday gifts for travelers, we like to include things we’d like (or already use) ourselves. So whether you’re looking for travel gift ideas for him, travel gift ideas for her–or just want some inspiration for yourself–read on for our 2017 suggestions.
Note: If you’re interested in a gift that you see suggested here, please consider using the links we’ve provided below. We participate in the Amazon Affiliates program, where we make a small commission from these sales, at no extra cost to you. It’s one of the ways we keep things humming here at Changes In Longitude, while providing free travel advice to our readers. Thanks!
In this post
Travel Gifts for Men
1. Portable Hair/Beard Trimmer
No one wants to look like a shaggy dog while traveling (or if they do, I can guarantee their wives aren’t happy about it). To stay groomed while on the road, Michael likes a cordless trimmer that can handle the intricacies of his beard, yet is robust enough to cut his hair. The internal adjustable settings means minimal extra attachments, making this a compact, lightweight multi-tasker. Available through Amazon: Travel Hair & Beard Trimmer.
2. Toiletry Kit/Organizer
Michael’s been using this kit from Eagle Creek for many years. It’s got lots of pockets to keep his odds and ends organized, yet still manages to roll up compactly for easy packing. The attached hook is handy for hanging in a hotel bathroom or closet, putting all the pockets within easy reach. Eagle Creek products wear like iron; no fraying or tearing or stuck zippers. Purchase here on Amazon: Eagle Creek Slim Toiletry Kit.
3. Silk Thermals Base Layer Shirt
Packing for every weather eventuality can be a challenge if you don’t want to bulk up your suitcase. We’ve found the perfect solution to be a silk base layer shirt. They add a cosy layer beneath your clothes, but are ultra lightweight (both in your suitcase and on your person), take up almost no room in the suitcase, and dry quickly if you need to hand wash in the hotel sink. We wouldn’t travel without one. Available on Amazon: Silk Thermals.
4. The Roadster Guide to America’s Classic Car Museums
If someone on your gift list loves cars, or road trips (or both), this is the perfect gift. Written by Michael (yes, the husband in this blog’s traveling duo), it covers over 250 museums and quirky attractions all related to cars. It’s really good, but don’t just take my word for it; the book has received rave reviews in Hemmings Motor News, Hagerty, ClassicCars.com, The Detroit Free Press and The Philadelphia Inquirer! It’s available on Amazon: Roadster Guide to America’s Classic Car Museums.
Travel Gifts for Her
4. Pashmina Scarf
This is probably my most useful–and versatile–travel accessory. It’s handy around the neck on chilly days, used as a fashionable wrap over a dress in the evenings, and is a cozy blanket or neck pillow on a long flight. After a few attempts at cheaper versions, I now won’t settle for anything but those made of a silk and cashmere blend. This combination produces a scarf that’s soft, warm, ultra lightweight, and resists snags and pulls. They come in a variety of colors to accent any travel wardrobe and are indispensable. Purchase it on Amazon: Pashmina scarf.
5. My Favorite Wheeled Tote
Two years after purchasing the Delsey Wheeled Tote, I still swear by it. It is the perfect carry-on. It manages to fit my computer, toiletries and lots of other goodies while still fitting under an airplane seat. After flying over 50,000 miles it’s still sturdy, and has saved my aching shoulders as I whiz through airports. As a bonus, these totes are also great rolling bags for teachers; I also use it when teaching at Drexel University. It’s a handy way to get across campus with my laptop and assorted books and papers. I bought my Delsey wheeled tote on Amazon. (Note: you can also read my full review of it here.)
6. Multi-Tasking Skin Lotion
We gals love our creams and lotions, but that can be a challenge when we’re trying to pack light. Fortunately, I’ve found one that’s multi-tasking: Everyday Coconut Replenishing Eye Cream by Alaffia. Don’t be put off by the name, this lightweight cream works well as a facial moisturizer under makeup, and is a wonderful night cream as well (I just apply a bit extra). It’s reasonably priced, jam-packed with natural ingredients, and sales go toward promoting female empowerment in Africa. All good stuff. Plus, it comes in a 3-ounce tube, which is just perfect for carrying on board your flight (and will multi-task for 3-4 weeks of travel). I love this stuff. Purchase it here on Amazon: Alaffia Replenishing Eye Cream.
7. Travel Make-up Kit
Space-saving is the name of the game when packing. One way to minimize bulk in your toiletry kit is to have all your makeup in one handy package. I love these compact kits, but they’re difficult to find in stores. Fortunately you can find them online; my fave is Lancome’s Absolu Au Naturel kit, which includes whatever I need in one slim, light case. The tones are subtle, so I know they’ll match whatever I wear, including mascara (a rarity in these types of kits). Available on Amazon: Lancome Absolu Au Naturel Makeup Palette.
Unique Travel Gifts
7. Decorative Globe with Pins
We travelers love to reflect on our past journeys while we plan our next adventure. One way to keep the inspiration going is with a globe that helps you keep track. Our current fave is this metal globe with magnetic pins. We can color-code places we’ve been, want to go, etc. Just perfect for fueling wanderlust! Purchase on Amazon: Metal Globe with Magnetic Pins.
8. World Travel Map with Pins
If wall art is more your style, we recommend this framed World Travel Map. It’s mounted on foamboard, and comes with a set of colored pins for tracking your travels (and wannabe journeys), just like the globe listed above. We’ve spent many hours gazing at these maps to plan our next adventure. A perfect gift for home or office. Available on Amazon: Framed World Map with Pins.
9. A Shower in Paradise
There’s nothing like a nice hot shower for a quick imaginary getaway. Shower curtains can be whimsical and fun, but we particularly like this Curtain to Paradise: the gorgeous deserted beach scene framed through the image of a sliding glass door. It’s so realistic it’s easy to imagine you’re just a few steps from a dip in tropical waters. Purchase here on Amazon: Travel Inspiration Shower Curtain.
Old Stand-bys, Always in Style
10. Sturdy, Reliable 4-Wheeled Suitcases
Since we virtually live out of our suitcases, we’re very particular about our luggage. After going through an extensive evaluation last year, we both upgraded our luggage to the Travelpro Maxlite Spinner. It’s reasonably priced, light, super-sturdy, and has lots of nifty features, like an expandable pocket. (Check here for my full review of this luggage.) We use the 21″ size, but Travelpro makes 25″ and 29″ models if you are looking for something larger (or a whole set). If someone on your gift list is looking for new luggage, you can’t go wrong with this suitcase. We heartily recommend it. Purchase it here on Amazon: Travelpro Maxlite Spinner Suitcase.
11. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite e-Reader
Michael the Luddite resisted this one mightily, but now he’s glad he’s joined the 21st century. Instead of of carrying reams of books, he just loads them onto his Kindle. He recently upgraded to the Paperwhite model; the built in light is a boon to aging eyes (as is the non-glare surface). An added bonus is the ability to get books online anywhere in the world. (Note: we recommend buying the version without “special promotions.” Those are advertisements that pop up as you’re reading your book. We think it’s worth the extra few dollars not to have that distraction.) Available exclusively through Amazon: Kindle Paperwhite e-Reader.
Last, but not least
12. The Amazon Gift Card
If you’re still stumped about the perfect gifts for travelers on your list, consider an Amazon Gift Card. They’re always the right size, available in any dollar amount, and will give the recipient plenty of options for travel inspiration. You can purchase them here:
Amazon Boxed Gift Card (a physical card to be given in person or mailed)
Amazon e-Gift Card (delivered via email: perfect for last-minute gifts!)
Bonus Pick: The Perfect Travel Tip
The best trip–whether it’s around the world or around the corner–is the next one you take. Just go already! And best wishes for happy travels in 2018. 😊 🌍