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25 Best Gifts for Travelers: A Practical Gift Guide in 2024

If you’re looking for practical gifts for the traveler in your life, check these out!

The paper crinkled beneath my fingers as I ripped it off the box. No matter how old I am, I still feel like a kid when I get a present. It was no match for my excitement. I dug through the tissue paper and finally felt something.

Since we have been moving from city to city every year, we have been paring down our stuff. We want everything in our house and on our travels to serve some sort of purpose. As I was putting together a wish list for us this holiday season, I also put together a list of practical gifts for the traveler in your life. We use all (except one) of these, and they have made our travels and lives better. Prices of these gifts range from $10 to $400.

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Last Updated: December 15, 2023

25 Best Gifts for Travelers (A Practical Gift Guide)

1. Global Entry

We wanted to keep this one to ourselves to ensure the lines stay short, but it’s too good not to share. It’s $100 to apply, and once approved, it’s good for 5 years. You’ll never have to wait through security lines, passport control, and customs lines again! 

We absolutely love it and have bought this for our parents and friends who travel. Every time we breeze through passport control, while everyone else is annoyed with the lines, we look at each other and say that it was so worth it.

2. Daypack →

This lightweight and versatile daypack has been perfect for bringing onto the plane or using during the day. It doesn’t take up much space but is still well-built and comfortable to wear. We’ve used this particular bag for over 10 years.

3. Block Brush →

When we’re adventuring outside, our hands aren’t always clean and sometimes we don’t want sunblock on our hands (especially when we’re climbing). The block brush helps us reapply sunblock without worrying about any of that and we prefer it over spray because we can make sure we don’t miss a spot.

4. Subtl Staks →

Subtl Beauty is a compact, stackable makeup solution for those constantly on the go. All Subtl Staks come with a makeup brush and a mirror on the ends, and you can customize what you want in the middle of your stak. They’re vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, and refillable to minimize waste.

My stak includes concealer, cream highlighter, lip & cheek, eyeshadow, bronzer, and an extra lid to keep some staks at home if I want to go minimalist on makeup. The left side shows what you can replace with Subtl Staks on your right.

subtl beauty stack reviewPin

5. Solar Powered Lights →

The Luci Core Solar Utility Task Light does it all. With an adjustable arm, you can strap it to you, use it in your tent, or use it at home. It’s lightweight, waterproof, and has a built-in solar charger. You can charge it via USB as well.

We also have their Luci String Lights we use when we’re camping. They set the perfect mood.

21 Car Camping List of Essentials - Car Camping ChecklistPin

6. Patagonia Nanopuff Jacket →

If you’re looking to give a quality, lightweight jacket that packs small but still keeps you warm, then look no further. When it’s packed up into its pocket, I like to use it as a travel pillow too!

See More: 13+ Best Jackets for Travel for Any Weather


7. Travel Scarf →

A travel scarf is great for multiple uses. We found this amazing travel scarf with lots of different pretty patterns that include a pocket to keep your passport secure! I’m super excited to try this scarf out and can’t wait for it to arrive. :D I’m always cold on a flight, so scarves are always handy.

Travel Scarf with Hidden Pocket (Best Gifts for Travelers: A Practical Gift Guide).

8. ExOfficio Bikini Briefs or Boxer Briefs →

These are amazingly comfortable and they are dry-wicking, so it’s great for travel and anything active. Their motto is “17 countries. 6 weeks. one pair of underwear. okay, maybe two.” You can bring as many as you want, but technically you only need 2 pairs for an entire trip. They are high-performance, easy to wash, and dry in 2-4 hours. We love them and hope to eventually switch out all our underwear to these!

9. Jackery Explorer 300 →

For the person who loves camping and being outdoors, the Jackery Explorer Power Stations have been a game-changer. We have the Explorer 300, which is smaller that we take on weekend trips, but also have the Explorer 1000 for longer trips. They’re also great to have at home in case the power goes out. Add their solar panels and you’re good to go!

Local Tip: Have fun!

See More: 21 Car Camping Essentials – Everything You Need to Pack

21 Camping List Essentials - List of Camping Essentials - String Lights // Local AdventurerPin

10. Language App Subscription →

I’ve tested out 15+ language apps, and right now my favorites are Drops for learning vocabulary, Pimsleur for conversations, and Busuu for grammar tips.

See More: 9 Best Language Apps for Travel to Download Before Your Next Trip

travel language appsPin

11. GoToob →

We all have our favorite toiletry products but they don’t always come in travel friendly sizes. GoToobs are squeezable tubes that are easy to load, and they never leak (although some readers have told me they have on them, but we’ve had them for years and it’s never happened yet).

GoToob - Leak-Proof Travel Containers for LiquidsPin

12. Power Converter & Adapter →

Most people have multiple electronics now and sometimes there just aren’t enough outlets when you travel. This gives you the flexibility of a converter and adapter for international travel and has 4 USB charging ports and 3 outlets.

13. Portable Charger →

Whether you’re on a plane or just on the go all day long, this charger is the perfect companion to give you the juice you need for your phone. For someone more adventurous (or clumsy), check out this charger that is waterproof, drop-proof, and crushproof.

14. Travel Backpack →

A solid backpack that works well with you when you travel is a must. We have a few different bags we rotate through depending on how long the trip is and what camera gear we need to pack, but we cover a list of the best travel backpacks you can check out here.

See More: 19 Best Travel Backpacks You Need To Check Out

15. Travel Water Bottle →

A great lightweight bottle that you can roll up and store away when you’re not using it. These are our current favorite travel water bottles we tested on the road.

See More: The Best Travel Water Bottle Tested on the Road

water bottles for travelingPin

16. Kindle Paperwhite →

It’s always nice to take along a few books on a trip but they always take up space and can get heavy. I know many of us like the tangible feel of a book, but as a traveler, it’s nice to carry an entire library of books in one device. Isn’t it nice to have choices?

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17. Larq Self CLeaning Water Bottle →

You never know what the water situation is going to be when you’re traveling. With the LARQ Bottle, you don’t have to worry about your water because it is self-cleaning and uses UV-C LED light to eliminate up to 99.9999% of bio-contaminants from your water and bottle.

larq bottle reviewPin

18. Seat Wrap and Transition Towel →

Part seat wrap, part towel, this multi-use towel is perfect for practical travelers, especially for people who love road trips. Not only is it  a quick-dry towel, but you can wrap yourself in it to change and keep your car clean.


19. Ombraz Armless Sunglasses →

When you’re traveling, you don’t want to worry about losing your sunglasses. Ombraz Sunglasses uses a nylon cord instead of traditional arms so that they fit better, have fewer parts that break, and won’t slip off as easily. Plus, they are carbon-negative and 20 mangrove trees are planted for every pair sold.

20. Lightload Towels →

You never know when you’ll need a towel. You might want to go on an impromptu swim, find yourself drenched in rain, or just want your own towel for working out. Lightload towels are super compact and come in different sizes. You can keep them in the car, your pocket, or anywhere else you might need them. When you open them up, you can use them for first aid, working out, changing, or whatever else you may need. They’re also made from sustainable wood and plant scraps that are breathable, hypoallergenic, and burnable.

21. 3-1-1 Compliant Toiletry Bag →

This should have been one of the first things we got as a frequent flier. I don’t know how many times I would get annoyed trying to fit all my toiletries in a ziploc bags and breaking them. I can’t believe it took us so long, but finally this year we have our own TSA-approved toiletry bags, and we’re so happy we did. It’s also better for the environment.

22. A new Suitcase →

Get a new suitcase for future adventures. We recently started using this super light suitcase from Samsonite. It’s the perfect size for carry-on and has built-in organization, making it easy to pack.

Check out this collapsible suitcase if you’re looking for a unique suitcase that helps save space. It’s perfect for anyone who has limited storage space.

You can also pick up a Cincha Travel Belt. We used it to help secure our suitcase while traveling but it can also be used to cinch a tote bag to your suitcase when you’re rolling around. 

See More: The Best Carry on Luggage + How to Pick the Right Suitcase for You

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23. Space Savers →

People are always asking me how I manage to pack for multiple weeks in one carry on. My answer is using Space Savers and Packing Cubes (below).

24. Packing Cubes →

Any practical traveler is going to try and pack efficiently too. Packing Cubes and Space Savers are two options are invaluable to packing as much in as possible into a carry-on. Plus, it helps organize your luggage. I usually put all my tees and tops in here. You can also separate your dirty from your clean clothes. I’ve seen prettier ones, but sometimes they don’t work as well. Until I find one that’s good for both, this one wins for function.

You may notice that we use many different organizers. When you’re constantly on the go, it helps to keep your things organized and in different compartments. People are also always asking us how we can pack for weeks in a carry-on, but these space savers, packing cubes, and organizers make such a difference.

25. Compression Socks →

I know socks may seem like a terrible gift, but these aren’t just any socks. The mild compression soothes and minimize ankle, leg, and foot swelling and reduce fatigue.

More Gifts for Travelers

  • Digital Luggage Scale – We also don’t use a digital luggage scale, because we try our best to pack light and don’t shop much when we’re overseas. They can however come in handy for those who plan on doing shopping and loading up on souvenirs. The last thing you want is an overweight luggage charge when you’re traveling.
  • Patagonia Capilene Layers – great for layering, lightweight, and fast dry. I actually have 3 and take them everywhere.
  • Peak Design Mobile Phone Case – we love Peak Design’s mobile system. We use the wallet and mobile creator kit all the time.
  • Outdoor Research Dry Ditty Sacks – protects all your stuff from the weather. We have these & it’s great for camping and travel. You can also use them to organize your miscellaneous items in your luggage.
  • Evian Facial Mist Mineral Water Spray – It’s tsa-approved and helps you feel fresh in a dry airplane cabin environment. I know I always feel gross on airplanes.
  • Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Headphones – now they have a version where you can customize the colors of each part of the headphones. They’re comfortable, and they are great noise-canceling headphones.
  • GoPro – It’s compact, convenient, and takes great video especially for active people.

What other practical gifts are we missing? Is there anything on this list that you would never use? And which gift makes sense for the practical traveler in your life?

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Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

Follow on Instagram (E + J), YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.

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