As a frequent solo traveler, I’ve found a lot of products that are incredibly helpful for backpacking. Whether I’m a backpacker going through Europe, Southeast Asia, or Mexico, there are lots of things that have helped me organize my trips or just make things a little more comfortable. Lots of these came as traveler gifts from family that I wasn’t expecting to need.
The traveler gift ideas below are all based on both my essential travel items and a big wish list that I obviously have. I’ve also gotten some of these ideas from talking to other travelers and backpackers about what they love the most in their suitcase on their trips.
Traveler Gifts Under $25
These are some of the less expensive ideas for traveler gifts. I personally have all of them and recommend them to give as a birthday or Christmas present to a new traveler or a seasoned one. Some of these are also small enough to make for great stocking stuffers.
Bluetooth Sleep Mask Headphones
Regular sleep masks are almost a requirement for any travel but why not upgrade the experience a bit with a little technology. If you’re trying to sleep on a flight or possibly staying in a city with a lot of noise, drowning out the light and the noise is going to bed the best way to fall asleep. This sleep mask is my travel hero for getting a good nap on a plane or full night sleep in a hostel. I just put them on and listen to some relaxing sounds to drift off.
International Travel Adapter – Great Gift or International Travelers
This is the exact model I have. I love this thanks to all the extra USB ports and the ability to work pretty much in any country. It is a nice size and the plugs can be pressed into the cube to make for easy storage and avoid snagging any clothes in your bag. I keep this international travel adapter in my backpack so I always have it ready for any trip whether it is domestic or international.
Travel Compression Socks for Women & Men
Yeah, socks are kind of a lame gift, but not these. For anyone who travels often, flights can take a real toll on their health. The different air pressure up high in a plane cause serious swelling and can drastically increase the risk of developing blood clots. Compression socks help increase circulation in your body to prevent all of that and also make you feel a little more energized and ready to get down to wandering the streets of your new favorite cities.
Traveler Gifts Under $50
I only have a few of these items myself. The rest are on my actual Christmas wish list. Mom…please take a look at these!
A GOOD Portable Charger/Power Bank
There is a drawer in my apartment full of smaller power banks that I’ve either gotten as a promotional gift from somewhere or bought for under $25 to be cheap. I finally bought a higher capacity power bank and it is a real gamechanger. This is the exact one I’m using now. It charges up fast, fits in my pocket, and best of all…it can fully charge my iPhone and iPad multiple times without being recharged itself.
I also love the little pouch that comes with this. I keep a miniature charging cable in there for my iPhone and also another little cable to charge the block so I never have to go fishing around for a cord to get either back up and running.
Gorillapod – Perfect for Travelers who Take a Lot of Photos
I actually have a cheap knock off of this that doesn’t have the strength of the Gorillapod. Some people have let me borrow their official ones and it was so much better. They work as either a standing tripod or can grip onto anything that the arms can wrap around. If you use a point and shoot or DSLR camera, these work flawlessly. If you prefer to take some fancy photography or selfies with your iPhone or another phone, then you can always get the Gorillapod smartphone mount.
Traveler Gift Ideas Over $100
If you really want to spoil this traveling woman or man in your life, then these are some of the best gifts to get them. I only own a couple of these and REALLY wish someone would buy me the rest. (Wink wink)
Allbirds Runners – My Favorite Shoes for Traveling
Why do I love Allbirds? I can go on and on about that. Maybe I will in another post. But for now, I’ll just say that they are incredibly comfortable, they don’t get smelly for a long time, you can easily clean them in the washing machine, the blank shoes can be used for wandering the streets or going out at night, and they somehow keep your feet warm in the cold and cool in the heat. These are perfect for traveling through cities, but I wouldn’t recommend them for use hiking out in nature as the grip probably wouldn’t work too great climbing hills.
In addition to all of that, they are also better for the planet..if you’re into that sort of thing. Which I hope you would be 🙂
Amazon got called out for trying to copy these by the Allbirds co-founder, but the Amazon version definitely seems to be totally inferior on many accounts. But hey, they are half price. Maybe you can get two pairs and hope they last as long as one of Allbirds.
OAKA Dress Shoes – My Other Favorite Shoes for Traveling
These are a new shoe that I’ve tried recently that I absolutely love. I still love my Allbirds, but the OAKA dress shoes are great to have with you if you have any plans on going anywhere “nice” and want to dress up a bit more.
They are incredibly comfortable and have the perfect grip for long walks. Like Allbirds, these travel sneakers are machine washable, so you can really go to town on them and throw them in the wash to get rid of any stink they’ve built up from long days of walking around new cities.
The OAKA dress shoes will have a permanent spot in my travel bag for when I’m going out to dinner, but they are comfortable and durable enough to wear for a long day of sightseeing. They also look great with a pair of jeans. You can even wear them with or without socks comfortably and looking stylish abroad.
A REALLY GOOD Portable Charger/Power Bank
I know I already mentioned another power bank above, but this is a serious upgrade if you’re willing to spend the money. All power banks are capable of charging up your iPhone, Galaxy, and other smart phones. Some blocks can charge your iPad. This monster can charge all of those AND a laptop. In my opinion this is possibly the most useful and best gift idea for business travelers, remote workers, travel bloggers, and other digital nomads that spend a lot of time on their laptop traveling.