As the holidays approach, everyone is looking for that new gift that will wow the traveler in their life. So, I’ve put together a list of my favorite, affordable travel items. These items are not only practical, but they can make travel smoother and much more comfortable. Click on any of the titles or photos of the items to see them at Amazon. (Note: I do make a small commission for purchases made through the following links, but this doesn’t affect you or your pricing.)
Here are my favorite travel gifts, all under $30! (prices are subject to change)
Too many times, when I travel, I have my tickets in coat pocket, my wallet in my purse, my ID in my hand, and my passport in a separate purse pocket. Add my cell phone to the mix and I easily lose track of important items while walking through the airport. That is why I love this wallet. It’s full of pockets, has slots for credit cards and IDs, a sim card pouch, and even a zippered money pocket. In addition, not only does this wallet block any potential RFID skimmers, but it also is large enough to hold your passport, your ticket, and everything else in your wallet. The verdict is still out on whether there is a big enough threat of losing your personal and financial information to RFID skimmers, but I’d rather err on the side of caution. This handy wallet comes in a bunch of colors and is made from man-made leather so it’s very vegan friendly.
Yes, this sleeping bag liner has been on my list before, but I just love the comfort and peace of mind it brings! Even though I tend to stay in nicer hotels and home rentals, I still sometimes get uncomfortable sleeping in a bed that’s not my own. If you’re like me, invest in a sleeping bag liner/travel sheet like this one to help you get a good night’s sleep. Generously sized and very comfortable and silky, this sheet provides you with peace of mind as you drift off to sleep, wrapping you in your own personal cover. It comes with a pocket to slip your pillow into and has velcro on the sides to secure you inside. This liner also comes with a small bag that it compactly packs into. As an added bonus, bring it with on your next camping trip, slide it into your sleeping bag, and crawl into a sleeping bag with a few degrees of added warmth. This sleeping bag liner also makes it easier to clean your sleeping bags since it’s machine washable.
Every traveler needs a ‘small but mighty’ umbrella to pack for inclement weather. This compact and lightweight umbrella has an easy, one-handed open and close function. There are nine fiberglass ribs that make up the umbrella which can flex to protect against strong wind gusts and not turn inside out. In addition, this umbrella has a Teflon water-repellant fabric and a lifetime replacement guarantee! Check out the Repel brand’s page on Amazon to see this umbrella in a variety of sizes and colors to suit everyone.
As someone with larger, muscular calves, I HATE sitting still for hours while traveling. It’s too easy to get cramped up while sitting in economy. So I usually travel with compression socks. These snug fitting socks are meant to gently squeeze your calves, thereby increasing blood flow in your lower extremities, reducing pain and swelling, and can even help to prevent deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the leg). Sitting for hours without moving on a plane can make people susceptible to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), thus the reason why so many are turning to compression socks to improve their circulation while flying. I like these socks because they’re antibacterial, moisture wicking, and well made. I have also been known to wear my Zensah compression calf sleeves (Amazon link) while traveling as well. They are an athletic compression sleeve without the foot portion of a sock. You can find these sleeves at Amazon here.
Now I know this is not a highly rated gift to get, but it does speak volumes in terms of thoughtfulness for the traveler in your life. (Perhaps a stocking stuffer!) And why do travelers need sanitizing wipes? Research has shown over and over again that planes are some of the dirtiest places. Most parts of public transportation are not sanitized in any way, unlike public bathrooms which are cleaned regularly. And the dirtiest place on the plane…..is that tray in your lap. It’s rare that cleaning crews have time to clean the trays, let alone disinfect them. Therefore, any time I fly, I pull out a Purell wipe or two and disinfect everything around me: my tray, arm rests, seatbelt buckle, the touch screen in the seat in front of me, the seat back pocket (doesn’t everyone treat it as a trashcan?) and even my light button and fan controls overhead. Because these wipes are individually wrapped, they won’t dry out like they would in a large pack with multiple wipes. Treat the traveler in your life to good health and clean travel when you buy these sanitizing wipes.
Whether it’s winter or summer, I am always traveling with some kind of scarf or wrap. Not only can they add warmth without a lot of weight, but they can double as a blanket, headscarf, and pillow. I used to travel with a lightweight jacket, but it took up a lot of room in my carry-on. Shawls and scarves are super packable and have lots of uses. Oftentimes, on planes in the summer, I will get too cold from the air conditioning; carrying a scarf allows me to stay warm without carrying a bulky coat. Scarves like these make great travel gifts and come in all styles and price ranges to suit your budget. Click the photo above for more info.
Okay, so this is another one of these gifts that while they seem simple, they can be super helpful to travelers. When trying to charge my laptop on planes, all too often I end up with a very loose connection (or none at all) due to the weight of the laptop’s charging block. Having this 3 foot extension cord changes all that. This cord simply plugs into the large charging block and then securely plugs into the plane’s outlet. This little cord eliminates that loose, unsecured connection when the outlet is too loose to hold the plug pins in tight or the charger is too heavy to stay plugged in.
I still love this little charger two years after I first recommended it. Let’s face it – we’re on our devices all day long and if we’re out all night, we’ll need to power them back up! A long day on the road or in the air can ultimately leave you with a dead phone and no means of communication or information. I love the Anker portable chargers because they’re effective and small. This little charger adds one charge to an iPhone 8 or about 80% to the Galaxy S8 phone. This also comes with a micro USB cable for charging, a convenient carrying pouch, and an 18 month warranty.
This recommended travel gift is a new pillow concept (Amazon link) that adds a bit of head support, for those trying to sleep in flight. This fleece pillow has internal support to keep your head from nodding while dozing off. Not only is it cushioned for comfort, it is designed to wrap around your neck and look like a scarf. Simply wrap it around your neck and secure the velcro. Other benefits are that it’s lightweight, machine washable, and comes in a variety of colors. Obviously, this won’t be a miracle product, providing you with sweet dreams while you sit on a cramped airplane, but it will allow your head to get in a more comfortable position, that will hopefully allow you to get some rest. It can also prevent you from waking yourself up due to the dreaded head bobbing that affects weary travelers. Click here for more information on the Trtl Pillow at Amazon.com.
I hope this information solves some of your holiday shopping worries, or at least gives you some new, unique ideas for the travelers in your life. Hopefully these affordable travel gifts will satisfy the traveler in your life, like they did for me.
Happy Travels and Happy Holidays!
For more info, check out my previous posts on travelers’ gifts:
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