Looking for that perfect gift for your traveling friend or family member? Or maybe an addition to your travel kit? We have a growing list of essentials, from ways to minimize carry-on liquids to keeping your phone secure, your gift will be thoughtful AND useful. This list is continually growing as we are inspired to share, so keep checking back.
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Mini Cork Globe with Push Pins -- It's not a stocking stuffer but it's so cool we had to include it here. Show off your travels or inspire someone you love to begin filling their own globe.
This comes in two sizes: a six-inch diameter, and a ten-inch diameter. Countries are well-defined, as are the states in the US. As of this writing, the 6" globe is 43% off, at $39.97.
Solid Shampoo and Conditioner -- a great way to free up liquid space when flying carry-on only. Additional benefits are these products are eco-friendly and sustainable.
Ethique has a range of options for different hair types. I use the Sweet and Spicy for volumizing and found the fragrance gentle on the senses, not the overpowering "holiday spice" smell you might imagine from their description. The company also makes fragrance-free products. Ethique claims that the shampoo bars are equivalent to 3 bottles and conditioner equivalent to 5. I haven't counted how many shampoos I've gotten out of the product, but I've been using this every morning for 2.5 months and have only used up about 1/3 of the bar. I do like the square shape for travel.
If Ethique starts running short of stock, another great favorite for solid shampoo and conditioner is made by Hibar. Check them out here.
Small Jewelry Travel Case -- There are many similar cases by other brands, but we like this one because it is napa leather with flannel lining plus has a removable partition to alter the inside to your needs. A mirror is a handy addition as well.
At 3.97" by 3.97" by 1.97" it's small enough to toss in your carry-on bag and know you have the essential valuables on hand. Shown here in light pink, it also is available in black, white, red, and a light aqua blue. $10.99 as of this writing, with a 10% off coupon possibly available.
Phone Tether Tab (2 pack) --A great stocking stuffer or gift to yourself. Used in combo with a wrist lanyard, this eased my concerns with pickpockets trying to grab my new smartphone and my dropping the phone on cobblestones (ask me how I know!), having it swept over the edge of a windy cliff (almost happened in Ireland), over the side of a boat, etc. I've used this constantly since returning home, as we have a dog and it keeps my phone secure while walking her on a leash.
These are inexpensive and worth their weight in gold. You receive two tether tabs for $6.59. I placed it under my phone cover, but do not actually attach it to my phone by removing the adhesive cover. With my Otter Box Commuter cover, the fit is tight enough you can pull substantially on it and it stays put.
I use this with the phone tether and it has on more than one occasion prevented me from dropping the phone onto hard rock and cobbles. My son dropped his relatively new phone at the Rock of Cashel. Don't do that. This pack includes 6 different colors for $7.49 or less. Just as with the phone tether tab, I've used this constantly since returning from our trips.
We never travel without a few of this type of bag stashed away in a purse or luggage. We use them for everything from grocery shopping (especially if we are staying in an apartment) to reconfiguring our carry-on items to bring home an extra special souvenir. This is a pack of 6 that are gender neutral, so you can treat a few of the people on your gift list, or keep some for yourself and stash them in your car. Each bag holds up to 35 lbs. Price is generally under $10.
If you prefer some fun floral bags, check THESE out.
Never wonder again if your phone will hold a charge through the daytrip on your vacay! This is slim and light for a powerbank and is compatible with iPhones, Samsung, and Pixel phones plus the iPad mini. Click through to check for compatibility. Available in several colors, all around $20.
If you want to explore different types of powerbanks, click here.
Tired of throwing out water bottles before you go through airport security? Then find yourself hustling to get a connection or out on a day trip and without your hydration? We wish we'd had this bottle in Andalucia (Spain). We would have frozen it overnight and taken it with us on those hot days of walking. It comes with a nice carabiner, so I could see this hanging it from my travel purse. It's foldable, durable, freezable, stands when full and can be washed in the dishwasher! I'm buying one now, in one of the fun colors. Also getting one for my hubster for his stocking. (Shhh, don't tell). Around $12.
The potential for losing your luggage is real. But if you have an Apple device, recovery may be at hand quicker than you think. Toss an Apple Airtag in your suitcase and you'll be able to track it, be it near or far. Requires iPhone SE, iPhone 6s or later, or iPod touch (7th generation) with iOS 14.5 or later, or iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation or later), iPad Air 2 or later, or iPad mini 4 or later with iPadOS 14.5 or later.
It's a smart investment of about $25, even if you mostly use it to find your keys at home.
We know how useful these little devices are for campers and backpackers, allowing so many things to be attached to a pack or hung from a line. But when traveling in major cities, they are equally as useful. They can attach a water bottle or flashlight to a day pack, purse, or belt. Use them to secure a zipper closed on a purse, to thwart potential pickpockets. Hang your airline neck pillow to your roll-on bag.
This set of 6 multicolored 2" carabiners are big enough to do the job, but small enough to be more discreet. Made of aircraft aluminum alloy which makes them durable and rust-resistant. Currently priced under $6.
This set of 2 embossed leather luggage tags will inspire your or your recipient's passion for travel. Available in a range of beautiful colors, they feature a privacy cover and a sturdy stainless steel loop to stay on your bag. $10.99 for 2