Looking for that perfect gift for your traveling friend or family member? 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.

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. 

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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'm sure it wouldn't deter the most ambitious thief, but you know they go for the easy pickings. Everyone else taking pix without a lanyard is more tempting. I placed it under my phone cover, but did not actually attach it to my phone by removing the adhesive cover. With my Otter Box Commuter cover, the fit was tight enough you can pull substantially on it and it stays put (not sure I'd try and rescue a companion who was dangling over a cliff by having them grab my phone while it was attached to my wrist though). Since returning from travel, I've kept it on my phone. 

Wrist Lanyard

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.