The Traveler’s Holiday Gift Guide

It truly is the most wonderful time of year, and I have already begun my shopping.  But that’s not to say finding the perfect gift for everyone is my list is an easy task.  Gift cards are basic.  Socks are too practical.  Clothing can be tricky when it comes to sizing and taste.

Fret no longer for the travelers on your list.  I’ve rounded up some of the best gifts for travelers that they want or need for every budget and preference.  Shop away!

This post includes affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission through some links included in this post.  All opinions are my own.

Ballin’ on a Budget

  • Watercolor prints: Light on cash but have a knack for watercolor?  Rinse off your brushes to create a watercolor print for the traveler in your life.  Paint a travel quote, cityscape, city name or foreign word.
  • Magazines: Plane rides can get long, let me tell you.  Buy and gift a stack of magazines to help your traveler pass the time and brush up on the latest trends and news.
  • Painted mason jar: Some paint, a mason jar and stencil can make for the perfect saving jar or flower vase.  Learn how to make your own map mason jar.DIY Travel Mason Jar | Round Trip Travel
  • Framed photo: Printing photos is so inexpensive, personal and thoughtful.  Find a cute frame and place your latest selfie from London or New York City skyline photo.
  • Coupon for free petsitting, housesitting or babysitting: Booking flights and hotels to eating 5-star meals starts adding up — and then you remember someone needs to watch Lambchop and water the plants.  Make a coupon offering free sitting services to take some stress off.


  • Portable Charger: Because sometimes advertised “free outlets” just don’t work and other times we’re out of juice and conveniently lost at the same time.
  • Earbud taco: My friend Delora gifted these to me last Christmas.  So cute and so practical.
  • Headphones: For the traveler who listens to music and podcasts nonstop, nicer headphones are a great bet.

Stocking Stuffers

  • Passport cover: Not only are they fun, but they also make it easier to find your passport in a disorganized carryon.  (I don’t know from personal experience or anything!)
  • Maps: I could stare at maps for hours and love decorating my walls with them.  Maybe even stop by an antique store to find a vintage map to gift.
  • Travel-sized items: Anything little is just so darn adorable, but it also makes TSA happy.  I don’t think a traveler can have too many mini shampoo bottles or moisturizer.  (Target has a great selection.)
  • Cosmetic bag or packing cubes: More things travelers can’t really have too much of.
  • Luggage tags: Dig around for some tags to help your traveler spot her luggage at baggage claim more easily and provide contact info if it gets lost.
  • Journal: Make sure your traveler records every last thought and shares her best tips with you when she gets home.
  • Travel books: Nothing gets me more amped for a trip than reading travel writing or seeing travel photos.  Whether it’s a travel journal or a book on ways to travel better, start a reading list.
  • Photo book: Gather up photos from a past trip and make a scrapbook as a gift.
  • Foreign language book: Bonjour, howdy, hallo, olà, zdravo.  So many words and ways to say just hello.  Spend a pretty penny for a pocketbook on key phrases in a foreign language so you can find a bathroom and not order something funky.

Big Ticket Items

  • Suitcases: I am a huge proponent of hard-shelled luggage with four wheels.  I’ve had my it luggage for years and love it.  It’s so easy to spot at the baggage claim, it’s pretty, it’s functional.
  • Walking shoes: Travelers add up lots of mileage, especially on their feet.  I’ve worn my Birkenstocks and Naturalizer flats down to the soles because I’ve walked miles in them across America and Europe.
  • Travel backpack or bag:  I could always use another bag but not just any bag.  Think practical: Are there pockets?  Am I likely to be targeted by pickpockets?  How will this fare in poor weather conditions?  Here’s what I’m asking for.
  • Airline gift card: If you absolutely can’t decide or want to knock the socks off your traveler, an airline gift card is always a winner.

The holiday season can be stressful as is, but finding the right gift for the traveler in your life can be solved in a jiffy with this holiday gift guide.

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