I am not sure what it is about this year, but is anyone else feeling just a little BLEH this holiday season? Maybe it is because we have been getting Christmas thrown at us since August that it doesn’t feel like the actual holiday season now that Thanksgiving is behind us? Like we are just numb to all things Christmas??
I can’t really explain it, but there is something in the air that is making this holiday season just not feel like the holiday season quite yet and gift shopping feels like the furthest thing from my mind.
That said, it is a couple weeks away from Hanukkah and a month away from Christmas, so I know it is time to at least start thinking about the holidays. Hopefully this gift guide will help you as you begin to think about the holidays and what you could get the traveler in your life.
Please know that there is no particular order to this guide and the gifts will range in prices. I do not want to label anything as “budget friendly” because everyone’s idea of budget will differ. That said, know that while any brands I note on this list have either been used by myself or loved ones, or have high reviews and are on my own ‘want’ list, you can always take this list as ideas and find brands that fit better into your your budget and lifestyle.
Also remember that the traveler in your life – we love experiences and planning an afternoon road trip to nowhere with our favorite car snacks, a good playlist, and chats with you are priceless!
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season. xx
**DISCLAIMER: Some of these links are affiliate links. This means that I may make a small commission on eligible purchases at no extra cost to you. Thank you for your continued support.
Now … let’s get into my 2023 Holiday Gift Guide for The Travelers in Your Life:
I have a travel pouch for my jewelry. I have a travel case for multiple pairs of sunglasses. Why not have a nice travel case for your watches, especially if you are someone who has more than one watch?
Speaking of the jewelry pouch … this is the one that I use. The company does have larger ones if the person you are buying for tends to bring more jewelry on their trip then I do. But, this one holds a decent amount and folds up compact so it is easy to throw in your carryon.
PORTABLE BLUETOOTH SPEAKER
My Sonos Roam portable speaker just came with me on a 9 week road trip and has been packed for an upcoming cruise. I have used this speaker camping, in hotels, by the pool, and on a boat. Bose has a good portable speaker that can clip on the outside of backpacks making it ultra portable. But, I currently have and use the Roam.
SONY NOISE CANCELING HEADPHONES
Noise canceling headphones are a must for airplanes, working at coffee shops, or to drown out the noise at night in hostels. I currently have these Sony noise canceling headphones and they are so comfortable on my ears – even with multiple ear piercings!
SEPHORA PERFUME & COLOGNE FAVORITES
Buying scents for someone is SO HARD as it is such a personal thing. However, each year Sephora does a sample set of their best sellers. This is great because not only does it allow the person to find their own scent, but the sample sizes are PERFECT for travel. And, the sets come with a certificate to get a larger size of their favorite scent of the pack !!
It feels like lost luggage horror stories have been on a rise lately … or maybe social media has just been highlighting it more ?? … but either way, slipping an Apple Airtag OR a Tile in your suitcase so you can track it on the go is not a bad habit to get into. Both brands work well.
PRINT FROM MAPIFUL
Does someone you know have a favorite city that they have traveled to? Or a bucklist location that they want to travel to? OR, maybe you have moved and want to highlight places you lived.
With Mapiful, you can enter the location address of the map you want, and Mapiful will create a street map print of that location for you!!
PEAK DESIGN DOPP KIT
Wash pouch, toiletry kit, dopp kit – whatever you want to call it, this one from Peak Design is top notch. It is made from weatherproof material so it is easy to clean if say your shampoo bursts open in transit. It is also designed to be able to sit open on a bathroom counter OR hang if counter space is tight.
PEAK DESIGN TECH POUCH
I swear, this will be the only other item from Peak Design I mention … though I really do love their products. And the organization of this tech pouch – YES!
And speaking of tech organization – I will recommend gear ties to anyone to tie around your cords and keep them together. They would also make great stocking stuffers. 😉
I just jumped on the Kindle wagon back in May … I stare at screens all day and the idea of then reading from a screen to relax sounded so far from relaxing. But I finally caved and now I am so mad that it took me so long. This will be a must item that I won’t shut up about for any reader that loves to travel.
And of course – a new Kindle would need a Kindle cover. These ones from Page are so cute. I may have a ‘Not Smut’ one because of course I don’t read any smut on my Kindle. 😉
This is for the traveling readers that are on the audiobook end of things. Don’t let the term “membership” stop you. A “1 month membership” is essentially purchasing 1 audiobook for that person. A “3 month membership” is 3 audiobooks. And don’t worry if they are already an Audible member and you think “but they don’t need a membership – they already have one” – if they already have an Audible membership, then the credit for the audiobook(s) just goes into the account they already have. There is no waste of audiobook credits!
**Fun spinoff if you aren’t able to do Audible: go to your local Library and sign your friend up for a Library card. They can then use the Libby app to access audiobooks with their library card for free. 🙂
Speaking of “memberships” – a gift that I am sure many young travelers would never think about: an AARP Membership. And I know what you are thinking, but guess what: there is NO minimum age to join AARP. Yes, you read that correctly. While some benefits that AARP offers do have age restrictions, there is no minimum age you have to be to join AARP and I have saved $136 in 2023 on travel gift cards from AARP Rewards, so I will take it!
POCKET FRIDA KAHLO WISDOM BOOK
This small book showcases some of the best quotes on love, style, life, and art from the icon that is Frida Kahlo.
Listen – I don’t care who you are, your shit stinks. And hotel / cruise rooms are small with little to no ventilation. Be kind to your travel companions and have this in your bag.
Have you ever wanted to try fancy cocktails in the sky? These little individual cocktail mixes can be thrown in your carryon so all you need to do is purchase the alcohol on the plane to make a nice cocktail on a long haul flight. I wouldn’t recommend too many, but one to help you sleep on those long hauls may be nice. You could also mix with club soda for a mocktail version!
TRAVEL BEARD KIT
While this is definitely geared more towards small trips; this little tin is perfect for travel. They also have little nail kit tins, as well.
TRAVEL BACKGAMMON BOARD
I will always recommend a traveler has some type of card game with them (a regular deck of cards, UNO, Phase Ten, Old Maid – doesn’t matter, but a card game is a non-essential essential). That said, if you want to step it up, this backgammon board is lightweight and easy to travel with. And while it is compact, it isn’t so small that I am struggling to move the pieces while I kick your butt in Acey-Deucey.
HOW TO SHIT AROUND THE WORLD
Did the title of the book grab your attention or what? But all jokes aside, you will never appreciate western plumbing more until you are squatting over a hole in the ground behind a lean-to in Thailand with no toilet paper. And if you have never experienced Travel Tummy: count your blessings … and also grab this book because it goes into all that and more so you can be prepared because Travel Tummy is not an ‘If’ it hits, it is a ‘When.’ Plus, this would make a good bathroom read, dontcha think?
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 COCKTAILS
OR, if you are looking for a book that is just a little more fun – why not travel the world via cocktails?
DRINKS AROUND THE WORLD SAMPLER
If you don’t want to make those drinks from scratch, you can always just grab this sampler of cocktail mixers from around the world. Can be mixed with alcohol or your favorite mocktail substitute!
TOPO DESIGN CAMERA CUBE
This one is for the travel photographer who may not want to carry a camera specific bag. This camera cube holds my camera body + 2 lens, and can easily move from carry-on to day bag. It also comes with a cross body strap if you want to use the camera cube as a small bag !!
A GOOD TRAVEL BACKPACK / DAY PACK
This one is a little more difficult to recommend as it you need to know the person’s style and preferences (more pockets or less pockets; sleek looking or more casual; padding, size, etc) – but here are a few good backpacks that are great for travel:
Wandrd Prvke, 31L
I am obviously starting off with the backpack I have had and used the longest … so long that mine doesn’t have the luggage strap which is a feature on the current backpacks and one I am jealous of. It is made with weather resistant material, fits my 15” macbook, has a hidden passport pocket that sits against my back and the top pouch expands to turn your 31L into 36L if needed.
Wandrd Packable Backpack
Keeping with Wandrd: if you are just looking for a good day pack, Wandrd has a foldable backpack. Foldable backpacks are PERFECT day packs as they can be thrown in your luggage and this one gives you a 18L day pack at your location.
Beis, The Backpack
This one is good if you want a more stylish looking backpack that can be used as a nice day pack when traveling. However, it opens up clamshell style and the inside includes compression straps for when you want to use the backpack as a weekend bag or carry-on. I also, again, love the luggage pass through on the back and the large laptop sleeve.
Oakley Kitchen Sink Backpack
The last backpack on the list is for the one who likes pockets … which, as a girl: we LOVE our pockets. Seriously though, while a little more rugged then the other options, this backpack is packed with pockets and different storage options, including the laptop sleeve and a bottom compartment for shoes.
ENGRAVED YSL LIPSTICK
Ok … so this might not be the quite travel specific, but getting 1 good ‘signature color’ lipstick or lipgloss that you can travel with that will go with all outfits so you don’t need to bring big makeup kits while traveling: Essential. And, to add a little special touch, YSL offers engraving on some of their lip products for $5 more, so you can add the person’s initials or name to the product.
Or, if the person already has a signature color, just get them a lipstick case to throw in any of their day bags or carry on. The case also comes with a small mirror on the inside, so you can apply on the go. I have one that was originally my grandmother’s and although I have had it for a few years, it still smells like Chanel No5 which was her favorite hand cream.
SUMMER FRIDAYS JETLAG MASK
In general, I would always suggest travel sizes of the person’s favorite skincare or hair items. Especially around the holidays, you can always find holiday and gift sets with smaller sizes of skincare, hair, and even makeup sizes. I LOVE to stock up around that time as many of those sizes are perfect for travel. BUT, if you are unsure what their favorite skincare is, or you want to gift them something new – Summer Fridays lipbalm and the Summer Fridays Jetlag Mask. The jetlag mask is a super thick, moisturizing, skin mask because we know how wicked drying flights are on the skin.
CLINIQUE POWDER CLEANSER
Again, in general, another skincare product I would get for a traveler is powder cleanser. We know how tight those TSA regulations are on liquid products. I use the Clinique Powder Cleanser, which I like because they come in individual packets so I can grab exactly how many I need for a trip.
BRA TRAVEL POUCH
If you know any girl who has used her bra to stash her credit card or a little cash – this is the gift for her. It is a small silk pouch that is just big enough for an emergency ID, credit card and cash but hooks to the bra strap so it isn’t as bulky as a money belt.
A portable charger is a must when traveling. You just never know what your phone will die while at an airport or wandering around a new city. I tend to travel with two different types depending on what I am doing that day. The first is the “iWalk” which I love because you don’t need any cords to charge your iPhone – the charged plugs right into lightning charger on your iPhone. And it’s size and portability is amazing. However, this charger only holds ~1 charge for your phone so I don’t use it long haul flight days where I may need a little more charge. The second is a Biolite Portable Charger and this guy should definitely last you through long haul flights and the days you are taking ALL. THE. PHOTOS on a trip. The negative for this one is: don’t forget the cable to plug to your phone!
TRAVEL COFFEE TABLE BOOKS
For this one, there are so many different travel coffee table books that I could recommend, but there are also SO MANY that you could find to fit the person you are buying for. And I know that to some, “coffee table book” is another name for ‘dust collector’ or ‘large coaster,’ but I use my coffee table books to give me inspiration for places I may want to go. Here is a list of ones, that if anything, do have some beautiful photography:
WINE FROM FAVORITE WINERY VISITED TOGETHER
This one isn’t a specific product, but more just a general idea. If you visited any winery together (even a local one) in the past, see if you are able to purchase a bottle of wine from their website, or if you can purchase it anywhere locally. Here are 4 different vineyards I visited in the past year that allows you to purchase wine online:
You may be able to find that with a winery you went to together so it has memories for both of you.
MERCH FROM FAVORITE BREWERY VISITED TOGETHER
And along the same lines as the winery, did you visit any breweries in the past year together? If you can’t get any of your favorite beers, check to see if they have any merch that you can order on their website and grab a shirt, hat, koozie – anything – from a brewery that you both liked.
There you have it – over 30 gift ideas that I think would work well for the traveler in your life. I hope that it helped ease a little stress as we go into the holiday season. And whatever holidays you celebrate, I hope it is a wonderful time with friends and family.
PIN ME FOR LATER