Conjuring up new ideas for Christmas gifts is just hard work, here are some ideas for the obsessed traveler in your life.
Purchasing a product using one of our affiliate links earns us a commission and supports this site at no additional cost to you. See our disclosures here.
Are you looking for the best Christmas gifts for travel and for travelers?
Whether you’re looking for a travel-themed Christmas gift for a partner, travel companion, or a loved one who is always dreaming of being on the road (or in the air), here are some of the best gifts for travelers that TravGear packs for almost every trip.
Christmas gifts for travel: Under $20 / £20
A favorite of TravGear’s, an ultralight daypack takes almost zero space in your carry-on luggage yet can be so useful on a trip. We’ve used one for years as a seat bag for a laptop and headphones, for hiking skiing, shopping, and trips to campsite bathrooms. This one from Osprey has waterproof sealed seams, an external zip pocket, and a built-in storage stuff pocket. This would be a much-appreciated Christmas gift for any traveler.
A water bottle that shrinks as you drink makes this a TravGear favorite for traveling light. Reusable, foldable, durable, and easy to clean (and dry), the Vapor neatly folds into its own clip when empty, and that same clip can be used for securing it to the outside of a backpack. A flip-cap makes it easy to drink from while a wide screw cap makes it easy to clean and quick to air-dry. It’s also dishwasher safe. It’s available in several versions, though TravGear has been using a 1-liter model for more than three years with no leaks or spills to report. It’s now always clipped to our hand luggage for filling in at an airport (just make sure it’s empty when you get the security).
Perfect for keeping that travel journal up-to-date, completing immigration forms, or writing postcards (does anyone still do that? TravGear does!). Measuring just 2 inches, expanding up when you need to use it. Weighing only 14 g it can be kept clipped to a keyring or backpack, it’s just always there for when you need it. Can’t count the times has this helped us get ahead in airport queues. Your travel friend will thank you for this queue-jumping gift.
It’s not practical – or even legal – to fly with full-size perfume and aftershave bottles if you’re trying to travel light. The bottles are way too big to go in hand luggage so cue this compact and clever travel-size perfume atomizer spray bottle. Designed for travel, but just as handy for the car, handbag, and gym bag, this ingenious and good-value little device is exactly the kind of product TravGear loves. Simple to use and totally reliable.
A lot of people are planning lavish round-the-world trips, honeymoons, and remote working breaks for 2021 … or 2022. But where to go? Available in 5, 7, 10, or 12-inch versions, this novel globe allows you to plan a big trip with pins, or simply pin your bucket list for future inspiration. A great gift for travelers of any age, pair it with some pin labels and you can add notes and maybe even add suggestions. Maybe mark out must-visit Unesco sites, theme parks, or movie shooting locations? Various designs are available, from original cork to colored, journal-style, or white.
Functional and warm this lightweight infinity scarf with a concealed zip pocket is a travel essential. A brilliant solution for carrying small, valuable items discretely it can be worn in several different ways meaning it’s suitable for hot and cold climates. We’ve used it as a security stash when in slightly dodgy, pickpocket-risk, urban areas, and as a hands-free bag when out on the town. The scarf itself is versatile, the infinity version can be worn in so many ways, we’ve even used a as a head or shoulder cover-up for entering temples and churches. TravGear advises not overloading the pocket, it instantly becomes less discrete. A credit card and some notes will be safe and hidden from potential loss.
Christmas gifts for travel: Over $20 / £20
It’s dishwasher-proof, lightweight (230g), and keeps drinks either hot or cold for a good number of hours. The classic Neverleak design is ingenious – and actually never leaks even if carried on its side in a pocket or handbag. It’s the perfect travel mug for all kinds of travel from commuting to work and conferences to road trips and outdoor adventures. We love the Hammertone Ice and Maple colors. Read TravGear‘s full review here.
The LiminAid solar-powered portable inflatable lamp is just really great for all types of camping or glamping. Simply inflate it with a few puffs and switch it on. It provides enough lumination for most camping charges, hangs safely inside a tent from any loop, and charges each day via the integrated solar panel. It is lightweight enough to be clipped to the outside of a backpack or just leave it folded up neatly on the car or campervan dashboard to ensure it’s always ready to go when the sun dips. Read TravGear’s full review of the original version here. PS. It’s now late 2023 and our original is going strong.
It’s always a good idea to have a pair of sunglasses tucked in your carry-on to protect your eyes from bright light. TravGear can report that wearing polarized sunglasses can really help with jet lag recovery if you plan to leave a flight and sleep as soon as possible. These sunnies from Goodr are not only excellent value, but we’ve found them to be super practical too. The no-slip plastic makes them comfortable for all types of use, including sports. They’re also pretty stylish as well, (we like the Circle G’s, available in a range of colors, they are durable and most importantly super lightweight, so perfect for travel.
A portable battery is an absolute must for any trip, but surely anything with a USB slot is fine for when you run out of juice on the road. So why are we excited about this one from myCharge? It’s expensive, for sure, but the built-in Apple Lightning and USB-C cables make it possible at last to travel without cables. It has an additional USB output so can charge multiple devices at once. But even better its built-in foldable AC wall plug means that not only does it slip nicely into any backpack but it’s always ready to go on a trip.
Weighing a mere 176g and folding up to pocket-size (6.2 x 4 x 0.5 inch), this super-light foldable keyboard for typing onto a phone is a delight to work on. Connecting easily with up to four phones or tablets simultaneously, it’s so responsive that typing on this travel keyboard feels just like a laptop. Just tuck it in a backpack and never travel with a computer again, so the perfect gift for a travel blogger, vlogger or conference attendee who wants to make a few notes.
If you think buying underwear as a Christmas gift shows a lack of imagination, take a look at the ExOfficio Give-N-Go boxer briefs. Easy to wash, quick-dry underwear is at the core of any capsule wardrobe for traveling light because it means you can pack two (OK, three) pairs of underwear. Comfy to wear – and TravGear should know – you can rinse these boxers in the shower at night and they’re dry for the next morning. Perfect for keeping your bag light, every traveler should have a few pairs of quick-dry underwear, and the ExOfficio Give-N-Go boxer briefs are among the best.
Have you got a bucket list, but sometimes can’t pin down where you want to go next? If you’re after some on-the-spot inspiration when planning an adventure, this coffee table book from Lonely Planet is the perfect starting point. When dipping into the 1st edition, TravGear put together a great trip to Namibia, which took us to some of the country’s most awe-inspiring places.
The second edition of Ultimate Travel includes 200 new entries inspired by the latest travel trends and tastes. It’s not just iconic places, but experiences, too. Beautifully produced and with fabulous photographs, it’s the perfect Christmas gift for any travel enthusiast.
When it comes to travel underwear for women, you can’t go wrong with Icebreakers Siren Hipkinis. Super lightweight and super comfortable. Made from merino wool blended with a bit of elastaine they are easy to wash, and they are so quick-dry that you can wash and wear overnight. They may be expensive, but an expert in traveling light wants to have these, or something similar. True, they probably don’t want to buy them for themselves, that’s what makes them such a great gift.
After years as a staple of travel, Amazon’s original E-Ink e-reader recently got a refresh that sees the addition of much more storage, a slew of new colors, and a new focus on Audiobooks. Now available in several colors, the Paperwhite is now waterproof – which has obvious advantages for anyone headed to the beach, the resort pool, or a hot hotel bath – and now comes in a 32GB version for storing more magazines, comics, and audiobooks. For the latter, it plays nicely with Audible audiobooks and podcasts, and it pairs with Bluetooth headphones.
Everyone needs good coffee, but despite the spread of coffee shops the world still isn’t blessed with baristas. If you love being at home if only for your dependable expresso machine just a few steps away then you’re really going to miss your morning caffeine fix on that next trip. Perfect for that morning cuppa when you’re traveling through countries that just don’t do good coffee, or when hiking and/or camping, the Wacaco minipresso is a compact, lightweight portable coffee maker. It lets you grind your own beans and then gives you a 50ml double shot of espresso. No more relying on the hotel breakfast to come up with the goods.
The Bose QuietComfort II are the best noise-canceling earphones money can buy. In fact, we’d go further and say that they’re almost too good – we actually missed a couple of inflight announcements while listening to music in ‘Quiet’ mode. Their noise-canceling tech is that good! Anyone who takes a lot of flights will adore the Bose QuietComfort II, as they are perfect for listening in peace to music or movies, or for sleep or work, as an extravagant Christmas gift for travelers, you can’t go wrong.
GoPro cameras are designed to withstand the toughest conditions and capture high-quality footage – and the Hero 11 Mini does just that. The GoPro Hero 11 Mini is a pared-down, sleeker and more affordable variant of its flagship Go Pro Hero 11. It weighs only 4.7oz/133g and its square shape and compact width make it an ideal fit for handlebars and helmets. Read TravGear‘s full review here.
Sometimes a smartphone camera just doesn’t quite cut it when it comes to imaging for travel photography. At 0.90 lb / 14.39 oz and 4.72 x 2.76 x 1.93 inches, the Canon EOS M6 Mark II’s crop-sensor system means it can produce 30 frames per second shooting (using RAW burst mode) and still produce 32.5-megapixel images. It’s perfect for both safari and travel photography.