For many travelers and adventurers, what you “allow” to be a part of your limited cargo is very personal and thought out. I put together a list of unique, affordable, personal, and out-of-the-box ideas to spoil your travel-savvy friends and family. In no particular order, enjoy this comprehensive gift list. Click on the highlighted links in each product to purchase or find out more about each *non-sponsored gift idea:
1) LIFE STRAW WATER BOTTLE is a great idea for the adventurer, outdoor enthusiast, or just anyone who’s thirsty;) This bottle removes 99.99% of bacteria and parasites with no chemical aftertaste. You’ll enjoy this bad boy for 260 gallons before you need a new filter. Get yours, with a handy carabiner, in any color on Amazon. Also, for every bottle sold they give one child clean drinking water for a year.
2) TRY THE WORLD food subscription. What better gift than a box of food or snacks every month? This is a great way to try the world and makes an awesome family gift. You can choose between a “Snack Box” or a “Country Box” and each month a delicious selection of food from around the world is delivered to your doorstep.
Try The World uses all-natural ingredients and you’ll get to taste and discover other countries via small-scale producers. Deliver a smile with 6 yummy grab-and-go snacks in each box. Pick your payment plan and rest assured that you’re buying something that will get USED and appreciated throughout the year. Each box costs around $15 and includes shipping.
3) PORTABLE CHARGER. There are so many to choose from! Travel and Leisure wrote a comprehensive article on the best in each category. For me, it’s the fact that you just need one. Period. They range from $18 to $100 so think about your phone’s battery life, the duration of your flights, etc. I only recommend that you remember to pack it in your carry on and that you buy one with multiple USB ports. This will save your life and some precious Kodak moments at least once!
4) PERSONALIZED MAKEUP BAG/DOPP KIT. This is my favorite item on the list that will be a travel staple and that can be personalized. The leather Veeshee bags are chic, quality, and practical. They are highly personalize-able: choose the leather color, the interior pattern, and embroidery colors/fonts. I bought one for a girlfriend years ago…”Of course I still have it! I love it,” she texted me yesterday. The men’s dopp kits are fantastic too. The bag below is $43.
5) A WORLD ADAPTER KIT. Most of these are the same and you can find adapters at Target and Wal-Mart ranging from $8 – $30. Here’s my favorite from Amazon because it has USB ports too. The size is a compact size at 2.7 x 1.95 x 2 inches and it comes with a zipper case and includes all major travel destination adapters.
6) PILL CASE WITH MEDICINES. Now you can bring the entire medicine cabinet! I’ve got a free printable and a how-to here. If you just want the pill case. Don’t you want to be the reason your loved one narrowly escapes diarrhea and vomiting!?
7) BOOKS are a great way to get excited and prepared for travel. Still my favorite are all the Lonely Planet books and you can find them for around $10 on Amazon.com for your desired destination. I also wrote an extensive blog for ideas on books, activities, and gifts for kids and families that will get them learning and excited for upcoming travel.
Not sure where they’re headed? What about 1000 Places to See Before You Die or 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places by National Geographic
8) WIRELESS HEADPHONES have become a part of my person. The headphones they pass out on the plane have been “disinfected” like my kids have “brushed their teeth” <eye roll>. A great pair of wireless headphones like Apple AirPods are an amazing gift that is sure to be used every day. They are tiny, comfortable, and the sleek case doubles as a charger.
9) A DNA KIT – this is a really unique and fun gift that could spark lots of interest in new travels and fun family conversations. I want my kids to do this when they’re a bit older so that we can learn about our family heritage and get inspired by our past. Also, what if a long lost second cousin is trying to find you on “Long Lost Family”?! Check out Ancestry and get a kit for only $59 including shipping.
10) ESSENTIAL OILS – I’ve used oils for travel more than drugs for sure. I bought these teeny glass bottles for my 3 favorite oils and I always end up using them. You’ll end up with at least 2 in your purse too:)
- Instead of perfume, I bring LAVENDER and it doubles as a sleep/stress aid, sunburn relief, and a kid chill pill. Gross pillow or funky hotel bed? Lavender. It’s the Swiss Army knife of oils.
- PEPPERMINT is headache relief, respiratory and digestive support in a bottle. Place a few drops in a bowl of hot water, put a towel over your head and inhale for congestion. This hot oil can be mixed with water and spritzed to keep cool.
- THIEVES provides immune support for all the airplane germs. Drop on wrists and bottoms of feet each morning and/or night. Make a sanitizing spray by mixing with water.
- DIGIZE is great for digestive support with any new funky foods. Apply to stomach or ingest by dropping in a glass of water.
- AROMA EASE is an excellent travel companion if you encounter motion sickness or
nausea. Add a drop to your wrists, stomach, or chest.
Packing Hack: Bring a pre-made 10 mL roller with carrier oil already inside for easy mixing and rolling on skin, pack a little spray bottle to make a spritz or grab the individual coconut oil packets from Trader Joe’s to quickly mix with oils and apply.
For all things oily, check out this great site and follow @linzland13 on Instagram. You’ll learn all sorts of cool stuff you never knew you needed to know. (WOOLSIES + lavender in my dryer instead of chemical-heavy dryer sheets changed my life!)
11) Wool, cozy AIRPLANE SOCKS. My REI or Costco/Kirkland wool socks are THE item I have in my carry-on on any flight over 5 hours. Maybe it’s me, but I want to be in thick socks among the grime of a plane. Also, sub-zero temps in the cabin always keep me from sleeping. Happy tootsies, a mini bottle of red wine, and a Benadryl makes for a successful flight.
12) For light packers, like myself, I find it helpful to have MAKEUP MINIS. Lots of name brand makeup lines have travel versions of their makeup. A couple hacks I use are if I get samples, throw them in my travel stuff, if I try them on a trip and hate the hue – pitch it! I also keep my “travel makeup” and my “real makeup” separate so that my travel kit is always ready to go and never missing any pieces.
Putting together a thoughtful travel pack of great travel sizes is super useful and handy for last minute getaways. My favorites include:
- Mini mascara “They’re Real” from Benefit Cosmetics
- Make-up wipes
- Travel Brush Set: A great lil guy with a zipper case is from EcoTools which includes 4 brushes and a zip case.
- Tiny Toothpaste/Toothbrush
- Deodorant: Not that any are perfect, but I love my tiny Native mini deodorant and they have tons of great scents. Use my link and get FREE mini-sample with any purchase! This is the height of a shot glass and is a space-saver without compromising for quality…and the air quality of those around you:)
- Moroccan Oil – Never leave home without it! This is a mega space saver: Moroccan Oil refillable glass travel bottle. I refill from my big bottle and have used my mini for 12 years.
13) LUGGAGE. I don’t have any favorites. In my opinion you shouldn’t buy nice luggage, it’s just going to get obliterated by sky cabs, belts, weather, taxis, etc. Get something dark colored and don’t spend a fortune. I love TJ Maxx and Marshalls for luggage. My only three prerequisites: lightweight, expandable, and easily maneuverable. Ebags.com sells name brand luggage for less if you don’t have time for a Marshalls run.
If you want to be fancy, just remember that your luggage is a rolling billboard reading: “Expensive stuff inside for the taking!!”
I’ve heard that if you have a sticker like the one below, you will not have your bag slung like a dead body into the belly of the plane. Worth a try: link here.
What NOT to buy:
*Passport Holders – They are so cute and so impractical. At customs, they need them off. Airline ticketing agents have to scan them and need them removed. Just don’t.
*Expensive Luggage – Paying $250+ for something that is getting beat down and rained on is not for me. I’d rather spend that on another night of vacay. (See #2 above) Some luggage companies like Away, guarantee their expensive bags for life and offer a free 100 day trial. But realistically, in 10 years are you going to return your bag for a new one?
If you end up buying any of the products I’ve listed here with Amazon, use the links in this post so that Amazon knows you were sent to their site by a hard-hustling blogger.
What’s your must-have travel item? Tell me in the comments. Thanks for sharing, Pinning, and reading friends and Happy Holidays! Maybe your gift will inspire a trip this season. Fingers crossed…