A useful list of awesome travel gift ideas for every kind of traveler and for every budget in 2023.
Are you sick of scrolling through boring, generic articles promising the perfect gift for travelers?
Before you hit check out on that Amazon cart filled with generic eye masks or budget neck pillows for your family members, dive into this list of unique, fun, and useful travel gift ideas– written by somebody who travels full-time.
From countless long flights to month-long road trips, four years on the road has taught me a thing or two about what frequent flyers and adventurers might actually want. And here it is– my ultimate travel gift guide!
- Quicklist: Here are the Top 6 Travel Gift Ideas
- Best Useful Travel Essentials
- Most Useful Tech & Gadget Gifts For Travelers
- 7. Apple AirPods Gen 2 (Noise Cancelling Ear Buds)
- 8. Anker USB Powerbank (Portable Charger)
- 9. Airfly Pro Plane Bluetooth Transmitter
- 10. GoPro Hero 11
- 11. Or… The Insta360 One X3 360 Camera
- 12. Kindle eReader
- 13. International Travel Adapter With USB Charging
- 14. Sony WH-1000MX5 Noise Canceling Headphones
- Small Travel Gift Ideas Under $100
- 16. LowePro Gearup – Travel Electronics Organizer
- 17. Nomatic Travel Laundry Bag
- 18. Philips One by Sonicare Rechargeable Toothbrush
- 19. Nomatic Toiletries Bag – The Perfect Gift for Frequent Flyers
- 20. CLCKR Phone Grip & Stand
- 21. Steripod Toothbrush Caps – Great Gift for Germophobe Travelers
- 22. Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch
- 23. Zero Grid Travel Neck Wallet
- Sustainable Gifts for Eco-Conscious Roamers
- Fun & Unique Travel Gift Ideas
- More Useful Guides to Gifts & Travel Essentials
Quicklist: Here are the Top 6 Travel Gift Ideas
Here's my quick list of the best travel gifts in 2022/2023. Scroll down for more, broken down into travel essentials, travel tech and useful gadgets, small gifts under $100, some sustainable ideas, as well as some unique and thoughtful options.
- Gift the Best Carry-On Luggage: Nomatic Travel Pack
- Most Practical Gift: Compression Packing Cubes
- Best Gift for Peace of Mind Travel: Apple AirTags
- Best Travel Drone: DJI Mini 3
- Most Sustainable Travel Gift: Collapsable Travel Straw
- Most Unique Gift Idea: Wacaco Picopresso - a truly unique travel-friendly espresso gadget
Best Useful Travel Essentials
1. Nomatic Travel Pack - Ultimate Carry-On Luggage
The number one spot for the absolute best travel gift for frequent flyers is this travel bag by Nomatic. You'll find this carry-on luggage backpack listed in almost all gift guides, and that's because it truly is the most functional, high-quality backpack in the world.
With several thousand 5-star reviews, you can guarantee that your favorite traveler will be absolutely stoked with this awesome travel backpack.
2. Compression Packing Cubes for Organized Luggage
Truthfully, experienced travelers cringe when they see people ripping out their luggage contents to find a t-shirt or pair of pants. These days, packing cubes are probably the most recommended travel essential for organization, and something your wandering loved one will truly appreciate.
Any cheap packing cube will do though, right? After owning several cheaper options, I've found that the zippers often fail just a few weeks into a trip.
However, after purchasing the WANDRD Packing Cube set, I'm convinced that these are the last cubes I'll ever buy. Not only are they very high-quality and portable, they even incorporate a compression zipper system, allowing travelers to save valuable luggage space and get easy, quick access to their belongings.
The #1 Photography Accessory
Enter the Peak Design Capture Clip. I've used this for years to quickly clip my camera to my backpack's shoulder strap. This is the most comfortable way to carry a camera and will save your neck a ton of strain.
3. Apple AirTags - Help Them Never Lose Their Luggage Again
Ever experienced the pain of delayed or lost luggage? Here's a unique travel gift idea you might not have considered.
Enter the Apple AirTags, the perfect gift for frequent travelers. Slip one of these guys into your checked-in luggage and track exactly where your suitcase or backpack ends up. These things have been super helpful for me on several occasions when uninterested flight attendants and carrier clerks simple "can't find my bag".
With Apple AirTags, you can show the exact GPS location of your luggage, ensuring it will return to you much quicker.
4. Grayl GeoPress - Gift the Last Travel Bottle They'll Ever Need
The Grayl GeoPress is the ultimate travel filter bottle. It's an easy-to-use water purifier that turns even the dirtiest stream or tap water into crystal-clear, safe drinking water.
Seriously, I've used this water bottle for the past two years almost every day, filtering water from national parks to hostel kitchens in India. In the process, I've saved hundreds of plastic bottles from landfill and never once gotten sick.
The Grayl is my personal favorite on this list, and I'd say easily one of the best travel gift ideas for any type of traveler!
5. Trtl Travel Pillow
Scrap the gimmicky memory foam and uncomfortable inflatable travel pillows. Anyone who's used these on long haul flights knows that they're useless.
However, if you're looking for a great gift for your loved ones that'll save their neck during long flights or cross-country road trips, check out the Trtl travel pillow, an innovative and hugely successful Kickstarter project that changed the travel pillow game.
Unlike traditional neck pillows, the Trtl design provides scientifically proven neck support and jumps leaps and bounds in terms of comfort over the competition.
6. Microfiber Travel Towel
Whether that special someone is planning a tropical vacation or going on a world backpacking tour, they're going to want to bring a towel. However, regular towels take up far too much space and take ages to dry.
That's why you'll always see veteran frequent travelers carrying a microfiber travel towel. These are fast-drying and come in a super compact design.
There are many to choose from on Amazon, but the best value for money is the Rainleaf, which is one of the most lightweight, useful travel gifts that they can use at remote campsites, stretched on a sandy beach in the Bahamas, or in a hotel room.
Want more travel essentials? Read my guide to the Digital Nomad Packing list.
Most Useful Tech & Gadget Gifts For Travelers
7. Apple AirPods Gen 2 (Noise Cancelling Ear Buds)
There's a reason why Apple's AirPods are the number-one selling truly wireless earbuds of all time. Not only does the sound quality come close to matching large, over-the-ear headphones, but they come in a tiny travel-friendly size!
Also, AirPods are one of the most frequently purchased Christmas gift. But, before you rush out and buy a pair for travelers, you'll want to consider the Airpods Pro, since the others don't offer active noise canceling.
The improved noise-canceling on the Gen 2 AirPods Pro is absolutely unreal, and will easily block out that screaming baby on a train, or the soul-penetrating hum of the jet engines on long-haul flights.
8. Anker USB Powerbank (Portable Charger)
A portable charger, ie power bank is an absolute travel gadget essential. What's worse than a dead phone or camera battery in transit or worse, when you want to capture that perfect memory?
Anker is America's leading portable power and charging brand, and its PowerCore III is currently the top charger for travel, as it offers a high, flight-legal capacity, lightweight design, and fast charging capability through its multiple USB ports.
9. Airfly Pro Plane Bluetooth Transmitter
Looking to gift a unique travel gadget that your loved ones didn't even know they needed?
The Airly Bluetooth transmitter is a useful piece of travel tech that plugs into the airplane's entertainment system, allowing anybody to watch movies or listen to music on their own Bluetooth earbuds or noise-canceling headphones.
10. GoPro Hero 11
If you're willing to fork out a couple of hundred bucks for the ideal gift this season, then the GoPro Hero 11 is going to be it.
The GoPro is an adventure travel staple. Its tiny, compact design delivers absolutely incredible images and stable, high-resolution video, allowing anybody to capture epic and unforgettable travel moments almost anywhere!
11. Or... The Insta360 One X3 360 Camera
GoPros are truly great, but in 2023, it's all about 360 cameras, especially for capturing those incredible travel moments.
These unique and innovative travel cameras capture 360-degree angles, allowing anybody to preserve the entire scene in a tiny little action camera. The Insta360 One X3 can also be used as a traditional action camera, which means it comes close to being the all-in-one travel camera solution.
Want More Photography Gear Guides?
Here are my most comprehensive and up-to-date posts for purchasing camera gear in 2023.
12. Kindle eReader
If you've ever tried reading an eBook on an iPad or smartphone, then you already know how distant this experience is from the real thing.
However, the Kindle Paperwhite is in a different ballpark, coming as close as it gets to reading physical paper. The reason why this is a great gift for travelers is that they can now store literally thousands of their favorite books on a small device that weighs a fraction of a paperback!
13. International Travel Adapter With USB Charging
Many of the gadgets in this travel gift guide offer practical solutions, but perhaps one of the most useful presents you can give is an international portable charger with GaN technology and USB charging.
Sounds technical, but basically, this is a new piece of charging technology allowing for small, compact charger designs with several USB Ports that can literally replace an entire bag of adapters, chargers, and cables.
I personally use the MINIX 66W GaN Charger bundle, which will work in almost every country on earth. It also has 2 USB-C ports and a regular USB-A port, allowing me to fast-charge my phone, kindle, and camera on a single fast-charging unit.
14. Sony WH-1000MX5 Noise Canceling Headphones
If you know a traveling audiophile who favors sound quality over portability, then an excellent gift idea is the Sony WH-1000xm5 noise-canceling headphones.
These are frequently recommended as one of the best over-ear headphones on the market, and offer better noise canceling and better sound quality than smaller earbuds like the Apple Airpods Pro at a cheaper price.
Rest assured your family members will think of you when they get a peaceful rest on their next international flight.
15. DJI Mini 3 Travel Drone
Know a certain person who likes to venture to beautiful destinations around the US or internationally? One of th best travel gifts you can buy for them is an ultra-compact and affordable travel drone like the DJI Mini 3.
Flying this foldable 4K drone is very easy, and even beginners can do this with ease in up to 38 kph (level 5) winds thanks to its intelligent sensors and return-to-home ability.
Plus, this tiny travel drone weighs only 249 g, meaning wanderers can fly this almost anywhere without needing to register or obtain a license.
Small Travel Gift Ideas Under $100
16. LowePro Gearup - Travel Electronics Organizer
Looking for more practical travel gifts for all of those gadgets? While everyone uses travel cubes, go one step further and buy your friends and family a travel electronics organizer.
My favorite is the LowePro GearUp organizer, a super lightweight and cost-effective solution to keeping all of my chargers, cables, and memory cards in one place, without losing them in the bottom of my backpack or hotel room.
17. Nomatic Travel Laundry Bag
There's nothing worse than leaving dirty, sweaty clothes in your luggage. That's why I recommend every traveler to carry a high quality laundry bag.
If you know somebody who travels a lot, then the best option will be the Nomatic laundry bag, an awesome breathable mesh and collapsible bag perfect for the long-term backpacker or business traveler on the go.
What I really find useful is this bag has a hanging frame and strap, making it perfect for hanging in a hotel bathroom or hostel dormitory.
18. Philips One by Sonicare Rechargeable Toothbrush
Everybody knows that electric toothbrushes are magnitudes better than old, manual ones. However, the problem for travelers is that these are almost always heavy, bulky, and would never fit in a toiletry bag.
However, fans of Sonicare toothbrushes will love the new Philips One rechargeable travel toothbrush. Thanks to its inbuilt high-power rechargeable battery and Sonicare motor technology, this compact electric toothbrush outperforms everything else on the market, for less than $40!
Best of all, this toothbrush charges through its USB port, meaning they won't need to buy more AA batteries. Oh, and the universal Philips One brush heads can be found almost everywhere in the world!
19. Nomatic Toiletries Bag - The Perfect Gift for Frequent Flyers
If you haven't guessed by now, I'm a huge fan of Nomatic. I use quite a few of their products every single day, including their highly-acclaimed hanging Toiletry Wash Bag, which is an excellent gift for organized travelers.
Unlike cheap Amazon alternatives, nomads and drifters can keep all of their bathroom items like toothbrushes, shavers, and makeup in a durable, water-proof, and bacteria-resistant storage case.
This means they can hang this toiletry bag in the shower without worrying about getting it wet.
20. CLCKR Phone Grip & Stand
Chasing small items as a cheap and easy travel gift idea? Grab a CLCKR Phone Grip and Stand.
This is the perfect gift for frequent flyers, as it provides a stable and easy-to-use stand solution for smartphones and tablets. Furthermore, it comes in several different styles and colors, which is great if you want to buy several for different people!
21. Steripod Toothbrush Caps - Great Gift for Germophobe Travelers
Another quick and easy present to add to the travel lovers' stocking this year is a Steripod clip-on toothbrush cap.
These are universal toothbrush protectors that slide over the top of most manual and electric toothbrushes, keeping them clean and free of dirty bacteria you might find in some foreign countries.
22. Universal Waterproof Phone Pouch
Have a family member who's planning a tropical island getaway this year? Get them a thoughtful gift like the Hiearcool Universal Phone Pouch to keep their iPhone or Android watertight!
These waterproof phone cases cost less than $10 and have over 70,000 5-star reviews on Amazon!
23. Zero Grid Travel Neck Wallet
Whether you're purchasing gifts for frequent flyers or road trippers, a travel neck wallet is one of the most useful small gifts you can buy.
If you check on Amazon, The Zero Grid wallet is by far the most popular and has outstanding reviews. This thing has RFID-blocking technology inbuilt, meaning credit cards and personal information stays protected.
Skip the expensive, bulky passport wallets, this is the one they'll want.
Sustainable Gifts for Eco-Conscious Roamers
24. Reusable Cutlery
We all know we need to be more mindful of what we consume. That's why all of the travel gift ideas I've recommended in this buyer's guide will last a long time.
But, some gifts, like this bamboo reusable cutlery set take it a step further by allowing travelers to reduce plastic waste on their trips. Bamboo is an incredibly renewable material and there's evidence to suggest that it is naturally antibacterial.
25. Collapsible Travel Cup
Another thoughtful gift for travelers who love to drink coffee is this neat collapsible Travel Cup by Stojo.
This little cup is leak-proof and reusable, meaning your loved ones can whip out a pocketable cup at the cafe to save on single-use plastic. If you know someone who visits a Starbucks in every country they visit, this is one of the best gifts for them!
26. Reusable Travel Straw & Cleaning Kit
While there's a plethora of reusable straws on the market these days, one of the most unique options for travelers is this awesome collapsible stainless steel drinking straw.
This comes in an unusual telescopic design, meaning this food-grade stainless steel straw can fold up into a tiny keyring holder. It also comes with a cleaning wand which means it'll be easy to keep clean for the next adventure.
27. Patagonia Black Hole Hip Pack
Patagonia is perhaps the best example of an environmentally-forward company. Not only do they donate massive amounts of their proceeds to charity, but their products are from recycled materials that are still very high quality.
The Patagonia Black Hole hip pack is my go-to fanny pack for travel. It's extremely lightweight and fits everything from my wallet, credit cards, phone, passport, and earbuds.
This is a great gift for around $30 that your favorite traveler will keep for a long time.
28. Reef Safe Sunscreen by Sunbum
Looking for a unique Christmas gift or birthday present for beach lovers, snorkelers, or scuba divers?
Make sure they're wearing reef-save sunscreen on their next trip to the Marine National Parks around the world. Sunbum is one of the best environmentally-friendly SPF 50 sunscreens that doesn't include any harmful chemicals that kill corals.
Fun & Unique Travel Gift Ideas
29. Give a Travel Experience with a GetYourGuide Gift Card
Sometimes, the best gift isn't a physical one. This is especially true for those of us who value memories over possessions.
While a gadget or packing cube can be useful, a travel gift card is one of the most fun travel gifts, because they'll likely remember the experience much longer than any product.
The best travel booking website that I use all over the world is GetYourGuide. They have fun bookable experiences in over 100 countries, allowing your friends and family to choose their own once-in-a-lifetime experiences like scuba diving, sky diving, or even just an awesome city food tour.
30. Bodylastics Stackable Travel Resistance Bands
Know someone who always puts on a couple of extra holiday pounds? What about a gym junkie who freaks out over losing their summer body on vacation?
Get them this unique travel gift idea– a portable gym that folds up into a tiny pouch! The Bodylastics resistance bands are stackable in different colors representing resistance strength. This allows anyone to get a solid workout almost anywhere!
31. Wacaco Picopresso - Perfect Present for Coffee-loving Travelers
The brand-new Wacaco Picopresso changes the coffee game for travelers! Now, we have a high quality espresso machine that rivals thousand-dollar setups, right in the palm of our hands!
The Picopresso is the perfect travel gift for extreme coffee lovers that lets them take their java with them on the road. Pair this with something like the Nanofoamer V2 and they've got a portable cafe in their backpack!
32. Scratch-off Travel Map
Looking for fun travel gifts that your loved ones can keep at home? Check out this awesome scratch-off travel map that'll help them keep all of their awesome travel memories on display!
33. National Geographic's Traveller's Journal
There are thousands of travel journals available on Amazon. However, by far the most popular and well-rated is this awesome journal collaboration between Moleskine and National Geographic.
This is an extremely well-thought-out travel journal with plenty of space for all the essentials like travel planning, scrapbooking, and journaling for documenting adventures.
34. Dynotag Luggage Tag
Any frequent flyer knows how important it is to keep a durable luggage tag secured to their belongings. If the travel lover in your life doesn't already have a metal tag, get them a Dynotag luggage tag. These are highly durable and won't wear off, deterring any potential thieves and making sure they get their luggage to the final destination.
Combine this gift with a set of Apple Airtags and they'll be sure to thank you.
35. Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard - Great Gift for Road Trip Adventurers
Know a van lifer or frequent road tripper? Get them this awesome inflatable SUP by SereneLife.
This adults stand-up paddleboard is roughly 6 inches thick when fully inflated, but folds down to fit in a tiny carry bag that'll fit easily in the trunk of even the smallest vehicles.
36. Arcteryx Beta LT Waterproof Goretex Jacket
If none of the awesome travel gift ideas on this list has got you inspired yet, then perhaps the number-one-rated Goretex waterproof jacket might.
Arcteryx is known as the best in the Goretex game. And, their Beta LT jacket is a serious waterproof jacket for hikers, trekkers, and outdoor enthusiasts. There's a variant for men and women, with several different colors to choose from.
More Useful Guides to Gifts & Travel Essentials
I hope that you've found this comprehensive list of 36 great travel gift ideas useful in planning your holiday shopping list!
Before you head off, check out some of my other comprehensive reviews and buyer's guides to travel essentials below.