There are loads of gift guides for travelers out there, more and more every year. Many of them are packed full of miscellaneous items that they probably already have or are not quite gift-level quality. This guide is a curated list of useful and meaningful gifts for travelers that they will actually like (psst buying a gift for yourself counts too!). Enjoy, save it for later, or start your holiday shopping now, because you’re about to get the traveler in your life their new favorite gift!
Prices starting at $159.99
I’m bringing Push Pin Travel Maps to the top of the list this year. My beautiful map is still hanging in my living room and I can’t think of a better focal piece! The map includes a hanging kit already and there are so many personalization options that it’s easy to design a custom map that fits your style. Everything from map styles, pin colors, frames, and the pin legend are customizable, and you can even add your name and a quote if you’d like. As an added bonus, it makes for the perfect conversation starter!
Read my full review for more details on why every traveler needs a Push Pin Travel Map.
Prices starting at $29.95
What I thought would just be my favorite travel scarf turned into my favorite-ever scarf. Waypoint Goods scarves are super soft, high quality, and wrinkle resistant. My favorite part? There’s a secret pocket where you can stash your passport, money, and anything else you’d like. It’s so big that I sometimes use it instead of a purse… I can easily fit my phone in there too! I already have two Waypoint Goods scarves and they won’t be my last!
Cute, comfy, and warm, the Lakewood in Pine Bark Ankle Boots from OTBT Shoes are perfect for when the temperatures get chilly but you still want fashionable and functional footwear. Because they are so versatile, they are a great travel shoe whether you’re taking a stroll down a city street or walking up a mountain trail.
For every bottle purchased from One Hope Wine, half of the proceeds go to their partner charities supporting causes such as clean water, global healthcare, childhood hunger, and breast cancer. Now get to buying that wine so you can give back to a good cause!
Talk about walking on Cloud 9. These shoes are definitely where I want my feet to be after a day of skiing, or just on a cold winter day. The Telic Apres-Ski Recovery Boot is lightweight and cozy, and the fur at the top is incredibly soft. Wearing these shoes are like a hug for my feet!
A gift is always more meaningful when it also helps a good cause. The Silver Lining Shop does just that — you can buy fashion that fights hunger or sex trafficking, or that provides water, books, meals, HIV treatments, or jobs in Haiti. AND in addition to all of that, 10% of sales go back to featured local charities. This shop is a win-win all around!
Still my favorite walking shoe while traveling, Allbirds are made with superfine merino wool so they are breathable while also regulating temperature and wicking moisture. Plus they are easy to wash and are super flexible so they adjust well to my foot shape. Allbirds is so confident you will love your new shoes that they even offer a 30-day, no questions asked refund policy. I purchased one pair (the natural grey wool runners, shown above) just to give them a try, and they are now my go-to travel shoes. I even bought a second pair (the Kauri Coffee tree loungers) because I loved them so much!
Martina is an Italian, handcraft-designer, and travel lover who has created a product line of travel accessories called Small Things Travelling. It was inspired by the beauty of Brazil, where she lived for three years, and in finding happiness in the small things in life. She sells all kinds of little things, like drawstring bags, change purses, tote bags, liquid bags, t-shirts, and more! Purchase her products from her Etsy shop.
Through Kiva, you can lend as little as $25 to help a borrower achieve their goals — you’ll find everything from going to school to starting a business to accessing clean energy. You will then get paid back (they have a 97% repayment rate) and can reinvest those funds in another budding entrepreneur. Gift Kiva credit this year to give the gift that keeps on giving!
Read up on the full #littleBIGthings interview with Kiva for more details.
On a recent trip to Latvia I forgot this lifesaver, and was so bummed. It was not a big deal to buy an adapter in the airport, but I certainly did miss those extra USB ports in my favorite travel adaptor! To be fair, this is one of those items most travelers will already have, but honestly you can never have too many travel adapters because hopefully you are less likely to forget yours like me if you have multiple! Always be sure to check that it’s compatible with your destination as certain remote countries might have a unique outlet.
For those Bluetooth-enabled headphones users, this wireless transmitter is a game changer. No more having to deal with messy cords when you have a nice pair of noise-cancelling wireless headphones with you and want to use the in-flight entertainment system. Simply plug this guy into the headphone jack, pair your headphones, and listen away! Just make sure you remember to charge your headphones ahead of time!
The books that topped my list this year are:
- We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World by Malala Yousafzai
- This Is Cuba: An American Journalist Under Castro’s Shadow by David Ariosto
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Spilled Milk by K.L Randis
- I’m Just Happy to Be Here: A Memoir of Renegade Mothering by Janelle Hanchett
Want to gift more than a single book? Go for the Kindle Paperwhite, my favorite travel companion! I always thought I was solely a physical book person. But ever since I was gifted my Kindle, I can’t go back! It’s so much easier traveling with a Kindle than one or more books. I used to hate finishing one book on the plane because I didn’t have another one with me, but now I can just move on to the next book in my library!
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