Travel Guides

Useful and Meaningful Gifts for Travelers – 2020 Edition

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!

Push Pin Travel Map

Prices starting at $159.99

Push Pin Travel Map Home Decor

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.

Waypoint Goods Infinity Scarf

Prices starting at $29.95

Waypoint Goods scarves at the Taj Mahal

My friend Erin and I both sporting Waypoint Goods scarves in India

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!

Lakewood in Pine Bark Ankle Boots


Lakewood in Pine Bark Ankle Boots

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.

One Hope Wine

One Hope Wine - Earth Day Socially Responsible Gifts

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!

Telic Apres-Ski Recovery Boot


Telic Apres Ski Recovery Boot

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!

The Silver Lining Shop

The Silver Lining Shop

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!



Allbirds Wool Runner Travel Gift Guide

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!

“Small Things” Travel Accessories

Small Things Travelling Products

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.


Kiva Earth Day

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.

Universal Travel Adaptor


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.

Airfly Wireless Transmitter


Airfly Wireless Transmitter

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!


Books to gift for travelers

The books that topped my list this year are:

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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Useful and Meaningful Gifts for Travelers - 2020 EditionUseful and Meaningful Gifts for Travelers 2020 Edition

Please note that some of the links on this page are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission that will help support this site if you make a purchase. All opinions are my own. If you have any questions about the companies or products mentioned on this page, please reach out to me and I will happily answer them. 


  • Chris
    December 2, 2022 at 11:15 am

    Thank you for your article on Useful and Meaningful Gifts for Travelers – 2020 Edition

  • Eileen
    June 23, 2022 at 4:23 am

    These are all nice gifts! I’m just thinking about what to give my dad for father’s day, you just reminded me that he travels a lot so I can pick one of the gifts in this list! Thanks for sharing!

  • myline
    January 3, 2020 at 6:36 am

    This “Universal Travel Adaptor” is what I really need when it comes to traveling. Thanks for sharing these amazing ideas.


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