2021’s Best Gifts for Travelers
If you’re looking for the best gifts for travelers in 2021, look no further.
We scoured the internet, reviewed thousands of consumer ratings and asked hundreds of travelers what their favorite piece of travel gear was. This ultimate, ever-growing, constantly-updated list of travel gifts is the result.
You’ll find options for stocking stuffers, business travelers, the style-conscious and the health-focused. There are gifts for any budget, and type of traveler.
Here’s how it’s broken out:
40+ Best Gifts for Travelers in 2021
ORGANIZATION & LUGGAGE
Luggage is one of those things that you use often -- every time you go away! -- but that is quickly worn. The quality of your luggage counts, and packing your belongings in a quality piece of luggage can make a huge difference.
Top pick: The Carry On by Away
Runner up: Samsonite Winfield 2 Hardside Luggage
A frequent flier’s worst nightmare: cables and cords from electronics.
It seems as though by the end of the first hour of your trip, they’ve not only multiplied but built a nest at the bottom of your bag that is impossible to untangle without brute force.
Needless to say, a cable organizer would be appreciated by any traveler.
Top pick: AmazonBasics Universal Travel Case
Runner up: BAGSMART Electronic Organizer
Tripit Pro App
One of the few travel apps we can’t live without. Tripit Pro is the ultimate travel organization app, aggregating all of the details, itineraries and schedules of your trip into one place. Easy sharing with family members, flight status updates, and more, this app is a gem.
Packing cubes are a travel essential that, surprisingly, few people actually get around to buying for themselves. When you start using packing cubes you never go back.
Top pick: Shacke Pak -Travel Organizers
Runner up: Bagail 6 Set Packing Cubes
These useful contraptions help you fold and protect your nice clothes before packing them in your suitcase, so they maximize the space in your luggage. They’re like packing cubes, but better for smaller bags and business travel.
Top pick: Dot&Dot Packing Folder BackpackRunner up: Eagle Creek Pack-It Garment Folder
Portable Key (or Passport) Finder
There’s seriously nothing worse than losing your keys, phone, passport, or any of your personal belongings, especially when you’re away from home.
Unfortunately, when you travel, you’re packing, re-packing and retrieving these important items frequently. This increases the likelihood that you’ll misplace or lose something that you really can’t afford to lose (like your passport!)
That’s why these portable key finders are… well, key. The traveler in your life can put one in his passport wallet and on his keychain to ensure nothing crucial goes missing.
Top pick: Tile Mate (2018)
Runner up: Cube Key Finder
There are certain clothing items you don’t want to become wrinkled -- or worse, have something spilled on them.
Enter the shirt transporter: envelope-like contraptions that protect from wrinkling, damage and leaks. No need to steam or iron your shirt or tie when you arrive!
Top pick: Eagle Creek Pack-It Garment
Runner up: Shirt Trekker Shirt Case
Inflatable Travel Bag
This is definitely a specialty item, but one that’s so very useful if you’re buying for somebody who loves wine, liquors or anything breakable and wants to bring some back safely in their suitcase. These bags protect bottles from being broken in transit.
Top pick: Jet Bag Bold
Runner up: Wine Wings 4 Pack Reusable Bottle Protector
Your passport is one of the most important items you’ll travel with and the nature of travel leaves it vulnerable to damage, being misplaced, and theft.
Enter the passport wallet. Not just an unnecessary holding case; a passport wallet can protect and organize your passport. Bonus gift: include a Tile in it so your giftee always knows where it is!
Top pick: Zoppen Travel Passport Wallet
Runner up:GDTK Leather Passport Holder
Also Read: Best Passport Wallets of 2020
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Crucial for sleeping on a plane, blocking out the sound of crying children on long flights, and even just enjoying travel.
Top tech pick ($$$): Bose QuietComfort 35
Runner up ($$): Sony WH-CH700N Bluetooth Noise Canceling
Budget pick ($): COWIN E7 Noise Cancelling Headphones
USB Flash Drive
When you’re on the go, you need quick access to files -- even if you don’t have quick access to your computer. That’s where a flash drive comes in.
These are under appreciated portable storage tools that every traveler should pack in their carry on. That way they won’t have to delete travel photos because of lack of iPhone storage!
Top pick: SanDisk Cruzer
Runner up: PNY Attache USB 2.0
iPhone Tripod & Shutter
Every traveler wants to take more photos of their trips; most travelers don’t want to lug around a heavy DSLR or a savvy point and shoot. So usually, that means being stuck with an iPhone.
You can take amazing iPhone travel photos with some lightweight iPhone photography gear. One of the basics is a portable tripod and shutter. This allows you to take pictures with you in them without having to resort to a tacky selfie stick.
Top pick: UBeesize Phone Tripod
Runner up: Selfie Stick & Tripod Fugetek
Sometimes you want to catch a scene that you just don’t have optimal lighting for. A portable LED ring light that a travel-junkie can clip onto their iPhone in low-light situations is ideal.
Top pick: Selfie Light Ring
Runner up: 8" Ring Light with Tripod Stand
Every traveler should have a portable charger. Even the most prepared among us will find herself with a device that isn’t charged in the moment where you needed it the most.
Top pick: Anker PowerCore 20100mAh
Runner up: Anker PowerCore 10000
Travel Water Bottle
Beyond convenience and the environment, every traveler needs a travel water bottle.
They could just bring their Swell or Camelbak, but if we’re trying to find a gift for a frequent flier, they’ll want the luggage space. Enter a collapsible water bottle.
Top pick: Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle
Runner up: Collapsible Silicone Water Bottles
Silicon Toiletry Bottles
It’s not practical to run out and buy travel-sized variations of all of your toiletries every time you go away. You need a set of leak-proof, refillable, TSA-approved silicon toiletry containers to transport liquids like shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion.
Top pick: 4 Pack Travel Bottles
Runner up: Oursunshine Travel Bottles
Travel Health Supplement
When you fly, there are six health impacts that take effect on your body.
Cosmic radiation, suppressed immune system, dehydration, and circulation impairment, it’s not the prettiest of pictures, but it’s an inevitable fact of traveling. We formulated Inflight Elixir specifically to support your body in the air.
From tart cherry extract to reduce the impact of jet lag, to Camu Camu to boost the immune system and chlorella for cosmic radiation support, Inflight Elixir is a frequent flier’s best friend.
Airport food is an abomination, inflight menu options are limited and unhealthy, and every traveler has found themselves arriving at their destination after a red-eye flight starving hungry with nothing open.
Portable, healthy, and delicious travel snacks are an amazing travel gift or stocking stuffer. Avoid the options that are full of sugar or junk ingredients and opt for real, whole-food products.
Top pick: FBOMB’s Nut Butters, Meat Sticks and Cheese Crisps
Also try: Native State Superfood Snack Bites
Runner up: Sugar-free, natural bars like Larabar
Travel is tough on your body. Sitting in one spot for hours at altitudes we weren’t built for in environments that breed germs and illness…
Not exactly easy on the body or health.
Snap up a pair of yoga gloves to enable your loved one to stretch it out whenever, wherever -- even if there’s no yoga mat in sight.
Top pick: YogaPaws Elite Padded Yoga Gloves and Socks Set
Runner up: Gaiam Yoga Gloves
Travel Water Filter
You never know when you’re going to find yourself in a situation where you can’t find any suitable water to drink.
And since it’s crucial to keep yourself hydrated when you travel, a water filter that you can throw in your water bottle is perfect.
Top pick: LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Runner up: Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System
Air travel in and of itself is dehydrating because of the lack of humidity in the air and limited access to water.
When you’ve landed and are trying to adjust to your destination climate, this can cause skin issues and dry your skin out. Traveling with a mini humidifier that can be set up in a hotel room or Airbnb is always a good idea.
Top pick: Hey Dewy Portable Facial Humidifier
Runner up: Fancii Cool Mist Personal Humidifier
Honorable mention: BONECO Travel Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier 7146
If you have a tea lover on your list, or even just somebody who loves health and wellness, consider snapping up some travel teas and coffees. These will help your giftee maintain optimal health, wellness, and caffeination while they’re traveling and when they arrive.
Top pick: Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Mixes
Runner up: Youlixir Adaptogenic Morning Matcha Travel Sachets
Essential oils have been used as a healing tool for centuries to treat everything from headaches to stress. It’s no surprise that there as certain essential oils which can support your well-being while flying and mitigate jet lag’s effects.
Seek out blends that use a calming oil like lavender to promote relaxation, peppermint or citrus to energize, and wood scents like pine for grounding.
Top pick: Altitude Oil
Runner up: Saje Natural Wellness
When you fly, your circulation becomes impaired for two reasons:
- You're sitting for prolonged periods of time in unnatural, cramped positions
- Your blood oxygen levels decrease because of the cabin pressure.
Compression socks can help improve circulation when flying by putting pressure on your legs and feet which help blood flow more freely back up towards your heart.
Runner up: Vitalsox Italy Compression Circulation Socks
BEAUTY + STYLE
On the Fly Pants
Lululemon’s On the Fly collection was made for air travel, and they’re perfect for sightseeing, too.
This line is made with lightweight, comfortable, quiet fabric in a chic, stylish design that won’t make it look like you’re slouching around the house.
The On the Fly Crop is perfect for transitioning from the airport to sightseeing without having to change… or “freshen up”.
Patagonia Fleet with Romper
Rompers, or, in this case, jumpsuits are the ideal travel outfit. You don’t have to worry about pants digging into your midsection while you’re sitting for yet another hour, they’re soft and cozy but they look good and are stylish enough to wear off of the plane, too.
Travel Toiletries Kit
Most travelers don’t like succumbing to using hotel shampoo and overly-scented body lotions (that don’t do anything, anyway). Plus, without a doubt, you’ll probably forget something.
Top pick: The Ultimate Travel Bag Kit by Sephora
Runner up: Yuni Beauty on the Run Travel Kit
Perfect Airport Sneaker
What makes the perfect airport shoe?
It must be:
These are crucial pieces of travel gear that nobody can go without. The wrong pair of shoes can make your entire trip uncomfortable!
Top pick for women: AllBirds Women's Tree Skippers
Top runner up for women: Keds Double Decker Leather
Top pick for men: Nike 'Zoom Stefan Janoski' Slip-On
Top runner up for men: Vans Men Classic Slip-On
Travel Cosmetics Case
Every female traveler knows that cosmetics don’t always travel well. Powders that crumble, creams that melt, liquids that run… and because cosmetics pack color, this is a disaster for your luggage.
A travel cosmetics case is always a good idea.
Top pick: Livana - PerfectTemp Traveler Cosmetic Case
Runner up: Relavel Travel Makeup Train Case
A Blanket Scarf
These are, in a word, BOSS.
Versatile, cozy, and chic-looking, a blanket scarf is the ultimate travel accessory and no woman in her right mind should leave for the airport without one.
Unless, of course, she’s headed on a very short daytime flight to a tropical destination!
Top pick: Plaid Blanket Scarf
Runner up: Bess Bridal Women's Plaid Blanket Winter Scarf
If you’ve ever spent any time on an aircraft, the temperature control issues will be familiar. One minute you’re claustrophobically hot. The next you’re freezing. If you’re trying to catch some sleep on the plane it poses a real problem.
Travel slippers solve that and make your flight far more comfortable.
Top pick: Snoozies Skinnies Lightweight Slippers
Runner up: Acorn Unisex Slipper Sock
If you want something that will be handy on the plane and when your giftee arrives at their destination, consider a sleep mask. It’ll help block out light from the overhead lights or a seatmate’s window, and also daylight to help combat jet lag.
Top pick: Sleep Eye Mask for Men Women
Runner up: Jersey Slumber 100% Silk Sleep Mask
One of the most uncomfortable parts about flying is not being able to kick your feet up and fully relax. Airplane footrests can help enhance your travel experience - it’s like sitting in a recliner chair resting your foot on pillows; it can help with leg swelling as well. If comfort is really important to you (and why wouldn’t it be?) this is the next best option to flying business class!
Top pick: Sleepy Ride - Airplane Footrest
Runner up: Beskar Airplane Footrest
The super cozy, soft fleece of a travel pillow helps keep your head in an ergonomic position while sleeping upright, this means no more nodding heads.
Some are designed to look like scarves, and easily attach your suitcase. This means they won’t take up precious space in your carry-on so that you can save it for duty-free and souvenirs. Big win.
Top pick: Trtl Pillow
Runner up: MLVOC Travel Pillow
Portable Sound Machine
Maybe you ended up booking a hotel in a noisy part of the city or perhaps you like to sleep in and the other people at your AirBnB are early risers. Portable sound machines can be your best friend in this case - they make a range of soothing sounds (like waves crashing) or white noise to drown out the other noise around you and ensure a restful sleep.
Bonus: they also double as a speaker which you can stream your own music through. You know, for those nights when you’re getting ready to head out on the town.
Top pick: Adaptive Sound Technologies Lectrofan Micro2 Sleep Sound Machine
Runner up: Marpac Rohm Portable White Noise Machine
Sometimes you are stuck between two choices on a flight - read or take a nap before you land. With Audible, you don’t have to choose. It’s like killing two birds with one stone - close your eyes, relax, and let your book be read to you. Members get one audiobook a month and even if you end up canceling, any audiobook your purchase is yours forever.
You can listen anytime, anywhere, and even have offline access - so you can continue with the audiobook even at 35,000 ft in the air.
What do you get for those who love to read but are constantly on the go and don’t have space for books? An eReader of course! Basically, this is like building a virtual library. Same great books without all of the bulky space they take up.
These are super light, efficient and can pack easily in a carry-on or briefcase.
Top pick: Kindle Paperwhite
Runner up: Kobo Clara HD 6" Carta E Ink Touchscreen E-Reader
WORK & BUSINESS
Portable Wifi Hotspot
If you’re buying for a business traveler or a “digital nomad” this should be #1 on your list. Portable wifi hotspots are devices you can bring with you to extend your wifi range and stay connected even in dead zones.
Top pick: TP-Link N300 Wireless Portable Nano Travel Router
Runner up: RAVPower FileHub
Sometimes you don’t mind unpacking your suitcase and having wrinkled clothes. Other times, it’s the worst. Not every hotel or AirBNB comes equipped with an iron or steamer, so if you’re buying for a traveler who cares about fashion, or travels often for business or work, these travel steamers are perfect.
Top pick: iSteam Steamer for Clothes
Runner up: Steamfast SF-717 Mini Steam Iron
Any traveler who brings valuables with them knows how stressful security can be. These portable safes will keep personal belongings secure even when there’s no hotel safe.
Top pick: Master Lock 5900D
Runner up: Pacsafe Travelsafe GII Portable Safe
Digital Luggage Scale
Showing up at the airport and finding out that your luggage is overweight is frustrating. It’s a minor inconvenience, but one that can set you back time and dollars and is completely avoidable with a digital luggage scale.
Top pick: Etekcity Digital Hanging Luggage Scale
Runner up: Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale
Give a Travel Gift They’ll Actually Use
There you have it; over 40 gift options for the traveler in your life.
Did we miss anything? If you’re a traveler, what is your favorite gift you’ve ever gotten? What little-known travel items did we forget to include? Comment below!
Read more: Healthy Travel Blog | Travel Articles & Resources
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