December 10, 2021

Ten Days of Gift Guides: For the Traveler

Ten Days of Gift Guides: For the Traveler

For people who are frequently on the road, in the air, on the tracks—you get the point—as well as anyone who appreciates a portable life, here are ten ideas for gifts that combine usefulness with luxury, style, or just plain cuteness.


Smartphone Printer

Perfect for those who love to take pictures—from amateurs to professionals—these adorable pocket-sized devices connect to smartphones (as well as tablets, laptops, etc.) to print photos instantly. Some, like the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer or the Kodak Mini Photo Printer, print actual photographs, while others are good for making stickers, labels, and receipts (Phomemo Mini Pocket Printer, PeriPage Pocket Printer). These are especially helpful for those in the events industry, creatives, and small business owners. Depending on printer type and photo quality, pricing ranges from extremely reasonable to high-end, making it easy to find one that matches your needs.

Comfy Clothes

Buying clothes for another person can be a tricky affair. It’s hard to tell if you’ve got a handle on their specific style, and finding an exact size can be a minefield. The flip side is that when it’s right, it’s really right, and loungewear offers an easy route to a totally usable gift that can last years. Travelers in particular are in constant need of loose-fitting, comfortable pieces. Plenty of specialty loungewear brands exist to fill this niche like Nap Loungewear, Parachute, and older brands like Land’s End. But with more folks working from home, most popular brands have wide selections joggers, oversized cardigans, cashmere sets, and the like. But if all else fails, many of us still appreciate a classic Champion sweatshirt.

Sleep Accessories

Is your traveling loved one susceptible to unkempt hair and puffy eyes (or just complains about it)? A “sleep set,” found online and in beauty stores, includes a super-soft pillowcase, special eye mask, and hair accessory. Claiming to protect hair, improve skin, and help you get better rest, brands like Slip and Mommesilk (among many others) and can be found at beauty chains like Sephora and Ulta. You can also assemble your own, starting with a plain (or not) silk or satin pillowcase. Throw in a box of EarPeace Sleep earplugs and they can experience meaningful peace with the patented design and technology.

Portable Light

There are so many reasons to gift others, and ourselves, one of these. Is there a tentative virtual meeting to attend or a video to film? Pack a clip-on ring light. Absolutely hate sleeping in the pitch dark (no judgement here)? Consider a collapsible lantern or a fancy LED candlelight. At risk for seasonal blues? There are compact lamps boasting therapeutic effects to mimic natural sunlight and help regulate sleep patterns. And increasingly, many have additional features like charging ports, Bluetooth, cool rainbow lights, and so on.

Air Purifier

This is a fantastic gift for people with allergies, or just anyone who wants or needs to be extra careful. Personal air purifiers (like this one from BISSEL) help remove dust, germs, mold, and other irritants from a set size of space. There are purifiers made to be installed in vehicles as well as ones that can be worn, like this one from Eddie Bauer. Like all other devices, they even come with cute colors and lights.

Luggage Organizers and Carry-ons

While luggage is always a nice gift, considering it can cost upwards of a trip itself, items that help organize the traveling experience are just as nice. You can find packing cubes or luggage organizers just about anywhere online or in a department store. Also, as more people stick with carry-ons (and airlines’ checked-bag fees continue to rise), luggage is getting more lightweight and compact. There are also high-end mini-suitcases like this one from Herschel Supply Co. or the July Carry All Weekender bag. Lower-cost versions are available in all the usual places.

Cleaning Aids

Of course, there are the classic staples like Tide Sticks, and the seemingly newer Travel Sink Packets, which allow one to do laundry in the sink (stocking stuffer alert!). You can also do a whole set of dry cleaning in a standard dryer with an at-home dry cleaning kit or handheld devices to help remove wrinkles from garments. All amazing gifts for performers, or any traveler who has to—or enjoys—dressing up.

Handheld Spa Tool

Simple beauty routines like jade rolling and microneedling have been around for centuries and are a definite choice for people looking to change up their routines (a quick online search will show endless options for each). But have you heard of ice rollers and light therapy wands (yes, there are cheaper versions)? Such doodads exist to provide even more spa-like experiences in the comfort of home (or hotel or motel or AirBnb), at a lower cost than a physical spa. This tiny but pricey product by Swedish company Foreo claims to offer a full-fledged spa facial in just two minutes. As with most of the items in this guide, choosing one based on quality or coolness-factor can make the difference in whether it becomes a gift they can use.

Subscription Box

Since subscription boxes have exploded in popularity and there are so many of them, we'll keep this one brief. Subscription boxes are a surefire hit for people who love receiving physical mail. Why should frequent travelers be any different? Choose from different traveler-themed subscription boxes, including travel writing and books, boxes that teach you about other cultures, snacks from around the world, and of course products for jet-setters.

Still looking for something? Try our Team Picks Gift Guide or our Gift Guide for the Festival Lover


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