11 Useful Gifts for Frequent Travelers (That They Don’t Already Have)

The traveler in your life doesn’t need another inflatable travel pillow. Give them one of these helpful gifts instead.
Airport traveler with suitcase (Photo: Shutterstock)
Photo: Shutterstock

When searching for the perfect gift for the jetsetter, backpacker, or road tripper in your life, you want to find something that they are actually going to use during all those travels. And believe me, they don’t need another travel pillow.

Gifts for Travelers at the Holidays (or Any Time of Year)

So, what do the travelers on your shopping list need this year? I’ve rounded up the best bags, accessories, organizers, and money-saving subscriptions that they’ll use all the time—and thank you every time they do.

1. Simple Satch Bangle Set

When you’re in line at the airport or touring around a new city, you don’t want to be digging around in your bag for essentials. The Simple Satch ‘I Want It All’ Bangle Set keeps must-haves like hand sanitizer, a charging cord, and a reusable shopping bag within arm’s reach on a fashionable bracelet. You can also clip the bangle to your suitcase or purse with the attached clasp.

2. Tripadvisor Plus Membership

Tripadvisor has been helping travelers find the best prices on hotels, flights, and cruises for years. The company’s newest offering, Tripadvisor Plus, is a membership service that offers member-only rates on hotels, tours, and attractions at destinations across the globe. They also partner with brands like Rent the Runway for deep discounts on fashionable duds to wear on vacation. Most travelers save an average of $350 per stay, which more than covers the $99 annual fee.

3. MochiThings Cable Pouch

The MochiThings Cable Pouch is large enough to hold headphones, charging cords, an external battery, and a mouse, phone, or other small device, but it’s compact enough to slide into any purse or travel bag. It comes in a variety of colors to match your luggage and there’s a larger size if you need a bag big enough to store additional items like a computer charger.

4. Open Story RFID Travel Wallet

This travel wallet from Open Story has slots for credit and debit cards, a clear slot for your ID, and designated spots for your passport and boarding pass. There’s also a pen holder and a zippered compartment for cash. The exterior is made from water-repellent nylon, so it is durable enough to stand up to spills, rain showers, or anything else your travels may bring.

5. Camelbak MultiBev 

The Camelbak MultiBev is a 22 oz. refillable bottle and 16 oz. portable cup in one. Made from insulated stainless steel, it keeps beverages hot or cold for hours. The cup unscrews from the bottle so you can share your drink with friends or family, and there’s even a lid for the cup rolled up inside the bottle lid. It’s perfect for camping, air travel, or as a waste-free way to stay hydrated on the go.

6. Calpak Packing Cubes

Packing cubes allow you to keep your items organized and lightly compressed, meaning more room in your suitcase for souvenirs. The Calpak 5-Piece Packing Cube Set comes with four mesh pouches in various sizes and a water-resistant envelope pouch that can be used for organizing toiletries, chargers, or other small items. 

7. Stasher Go Bag

The Stasher Go Bag can hold your phone, sunglasses, hand sanitizer, ID, and credit cards so you can have them close by for travel days. You can also fill it with toiletries or snacks. And the included carabiner makes it easy to clip the Go Bag on your luggage or belt loop.

8. Kikkerland Rechargeable Book Light

Whether you’re en route and don’t want to disturb your seatmate or you want to read a book in your hotel room without having to get up and turn off eight light switches when you are ready for bed, the Kikkerland Rechargeable Book Light has you covered. When it’s time to recharge, just pull the clamp off to reveal the USB charger. No pesky wires to pack (or leave behind).

9. Calpak Portable Charger

Some portable phone chargers are so big and bulky that they’re difficult to lug around with you all day. The Calpak Portable Charger is slim, compact, and doubles as a luggage tag so it’s always close at hand when you’re on the go.

10. Paravel Mini Fold Up Backpack

Coming home from a trip with more than you left with is a perpetual problem for frequent travelers. The Paravel Mini Fold Up Backpack solves this problem. It folds up into a compact pouch so you can throw it in your suitcase and use it to bring home souvenirs, T-shirts, or other mementos of your trip. 

11. The Heroclip

It may look like other carabiners, but the Heroclip is nothing like an ordinary carabiner. Its extendable hook can be used to attach it to just about anything, like your backpack, purse, luggage, a table, a tree—pretty much anything—and it holds up to 60 lbs., too. It’s the kind of item you won’t believe you ever lived without.

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Tarah Chieffi is a theme park and family travel journalist who discovered her words were best used to help travelers plan fun-filled family vacations. When she isn't eating theme park food and riding roller coasters, she can be found cycling wherever her bike will take her, tucked under the covers with a good book, or planning her next adventure with her husband and three young sons.

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