44 of the Best Gifts for Travelers

Scott Keyes
Oct 13, 2021
5 min read
Scott Keyes
October 13, 2021
5 min read

Don’t stress over what to get the globetrotters in your life. Here are nearly 44 great gift ideas, mostly $50 or less, for every type of traveler.

Gifts to keep them comfortable on long-haul flights

Slip silk sleepmask

A silk mask for luxurious shut-eye

Eye masks are practical for ensuring you can get some shut-eye on a flight even if your neighbor insists on keeping their overhead light on. The cheapest versions will do the trick, but swap the usual cotton fabric for silk and an eye mask becomes a lot more luxe. They’re more expensive than the basic varieties, at about $50-$75, but it’s a small price for some first-class comfort.

The perfect travel pillow to help them sleep

There’s no shortage of styles of travel pillow on the market, from the classic around-the-neck half-donut to the brace-like Trtl pillow. For comfort in a variety of positions, the Travelrest is a solid choice that ticks all the boxes: it’s inflatable so you can adjust the firmness and it doesn’t take up a lot of room when deflated; you can lean against it in a window seat or while more upright in the middle or aisle; and for a few bucks more you can buy a velvety soft cover. Bonus: it’s under $30.

"I got this infinity travel pillow as a gift for my birthday and it’s truly a game changer! It’s not only cute, but also super versatile, washable and can be worn as a neck pillow, desk/window pillow, or for extra back support." - Raphael, Going Senior Software Engineer, Mobile

Face masks, hydrating spray, or a luxe toiletry kit for hydrated skin

Airplanes are notoriously dry places. Help the travelers on your list give their skin some love with a a travel-size tube of Innisfree green tea moisturizing mist, a budget-friendly option at around $11). Aesop offers a full kit stocked with travel-sized versions of seven products including mouthwash, lip balm, and facial hydration spray.

"Don't forget travel size mineral face sunscreen. It's so important to wear sunscreen everyday and this is my go to. It's a mineral sunscreen for your face that doesn't leave a white cast or any residue. It so lightweight and you can hardly feel it. Not to mention these size bottles are the best for traveling." - Paresa, Going Senior Lifecycle Marketing Specialist

Compression socks for better circulation

No one likes deplaning from a long-haul flight feeling like their ankles and calves are the size of watermelons, but swollen legs and feet can be more than uncomfortable; if a clot forms, it can be quite dangerous. Compression socks help beat the bloat by increasing circulation. There are dozens of styles and varying levels of compression available; Comrad Socks offers a variety of cute styles and colors starting at around $29.

Meditation app gift cards

Traveling is stressful. Help them stay calm with apps designed to relive stress, help them focus, ground them even when they're at 30,000 feet.

"I've been gifted meditation app gift cards from friends while I was traveling (and had limited space for anyone to give me physical gifts). Headspace or Calm are both great." - Sydney, Going Senior Lifecycle Marketing Specialist

Travel gifts for all sorts of adventures

Microfiber towels from REI

Water bottle with built-in filter for hydration on the go

Bringing your own water bottle is good for the environment and helps reduce plastic waste. Bringing your own water bottle with a built-in filter helps keep you from getting sick. For about $40, the Lifestraw Go bottle is sturdy, BPA-free, and removes 99.9% of bacteria, parasites, and microplastics.

A travel hammock to sleep anywhere

Anyone who takes frequent camping trips will appreciate a hammock designed to pack down into something portable, but camping hammocks can come in handy for other kinds of trips, too. Adventure lovers on a budget may need to bring their own bed (hammock) for some river boat trips in South America or Southeast Asia, for instance. Packable hammocks range in size, weight, and price, from about $30 for a solo hammock to $100 for two to lounge together.

Microfiber towels for drying off quickly

A quick-drying towel that packs up small comes in handy for a variety of adventures, from camping trips and beach days to staying in hostels where the provided towels may be lacking in quality. Travel towels are not only super absorbent (especially for how thin they are), they’re extremely soft and dry quickly so you can re-pack and be on your way. Smaller towels start at around $10, while beach-sized towels cost about $40.

A handy tool to keep itchy bug bites at bay

Bug Bite Thing

As seen on Shark Tank (and beloved by at least a few Going employees), Bug Bite Thing is Amazon’s #1 selling product for insect bite relief with over 40,000 reviews. It makes a great stocking stuffer for anyone who loves to travel. The easy-to-use suction tool effectively extracts insect saliva/venom from under the skin to eliminate the itching, stinging, and swelling caused by insect bites and stings. Retailing for under $10 plus shipping, the award-winning product is chemical-free, reusable, safe to use on children of all ages and adults. Available in three colors, white, black, and its newest colorway, pink, the lightweight insect bite relief tool fits on a keychain, easily in your pocket or your carry-on luggage.

Handwarmers or a fan so they're good no matter the temps

"A mini rechargeable fan is awesome because folds so it can fit in your pocket or bag. I bring this with me everywhere in the summer and anywhere I know I'll be dancing a lot (concerts, music festivals, weddings). It has two speeds and everyone always comments about how amazing it is. For cold places, this handheld electric hand warmer fit in your pocket or purse, it and even doubles as a portable charger." - Paresa, Going Senior Lifecycle Marketing Specialist

A beach towel that repels sand

Upgrade your favorite beach lover’s game with more than a basic travel towel—get the beach towel that actually repels sand. Tesalate’s beach towels come in two sizes ($59 for a solo towel or $99 for a “Towel for Two”) that are made of a high-tech fabric that simultaneously is able to absorb a great deal of water and slough off the sand. They’re more compact for traveling than your average towel and they dry faster, too.

A headlamp to light up the dark

A handy source of light is always a good idea when traveling, and a headlamp provides a perfectly directed light source that leaves hands free. Headlamps are a must for camping trips, but they’re handy for other reasons, too—including mundane things like reading in bed without disturbing your partner. Headlamps can range in price from $12–$200, with the tried-and-true Petzl LED headlamp coming in at $30. Models that have a red light feature are especially nice, since the light is easier on the eyes for other people nearby.

A door stop for safety and peace of mind

Falling asleep in an unfamiliar room can be difficult, especially if safety is a concern. Frog & Co’s Door Stop Alarm ($19.97) not only makes it harder for someone to get through the door, the built-in alarm will also alert you to the unwelcome intrusion.

Travel gifts to keep them looking good on the fly

Passport cover for stylish protection

Spruce up your traveler’s suitcase situation with a fashionable leather passport cover. Choose a color that matches the rest of their luggage or pick one that stands out so it’s easy to find in a flash when going through immigration at the airport. Cuyana’s Slim Leather Passport Case ($75) is beautiful and durable. It comes with extra pockets inside for other travel documents, and you can choose to monogram the outer cover, too.

Luggage tags for easy identification

Being able to identify your luggage easily on the carousel is important, especially when everyone else on the plane also has black or navy bags of roughly the same size and shape. A durable leather luggage tag in a bright color—like these from Leatherology ($35)—will help your traveler spot their suitcase from the other side of the room. Add a monogram for even more personality. For techie travelers, there’s the Away x Tile Luggage Tag ($30), which allows them to track their bag no matter where it is.

Jewelry organizer or watch case for accessory organization

A jewelry roll with zippered pockets and ring storage that snaps is a convenient and space-conscious way to keep shiny things organized and tangle-free. Hadaki’s rolls are colorful and cost $24–28 for nylon or leather. For watches, these storage rolls from Hodinkee protect four or six watches ($120); lighter packers can carry a single watch in one soft leather pouch ($65).

Travel shoes for walking miles in style  

Comfortable shoes can be worth their weight in gold, and there are countless options these days to suit any style.

"Kiziks, the just-step-into-them shoes, are life changing! I have PreCheck, but I can imagine if you don't that these are clutch. As a parent, when your hands are completely full, they are more than clutch, and they're comfy. So many wins and I cannot go back to any other casual tennis shoe ever. RIP the 39,282 pairs of other shoes in my closet gathering dust," - Molly, Going Product Operations Specialist

Tieks (starting at $175) make ballet flats with extra-cushioned soles that are flattering, comfortable for all-day wear, and small enough to fold up and stick in a purse. Rothy’s flats and slip-ons (starting at $145) are made from recycled plastic bottles or merino wool and are machine washable for easy care. Allbirds (starting at $95) uses sustainable materials like wool and sugarcane in its stylish and comfortable sneakers. And Vessi’s lightweight knitted sneakers (starting at $129) are 100% waterproof.

"These foldable ballet flats will allow you to navigate public transit and cobblestone streets, but then change into heels for a swanky night out." - Nicole, Going Manager, Support Operations

Plane pants for chic comfort

Just because the days of dressing up to get on a plane are long gone doesn’t mean we should all give up entirely on looking decent for a flight. Thankfully, your favorite sweats have gotten an upgrade, and now they’re called “joggers.” A slimmer leg creates a more fashionable silhouette, and basic black looks chic and hides stains. Lululemon makes joggers for men and women (with pockets!) for $128 and $118 respectively, with some more budget-friendly options at Gap starting around $40.

Travel gifts to feed their wanderlust at home

Scratch off map

A scratch off map or cork globe for marking where they’ve been

Looking forward to the next trip is great, but so is remembering the adventures you’ve already had. The Scratch Off Map ($26) helps you favorite globetrotter track where they’ve been and mark off progress towards their travel goals. If they prefer old-school methods of seeing where they’ve been, this map ($149) comes with colorful push pins (including several that look like flags) and a personalized plaque.

For those who eschew maps for 3D models, there’s the World Traveler’s Cork Globe (starting at $80). It provides the same pleasure of plotting adventures—past or future—by dotting the planet with different push pins.

A framed map to remind them of a place they love

Maps are utilitarian when you’re on the road and trying to navigate, but they can also be beautiful and inspirational pieces to add travel flair to your home decor. You can find stylized maps of nearly any region, country, or city on Allposters, from realistic or historical maps to fanciful maps indicating what foods are popular in what areas. Etsy is another great resource for frame-able maps, some of which can also be personalized.

Travel books for armchair adventures

Travelers who are also readers can get lost in another world reading stories set in a place they’ve already been to and love or about a place that’s next on their wish list. Browse the virtual aisles of Powell’s travel section for fiction and non-fiction (used and new copies) to find the perfect story—or pick up a guidebook for wherever they’re headed next.

A journal to record their memories

Rediscovering the romance of keeping a travel journal is easier when the journal is a work of art. Shinola makes beautiful hard-bound journals with linen covers ($24) that are sturdy and come in several colors. The paper is acid-free and you can get the cover monogrammed for added personalization.

Travel tokens to commemorate all those amazing trips

Let your busy traveler carry their travels with them, literally. These engraved travel tokens and handmade clip-on carriers from The Wander Club are the perfect traveler’s memento. They offer a wide variety of collections featuring countries, U.S. states, national parks, continents, and more.

Travel gifts for wandering foodies

carry-on cocktail kit

A world tour of amazing coffee to inspire their next trip

From Papua New Guinea to Peru, Burundi to Brazil... Upgrade their morning coffee routine to a daily adventure with a Coffee World Tour Gift Subscription from Atlas Coffee Club (from $60). For 3, 6, or 12 months, they'll get to discover a new single-origin coffee from a new country each month, along with a picturesque postcard and more. Even the coffee bags are designed to spark wanderlust, with each country's unique, vibrant bag inspired by local landscapes, textiles, and wildlife.

Another option for traveling coffee lovers: their own stash so they can drink well wherever they go.

"I don't go anywhere without this travel French press/mug and some coffee grounds." - Sydney, Going Senior Lifecycle Marketing Specialist

A wine suitcase to bring bottles home safely

It’s a bummer to return from a wine-tasting trip and find a bottle didn’t make it home in your luggage in one piece. Serious oenophiles need a more reliable solution than simply nesting bottles in with their laundry and hoping for the best. Enter VinGardeValise (starting at $249), which makes hard-sided suitcases with cushioned inserts designed to transport up to a dozen wine bottles safely.

Try the World subscription box to give them a taste of the globe

Bring world cuisine to your favorite traveling food lover with a subscription box from Try the World ($19–39 per month). Every month, they’ll get a selection of goodies, including snacks, beverages, and spices from all over the world to whet their appetite for dinner—and their next trip.

Carry-on Cocktail Kit for better in-flight drinks

Level up their in-flight beverage game with a Carry On Cocktail Kit ($24). Choose from several classic drinks, including an old fashioned or gin and tonic. Each tin comes with the ingredients and tools they’ll need (except the booze, that is) to make two high-quality cocktails on the plane.

Travel gifts to help them carry-on or carry it all

Away carryon

Packing cubes to keep them organized

Even the fanciest suitcase can turn into utter chaos after a few days of travel. Packing cubes, like these sturdy stand-bys from Eagle Creek (from $11), make keeping bags organized an easy task. The Pack-It Specter series weighs next to nothing, and some are also compression bags that can help them squeeze more into their luggage.

The perfect suitcase for their travel style

Luggage takes a serious beating when we travel, so investing in a quality suitcase is money well spent. These bags have perks beyond their ability to simply carry your stuff. Away makes a hard-sided carry-on bag ($325) with the option of adding a battery pack so you can stay charged on the go. Lipault’s soft-sided carry-on spinner ($245) weighs in at a scant 4 lbs 2 oz when empty and folds down flat for easy storage. And Calpak’s hard-sided carry-on bags ($165) expand up to two inches for the souvenirs picked up along the way.

Compression packing cubes to fit more in less space

"I don’t know how I survived before packing cubes. You can fit so much more and it’s finally helped me break up with my checked luggage. I love the Eagle Creek brand—they are really durable and compress well, giving you much more space in your carry-ons to work with." - Kristen, Going Social Media Manager

A digital scale to avoid overweight fees

When you’ve gotten a great deal on an airline ticket, you don’t want to end up spending all that money saved on fees for overweight bags. Keeping track of how much a suitcase weighs when is easy with a portable digital scale. There are dozens of options available, including the popular Etekcity Digital Hanging Luggage Scale ($13.99). The compact scale can switch between pounds and kilograms for converting on the fly, and has a capacity of 110 lbs.

A Kindle for voracious readers who pack light

Bringing your whole library with you when you travel used to be unthinkable, but Amazon’s Kindle ($89.99–$249.99) changed all that. Literature-loving travelers can tuck a Kindle in their carry-on and never run out of reading material—no matter how long the flight is.

A toiletry case to keep it all together

Every traveler needs a toiletry kit, so getting one that’s designed to last longer than the plastic bag they’ve probably been using is never a bad idea. Herschel’s Chapter Travel Kit ($34.99) comes in a variety of colors and prints and has a waterproof interior in case anything leaks en route. Cuyana makes a sleek Leather Travel Case Set ($120) that features two zippered bags—one for toiletries and a smaller one that’s ideal for make-up or jewelry.

"This Sea to Summit toiletry bag is a game changer. I love all the pockets, but never fully appreciated the stowable hanging hook until I found myself on a trip that featured bathrooms with zero counter space (balancing tiny bottles on the back of a toilet is a risky move!). Hang it on the door hook or even in the shower. I'll never travel without this bag again." - Lori, Going Senior Manager, Customer Marketing

A duffel or weekender bag for shorter trips

Different bags serve different purposes. For quick overnight or weekend trips, you probably don’t need your full-sized suitcase; that’s when a weekender bag comes in handy. Peak Design’s 35L Travel Duffel ($129) is weatherproof and can be carried like a duffel, over one shoulder, or as a backpack. The Catalina Deluxe from Lo & Sons ($143) has a separate zippered compartment on the bottom for shoes, and the sleeve on the back of the bag slips over the handle of a suitcase.

Slimmed down wallets and on-the-go accessories

40,000 5-star reviews make The Ridge high quality aluminum wallet a surefire gift for the holidays. The Ridge has hand-picked new releases and premium materials so you can give those on your list—and yourself—the perfect gift this year. Get up to 40% off today!

Travel gifts for techies

Nimble charger

Noise cancelling headphones to keep it quiet

Travel can be an assault on the senses—from the drone-like noise of an airplane to the cacophony of public transit—and sometimes you just need a break. Noise cancelling headphones offer a little respite. The classic Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones ($399.95) are still popular, though the company makes smaller earbud-style models as well. Apple’s new AirPods Pro ($249) come with active noise cancellation, and they also have a “transparency” mode to easily switch noise cancellation on and off.

A portable charger so they never run out of juice

We all know how much we rely on our phones these days, and that’s true when we’re traveling, too. From entertainment to navigation, our phones get a lot of use—and charging options aren’t always plentiful.

"This one is amazing and budget-friendly! I've gone through a million portable chargers and this is my favorite so far. Great charging power, fits easily in a bag/purse and has built-in charging cords (super handy if you're like me and always forget one)." - Sydney, Going Senior Lifecycle Marketing Specialist

Plug adapters for power no matter where they go

Traveling with electronics sometimes means traveling with a plug adapter and an electrical converter so you don’t fry your equipment (or start any fires). EPICKA makes a universal adapter and converter ($21.99) that covers the plugs in more than 150 countries and even has four USB ports. A multi-piece set like this one from Wonpro ($14) is another great option to bring only the plugs needed for a specific trip (and not plugs for every country),

Cord organizers to keep them tangle-free

Another byproduct of traveling with so much electronic gear is the tangle of cords that goes with it. Not only is that jumbled mess annoying, but too much tugging on cables can cause damage to them over time. Keep your cords organized with a Cocoon Grid-It! Organizer (starting at $11.99), a totally customizable system of interwoven elastic bands to secure anything you tuck into them.

A tripod to snap the perfect shot

Selfie sticks may be nearly ubiquitous these days, but a good travel tripod allows truly hands-free photography. GorillaPod’s flexible tripods (starting at $19.95) have arms you can bend in all directions, wrap around a tree branch, or keep your camera level on uneven ground. They’re lightweight and portable, and there’s a model to fit every camera (or camera phone).

A stabilizer for smooth quality video

The magnetic phone clamp on the DJI OM 4 lets you attach your smartphone quickly to this foldable stabilizer so you can quickly capture video on your travels. It's super easy to use and offers several different creative effects, like time lapse, phone rotation, and pano so you can create incredible video without hours of editing.

AirFly converter for wireless sound

We all love being plugged in when we’re traveling, whether it’s catching up on podcasts, watching a downloaded TV show, or tuning into an in-flight movie. The cable tethering you to your phone, tablet, or the seat-back screen is less fabulous, however, when you’re already dealing with a cramped space. AirFly ($44.99–64.99) cleans up the cable mess by converting a wired connection into a wireless connection. Plug the AirFly into a device (or the seat-back screen), connect Bluetooth headphones, and it’s good to go.

A portable speaker to keep the party going anywhere

"I love this Fugoo Tough 2.0 outdoor speaker. This thing is indestructible!" - Rob, Going Engineering Lead, Platforms

A spare set of chargers so they never leave home unprepared

The more items a traveler needs to pack before a trip, the more they have a chance to forget. Give your connected traveler a stash of spares—such as spare plugs, charging cables, and car adapters—they can keep in their luggage. There are countless options for chargers and cables available online, including several that have extra-durable exterior coatings to make them less susceptible to damage.

Don't forget to treat yourself, too! Join Going and save hundreds on your next flight.

Going may earn affiliate revenue from some of the links in this article, but we only recommend products we use and love.


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Last Updated 
October 13, 2021
Scott Keyes
Founder & Chief Flight Expert

Scott has traveled to 46 countries (and 46 states!), living in California, to Oaxaca, to Oregon. He’s left-handed, drinks five cups of tea daily, and holds a vendetta against the “Happy Birthday” song. On a dare, he once ate 13 hot dogs (and a bowl of Dippin’ Dots) at the ballpark. He grew up in Ohio and founded Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) in a Denver coffee shop. Favorite airport: PDX.

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