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Gifts for Travelers

I've gotten what I think are going to be good travel-related gifts, and thought I would share.

For our teenage boys, the North Face Pivot backpack. They like to travel with a backpack as their 'personal item,' but it's a pain for them to empty out their usual school backpacks for use on a trip. These just arrived, and they're perfect for travel.

For my mother, the Tori Burch nylon large cosmetic case. Perfect size and has the water resistant lining. (And, because a little $$, not something she would ever buy herself, which makes it a perfect gift.)

For everyone, a passport holder that has a clear slot for vaccine cards (from Etsy.com)

For stockings, extra charging cords for the various devices.

What are you gifting the travelers in your lives (or, what's on your wish list)?

Posted by
9515 posts

Multi-pocket pouch for PPE - I use a 3-zip one with a compartment for clean masks, one for used masks and one for a couple of disposable gloves. Mine is similar to this one.

https://www.lesportsac.com/products/3-zip-cosmetic

Prop for my phone and iPad Mini - I saw it on Laurie’s Travel tips you tube channel. I didn’t use it on the plane but used it at my bedside when I was traveling. This is a tiny URL to the Amazon link.

https://tinyurl.com/2jjw9p83

I used this pouch for my passport and vax card. I was never asked for the Vax card except at passport control on my recent trip to France but I had the Pass Sanitaire. I did not do this before travel because I ran out of time but I will sew a ring onto one corner so I can tether this into my purse next time. Thanks to Lynn in Boise for the idea a few years ago! I use a Seattle Sports Dry Doc coil tether attached to the inside of my purse after experiencing a pickpocket incident a few years ago.

https://www.travelonbags.com/shop/packables-and-packing/wte-collection/world-travel-essentials-set-of-2-currency-and-passport-organizers/43370.html?catid=Passport-Organizers

I got a neat travel towel/yoga mat in Paris from the fun store Pylones.

It’ll be fun to see what others have uncovered!

Posted by
819 posts

Oooo, I love this thread already. I’m a bit of a travel gadget junkie. I already put that phone stand in my Amazon cart!

This is one of my favorites: a multi usb charger with travel adaptors. We can’t seem to have enough of them. Great stocking stuffer. Multiple USB Wall Charger, [22W/4.4A] LENCENT 4 Port USB Travel Power Adapter, All in One Worldwide Cell Phone Charger With UK US EU European Australia, International Block Cube Plug for iPhone & IPad https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077VFGNYZ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_HR07A8EKJB3NEX0NPQF9?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Posted by
8196 posts

I bought one of these neck pillows at SFO on the way to my flight to Paris a few weeks ago and loved it so much (no other neck pillow has ever been comfortable for me) I’m buying 2 more for family members who travel a lot for Christmas gifts.

https://www.amazon.com/Cabeau-Evolution-Classic-Airplane-Support/dp/B07G5KHQGH/ref=asc_df_B07G5KHQGH/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=295644728864&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12290265928445320637&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1014073&hvtargid=pla-523618970576&psc=1

Valet tray is an easy travel gift. Variety of prices depending on what you buy. RedOxx has them and Tom Bihn for “premium” trays. The foldable dog food bowl from mountainsmith.com is a cheap version. You can always pull a shallow plastic “Tupperware” like bowl from the kitchen.

These seem unnecessary. But, once you try them - you realize how nice the valet trays are to use.
The one I gave my husband lives permanently on his dresser and I may have to buy a couple more.

A valet tray is basically any dish/bowl that you place on a counter to toss extraneous things like keys, change, watches, tickets, etc..

RS Packable “cylinder shaped” duffle. I already posted about these not long ago. You can see that post for details.

Posted by
1520 posts

This extension cord is very handy especially when the sockets are hidden behind furniture. It fits between the rails on the bottom of my RS Rolling Carry-On which on sale now along with everything in the travel store.

From the RS store, I am a huge fan of the little lamb skin travel wallet. I use them in place of my at-home overstuffed big wallet: one for Euros, one for US $ for in transit and a third for any other currency.

Posted by
9996 posts

Frank II, we use the same PPE pouches at home and abroad.

Posted by
7426 posts

Frank, I have been hacking those PPE pouches, have found them useful for a variety of items in different situations.

Posted by
1520 posts

Acraven, when I bought my extension cord 3 years ago, the comment was to remove the child safety plate so electric plugs could plug in easier. After testing the ease of plugging things in Handy Hubby removed the plate (it’s the the layer below the top). We don’t have kids and find most child safety things too difficult for older hands. We had no problems during the 20 days we were in Italy using every plug on the extension cord.

Posted by
20810 posts

I was referring to other (electrical) issues mentioned and the possibility of a fire. It sounded to me as if features were being mentioned (including a reference to surge protection) that were not consistent with the hardware. I'm just recommending that folks read some of the negative reviews to see whether they're comfortable with the product.

Posted by
4211 posts

I like to have certain things on the night stand so I don't have to jump up after settling down after a long day of sight seeing--ear buds, ear plugs, a few make up remover pads, kleenex, tums, a few advil/ benadryl, small lotion, not to mention a container for jewelry I may have forgotten to remove. You could call it a valet, I call it my portable night stand. I took an empty canister type thing with a screw on top that held body butter. Cleaned it out and added some red masking tape around the outside side (so hopefully I would remember to repack it). I put the items I like for sleep and pack it with my pajamas. It still carries the scent of the body butter which is relaxing and can mask any stale odors in our room.

I mention this because a friend with grade school aged children loved it and had her kids make and decorate these to give as gifts. I recall how difficult it was to find useful items for my children to make and give as gifts, and this seems to be a good one.

Posted by
9515 posts

Jules, that is a wonderful suggestion! I might need to have a quart sized coffee can, though, lol!! Now I'm going to have to put some thought into this! I'm going to look at Michaels the next time I'm by there to see if they have any empty containers that would be suitable....

Posted by
4211 posts

Pam, I used a "Soap and Glory" Body butter container. The products are usually in pink packaging and are typically carried at Target and Walgreens.

Posted by
1642 posts

How about best travel gift ever received? A couple Christmas ago my older son bought me a portable charger for my cell phone. It will charge twice which is perfect as it will charge both my husband and my phone once. More charges means heavier which I would not want. He bought his brother one with more charge capacity last year for Christmas (brother brings portable speaker to beach) and it is bulky and heavy to carry around. So less is more!

Posted by
8196 posts

Beth, you reminded me, I have a battery pack case for my iPhone 8 that I use all the time but especially for travel and it is invaluable. Highly recommend it as a gift.

For most iPhones you have to buy an after-market one, and they vary in price. They make them for all smartphones.
Here’s one example:

https://pluscases.com/products/iphone-8-battery-case-5000-mah?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping&gclid=Cj0KCQiAhMOMBhDhARIsAPVml-ELJjKX85ggNpGRmxhgNqmHbrfWt-rAMwlAx7JdbVontYz1had-n9UaAjdXEALw_wcB

Posted by
4342 posts

Pam, go to the grocery store and pick out a Talenti one pint gelato container in the freezer section. Do what you must to empty the thing - LOL! It’s even clear, so you can see what you’ve placed inside it.

Posted by
1520 posts

Beth, battery chargers are the best not just for travel but everyday if your phone is old like mine or you use it a lot. I have both Mophie and Halo but much prefer Mophie. I need to buy another one before my trip. I have not tried your Anker. A great gift to receive or give.

Posted by
3140 posts

Battery chargers are essential if you use your phone as a camera-taking photos decreases the phone's charge quickly.

Posted by
758 posts

Not sure if this counts as a travel item but I just ordered this as a stocking stuffer for my husband.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B081NNCKCR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Its a 7 in 1 Tech Pen that has: ballpoint pen, stylus, bottle opener, mini flat-head, Phillips screwdriver, metric and inch ruler, phone stand. It comes in different colors and there is a 6 in 1 version. Under $10.

Will be watching this thread to see if there's other suggestions her might like.

The valet tray/bedside container is a good idea. On our last trip I took a small clear zippered bag that came free with something else and used it for that purpose.

Posted by
8196 posts

Beth, ah, yes I’ve had and used those but I much prefer the battery case.

Posted by
9515 posts

"Pam, go to the grocery store and pick out a Talenti one pint gelato container in the freezer section. Do what you must to empty the thing - LOL! It’s even clear, so you can see what you’ve placed inside it."

Hahahaha Jean!! That is so funny - a great idea. I'll have to see if there are any vegan flavors AND if not....wellllll, friend....you might have to eat it for me, lol.

Posted by
8196 posts

Pam, Talenti makes an amazing raspberry sorbet… I love it. I’ll eat it for you.

Posted by
8677 posts

I have the power strip that horsewoofie linked. If not that brand it looks exactly like it. I’m traveling domestically right now and using it as we speak. I’ve used it often and I can’t imagine traveling without it.

As for a phone charging case vs. a portable charger, since first having a smart phone I preferred the battery case. Now, after having to buy a new one every time I change my phone, I decided to get a portable charger. That way I can use it no matter what device I’m charging.

Posted by
785 posts

I like to have certain things on the night stand so I don't have to jump up after settling down after a long day of sight seeing--ear buds, ear plugs, a few make up remover pads, kleenex, tums, a few advil/ benadryl, small lotion, not to mention a container for jewelry I may have forgotten to remove.

Tom Bihn Travel Tray, two sizes. I have several. Two in the ol' Aeronaut and the others are indispensable for other organization and grab'n'go tasks.
https://www.tombihn.com/collections/travel-bags/products/travel-tray?variant=32877204734015

Posted by
10954 posts

I have the power strip acraven linked to. Unfortunately. In a couple of months, two of the USB ports stopped working.

Posted by
1248 posts

I will usually drop off a "goodie bag" a few days before a friend leaves on an international trip, usually has a small can of flavored nuts, a pack of sanitation wipes, a fancy hand sanitizer, a pack of gum, a big pack of peanut M&M's or other favorite sweet snack, a small notebook and pen, and a good lip moisturizer and possibly a small hand cream. Just to let them know how excited I am for them and these are all things I personally take that make my trip so much more enjoyable. For a bigger gift I have given the E-Bags Flat Toiletry bag multiple times.

Posted by
4211 posts

Wow, Letizia, how very thoughtful! Sometimes, I feel bad about even telling people travel plans. I often feel like people are envious and then I feel the need to justify the other choices I make in life to travel. How nice that you are joyful for your friends.

Letizia,
That is so cool! My family does peanut M&M’s as well for traveling. We do Little Debbie nutty bars for hurricane stock.

My family’s tradition is that when gifting a wallet or purse - put some cash in it. Even, if change is all you have. Otherwise, the person will end up poor.

Posted by
1248 posts

Jules- Oh I totally get that! Most of my close friends know I am a travel enthusiast and will often times share their travel plans with me because they can share their joy with zero judgement from me, plus I want all the details, which airline are you flying on, did you give yourself enough time for that layover, do you really want to stay that far out of city center for your two day trip to save $20? I do not post my trips on social media (which is all private) due to possibly being judged as bragging or flaunting some sort of lifestyle (not understanding how economical we are, that I booked everything months in advance to afford us to even go, scouring the web religiously for the best deals, my side hustle I do to save for the trips). The most I may post is a photo collage at the end of the trip with 10 highlight photos.

When I went on my first international trip a very close work colleague gave me a similar goodie bag and it just touched me so much that I pay it forward now.

Posted by
1248 posts

Sun Baked- So funny I normally don't buy Peanut M&M's because I don't really eat candy, but there is something about being on a trip were a pack is a must for my carry on and it is always so satisfying to pull them out. Another airport treat we always get when we see it is a Cinnabon to eat on the plane, one bun two forks!

Posted by
8196 posts

Andrea, lol, you're the one who got me to switch to the battery case. I prefer it way more because it’s already attached and part of the case. I have one less thing to think about, making sure I have it with me each day and carry around with me. I also don’t like having something hanging from my phone when I’m taking it in and out of my purse and while I’m still trying to take photos. And, I don’t buy new phones as often as you do… : )

Posted by
2883 posts

For the bedside items, I have made a partially quilted, drawstring bag so everything I use in bed can fit. Because it is quilted I can fold the sides down and it will stand up open. I know in the morning when I close and pack that bag, I have everything. It is about 8” in diameter and height, but squishes down into my carryon bag. I also give these to friends in the hospital to keep track of personal items on their bed table. I like any packing aid that keeps me from forgetting things. Even so, I make the bed and scan the room before I leave.

Posted by
8677 posts

Susan, you’re right about my battery case preference. Lol! I don’t buy a new phone too often. Last year I replaced my iPhone 8+ with an iPhone 12 Pro. I may still get a case charger, but an external charger can still charge my iPad. External chargers can still be useful in extended power outages.

Posted by
1294 posts

Noise canceling over the ear headphones. I can’t wear the ear bud style for more than a few hours.

RS wall calendar has some nice pics to get you dreaming and thinking about travel destinations.

I use this RS organizer for all my electronics stuff. Cords, chargers, adapters, SD cards, etc.
https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/large-travel-utility-pouch I currently repurpose a plastic case from my dentist to keep a cord and charger in my carry on bag. I might get the small version of the RS organizer to replace it.

Posted by
8196 posts
Posted by
4342 posts

I bought this after hearing about it from Sarah Murdoch’s recent video. I also miss my Sonicare toothbrush if I’m traveling more than a week, and this one is SO light! It’s only 1.4 ounces without the case! Sarah mentioned they’re on sale now ($15) so I bought one for my daughter in “won’t accidentally leave it in a hotel - coral”, and bought the yellow one for me.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08S8RH7MQ?ref=ppx_yo2_dt_b_product_details&th=1

Posted by
684 posts

Thank you for all the great ideas. I have some new items for stocking stuffers. I really like the 3-3-1 travel pouch from Sephora and have purchased those for all my friends with some basic travel supplies for the the holidays. I also love the Aluminate Life essential oil roller balls: defense and sleep are the favorite for travel.

Sandy

Posted by
28 posts

Hello, I'm new here and love this thread! We are booked on our first RS tour - My Way Alpine Europe - next summer. It will be my husband and our 15 & 17 year old. I was thinking about ordering the plug that was posted as a stocking stuffer for everyone, but had a couple of questions. Would it be good for each of us to have one of those? I see RS offers some in his store, any thoughts on this vs. those?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077VFGNYZ/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_HR07A8EKJB3NEX0NPQF9?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Posted by
9515 posts

@Katie - Welcome to the forum! You'll love this tour!

I'd want at least 2 of these as people may have multiple devices? For myself I have an Apple Watch, iPhone and iPad Mini that need to be charged daily so I'd use of 3 of the slots myself, lol. Will you have more than one room for the 4 of you? I ask because if you are all in one room you may not have more than one or two plugs. Someone (Dad) can always go down to the lobby and charge stuff down there while others are getting dressed, lol.

Posted by
28 posts

Hi and thanks! We will have 2 rooms most of the time I am told. Plan is for 1 adult and 1 child per room. Though they said it could be possible if there was a family unit in a hotel, we could end up with that. 1 of our teens has Apple devices, the rest of us have Android. My husband I would both charge a phone and probably our fitbits. Kids would probably have their phones and earbuds. Though the android using teen has airpods... I can see how this gets complicated LOL.