Christmas Gifts for Travelers 2019
Christmas is right around the corner! If you’re wondering what to get that special traveler in your life, look no further than this comprehensive list of Christmas gifts for travelers.
Of course, there’s no better gift to a traveler than a plane or train ticket. But aside from that, there’s all kind of gear that globetrotters need when on the road. Having traveled all over the world for several years, I’ve acquired deep knowledge of what you need on your voyages, and what’s just plain cool.
I’ve broken down some of the most fun and useful gift ideas by price. You’ll find plenty of options from under $10 to over $100. There’s travel gear for use abroad, as well as gifts to enjoy at home or in the office. Feel free to click on the images to purchase them or get other ideas at Amazon.
Read on for my 2019 list of Christmas gifts for travelers!
As a side note, each of these links is my own affiliate link. That means that if you click any of these links to make a purchase from Amazon, I will get a small kickback.
$10 & Under
International backpackers put their gear through a lot. The last thing you want is for your passport to get soaked or torn. Protect your most vital travel document with stylish passport holders!
I gave Kristen the Black Panther-themed passport holder below for her birthday, and she loved it! It has held up through several countries and looks as sharp as ever.
This is one of the most useful things you can give to a traveler. Regular bath towels are way too bulky and take too long to dry. These microfiber travel towels fold down flat, soak up water excellently, and dry quickly.
$25 & Under
Packing cubes are game-changers for those always on the go. They allow you to keep your clothes organized while in transit. Most will come in packs of 3 or 5, with several sizes to choose from.
These padlocks are useful for two reasons: you can use them on your luggage while in transit, and at the hostel! TSA padlocks have special mechanisms that allow all TSA agents to unlock them easily, should they have to search your luggage. They also keep your valuables safe in hostel dorm room lockers.
When you’re crossing international borders, you’re bound to be somewhere that uses different prongs and voltages. To keep your phone, laptop, or tablet running, you’ll need a good travel adapter.
I recommend any of Epicka’s compact adapters. They’ve served me very well and come highly rated.
Scratch-Off Travel Maps
This is one of my favorites! While traveling is one of my favorite things to do in the whole world, I also appreciate coming back to my home base and reminiscing on my adventures.
Scratch-off maps are a great way to do just that. They allow you to keep track of where you’ve been in a colorful, visual way. No traveler’s home is complete without one.
World Map Extended Mouse Pad
Kristen turned me on to these. They’re excellent for the office, for a variety of reasons. For starters, they allow you more movement with your mouse. They offer a more Not to mention they look cool.
Also, if you’re like me, you work in an office with an open floor plan (which, as an introvert, I hate). You don’t have any wall space to decorate and call your own. You’re at the mercy of just having your work desk and nothing else. But with one of these cool printed mouse pads, you can give your desk some real flair while planning your next voyage!
Next to actually traveling, one of my other favorite activities is reading travel books. Travel books are equal parts fun and educational. You can gain inspiration for your next adventure, or familiarize yourself with your next destination.
Don’t know any travel writers? You can’t go wrong with Paul Theroux, and Atlas Obscura is one of the coolest travel guides I’ve ever read. I’ve even written a number of travel book reviews that you can read here to get some more ideas!
This is a piece of travel equipment I featured in my article 12 Must-Have Travel Items. It is a personal filtration device that allows you to safely drink out of virtually any body of water. Using a series of micrometer-thin sieves and other filtration processes, it removes debris, contaminants, and germs to keep you hydrated even in the backcountry. This is a useful tool for both international travelers and domestic campers.
$50 & Under
National Geographic Executive World Map
This beautiful 73″ x 48″ laminated wall map of the world is the exact same one I have hanging in my apartment. It’s big, detailed, up-to-date, and accurate.
See, most world maps get some measurements wrong, because of the difficulty of putting a round surface on a flat surface. For example, most of those maps showing Greenland to be almost the size of Africa? Way off. In reality, Greenland is a little smaller than the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It’s one of those things you can’t unsee after you learn about it.
National Geographic’s world map is one of the most true-to-scale ever produced, showing Greenland much closer to its actual size.
The 73″ x 48″ map is quite large. It will take up an entire bedroom wall. However, if you have the space, and you want a W O R L D M A P, then they do have a gargantuan 110″ x 76″ version. Please note however that this one comes in three panels and is meant to be pasted directly onto the wall.
External Battery Packs
Everyone’s familiar with battery packs, but are you familiar with THIS battery pack? The Qi Solar Battery Bank holds 10,000 mah of power (enough to charge three smartphone batteries and then some), can be recharged by sunlight, and even comes with a built-in flashlight. No wonder it’s a bestseller on Amazon.
$100 & Under
trtl Travel Pillow Plus
The original trtl Travel Pillow served me well on long flights and bus rides, but the trtl Plus takes things to the next level. Offering an even more comfortable support system, the trtl Plus makes a sore neck a thing of the past.
Travel Camera Tripod
This odd-looking thing is actually an incredibly useful and adaptable accessory for your camera. The JOBY GorillaPod’s articulated limbs allow it to fit on tables, on stone barriers, and even to wrought iron fences. It can hold up to 6.6 lbs, meaning its best suited to mirrorless cameras. However, it can also handle most DSLRs, as long as you don’t have an extended battery grip or extra-long zoom lens on it.
Osprey Farpoint 40 Men’s Travel Backpack / Osprey Fairview 40 Women’s Travel Backpack
The Farpoint and the Fairview are two of the most highly-recommended 40L travel backpacks on the market. They are extremely durable, organized, and fairly priced. Kristen has used the Fairview in her travels through Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize, and swears by it. I write about them, and about the virtues of travel backpacks, in my article Essential Travel Gear.
I am a fervent supporter of actual books, and always will be. Having said that, for those on extended backpacking journeys, lugging around a bunch of paperbacks just isn’t going to cut it. For storing an entire library worth of reading material in a lightweight, compact, waterproof device, check out the Kindle paperwhite.
That’s it! I hope this list of Christmas gifts for travelers helps you find something your friends and family can use and appreciate!
If any of you are traveling for the holidays, I wish you safe travels and a Merry Christmas!