Christmas Gifts Travelers Will Love 2020
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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 $500. 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 2020 list of Christmas gifts travelers will love!
$10 & Under
Travel-Themed Face Masks
Covid has been the defining feature of 2020, grinding daily life–and travel–to a halt. If you are going to travel, you should do so as safely as possible, and that includes wearing a good quality face mask.
Travel journals make excellent gifts to anybody, travelers especially. You can find any number of high-quality (and high-price) leather journals at Barnes & Noble. Sometimes, however, you just need something simple and compact to write in; the memories themselves are what matter.
For a simple travel journal that I put together myself, click the link below!
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 last year, and it’s held up perfectly through several trips.
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.
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.
$25 & Under
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.
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. Not to mention they look cool.
Also, if you work in an office with an open floor plan (which I used to, and hated), you don’t have any wall space to decorate and call your own. But with one of these cool printed mouse pads, you can give your desk some flair while planning your next voyage!
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.
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. The Eagle Creek packing cubes below are dual-sided, so you can put your clean clothes in one and your dirty clothes in the other.
Travel Scratch-Off 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.
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!
$50 & Under
The original trtl Travel Pillow has served me well on long flights and bus rides all over the world. It’s small and packable, and you can remove the cloth exterior from the plastic frame to wash.
For twice the price but twice the comofort, check out the trtl Plus.
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.
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. 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.
The 73″ x 48″ map is quite large. It will take up an entire bedroom wall. However, if you want a W O R L D M A P, then they also make 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.
$100 & Under
UV Light Water Purifier
For those of you traveling to countries where the water isn’t safe to drink, or backpacking deep in the back country, you’ll want something to make water safe to drink. Sure, you can get disposable water bottles, but all that plastic clogs up the environment eventually. For a piece of equipment that purifies up to 20 liters of water on a single charge, try the American Red Cross UltraLight Purifier!
$200 & Under
A good travel backpack is a traveler’s best friend. After all, it’s supposed to allow you to comfortable carry all your stuff!
There are any number of good backpacks you can buy, at all price points. I’m personally including a link to the Cotopaxi Allpa 42, my personal travel backpack, which I can definitely vouch for.
I am a fervent lover and supporter of physical 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 personal library worth of reading material in a lightweight, compact, waterproof device, check out the Kindle paperwhite.
$500 & Under
DJI Mavic Mini
Video drones are becoming more and more popular, and while the very best models can be prohibitively priced for many, there are several very affordable and very capable drones to choose from!
I myself bring the DJI Mavic Mini on all my travels, and have used to create videos like these. While it does not shoot in full 4K, the gimbal-stabilized 2.7K camera still takes some incredibly sharp video, as well as 12MP photos. They advertise a 4km range (2.4 miles) and indeed I myself took this little guy out to over 2 miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The link below is for the DJI Mavic Mini and the Fly More Combo, which includes a nifty carrying case, extra propellers, and two extra batteries (which you’ll need if you do a lot of flying!). It’s less than $100 more and in my opinion is well worth it.
I hope this list of Christmas gifts for travelers helps you find something your friends and family can use and appreciate! If you found this article helpful, please Like, Share, Tweet, and Pin. I would really appreciate it.
If any of you are traveling for the holidays, I wish you safe travels, more so this year than any other. Happy travels and Merry Christmas!