Travelers, get excited! Below are 12 gifts to buy yourself (or another deserving traveler) that will tempt your traveling heart. Some are classic travel gifts that you may have heard of before (scratch that scratch map off your list ASAP), while others are more unique and lesser known (#4 and #6, am I right?!). Either way, check out 12 amazing travel gift ideas below (click on photos to bring you to the Amazon page for each product):
1. Travel Laundry Bag
If you’re like me, whenever you travel you find yourself searching for any sort of plastic bag (which is, most of the time, too darn small) to use as a laundry bag or something—be it a plastic bag, brochure, etc.—to use as a dirty clothes barrier. But why waste precious travel time dealing with your laundry? A travel-sized laundry bag has a drawstring closure, is perfectly lightweight, and separates your dirtys from your cleans without any search or hassle. When you get home there will be no question which clothes are dirty and which are clean! It seems like a simple thing, but I was very surprised to find out how many travelers didn’t have one. For less than $10, why not?!
2. Passport Cover
Ok, so this isn’t a necessity by any means, but why not give your plain passport some character? In fact, there are so many awesome passport covers, I did a whole post about them! Check out 28 sweet passport covers in that article and check out 3 of my favorites below.
3. Hotel Security
Hotels can be scary, especially when you’re overseas. To help ease your mind, consider buying something to secure your door from intruders, like the device below. Not only will this make it more difficult for someone to break into your room, but it will also sound an alarm to wake you up and hopefully scare the would-be-intruder away.
4. Packing Bands
These are quite the innovation—simple but so, so useful! You can use these to keep clothes rolled, or keep whole outfits together. Roll a shirt, shorts, underwear, and socks with one of these rollers and it will stay together in your suitcase—you’ll never have to search for each one individually again! Lay out your outfits at home at your leisure, pack them using these bands, and save some precious time on your vacation.
5. Selfie Stick
You may be scoffing at me right now, but these things are useful! No one around to take a photo of you or don’t trust someone with your camera overseas? This is your solution. It can take excellent photos that don’t necessarily look like selfies, and once you get the hang of it, I think you’ll appreciate this thing just as much as I do when you travel. Bonus tip: go for the no battery, no Bluetooth version below when traveling overseas to avoid any dead batteries or data overages.
6. Toothpaste Tabs
These little tabs are a lifesaver. Toothy tabs are basically toothpaste tabs—perfect for travel, especially when a regular toothpaste tube is too big according to the TSA and those mini tubes are not cost-effective and sometimes don’t even last your whole trip. These toothy tabs are your solution! They come in a tiny box with 40 tabs, so you’ll have enough toothpaste even on a 20 day trip. To use just crush a tab between your teeth, start brushing with a wet toothbrush, and prepare for your foaming display of fresh breath and convenience!
7. Money Belt
If you haven’t heard, wearing a money belt overseas is a good idea. Though overseas travel is relatively safe, the most common crime against tourists is pickpocketing. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep your money (and your passport, train tickets, etc.) in a money belt. The idea is that you’re not leaving these important things in your hotel room unattended and you’re also not keeping them in a pocket or bag.
The first money belt (below on the left) is more traditional, but I like this particular one because it’s not as bulky as others, it’s skin colored, and it’s durable. The second money belt, the leg money belt, is more unique and can be more easily hidden because you won’t have to worry about that obvious bulge on your stomach. I find it to be a little more hidden simply because it’s unexpected.
When choosing which money belt to go with, it really depends on the weather at your destination. If you’re going to Greece in July, a traditional money belt will be pretty obvious under your one very thin layer of clothes—the leg money belt is the way to go. If you’re going to Paris in December though, your waist money belt will be well hidden under your layers and coat.
8. Scratch Map
The scratch map has become pretty popular in recent years, and for good reason. It’s a fun, quirky way for travelers to celebrate where they’ve been. I have one hanging in my office, and let me tell you, it’s pretty fun and rewarding to scratch off a new country when I get back from a trip. Check out the original on the left, and a fun U.S. states version on the right.
9. Travel Laundry Detergent
We’ve all been there—you ran out of underwear 2 days before the end of your trip. You could go commando, or you could take this compact and convenient travel laundry detergent with you. It’s pretty handy—you fill up the hotel sink (or airport sink, or any sink for that matter), add the detergent (sheet or packet), swish your clothes around, and hang ‘em up to dry. (If you’re utilizing an airport sink I don’t recommend hanging them 😉 try drying them a bit under the automatic hand dryer.)
10. Travel Journal
It’s time for a classic—the travel journal. Though you may think you will remember every detail of your amazing trip, let me tell you something: you won’t. I used to think the same thing, but now thinking back to my first trip overseas, I can’t remember squat. I wish I had started a travel journal sooner. The key is not to write down every detail when it happens, but sit down for 20 minutes before bed and write down what happened that day—where you went, what you saw, who you met, and how you feel. You will be so grateful for this later, trust me!
BONUS: Scratch Map Journal & Travelogue
11. Power Adapter
Ok so this is more of a necessity than a gift, but it will still save you time and hassle when overseas, hence the gift part. 🙂 This one actually has a USB port!
12. Splurge-Worthy Suitcase
Last but certainly not least, consider buying yourself a splurge-worthy suitcase like the ones below. A crappy suitcase can literally turn your trip from good to bad, so make sure your suitcase is worthy of you! Look for a suitcase that’s durable (most important) and not too outrageous. I know you want to be able to recognize your suitcase, but you also don’t want it to scream “I’m a loud and obnoxious American” when going overseas. Stick to a simple, sturdy bag that you can take anywhere.
BIG TIME BONUS: Check out the Shelfpack suitcase! I can’t personally vouch for its sturdiness but man would this be handy!
P.S.: This post contains affiliate links 🙂