Looking for the perfect gift for a travel-loving lady?
For the woman with wanderlust, you can’t go wrong with these 28 travel gift ideas. They range from function to fashion, cute to kooky, and trivially cheap to … well, not cheap at all. We’ve also included some fun ideas for the woman who already has everything she needs to make gifting easier for those hard-to-shop-for recipients.
My wife and I spend most of the year overseas and visit an average of 10 countries per year. She bought many of these items for herself, and others I bought for her as gifts. She may not always approve of my fashion choices, but she heartily approves of this list.
If you’re also shopping for a travel-loving man, fear not; we have a companion guide with 28 travel gift ideas for men. And who’s to say you have to give these items as a gift? If the jet-setting lady in your life is you, it’s OK to treat yourself now and then.
Travel Gifts Under $20
Gifts don’t have to be expensive to be thoughtful, funny, or useful. Whether you’re just looking for a “little something” or a fun conversation piece, here are some of the best travel gifts that you can pick up for under $20.
1. Portable Luggage Scale
Airlines have gotten stingier with their weight allowances. And not just with checked bags, either; to charge maximum fees, many airlines have resorted to tiny weight limits on carry-ons to try to force passengers to pay extra for checking a bag.
If you want to save money on flights, you need to know whether your bag slips underneath the ever-dropping airline weight limits. A good travel luggage scale is light and small, so you can easily bring it along without jeopardizing your weight limit.
With this tiny digital scale from Travel Smart, you’ll always know whether you can squeeze in that extra shirt.
2. Travel Jewelry Organizer
There’s nothing worse than untangling tiny necklace chains. I know because my wife always makes me do it since she doesn’t have the patience.
Avoid that maddening task with a light, slim travel jewelry organizer. This jewelry organizer from BagSmart includes a ring and bracelet band, several zippered compartments, and a wide variety of pockets.
Beyond the risk of tangles, it also prevents you from losing valuable jewelry in your suitcase’s large compartments. And at 0.24 pounds, it won’t put your bag over the weight limit, either.
3. Universal Adapter
Electrical outlets are different in every region of the world. When you travel internationally, don’t expect your U.S. plugs to fit.
Fortunately, it’s an easy problem to solve. Just pick up a universal travel adapter, one that ideally includes two USB ports and a surge protector, such as this universal adapter from NEWVANGA.
Bear in mind that an “adapter” and a “converter” are not the same thing. An adapter only provides you with a variety of prongs so that you can plug into local outlets. It does not convert electrical current or voltage.
For mechanical items such as hair dryers, bring a converter as well. This combination universal adapter and converter kit will handle both jobs. It’s also bulkier and heavier, though, so bear that in mind.
4. Tile “Style” Tracking Devices
An unfortunate reality of traveling is that your valuables are more likely to be lost or stolen.
But today’s tracking devices make it easier than ever to know where your valuables are at all times. Check out Tile’s “Style” line of tracking devices; they’re thin, light, and you can attach them to whatever you want. Obvious candidates include your passport, wallet, and keys, but you can also attach them to anything from your camera to your smartphone to your jewelry organizer.
If your item is lost or stolen, you can remotely track its location on your phone or trigger a loud ringing sound. Whether you’re visiting costly European cities or inexpensive countries in South America, you can never be too safe.
5. Sealable Wine Sleeves
My wife and I love wine and exploring wine regions around the world. But if you’ve ever packed a bottle of wine in your suitcase to bring home and had it break in transit, you know how much of a nightmare it is.
That’s why some brilliant creator invented the resealable wine sleeve bag combining high-grade bubble wrap with a ziplock seal and shaping it to hold a wine bottle perfectly. These sleeve bags serve double duty: They protect the bottle against breaking and seal it shut so that if the worst happens and it does breaks, you won’t end up with cabernet-soaked clothes studded with tiny shards of broken glass.
Pick up a four-pack of Wine Wings and look forward to bringing home some burgundy.
6. Carry-On Cocktail Kit
Instead of bringing bottles home, why not carry a portable bar in your pocket?
That’s the idea behind travel cocktail kits. They fit in your pocket or luggage, and you simply add alcohol for an instant cocktail. Even better, you can buy kits for all the classic cocktails, such as old fashioneds, bloody Marys, Moscow mules, margaritas, and champagne cocktails.
Browse travel cocktail kits on Amazon to add a splash of spontaneity to your next trip.
7. Convertible Neck Pillow
If that cocktail left you ready for an in-flight nap, pull out your trusty travel pillow – but not just any travel pillow. The ideal neck pillow converts from the standard horseshoe shape to a square pillow and even to a cylinder so that you have the perfect cushion for any sleeping situation.
In its horseshoe shape, it also snaps at the center to lock around your neck or the handle of your bag. That way, you can simply attach it to your carry-on for easier access once you get settled on the plane.
8. Sleep Mask & Earplugs
Sleeping on planes, trains, buses, and unfamiliar hotel beds is hard enough without all the extra light and noise. Luckily, it’s an easy fix to slip on a sleep mask and earplugs.
Try out these slim, inexpensive memory foam sleep masks and earplugs. They come as a two-pack to make a nice his-and-hers pair.
9. Tangle Teezer
After sleeping on an airplane or wandering a wind-swept foreign city, you can be sure your hair will end in tangles.
This slim, inexpensive Tangle Teezer hairbrush can fit in your pocket. It snaps closed, so you can carry it with you anywhere on your travels.
10. Luggage Straps
Luggage straps solve two problems that most infrequent travelers don’t even know they have.
First, you can buy them in bright colors, helping you instantly identify your bag on the baggage carousel. Because yes, your black luggage looks classic – and so does everyone else’s.
Second, they prevent your zippers from bursting when you overpack. And, let’s be honest, too many of us tend to do precisely that.
Zippers are the No. 1 component to break on luggage, so if you want to extend the lifespan of your luggage, prevent strain on your zippers. Pick up this four-pack of bright Darller luggage straps, which is enough to give a few as a gift and still keep one or two for yourself.
11. Waterproof Hiking Jacket
Whether you’re hiking on your trip or not, a sudden downpour can ruin your day, not to mention your hair. So consider sticking a waterproof hiking jacket in your pocket.
This ZHENWEI lightweight windbreaker folds up to pocket size, comes in a range of colors, and won’t break the bank. It also has a hood.
And they aren’t kidding about the weight; it weighs about five ounces but looks much sturdier.
12. Travel Towel
Another item originally designed for hiking and backpacking, a travel towel proves useful on any trip to rainy locales. Or, for that matter, any accommodations that don’t necessarily include linens.
For yet another travel-friendly item that folds up small enough to fit into your pocket, try this travel towel from ECOdept. Its absorbent microfiber material soaks up water greedily and then dries nearly as fast. It also comes in several colors to prove it’s not all function over fashion.
13. Shutterfly Personalized Photo Calendar or Book
When you travel all over the world, you rack up some amazing photos. Unfortunately, they usually just sit on your computer collecting virtual dust after the initial round of social media likes.
Get some more mileage out of your travel photos by creating a customized photo book or calendar from Shutterfly with your favorite shots from around the world. You can also get more creative and order photo wine glasses, coffee mugs, tea towels, and even jewelry.
If you’re giving your photo item as a gift, make sure you get copies of the original image files, not the small, hyper-condensed versions that appear on social media. The resolution isn’t high enough on those files for high-fidelity printing.
Travel Gifts for $20 to $65
Looking to spend a little more without going too crazy? Try these mid-range gift ideas.
14. Travel SIM Card
When you visit foreign countries, you need data.
You need it to find your hotel, navigate the roads, send messages on WhapsApp, and find the best brunch spot. Sure, the McGuyvers of the world tell us we should be able to get around without relying on our phones, but traveling internationally comes with enough stress as it is.
Reduce that stress with a SIM card prepaid with data for the country your recipient is visiting. It doesn’t just make life easier; it also makes traveling internationally safer when you know where you’re going and can communicate instantaneously.
You can buy a SIM card for over 170 countries at TravelSim, an easy one-stop shop. The price is flexible based on how much data you want to purchase.
15. Packing Cubes
You may be familiar with vacuum bags, which can help you pack a lot of clothes in a little space. Packing cubes work similarly: You pack them full of clothes, squeeze them down to compact them, and then zip the extension closed. No suction pump, seals, or rolling required; you just sit on them and zip up the edge.
For a great example, check out Gonex’s compression packing cubes. They come as a set of five cubes of varying sizes
16. Travel-Size Skin Care
Foreign and exotic lands may be exciting, but they can also be tough on your skin. Vastly different humidity levels and temperatures can especially damage your epidermis.
While your industrial-size body lotion at home won’t make the final packing cut, travelers have plenty of options for travel-size skin care products. Try gifting this L’Occitane Travel Minis Collection, which comes with nine small creams and lotions for every skin care regimen.
17. Travel Cosmetics Kit
Makeup can get heavy and bulky fast when you’re throwing all your home cosmetics in a bag.
To keep it simple, small, and organized, try this folding travel makeup kit from SHANY. It includes a mirror, three brow stencils, three brow powders, two brow highlighters, 30 eyeshadow colors, four makeup applicators, two lip gloss tubes, a double-ended makeup brush, 15 lipstick creams, and four pressed blushes. And while that sounds like a lot, it all folds into a box the size of a hardcover book.
18. Travel Garment Steamer & Iron
Spoiler alert: Clothes get wrinkled when you travel.
To avoid the word “wizened” applying to your clothes, pack a travel-size steam iron. This steamer from Hilife has a three-year warranty and weighs in at 1.5 pounds. And like all irons, it comes with an amusing warning to not try ironing clothes you’re currently wearing. Good thing they told us!
19. Travel Hair Dryer
Not every hotel room or Airbnb apartment includes a hair dryer. Luckily, you can pack your own without having to lug around your full home version.
Check out the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Travel Dryer, which weighs only 9.6 ounces and folds to take up minimal room in your bag.
20. Hidden Pocket Scarf
In a foreign city, it’s hard to know just how safe any given neighborhood is. So the fewer chances you take, the better, especially when you’re traveling alone.
One way to reduce the risk of robbery is hiding your valuables, rather than carrying a purse. I particularly like the cleverness behind Speakeasy’s Secret Pocket Travel Scarves. Inside the scarf is a hidden pocket large enough to fit your passport, cash, jewelry, and other valuables.
These scarves come in dozens of patterns and colors and include both warming winter scarves and light, breezy summer scarves. Speakeasy goes so far as to call their summer collection “cooling,” although that may be a bit of a stretch.
Or you can go traditional with this hidden passport and money pouch that hangs around your neck under your shirt. Just remember to wear a suitably baggy top, or it will bulge awkwardly.
21. Leather Travel Journal
Part of the fun of travel is reliving the experience years later. Photos help document where you were and what you were doing, but not your impressions or how you felt. Besides, journaling is relaxing and cathartic in the moment.
Document your adventures with a travel-friendly journal. This leather travel journal from SohoSpark is refillable and includes a page-marking ribbon. It’s faux leather, so it’s animal-friendly, yet it feels like the real thing. You can select from a dozen different cover embossments ranging from a classic compass to nautical imagery to dragons.
If you really want to get fancy, you can pair it with an IDEAPOOL rosewood pen.
22. Travel Yoga Mat
Traveling is tough on your workout regimen. But it’s not like you can easily fit your yoga mat in a suitcase – or can you?
Not your normal mat, perhaps, but yoga supply companies have started manufacturing travel yoga mats that weigh little and fold into neat, small squares.
I personally use the Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Travel Mat. It weighs about 2 pounds and can fold down to the size of a hardcover book. While it initially feels a bit slippery, after you use it a few times, its natural tree rubber grip kicks in and it offers more traction.
23. Noise-Canceling Headphones
If you travel enough, you’ll inevitably end up seated next to a talker. Tune them out with noise-canceling headphones that block ambient noise. Not only are they useful for loud airplane engines and talky neighbors, but they’re equally effective on buses, trains, and any other time you’re saving money on travel by using public transportation.
I prefer earbuds for travel because they take up next to no space or weight. If you want a cheap option, try BYGZB’s noise-canceling earbuds, or for a little more, you can pick up some TaoTronics noise-canceling earbuds.
If you’d rather go big with over-ear headphones, try these OneOdio DJ-style headphones. You can spend more, of course – headphone prices go up to the thousands – but do you really want to tempt fate by traveling the world with a $1,500 pair of headphones in tow?
24. Rainbow Sandals
I can’t gush enough about my Rainbow sandals.
I used to be cheap about my flip flops, and they would always wear through within a season. My wife forced me to buy a pair of Rainbows, going on at length about how they were the best flip flops she’d ever owned. To shut her up, I bought a pair.
That was eight years ago, and I’ve worn them nearly every day since. No, really; I live in the desert where it’s warm all year-round, and I don’t have to dress up for work, so I wear them every day.
Buy a pair of Rainbow sandals for your next trip, and you’ll be wearing them for the next decade.
Travel Gifts Over $65
Aiming to spend more serious money on a more serious gift? These upscale gifts range from travel fundamentals to treats for the travelling gal who already has the necessities covered.
25. The Perfect Carry-On Roller
Whether you travel light with one bag to skip the baggage carousel or like to bring both checked and carry-on luggage, every woman needs the perfect carry-on bag.
The perfect carry-on comes with several features. First, it should be expandable; some airlines impose looser carry-on size limits than others, and you want to maximize your packing space.
It should also be durable. Bags take plenty of abuse in the course of trailing you around the world.
Finally, to protect your valuables, your bag should be lockable.
The Samsonite Omni ticks all those boxes and then some. It’s available in every color of the rainbow, so you can opt for classic black or show off your favorite hue. On the durability front, its micro-diamond polycarbonate hardshell case is both strong and scratch-resistant to keep it looking new.
Invest money in a good carry-on bag, and it will last for decades. And since this is one of the pricier items on the list, consider using your travel rewards credit card to rack up some free travel of your own.
26. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Purists love to hate on e-readers. But they’re incredibly convenient, eco-friendly, and easy on the eyes – literally.
E-readers weigh next to nothing, and some slip easily into your pocket. You can load thousands of books onto them with the click of a button. They don’t waste paper, and you only have to pay for shipping once, not once for each book.
Readers with less-than-perfect eyesight can adjust the size of the text as they desire. And with backlight-free options, an e-reader won’t strain your eyes.
Check out these Kindle Paperwhite options for your next travel adventure.
27. Tinggly Bucketlist Box
If you’re looking for a creative gift for the travel-loving lady who has all the basics already, look no further than Tinggly’s Bucketlist Box. It includes gift certificates for over 600 experiences worldwide in more than 100 countries.
These experiences aren’t cheap time-killers, either. Here are just a few:
- Wachau Valley wine tasting bike tour for two in Austria
- Swimming with manatees for two in Florida
- Helicopter and boat tours of Barcelona
- Hot air balloon flight over the Rio Grande in New Mexico
- Ferrari and Lamborghini driving experience for two in Lithuania
- Dinner and a concert for two in Florence, Italy
The gift certificates are good for five years, so the recipient can spread out their bucket list travels instead of trying to cram all the experiences in over a short period.
But as fun a gift as it is, it’s not cheap. Consider going in on it with a friend or two to ease the sticker shock.
28. Ray-Ban Wayfarers
I’ve never known anyone to look bad in wayfarer sunglasses.
Sure, it’s fun to buy extreme, trendy sunglasses to show off how haute-couture you are, but the fact is that they’re not very versatile. That means they’re not great for travel when you want to bring one pair of sunglasses for all occasions.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or someone else, there’s something on this list for everyone. Many of the items cost less than $20.
Safe and happy travels!
What are your must-have travel items? What can’t you live without when you travel the world?