Chances are you have a friend or family member that is a traveler like me and chances are they are a pain in the ass to buy for at holiday (and birthday) time because they just want to be on a trip anywhere but here and that’s not in your $50 holiday gift budget. My family gave up a long time ago when it came to buying me presents. “You’re too hard to buy for” was the common cry to which I replied “Not really” as I opened up yet another Nordstrom gift card (don’t get me wrong, I love Nordstrom and shoes). In the past, I received many photo albums back when I had piles of printed travel photos to show (annoy) friends and family. But now my photos are prisoners online and rarely see the front of photo paper to even get near an album. So unless you are uber-wealthy and can afford to jet away on an amazing travel experience to give the traveler in your life, here are a few of my suggestions for my updated 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers (p.s. to my family – I already have these so try again) that are Practical, Fun and a bit Whimsical and yet all are under $50!
Travel Gifts that Make the Airport Suck Less
Starbucks Gift Card – I don’t drink coffee but there’s usually a Starbucks in every U.S. airport so I use the gift cards for bottled water and snacks. Funny how easy it is to indulge in the lemon pound cake when you don’t need to pay for it when you have a gift card.
XpresSpa – For those who get to the airport early or favor connecting flights to save money, there’s a bit of downtime at the airport so treat the to a chair massage to reduce stress or manicure to make a bit of the airport experience pretty. If they don’t have time for a mani/pedi, they can buy nail polish to go (just don’t paint your nails on the flight)
SwissGear Backpack – this is on my wishlist as it is a brand I like and use and the ease of use to store a laptop or Ipad plus the multiple pockets are great. It’s slightly above my $50 range at $59.99 but still worth it for your favorite traveler. I used my current backpack for flight essentials – Bose Noise Canceling Headsets, Cashmere Scarf, Fleece Jacket, Snack Bag, Magazine and Toiletries.
TripIt Pro – I love TripIt Pro to organize all of my travel reservations and have been a user since the start. The Pro version, which costs $49 a year, gives you up to the minute information on the flight (on time/delayed, gate numbers) and access to alternative flights in case you need to make last minute changes or are offered to volunteer to bump the flight (you can see what the next best flight would be and how long your wait could be). When I’m not traveling, I organize my OpenTable, Ticketmaster and other local events in the app.
Zero Grid Passport Wallet ($23.77 on Amazon) – My passport has extra pages and is usually stuffed with my loyalty cards and other airport specific items. This RFID passport case has two pockets for loyalty cards (or credit cards), fit my passport easily and includes a pen which is always needed to fill out landing cards. It zips up so nothing falls out. I never had a passport case before, I always thought I’d buy the fancy leather one but they are so expensive. This one is water resistant, easy to use and keep my stuff together. http://amzn.to/2zmGrZ7
Zero Grid Money Belt with RFID Blocking ($17.02)– this money belt fits easily under your clothes and can attach through your belt loops on your pants, if applicable. With RFID blocking, you can travel safe that your credit cards and ATM are not being read.
Zero Grid Umbrella ($23.80 on Amazon)– An umbrella is not a sexy gift but is very practical. I have umbrellas for my purse, backpack, suitcase, in my car and in my desk. I have two travel umbrellas I travel with – the colorful Nicole Miller umbrella and the ZeroGrid umbrella with built in flashlight (genius!). I’ve been using this umbrella for weeks now and I’m really impressed by it – i love that the case is attached and is easy to slip on/off and the flashlight is easy to use as well. http://amzn.to/2hTvMhH
Fun and Whimsical Travel Gifts
AirportTag – I love their travel quote magnets and tote bags – large and small. I also ordered a custom printed tote bag for my recent flight to London as well as a pouch bag and luggage tags (I may have gone overboard on the cute travel factor!). The t-shirts are fun and the airport code series is hard not to play “I’ve been there!” There are travel quotes, airport codes, fun t-shirts, posters and so much more! Its hard buying just one gift so buy two or three or ten like I did!
Highland Titles in Scotland – Yes, you can buy a title if you dream of being called “Lady” or “Lord”. This one is just for fun as you can buy a piece of land in Scotland starting at $44 for one square foot. You can add a tree to be planted when you buy 100 sq. ft. for $176. This clever conservation project, deeds you a plot of land thus becoming a “landowner” with the right to be called “Lady” , “Laird” or “Lord” and who doesn’t secretly want a title? As close to royalty or Downton Abbey as you can get. Lady Suzanne has a nice ring to it – imagine having that printed on your credit card!
Gifts for Travel Workouts on the Road
Massage Ball – The hard spiky ball is awesome for me to massage sore feet (just like a tennis ball can) and tight muscles while traveling. For only $6.99, it’s a great deal.
Stretch Bands – I own the Gaiam stretch bands which are easy to use, easy to pack they can go everywhere with you to do stretches and other workouts on the go or in your hotel room. For less than $15, these fit in a purse and backpack for easy workouts on the road.
Hopefully you find something on my list to help you shop for the traveler in your life. If you live in the UK, then check out the Foodie options in Taste of London post and look for more UK gift ideas on my upcoming #MadeinBritain post. Happy Shopping!
**This post contains affiliate links for Amazon for which I may earn a small commission (enough for a cookie) should you click the link(s) above and make a purchase within x days. As always, all opinions are mine and frankly, I wouldn’t recommend something that I wouldn’t want to own/use myself ***