Shopping for the frequent travelers in your life? I’ve put together a list of some items that should be on every frequent traveler’s wish list! If you’re just looking for a stocking stuffer, you’ll find options on this list. If you’re wanting to splurge, I’ve also got you covered. No matter what your price point is, there’s something for every traveler on this list. You may even find something for yourself!
Full Disclosure: We may make a commission from some products linked in this list (at NO additional cost to you).
These are compact, functional, and easy on the wallet!
1. Luggage scale
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My dad put one of these in my Christmas stocking years ago and it’s been one of my favorite travel gadgets! There is nothing worse than getting to the airport and finding out that your suitcase is 55 pounds. Then you have to step out of line and try to pull some ninja rearranging skills to bring it below 50 pounds. You end up having to take some contents out of your suitcase and hope they will fit in another bag you have or in your companion’s bag. Or you end up paying a fee for overweight luggage. Either way, it’s not fun.
It’s small and lightweight so not only can you weigh your luggage at home before leaving, you can also bring it with you. Because you know you always come home with some extras!
2. Carry on cocktail kit
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Make a craft cocktail with an airplane bottle of liquor! No more boring plane cocktails (pun intended). Choose from a variety of cocktail kits such as a Moscow Mule or a Bloody Mary.
3. Collapsible water bottle
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This water bottle folds down to just one inch making it super easy to pack. You can choose from a variety of colors. It is 100% BPA free and dishwasher-safe.
4. Retractable iPhone cable
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Tangled cords and cables drive me nuts! As a former ICU nurse, I’ve had my fair share of tangled cords (anyone who works in the surgical ICU knows exactly what I’m talking about… shout out to the anesthesia department). This Apple charging cable prevents the cord from tangling with itself and other items in your purse, backpack, or luggage.
5. GoToob travel size containers
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These come in a variety of sizes. They’re made from a soft silicone and have a large opening for easy filling and dispensing of your soaps, shampoos, etc. There is a no-drip valve so you don’t have to worry about leaking.
6. Iphone popsocket
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Do you have a loved one who can’t seem to keep a grip on their phone? This is great because it allows them to securely grip their phone. No more dropping their smartphone! It also props the phone on any flat surface to watch videos, FaceTime, etc. When it’s not needed, the PopSocket can be collapsed to fit in a pocket.
Give the gift of time
No, I’m not talking about a watch.
7. Global Entry (which comes with TSA precheck)
$100 or free*
Give your loved one the gift of time by paying for their Global Entry application fee! Global Entry allows for expedited reentry into the US after traveling internationally. This can save hours in customs. Global Entry also comes with TSA Precheck, so even if your loved one does not travel much internationally, he or she will enjoy expedited TSA screening for flights on most airlines at over 160 US airports.
We gave my parents Global Entry for Christmas a few years ago and they’re still enjoying the benefits!
*Many premium cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Amex Platinum Card have this benefit. If you already have Global Entry when you get one of these cards, you can use your card to pay for someone else’s application and you will get reimbursed the $100!
Tech gadgets for the travel lover
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I cannot believe how much the price has dropped on drones. This particular drone is relatively small and easy to pack.
Drones are a great way to capture videos from a different perspective. We’re thinking about buying one for our trip to Hawaii.
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I know they aren’t cheap, but GoPro cameras and their huge line of accessories have made it possible to make videos that allow you to relive your adventures on a whole new level. We’ve used ours to photograph and video our ski trips, fishing trips, swimming with shark adventures, and so much more.
10. Ring Doorbell
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I know this is not a travel gadget, but, for the frequent traveler it’s a great gift. Our doorbell allows us to check on our house while we’re traveling anytime we want from our smartphones. It also alerts us when there’s motion near our door. You can customize your settings to notify you every time there is motion at your door. You can also control the sensitivity.
There are also ring cameras that you can install inside your house. Sometimes I spy on my dogs!
We currently have the Ring Doorbell Pro but we previously had the original Ring which is a little cheaper. The picture quality and the features are worth the extra money to buy the Pro though, in my opinion.
We installed ours without any problems. If we can do it, so can you!
11. Bose noise canceling headphones
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These headphones are great for the frequent traveler. They block out background noise while delivering high quality sound via Bluetooth. They come in a variety of colors.
Tech accessories for the frequent traveler
12. Smartphone camera lens
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I still think our DSLR takes the best photos but phones are becoming better and better cameras. Many phone cameras are great out of the box, but if you want even better photos, lens kits make your phone photos better and they do not take up a lot of space.
13. Universal travel adapter
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Universal Travel Adapter UK, EU, AU, US with Quad USB Charger – All-in-One Surge/Spike Protected Electrical Plug with Fast Charging USB Ports, International Power Socket works in 187 Countries – 4XUSB
A compact all-in-one electrical plug adapter is great for anyone who travels internationally! Instead of having to buy different adapters for different countries, adapters like this one work in several countries. I also like this one because of the USB ports.
Be sure that you check which countries are compatible. Some adapters exclude certain countries even though it’s labeled as “universal”.
14. Gorillapod tripod
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Attach your phone and use as a tripod on any surface. You can also twist it for creative perspectives. It’s lightweight and compact for easy packing. In addition to an iPhone, there are also versions available to fit DSLR cameras and GoPro cameras. There are also some with a remote and bluetooth capabilities.
15. Battery pack
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Charge your phone, your camera, your Wifi hotspot, etc with this portable compact battery pack. There are lots of options on the market depending on how much back-up power you need, size, number of ports, etc. But to give you an idea, the one above provides 3 charges for an iPhone for a very reasonable price!
Luggage and packing accessories
…and a few other miscellaneous items that I can’t leave off of this list!
16. NOMATIC Backpack/Duffle
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The NOMATIC Travel bag can be used as a backpack or a duffle bag and it is acceptable as a carry-on. It was designed for a 3-7 day trip. The NOMATIC Travel Bag has over 20 features that make it extremely functional. To learn more about the features, click the link above and watch the video in the product listing. Also included is a laundry bag and detachable waist straps. It is made of strong weather-proof materials (including the zippers) and is built to last.
This bag comes very highly recommended by some of our closest travel buddies. We are planning to get one ourselves.
17. Waterproof tote
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This is great for beach trips and boat trips. We almost always end up doing some sort of boat tour on vacation so a waterproof tote is a must.
I used this bag in Italy and it was great. You can use it as a carry-on or personal item on the plane, or you can collapse it and pack it in your suitcase and use it once you arrive at your destination. In Italy, I packed it in my carry-on for our flight to Italy. Since we purchased wine in Italy, I checked my carry-on suitcase for the flight home and used this tote as my carry-on!
18. Anti-theft backpack
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I don’t want to scare anyone! But it is well-known that cities such as Rome and London are known for pickpocketing. Crowded places such as train stations are also known for pickpocketing. When traveling, it is important to always be aware of your surroundings. But another way you can protect the belongings of yourself and your loved ones is an anti-theft backpack.
It has a hidden zipper and it is resistant to slashing. Yes, as in slashing with a knife. Thieves aren’t afraid to use a pocketknife to cut a bag off of you!
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Wineskins are reusable sleeves that protect your wine while in transit. We’ve used them several times when transporting wine in our checked luggage on a plane and they work everytime!
20. Ultra compact steamer
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A portable steamer is a great gift for the frequent traveler! Many US hotels will have an iron and/or steamer, but in foreign countries you never know. Also, if you’re staying in a rental or an AirBNB, there may not be an iron or steamer available. The way that I pack usually does not leave our clothes wrinkled, but there are some fabrics that are prone to it. A compact travel steamer is a good solution!
21. Scrubba portable laundry system
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This weighs less than 5 oz and enables you to wash clothes whenever and wherever. No washing machine required. Also, a portion of proceeds is donated towards providing clean drinking water to areas of the world in need.
22. Packing cubes
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Thanks to these I was able to fit everything into a carry on and a backpack for our Italy trip. They come in different sizes so you can choose what works best for you.
I am always amazed at how much we are able to pack by using these. Usually I do not have problems with wrinkles, but I always bring a travel size bottle of wrinkle releaser. You never know if the hotel will have an iron/steamer in other countries! If you’re worried about wrinkles, check out the ultra portable steamer on this list!
These cubes come in different sizes and colors and you can buy different sets based on your needs. Eagle Creek packing cubes will change your life, I promise!
For people with kids
You know kids themselves won’t appreciate these as gifts, but you can make parents’ lives a little easier with these!
23. Airplane seatbelt harness (replaces need for a carseat on a plane)
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This is the only FAA approved device of its size! It weighs less than a pound and folds to less than 6 inches. Much easier than carrying a carseat through the airport. If you have no need to bring a carseat (either you’re renting one through the rental car agency or you’re going somewhere like Disney where carseats aren’t required on the Magic Express shuttle), this keeps the child secure in the plane seat. It takes less than 1 minute to install, is adjustable, and it can be used for children 1 and older weighing 22-44 pounds and up to 40 inches tall.
24. Carseat bag
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If you’re going to check a carseat or gate check a carseat, this padded bag will help protect it. Also, if you just want an easier way to carry it through the airport if your child will be flying in it, this bag makes it easier to carry.
Happy shopping everyone and have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!