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Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Holiday Travel Gift List 2023

It's that time again! Time to start working on (or finishing) up your gift list for the year. I wanted to try something a little different this time. Normally, I break my list down into three categories - budget, moderate, and splurge - but this year everything is under $120, and most are much less than that, so you can get more for your buck and be even more popular to that traveler on your list. 

It's time for holiday shopping and this year, everything on my list is under $120 (most under $40) for the travelers in your life.
Photo by Daniels Joffe on Unsplash

I've got 5 different categories, but everything is great for every kind of traveler. And whether you're shopping for a Christmas gift, 8 Hanukkah presents, or even a birthday surprise, I've got it covered. 

Whether they travel alone or just need some extra peace of mind, here are a few things I like for myself when I travel.

Safety door lock for the solo traveler. This little bitty gadget is great for those that just want to feel a bit more secure in their accommodations. It fits over the lock inside the door jamb. Maybe you're staying in a hostel or you're on a girl's trip or you are just a feminine person in the world. Buy this for the college kid off to see the world alone. $9.59

USB Data Blocker for when you need to charge your phone and use a public outlet. These little guys just plug in and you plug your charging cord into it and it blocks your personal info from getting jacked. $6.49

Faraday bags to keep all your bluetooth devices from getting found and stolen. I bought these after our bags got stolen from the trunk of our rental car in San Francisco when we were, literally, 50 feet away having tea. Now, I use these for my laptop, headphones, car keys, etc. They're thin, so they don't take up much extra room in your bag. $29.49

Travelon Convertible Crossbody with locking zippers is great for only taking the essentials with you. It has RFID-blocking card slots, a zipper compartment on the back and is really classic looking. Wear as a shoulder bag, a crossbody, or a belt bag. I wore this while running around town and it has a slim profile and is comfortable to wear in all the ways. This is great to go from the airport to the plane to sightseeing to dinner. You can even attach it to a bench or table to prevent theft. $35.49

The Welly first aid kit has everything you need to treat cuts and scrapes. Anything that is a minor injury can be solved with what comes in this kit. I love the little packets of antibiotic gel and the bandages are funky and long-wearing. Everyone needs one for their travel bag. $24.94

Dr. Plotka toothbrushes are a staple in my toiletry kit. The travel brushes fold into their cover, plus they're antimicrobial, so you don't have to worry about them picking up gross things from other items in your bag or the hotel counter. $9.99

The Lifestraw 18oz insulated bottle filters out 99% of impurities in water, so you never have to result to buying water wherever you are. This makes the water taste better, making sure drink more and stay hydrated. $37.46

I'm all for anything that allows me to feel more efficient and feel like things are more convenient. Here are some of my fave items:

Magnetic car phone holder is a must for road trips or when renting a car. You want to know where you're going without getting lost, but also make sure you can easily see your phone for navigation. This fits in the car vent, is easy to adjust, and is very strong. I've used this with the flat magnet inside my case (not attached to my phone). $9.49 + 10% coupon

3D Sleep Mask for when you don't like things to touch your eyes, but you also need complete darkness to get some Zs. This adjustable mask will enable some of your best sleep, whether in a cushy hotel bed or on the airplane. $12.74

Liquid Pump Bottle comes in a set of 6 1oz bottles. They are small, but not too small. These have made my life so much better when I travel, because I hate bar soap for my hands, so now I bring my own little bottle of foaming hand soap. You can also use this for anything else you'd like to put in a pump, like hand sanitizer, face wash, or shampoo. $9.99

32,000 mAh Portable Charger is a must when you go away from home. I always have one in my bag and often we bring 2 or 3 when we know we're going to be using our phones for everything. This one will charge your phone 2-3 times fully, and you can use it to charge two devices at a time. I was able to travel across the country, spend a day-long layover out sightseeing, get back on a plane without seat outlets, arrive at my destination in the afternoon, get some sightseeing in for the rest of the day, and still had charge left when I plugged it in to go to bed. $22.06 + 20% coupon

Lady urinals are a lifesaver when you're roadtripping or headed to a country that has squat toilets or you go camping. Being able to conveniently and cleanly pee when you gotta go, wherever you are, is priceless. I keep one in my glovebox for emergencies and road trips. $7.99

Watch all your shows with an HDMI cable for your laptop. If you are like me and take your laptop with you, use it for your downtime to catch up on shows, movies, or show off all your photos you took during the day out. I always have one in my travel bag, because sometimes we just want to unwind while doing laundry and want to watch mindless TV. These come in a 2-pack, so keep one for yourself, since it's cheaper to buy 2 than 1. $10.78

A portable Lighted Makeup Mirror is a must for those dark hotel rooms or when someone else is in the bathroom and you're trying to get ready. It has 3 light settings and can mimic natural light, so when you go outside, you look normal and not like a pumpkin or a streaky mess, because you looked fine before you left. This one is rechargeable with a USB and is super slim, so you can fit it anywhere in your bag. $20.99 + 30% coupon
Everyone needs to be organized, especially while traveling, so you aren't wasting a bunch of time digging through your bag for stuff.

Gravel Slim Toiletry Bag is a newly acquired accessory for me. It has several zipper pockets, some waterproof in case of spills or wet items, and has enough space for all the necessities. I chose this stone color, but it also comes in black (which is on sale for Black Friday). It has a tucked away strap for hanging, so you aren't taking up valuable counter space, if you even have any. $39.20

Compression packing cubes are my must-have item wherever I go. You can fit a ton in them, then squash all your clothing into an even smaller cube by zipping the compression. These are how we are able to pack two people's worth of clothing in one large carry-on and how I can pack everything I need for a week into just a slim laptop backpack. Use one for tops, one for bottoms, one for underwear, or use one for each person traveling. However you do it, these make traveling so much easier. $17.99

A lot of us are traveling for the holidays and that means attending family functions or other events where we might have to dress up. Having to travel with fancy clothes can be a real challenge, but these garment bag duffels are perfect, because they are compact and carry-on size and eliminate the need for two different bags. You unzip the whole bag, put your fancy clothes in the garment section, close that up and then pack the bag like normal. You're good clothes are separated and can be hung up in the bag when you arrive. $39.99

Keep your meds or your supplements or your vitamins handy with this clamshell pill organizer where there's room for everything you need for a week, plus has compartments for larger pills/capsules or your everyday needs like aspirin and allergy meds. It's hard shell, so you don't have to worry about anything getting crushed, and because it closes  the way it does, you won't have to worry about anything falling out. $5.97

A set of 3 GoTubbs is something I always have in my bag. One I use for moisturizer, one for hair product, and another for non-liquid things, like aspirin, papaya enzyme, or toothpaste tablets. They are airtight and they don't leak, plus they take a bit of effort to get open, so your bag won't possibly achieve it (you can easily open with one hand, you just have to squeeze it on opposite sides in just the right way). These come in different sizes. I like the small, but you might also like a set of the medium or large for snacks, hair accessories, or other toiletries. $9.99

Travelon's Clean Multipurpose Organizer is now a staple in my personal item. I use it to keep all my electronic cords and plugs in one spot. Use it for anything you like. It's made of antimicrobial treated fabric, so use it for masks and sanitizer, or a take-along first aid kit in your day bag. $11.69

Nobody wants to be uncomfortable on their trips. That sucks, right? From walking to the plane to theme parks, here are some things to make your life better:

Wrightsocks are some of my favorite accessories, especially for travel. They are double-layer and have a thicker tab on the back, so they don't slip into your shoe and under your foot and they keep you from getting blisters. They are designed for runners, meaning if you're on your feet all day, you won't feel like you have angry stinky feet at the end of it. They come in all colors and sizes, plus you can get non-runner, but just as wonderful, socks from them that are taller or have designs. $10

You need a good travel pillow if you're going to be flying long distances (or even if you're taking a longer train trip or even a passenger in the back of a car. I will never stop touting the awesomeness of FaceCradle. I get such good sleep with this. Eric, who is a very light sleeper, also has gotten some of his best travel sleep with it. It allows you to stretch your neck and back, so you don't wake up needing a massage. $69.99

I'm a lover of layering when I dress, especially on vacation. I purchased the Multipurpose Knit Shawl and I've already ordered another one in a different color and plan to order yet another one. Why is it so good? Well, it can be worn in a variety of ways: as a scarf, as a shawl, and as a cardigan. It's also super affordable. It's lightweight, but adds a good layer of warmth, so it makes for an ideal travel accessory. $13.99

Not everywhere we go is cold, maybe you're headed to Orlando, a concert, New Orleans or you are menopausal. A handheld mini fan is just what you need! It folds when you aren't using it, can be worn around your wrist or put in a pocket or bag, and it looks cute! $14.39

Holding your phone for an extended amount of time while you watch a video or play a game is annoying. Use this Airplane phone holder to keep your phone at eye level and save your neck, while also keeping your tray table up when you don't need it. Buy just one or in a 2- or 3-pack and get one for everyone on your list. $9.35

You know what's really uncomfortable? Spending your time right on top of each other and having to hear and smell everything. Make yourself and others more comfortable with Poo-Pourri for when  you have to spend a little time in the bathroom that you have to share with others. Slip one in the toiletry bag to put by the toilet when you arrive and keep one in your day bag for when you're out and about. $9.99

I'm short and that can be uncomfortable for sitting on the plane for hours. I also like to take my shoes off on long flights (I wear slippers. I'm not gross.), so putting my feet on the floor is icky. A footrest is always nice to have and you can bring your own with this foot hammock that hangs from the tray table, even when closed, and is padded, making your flight more luxurious, even in economy. $17.99 | non-cushion version $10.99

I will always be a champion of light travel. I hate paying baggage fees, I like to know where all my stuff is, and I like to be able to carry everything I bring. Here are some ways to do that:

A luggage scale is great for the chronic overpacker. When you travel internationally, you are often confined to a certain weight limit for bags, which is much less than those for domestic flights. Always know if your bag makes the cut before you get to the airport. $7.19

If you want to pack light, you're probably going to be doing laundry. I usually like laundry time, because it gives me an excuse to slow down and chill, which can be important when you're somewhere new and excited to see everything. Laundry sheets don't take up any space, work wonderfully in HE or traditional machines, and you won't have to spend a crazy amount of money on a big detergent when you arrive. $9.09 for 60 loads

Sometimes there isn't a washer and dryer and you may have to do your clothes in the sink and hang them up to dry. I've done this quite a bit and having a clothes line is always better than finding places to hang things or having enough hangers. This one doesn't require pegs or hangers. $11.90 

Travel Compression Bags are awesome when you've purchased a few too many things on your trip and need extra space. You just put your clothes inside, roll all the air out, and make a ton of room in your bag, so you don't have to buy a new one or leave things behind. $12.79

Keep dirty clothes away from clean ones, either in your bag or at your accommodation. Toss them in these laundry bags and then drag your dirty stuff to the laundromat. They fold up when not in use and they have a pocket to keep your quarters and detergent sheets in. These can double as shoe bags, too. $12.79 for a set of two

There are a lot of places who no longer have shopping bags when you travel. Maybe you hit up farmers' markets wherever you are (like I do) or like to grocery shop (like I also do). I always have a bag with me for purchases or if need a way to carry my coat when I'm not wearing it. It's been a lifesaver more often than not, so why not have a cool bag that reminds you of your travels even when you come home? The Pouch Tote Bag from Xplorer Maps does both of those things. I got one of these for a review (coming soon), but I think they're great for gifts and would be even more eco-friendly if you gave another gift inside it instead of traditional wrapping. $19.99

A trip can be ruined by the wrong luggage. I have several different sizes, because some trips need a bigger bag while others need a smaller one. One thing is always certain: I will always only use a carry-on. If you're a chronic overpacker, a hardside is the way to learn to pack less. It will also always fit in the overhead, because it can't bulge and be too fat. These Hanke carry-ons are nice looking, are incredibly strong and durable, and have the spinner wheels everyone loves. The 20" is great for longer trips and the 14-16" ones are good for short trips or solo travel. $111.99 for 20" | $101.59 for 16" | $95.99 for 14"

I hope this helps you get a good chunk of your gift list taken care of and/or you find things to add to your own wish list that others can buy for you. Happy shopping! 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Should you make a purchase through any of them, I will be compensated monetarily. It costs you absolutely nothing. This helps me to keep this blog running and I thank you in advance if you do make a purchase. 

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