Christmas Gift Guide – Travel Edition

While we don’t believe that this season is all about going out and spending money on all the things people don’t need, there is something to be said about a thoughtful, practical gift. We’ve compiled a list of things that we use and love and really couldn’t travel without after over three years on the road, bringing you this Christmas gift guide, travel edition! Regardless of the type of travel a person’s doing, these gifts are honestly great for anyone!

We’ve separated the gifts into different price points, and have added ways to make the gifts more personable instead of just wrapping a gift as it. These personal additions can be found in your own home, or for cheap at the store bringing the gift to the next level! For the main items, we’ve included links to Amazon.. hello, two-day delivery to your doorstep, and we’d love for you to shop through the links, as this gives us a little kickback at nothing extra to you!

Alright.. Let’s dive on in!!

Christmas Gift Guide, Traveler christmas gifts, gift ideas for an adventure friend, arboursabroad




Toiletry Bag | Find it Here

Every traveler needs a toiletry bag. Whether it’s for trotting across the globe on an extended holiday or a quick weekend trip, it’s nice to have all the bathroom supplies in one place! This one here, is the one we use and LOVE. Jay has the smaller version, while I have the larger one so I can fit a brush in, but both are great! They are extremely lightweight and can compact real small when the extra space isn’t used, making them great to fit into a carry-on bag!

{The Extra Touch… Fill this bag with travel essentials like 3oz or less size of shower supplies (next gift), a small toothpaste, a toothbrush, wipes, essential oils, and a gallon baggie to put all the liquids in for airport security!}  


Carry-on Friendly Containers | Find them Here

We’re firm believers in packing Carry-On only, so why not encourage your traveler to do the same with carry-on size liquid containers?! Honestly, the ones here on Amazon seem quite expensive, we actually got ours from a bargain store in town, but you just want to make sure they actually work and don’t leak out the liquids! Nothing’s worse than opening your bag to liquids everywhere! Just be sure to find some that are 3 oz. or under!

{The Extra Touch…Fill each container and label them with a sharpie to say what’s in each one. Maybe sunscreen the traveler’s going to a beach destination, or shampoo and condition (even from your home), or this soap that works for literally everything cleaning related on the road!}


Travel Adaptor/Converter | Find it Here

If your friend or family is traveling internationally, this will save their life!! It’s an adaptor and converter all in one, with USB ports! That way, they don’t have to carry around bulky plugs and instead can just carry their USB cord, and this bad boy that fits into any outlet basically across the globe! I still can’t believe these things are so cheap because they’re true lifesavers on the road!


Emergency Pack | Make it Yourself

While you could just buy a premade travel pack, but they often come with way too much of one thing and not enough of the next. Find a nice travel-friendly bag/container and then pack it full of all the essentials. We recommend filling it with the following Ibuprofen (can’t get the same strength outside the states), Band-Aids (not a whole pack, just take a few of different sizes then staple the edge of them together making a mini-pack of them), Hand sanitizer (under 3oz.), alcohol/cleaning wipes, butterfly stiches (this may seem absurd, but when Heather sliced her leg open in Thailand, we were glad we had them with us!), Duct Tape (sounds weird, but this stuff comes in handy at all the best times — break a pencil in half and then wrap a bit of duct tape around it and stick it in the bag!), and Tiger Bomb or something similar for those sore muscles!

{The Extra Touch… You could use Advil, Essential Oils, or other meds- just be sure they’re what your traveler typically uses, and don’t forget, you can probably find most of this stuff in your own home making this one a really cheap gift!}

Airplane Kit | Find it Here

Hey-o, fun and easy gift! Find a travel bag like this one here that can later be used as a shopping or beach bag on the actual adventure, and fill it will all the airplane goodies! Think things like hand sanitizer (remember, under 3oz.), small baby wipes pack, eye mask & earplugs, reusable water bottle (this one’s over $20, but we LOVE it), a carabiner (can’t begin to tell you how handy this is on a plane…attaching a water bottle, purse, hat, you name it onto the seat back in front of you!! It’s so nice!!), chocolates and other snacks, and small alcohol bottles!

{The Extra Touch… Add in a book or a magazine to bring this gift to the next level!} 


Travel-Friendly Lock | Find it Here

TSA approved locks mean that it can lock a checked bag, however, we always recommend traveling carry-on only. But, with that said, every traveler should still carry a lock. It’s great for when a hostel offers lockers or when taking public transportation!


Travel Towel | Find it Here

Traveling with a personal towel is a must if using hostels, and is really nice if traveling to a beach destination. We’ve used a few different travel towels, but our favorite is this one here. We’ve found it to work the best and not get a musty smell after a few uses like other ones have. You can find this towel in different sizes and colors, but remember, smaller is nicer when packing, though your traveler may want one big enough to wrap all the way around them!


Bed Liner | Find it Here

This little bed liner not only comes in handy when staying at hostels or places that don’t seem too clean, but also on planes and trains as a blanket or for extra warmth for overnight airport stays. It’s basically a silk sleeping bag, that’s super small and has a compartment to even put a pillow in! We loved having ours while traveling through Thailand when it was too hot to use the actual sheets but we wanted protection from bugs!


Darn Tough Merino Wool Socks | Find Women’s Here & Men’s Here

These are the perfect gift for anyone!! Merino wool is a material that’s extremely breathable, dries really quickly, and has antimicrobial properties meaning it keeps the stench away, even after multiple wears! You can buy thin ones for everyday use, ankle high socks, or thick wool ones for the cooler climates! And, the Darn Tough brand offers a lifetime warranty!!


Travel Underwear | Find Men’s Here & Women’s Here

Okay, so these bad boys are said to last 14 days through 7 countries without being washed or something crazy like that.. And while we think that’s extremely gross, and people should wash their underwear more often than that, there’s something to be said about that fact! These underwear are made from a material that is antimicrobial (again no stench here) and they’re also quick to dry. When we travel we never bring more than 5 pairs of underwear. And honestly, even that’s a bit much. Loads of people travel with three… one’s to wear, one’s a dirty pair, and one’s drying after being washed. Not only are you getting a better quality pair of underwear perfect for travel, when you buy these, you’re buying from an ethically sourced business!

{The Extra Touch… Wrap a roll of toilet paper in these as a little joke.. but also a serious note! It’s always nice to have your own toilet paper when some places in Europe charge for a piece, while other places across the globe don’t have any at all!}

Space Saver Compression Bags | Find them Here

We don’t actually travel with these, but instead, pack a lot less and thin fabrics (basically anything but cotton), and find that in doing so, and rolling all our clothes, we don’t actually need to use these. With that said, we’ve heard of a lot of people that do actually use these bags and swear by them, so we thought we’d include them in this Christmas gift guide.




Battery Pack | Find it Here

This has been a lifesaver for us on the road. This specific battery pack can recharge a phone up to six times and an iPad twice. It’s a bit on the heavy side, but it stores a lot of juice, so that’s to be expected. With two USB ports, it’s super nice to be able to charge multiple things at once!  We don’t know what we’d do without ours!!

{The Extra Touch… You could write a little note joking about how often the traveler is going to be using the phone to send you pictures or use travel apps to help them not get lost. You could include these specific travel apps in your note, as they’re our absolute favorite ones!} 


Water Bottle | Find it Here

This water bottle keeps drinks hot up to six hours and cool up to 24! It’s the perfect travel water bottle no matter what kind of destination your traveler is going! We have three of these and LOVE them!!


Travel-Friendly Clothes | Find them Anywhere 🙂 

Obviously, each traveler is going to be different in what they wear while traveling, but one thing is the same across the board, everyone needs travel-friendly clothing! If you’re shopping for new clothes for someone going abroad, be sure to check the fabric the clothing is made from. You want to avoid cotton at all costs and instead look for Rayon, Synthetics, or Merino Wool materials. Rayon will shrink when it’s washed, so be sure to get a size or two up, and Merino Wool is going to be the best bet all around as it has antimicrobial properties (a.k.a. keeps the stench away), and dries really fast, and Nylon may just be the best fabric to look for aside from Merino Wool.




Travel Purse with RFID Protection | Find it Here

If your traveler is a girl this purse is the perfect gift! Heather has one and always feels so much more comfortable carrying it around when we travel. The strap and the bag itself is slash proof, and there’s a compartment that’s RFID protected meaning people can’t steal your card or passport information through the bag! We often throw the camera in there when we’re walking around to not look so much like tourists and to feel safer with it in the slash-proof strapping!


Fanny Pack | Find it Here

Okay, we’ll be the first to admit, these aren’t for everyone, but we rocked ours the whole time through South America, and still rock it now and again when we travel to certain areas of the world. Again with the slash-proof strapping, the RFID protection, and the lockable zipper, this is the perfect gift to bring a bit of the worry away from getting valuables stolen. When we traveled with just a handheld camera, we always put it in the fanny pack and had no problems at all!




Travel/Everyday Backpack | Find it Here

Oh. My. Goodness. We cannot recommend this backpack enough. We both have this bag, and use them every single day – even when we’re not traveling! They have a hefty price tag on them, but they come with a lifetime warranty and are literally the perfect way to backpack carry-on only without looking like a traveler. The bags come with laptop sleeves in the back, a secret compartment (that we only found after months of having the bags), entry points on the top and both sides, adjustable shelves inside the bags to separate everything, and side pockets with multiple different pouches to organize everything. And.. get this.. They’re waterproof too!! If you have any questions about this bag, please ask us, we love it and think everyone should have one!!


Packable Down Jacket | Find it Here

Obviously, this isn’t needed for every traveler, but if they’re heading somewhere cold it’s a must. Having a down jacket that’s packable saves on space, and can double as a nice little pillow when packed tight! We both have Patagonia jackets, and believe the higher price to pay is worth it as they’re an eco-friendly company and ethically sourced! This is the women’s version that Heather has, while Jay has the men’s version here.


For your photographing friends and family, check out our list of Christmas Gifts for Photographers. It includes all the gear we travel with and use with our camera, along with some things we’ve used in the past before we got more into photography like we are now! (coming soon)



Again, these are all products we use and love (unless otherwise stated) and we’d be more than happy to answer any and all questions you may have about any of this gear. You can ask in the comments below, or shoot us an email over on our contact page.

If you want to buy any of the gear we recommend, please use the links we’ve provided, as we’ve partnered with Amazon to help keep this blog up and running and we get a little kickback (at no extra cost to you) when you purchase through the links within 24 hours of opening the tab! Thanks for supporting us, allowing us to keep up this website!



Christmas Gift Guide, Travel gift guide, cheap and easy Christmas Gifts, arboursabroad

practical traveler gifts, christmas gift guide, arboursabroad, practical gifts


Become a part of the ArboursAbroad Family! Receive our newsletter along with freebies (like our budget guide) straight to your inbox!
Here's where we tell you your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else... but seriously, who does that anyways? Don't worry about a thing 🙂

2 thoughts on “Christmas Gift Guide – Travel Edition

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: