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As a travel content creator, I’m always on the hunt for the latest and greatest travel gadgets, gizmos and gifts. My annual Christmas list for my wife and kids usually includes several travel-related items.
While the holidays aren’t all about gifts, it’s fun to get or give something special, especially something you will probably love. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find great travel-related gifts. If your budget allows it, though, there are some higher-priced travel gadgets that will have your loved ones jumping for joy this Christmas. Whatever your holiday budget, our list of the best gifts for travel lovers is sure to bring a smile this holiday season.
Portable Power Bank
Easily one of the best purchases we’ve made is investing in several portable power banks for our family. As a family of 6, we own a ton of devices and keeping them charged is a constant battle. I love this Anker Portable Power Bank because of its thin design and compatibility with multiple devices. It seems to last a long time too, which is always a plus.
Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable Upright 2 Wheel Luggage
It’s hard to travel without luggage. We have tons of suitcases (too many), but I absolutely love my Travelpro Maxlite 5 Softside Expandable 20″ Suitcase. It’s lightweight, moves easily through airports and hotels, and comes in a variety of colors. It’s my go-to carry-on suitcase for most trips.
Years ago, I bought my first DSLR camera — A Canon EOS T3i. It’s served me well and I still love using it. While mobile phones feature amazing cameras these days, there’s something about learning how to shoot on a DSLR camera that’s addictive. I’m not the greatest photographer and shooting in Manual mode scares me to death, but it’s a lot of fun to learn.
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera is the perfect upgrade from where I started and a great beginner camera for individuals who are interested in photography.
Wireless Camera Remote Shutter for Smartphones
How many times have you wanted to take a photo of yourself or a group of people (not a selfie) and couldn’t find anyone to help? With a wireless camera remote shutter, you don’t need to rely on someone else to snap a pic. These affordable gadgets connect to your mobile device and allow you to take photos remotely with the push of a button on the remote. Just use a tripod or prop your phone up and use the remote to control the shutter up to 30 feet.
I absolutely love reading travel books. Whether it’s a book about a specific locale, travel memoirs or strategic guidebooks to save money or plan better trips, travel books always deliver. Here are some of my current favorites:
Affording Travel: Saving Strategies for Financially Savvy Travelers by Danielle Desir: Danielle is the host of The Thought Card Podcast and one of my favorite personal finance and travel content creators. Her book walks through beginner and advanced strategies to save money and plan better vacations and trips.
The Affordable Flight Guide: How to Find Cheap Airline Tickets and See the World on a Budget (Travel More Series) by Jen Ruiz: If anyone knows how to save money on airline tickets and other travel expenses it’s Jen Ruiz. Another one of my favorite content creators, Jen is the brilliant mind beyond Jen on a Jet Plane. This wonderful book walks through the money-saving strategies she’s learned from traveling the globe over the past several years. Jen is also a 5-time Amazon bestselling author.
The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small by Kath Stathers: If you know someone looking for travel inspiration, this is the book to buy. It’s packed with guides and photos of 1,000 incredible experiences around the globe from culinary adventures to wildlife encounters and more. The book is well organized, breaking travel experiences into several categories as well as by longitude and latitude and by country.
DSLR Camera and Laptop Bag
I own several camera bags to hold all of my camera gear. I always struggle with whether to pack my camera gear when I travel since mobile phones are so advanced now. I also liked to avoid carrying extra bags.
I recently purchased the Amazon Basics DSLR Camera and Laptop Backpack Bag to help consolidate my carry-on items. It’s awesome. And cheap. It’s a little bulkier than I’d like so it may not fit under an airline seat (I haven’t tried to yet), but it will fit in the overhead compartment. As a writer and content creator, I never travel without a laptop, and now I can consolidate my gear in one bag.
We absolutely never travel anywhere without a backpack cooler. It’s a non-negotiable. We use it for everything. Camping. Hiking. Kids sporting events. Road trips. Beach vacations. You name it and our backpack cooler has come with us.
We’ve owned several backpack coolers over the years. They come in all kinds of sizes and price ranges. For a more economical backpack, check out this Coleman Soft Cooler. It features ultra-thick insulation and has extra pockets for storage.
If you’re going all out, consider the ICEMULE Pro Collapsible Backpack Cooler. It’s absolutely sick, it’s waterproof, and keeps drinks and food items cold FOREVER. No joke.
Yes, I’m including wired headphones. Yes, we’ve evolved to wireless connections. I own several wireless headphones. And for some reason, on flights this past year, I’ve had difficulting connecting them to my iPhone via Bluetooth when flying. That’s why I love these Panasonic wired earbuds. They are inexpensive, hold up well, and provide a backup when my other headphones fail to connect. They’re also great to use when flying airlines with seatback TV screens.
DEAL ALERT: For a deal on Airpods, Amazon is running a deal on Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Generation) Wireless Earbuds. Right now, you can get 20% off Apple AirPods Pro. Regularly $249, on sale for $199.99 ($49 savings! While supplies last).
For those who take tons of travel photos, the JOBY Gorillapod 1K Stand is a near-perfect travel companion. It’s lightweight and has wrappable legs that allow you to secure your camera to almost any surface. Complete the tripod with the Joby BallHead 1K. For use with your mobile phone, try the JOBY GripTight ONE GorillaPod Stand, which comes with a phone mount.
Aeropress Coffee Maker
There’s nothing better for a coffee lover than a really good cup of coffee. Unfortunately, there’s nothing worse than a bad cup of coffee. I’ve experienced more than my share of terrible, bitter hotel coffee. My good friend Pete turned me on to bringing my own portable coffee setup on the road when I travel. I purchased an Aeropress earlier this year and have taken it on several trips so far. I’m never going back.
Yes, it’s a little work, but it’s worth it not to have to drink those coffee pods you find in many hotels across the country. Of course, you’ll probably need Aeropress filters, too, and a hand coffee grinder if you want to get fancy.
Plan a Trip
Travel itself might be the best gift you can give a lover of travel. Whether it’s planning an entire trip or travel gift cards, you can’t go wrong gifting travel to loved ones this holiday season. Here are some Black Friday and Cyber Week travel deals going on right now:
- Cyber Week – 8% Off Hotels
- Black Friday Sale – Members get 30% off select hotels
- Black Friday Cruise Sale – Up to 30% of selected cruises travel
What are your favorite travel-related gifts? Let us know in the comments.
Kevin Payne is the co-founder and budgeting and family travel enthusiast behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com.
Kevin is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance and travel. He is a regular contributor to Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Fox Business, Credible, CreditCards.com, and Student Loan Planner.