Hello, there! Today I’m bringing back and updating a beloved post—the Gift Guide for the Traveler! If you are interested in more gift ideas, check out the PMT Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide. It’s full of 150+ gift ideas for women, men, them, kids, families, parents, teachers, and more of tried and true products that we love. Plus, we add Fresh Finds regularly throughout the holiday season to continue providing new gift ideas. I hope this makes your holiday shopping easier and a little less stressful!
Since some of you may be traveling to see loved ones this season, I wanted to bring back this gift guide for the traveler. Not only do these make great gifts (trust me—many have been given as gifts and have been hits!), they’re also good to have in your own toolkit of travel items!
A NOTE ON HOW I DO GIFT GUIDES
Instead of just rounding up a bunch of stuff that LOOKS good, I started primarily recommending my husband’s and my favorite products. My husband is one of those guys who researches everything extensively, and he cares about really great products. He’s a product manager by profession, so he has a good sense of what makes good products both in utility and design. I feel like gift guides are so much more useful when you actually know that products are good quality or are gifts that have been given to others and have been well-received. A few products on each list are things I may not have tried personally yet, but they are usually things I’ve researched and are on my own wish list for the year. However, the majority of each gift guide is stuff I can attest to being amazing and helpful to have in life!
Also, my husband and I tend to love receiving and love giving gifts that are on the more practical or utilitarian side. I personally hate stuff that looks good but isn’t good quality or doesn’t function well. You get a taste of that in how I review clothes, and it’s also true of how Benson and I review all other products in our lives. Yes, we care about design, but aesthetics are usually second to utility. The best of both worlds is ideal of course, but sometimes you have to give up a little of the aesthetics for much better utility. We’ve learned through a lot of wasted money that if it looks great but annoys us when using it, we will inevitably get rid of it for something that functions better. Those aren’t everyone’s priorities, but those are ours and I wanted you to know that so that you have some context for my gift guides and what or how I recommend items.
Last, we’ve owned many of these items for years. Like I said, many of these are items that Benson and I believe in and that are good quality, so they don’t change year to year. They last through heavy use over multiple years and we don’t feel the need to replace things, because they’re amazing!
TODAY’S TRAVELER GIFT GUIDE
Between visiting family and traveling for work, I’ve traveled a whole stinking lot over the last 15-20 years, including both car and plane rides but primarily plane. At one point I was on trips at least 12 times a year for 10 years and thanks to that, I have developed a great sense of helpful travel items that I’ve included in this gift guide. Not only do I use many of these items, but we have also gifted several of them to others and have gotten reports on how much they love the products. Read the paragraphs below to see which were favorites from recipients. You may be surprised!
1. Fuzzy Pullover | 2. Leggings | 3. Tote | 4. Packing Cubes
5. Long Cardigan | 6. GoToobs | 7. Clothing Steamer | 8. Lightweight Earrings
9. Toiletry Bag | 10. Hydroflask Water Bottle | 11. Kate Spade Wallet | 12. Slim Wallet
13. Jewelry Travel Organizer | 14. Dopp Kit | 15. Powerbank Charger
16. Mother Lode Luggage | 17. Weekender Backpack
18. Portable Air Purifier | 19. Twisting Neck Pillow | 20. Inflatable Travel Pillow
21. 2-Port Car Charger | 22. Tile Mate Tracker
1. Gap Fuzzy Sherpa Pullover – SO SOFT AND SNUGGLY! But lightweight, so it’s comfy to wear! Long enough for leggings on me at 5’6″. (See it on me HERE.) Cannot stress enough how much I like this, and it’d be a fantastic gift! Great for travel, lounging, and pretty much anything.
2. Leggings – If you or whoever you’re buying a gift for likes being comfy while traveling, these leggings are awesome. They’re actually meant for working out, but people wear them for both working out and for athleisure (myself included). They are not see-through 🙌🏽 and have a wide waistband which keeps them up and flattens a midsection. See my outfits with them HERE. I’m 5’6″ and usually size S/M or 6/8 and wear these in M. They also come in a 7/8 length with pockets, which I prefer these days. Find those HERE. I wear those in size S.
(That said… I personally would rather travel in Wit & Wisdom jeans. If you are new here and haven’t heard me talk about them, they are SO COMFY. Very, very stretchy, very soft, plus they have a VERY stretchy waistband. It’s that stretchy waistband that really does it for me, but some pairs have such soft denim, too. When I’m wearing one of the pairs with the really soft denim, I regularly mistakenly think I’m wearing leggings! Learn all about my most favorite comfy jeans and pants in my post Your Guide to Comfortable Jeans and Work Pants.)
3. Tote – Super versatile style that works in casual outfits and work outfits. Beautiful cognac color, spacious, and has a zipper closure to keep items more secure. Cognac HERE. Black version HERE. Can fit my 15″ Macbok Air, big Hydroflask water bottle, and lots more.
Another very similar tote that I’ve traveled all over the country with before getting the one is above is THIS. Loved it! Not *quite* as big but could also fit my 15″ Macbook Air, water bottle, and other things. Notably, it does not have a zipper closure. Also, you can fold it flat, which I liked if I wanted to pack it away and use a smaller crossbody instead.
4. Packing Cubes – Game changers! Not an impressive looking gift upon receiving it, but we’ve gifted these many times, and EVERYONE reports how life-changing they are after they finally use them. Keeps your whole suitcase organized and makes traveling less stressful. Can throw these in the washing machine! This brand is also AMAZING. I’ve used the SAME SET for OVER 15 years with heavy travel, and they are still going strong!
5. Relaxed, Long Cardigan – I’m always cold on flights and therefore always make sure I have a layer. Oversized cardigans like these are my go-to cardigans in LIFE, and of course while traveling. Pair them with the leggings or jeans I mentioned (see Option 2) and some sleek, comfy sneakers, and you’ll be cute and comfy for travel.
6. GoToobs – BEST travel tubes. Don’t leak, easy to clean.
7. Clothing Steamer – Portable steamer ensures you look your best even when living out of a suitcase.
8. Nickel & Suede Lightweight Leather Earrings – EASIEST gifts to give. So many styles, beautifully made, super great quality. GREAT for everyday life, including travel. They pull together outfits (yes, even a t-shirt and jeans and sneakers) and instantly make you look stylish, but they are VERY comfy—you hardly feel them at all—so they are very easy to wear while traveling.
9. Toiletry Bag – Not the prettiest, but I’ve owned this for 12 years (!!!) with LOTS of use, and it is still going strong. 12 colors, 3 sizes available. I own Medium.
10. Hydroflask Water Bottle – My favorite! Keeps water cold and keeps you hydrated while traveling.
11. Kate Spade Wallet – Have used this for years, and it’s held up SO well!
14. Dopp Kit – My husband doesn’t own this, but this is a smaller alternative to the bigger toiletry bag.
15. Portable Phone Charger – So practical, and anyone who is on the go constantly has been grateful we gifted them one of these.
16. Mother Lode Luggage – Our favorite luggage when traveling with kids. Top half is soft shell, bottom half is hard cased with adjustable organization compartments. Has become especially helpful once we had to pack kids’ items.
17. Mother Lode Weekender Backpack – Carry-on volume backpack allows you to travel handsfree. Great reviews! Benson had one of these until we had kids and needed bigger bags. Slightly smaller version HERE.
18. Portable Air Purifier – I don’t own this, but it has great reviews. Small and battery-operated, so you can take it to travel on flights, use in the car, or use in any room in your house to purify the air (which can help with allergies sometimes, too!) There is a white one HERE and black one HERE.
19. Twisting Travel Neck Pillow – I don’t own this, but if I were doing long flights again, I’d definitely check this out. Not just a regular neck pillow. You can twist it to find your most comfortable position, including wrapping part of it around your neck for support, then bending part of it up by your ear so you can also lean against a wall.
20. Inflatable Sleep Pillow – Also looks intriguing! Allows you to sleep facedown without squishing your face or cramping your neck. Many people say it reduces neck pain. Inflatable, so it deflates to become very compact.
21. 2-Port Car Charger for iPhones and iPads – We use this, and it has 2 ports and charges quickly. 3,700+ awesome reviews. My mom got one after using ours and it was a huge game changer. (It was painfully slow trying to charge directly from her car otherwise!) Benson always makes sure to pack this while flying in case the cars we use at our destination don’t have good charging options.
22. Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker – Isn’t it the worst to lose important things while traveling? Use this to keep track of your keys, bag, phone, or anything else. 4.5 stars with 27,600+ ratings.
Any of these pique your interest?
For more gift ideas, check out the PMT Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide! It’s full of over 150 gift ideas, including some of my family’s and my favorite tried & true items that we’ve loved for YEARS. Check it out for gift ideas for friends, sisters, husbands, brothers, parents, kids, teachers, and more!
We’ll be adding new items regularly under Fresh Finds throughout the holiday season. So, check out our favorites, then come back in a few days to see the new gifts we found! Find it all HERE.