best gifts for travelers 2023 holiday season

9 Best Gifts for Travelers This Holiday Season

As the holiday season approaches, the spirit of wanderlust ignites in the hearts of many. To celebrate the joy of exploration and the thrill of new experiences, I asked a handful of seasoned travel writers to share their favorite traveling products with me in order to curate this “Best Gifts for Travelers” list.

You’ll find a treasure trove of items that are not just practical, but also inspire adventure and make every journey memorable. From gadgets that ease the rigors of travel to accessories that add a touch of comfort and style, each item has been handpicked for its unique ability to enhance the travel experience.

Whether you’re shopping for a seasoned explorer or someone about to embark on their first adventure, this list is your compass to finding the perfect gift. Let’s unwrap the world of travel together and find the ideal present that resonates with the wanderlust in every traveler’s soul.

NOMATIC Packing Cubes

NOMATIC packing cubes are an excellent gift for travelers due to their practicality and efficiency. These cubes revolutionize packing by offering a way to keep travel essentials organized and accessible, eliminating the common frustration of disorganized luggage. They’re not just for clothes; these versatile cubes can also serve as organizers for shoes or laundry, helping maintain a tidy suitcase.

These compression packing cubes are my favorite travel item. They’re the best… They’re high quality and the compression part saves room when you pack.

Mikkel Woodruff, Editor of Sometimes Sailing

What sets these packing cubes apart is their durable construction, ensuring they withstand the demands of travel. This makes them a lasting accessory for any journey. Additionally, their compression feature is a significant advantage, allowing travelers to pack more items into less space. This is especially beneficial for those who prefer to travel light with just a carry-on or a backpack.

The cubes’ design is perfectly suited for carry-on bags and travel backpacks, aligning with the needs of modern travelers. They come in various sizes, providing flexibility and ensuring that all packing needs are met, from short trips to extended vacations.

Cotopaxi Allpa Travel Pack

The Cotopaxi Allpa travel pack stands out as an excellent gift for travelers, combining durability, comfort, and thoughtful design in a compact form. Its weight-distributing harness system ensures comfort even when fully loaded, a crucial feature for travelers constantly on the move.

My family prefers to travel light, doing carry-on only, with only one bag a piece when we can. I gave each of my teen boys a Cotopaxi travel pack for Christmas last year, which they both love… We’re fans of these bags because they keep everything super organized and easily accessible. Not only that, they come in great colors!”

Alissa Zorn, Travel Enthusiast

What really sets this pack apart is its robust construction. Made from high-quality materials like TPU-coated polyester and ballistic nylon, it’s built to withstand the rigors of travel. The pack’s design includes a full-wrap zipper opening, mesh compartments, and padded sleeves for laptops and tablets, offering organized and accessible storage for all travel necessities.

It’s versatile enough for various travel scenarios, from weekend getaways to family trips, and even daily use. The inclusion of a rain cover adds an extra layer of practicality, ensuring the pack and its contents stay dry. The Cotopaxi travel pack is a blend of practicality and style, making it a highly appreciated gift for any traveler.

Anker 323 Foldable Charger

The Anker 323 Charger is an ideal gift for travelers who need to stay connected and powered up on the go. This charger stands out for its rapid charging capability, featuring a robust 33W USB-C Power Delivery port that charges devices up to three times faster than standard chargers. It’s compatible with a wide range of devices, including iPhones, iPads, Galaxy phones, Pixel devices, and more, making it a versatile accessory for any tech-savvy traveler.

“I love the Anker 323 Foldable Charger. This tiny, fast charger is only a smidge larger than the Anker Nano Pro, but comes with two charging ports – one for USB-C and one for USB-A, so when I’m in between flights, I can top up my cell phone and my earbuds at the same time. For people who would prefer two C-ports, they make an IQ version with that option as well.”

Alissa Zorn, Travel Enthusiast

One of the most notable features of the Anker 323 Charger is its dual-port design, which includes both a USB-C and a USB-A port. This allows users to charge two devices simultaneously, saving time and increasing charging efficiency – a significant advantage for travelers who often need to power multiple gadgets.

In addition to its charging capabilities, the charger’s design is perfectly suited for travel. Its ultra-compact size, combined with a sleek, foldable plug, makes it incredibly portable. It can easily fit into a bag, backpack, or even a pocket, ensuring that travelers can always have a powerful charging solution at hand.

The Anker 323 Charger’s blend of fast charging, dual-port convenience, portability, and safety features make it an excellent gift for travelers, ensuring they stay connected and powered up in a compact and reliable way.

Veken Packing Cubes

Veken packing cubes are an excellent gift for travelers, transforming packing from a chaotic chore into a streamlined, stress-free process. These cubes allow for easy sorting and locating of items, eliminating the frustration of digging through luggage for a specific item.

“As a family of four, packing cubes are a life saver for keeping us organized. Each of us gets one large packing cube to fit all our clothing essentials (we also prefer to travel light). Then we have a few extras smaller cubes for socks and undies, charging cords, and toys. When we arrive somewhere it keeps our suitcase from becoming a cluttered, jumbled mess!”

JayDee Vykoukal, Family Traveler

These cubes use 290D Polyester, which is 26% thicker than standard materials, offering enhanced durability and resilience for frequent use, and are designed with seamless, sturdy metal zippers that glide smoothly, ensuring hassle-free packing and unpacking. The inclusion of breathable, see-through mesh panels is a thoughtful touch, allowing travelers to quickly identify the contents of each cube, saving time and maintaining organization.

Versatile and compact, these packing cubes fit snugly in various luggage types, from carry-ons to backpacks, making them suitable for all kinds of travel, from business trips to vacations. These packing cubes offer a blend of durability, functionality, and convenience, making them a perfect gift to enhance any traveler’s experience.

Apple AirTags

Apple AirTags make a fantastic gift for travelers, offering a smart and seamless way to keep track of their belongings. These innovative tags work with the Find My app, allowing users to easily locate their items. The setup is a breeze – a simple one-tap connection instantly pairs the AirTag with an iPhone or iPad.

“I’m on the road pretty often and having Apple AirTags tucked in with my checked bags sets my mind at ease. I no longer have to worry about losing my luggage since tracking it down is a breeze, no matter where I am.”

Karee Blunt, Our Woven Journey

For items that are not in the immediate vicinity, AirTags tap into the vast network of Apple devices using the Find My network. This feature significantly increases the chances of locating lost items, even when they are far away. If an item goes missing, putting the AirTag in Lost Mode triggers an automatic notification when it’s detected in the network.

Compact and easy to attach to just about anything, Apple AirTags are an ideal gift for travelers who want to keep their belongings secure and easily traceable, offering peace of mind wherever they go.

JLab Studio On-Ear Headphones

JLab Studio On-Ear Headphones are an excellent gift for travelers who love to immerse themselves in music while on the move. These headphones are designed with comfort in mind, featuring ultra-plush Faux Leather and Cloud Foam cushions that ensure comfort during long listening sessions – a common scenario during travel.

“I can’t travel without some headphones. They help me relax when I’m flying because I can listen to music or audiobooks. They also drown out noise.”

Jason Butler, Traveler Writer at

The sound quality delivers vibrant highs, mids, and deep bass, allowing travelers to drown out ambient noise and immerse themselves in their favorite tunes, whether on a plane, train, or in a busy airport. And the in-line mic is perfect for taking calls or controlling music without having to fumble with the device – a handy feature when your phone is tucked away in a bag.

The smooth-sliding metal adjustments and lightweight build make them easy to carry, and the ear cups rotate 80 degrees and fold up compactly. This means they can easily fit into a travel bag or even a pocket, making them an ideal travel companion for music lovers.

JLab Studio On-Ear Headphones combine comfort, excellent sound quality, and portability, making them a great gift for travelers who want a high-quality audio experience while exploring the world.

Pashmina Scarf

A pashmina scarf is an excellent gift for travelers, offering both functionality and style. Its versatility is unmatched; it can be used as a warm wrap during chilly flights, a makeshift blanket while lounging, or even as an elegant accessory to enhance an outfit.

“When traveling I never travel without my pashmina scarf. Flights tend to be cold and I carry my scarf year round specifically so I can use it as a blanket to cover myself on the flight. It’s small enough to wrap up and fit right into my purse without taking up too much space.”

Tamara White, Avid Traveler

The lightweight nature of a pashmina scarf makes it an ideal travel companion, as it adds minimal weight and bulk to luggage. The soft, luxurious texture provides comfort and a touch of luxury, making long journeys more enjoyable. For travelers visiting religious sites or cultures with conservative dress codes, a pashmina scarf can also serve as a respectful and stylish way to cover shoulders or heads.

Its practicality, coupled with the wide range of colors and patterns available, ensures that it not only meets functional travel needs but also caters to personal style, making it a thoughtful and useful gift for any traveler.

DJI Mini 2 SE Drone

The DJI Mini SE 2 drone is a fantastic gift idea for travelers, especially those who love capturing their adventures from a unique perspective. Its lightweight and portable design, weighing less than 249 grams, makes it an ideal travel companion. It can easily be carried on hikes, road trips, and various excursions, allowing travelers to capture breathtaking aerial footage and photographs from above.

“As someone who loves documenting and sharing their travels, the DJI Mini 2 SE has been a game changer. Drones offer a unique perspective, capturing stunning aerial views of landscapes and landmarks that ground-based photography simply can’t match. DJI Mini 2 SE was made with the beginner drone pilot in mind, making it easy to learn and use. Additionally, it is incredibly lightweight and compact, making it a convenient addition to any traveler’s backpack. If you are looking for a fun yet practical gift for the travel lover in your life this holiday season, the DJI Mini 2 SE won’t disappoint.”

 Alexandrea Sumuel, Travel Writer

The DJI Mini SE 2 drone is a great gift for travelers because it’s easy to use and perfect for beginners. Its simple controls and automatic return feature make flying stress-free, ideal for those who want to enjoy their travels without fussing over complex gadgets. The drone also offers a long flight time – up to 31 minutes per battery, with extra batteries available for even longer use. This means more time for capturing beautiful aerial shots.

Additionally, the DJI Fly app makes it easy to create professional-looking videos, which are great for sharing on social media. The drone can fly far and reliably, thanks to its advanced transmission technology, allowing users to capture wide, scenic views. Overall, its user-friendly design, extended flying time, and ability to take stunning videos from afar make the DJI Mini SE 2 a fantastic gift for travelers who love to document their adventures.

Scrubba Portable Wash Bag

The Scrubba Portable Wash Bag is an excellent gift for travelers, offering a quick and convenient way to wash clothes on the go. This compact and lightweight wash bag, weighing only 5.3 oz and folding down to pocket-size, is incredibly easy to carry, making it perfect for camping, backpacking, or staying in hostels and hotels.

The Scrubba wash bag is an essential when I travel – either on the road in my Sprinter van or overseas. I recently brought the Scrubba on a campervan rental trip in Europe and I didn’t visit a laundromat for five and a half weeks! The Scrubba has a built-in washboard and also doubles as a dry bag. Add a detergent sheet and you’re good to go.”

Kristin Hanes, Publisher at The Wayward Home

Its unique design allows for a machine-quality wash in just minutes, without needing electricity. This is especially useful for travelers in remote areas or those looking to reduce their environmental impact. The bag is also straightforward to use, with simple six-step instructions printed on it, ensuring anyone can wash their clothes effectively.

Beyond its primary use as a washing machine, the Scrubba bag is versatile. It can be used as a dry bag to keep items safe from water or as a storage bag for dirty laundry. This multifunctionality means travelers can pack lighter, knowing they can easily wash their clothes wherever they are. Overall, the Scrubba Portable Wash Bag is a practical, space-saving solution for travelers who want to stay clean and travel light.

Give the Best Gifts for Travelers to the Wanders on Your Holiday List

These gifts are sure to delight any travel enthusiast. They not only make travel more efficient and enjoyable but also add a touch of luxury and innovation, making every journey memorable. Perfect for the holiday season, these gifts are more than just items; they are companions that enrich every adventure and bring ease and joy to the globetrotting experience.