Whether international or domestic, we travel light, and we use and recommend the items on this page. We have discovered some cool travel accessories, useful travel items, and offer the list below when shopping for gifts for people going travelling.
In 2019, we completed nine weeks exploring five countries in South America (including a cruise) with only carry-on luggage. It can be done.
We are selective and often test out many products before we find ones that make the cut. What you will find here is the best of the best. From unique travel gifts to purely functional items, it has taken us years to find what we believe to be the best gifts for travellers.
Whether you travel light or bring the kitchen sink, the products here are our best recommendations.
Our top recommended useful travel gifts
- Packing cubes
- First aid kit
- Camera and accessories
- Digital scale
- Wireless headphones or earbuds
- Multi-charging cable and a power bank
- Flash drive for backup
- Universal travel adaptor
Useful travel gifts to make packing easier
Lightweight packing cubes
I thought packing cubes were a silly extra before I tried them. Today, I wouldn’t travel without them. They are super lightweight and keep me organized. They are appreciated and useful travel gifts for friends or for yourself.
⇒ Get your packing cubes at Amazon.
Get our free packing light checklist
Packing light is an art that we have mastered over years of travel. It starts out with a plan and a list. Our packing checklist is available for free. Simply subscribe to our newsletter (also free and loaded with great travel tips), and I will send it to you immediately.
Emergency and first aid kit
To be honest, we make our own kit and store it in one of the small or extra small packing cubes above. However, many people prefer a premade one, and this small first aid kit from Amazon looks complete for minor injuries.
We wouldn’t travel without a portable emergency and first aid kit. It doesn’t need much, but ours always has at least basic first-aid supplies (bandages, gauze and tape, antiseptic ointment, anti-itch cream, and tweezers) and over-the-counter medication for a headache, sore throat, fever, and diarrhoea.
⇒ Get your first aid kit on Amazon
Save for later
You never know when you will need one of these gift ideas, so why not save it for later on Pinterest.
Did I miss anything? What are your favourite useful travel gifts?
This page is part of our travel resources series. You might also like:
Great list! I’m especially interested in the cable that charges multiple devices. How cool! And how could we live without packing cubes and a luggage scale?!
I wish I could afford a drone. But even then I would worry I wouldn’t be able to use it in all of the places I would want to… *sigh* But they look fun anyway!
Thanks for sharing such an awesome list! <3
Ryan K Biddulph
Excellent list Rhonda. I am thinking of a water filter-purifier. One with like 99.9999% effectiveness of course since I had giardia once already LOL. Seems a good idea to be green; far fewer plastic bottles I’d be using.
A neat assortment, Rhonda! Thanks for your ideas!
Never heard of the cubes but will definitely give them a try!
Some great tips and ideas Rhonda, nice post 🙂
Have a traveltastic week 😉
Excellent ideas, Rhonda. I have one of those digital scales in my luggage all the time and it comes in very handy, especially on the return trip when I want to buy more stuff than I can carry (lol!). Never thought of crying a first-aid kit with me though. At least not when I travel to big, civilized places. I had one when we went backpacking in Patagonia though.
Such a great list! I love traveling far and often and my mom gifted me some packing cubes last Christmas. They are so practical, I love them!
The packing cubes are some of my favourite travel accessories. They just make packing so neat and fast.
I’m not much of a travler, but these are some great ideas. I imagine if I were a traveler I would like to not carry a ton of stuff with me when I head out! Thanks for the tips!
It really depends on the traveller, but for me the less the better. I hate carrying around things if I don’t need them.
Those packing cubes are really cool. I’ve been wanting to get some for a while now.
I highly recommend them. They’re great for organisation and easy packing/unpacking. When I get to a new place for a few days, I just pull out my two cubes and boom, I’m unpacked!
My favorite travel gift out of these would have to be the camera, to take pictures. Also the noise cancelling headphones, for the noisy plane.
The camera is definitely an excellent gift. The two I use now, the TG-5 and Olympus, are perfect for travel as they’re lightweight and high quality.
I’m pretty sure I read about them on one of your previous blogs- but I finally went out and got some of eBags packing cubes and they are terrific for my business trips – I pack each day’s outfit in a different color cube so I can easily grab it out of the suitcase. Rolling my clothing seems to have less wrinkles. Great advice!
Excellent choices Rhonda.
Keep it up !
We pack light, so you have some great suggestions. Would love a drone, but I don’t think anyone who buys me gifts could afford one. Maybe a super cute camera strap instead would be good.
I can’t wait for my new camera strap to arrive. I am pretty excited about it.
I am not trying to see gift list because I always find something I want. In this case, I will be happy with the packing cubes and the multi-USB charger. In an ideal world, I would get a hammock too. I have wanted one for years.
I love my packing cubes. It amazes me how quickly I became almost addicted to using them. The USB charger went with my daughter today, and the hammock, well that’s on my wish list too.
Paul F. Pietrangelo
Thanks Rhonda. I’m not the best with the camera but I’ve been thinking of a change and now you gave me some thoughts what to do. Boy you are smart. See ya my friend.
Hey Paul, if you are never going to take a camera out of the manual mode, then my Olympus is more than you need. It will would work fine for you in all automatic, but it’s probably not the best use of money.
Many great ideas for Christmas presents in your post, Rhonda. I would particularly like to buy the luggage scale, but I am not sure how difficult would it be to hang your heavy suitcase from it and lift it. I don’t think I could, unless I could place the scale on a flat surface and let that strap hang. How do you usually use that?
And, you have seen my bags, and we usually travel with less, but we needed extras for the cruise. So, for me it is easy, as they don’t weigh much.
It is easier to weight the bag than to lift it into the car. I attach it to the handle, and lift, using the scale as a handle. It only has to fully bear the weight, not high up like when I have to put the bag in the car. It registers almost instantly.
Excellent choices Rhonda. Really loving that camera; seems like I am due for a new one. The cam we use has not been used because I have a sweet smart phone cam. But we could use a fab, proper travel cam for our next trip to Thailand in February. Either Santa Claus or my credit card will figure it out 🙂
I love my camera. It is lightweight, looks inconspicuous, and has the technology for outstanding photos.
Oh please. Who needs a portable espresso machine for travel? That’s your tip for “traveling light?”
Does any traveler really need a portable espresso machine? I understand many cities and countries have places that serve coffee and espresso. I think they’re called “cafés.”
I think that depends on who you are. My hubby sure does. We get up in the morning and he grumbles when he has to drink the filter coffee (or even worse, instant) that is in our hotel room. Me, I can wait several hours, which is the amount of time it generally takes us to get to a cafe. Believe me, our life was better on our last trip – which I did with carry-on luggage (a good portion of which was camera gear).
I don’t travel much, but it’s still a great list. Many of these items can be used at home or on short road trips out of town.
Yes, we basically pack the same for short or long trips. I brought carry-on only on our last six week trip to the states.
All things that will come in handy when you travel. I can see why they are on your list and who knows better than you what’s needed.
Have a fabulous day. ☺
Hi Rhonda – they all sound ideal … love the thought of some of them … for now I don’t need – but know where to come for ideas in future … cheers Hilary
Yes, these are our favourite items. We have and use everyone.