The 26 Best Travel Gifts for the Jet-Setters on Your List This Year

The best gifts for the one who's perpetually planning their next trip

October 20, 2023 10:17 am
Best travel gifts to give this holiday 2023

Regardless of how many people you’re buying gifts for this year, you inevitably have at least one who’s always on the road. Or in the sky, if you want to get technical.

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That said, I don’t think there’s nearly enough emphasis on travel-centric gifts in the world. Some might argue that a suitcase or a Dopp kit doesn’t necessarily exude thoughtfulness, but as someone who both travels frequently and enjoys being on the receiving end of gifts, I’d beg to differ.

So, on that note, consider skipping the whiskey stones in favor of a travel kit this year…or, perhaps, custom luggage tags. Below, a roundup of must-have travel accessories from my favorite brands, which I’m positive all the jet-setters on your list will love.

Béis Dopp Kit

I’ve tested a fair amount of Dopp kits during my tenure as a travel writer. This one from Béis — with a water resistant lining in the bottom compartment and special pocket just for keeping your toothbrush clean — is still the first one I reach for every time I pack.

July Camera Protect Bag

Even for the amateur photographer, keeping camera gear safe is of the utmost importance. I, for one, spend a great deal of time thinking about how my camera is faring on travel days. Luckily, July’s Camera Protect Bag takes the guesswork out of things.

CURVD Everyday Earplugs

Soften the sounds of noisy airports and rattling trains with these ergonomically designed and eco-friendly earplugs. CURVD earplugs offer up to 30 dB of sound reduction, which is perfectly suited for sleep, noise and sound sensitivity, concerts, productivity or just about any scenario you want some peace and quiet. It even comes in a sleek, travel-friendly aluminum carrying case.

Klaw 528

Klaw worked with a leading New York podiatrist to develop design-forward kicks that keep foot health at the top of mind. A deep heel cup, unique cushioning and a forefoot rocker are only some of the features that create superior arch support, stability and maximum shock absorption. Run, don’t walk, because Klaw is offering $20 off for Black Friday with code BF20.

Roam Large Carry-On With Front Pocket

This summer I went on a week-plus trip to the Northern Territory, which involved two connecting flights and a total of 29 hours in the air. In lieu of checking a bag, I used Roam’s large (and expandable) carry-on, which has a dedicated spot for a laptop and is crazy spacious (the fact that I’m took it on a nine-day trip to the Australian Outback should tell you everything you need to know). Plus, I got to design it from scratch.

Patagonia Black Hole Tote

A spin on the cult classic Patagonia’s Black Hole Duffle, the Black Hole Tote is great for hauling gym clothes, camping gear, farmer’s market wares, beach towels, carry-on essentials, etc. You name it, it can go in this tote.

Letterfolk Road Trip Passport Journal

I love the idea of keeping a travel journal, and wish I’d had the foresight to keep one a decade ago when I started traveling. This one from Letterfolk has 20 entry pages, as well as eight bonus pages, that include things like checklists and bucket lists.

Rimowa One Bottle Case

So help me God, if someone in my life doesn’t take the hint and get me something Rimowa this year! And while I’m personally holding out for a whole carry-on, the brand’s One Bottle Case would make a sweet little surprise for the aspiring sommelier in your life.

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Arlo Skye Pet Carrier

For the person on your list who can’t bear to travel without their pet: the Arlo Skye Pet Carrier. It’s got 360-degree ventilation, a pocket sleeve to be placed over a carry-on and, most importantly, a memory foam mattress. For pets!

Zero Halliburton Golf Bag

Featured in approximately 300 movies and television shows, Zero Halliburton has been charged with carrying moon rocks from the Apollo 11 mission back to Earth and serving as the Nuclear Football for U.S. presidents. In other words: it’s good enough for the Rory McIlroy (wannabe) of your life and their clubs.

Dagne Dover Remi Glasses Case

According to a recent poll commissioned by the Refractive Surgery Council, half of bespectacled Americans miss out on at least one activity from their vacation because they wear glasses or contacts. Keep your bespectacled person’s glasses safe in transit, people!

Matador NanoDry Packable Shower Towel

For the adventure traveler on your list, Matador’s NanoDry Packable Shower towel is a must-have. It’s packable and equally absorbent. So much so, in fact, that the NanoDry Towel is worth exactly 2.3 times its own weight in water. It’s also got a silicone travel case with a carabiner attachment for easy carry.

Filson Oil Finish Tin Cloth Duffle

This medium-sized variation of Filson’s traditional duffle is made with Tin Cloth waxed canvas for increased water resistance and reduced weight. The ideal vessel for transporting any and all manner of gear, they’ll have this duffle forever.

Yeti Packing Cubes

You’d be forgiven if the mention of Yeti didn’t immediately conjure up images of packing cubes. That said, it should come as a surprise to none that the Yeti-branded packing cubes, available in three convenient sizes, are really top-of-the-line.

Etekcity Luggage Scale

An essential stocking stuffer for the chronic over packer. You should grab one of these bad boys for yourself while you’re at it.

Smartwool Thermal Merino Reversible Cuffed Beanie

With a roll cuff for added warmth over the ears, the Cuffed Beanie is made from Smartwool’s Merino 250 baselayer fabric, ensuring that this hat insulates and moves moisture.

Trenovo Travel Umbrella

This little travel umbrella weighs only 0.66 lbs (so no detriment to their luggage weight limit) and is easily folded and stored away. Another perfect stocking stuffer! We’re cookin’ with gas now.

Rumpl Everywhere Mat

The perfect beach blanket doesnt exi—

Nocs Provisions Standard Issue 8×25 Waterproof Binoculars

Designed with the “modern explorer” in mind, Nocs Provisions Standard Issue 8×25 Waterproof Binoculars feature 8x magnification, can be submerged for up to 30 minutes and are fog-proof. I never fancied myself a binoculars person until a recent trip to Tanzania — now I am of the utmost belief that every self-respecting traveler should own a pair.

Cadence Capsule Set

Available in sets of six or 12, seven different colorways and capable of being labeled in virtually any way imaginable, Cadence’s customizable, leakproof and magnetic capsule sets are, undoubtedly, the sleekest reusable travel containers I’ve come across yet.

Ettinger Capra Passport Case

Probably because few people are likely to splurge on one for themselves, there’s something about an nice leather passport case that strikes me as being a really thoughtful gift, and for just about anyone. This goat leather Ettinger number fits the bill perfectly.

Calpak Luka Soft-Sided Carry-On Luggage

I love Calpak’s Luka Duffel (as does most of TikTok, I’m told), so I knew that — despite being a pretty big proponent of hard-sided luggage — I’d probably be pretty into the Luka Soft-Sided Carry-On, and I was right. Against all odds, it shows zero signs of wear and retails for a pretty sweet pricepoint.

Dyson Airstrait Straightener

Figuring out which hair stylers are worth the space in a carry-on can be a tricky business. The Dyson Airstrait, which just launched early this year, dries and straightens wet hair impossibly fast and will take up virtually no space in their luggage. Trust me, this will make their holiday.

Ostrichpillow Hot and Cold Eye Mask

For those who have a hard time falling asleep on flights, allow me to introduce you to Ostrichpillow’s Hot & Cold Eye Mask. Not only does it provide thermal therapy and gentle pressure for natural, instant relief from eye strain and muscle tension, it signals to everyone around you that you’d kindly like to be left alone.

Paravel Alta Via Backpack

I am a staunch defender of backpacks (read more about that here) and Paravel’s Alta Via Backpack checks all the boxes for me. It’s handsome, functional and thoughtfully engineered, making it the perfect present for the everyday commuter and the frequent flier alike.

Lojel Cubo Large

Lojel is, in this travel writer’s humble opinion, one of the most underrated luggage brands on the market. Available in nine colorways, the Cubo Large features an understated design and expandable body to fit…quite literally everything.

The Everlane ReNew Transit Weekender

Every self respecting adult should own a nice weekender for trips of the, er, weekend variety. This one from Everlane is both modern and timeless at the same time, and very reasonably priced.

Dagne Dover Neoprene Backpack

Dagne Dover’s bestselling backpack is a timeless travel option, with its inner tablet sleeve and useful interior and exterior pockets. Made with premium neoprene, the backpack is hands down the most stylish pick in the market.


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