It’s December!  Which means it’s almost Christmas.  If you’re like me, you’ve been thinking for months now about what to get the important people in your life but… have yet to actually purchase anything.  I love looking at Gift Guides each year because it’s such a great way to get new ideas or find things you want to put on your own list.  This year I’ve decided to come out with a couple so check out our other gift guides for even more ideas for this Christmas.

Here we are with our gift ideas for travelers! If you couldn’t tell from the other posts on this site (or the name) I travel a lot.  And with living in Japan, we’re always going on adventures so I have come up with some ideas of what other travelers might want for Christmas this year.

To make this list, I looked at what I use all the time in our travels.  I also looked at other lists to see if there were other things I could recommend because I have used them in the past or I’ve always wanted them (Yes, I did buy some for myself).  And while I did come across some great finds there were a lot of things I was not interested in. For me, I’m a pretty minimalist packer.  Because I travel with 2 kids, sometimes on my own, I don’t have space for the extras. And while I would love to be that luxurious person who brings bags and bags full of things just in case, let’s be honest.  I don’t have the time or the money for that.

So, for this list, I’m only including items that I think would actually use and bring with me to travel.  I wouldn’t recommend something to you just because it’s cute or you might use it.  You don’t need to be lugging around an essential oil diffuser for you to not even use when you could have brought an extra pair of shoes for your tired feet.

I LOVE packing cubes. I used to use packing cubes when I traveled by myself to keep all of my clothes separate and easy to grab when I was heading to the hostel showers.  Now, I use packing cubes to keep everyone else’s clothes separate.  Because I am packing for 2 littles now, and we’re all sharing a suitcase, I need a way to keep everyone’s items separate.  It’s great because I can pull out one cube, grab an outfit, and grab another cube.  When I didn’t use them, I was constantly picking up the wrong socks or thinking I saw a t-shirt for Andrew that was actually Amelia’s onesie and then in a minute my well-packed suitcase is a mess and then I’m really not going to find anything.  So whether you’re packing for yourself or for your entire family, packing cubes save the day with your organization.

I mean, I probably don’t even have to recommend this now.  Most people know that phone batteries, no matter how long they promise to last, are just never enough.  With being on the go and using your phone to stay connected, figure out where you’re going, or looking for new things to do, your battery is going to die even faster.  So having an external power bank is key.

I always scoffed at a travel wallet when I saw them on other lists.  I thought I didn’t need one.  But then I had kids and had a million things to juggle.  I love that there’s a central location for everything I might need.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

I was given a scratch-off map for Christmas last year and I absolutely love it.  I had seen them everywhere but never got one just because I didn’t think I would really use it.  Well, I was wrong.  It’s a fun way to track where you’ve been and actually great for wall decor.  I had mine hanging in my office in Texas and now we have it in our bedroom here in Japan.

This is another thing I NEVER thought I would buy let alone recommend.  I never used one before and thought it was a waste. BUT, they are small and can be tucked anywhere, help so much with jetlag and trying to block out the lights or sun when you need to be sleeping.  The silk is also really nice on your eyes and is supposed to keep you from getting wrinkles.  Who knows?

Family Travel Resource Guide

Here’s another thing that is great for organization.  If you’ve got a lot of cords and electronics that always seem to get lost in the bottom of your bag or get tangled together then this is a must.  I love it for keeping phone chargers, iPad cords, outlet adapters, camera gear, and memory cards organized.  It’s so helpful.

Travel Books

So with all of the devices travelers have, it might seem unneccessary to have a kindle as well.  But, if you haven’t seen kindles lately they are tiny. Not to mention, the lack of blue light it emits is so helpful for tired eyes in need of a break.  A kindle can be a great gift because your traveler can buy any guidebook they need without carrying those big things with them.

As a traveler, you really never know what you might get yourself into.  If you’re adventurous, a waterproof phone case might be a necessity when you’re out in the wilderness or on a boat. But, even city-dwellers might need to protect their phone in sudden rain or snow.  It’s a small item to add to a suitcase and might be the difference between a working phone, and an expensive mishap.

If you don’t know about the new trend of reusable straws you might be living under a rock.  Whether you’re traveling somewhere that has banned plastic straws entirely (Disney World is the first that comes to mind) or you’re just trying to be a good person, an eco-friendly straw kit is a great idea.  You don’t have to worry about using paper straws or going without, and you can help cut down on the outrageous amount of straws we use each day.  A straw kit is a small thing to add into your bag and is a personal favorite of mine.

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