The 44 Best Gifts for Travelers


[UPDATED: November 13, 2017]

Every year, for the past five years, we’ve scoured the globe to find the most unique, most useful, and best gifts for travelers on the planet (tough life, I know).

And in those past five years, our annual “best gifts for travelers” guide has become the #1 travel gift guide in the world!

So if you’re struggling with what to get the traveler in your life, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered again this year.

From less than $5 to over $1,000, and with gifts ranging from backpacks to books and from cord rolls to cashmere socks, there’s something here for everyone.

Plus, this year we decided to pick the brains of some of the foremost figures in the travel industry, so keep an eye out for those special recommendations!

Here are the best gifts for travelers – so start shopping, and happy holidays!

Want to skip to a certain section?  Just click a link below:

Backpacks & Gear

There’s no more important item to a traveler than a good piece of luggage and over the years, our opinions have been split.

While I don’t travel anywhere without a backpack, Heather prefers a rolling suitcase.

Which is perfect for you, because no matter which you prefer, we’ve got an option that you’ll love.



Years on List:  2

While I’ve loved my Tortuga Backpack for the past 3 years, last year they came out with the Outbreaker – and all I can say is…wow!

Not only does it look cooler than the previous version but it’s also:

  • waterproof
  • laid out with more pockets and easier storage systems
  • the first height adjustable travel backpack in the world, and
  • made of sailcloth (which they use on racing boats) and which won’t rip, scuff or fray

Plus, it still has a separate sleeve for your laptop (a huge perk) and now it comes in two sizes.

Special Offer – Get 10% of any order by using the promo code EPOP at checkout!

[earnist ref=”tortuga-outbreaker-backpack” id=”13577″]


Years on the list: 2

As most of you know, Heather is definitely a “rolling suitcase kind of girl” who does not enjoy schlepping around a backpack.

She’s been rolling her Samsung suitcase all around the world for the past 5 years and it certainly looks like it – time for an upgrade!

Enter the Away suitcase. 

Just a few of its many features include:

  • a range of sizes with great colors
  • a lifetime warranty
  • a battery for charging electronics
  • a scratch-resistant surface

We’re obsessed! 

[earnist ref=”bigger-carryon-away-travel” id=”13628″]

3. Zero Grid Packing Cubes


Years on List: 2

We were hesitant to try packing cubes at first. But after using them on the past few trips, we can’t deny the easy organization that occurs when using these.

Now, Instead of our bags exploding when we get to a new spot we can easily pull out the packing cubes to find what we want.

[earnist ref=”zero-grid-packing-cubes” id=”13578″]

4.  UNiqlo Packable Puffer Jacket for Men or Women


This product was recommended by our good friend and packing expert, Fred Perotta, founder of Tortuga Backpacks.

It was also recommended by Heather for women on last year’s gift guide (great minds think alike!)

Years On List: 2 

Typically, we prefer travel that involves shorts, swimsuits, and flip-flops.  But occasionally we’ll venture to colder climates, and when that happens, a down packable puffer jacket is a lifesaver.

Uniqlo is known for having good quality products at affordable prices and this jacket is no exception.  It’s super warm, stylish, and packs up really well, making it an essential piece of travel gear for men and women!

[earnist ref=”uniqlo-packable-ultra-light-jacket” id=”13627″]

5. Cocoon Cool Max Mummy Liner

This product was recommended by our great friend and frequent podcast co-host, Jason Moore of Zero to Travel.

Years on List: New This Year!

The more versatile a piece of travel equipment, the better, as you never know what situation you’ll end up with it – which is why the “mummy liner” is such a perfect travel companion.

Whether you’re slipping this liner into your sleeping bag for added warmth, using it as an extra sleep sheet in a hostel or guesthouse, or rocking it as a standalone warm weather sleeping bag, it’s hard to go wrong with having this on hand, no matter where you’re traveling!

[earnist ref=”cocoon-mummy-liner-coolmax” id=”13576″]


Every traveler worth their salt knows that certain gadgets can make life much easier on the road.

Grab these gadgets and know that you’re prepared no matter where you’re headed.

6. Macbook Air 13″

Macbook Air

Years On List: 4

Really want to spoil your favorite traveler?

Give them, hands down, the best travel laptop.  It’s powerful, lightweight, and durable.

As someone who used to lug around a Macbook Pro, I’m glad I made the switch.

Bonus Tip: make sure to get them the 256gb size instead of the smaller 128gb – it’s well worth the $100 extra.

[earnist ref=”macbook-air-13-newest-model” id=”13579″]


iPad Air

Years on List: 2

Over the last few years, we found ourselves traveling with two laptops plus an iPad Air.

We wanted the option to do work at the same time but also be able to easily access books, magazines, etc.

But that’s a lot to lug around!

Now, with an iPad Pro, we can have the best of both worlds.

If we both need to do some work, the iPad Pro with its super slim keyboard serves as both a laptop replacement and all the things I love about having a tablet.

So now we’ve been able to limit our large electronics to an iPad Pro and one laptop.

And for many people, you could get away with just having an iPad Pro!

[earnist ref=”ipad-pro-9-7-128-gb-model” id=”13580″]

8. Bose QuietComfort 35 Noise Canceling Wireless Headphones

This product was recommended by our good friend and travelista Natalie Sisson from The Suitcase Entrepreneur.

Years on List:  New This Year!

There are two types of people when it comes to Bose Noise Canceling headphones – those who swear by them and those who have never tried them.

And while they are expensive, a good set of noise-canceling headphones can quickly become a traveler’s best friend when trying to relax or get some sleep during a brutal long haul flight.

[earnist ref=”bose-quietcomfort-35ii-noise-canceling-headphones” id=”13581″]



Years on List: 2

This was, hands down, one of the best gifts we received last year – and something we now recommend as essential to any traveler!

Travelers use their smartphones for everything – taking pictures, GPS, finding the best places to eat, posting on social media – which leads to the dreaded “dead battery syndrome” halfway through the day.

Enter the Mophie charger, which can fully recharge a phone two times!

And you can choose when to charge the battery by switching it on and off, saving the battery boost for when you need it most…like when you’re trying to find your hotel at midnight! 

[earnist ref=”mophie-juice-pack-air” id=”13582″]

10. Pixter Smartphone Wide angle Pro lens


Years On List:  New This Year!

After carrying our DSLR on our last two-month trip and only using it a handful of times we decided to ditch it next time in favor of upgrading our iPhone camera.

These lenses turn your iPhone camera into a high-quality option at a fraction of the price of a good camera.

[earnist ref=”pixter-wide-angle-lens-smartphone” id=”13583″]

11. Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite

Years On List: 3

We love reading physical books as much as the next person (and probably even more), but carrying around multiple books at a time isn’t feasible when you’re trying to travel light – and you’re trying to travel light, right?

So grab the absolute best e-reader on the market and have the entire world’s library at your fingertips.

Make sure to splurge for the Paperwhite version, as the built-in backlight will pay for itself many times over.

[earnist ref=”kindle-paperwhite” id=”13584″]

12. Bestek Universal Travel adapter 

Years on List:  New This Year! 

For years, we recommended carrying a travel adapter AND a surge protector that would give you extra outlets.  Now, those two items have been combined into one awesome piece of travel equipment!

The Bestek Universal Travel Adapter:

  • Converts to that country’s voltage (no more frying your power strip with the hairdryer)
  • Gives you 7(!!) ports for charging – 3 outlets and 4 USB –
  • Comes with adapters for over 150 countries in the world.

Bing. Bang. Boom.

An absolute must-have for any traveler – and one of my favorite new gifts of this year!

[earnist ref=”bestek-universal-travel-adapter” id=”13585″]


No one wants to be sick or overly tired when traveling.

Make sure you’re always in tip-top shape with some of these gifts.

13. Mack Ultrasoft Foam Earplugs


macks earplugs

Years on List: 5

Whether it’s to drown out a screaming baby on the plane or unwanted construction during an early morning in Bali, earplugs are one of the most important things any traveler can bring with them.

And none of the earplugs I’ve tried my in life compare to Mack’s.

Grab a 50-pack and give them away as the perfect stocking stuffer (and maybe even keep some for yourself)!

[earnist ref=”macks-ultrasoft-foam-earplugs” id=”13586″]

14. DryFox Microfiber Travel Towel

Years on List: New This Year!

There’s a new champ in town!

Since the very first year of the gift guide, we’ve recommended the Packtowl Ultralite Travel Towel.

The reason was simple – a travel towel is one of the very few “must have” travel items and the Packtowl was the best one on the market…

…until now!

Dry Fox has created a towel that is larger, more comfortable, has a built-in water resistant storage pocket, and is cheaper.

Plus, it comes in 3 unique patterns (we love the stripes) and was created by an Extra Pack of Peanuts reader.

You literally could not ask for more in a travel towel, which is why this towel comes with our highest recommendation possible.

[earnist ref=”dryfox-microfiber-travel-towel” id=”13587″]

15. Gotoob Travel Bottles

travel tubes

Years on List: 3

These travel bottles are long lasting and will not break in your luggage – which makes them well worth the few extra dollars as they don’t need to be replaced after one trip.

Those 99-cent bottles from Target?  They always end up deformed and broken.

Time to upgrade!

[earnist ref=”gotoob-travel-bottles” id=”13589″]

16. Gotubb Travel Containers


This product was recommended by adventure travel expert Stefan Loble, founder of Bluffworks. 

Years on List:  New This Year! 

The PERFECT compliment to the GoToobs listed above, GoTubbs can be used for storing vitamins, pills, knick-knacks, or even that pesky spare change you always seem to accumulate.

Plus, you can open the GoTubbs with one hand – how cool is that?

[earnist ref=”gotubb-3-pack” id=”13590″]

Stocking Stuffers

These smaller but essential pieces are perfect for stuffing the stocking of your favorite traveler.

17. Waterproof Cellphone Case

Recommended by our friend and fellow travel podcaster, Jackie Nourse, founder of The Budget Minded Traveler.

Years on List:  New This Year

Breaking your $600+ smartphone sucks.  Breaking it because of your own stupidity sucks even more.

So instead of cursing yourself AFTER your phone gets water damage, grab yourself a $6 waterproof phone case, stick your phone in there whenever it may rain or get wet, and save yourself a lot of heartbreak – and hundreds of dollars!

[earnist ref=”waterproof-cellphone-case” id=”13591″]

18. Super Slim “Running Belt” (AKA Cool Fanny Pack!)

Another great recommendation from Jackie Nourse, founder of The Budget Minded Traveler.

Unless you’re a 70-year-old German tourist, chances are you don’t want to rock a fanny belt to compliment your white-socks-with-chunky-sandals travel get up.

Which is where a super slim “running belt” – no, you don’t have to be a runner, trust me – comes in handy.

Throw one of these on to safely and inconspicuously store a few essentials, like a phone, cash, a credit card or keys, when you go out to see the sights.

[earnist ref=”slim-running-belt” id=”13592″]

19.  One80 Peripheral LED Headlamp


Years on List:  New This Year!

When the power goes out in the third world country you’re traveling through, you don’t want to be the one stuck without a light (speaking from experience).

And having a headlamp makes a lot more sense than carrying around a heavier, and less useful, flashlight.

But even traditional headlamps only show you what’s right in front of you, leaving you with “tunnel vision”.

Imagine having a headlamp that illuminates an entire 180-degree field so you can have full range of vision?

That’s exactly what the (aptly named) One80 LED headlamp does – and because it comes with a rechargeable battery that lasts 7+ hours on low, you’ll never be in the dark again.

The perfect stocking stuffer!

Special Offer:  Use the promo code EPOP at checkout to get 10% off!

[earnist ref=”one80-led-headlamp” id=”13593″]

20. headphone splitter

Headphone splitter

Years on List: 5

It’s simple and unsexy, but if you’re traveling with a companion then a headphone splitter might be the best bang for your buck on this entire list.

It allows you to watch all your favorite tv shows and movies together without having to play the whole “left ear for you, right ear for me” game that gets old after a few hours minutes.

[earnist ref=”headphone-splitter” id=”13595″]

21. TILE Slim or Tile Sport



Years on List: 2

This is probably the best $35 you will ever spend – especially if you’re someone who loses their wallet in multiple countries (coughTravcough).

This small device that you can adhere to your keys, wallet, laptop, etc. so that you can find them when they’re lost. Check out how it works here.

Bonus – since last year, they’ve come out with a “Tile Sport” edition that is more rugged and clips on to any item, which might work even better than the original Tile for travelers.

[earnist ref=”tile-sport” id=”13597″]



Years on List: 2

The more electronics we accumulate, the messier our bags become.

Cords, cords, everywhere!

In previous years, we have included the cord taco in our gift guide but this cord roll is much more streamlined and all of your cords can be organized in one place.

Clocking in at under $20 and an assortment of fun colors – this is sure to be a favorite gift for the traveler in your life.

[earnist ref=”travel-cord-roll” id=”13598″]



Years on list: 3

The perfect size for carrying around in your pocket or purse and jotting down important travel notes, like where to find the best baguette in Paris or best gelato in Florence.

I never leave for any trip without at least two Moleskines at my disposal.

[earnist ref=”moleskin-3-pack-cahier-notebooks” id=”13599″]


What’s the best thing to do when you’re not traveling?

Read about other people’s experiences!

If you’re stuck without a trip in the near future, get lost in someone else’s adventures with some of our favorite travel books and magazines.




Years on List:  2

One of the best books, of any genre, that I’ve read.  Ever.

Not particularly interested in North Korea?

No problem, neither was I before I started this book.

Now?  I’m fascinated – and there is no better starting point than this true story of a kidnapped filmmaker, his star actress, and a young dictator’s rise to power.

Do yourself a favor and pick this book up…and I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down.

[earnist ref=”kim-jung-il-production-book” id=”13600″]

25. The Hidden Europe by Francis Tapon

Book - Hidden Europe

Years on List: 4

Ever dreamed of exploring Eastern Europe?  You need this book!

Have no clue why anyone would want to explore Eastern Europe?  You need this book!

Francis Tapon’s account of his journey to all 25 Eastern European countries is like the world’s most interesting history textbook combined with a hilarious travelogue.

I’ve read it multiple times, and I still find myself referring back to it every time I get a bit of wanderlust for the “hidden” Europe.

[earnist ref=”hidden-europe-book” id=”13601″]

26. magazine Subscrptions

Years on List: 2

Magazine subscriptions are awesome because they’re the gift that keeps on giving…month after month after month.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Outside Magazine 


A great magazine for the explorer in you. 1 year for $24

Sidetracked Magazine – Adventure + Exploration


This magazine also has a beautiful website for the most amazing travel inspiration.

3 Issues for $33

Cereal – Travel + Style


The minimal travel magazine – easily compared to Kinfolk.

Buy a 2 edition subscription for $27

Suitcase Magazine –  Fashion + Travel.

suitcase-magazineComes with 4 volumes and a digital edition for $32. Their website is also a great resource for packing guides!

For Men.

Here are six clothing items that have made my travel life infinitely better and saved me tons of room in my pack.


Bluffs Chino

Years on List:  3

Very few articles of clothing get me excited…but Bluffworks Chinos are the exception.  

They are not only the best travel pants, but the best pants out there, period.

Bluff Works chinos check every single box:

  • Lightweight
  • Wrinkle-free
  • Super comfortable due to the stretchiness of the fabric
  • Look awesome
  • Special travel pant perks like zipper pockets to keep from being pickpocketed or just having your wallet or phone slide out.
  • Made in the US by a company dedicated to quality and their customers.

I have 3 pairs (harvest gold, blue, and khaki) and I wear them – every. single. day.

In fact, I’m wearing them right now as I write this!

They are, legitimately, that awesome.

Special Offer:  Don’t forget to use the promo code EPOP when checking out to get 10% off!

[earnist ref=”bluffworks-chinos” id=”13602″]

28.  Bluffworks Travel Blazer

Years on List: New This Year!

There are very few things in this world I love as much as my Bluffworks Chinos (listed above).  My Bluffworks Travel Blazer is one of them.

I was never a “blazer guy” – you couldn’t pack them because they’d wrinkle, they weren’t comfortable and they just looked too corporate.  Give me a hoodie instead.

That all changed when Bluffworks released their wrinkle-free, breathable, stretchy, and lightweight blazer built specifically for travelers.

I’ve taken this blazer around the world with me.

I’ve worn it on planes and on the back of motorbikes.  I’ve worn it to the theater and to a super posh wedding in the Cotswolds.

And I’ve shoved it in my backpack and left it there for days.

No matter what I do to this blazer, it not only holds up, but it looks as good as the day I first got it.

Between the Bluffworks blazer and the chinos, I don’t need much else (except shoes, which brings us to…)

[earnist ref=”bluffworks-travel-blazer” id=”13603″]

29. Vivobarefoot Gobi Boots


Years on List:  3

Want a classy pair of boots but don’t have the room in your bag for big, clunky ones?

No problem!

Vivobarefoot, which was started by a great-grandson of the famous shoemaker Clarks, has the answer.

Their Gobi boots look very similar to the wildly popular Clark’s desert boots (big surprise) but are half the weight and also fit nicely in luggage due to the fact that they have a minimal sole.

Finally, a boot that where a traveler doesn’t have to sacrifice style in order to fit into their bag!

Plus, they’re available in leather, suede, or canvas and all types of colors.

[earnist ref=”vivobarefoot-mens-gobi-ii” id=”13605″]

30. VivoBarefoot Ultra 3’s

Years on List:  New This Year!

For every trip I take, I pack 3-4 pairs of shoes.  A “dressy enough” pair (the above Gobi boot), a pair of sandals, and a pair of sneakers.

And in order to pack a pair of sneakers that don’t take up your entire bag, you need to pack a pair of barefoot ones.

While I’m not a huge runner, I have run (slowly) in these plenty of times.

But the main reason I love them so much is that they are flexible enough to wear for almost any outdoor activity, whether it be dry (hiking, walking around a city, etc.) or wet (swimming, rafting, kayaking or even just splashing around in the rain)!

After trying out numerous pairs of barefoot sneakers, the Vivobarefoot Ultras are my all time favorite and have been with me to over 30 countries!

[earnist ref=”vivobarefoot-mens-ultra-3-barefoot-sneakers” id=”13607″]

31. Adidas Climalite Boxer Briefs


Years on List: 4

Traveling to a hot location? Cotton underwear just isn’t going to cut it!

These will keep you dry all day, are much cheaper and more comfortable than the popular Ex Officio brand, and can be washed easily in the sink if need be.

[earnist ref=”adidas-mens-sport-performance-climalite-boxer-brief-underwear-2-pack” id=”13608″]

For Women

All women’s gifts are recommendations from Heather Sherry, the brain behind the fashion site Sartorial Stripes and the one who constantly stuns everyone by how good she looks while travels – and who keeps me from wearing sweatpants around the world.

Here’s Heather…

 32. Sseko Designs Weekender Bag

Years on list: New This Year!

As much as I love my Cuyana tote (it was on the gift guide for three years!), I decided it was time to switch things up and add one of my favorite purchases of 2017.

I have been searching for a beautiful leather weekender bag for a few years and wanted to make sure I found one that was worth the splurge.

This Oyster weekender bag from Sseko Designs is large enough for an “over packer” like me and can easily be organized using packing cubes.

If you want to support an incredible fair trade company that empowers women while also buying a gorgeous leather weekender bag then this is your chance! Read more about Sseko Designs and their mission to send Ugandan women to college here.

[earnist ref=”sseko-oyster-weekender-bag” id=”13609″]



Years on List: 2

I bought this wool hat from Madewell two years ago and I’ve worn it A LOT ever since. It is perfect for covering up a bad hair day, which can happen more than you like when traveling.

It looks great paired with some aviators and a cargo jacket.

If you’re traveling somewhere colder, I also love these options from Amazon – this really affordable wool hat with a removable pompom and this cashmere set, which includes a scarf and gloves if you are really looking to spoil the traveler in your life! 

[earnist ref=”madewell-wool-blend-baseball-cap” id=”13611″]



Years on List: 2

I always travel with a sneaker and in past years, I’ve sworn by the Nike Internationlist sneaker.

While I still love the Nike Internationalist and wear them frequently, last year I finally bought these Superga sneakers and I love them! I brought them on all of our trips the past year and they look great with basically any outfit and are incredibly comfortable.

They come in both leather and canvas and have a variety of colors. I went with the classic white leather because they are durable and easy to clean, but I am already eying up the black pair!

[earnist ref=”superga-2750-auleau-sneaker-white” id=”13612″]

35. Elevated Leggings

Topshop Leggings

Years On List:  5

Leggings are a travel must-have.

These faux leather leggings are affordable (on sale for $19!!!) and look great with a cozy oversize sweater for those long plane rides but look equally stylish when you land. 

I wear them constantly paired with ankle boots or sneakers.

This version from Express are a little more expensive but are thicker – which means they might be a little warmer.  I bought the same pair last year and I love them.

[earnist ref=”nordstrom-faux-leather-leggings” id=”13613″]



Years on List: 2

Last year, I bought a Halogen cashmere wrap from Nordstrom before we embarked on our two month trip to Europe.

From the first flight, where I was considerably warmer and cozier, I was hooked.

I was especially grateful I had it wandering around Norway on some very cloudy and chilly days.

My exact wrap is sold out, but there is a new version from Halogen this year that looks very similar and just as cozy! I also found a few more affordable options on Amazon.

[earnist ref=”100-cashmere-wrap-shawl-extra-large-scarf” id=”13614″]

37. commute Clutch + tassel KeyChain

Years On List:  New This Year!

Believe it or not, I have not bought a new wallet in over 8 years!

Now that we have a newborn and are toting around a diaper bag the idea of an organized clutch to easily move between bags makes a lot of sense to me.

So whether you are a new mom as well or just like to be organized when you travel, this clutch will easily serve both purposes! Add on the tassel charger and you are good to go!

[earnist ref=”mark-graham-commute-clutch-tassel-keychain” id=”13615″]

Heather’s Picks.

Now that we’ve got the clothes out of the way, here are a few more of Heather’s personal favorites that will make your travel even easier and more stylish.

38. Sseko Designs Leather Pouch Set


Years on List: New this year!

Another favorite purchase for me this year!

I have been wanting a few leather pouches to organize the random items that seem to collect at the bottom of my tote bag or suitcase.

These well-made leather moon clutches from Sseko Designs come in a few different colors and definitely helped me keep my bag tidy on our last few trips.

I used the largest one for my makeup and lotion and I have to say it is much nicer to look at three matching bags then a few random plastic bags, which is what I was using before. Cheers for the upgrade!

[earnist ref=”sseko-leather-moon-clutch-set-set-3″ id=”13617″]



Years on List: 2

Staying warm on the plane is essential for a comfortable flight. No matter what time of year I am flying, I always pack a cozy pair of socks.

If you are looking to spoil the traveler in your life, then these luxurious cashmere socks make the perfect gift!

[earnist ref=”6-pairs-cashmere-wool-socks” id=”13619″]



Years on List: 2

This foil map has been on my personal wishlist for over a year – and it’s making its second appearance on our gift guide (hint, hint!)

Minted is a great website for finding exciting artwork and I love that you can choose just the print or include a frame.

Any traveler would love to incorporate a map of their favorite city into their home decor.

[earnist ref=”minted-foil-city-map” id=”13620″]

\\Trav’s Picks

A special selection of what I consider some of the coolest and most unique travel gifts you can buy.

41. Ticket Stub Diary

Years on list:  New this year!

We’ve been using a ticket stub diary for years, and have already filled up two whole books with mementos from all over the world.

But this year, we’ve included a brand new ticket stub diary option that is sleeker than year’s past – and will look great on any shelf or coffee table!

These ticket stub diaries are the perfect way to keep track of all those crazy adventures – even after you’ve come home!

[earnist ref=”classy-wire-bound-ticket-stub-diary” id=”13621″]

42. Inflatable Solar Lantern

This product was recommended by our good friend and travel gear guru Stefan Loble, founder of Bluffworks (and now I really, really want it too)!

A lantern that collapses down to 1 inch, can float, lasts for up to 24 hours, and works on solar power?  Why wouldn’t you want something like this in your life?

While most people would think of using this for camping, I can think of hundreds of times in my travels that don’t involve camping where this would come in handy.

There’s a reason that this is so highly rated – and while it’s at the top of my wishlist this year!

[earnist ref=”mpowerd-luci-outdoor-2-0-inflatable-solar-light” id=”13623″]

43. Flying Fisherman Fowey Sunglasses

No, I don’t fly fish.  In fact, I don’t fish at all (too boring for me).

But for as weird as the name and branding are, the sunglasses are equally as awesome and perfect for travel.

Their rugged, polarized, don’t scratch easily, won’t slip all over your face, and look great.

Plus, they’re cheap, so you don’t have to worry if you leave them in a beach cabana in Thailand or they come flying off while jetskiing on Lake Winnipesaukee (whoops)!

[earnist ref=”flying-fisherman-fowey-polarized-sunglasses” id=”13624″]

44. CutMaps Wooden Cell Phone Case of Your Favorite City

I’ve had a CutMaps cellphone case of Portland, Oregon for the last two years and I’ve gotten more compliments on it than anything else (yes, even more than the man bun I once rocked)!

The premise is simple and in the name – they laser cut the map of your favorite city on to a wooden cell phone case that allows you to rep your hometown or your favorite city wherever you go.

Plus, the case is super durable and helps protect your precious smartphone.  I’ve dropped mine countless times and never had an issue!

[earnist ref=”cut-maps-wooden-cell-phone-case” id=”13625″]


What’s on your travel wishlist?  Did you buy anything from the list above?  Did we miss anything?  Let us know in the comments below!

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The Ultimate Packing Guide for Women – Fall ... Packing for a trip can be the worst part of planning - and wondering if you are packing too little, too much, or even the right items for the climate can be a daunting task. I have taken enough trips to have packing down to a science. And alt...

Author: Trav

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  • So excited to see this year’s list! Purchased many things off of last year’s list.
    Do you remember when I posted about trying to find those Merrell shoes for myself? Was not successful and have been to so many stores around the country. My husband’s continue to sit in the back of the closet. He did, however, purchase a pair of boots similar to the Gobi’s.
    We loved the Long Way Round and Long Way Down series and have recommended them to others.
    Also bought the Monster Outlet strip but haven’t used it as much as I thought.
    Rainbow sandals are my 17-year-old’s favorite shoes.
    My daughter has the Madewell tote and I just found something similar through Office Depot (5X ppd) for only $19.99!
    TJMaxx also had the absorbent towel, packing cubes and travel bottles when I was shopping yesterday.
    Merry Christmas!

    • Linda- I’m interested to hear what boots your husband has and if he likes them. and you’re right, the Long Way Round and Down DVD series are just phenomenal. I’ve never had anyone say they don’t like them.

      You found something similar to the Madewell Tote for $19.99? That’s incredible. Heather is dying for the Madewell tote, I wish I could get 5x for buying it for her!

      • Travis, take a look at this link that Points and Pixie Dust posted.

        If you go through the Buxton website, the bag is now $19.99 and there are numerous colors. Also use this code to get 20 percent off – 20off.

        If you order two, you get free shipping. Total cost of two bags: $31.98. You must order at least two to get the free shipping.

        Amazon also has for $24.99 with free shipping so you could get 5X by buying a Amazon gift card at OD or using your Chase Freedom. For me, I would rather get two for under $32 and stick with one point for a regular spend. I went with black and natural.

        His boots are G.H. Bass and were purchased at Sam’s Club. (Used a prepaid Visa purchased at OD so I got 5X). Think they were under $40.

        Also bought him the GoPro4 Black. Think he will love this!

        • @Linda- Wow, you got him a GoPro4 Black? That’s awesome. I really, really want one. And that bag is really nice, Heather says she definitely approves. Thanks for all the suggestions!

          • Not really sure what he plans to do with the GoPro but hope it doesn’t sit in the back of the closet with the Merrill shoes!
            Keep up the great job you and Heather are doing! Love your blog and podcasts! You were one of the first that I started reading and one of the few that I continue to read!
            Merry Christmas!

    • I’m surprised that neither you (Travis) or Linda have considered anything having to do with coffee! Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t always travel to places that have good coffee shops.

      Hands down my favorite travel-related coffee gift is a travel espresso maker. Ha! I added it to my own list here:

      Thanks for sharing Travis. Been doing a lot of travel reading lately and this Extra Pack of Peanuts website has come up numerous times.

      • @Josh – I’m sure Heather will love you for this recommendation. Since I don’t drink coffee, it never even crossed my mind. I’m really glad you’ve found our site numerous times. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with!

  • Hi Travis,

    Great list and I will be picking up several of your and Heather’s picks. Question about the backpack as to whether you both have the full size tortuga or the smaller air. I worry about carrying weight on my back and was curious as to how comfortable you find it when fully packed. I tend to only be gone 7 to 10 days at a time due to work.

    • @Kara Frampton- I have the full size Tortuga. The Air isn’t out yet, so I haven’t been able to personally try it out, although I did get to see it when Fred, Tortuga’s founder, and I got together earlier this year.

      My Tortuga, when fully stocked to the brim and having a lot of electronics in it, weighs in at around 10 kilos. This is a little heavy, but not toooo bad for a backpack. Obviously, you could simply pack less and it would be much lighter. If you did that, I think it’d be perfect. The actual fit of the Tortuga regular is nice, so if you packed less and less electronics, then it would be perfect for you I think.

  • Hey Trav, I have a question for you. Why do you like the MacBook Air better than the iPad Air? I am considering getting the iPad Air because it is so portable and easy to store. Is there an advantage to having the MBA? Thanks for the list.

    • @Gail- The difference is in what you need it for and how you will use it. I NEED a Macbook Air because I need everything a computer can do – word documents, writing blog posts, excel, etc. All the functions of a laptop.

      If you only need something for browsing the internet and reading books and such, a tablet like the iPad Air makes perfect sense. But if you need something that can have all the functions of a laptop, you’ll be disappointed in having an iPad because there is a lot you can’t do on it.

  • Great posts! I got the carry on tortuga backpack. Do u think I can sneak through Spiritair without getting the fees if I don’t check in bags. I’ve gotten in through before with an oversized bag and they didn’t say anything. My mom got in with a duffle bag without paying fees. We just checked in online and printed our boarding pass without having to go to the agents and went through without a problem. I don’t if they’ll stop me with that backpack though. It’d be my first time trying .

    • @Tatiana- I’ve been able to use my Tortuga as a carryon on Air Asia and RyanAir, two normally strict airlines. I’ve never tried Spirit, but I’m guessing yes. The Tortuga definitely doesn’t look that big.

  • Hi Trav!

    Thank you for your suggestions! You have some cool selection here. I love your own picks. Cork globe is great not only for remembering those dreamlike places you have seen but also for setting new goals and destinations :)

    As a frequent traveler myself I also gathered some gifts travelers would love. Besides they are affordable and have great reviews. Here they are:

    • @Anna- Thanks, now that I’m home, I can get myself a cork globe.

      Love your list too, especially Ticket to Ride, my favorite board game in the world. Thanks for sharing!

      • You are welcome Trav! I haven’t tried Ticket to Ride yet, but after reading the reviews and now hearing such good words from you I am even more interested.
        How was your trip? What did you like the best in South East Asia? I have lived 8 months in the Philippines. Have you been there? Beaches and islands are stunning there!

        Have a great day,


        • @Anna- Unfortunately, I’ve never made it to the Philippines. I hear great things (except about the food, which everyone says is terrible). Ticket to Ride is awesome, you should definitely pick it up when you get a chance!

  • A Kindle Paperwhite is a must! I know I could just read books on my phone, but it’s just not anywhere close to the same. Plus it’s uncanny how the Paperwhite Kindles really do look like real paper, especially in the sunlight. Technology, man.

  • Hello there! Quick question that’s totally off topic.
    Do you know how to make your site mobike friendly? My sit looks weiird when viewing
    from my iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this problem.
    If you have any suggestions, please share. Many thanks!

  • That’s a pretty through shopping list … it’ll be useful to start shopping for next Christmas, since prices are really low right now in January!

  • Great piece! We’re trying to decide whether we want to upgrade our GoPro (still using the Hero2) or switch to the new Sony Action Cam. Have you tried the Sony yet? It’s more expensive, but the HD resolution is incredible.

    • @Bret- No, I haven’t tried out the Sony Action Cam yet, but sounds and looks awesome. I don’t think you could go wrong with either, but if you try out the Sony, come back and comment and let us know how it is!

  • Wow, what a list! This is the best travellers gifts compilation I have ever come across. I love adventure sports like mountain biking, trekking, scuba diving and so on. I would love to get a few of these things for myself for my next trip. Thank you for sharing.

  • Just started listening in preparation for our summer trip to Paris, Spain and Portugal/Azores Islands. We plan on staying at Airbnbs with washers/dryers so I’m planning to pack light. Do you think it would be possible to use the Tortuga for 3.5-4 week trip? Thinking of using the same format of packing as Heather’s blog entry. Let me know. Thanks!

    • @Angie – Yes, it’s definitely possible, especially going to warmer climates and places with washers and dryers. I’ve personally used it on a 2 month trip, and Heather has used a similar carry on sized backpack for those trips as well. So yes, you could easily pull off using the Tortuga for that extended amount of time.

      Remember, the key is to only pack for a week, no matter how long you are going!

  • what a amazing post! Thanks for sharing – definitely can’t live without most of them during travel. But GoPro is only selected bunch of individuals. It got a fish eye lens – so some of the pics (WARNING WARNING!!!) may look funny.

    • @Farhan- Yeah, the GoPro is great for certain things, agreed. But we prefer DSLR camera or iPhone for “regular pics”. Glad you like it!

  • Great post! Any recommendations for a men’s travel toiletries case? I have an LL Bean one but its too big when traveling with only a backpack carry on. Thanks!!

  • Just embarked on a year long trip and loving your podcasts and website- thanks! Took so many tips that are really panning out.
    Question about the Monster adapter though, it hasn’t worked in my first three countries: Spain, Portugal, Morocco. They require the two prongs, which the Monster adapter has, but all the wall plugs we’ve seen are rounded and recessed into the outlet?? So the rectangular flat adapter we have doesn’t work.

    Am I missing something/I feel like you guys have DEF been to these countries. And we’ve been in several different airbnbs, even a fancy hotel (bc we could afford it in Morocco) and checked at cafes and hallways etc…. all recessed and our prongs don’t reach so we had to purchase a local one.

    What gives, any one else have this issue, and is my Monster going to work in other places or should I ditch it now.

    THANKS !!

    • Did you unscrew the prongs to make them longer? They should fit, but I found it a little tricky to make work all the time. I ended up buying a European USB charger for $5 and it worked awesome.

    • @Stacey – Yeah, lots of goodness in here. Anything in particular catch your eye? Or things with a plural s? let us know which ones.

  • Trav, I love so many of your suggestions, especially the Globe Ornament, the book on N. Korea, and the stylish sneaker and leggings recommended by Heather, thanks a million! In your email P.S. you teased with this and I didn’t figure out what it is: “probably the least sexy, but most important, piece of travel equipment you can bring with you” – ok, what is it?! :) Thanks so much, jude

    • @Jude McCormick – Glad you love it, and thanks for specifically mentioning which ones you are excited about. Heather will be thrilled to hear about hte leggings and sneakers and ornaments. Those were all her choices, so 3 for Heather, 1 for me. Looks like she is winning!

      The least sexy but most important piece was a headphone splitter. If you’ve ever tried to watch a movie with a significant other or travel partner and had to split headphones, you know how much it stinks. For under $4, you can save A LOT of hassle!

  • Thank you for putting together this list, it is always fun to read. I’ve purchased several of the stuff you mentioned already and it is truly awesome. Like the Tortuga backpack, it doesn’t look as bulky as your traditional backpack so I haven’t had to check it in at airports.

    Thank you for the work you do. Your ebooks, blog posts, and podcast, have opened up my mind to long term travel. I really didn’t think it was possible before coming across your website. I have traveled Latin America and right now I am in Europe. Thank you!!!

    Also, I would like to add that is a free app that I love because it pinpoints my exact spot in the map even though my phone is not activated nor connected to wifi. You might have recommended this already, idk… I just wanted to give this app a shout out.

    • @Marcos Rocha – Man, this makes my day. Really, really glad we could open up your eyes to a whole new world of long term travel. And so glad that you took the steps to make it happen – we just provide the tools, you do the real work, so pat yourself on the back for that!

      Where are you in Europe?

      I’ve used before a little bit, and liked it, but never recommended it here yet, so thanks for the shout out. I’ll be sure to try to use it more extensively now!

  • I agree with the kindle, but I think it’s more valuable to find an old kindle keyboard generation 3. That was the latest version that Amazon gave free worldwide data for. They cut it to 50 mb per month, but it is fantastic to get to a new country and have enough of a data connection to pull up a map or check an email. There’s even a (slightly illicit) way to use the kindle data on a laptop!

    • @Ben – Wow, now that is a real hack. Had no idea you could even do that. But one of the things I prefer about the Kindle is that I can’t access the internet. I prefer using it just to read!

  • I love that cork globe and a community member kindly bought it for me as a gift after I posted how cool it was on Facebook. It sits at my new apartment in Wellington and I need to figure out how to stick 70 pins into it now to mark the countries I’ve visited.

    Love these ideas though, I’m going to go shopping it seems (and you’re going to benefit because you deserve the affiliate payouts!)

    • @Natalie Sisson – That’s awesome…I hope someone from my community buys me one (hint hint).

      Go shopping girl…you deserve it!

  • When I went to Amazon to order the Monster Outlets to Go Adapter, I noticed a comment saying you will also need a transformer. Did you find that to be true?

    Love this list and the podcast!!

  • Oh, didn’t say it in previous comment, but as far as electronics, I will only be taking my MacBook Air, iPhone, and Kindle. Not sure if that will make a difference in your reply.

  • When I went to Amazon to order the Monster Outlets to Go Adapter, I noticed a comment saying you will also need a transformer. Did you find that to be true? ( I will only be taking my MacBook Air, iPhone, and Kindle. Not sure if that will make a difference in your reply.)

  • Just listened to the 2017 podcast version – great list. My boyfriend is doing some extended travelling next year and I’ll be joining for some of it, I can’t wait to surprise him this Christmas with many of the items listed!

    A must have for me when travelling is a plastic roll-up vacuum-seal bag. (I know, nothing too fancy or exciting!) Essentially it’s a big sturdy plastic bag that you can roll out the air from one end and it vacuum seals the contents. It’s great to bring and store dirty laundry along the way so that the rest of your clothes don’t stink sitting next to dirty ones in your travel bag. Once you do your laundry, it can fold up to practically nothing and store in a side pocket until you need to use it again! And it saves on space being vacuum seal, win-win! I bought a few in different sizes that I can take with me depending on length of trip and how often I think I can do laundry abroad.

    • @Michelle – This is a great suggestion! I actually have a few that I packed in when we were moving a ton of stuff to Japan so I’d have more room in my big suitcases (this was before I was a carryon only type guy) but I’ve never thought to use them since, and I don’t know why. Can’t wait to pull these out and take them on the next trip with me. Thanks!

  • I second that GoTubb small containers… it’s completely changed my ability to carry on when I fly. I use them for my face lotion and hair creams where I only need a little product. They stack beautifully in my quart sized bag leaving room for other bulkier things like my hairspray and dry shampoo :) I also use the GoToob small containers as well, they allow more products into the quart sized bag. Glad they made the list this year, been meaning to write in and tell you all!

    • @Jes – Yeah, they are a very, very good addition to the list. Heather has loved her GoToob’s for a while, so excited to give the GoTubbs a try. Sometimes, the littlest things make the biggest impacts!

  • Question: Does the Pixter lens work well with the Mophie juice pack on?
    Recommendation: I just discovered that icebreaker merino wool socks are guaranteed for life. They are about $20/pair but if they get a hole in them you just take them back to the store for a new pair. Also, they don’t stink!

    • @Peter Scott – The Pixter Lens does go on with the Mophie Juice Pack but it’s not ideal. The Juice Pack is a bit too bulky for it to fit well. Also, great call on those Merino socks. That’s a pretty sweet guarantee.

  • Thank you so much for this awesome list! I travel frequently to Europe and definitely need most of these things.
    By the way, what is your opinion about “Lonely Planet” travel magazine? Is is similar to CN Traveller?

    Also, big fan of your podcast. I have listened to almost every episode of yours since the last 2 years.

    • @Upendra – Glad you liked it and so happy you’ve listened to all our episodes over the last few years. I haven’t read Lonely Planet magazine yet – might be one for me to add to my list and check out.

  • Hi Travis and Heather,

    One item that my husband and I always pack is Lush’s Honey I Washed My Hair shampoo bar. It’s great because the shampoo is very moisturizing and it’s a solid so no need to worry about it being a liquid and going through airport security. We carry it in Lush’s square tin as we found the round tin was just a little too snug for the shampoo. Hope you guys can try it out. We love your podcast!!

    • @Mindy – Great advice, I’ll pass it along to Heather. She’ll be super excited she doesn’t need to worry about liquids being confiscated. A bit of a pet peeve of hers!

  • The most useful thing for me in this list is travel cord roll.. And I also like vivobarefoot ultra 3s shoes. Its Sexy.. I like your list as all things are very useful during travelling. Thank you both of you.