The 46 Best Gifts for Travelers


[UPDATED: November 16, 2016]

Every year, for the past four 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 four 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 brewery maps and from cord rolls to cashmere socks, there’s something here for everyone.

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:  New this year!

While I’ve loved my Tortuga Backpack for the past 3 years, this year they’ve come out with a brand new backpack – The Outbreaker – just in time for the holiday season.

And all I can say is…wow!

Not only does it look cooler than 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.

Best Part – You still get 10% of any order by using the promo code EPOP at checkout!

Buy the 45L for $225 (regular price is $249) 

or the 35L for $202 (regular price is $224) 

by using the promo code EPOP for a 10% discount at checkout. 


Years on the list: New this year!

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 it’s many features include:

  • a range of of sizes with great colors
  • a life time warranty
  • a battery for charging electronics
  • a scratch resistant surface.

We’re obsessesd! 

Buy it from Away Travel for $245

3. Zero Grid Packing Cubes


Years on List: New this year!

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.

Buy them from Zero Grid here, using code “EXTRAPACK” for 25% off their entire catalog until 12/31/16.


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

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

4. 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.

Buy it from Amazon


iPad Air

Years on List: New this Year!

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!

Buy it new from Amazon (price varies depending on size you want)



Years on List: 3 – New update this year!

It’s important for everyone to back up their files, but especially travelers.

You don’t want to lose those incredible pictures of an Australian sunset when your laptop crashes, do you?

We have included this external hard drive on our gift guide for several year but now it’s a slimmer and sleeker version that makes packing it even easier.

The Seagate Seven is perfect because it’s the lightest and slimmest external hard drive on the market (no one wants to carry extra weight if they don’t have to) and it has up to 750gb of space, meaning you’ll never run out.

Buy it from Amazon



Years on List: New this year!

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! 

But it on Amazon

8. Moment superfish iPhone 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 in to a high quality option at a fraction of the price of a good camera.

Buy them from Moment Lens

9. Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite

Years On List: 2

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.

Buy it from Amazon

10. Monster Outlets to Go Global Adapter

Monster outlet adapter

Years on List: 2

Better not show up in a foreign country without an adapter…or else you’ll be without electronics for awhile!

The Monster Adapter is the smallest, most lightweight one on the market and works in over 150 countries.

Buy it from Amazon



Years on List: New this year!

When you travel, you’ve got a lot of electronics – and not a lot of outlets to charge them.

No problem – if you’ve got the Belkin Surge Plus Mini.

Not only will this give you 3 additional outlets, but also 2 USB charging ports, and since it’s the smallest, most portable power strip out there, it makes the perfect travel gift.

Buy it on Amazon


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.

12. Mack Ultrasoft Foam Earplugs


macks earplugs

Years on List: 4

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)!

Buy a 50 pack on Amazon


pack towel

Years on List: 4

When we get home, this is the one item that never gets unpacked, and therefore, we never forget it.

It’s soft, takes up almost no space and dries in a flash.  We’d recommend the XL size.  An absolutely essential item.

On Amazon (XL recommended)

14. GoToob Travel Bottles

travel tubes

Years on List: 2

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!

Buy them from Amazon





Years on List: New this year!

In an effort to use more natural remedies, we have been traveling with the next two items on our list. Packing small bottles of essential oils can help with any number of things including:

  • reducing stress
  • helping with cuts, bruises and skin irritation
  • helping you get better sleep

Put a few drops in your bath or on your pillow before bed and you just might kick that jet lag!

Buy it on Amazon

16. Melatonin




Years on List: New this year!

It’s difficult to sleep on planes and even harder to combat jet lag once you arrive at your destination.

That’s why we are firm believers in using a sleep aid to make sure when you can fall asleep – and you stay asleep!

Buy it on Amazon

Stocking Stuffers

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



Years on List: New this year!

If you’ve ever been stuck paying exorbitant amounts to have a hotel do your laundry – or been stuck doing your own laundry in the sink because you refused to pay those amounts – then the Scrubba bag is for you!

Super lightweight, packs up small, and allows you to easily do a load of laundry wherever you are by simply adding a bit of soap, some water, and using the built in scrubbing board.

There’s even instructions on the side of the bag – it doesn’t get much easier than that!

Ingenious idea and a great product that will save you tons of money and hassle in the long run.

Buy it on Amazon

18.  Shining Buddy LED Head Lamp

Head light

Years on List: 2

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.

While most other headlamps cost $20+, the Shining Buddy is just as good, just as light, and cheaper.

The perfect stocking stuffer!

Buy it from Amazon

19.  Headphone splitter

Headphone splitter

Years on List: 4

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 after a few hours minutes.

Buy them on Amazon




Years on List: New this year!

Ever sat at the airport, searching for an outlet and when one finally opens up, you can only charge one device…so your laptop dies in order for your phone to charge? Or vice versa?

Never be stuck choosing between your favorite electronics again with the Zolt 3 in 1.

The best part? It is only slightly bigger than a tube of chapstick, making it easy to pack and the perfect stocking stuffer!

Buy it on Amazon




Years on List: New this year!

This is probably the best $30 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.

This item has already been procured for a member of the EPoP team… any guesses as to who received this for an early present?

Buy it from Tile for $30



Years on List: New this year!

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.

Buy from Brouk & Co for $19.99



Years on list: 2

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 moleskins at my disposal.

Buy a three pack on Amazon


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

Reading 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:  New this year!

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 film maker, 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.

Buy it from Amazon

25. Life on Foot by Nate Damm

Book - Life on Foot

Years on List: 2

It took Nate Damm seven and a half months to walk across America.  It took me 2 days to rip through his incredible account of his journey.

I loved it, and I know you will too.

Buy it from Amazon

26. The Road Headed West by Leon McCarron

Book - The Road Headed West

Years on List: 2

Before Leon McCarron was a world famous explorer, he was just a young, confused college graduate.  So he did what any self-respecting Northern Irishman would do – he set out to bike from New York to Hong Kong.

14,000 miles later, he wrote about it.

This is one of my top 10 travel books of all time because it combines deft storytelling with honest emotions, quintessential self-deprecating humor, and of course, some great travel mishaps.

Buy it from Amazon

27. The Hidden Europe by Francis Tapon

Book - Hidden Europe

Years on List: 3

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.

Buy it on Amazon

28. magazine Subscrptions

Years on List: New this year!

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. There 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:  2

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

The are not only the best travel pant, 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.

Buy them from Bluffworks for $112.50 (regular price $125) by using the special promo code EPOP at checkout to get 10% off.

26. Vivobarefoot Gobi Boots

gobi boot

Years on List:  2

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 shoe maker 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 in to bag!

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

Buy them from Amazon (you may have to search around the internet for your size and color)


Vivo Tigray

Years on List:  2

As much as I like my Vivobarefoot Gobi boots, I like the Tigrays even more!  I was blown away by incredible these shoes look and also how well they’ve held up.

I’ve worn them all across the world, and the only issue I’ve ever had is a broken shoelace – which is quite an easy fix.

These are the perfect “dressy-enough-to-go-out-in-but-casual-enough-to-wear-with-shorts” shoes.

Buy them from Amazon

28.  Merrell Trail Glove Barefoot Running Shoes


Years on List:  3

For every trip I take, I pack 3-4 pairs of shoes.  A “dressy enough” pair (the above mentioned Tigray shoe, Gobi boot or both), a pair of sandals (the Rainbows listed below), 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 have just enough padding to hike in (whereas other barefoot shoes have too little), their semi-waterproof, and yet still pack very, very easily.

After trying out numerous pairs of barefoot sneakers, the Merrell Trail Gloves are still my all time favorites.

Buy them from Amazon

30. Adidas Climalite Boxer Briefs


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.

Buy them from Amazon (2 pack)

For Women

All women’s gifts are recommendations from Heather Sherry, brainchild 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…

34. Cuyana Leather Tote

Cuyana Tote

Years on list: 3

There is a reason this tote has been on our gift guide for three years – it’s classic, stylish and made with beautiful yet durable leather.

I’ve taken this tote on every trip for the past two years and it still looks great!

There are lots of colors to choose from but my favorites are black, stone and caramel.

Cuyana has also released a larger zippered option which you can check out here.

Buy it from Cuyana for $175.



Years on List: 2

I bought this wool hat from Madewell last year and I’ve worn it quite a bit 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 this cashmere option from Amazon 

Buy from Madewell for $32



Years on List: New this year

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, I’m ready to invest in a white leather sneaker as a second option for packing.

If you frequent instagram, you will have seen this adidas sneaker popping up everywhere this year.

I’m more partial to the classic leather Superga sneaker and I’ll be putting it on my Christmas list this year. 

Buy them from Amazon

37. Elevated Leggings

Topshop Leggings

Leggings are a travel must-have.

These Express leggings are affordable and look great with a cozy oversize sweater for those long plane rides but look equally stylish when you land. (Similar pair on Amazon.)

I wear them constantly paired with ankle boots or sneakers.

This version from Ann Taylor are a little more expensive but are thicker and dressier – meaning you can feel comfortable wearing them out to dinner.  I bought the same pair last year and I love them – plus their currently 40% off.

Buy them from Topshop for $35

Buy them from Ann Taylor for $98 (plus 40% off)



Years on List: New this Year!

This summer, I bought this Halogen cashmere wrap 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.

Buy it from Nordstrom for $208 (currently on sale for $156)

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.

39.  Pottery Barn Globe Ornament


Years on List:  New this year!

This ornament is perfect for the traveler in your life. It is a great addition to a Christmas tree and is such a great price point for a more casual gift.

Buy it from Pottery Barn for $10.50.

40. CUyana Laptop Sleeve

cuyana-laptop-sleeveYears on List: New this year!

A gorgeous laptop sleeve that serves double duty as a clutch sounds just right to me!

I absolutely love my Cuyana tote and I have taken it on every single trip over the past two years.

This tote has endured multiple means of transport which means I would happily buy this leather sleeve from the same company knowing that it’s style and quality will last a long time.

Buy it from Cuyana for $125



Years on List: New this year!

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!

Buy them from Nordstrom for $19

Buy a 5-pack from Amazon





Years on List: New this year!

I am a firm believer in always traveling with a packable puffer jacket (unless you are only going to tropical locations).

This jacket from Uniqlo is the best option at this price and comes in many colors. You can chose between this classic sporty version (above) or a stylish bomber jacket.

While traveling through Norway, Georgia and the UK for September and August, I wore my puffer jacket more times than I can count.

This is a great gift for any traveler because it keeps you warm but doesn’t take up too much space in your luggage.

Buy it from Uniqlo for $69.90



Years on List: New this year!

This foil map has been on my personal wishlist for over a year – and now it’s making an appearance on our gift guide!

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.

Buy the print from Minted for $56 

Buy the print + frame from minted for $114

Trav’s Picks

A special selection of what I consider some of the coolest and most unique travel gifts you can buy, including things for your home, office, or bedroom that’ll keep that travel fire burning even when you’re home.

44.  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!

Buy it from Amazon

45. Cork Globe

Cork Glove

Years on List: 2

Want to brag about all the places you’ve been to without really bragging?

Or enjoy dreaming of your next trip while at home?

This cork globe is the perfect piece to do just that.

Set it on your desk or end table, pin where you’ve been and where you’re going, and let the wanderlust begin.

Buy it from Amazon (6 inch version) or here for a bigger one (11 inch version)

46.  Breweries of the USA Mega Map



Years on List: 2 – But this is the new updated map for 2016!

If you like beer…and you like maps…well, we’re kindred spirits.  And since that’s the case, you also probably reallyreallyreally want this map too – which I first saw at Sanitas brewery in Boulder and instantly fell in love with.

Every brewery, all 4,350+ of them, is listed – yes, even that small, local one you’re sure isn’t on there.

It may be expensive but it’s big, unique, and it will make an incredible gift (especially for your favorite travel blogger…hint, hint!)

Buy it from Pop Chart Labs for $125

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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Author: Trav

Leave a Reply

  • 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.)