Useful Travel Gifts under $20: The Best Gifts for Travelers


How do you shop for a traveler that seems to have everything they need?? It can be hard to try to find gifts that meet both their needs AND their wants! Here’s a list of tried & true useful travel gifts that will appeal to any kind of traveler!


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Useful Travel Gifts under $20

Buff, $15.85

Multipurposeness is the name of the game in the travel world! And these buff meet that need with ease. Eye mask, face mask, headband, neckwarmer… just to name a few! One of these babies is permanently in my pack, and I never go on a trip without it!

Your gift will be the talk of the adventure with this awesome travel themed buff



Lonely Planets Ultimate Travel Book, $13.59


Lonely Planet is known in the travel world for creating some awesome location-specific guides, so their ranking of the best places to see in the world definitely holds water. Whether your traveler has been around the world or is just starting out, this book will no doubt add some stops to their list. This Ultimate Travel book makes for the perfect coffee table book, and is small enough to fit into a carry on for easy reading on their next flight!



Shawl, $14.99

Another item that slides right into that multi-purpose role is a shawl or sarong. Whether your traveller needs a blanket while flying, a scarf in cold weather, a blanket at the beach, a way to dry off after a rain storm or something to drape over their shoulders on a cold night, this shawl has them covered! Choose from a variety of colors to suit their style.


Zippered Pouches, $19

Whether your intended recipient is a weekend traveler, or living out of a suitcase, pouches are endlessly handy! From make up to first aid kits, toiletries to odds n ends, pouches are basically a lifeline for any traveller! This one with the world on it is one of the most perfect useful travel gifts you can give!

Travel Wallet, $12.99

When your hands are already full with your carry on, plane snacks, a coffee and tickets, the last thing you want to worry about is where to keep you cards, the proper currency or your passport! This travel wallet keeps everything in one place, so you never have to worry about misplacing something. There’s even a slot for a pen for those pesky immigration forms! This travel wallet is even RFID protected, so there’s no chance you’ll leave your cards unprotected in a busy airport.

Compression bags, $12.99

If there’s one thing a traveler will almost certainly run out of, it’s space! These packing cubes actually zip closed, compressing their contents to a fraction of the initial thickness. Especially when traveling between different climates, having the ability to compress warm clothes frees up a ton of space! Give your loved ones the gift of space with this set of compression packing cubes!

Foldable Daypack, $18.99


A day pack is an awesome and very useful travel gift! Whether they’re embarking on a day trip, heading to the grocery store, exploring a new town or hitting the beach for the day, there’s no doubt that having something to carry their water bottle and necessary accessories. The kicker that qualifies this daypack as one of my favourite useful travel gifts: it folds up into a pouch the size of my hand!

1000 Places to See Before you Die book, $15.45

As the title says, this book highlights 1000 must see places in anyone’s lifetime! Help your traveler fill out their bucket list by gifting them this book. Makes for a great conversation starter amoungst travelers, as they compare which places they’ve seen already! 


Scratch off Map, $17.77

This one isn’t exactly one of the most useful travel gifts, but it’s pretty darn cool all the same! Help your traveler keep record of everywhere they’ve traveled with this scratch off map.

Travel Adapter, $15.99

Traveling to different countries brings wall plugins, since they vary so much from country to country. This little cube adapter is so perfect for a country hopper, as it works in more than 150 countries! It’s small size and ability to convert between all the different adapters makes it a perfect candidate for this list of useful travel gifts!

Squeeze Pod toiletries, $9.49

If your traveler is like me and travels carry on only, they’ll have no doubt become versed in the 100mL rule… These single use pods are the prefect workaround to that! And if they check a suitcase or live in their car, you’ll be forever known as the one that simplified their bathing routine. Stock their toiletry bag with these guys to make their carry on talk of the town! (or hostel. whatever). Bonus… They come in Men’s AND women’s sets!

I Was Here Travel Journal, $13.84

Help a shy traveler break out of their shell or a reluctant writer find motivation to record their adventures with this journal! It’s filled with writing prompts and suggested activities and is perfect for any age! Once it’s finished it provides an awesome keepsake for a future stroll down memory lane.


Portable Hammock, $19.99

One of the most useful abilities as a traveler is the ability to sleep anywhere… and with this pack-able hammock you almost can! String it up in an airport during a long layover, or on the beach between 2 trees. Your traveler will be in for a comfortable sleep, no matter what the circumstances! And the best thing about it… It packs up light and small, so fits into their luggage without a struggle!


Compression Socks, $17.74

Look out for your travelers health- and comfort- with these compression socks. Rated highly by health professionals, these socks will help improve circulation to keep swelling down in the air, and make recovering from a long travel day easier. If your traveler is a hiker or a runner, they’ll also help with recovery and any muscle aches! Plus, with moisture wicking properties, they dry quickly and won’t stink up their pack or hostel room 😉


Bungee Cord with Carabiner, $6.00

I can’t even count how many times we’ve been moving hotels, going on weekend trips or catching a flight and found our arms overloaded with a spare pillow or sweater. This bungee cord carabiner system frees up hands by letting us strap these items to our packs! Since the length is adjustable, it can accommodate even the thinnest items, giving us one less thing to worry about while moving around


Collapsible Water bottle with clip, $11.95

If you’ve ever flown, you know the struggle… No liquids allowed through security, and everything sold on the other side is incredibly inflated. And carrying a water bottle to refil can be an annoying space-taker. Enter: this collapsible water bottle! Rolls up to save space when not in use, and unrolls to become a full size bottle!


Reusable Grocery Bags, $13.99

Hitting the grocery store in a foreign country can be a confusing experience.. Nevermind having to figure out which stores provide a bag and which don’t. And if you have to do any sort of commute with your purchases, those plastic or paper bags can definitely prove fallible! Not to mention how much more environmentally friendly these ones are! These foldable grocery bags are easy to pop into a purse or day pack, so are definitely useful travel gifts for the minimalist traveler.


Floating Dry Bag, $15.99

We’ve all had a moment where we were caught out in the rain or out at the beach and immediately worried about our towel, camera or extra sweater getting wet… Keep this worry at bay with this stylish dry bag! It protects even the most sensitive items from water, leaving those worries at home!


Microfiber Towel, $19.95

A quick drying microfiber towel is one of the most useful travel gifts out there. Maybe the Airbnb didn’t come with towels, or anoutdoor adventure took a turn into unfortunate weather.. This microfiber towel comes with its own carrying pouch, so it’s easy to throw it into a suitcase or daypack. 


Reusable Twist Ties, $10.63

Twist ties are useful no matter what your lifestyle, even more so when you’re a traveler! This multi set makes for a really useful travel gift for anyone from the weekend traveler to a full timer. Bonus points: they take up practically no space!


National Geographic’s 100 Countries, 5000 Ideas book, $16.49

Sure, you can find pretty much anything online nowadays. But there’s something to be said for a cultivated collection of information, presented in an actual BOOK form. This book has travel ideas for anyone, regardless of their method of travel, so it’s sure to be a useful travel gift for your traveler! They can take it anywhere, or use it to decorate their coffee table in whatever country they’re currently calling home. Plus, National Geographic tends to know their stuff!

About the author

A. Blizzard

I'm a former teen mom, a career chef and an entrepreneur with a life-long wanderlust. My son and I recently became unschoolers and world-schoolers! This means we travel full-time and use our real-life experiences as a basis for his education. It's a blast, and we're both learning so much as we go! Follow us to keep up with our nomadic adventure!

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