Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers

Warsaw, Poland

Not sure what to get the traveler in your life for Christmas? Whether he or she loves weekend getaways or is heading out on a long-term adventure, here are a few ideas:

Eagle Creek packing cubes


I swear by these to keep me organized. They come in multiple shapes, sizes and colors and are perfect for packing everything from tops or bottoms to socks and undies. On my career break trip, I used a small square for short sleeve shirted, a larger one for long-sleeves, another large one for pants and skirts and a long, narrow one for socks. Unpacking and repacking was a breeze and I rarely struggled to find what I was looking for! Check out this 2-sided cube, which features a mesh divider to separate clean and dirty clothes.

Travel magazine subscription

AFAR magazine







This is on my wish list for this Christmas! Whether it’s Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler or AFAR, a subscription to a travel magazine can help feed the wanderlust of the traveler in your life.



I mentioned this in my recent First Timer’s Guide to Hiking in the Everest Region, but really, this is perfect for anyone traveling to a country where the water may be questionable. Battery operated, the pen uses UV rays to kill bacteria in your water in just 90 seconds. No waiting for purification tablets to kick in and no weird aftertaste! I use the SteriPen Adventurer and can’t recommend it enough.

Kindle Paperwhite


I was never a Kindle person until I took my career break trip. And while I still prefer old-fashioned page-turning books, the Kindle is perfect for traveling since you can store dozens of books, including guidebooks, which saves a lot of room! While I used a basic Kindle during my long-term travels, I upgraded to the Kindle Paperwhite this fall. To both protect and disguise the Kindle while traveling, a matching cover is also a great buy.

PacSafe purse


I like my PacSafe purse because it doesn’t look all that different from a normal purse, but has a lot more security, with wire mesh inside of the strap and body of the purse to prevent slashing and several latches that make it almost impossible for someone to sneak their hands into it. I didn’t use it as much during the day fir sightseeing as I did when I was going out in the evenings and didn’t want to carry my bulkier shoulder bag. While they no longer carry the specific one I have, the PacSafe CitySafe 100 is pretty close.

Travel alarm clock


You may be thinking, who needs a travel alarm clock when everyone has a smart phone? Sure, it might be easy to rely on your smart phone (or a watch!) when you travel, I swear by my travel alarm clock, especially when I am in less developed areas where I may not have easy access to recharge my phone. I relied on it exclusively while I was trekking in Nepal this fall. As a bonus, it also had a thermometer.  I bought mine almost ten years ago, but this Expocell clock has the same features.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides


While I rely extensively on Lonely Planet guides when I travel, I love DK Eyewitness guides and their colorful pictures when I am looking for inspiration. They just re-launched ten of their most popular guides this fall and just released a new Russia guide. And if the traveler in your life already has a trip planned, look for DK’s compact Top Ten guides.



Even though I travel with my laptop, I still like to keep an old-fashioned, handwritten journal. It is particularly handy to carry with me when I am out sightseeing and want to take notes on something I saw or photographed. My Moleskin journal also has a pocket at the back, which I use to stash receipts, ticket stubs and even some extra cash.

National Geographic Map of the World

NatGeo map






This is another item on my wish list! I love the look of this “My World” map that can be used to keep track of where you’ve been and where you dream of going. You can even get it customized with your loved one’s name.

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