13 In Travel Tips

Essential vs Personal: Budget-Friendly Gifts for Travellers

Christmas gifts for traveller

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The season of giving is upon us!  If you are anything like me, you probably have a whole list of people who you’d like to shower with meaningful, personalized and useful gifts.  Well, this is your lucky day!  Here is the list of my favourite stocking stuffers and budget friendly gifts, perfect for that traveller you’d love to make happy this holiday season!

 

The Essentials:

Luggage Scale ($7 – $15)


No matter if you travel all the time or just once a while, if you’re going on a plane, a luggage scale is a must.  Making sure that your luggage and your carry on are below the allowed weight will save you a lot of headache and paying unnecessary fees.

My first luggage scale Travelon Stop and Lock Luggage Scale and it saved me well for years.  It is a no-frills scale, but does the job well. You can get one of those at most department stores or online.  It is only about $10 dollars and most certainly a great gift for any traveller.

Even though the scale I had was still good for what I need it for, I decided to get a digital scale.  So I picked up Camry 110 Lb Luggage Scale.  I find it comfortable to lift and hold and it is very easy to read the numbers.  It is a great alternative to the analog scale and it will cost you about the same.

 

Luggage Strap ($7 – $20)

Luggage straps are another gift that every traveller will use at one point or another.  And the great thing is, that you can never have too many of them.
Over the years I’ve used several different straps. My most recent purchase was BlueCosto Luggage Strap. The other two types I’ve used in the past are Westonetek Rainbow Straps and BlueCosto Single Luggage Strap.

Here are a few things I consider when buying one:

  • how good is the clip?   will it break if thrown around and squished by other luggage?
  • is the strap study? will it tear or break during the trip?
  • is it sown well?  are there any loose threads that will come apart when pulled?
  • what colour is it? does it contrast my luggage? will it help my luggage stand out on the conveyer belt?
  • is it just a straight strap or a cross? Will I need only one or two separate ones?
  • does it have a lock to help keep my belongings secure?

Here are a few of my favourite ones as I graduated through a few of them over the years.  They are all very reasonably priced and range between $7 and $20 each.

 

Packing Cubes ($15 – $30)

Using packing cubes made my life so much easier over the years and I recommend them to anyone who travels.   I use different colour cubes to know whose clothes are where.  If you’re travelling with a family, it is a lifesaver!  Most of my cubes were purchased a few years ago, but they are still in great shape.  My favourite have to be Bagail 4-Pack Set of  Packing Cubes and TravelWise 5-Pack Set of Packing Cubes.

Here are a few things I look for when buying packing cubes:

  • different colours to colour-code either the clothes I pack (beach stuff, evening clothes, day clothes, undergarments etc) or who I’m packing for (each person has their own colour of packing cubes).
  • durable – quality over quantity – always.  Make sure they cubes you buy are well made and have great reviews
  • fewer, but bigger – I find the little cubes useless most of the time and I just leave them behind.  I usually look for a set of fewer cubes but bigger in size.

These are the two brands that we have been using in the last few years.  They are about $15 – $30 depending on the manufacturer.

 

Passport Holder ($10 – $25)


Over the years, I have gone through several of them.  From a single passport holder, through passport holder / wallet, to a full blown family passport / boarding pass / credit card /notebook zipped up organizer.

If you’re looking for a single person, quality passport holder, I’d recommend going with RFID blocking one for extra security and for a leather one for durability.   Travelambo RFID Blocking leather Passport Holder is a great option with many different colours. I’m sure you’d find one that would work best for that perfect gift.

If you’re looking for a family option, I’d recommend one with either snap, or even better, zipper closure.  Even though they are in general much bigger than individual passport holders, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice the style.  Two of my favourite are, the stylish  Zoppen Multi-purpose RFID Blocking Passport Wallet / Organizer Holder  and the more secure Zopen RFID Blocking Family Passport Holder / Travel Wallet and Document Organizer.

There is a wide array of passport holders out there ranging anywhere from $10 to as much as $100 depending on the size and material. Regardless of which one you choose, be sure to pick a holder that is RFID Blocking. It will help protect its owner from identity theft while travelling.

 

Travel Journal ($10 – $80)


This is another wonderful gift idea.  I have journals for each of our trips.  I find that they transform over the course of time as I use them for planning the trip, making lists, keeping schedules and writing anecdotes about our travels, adventures, shopping sprees and exotic foods.  They become the most real and genuine a travel scrapbook the traveller will ever have.

So when choosing one as a gift make sure that it is durable, hard cover and elegant.  Two of my favourite include: Hand Made Leather Journal and Hand Painted Three of Life Leather Journal with a beautiful clasp, and a very simple Red Co Journal.

You’ll find that the prices range all the way from $5.00 to $80 and more depending on the quality and unique features they offer. There are so many of them out there, I’m sure you’ll find a perfect one for the traveller on your list.

 

Getting Personal

Unlike the essentials, the next five gifts are truly personal and more of reminders of a life as a traveller.

Personalized Christmas Ornaments ($10 – $30)

Christmas ornaments are simple, yet very sentimental.  Each year as you hang them on your Christmas tree, you will be reminded of the person who gave it to you or the place you got it from.  If the traveller of your list just returned from a trip, help them keep the memories alive as they decorate their Christmas tree this year and in the years to come.  Or maybe they have that dream place they want to visit? Help them remember their dreams by giving them an ornament representing the place they want to go such as Paris, Mayan Pyramids, or this safari Christmas ornament.

If they’re just venturing out, help them celebrate their upcoming adventures with ornaments that represent travel in general like this “See the World” ornament, a glass suitcase  or this personalized World Traveler ornament.

 

European Bracelet with Travel / Country Related Charms ($20 – $50)

A silver European bracelet like this one will cost you as little as $25.00, but it will be a wonderful reminder of home or travels for years to come. You can add a few travel related charms such as airplane or luggage as general reminders of past or future travels. If you want to get even more personal, add a few charms representing the countries or places your traveller visited like Italy, the Eiffel Tower or an Egyptian pyramid. Better yet – add a few charms of the places they want to visit!  This constant reminder will be a great motivator and constant reminder of something to look forward to.  Don’t forget to include a charm that will remind them where their roots are.  A “sweet home” charm would be perfect for that!

All in all, depending on what kind of bracelet and how many charms you get, it is a wonderfully personal and budget friendly gift!

 

Travel Inspired Coffee Mug ($15 – $25)

Be it coffee, tea or hot chocolate, everyone enjoys drinking their favourite beverage from a unique mug that reminds them of the things they love. “Eat well, travel often” coffee mug is just that type of a gift. Adventure Awaits coffee mug is another option for someone who is about to embark on their travelling adventure.

We always consider buying mugs as souvenirs or from places we visited for those who wait for us at home.  Why not turn it around and send the traveller of your list off with a special travel coffee mug.  The best thing about this PixMug Photo Travel Mug is that you can personalize it anyway you wish.  You can insert a picture of their loved ones, their favourite travel quote, or a photo of their best memory at home to keep close while they travel.

 

Travel Sleep Mask ($10 – $25)


Sometimes comfy bed and eight hours of sleep are hard to find between long hours on exploring and sightseeing.  A travel sleep mask will be a perfect gift to help your traveller block the light and get a little bit of a shut-eye during his or her travels.  Wake Me Up in ItalyWake Me for Champagne, or  Dreaming of Paris are all great choices for that sassy traveller who is happy to squeeze in a few hours of rest during a flight or on a train.

But if you’re looking for something simpler that would fit wither a male or female traveler, this Bucky Eye Mask is just what you want.  It comes in a variety of colours, so you’ll be sure to find the one that will suit them best.

 

Necklace with travel inspired pendant ($10 – $30)


If you’re traveller is anything like me, they always have a delicate chain with elegant pendant on their neck. And each time they touch it, they think of the person who gave it to them or the idea it represents.  Why not, then, give them something to remind them of their dreams and their travels?  This Go in the direction of your dreams pendant or this Globe pendant would remind that special traveller on your list about the places they want to visit and the adventures they want to embark on, at the same time reminding them of that thoughtful someone who gave them this special gift.

On the other hand, if you’d prefer to remind them of their home and their roots, this Tree of Life would definitely be a winner for both the giver and the recipient of this wonderful, special pendant.

 

 

Whether you’re practical or sentimental, I hope you found something on this list that will make your shopping easier to give something essential or personal that will make them remember you while they are travelling.

 

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    chanelle
    December 12, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Top things on my Christmas list that I will be emailing to my friends and family are a travel scale, a journal. I always land up over packing and I love journaling. Great lists, thank you for the gift ideas.

  • Reply
    Sarah-Louise Bailey
    December 17, 2016 at 4:13 am

    I would love to have my own Luggage Scale to avoid excessive baggage and unnecessary fees, and I would definitely recommend this to my friends but I doubt if they still didn’t know about this traveler’s scale.

  • Reply
    tara pittman
    December 17, 2016 at 4:30 am

    A scale is something that I need. Last time I travel thankfully the hotel had a big freight scale that I was able to use.

  • Reply
    Kimberly c.
    December 17, 2016 at 6:16 am

    Nice list. My husband has that luggage scale and he swears by it. Those luggage straps look mighty useful too.

  • Reply
    Chloe
    December 17, 2016 at 6:51 am

    The luggage strap is such a great idea! Especially if someone is in to a certain style or theme

  • Reply
    Annemarie LeBlanc
    December 17, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Great gift ideas for frequent travelers! I love the travel journal and the luggage scale. I always go over the weight limit coming home from a trip. 🙂

  • Reply
    Andrea
    December 17, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I love the travel journal! These are such great gift ideas for people who travel frequently!

  • Reply
    Amber Myers
    December 17, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    I love these! I could use that scale. I always tend to overpack :/

  • Reply
    Wren
    December 18, 2016 at 12:47 am

    I am big on essential and personal items. However I would pick personal over essential, just because it speaks more to the person you are gifting it to. I love making gifts or at the very least putting together a special basket for that special someone that all items are picked carefully for the individual. I love the travel mug with the photo… for all my coffee drinking friends and family. 🙂 Going on the list.

  • Reply
    Amy Jones
    December 18, 2016 at 7:08 am

    Yes! This is exactly the kind of post I needed. Thank you so much for sharing

  • Reply
    Melanie Smith
    December 18, 2016 at 10:48 pm

    Those things are so important! And wonderful ideas for gifts. Thank you!

  • Reply
    ROSEY
    December 19, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    That luggage strap is such a good idea. I haven’t traveled for over a year now. I’m ready to go!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth O
    December 21, 2016 at 3:28 am

    Reading your post made me want to pack a suitcase and take off into the sunset. Great explanation on the difference.

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