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Photo by Lola Akinmade

It’s that time of the year to top last year’s gifts for family and friends…

AND I’M FINDING it progressively tougher to find something unique, useful, and worth buying for folks who seem to have it all in terms of gadgets, connectivity, and travel accessories.

So we’ve compiled a list of 100 gift ideas to help guide your holiday shopping for your favorite traveler. Many of the items on this list have been tested by Matador team members while others remain on our ever expanding wish lists.

But first, if you’re unaware of our Matador Store, definitely check it out for cool t-shirts, long-sleeves, caps, and mugs with various designs as well as the classic Matador logo. For those who participate in Black Friday Fever, the website Black Friday Ads provides a comprehensive listing of deals from many major retailers as well as offers up a mailing list which you can subscribe to, to get deals delivered to your inbox daily.

Here is Matador’s Ultimate List of 100 Gift Ideas:

Apparel & Accessories

1. Scottevest Essential Jacket
2. KEEN Hiking Shoes
3. Kuru Slip-on Sandals
4. Eagle Creek Travel Towel
5. Columbia Omni-Dry Convertible Pants
6. Meray Arnett Bags
7. Vogel10 Stylish Travel Clothing
8. PACT underwear - Eco-friendly and socially responsible
9. Merino Smartwool BaseLayers
10. Tavo Gloves – Lets you use smartphones while gloves are on.
11. Patagonia Powder Bowl Jacket
12. Feelgoodz™ Flipflops

Books & Reading

13. Moleskin Journals
14. Rough Guides’ Make the Most of Your Time on Earth
15. Abroad Travel Organizer
16. eReader – Such as Amazon’s Kindle or Apple’s iPad
17. Erik Mirandette’s The Only Road North
18. Sean Aiken’s The One Week Job Project
19. James Workman’s Heart of Dryness
20. Chris Guillebeau’s The Art of Non-Conformity
21. The Handbook
22. Sofia Brandon’s The Adventure Cookbook
23. National Geographic’s The New Age of Adventure
24. Subscription to BETA Magazine


25. Planet Earth
26. World Music Compilations by Putumayo
27. Equitrekking DVD – Travel show that airs on PBS
28. 120 Years of National Geographic Hard Drive

Computers & Electronics

29. Acer Aspire One Netbook
30. Dell Inspiron Duo
31. MacBook Pro 13-inch 2.4GHz
32. Asus Eee 1018P
33. Built Laptop Portfolio Case

34. Novatel Wireless MiFi
35. Alfa 1000mW 1W 802.11b/g USB Wireles Antenna
36. IOGear WiFi Finder
37. Sennheiser PXC 350 Noise Canceling headphones
38. Go Pro Hero Cam HD

39. Solar panel and accessories
40. Handheld GPS system
41. Belkin Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger
42. Kensington 33117 All-In-One Travel Adapter
43. Sony ICD-P620 Digital Voice Recorder

Food & Drink

44. Martini Travel Bar Set With Case
45. Deluxe Portable Travel Bar
46. Screwpull Classic Travel Corkscrew


47. SmartPhone – iPhone, Blackberry, Android, HTC
48. Apps – iTunes, Blackberry Apps, Andriod Apps
49. GelaSkins
50. Swiss Tech Tools
51. Leatherman Super Tool 300
52. SteriPEN Hand Held Water Purifier
53. Binoculars
54. TSA –approved Wordlocks
55. iPhone Mini Microphone
56. Fulcrum Microslim LED Travel Book Light
57. Princeton Tech Fuel Lamp
58. Petzl TacTikka Plus 4-LED Headlamp
59. Casio PQ-10 travel alarm clock
60. Wagner Classic Solid Black Pen
61. Midland GXT1 Two-Way Radios
62. iLuv Mini Portable Speakers
63. USB Humping Dog
64. Sony Walkman 8GP MP3/MP4 Player

Outdoors & Camping

65. Suisse Sport Adventure Ultra-Compactable sleeping bag
66. Megamid Tent
67. GoLite Pinnacle Backpack
68. Mountain Hardware Ultra Lamina Sleeping Bag
69. Klean Kanteen Water Bottles
70. MSR SweetWater Purifier System

Packing & Storage

71. Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer Briefcase
72. FlyBags
73. Pelican 1030 Dry Case
74. Space Bags
75. Victorinox Shoulder Bag
76. Antler Lightweight Luggage
77. Micro Mobility Trolley Scooter
78. Cruising Caddy
79. Stuff Dry Sacks

Photography, Video, & Accessories

80. Nikon D90 DSLR
81. Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 Compact Camera
82. Flip UltraHD Video Camera
83. Gorillapod Flexible Tripod
84. LowePro Flipside Camera backpack
85. PhotoLocker for Cameras & Lenses
86. Transcend Solid State Drive
87. Panasonic 3MOS HD Camcorder
88. QuikPod Handheld Convertible Tripod

Travel & Travel-related Resources

89. Round the World Tickets
90. Prepaid Credit Cards
91. Prepaid SIM Cards
92. Airline Miles – Travelers crave them so if you’re not using yours, transfer those extra miles to their accounts.
93. Travel insurance
94. First Aid Kid for Travelers
95. FlyeBaby Hammock
96. TELL ME MORE® Language Resources
97. Rosetta Stone TOTALe
98. Drueke 877.10 Magnetic Chess Set
99. Scrabble Crossword Deluxe Travel Edition


100. SPA Certificates

Community Connection

Still need more ideas for presents? Check out Matador Good’s Archives for eco-friendly gifts, essential packing lists, book reviews, and other practical gear.

About The Author

Lola (Akinmade) Åkerström

Lola (Akinmade) Åkerström is a MatadorU faculty member and Network contributor. Her work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Vogue, BBC,, and many more. Follow her photoblog at

  • Michelle Schusterman

    AMAZING list!!!

    • Lola Akinmade

      Thanks M!

      Here’s got to be a record-number of hyperlinks in there :)

  • http://@shegeek Rhonda Rice

    I’m digging the Martini Travel Bar Set. Probably the closest I’ll ever get to being a Bond Girl :-) Great list.

    • Lola Akinmade

      Thanks! That Martini Travel Set looked pretty sweet, though my drinking days are now long behind me.

  • kay*

    what a great list! i’m heading off to india for a year and there’s something things above that i’ll definitely some things i’ll be asking for – or getting for myself!

    i did a similar post (much smaller -only 10 items) and it’s cool too see some things also recommended here :)

    • Lola Akinmade

      Sounds like an exciting year coming up for you!

      Will you be in India for work, volunteering, travel, or a mix of all three?

      • kay*

        yes – definitely exciting (& a bit scary!)

        i’ll be there to volunteer/work but hope to do a bit of traveling around the country as well…perhaps even to neighbouring countries too :)

        so yes, many of these would come in handy!

  • Haha

    I shall print this and show it to every friend of mine before birthdays and holidays!

    • Lola Akinmade

      Haha :)

  • Hal Amen

    Lola, this is monumental.

    • Lola Akinmade

      Thanks Hal!

  • Ahimsa

    Great list. Something that I think is the best present for some (not all) travelers is a tattoo, or at least money towards a tattoo. It’s a present that you can always travel with and never takes up room.

    • Lola Akinmade

      Thanks Ahimsa! Now you’ve given me an idea for another article.

      • Ahimsa

        Cool. Looking forward to seeing it.

  • Kathy, Dream of Italy

    Wowsers! What a list. I think you have thought of almost everything. I’d love to add a suggestion from Dream of Italy. I think the gift of great travel advice is the best – I see you have some books listed but what about a gift subscription to a great travel newsletter –

    Kathy, Dream of Italy

  • brian

    That is the longest travel gift list I have ever seen. Fantastic job Lola!

  • Heather

    Lola, this is epic. Love the easy to read and scan layout. Must have taken forever to format all the links!

    We bought #83 (gorillapod tripod) 4 years ago and it’s been one of the best, and least expensive, travel gadgets we’ve ever bought. Perfect when you don’t want to carry around a regular tripod.

  • Matt

    Christmas Shopping all done. Thanks Lola, Have my list for the next ten years here!!

  • Natalie

    Wow, I had fooled myself into thinking I didn’t want much for Xmas… this list is awesome! I guess I need to adjust my wish list…

  • Joe

    This is a great list for ideas.

    Still think the kindle is the best travel gift for someone though.

  • Janie Graham

    What do you mean, SPA certificates? Are you saying like a spa with massages or something else? Anyway, if I were a traveler, I would still like a massage even though I’d be tons of different places. Just look up where the traveler will be and get them a nice gift certificate to a spa there. I’m sure their aching shoulder blades will enjoy it.

  • Emily Robinson

    This is a great list! It would be really helpful if you could explain a bit about why each gift is useful for travelers, like they do on

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