Most frequent travelers probably have a stock of travel basics such as an inflatable neck pillow, eye mask, and good headphones. But there are a lot of other useful, easy-to-pack and thoughtful gifts you can stuff into the stocking of your well-traveled loved one. Hopefully, your last-minute shopping isn’t truly down to the wire, but if you find yourself racing the holiday clock, here are nine of the best last-minute stocking stuffers for travelers.
1. Compression socks
Socks are, for some reason, among the most popular of holiday gifts. Instead of stuffing someone’s stocking with electric blinky-nosed reindeer socks, spend the money instead on a traveler’s best friend: compression socks. As any frequent flyer will tell you, you can never have too many pairs. Zensah makes a colorful variety of these snug socks which strategically hug the legs and ankles to improve blood flow, lessening the pain, swelling, and danger of blood clots that can be caused by long periods of sitting.
2. Travel scarf
The new fanny pack of travel, Sholdit scarves feature a hidden pocket in which to store valuables that are important to have on hand at all times, such as passports, cash, and credit cards. There are many types and colors to choose from, so even your most fashion-minded friend will be as excited by the design as by the function.
3. Collapsible travel bottle
If you have a friend who needs to kick the single-use plastic bottle habit on their travels, que makes the ideal gift. This lightweight travel bottle expands for filling and collapses for stowing, making it easy to keep on hand for refill opportunities. Que bottles are 100 percent plastic-free, come in a great assortment of colors, and give back to nonprofits working to protect the environment.
4. Cell phone camera lens kit
This is ideal for those who love taking photos but are forever trying to frame the impossible shot or constantly downloading editing apps. These cell phone lenses can bring their focus back to the journey itself. TODI makes a set of nine interchangeable, clip-on lenses for cell phones which includes the ever-popular fisheye, wide angle, macro, and more for around $20.
5. Cord roll
For anyone who travels with electronics, you know how frustrating it is to reach into your well-organized travel bag to find your charging cord inextricably wound into an infinite knot with your headphones. A travel cord roll, like this colorful one by Uncommon Goods, keeps cords snug in their own space and easy to access. The roll also takes up less space than squared holders so it fits more creatively into purses or carry-ons — because traveling is enough of a tangle already.
6. Packing cubes
A gift of packing cubes is like stuffing someone’s stocking with a personal professional organizer. TravelWise makes a variety of sets that help organize and compress clothing and other items, helping your on-the-go pal pack more in less space. Perhaps your friend will have enough space left in their bag to bring back a thank-you gift for such a thoughtful gift-giver as yourself.
7. Universal power adaptor
Some travelers get so caught up in the big picture of packing, they forget the one small item that can make or break a trip: a universal power adaptor. Joomfeen makes a small worldwide power adaptor that charges via standard plug and USB. If you know someone traveling out of the country, this gift could truly save the day.
Many times, the simplest things can make the biggest of differences, especially when it comes to travel and shut-eye. Earplugs are amazing sound deflectors and a silicone set molds specifically to the user’s ear, keeping out those annoying noises that can really get in the way of enjoying a long-planned trip. You can get them pretty much anywhere and usually for around $5 or less, but the collection from Mack’s are the best.
9. Give a Lyft
On-demand car services have proven a game-changer for pretty much everyone, but especially for travelers. A digital gift card on Lyft will no doubt be used and appreciated, especially if you have a loved one traveling somewhere they haven’t been before. And you get a little gift too, with the knowledge that you’re helping your loved one travel safely.