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Practical Travel Gift Guide

I love practical, durable, and lightweight items when I travel. From lip balm to suitcases, quick-dry towels to SD card-readers, here are a few items to get you started shopping for the backpacker and ultra-light traveler in your life.


Backpackers will appreciate having a small travel towel. This one is quick to dry, highly-absorbent, light and easy to pack. Even the smallest size is incredibly useful, without adding weight or bulk.

I'm a huge fan of a packing a sewing kit. Tears, button repairs, and safety pins allow me to wear what I've packed, and save time and effort on a fix in the moment. Here's one that's compact and full of the basics.

Scarves are useful on flights to keep warm, bunch up as a pillow, or in this case, carry important items. This scarf has a built-in zipper for your passport or any other small bits you'd like to keep handy.

I like these packing cubes because the size is adjustable (2-zipper system) and the mesh allows quick visibility. The dual zippers help to compress your items, if you need more room in your suitcase. Mix and match sizes and colors to suit your organizational needs.

Versatility and durability are basic requirements for any travel bag. Eagle Creek currently has some great deals, including this Morphus Carry-on. It converts from one roller bag to two separate bags, with the detached bag converting into a back-pack. Check out their video for a demonstration on how it all works.

Electronics and Accessories:

My personal preference for travel adapters has been an all-in-one device, but it doesn't accommodate a 3-prong US plug. For a variety of options, check out this combination of adapters. Take only what you need based on your destination.

Allowing a few devices to charge at once is sometimes difficult to do in a foreign country if you don't have enough adapters. Here's a very compact dual USB travel charger to help get things all charged up at home and abroad.

I love my iPad mini. Books, documents, pdfs, emails and photos are a few of the very accessible items I'm able to find all in one place, without the weight of a computer. It's also a convenient way to enjoy a movie in bed or revisit your photos at the end of the day.

The Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader is a perfect accessory for importing photos from your digital camera to your iPad. It frees up card space and allows you to access photos immediately.


While the airline removes your bags from the plane, you can remove the bags from your eyes. A quick stop at the restroom to freshen up makes all the difference when you've arrived at your destination. This full-size 1 oz. eye cream is a nice luxury during a long-haul flight by organic, animal-friendly Erin's Faces.

I'm never without lip balm. Erin's pure, chemical-free peppermint and coconut tubes are small, last for ages, and feel great. Grab a trio to distribute amongst your stockings, and if you're out in the sun, consider the natural S.P.F. 15 version.

**(Visit Erin's site on Amex's Small Business Saturday.)**

Practical items are ideal for travelers. Hopefully this has given you a jump-start on your holiday gift list and offers some ideas for your next trip!

What are your travel must-haves?

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