47 Useful Gift Ideas for Carry-On Travellers

November 6, 2017 - Comment

The One Bag Traveler recommends Gear, Destinations and Adventures. After seven years of tropical winters, last year we had our first Christmas back in England. And it was glorious—Christmas tree decorating, gingerbread house making, carols, markets, mulled wine, mince pies, and huge meals with family and friends. We even enjoyed the cold as it was

The One Bag Traveler recommends Gear, Destinations and Adventures.

The best gifts for travellers with a focus on small but useful practical presents.

After seven years of tropical winters, last year we had our first Christmas back in England. And it was glorious—Christmas tree decorating, gingerbread house making, carols, markets, mulled wine, mince pies, and huge meals with family and friends. We even enjoyed the cold as it was such a novelty!

This year we’re going back again and are already excited about the festive season. I have updated our popular list of gifts for travellers to help you find the best travel presents for the globetrotters in your life.

All these useful travel gifts help travellers pack lighter. Maybe you’re buying for someone who packs carry-on only like we do or perhaps you’d like to encourage your loved one to take a little less on their next trip. These great gifts for travellers are things we use and love ourselves or have been recommended to us by experienced nomads.

Click on the links below to skip ahead to your gift budget or scroll down to read the whole article.

$0–10

Combination Luggage Lock

A tiny, practical, and inexpensive gift. We use combination locks to secure our backpack zips and keep the contents safe. A must for every traveller.

Buy on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Travel-Size Toiletry Bottles

Every carry-on traveller needs toiletry bottles under 100ml/3oz that meet with airline regulations and can be taken on planes. They allow you to pack your favourite product without having to carry a large container. These Kitdine bottles look great with wide openings and anti-leak caps.

Buy on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Field Notes Notebooks


We usually avoid travelling with heavy paper, but sometimes you want a real notebook rather than using your phone (like I did on safari in Africa). Field Notes are my favourite notebooks for travel as they are slim, light and well-constructed. 

Buy on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

$10–25

Solid Lotion


There are only so many toiletry bottles you can fit in your airline-compliant ziplock bag, so if your loved one is a beauty product junky, the answer is solid toiletries.

You can take as many of these on the plane as you like, and they usually save space and weight and last longer than liquid versions. This Honey House Naturals Bee Bar gets excellent reviews and leaves your skin silky smooth.

Buy on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Lush Shampoo Bar


Another solid toiletry product to get around airline restrictions and avoid leaks. We love Lush Shampoo Bars, which work as shampoo and soap, last ages, are vegan and eco-friendly, and smell lovely.

Buy at Lush (for the best price) or on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Travel Towel


A normal towel is bulky and heavy, so a travel towel is a must for budget travellers staying in accommodation where towels aren’t provided. We also use ours for the beach and sweaty yoga classes. They are light, compact, and quick-drying.

Buy on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Foldable Water Bottle


Normal water bottles take up too much space when they’re empty, so foldable water bottles are a better option. We love the Vapur Element Bottle as it’s lightweight, durable, can be flattened or rolled when empty, has a flip top cap, and can be clipped to a bag.

Buy on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

SD Card


You can never have enough storage space for travel photos, so SD cards are ideal for photography fans as they are useful and tiny. Just make sure you find out what type of card their camera takes. I’m a fan of SanDisk Extreme cards, which are fast and reliable but not too expensive.

Buy on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Solid Perfume


Solid perfume is much more practical than liquid scents for travellers and makes a great gift. Pacifica solid perfumes are popular and come in a range of scents like Brazilian Mango Grapefruit—perfect for a tropical holiday.

Buy on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

The Carry-On Traveller: The Ultimate Guide to Packing Light Book


My book, The Carry-On Traveller (available in paperback and Kindle formats), is ideal for anyone who overpacks. The book will teach them not only how to lighten their load, but how to pack everything they need into a single carry-on-size bag. The strategies can be applied to any trip, whether they are travelling for a week or a year, to hot or cold climates, alone or with kids.

Buy on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Packable Daypack


Packable daypacks are useful if you want to travel with just one bag but don’t want to use your main luggage when you are out exploring. We tried a variety of backpacks and our favourite (and cheapest!) is the Gonex Ultralight Travel Backpack. It’s compact, light, durable, and surprisingly roomy. 

Buy on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Packable Tote Bag


Packable tote bags make good gifts for travellers as they are tiny and always comes in handy for shopping and beach trips. ChicoBag has a range of beautiful designs and their bags hold up to 40 pounds (18kg) of shopping.

Buy on Amazon US or Amazon UK.

Sarong


A sarong is one of the most recommended items by experienced travellers. It’s lightweight but multi-purpose and…

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