25 Practical Travel Gifts for Under 50 Dollars

Mark Stewart Travel Planning 10 Comments

Snow has officially begun to fall here in Moldova, which clearly signifies one thing: the temperature in the air is cold enough to turn air moisture into crystalized flakes… It also means that Christmas is fast approaching! Are you struggling to figure out what to buy your travel bug-bitten family member or friend? Are you heading off on a warm vacation in the new year, or planning a long-term journey? We’ve put together 25 of our favourite travel gifts under $50 that everyone should own!

From wallets, portable power supplies, and travel security, to practical clothing, grooming supplies, and some stylish gear to make a statement. Our list will help you with a few ideas not only for yourself, but every traveller on your list!

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$5 and Under

Toothbrush Protector – $2

These little things are a must for any traveller. We’re stunned to see how many travellers just toss their toothbrush into their bags, completely uncovered, after being used. Not only that, but you never know when your toothbrush might fall out of your back or from the shelf onto a sketchy hostel floor – nobody wants to put that in their mouth!

These things are dirt-cheap, and because they just cover the end, take up much less space than a more traditional toothbrush case.

Buy on Amazon
Travelling Clothes Line $3 USD

The reality of budget travel is that you don’t often have access to laundry. The bathroom sink is often the go-to. Kylee and I each carry one of these handy clothes lines with us and use them all the time! Though we don’t often use the suction cups, the hooks are sturdy and can be used hook the line onto almost anything.

The best part is that the twisted elastic holds your clothes in place – so there’s no need for pins.

Buy on Amazon
RFID Card holders – $5

These are great for the everyday wallet or purse. The RFID keeps crooks from stealing your info from your bank cards. Now, in the days of tap-enabled cards, every important card should be protected by one of these.

Buy on Amazon
Funky Luggage Tags – from $5

One of our biggest fears, is someone accidentally grabbing the wrong bag, our bag from the carousel. Funky fresh luggage tags can help in that situation, and here is a large variety of different ones with animals or funky, colourful designs. There’s even a pizza tag!

Buy on Amazon

$6 – $15

Dry Bag – $10

If you’ve got electronics – and of course you have electronics – you need to have a dry bag. Dry bags come in different qualities and sizes, some are completely waterproof while others simply resistant.

For those who spend a lot of time on the water, or even at the beach, dry bags are a must. Even if you’re simply walking through a city and get caught in an unexpected thunderstorm, your backpack might not be enough to protect your camera or laptop. These bags roll up so small and weigh almost nothing, I keep one stuffed in the pocket of my daypack wherever I go!

Buy on Amazon
First Aid Kit $13 and up

This one is quite small and really has all a traveller needs. We have used ours mostly for other people who have crashed their scooters in Czechia, blisters from walking so much in wet shoes, or the inevitable small cuts you’ll receive throughout your travels.

A first aid kit like this certainly isn’t necessary, and many travellers go without, but for the price and peace of mind, it definitely won’t hurt you to have.

Buy on Amazon
While on the topic of safety, make sure to get quality travel insurance before heading anywhere!
Platypus Platy Preserve Wine $15

One of our absolute favourite gifts we’ve ever received is one we have used often. We carry these everywhere we go, and if we buy a bottle of wine or alcohol we don’t finish and need to move the next day, we pour it into this little guy and it is lighter, easier to carry, and you won’t have to worry about breaking any glass bottles!

Buy on Amazon
Plug Belkin Surge Protector/mini power bar USB $15

These things have been on packing lists for years and continue to appear on a regular basis, simply because they’re great! How often do you get to a hostel or even a nice hotel and only have one or two small plugs? We have two laptops, two phones, camera battery chargers, power packs, a router, and more! That takes up a lot of precious electric real estate. This Belkin power bar has three North American style plugs and two USB ports. It also features built-in surge protection to protect your sensitive electronics in countries with somewhat sketchy power grids.

Buy on Amazon
TSA Locks $15

Lock your bag! Theft from luggage is so common, it’s one of the biggest downsides while travelling. Whether on a bus or from a storage locker, it happens all too often. The thing you need to remember though, is that the TSA has the authority to cut off your precious lock if they feel the need to search your bag as it goes through customs.

These TSA-friendly locks allow the agents to open the lock with a special key, saving you from having to purchase a replacement. If that foil-wrapped Colombian chocolate sets off any suspicion…

Buy on Amazon
Buff – $19

Weather you get the original or the UV protection (up to $55), Buff’s are a great multi-purpose item that should be in every bag. We use it for warming our neck, over our mouth for dusty bus rides, as a head cover for the sun, a hairband for Kylee and even wrapping up sensitive objects to prevent them from being damaged.

Buy on Amazon
Lush Shampoo Bar $12 – $15

These amazing bars last the amount of three regular bottles of shampoo! The bars are eco-friendly so you can actually use them in the ocean or lakes without harming the environment. There are many different types of bars for each type of hair. Use them with the metal case which is better than the many bottles you use for shampoo and conditioner which are so bad for the environment.

They smell terrific, and a little goes a long way. They are also perfect for carry-on only travel!

Check them out here!

Gela Skins from $15

We’ve been using Gela Skins on our devices for years. This Canadian company produces ultra high-quality skins for your laptop, phone, or tablet. Select from a massive variety of really wild and funky artwork or submit your own custom piece.

Check their awesome selection!

$16 – $25

IceBreaker Merino Socks – $16+

Easily the world leader when it comes to Merino wool products, Icebreaker is our go-to when it comes to quite a few of our favourite items – especially socks! These things are moisture wicking, odor resistant, quick drying, and incredibly comfortable.

Spending a little bit of extra money on quality socks is something I’ve never done until just last year, and I’m sorry I waited so long!

Buy on Amazon
Portable Power – $20

As mentioned before, we all live in a world full of gadgets. It’s how we communicate, work, take photos and find our way around. Unfortunately, battery life still hasn’t yet caught up to our heavy demand, and while travelling we don’t always have access to a plug.

Portable chargers are the perfect way to keep enough extra juice with you to keep you going on that long bus ride or road trip. Prices vary considerably, but this one from Anker is such a great price for getting that extra charge.

Buy on Amazon
GoToobs (3 Pack) – $22

Save the environment and luggage space with these things! GoToobs are the best way to carry liquids such as soap or shampoo without having to buy individual plastic bottles that will end up in some turtles stomach one day. Also, being carry-on compliant, they’re great for that minimalist traveller in your life.

Buy on Amazon
International Plug Adapters – Flight 001 4 in 1 – $25

Forget those clunky multi-adapters that slide in and out of the same awkward block. Moving parts lead to eventual breakage every time. And that little fabric sac with a bunch of random adapters? Don’t get me started…

We picked up this one from Flight 001 for our current trip and won’t ever go back to our old ways. This little block is straight to the point, it combines all of the best aspects of the previously mentioned options, and ditches everything that makes them awful.

No need to complicate things. It’s simple. It works.

Visit there website at Flight 001!

SanDisk SD Cards – $24

If you’ve got a camera, whether it be a simple point-and-shoot, GoPro, DSLR or mirrorless; you’re going to need SD cards. I’ve been using SanDisk almost exclusively since I started shooting, for no reason other than it happened to be the first card I bought. Tens of thousands of photos later, I’ve never had a card fail on me.

*looks for wood to knock on*
Buy on Amazon

Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle – $25

Dealing with plastic is one of the biggest problems travellers face these days. Empty water bottles are an epidemic in many countries and the waste is killing the planet.

Being puncture resistant, BPA free and a leak-proof cap , these collapsible water bottles from Nomader are a perfect way to save space and our oceans. Fill with clean tap water (or combine with a Steri-Pen in places where quality is questionable) and you’ll never need a plastic bottle again!

As a bonus, go to their website and sign up for their newsletter to get 10% off!

Buy on Amazon
Packtowel Microfiber Towel – $25+

Packing down to the size of a small book, these things should be in every travellers bag! I don’t really understand how microfiber works, but I do know that it does! This towel is incredibly absorbent and quick drying – never worry about carrying a fat, cotton towel again!

We use the 25″ x 54″ size and it is perfect for us, though larger sizes are also available.

Buy on Amazon
Petzl Headlamp – $25

This is something you probably won’t need very often, but you’ll be glad to have it when you do. Petzl is one of the top brands when it comes to headlamps and the quality shows.

We each have one of these and keep them with us at all times. We’ve used them for exploring caves, camping in the forest, getting around during power-outages, and even night photography!

Buy on Amazon

$26 – $50

Arcade Belt – $26

No metal, no holes, no bullshit. This is literally one of the best travel purchases I’ve ever made. With a plastic buckle you can forget having to remove your belt at airport security from now on. Not only that, but the adjustable, elastic belt deals with the inevitable – and occasionally rapid – waistline changes with ease.

I love this belt.

Buy on Amazon
Eagle Creek RFID Passport Wallet – $30

Much like the card sleeves mentioned above, having an RFID-blocking holder for your passport is crucial these days. Eagle Creek has been setting the bar with travel gear for years, so I knew this would be quality before ever buying it.

I keep everything important in here that doesn’t stay on my body. Passport, international drivers license, boarding passes, cash, business cards and all other miscellaneous documents that I can’t afford to misplace are kept safe in this tight little package.

Buy on Amazon
Herschel Laptop Sleeve – $40

We might not be hipsters, but we love us some Herschel gear! Given that our laptops are one of the most important things to us as bloggers, we need to protect them.

These sleeves by Herschel have taken a beating over the last year, and aside from a few stains, are going strong. They protect our computers from light bumps and spilled coffee while looking slick at the same time.

Buy on
Solar Charger – $40

We don’t have one of these yet, but are going to get one. Water and dust resistant, hang these on the back of your pack during the day and you will have a charge all night if the power goes out. If you are in a hostel with not enough plugs, a long ass bus ride, overnight train, you’ll be good to go. We encounter these problems regularly!

Buy on Amazon
HooToo Travel Router- $45

This is another one of those gadgets that has saved us on numerous occasions. Having a personal router is beneficial in several ways. First, some wifi connections limit the number of devices you’re allowed to connect; with this, you simply connect the router and then your devices to it. As far as the original connection is concerned, you’ve only connected one device – the router. This also helps with keeping your devices private and gives some added security.

It also acts as a signal booster. If you’re working out on a patio and your hostel wifi doesn’t reach, simply place the router mid-way and you’re good to go. With an Ethernet port built in, you can connect directly to a source in places without wifi (I know, this sounds crazy, but it happened to us in the Czech Republic!).

If all that wasn’t enough, it’s also a battery pack that can charge your gadgets. This is one of our favourite items, without question!

Buy on Amazon


If you can’t afford gifts or just don’t take part in gift exchanging, go spread some love. Hug someone, compliment a stranger, tell a friend how important they are to you.

Enjoy the season!

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Kylee Hayessteph sislerBailey ArmitageMark StewartEvelyn Hayes Recent comment authors
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Great traveling gift list. I got to say, you had me at the preserve wine bag – lol

John Quinn

Plenty of food for thought here. Didn’t know you should protect your passport from reader theft. Need to look into that.
If someone gets me a toothbrush holder I won’t be happy. Thanks for the ideas

Evelyn Hayes
Evelyn Hayes


Bailey Armitage

Such a ceactive idea! I love this

Kylee Hayes

Thank you very much! I hope it helped you out a little!!

steph sisler

Wow that solar charger would be such an awesome gift! What cool, unique ideas!

Kylee Hayes

Yes! Such a handy thing to have while hiking! Thanks for checking out our list! 🙂