Travelers can be hard to buy gifts for. After all, they're usually more concerned with going to new places than with acquiring new things — and a trip to Bali doesn't exactly fit in a stocking.
But these travel gizmos and gadgets do, and they'll help your favorite globe-trotter get where she's going, enjoy her destination to the fullest, and, most importantly, remember the experience for a lifetime to come.
Here are our favorite gifts for travelers under $50.
1. Portable Power Bank
As a frequent traveler, I must tell you: I don't know how I ever lived without my portablepower bank. Especially now that pretty much all travel planning is done online, having access to your smartphone is essential — and listening to all those playlists and podcasts during a long day's drive can wear out your battery quickly.
Fortunately, these little powerhouses are available for less than $20*, and offer both Android and iPhone compatibility. (Buying for a seriously intrepid adventurer? A solar-powered version will follow them anywhere the road may lead, and it still won't set you back more than $50.*)
2. Reusable Water Bottle
No matter where you go, one thing's absolutely certain: you need water. And buying plastic bottles is a wasteful for both your wallet and for Mother Earth.
A reusable water bottle is always a welcome solution to this very basic problem, and it's a great place for your traveling friend to display the stickers he'll inevitable collect during his journeys. Over time, that simple $6* Nalgene or plain-Jane insulated sports flask will become a veritable work of art!
3. On-the-Go Cutlery Set
Serious travelers likely aren't eating every one of their meals in a restaurant — and even if they are, those plastic take-out forks are as unpleasant as they are eco-unfriendly.
An on-the-go cutlery set can make every mealtime feel a little bit more like one spent around a proper dining room table, whether your giftee is in the middle of the woods or crushing a pre-packaged salad in a grocery store parking lot. (Hey, it happens.)
4.Travel Tracking Map
Travelers collect experiences like others collect things — and they want the memories of those experiences to last a lifetime.
Alas, human brains aren't perfect. Sometimes we forget all but the highlights of even an epic trip. But when you give them the gift of a travel-tracking map, be it a framed scratch-off for the wall or a colorable mapped mugs for their morning coffee, they'll be able to see and recall exactly where they've been so far every single day... and fantasize about their future ventures, too.
Another solution to the memory problem? The power of the written word! The simple gift of a journal can help an adventurer slow down enough to really appreciate what they're experiencing — and give them some fond memories to look back on once they return home.
This gift can be as simple as a plain, lined pocket notebook or as complex as a city-specific Moleskine. Either way, it's both affordable and genuinely useful, which can be a hard combination to come by.
6. Photo Albums and Keepsake Holders
Even if your traveling pal isn't much of a writer, she still might like to collect memorabilia and ephemera from her destinations. Be it a simple photo album or a dedicated travel ticket stub diary, you can give her the gift of not forgetting her adventures for less than $50*.
If your giftee is serious about adventure — i.e., she'd rather hike the entirety of the Pacific Crest Trail than spend a weekend eating croissants in Paris — a LifeStraw is an absolute must-have for her. It can turn a crisis into a simple, sippable solution, rendering natural water sources safe to drink by removing microplastics, bacteria, and parisites.
Best of all, this impressive, potentially-life-saving technology is available for just about $25*. Talk about a deal!
If your giftee frequently travels internationally with their family in tow, chances are she's had at least one hectic moment trying to figure out where dad's passport went or what Junior did with his boarding pass.
A travel organizer is a simple (and stylish!) solution, and it'll doubtless save your friend a whole lot of airport-related headaches.
9. A (Good) Neck Pillow
They may not be stylish, but there's nothing worse than arriving at your dream destination with a crick in your neck after a long flight. Even if it takes a little bit of convincing to get him to put it on, in the long run, he'll be super-glad you sprung for a high-end, memory foam travel pillow— which will still only run you about $40*.
10. Anti-Theft Travel Bag
Getting your stuff stolen is the pits under the best of circumstances. But when you're far from home, pickpocketing can quickly go from inconvenience to total catastrophe.
Fortunately, a variety of companies are producing super-smart, theft-proof bags with features like reinforced straps and lockable closures — and no, they don't scream "I'm a tourist." Depending on the make and model, you can find some that run up to the three figures, but the sub-$50* travel backpacks are just as reliable. (And honestly, when it comes to traveling safely, the less flashy your stuff, the better.)
Bonus: Lifeproof Phone Case
Got a little bit more to spend? Looking to treat your giftee to a serious splurge?
A Lifeproof case transforms a delicate smartphone into a nigh-bulletproof communication device, and keeps the lucky recipient from ever again having to stick their water-damaged phone into a vat of rice (which, of course, is almost always a lost cause anyway).
These cases run about $90* new, but you can find some available for less than $50* on Amazon — especially for older phone models. Do be sure you buy the one that fits your giftee's device of choice, since each case is specifically tailored!
Are you a frequent traveler? What would you like to see in your stocking this year? Let us know in the comments!
All content provided in this blog is supplied by Jamie Cattanach and is for informational purposes only. Barclays takes no position as to the views, and makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the blog or found by following any link within this blog.
*Prices indicated in this article may vary according to season and demand. Please check corresponding website(s) current pricing and availability.
Image credit: Shutterstock, Lifeproof, Amazon,uncommongoods.com, Rei.com
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