Author - Jo Fitzsimons
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I’ve been a travel writer for over 14 years, including spending 6 years living overseas. So, I know what makes a great gift for women who travel. In this guide, I’ll share my favourite travel-themed gift ideas that are likely to be appreciated and used rather than thrown in a drawer and forgotten. There’s everything from stocking stuffers under $20 to luxury items. Happy shopping.
1. Travel Wine Glass
I love this wine tumbler for so many reasons. It’s genuinely leakproof and insulated to keep your wine at just the right temperature. It can also be used for other drinks. Whether your hotel is lacking a decent wine glass or for taking a safe ‘glass’ to the pool, a personal travel wine glass is a fun and thoughtful gift for wine lovers.
BrüMate Insulated Wine Tumbler
- OVERSIZED & INSULATED: Oversized and insulated,…
- FULLY LEAKPROOF: The BrüMate Uncork’d XL is the…
- VERSATILE: Your go-to for camping, travel, or just…
As a solo female traveler, it can be nerve-wracking to check into accommodation that doesn’t have the best door security. These little door stoppers with a 120-decibel (loud!) security alarm built in can help you sleep better and feel safer when you travel. I find them especially comforting in budget hotels with flimsy locks or Airbnbs and apartment rentals where the owner might just have a key to my room.
Door Stopper with Security Alarm
- [Dual Function]: Can be used as a door stop alarm…
- [3 Level of Sensitivities]: Hige-Midium- Low…
- [Loud Alarm]: Very loud shrill that would…
3. Travel Hair Dryer
This Conair travel hair dryer has a lot packed into its compact, lightweight shape. As well as offering a powerful 1600W, it has dual voltage and a folding handle, making it the perfect gift for travel. While many hotels list a hairdryer in the room amenities, so often I’ve found them broken, not powerful enough or they just hurt my finger having to hold the button down so long. I remember my travel friend once pointing at the sub-standard hair dryer in a hotel room and commenting: that couldn’t dry my eyebrows!
4. Priority Pass Airport Lounge Pass
Gifting a lounge pass is a real treat, especially for a frequent flyer. We all know that coffee, juice and a croissant at the airport can cost over $20, and with free wi-fi, showers, buffet and drinks, the pass quickly pays for itself. I’ve used Priority Pass many times over the years and always find it reliable with over 1,400 lounges available around the world (especially good if you ever miss a flight!). There are three annual memberships to choose from:
- Standard – $99. You have to pay $35 for each lounge entry.
- Standard Plus – $329 for 10 free lounge entries per year then $35 per entry after that.
- Prestige – around $469 for unlimited free lounge entry.
Buy it from Priority Pass from $99 for 1 year. They have great offers throughout the year so plan ahead.
5. Travel Jewelery Organiser
My brother bought me a travel jewellery roll over a decade ago and it’s still going strong. It’s a great way to stay organized, pack lighter and keep all your jewellery items together in one place. And it’s small enough to fit into a hotel safe. There are a range of colours to choose from. Why not be extra romantic and pop a small item of jewelery into one of the pouches as the main gift?
Foldable Jewelery Organizer
- Compact Size : Dimensions: L23 x W15 x H1.5 cm;…
- Supple Touch : Material: The foldable jewelry…
- 5 Compartments : Buckle band for rings + earrings…
6. Airfly Wireless Audio Transmitter
The Airfly Wireless Audi Transmitter is one of the best travel gadgets to hit the stores in recent years. Instead of trailing the airline corded headphones to watch a movie, just pop this into the audio jack and connect your own Bluetooth headphones. I love these for long-haul flights. Especially since I take the aisle seat – I can stand up and let my neighbors out of their seats without having to unplug my headphones and pause the movie.
7. Tripit Pro Travel Itinerary App
I’ve been using the Tripit app to keep my travel plans organised for years. All you have to do is forward your booking confirmations by email and Tripit does the rest, pulling together your itinerary, saving it for access across your devices and syncing with your calendar. There is a free version but with Tripit Pro you get alerts when your flight is delayed, notifications when a better seat becomes available, the ability to share your itinerary and, my favourite, an alert if you’re due a refund. I also love the fact that I have a record in the app of the places I’ve stayed – great when you want to recommend a hotel to a friend but can’t remember the name. Buy if from TripIt for $49 for 1 year.
8. Travel Hammock
I installed one of these in my office a few years ago and my life hasn’t been the same since. In summer I take it into the garden. And when I travel, it packs down into my bag. It’s really easy to sling up between two trees on a beach or in a park. I’ve even managed to put it up on a hotel balcony. Add the travel wine tumbler (above) and you’ve got the perfect travel relaxation gift.
Portable Travel Hammock
- Comfortable: Whether you’re relaxing by the fire,…
- Compact: Lightweight and convenient, our portable…
- Easy Setup: Equipped with two 9ft long tree straps…
9. Lonely Planet – The Travel Book
Lonely Planet’s Guidebooks are by far my favourite – accurate, up-to-date, informative and, best of all, focused on authentic travel, you can’t go wrong choosing any of their travel books. However, this wonderful coffee-table book with take you on an armchair trip through every country including glossy pictures and highlights of what to do where. It’s the ultimate bucket-list planning guide.
10. Kindle e-Reader
On the topic of books, every frequent traveller who is a book lover will benefit from owning a Kindle. It took me a while to convert from paper books (and I still read them) but nothing compares to a Kindle for travel. You can pack thousands of books, download the latest reads on the go and even read in the dark thanks to the handy backlight. With months of battery, a Kindle is by far the best way to pack multiple books on a trip. I personally own and highly recommend the Paperwhite version as it does have the built-in reading light and is now waterproof. The lowest 8GB version stores more than enough books. Want to also gift some books? Here’s my guide to the 50 Best Travel Books of All Time.
11. First Aid Kit Bag
This 130-piece first aid kit works well for both adults and kids. Unlike most kits, it has a choice of very cute designs and is well stocked with the right type of supplies that you might need in a pinch. It’s also TSA compliant so you can pack it in your carry-on luggage, throw it in your backpack or pack it on a hike. And, when it’s used up, you can restock it. If you’re looking for a travel gift that’s on the more practical side this KeepGoing first aid kit is perfect.
12. Philips USB Travel Toothbrush
While this Philips Travel toothbrush isn’t a cheap gift, it’s one that will last for years. This is the toothbrush I own and what makes it stand out for travellers is the USB charging travel case, which means you don’t need to pack a separate charger and case. Just slot the toothbrush into the lightweight case and you can charge on the go. When I dropped this toothbrush down the stairs (idiot moment), I cried a little then went out and immediately replaced it. It’s at the top of my travel packing list.
13. Portable Coffee Press
I’m pretty strict on not carrying anything non-essential but when I saw this portable travel coffee press, it instantly went onto my must-travel wish list. If your traveler has any kind of coffee addiction, this is the perfect unique travel gift. Just add a scoop of coffee beans, pour in hot water and out comes the perfect espresso-style coffee.
14. Tinggly Travel Experience
Tinggly is a gift experience designed for travelers. With over 10,000 experiences to choose from around the world, the woman in your life can choose from hot air balloon rides to spa experiences, hotel stays and food tours. Having recently indulged in a hotel and spa day thanks to a gift from my dad, I can promise this is a great gift that will be very well received. Select a gift voucher value and if your traveler wants to upgrade the spending, they can pay a little extra to get the experience they want. Buy it from: Tingly, from $50.
15. Apple World Travel Adaptor Kit
I dispensed with my generic travel adaptor in favour of the Apple Adaptor kit several years ago and it works for almost every trip (Switzerland, why are you do difficult?). If the person you are shopping for is an Apple user, this streamlined set of plugs is a wonderful option. Say goodbye to bulky adaptors or, worse, buy potentially unsafe adaptors in the countries you visit.
Apple World Travel Adapter Kit
- The World Travel Adapter Kit includes a set of…
- The kit is designed to work with iPod, iPhone,…
- The AC plugs included in the World Travel Adapter…
16. National Park Pass or Heritage Pass
You don’t need to leave your home country to explore. Whether it’s a National Park Pass in the United States or an English Heritage Pass in the UK or some other local pass in your home country, having an annual membership can be an excellent gift for travellers. The USA National Park Pass costs $80 for a year’s access to over 2,000 sites. And the English Heritage Pass costs from £69 for over 400 historic sights. Annual travel passes usually come with a Welcome Pack making them great gifts. Buy it from USA National Parks or English Heritage.
17. Travel-Themed Wall Art
In hindsight, I probably didn’t need a 1.5-metre framed vintage world map in my bedroom but it sure does make me happy every time I look at it. And I look at it every morning when I first get up and every night before I go to sleep. My point is that travel-themed pictures are a great way for your traveling woman to surround themselves with visible reminders of what lies beyond their front door. Shop on websites like Etsy for originals which can feed your wanderlust while feeding an artist. Buy it from Etsy.
18. Travel Atomizer
Tiny bottles of travel perfume or aftershave are not the most cost-efficient way of traveling with a nice scent in your bag – travel atomisers are the way to go. I pack this style and it’s handy to have a multi-pack so you can pick your scent for your destination. Why not also buy a bottle of her favourite perfume to go with it?
19. Manduka eKo Superlite Travel Yoga Mat
I hadn’t even heard of a downward dog until I started traveling but after years cramped on buses and bent over my laptop sitting on floors, I finally found yoga, which is perfect for realigning my travelling spine. If your traveler is a yogi, they’ll no doubt want to continue their practice on the road, but packing a full-sized mat isn’t a practical option. Enter: travel yoga mat. This is the one I use and I take it everywhere. It can be rolled or folded and although it’s thinner than your average mat, it’s better than no mat at all. Make sure it’s the Superlite that you buy. There is also an EKO that is thicker and won’t pack down very small.
Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat
- Your favorite pose is never far from reach when…
- The Manduka eKO SuperLite Yoga Mat will leave a…
- Features Manduka’s proprietary natural closed-cell…
20. Victorinox Huntsman Swiss Army Knife
I’m not recommending packing a knife for safety reasons (though I do sometimes feel more secure knowing I have this in my luggage). I travel with this Swiss Army knife because it has so many tools onboard it can literally cope with all situations from opening a bottle of wine to sawing through a French baguette to slicing avocado to plucking your eyebrows or trimming your toenails. If you’re looking for travel gear, a Swiss Army Knife is a very useful option and this version has just the right tools for a female traveller. But make sure your traveler isn’t packing it as a carry-on!
21. Eagle Creek Compression Packing Cubes
I’ve long been a fan of packing cubes and I finally stumbled onto the best version yet – ultra-lightweight while being super strong, you can fit a lot into these cubes. Better still, with the compression zip, you can pack down the less frequently used items (raincoat/base layer) gaining even more room in your bag. These are great organising tools and mine are still looking like new after 8 years of traveling with them. On the way home, I often put my muddy travel shoes in them.
22. Travel Scarf with Security Pocket
I’ve never been a fan of money belts – they look bulky under your clothes and are a dead giveaway when you need to access them. So, this travel scarf with a hidden pocket was a much-needed invention. I travel with a scarf anyway. They’re good for long cold flights, bundling up into a travel pillow, using for head and shoulder coverings; the list goes on. Add a hidden pocket for a hotel room key, spare cash and credit card and you’ve upped your safety in a subtle way. Waypoint is the market leader for travel scarves and has a good choice of colors and patterns.
23. Kipling Cross Body Purse
Kipling’s cross-body purses / travel bags have been my go-to choice for many years. They’re lightweight, water resistant, and have just the right amount of pockets with zips. Traveling, your purse is an easy target for thieves. However, with a lightweight cross-body bag, you’re less likely to be the victim of an ‘on the shoulder’ purse snatch. In big cities, I keep mine across my body even when I’m sat in a bar. The rest of the time, it’s right in front of me ready for easy access to keys and my phone.
24. Smythson Travel Journal
If you’re looking for a luxury gift, this travel journal by British Brand Smythson will impress. Smythson has been in the luxury stationery business on London’s famous Bond Street since 1887 and their travel journal has been a favorite amongst travelers since 1908. With gilt-edged pages and a featherweight iconic pale blue paper, it’s an utter luxury to write in (I know, I was once lucky enough to own one and dream of the day I’m gifted another). Buy it at Smythson, $290.
25. Prosecco Wine Tasting in Italy
Italy’s world-renowned sparkling wine region is just one hour from Venice by train. If you happen to be planning a trip to Italy this year, why not buy your loved one a gift voucher for a Prosecco wine-tasting tour? And since the voucher is for up to 4 people, it’s a gift for you, too. Buy it at Visit Prosecco Italy, €250 for a half-day tour / €400 for a full-day tour.
You can find all the products mentioned in this post on my Travel Store.
So, that’s my list of recommended travel gifts. If you have any questions, drop a comment below.
Hi, I'm Jo, the writer behind Indiana Jo. In 2010 I quit my job as a lawyer and booked an around the world ticket. As a solo female traveller, I hopped from South America to Central America, across Asia, the Middle East and Europe. It was supposed to be a one-year trip but over a decade later, it's yet to end. I've lived in a cave, climbed down a volcano barefoot, spent years as a digital nomad, worked as a freelance travel writer, and eaten deadly Fugu. Now I'm home, back in the UK, but still travelling far and wide. You can find out more About Me.