If you’re putting together a Christmas stocking for someone who loves to travel, check out these 38 ideas for travel stocking stuffers.
It can be hard to find great gifts year after year, so if you’re looking for small gift ideas for travel lovers (or if people are asking you for ideas of what to buy you), I have based this list on travel-related gifts I have received and appreciated.
In order to help you create a great stocking for travel fans, this list gives you:
- Choice – because every stocking needs to be stuffed full of small items
- Affordability – most items are in the £5-15 / $5-15 range (at time of publishing)
- A balance of usefulness and fun – stockings should be light and fun, but there’s nothing more wasteful than a bunch of silly items you’ll never use, so this list includes some fun things but also gadgets that travel lovers will be able to make use of on their trips around the world
I’ve ordered the list into categories, so feel free to use the table of contents to jump around if you wish. I’ve also included links to Amazon.com so you can purchase directly if you want to (I’ll make a small amount of commission at no extra charge to you). Or you can simply take note of the ideas and source them from whichever retailer you prefer.
Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. These are links to products or experiences I recommend and if you were to buy something after clicking on them, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Any earnings go towards the upkeep of this blog, which I appreciate.
Fun Travel Stocking Stuffers
I think stocking gifts should make you laugh, so here are some fun travel-themed stocking gift ideas for travel lovers.
1. Travel-Themed Socks
Every stocking needs a pair of socks in it – I think it’s a rule or something. Practical woollies are perfectly fine, but if you’re buying for a traveller, why not choose some travel-themed socks, like these that feature planes and luggage.
2. Travel-Themed Mug
Mugs are another staple feature in the Christmas stockings that I fill – I get one every year for my husband. Here are two that might appeal to travel lovers: the first features an old map of the world and the second is cleverly shaped exactly like a camera lens – so this one could be good for a travel photographer.
3. Travel Trivia
Having some games to play during the festive season is always a good idea and the traveller you buy for might like to test their knowledge of the world with this travel trivia game.
4. Check-Off Map
If the travel fan you buy for has a desire to travel widely and/or they keep track of the countries they’ve visited, they might like a visual way to monitor their progress. With this scratch-off map, they can scratch off each country they visit, slowly turning the map into colour.
Eco-Friendly Travel Stocking Stuffers
If you or the person you’re buying for cares about reducing their impact on the environment, some eco-friendly stocking stuffers could be what you’re looking for this Christmas.
5. Re-Usable Water Bottle
Travellers need water with them, whether that’s on a city break or exploring some wild place. To avoid buying single-use plastics, consider a reusable bottle that can be filled as needed. I have a small-ish roll-up bottle that can be compressed when empty, which is handy.
6. Re-Usable Toiletries Tubes
Squeezable silicone tubes are re-usable so you can avoid buying miniature versions, which waste plastic. They also help with the liquid limits for your carry-on baggage when flying, as they are typically under the 100ml limit. They’re easy to squeeze every last drop out of and also easy to clean afterwards.
7. Solid Shampoo
This idea could be even better than re-usable tubes because it involves avoiding plastic bottles altogether. This solid shampoo sampler set contains small-size versions of solid shampoos to give your travel lover a chance to try them. It might not be a great idea if the person you buy for is very particular about their haircare; but if they’re not, this could be a really good eco-friendly stocking stuffer.
8. Travel Cutlery
If your traveller ever eats takeaway or goes camping when they travel, a set of re-usable cutlery is a good way to help them avoid disposable plastic cutlery. They’re made of bamboo and they’re natural, vegan and food-safe.
9. Reusable shopping bag – thin, foldable
A re-usable bag can be very handy when travelling – for example, if you’re self-catering and need to buy groceries, or any other kind of shopping. These cotton tote bags could be helpful travel gifts.
Practical Travel Stocking Stuffers
Now, these stocking gift ideas might seem a bit pragmatic and dull, but gifts that get used are better than useless junk that gets thrown away! If your recipient doesn’t have these items already, they will come in very handy.
10. Travel Adapter
Every traveller needs at least one travel adapter to be able to access power around the world. This travel adapter is very versatile, working for various plug inputs as well as the major socket types around the world. It also has USB ports as well as a type C port, which will come in handy.
11. Power Bank
These portable devices can act as a source of power for phones (or other electronics), meaning your travel lover won’t be caught out with no battery. I always take at least one power bank with me, if not two.
12. Earphone Cord Organizer
If the person you’re buying for uses ear phones when they travel, a cord organiser will help them keep the cords tidy and tangle-free.
13. First Aid Kit
It’s always a good idea for travellers to take a small first aid kit with them, and to make sure it includes the basics for minor cuts and blisters.
14. Sewing Kit
This sounds really old-fashioned, but I have more than once needed to sew my clothes when travelling. For example, a button came loose in Lauterbrunnen recently and I was very glad to have a compact sewing kit with me that had a variety of colour threads to match my shirt.
15 Travel Towel
Travel towels can be a useful item for anyone who stays in hostels or campsites. They’re typically quite flat, but super absorbent, so they work as well as a normal towel, just less luxurious-feeling. I bought one for the Inca Trail and also used it on my Iceland camper van trip.
16. Blow-Up Pillow Combo, Eye Mask & Ear Plugs
If the person you’re buying for flies long haul, having a decent travel pillow and mask set could help them sleep on the plane. I like the ones that inflate, because they fold back down again afterwards and can be stored neatly.
Carabiners come in handy in all sorts of situations. They can help you attach things to your backpack, or secure your water bottle to your shoulder bag.
I recently discovered mini carabiners, which do the same thing, but they’re less bulky. I used one to attach a coin purse to me when I wanted to swim in the sea in Albania without leaving anything of value on the beach.
18. Coin Purse
Speaking of coin purses, these can also be useful gifts for travel lovers. Other than being a day-to-day purse, they’re also useful for storing old currency. If you’re travelling to multiple countries with different currencies, you can end up with a fair bit of leftover change – you could give it away, but if you want to keep it as a souvenir, you need somewhere to hold it.
When I travelled through the Balkans, I had quite a few coins from different currencies and was glad to have a place for them.
Little Travel Luxuries
Lots of travellers travel as light as possible, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want a few luxuries while they’re on the road.
19. Pillow Spray
It can sometimes be hard to sleep unfamiliar environments when travelling. I first discovered This Works pillow spray at a hotel which had it as a complementary gift – and I’ve been using it ever since. The blend of Eucalyptus, Frankincense and Lavender essential oils helps promote relaxation and a sense of calm, helping you sleep. And even if it doesn’t work, it smells really nice!
It contains very small size bottles, so it doesn’t take up much space in your liquids allowance.
20. Travel Jewellery Box
If your travel lover wears jewellery, they might appreciate this neat little travel jewellery box for securing their rings, bracelets or necklaces when they’re travelling.
21. Personalised Luggage Tags
It’s a good idea to label your luggage with your contact details so it can be returned to you should it ever go missing. Maybe the person whose stocking you’re stuffing would appreciate a personalised luggage tag? I have one that simply has my initials on it.
22. Passport Holder
If your gift recipient ever struggles to keep track of their passport, boarding pass and any other essential documents, they might appreciate a passport cover and organiser.
23. Gift Card
The final treat-type stocking stiffer for travel lovers is money towards an experience while they’re travelling. I have not yet found a flight voucher site that is good value for money, but I have been given Eurostar vouchers, which have been great, as I live in London – I used them for a day trip to Paris.
Get Your Guide offer tickets to all kinds of experiences around the world, from museum tickets to boat tours to cooking lessons. A Get Your Guide gift card could be a great way to enable the person you’re buying for to do something they like while they’re away.
Security-conscious Travel Stocking Stuffers
I don’t mean to scare-monger, but of course there are some risks when you travel – but there are also some things you can do to mitigate those risks.
24. TSA-Approved Travel Lock
Suitcases or backpacks can be secured in transit with a travel lock – and one that is TSA-approved means if you go through USA customs (and possibly others), security officers using universal “master” keys can inspect your luggage without having to break the lock.
25. Luggage Trackers
When travelling by air, there’s always a risk that your bags might be misdirected to the wrong destination. If this happens, you need to rely on the airlines to track it down. But if you have tagged your own bags, you might be able to assist by locating where they are by using a luggage tracker.
Apple has a version of these that work with their phones, called Air Tags, and there are other kinds on the market, including Tile.
26. Waterproof Phone Case
Waterproof phone cases are designed to protect your phone from water – obviously. And that’s how I used mine when I was kayaking in a fjord in Flam in Norway (that was amazing, by the way…).
However, after a tip from someone I follow on Twitter, I realised I could also tuck my money into the case alongside the phone so that I could go swimming in the ocean with my phone and money safe around my neck. So as well as being useful in water, they’re also very helpful in keeping your valuables secure at the beach.
Packing well helps to keep baggage within carrier restrictions and helps you stay organised on the road. Here are some packing aids that I have used and recommend.
27. Shoe Bag
I typically have at least one extra pair of shoes in my baggage and to prevent the soles from dirtying the rest of my things, I put them in shoe bags. There are plenty of cheap plastic ones available, but I prefer a washable cotton shoe bag and I think these make a good stocking filler.
28. Dry Bags
If the person you’re buying for travels with a backpack, dry bags are really useful to keep clothes and other things organised within the backpack. It’s so much easier to have things separated into bags rather than one big mess all in the main compartment – especially when you’re searching for something. They can also help keep your clothes dry if you are hiking and there’s a risk of rain – like I experienced on the Inca Trail.
29. Packing Cubes
If the person you’re buying for travels with a suitcase, packing cubes do a similar thing to dry bags (except they don’t keep anything dry). I like the kind that can be compressed down with a second zip, so they help you maximise the space in your case.
30. Luggage Scale
A luggage scale is so useful if you’re flying! If you’re checking a bag, and even if you’re not (some airlines have weight restrictions on cabin bags now), you will most likely need to keep your baggage within a weight limit.
It is possible to use bathroom scales to check how much your bag weighs, but they’re not that easy to use for backpacks, which may not balance on the scale. This is where a portable luggage scale comes in handy. You can use the strap to attach it to any bag or suitcase, lift the bag up using the scale as a handle, and you’ll see the weight on the digital screen – easy peasy!
Photography Stocking Stuffers
Most people like to take photographs when they travel – if that’s true for your gift recipient, then some photography accessories could be a nice inclusion in their Christmas stocking.
31. Lens Cloth
If your travel photographer uses a proper camera, they will likely value having a microfibre cloth to keep the lens glass clean. Mine get used a lot!
32. SD Card
I can’t remember the times I’ve lost an SD card – luckily, only empty ones, so far. For this reason, it helps to have a couple of SD cards to hand, especially when going on a long trip without the ability to upload photos to a laptop or hard drive.
33. USB SD Reader
If they don’t already have one, your travel fan might appreciate a USB SD card reader so they can transfer photos to their laptop.
34. Comfortable Camera Strap
I disliked the strap that came with my camera, so I requested a leather camera strap as a Christmas present – and I love it! It is so much more comfortable to wear than the scratchy one that came with the camera. This could be a thoughtful gift for a travel photographer.
Weather-Proof Travel Stocking Stuffers
There are different climates around the world, so if the person whose stocking you’re filling travels a lot, they might need some help to be ready for different weather conditions.
35. Multi-Purpose Scarf
One of the most useful items I take with me travelling is a multi-purpose scarf. I have a couple that I choose from, but they have between them served as:
- Added warmth at high altitude in Peru and Bolivia
- A sarong on the beach in Greece
- A beach towel in Albania
- Sun protection in hot places like the Maldives and Namibia
- Wind protection in the Namib desert in Namibia
- Smell protection in Namibia (against the stink of a seal colony at Cape Cross on the Skeleton Coast!)
They are really versatile – but you might need to know the style of the person you’re buying for,
36. Compact Wind-Proof Umbrella
This is a fairly obvious one, but I never travel without a tiny compact umbrella. I’m certainly very glad I had it when the skies opened up on me in Barcelona – which happened twice on my most recent solo trip there!
37. Mini Handheld Fan
This is probably my favourite gadget that I discovered this year and it served me well travelling around the Balkans in June and July when the temperatures were very very hot! I was glad of this mini hand-held fan when I was delayed in Tirana airport with no air conditioning (even if I did get some strange looks)!
It is small (smaller than the length of my hand), quiet and its rechargeable battery lasts 6 hours – so I highly recommend this little gadget for anyone who hates being hot & stuffy.
38. Beach Shoes
After hobbling over pebbles on the beaches of Croatia and Montenegro, I brought a pair of beach shoes – and they were so good at protecting my feet on other shingle and coral beaches in Mauritius and Albania.
These are not attractive – I will be clear about that! They look like they should be paired with a wet suit, not a bikini. But their rubber sole protects your feet from sharp or rocky textures, making it much easier to get in and out of the ocean on a single beach. So while you won’t look that stylish, you’re less likely to stagger and stumble!
The Last Word
I hope this list gave you some ideas for travel stocking stuffers!
If you’re also interested in some festive travel to Christmas Markets in Europe, have you considered Paris or Luxembourg?