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Essential Gifts for Travel Lovers

I am very functional when it comes to packing for a trip. I like to pack light so I have my hands free for reigning my crazy toddlers, so everything I pack has to have a purpose!

Here are some of my tried and true must have items for every trip. These make great gifts for the travel lover on your holiday list or essentials to add to your own packing list.

All of the products here are my own unbiased opinions and simply meant to help you plan for your future travels.

Packing cubes

Before I got packing cubes, I wondered what all of the craze was about. Now I wonder how I ever stayed organized without them! Each person in my family gets a cube for clothes, and I pack a cube for toiletries and any other essential items we might need. When we get to our destination, it’s easy to keep everyone’s things separated. These are the cubes that I have. You can find tons of great options on Amazon.

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Shampoo Bars

Shampoo bars are basically liquid shampoo concentrated in bar form. They are an awesome alternative to traditional shampoo because each bar is equivalent to 3 liquid bottles, so you get a ton of bang for your buck, and there’s no mess when you’re traveling! I love the bars from Ethique because they are a sustainable company that doesn’t use any plastic or chemicals and are committed to fair trade. You can check out their various options here for every hair type.

Lightweight Scarf

A lightweight scarf is an absolutely must pack item for me for any trip. A scarf is a quick, easy, versatile item that takes up little space in your bag and can be used for chilly airplane rides, to cover for sightseeing where modest dress is required (like European churches or Asian temples), as a bathing suit cover up, or simply to accessorize. I’ve even used a scarf as an impromptu blanket for my kiddos or as a sun cover when they’re in the stroller.

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Lightweight Pants

I am a big fan of pull on pants for everyday wear. We live in a warm area where jeans are often too much but I still want to look nice - cue these pants. They have an elastic waist and tapered legs so they're still flattering, and they’ve become my staple wear for travel because they are soft and comfortable, can be dressed up or down, and lightweight for warmer weather. Check out this fabulous pair of linen pants from Etsy or this pair of affordable versatile ones from Amazon.

Outlet Adapter/Converter

There’s nothing worse than arriving in a fabulous new country only to realize you can’t use your phone charger or plug in your hair straightener because the wall outlets are different from those at home. This universal travel adapter is great because it’s compatible in over 150 countries and can charge multiple devices at once.

Power Bank

A power bank is a small, portable charger that you can use to charge your phone, camera, or other electronics on the go. Most power banks have enough juice to charge your devices over several days, so you never have to worry about your phone dying after a long day of travel or not being able to take pictures while you’re sightseeing.

A Comfortable Day Bag

A comfortable bag is essential for full days of sightseeing. For me traveling with little ones, I like to use my diaper bag backpack because it’s neutral and can easily fit everything the whole family needs.

For those not carrying heaps of stuff belonging to children, I recommend a cross body bag because it keeps your hands free and keeps your stuff safely where you can see it. Travelon is a great company that has millions of options, so you can find something to fit your style. Check out this anti-theft bag that has a bunch of pockets for things like your phone, passport, and credit cards.

Reusable Water Bottle, Straws, and Baggies

I try to use reusable products whenever I can, but especially when I’m traveling. A sturdy metal water bottle, reusable straws, and reusable baggies for snacks or other loose items are some of my essentials for any trip. They are easy to wash and use again and again.

I’m loving these water bottle patterns from Mira, a small business committed to adventure, style, and sustainability.

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Lightweight Towel

Bulky towels take up too much space in your suitcase. Towels made of Turkish cotton are the way to go, as they are soft, absorbent, and very quick to dry, yet thin enough to easily fit in your bag. Sand Cloud is a great company that has a variety of high quality towels that are sustainably produced, and they donate a portion of their profits to marine conservation. Plus, these towels wick away sand and can double as a bath towel.

Exploroholic Gift Card

The best gift is the gift of travel itself! Exploroholic offers gift cards that you can give to anyone on your list that they’ll be able to apply to the cost of their future vacation, whether that’s for flights, hotel stays, or fun. Send me a message to request a gift card in any amount of your choosing.


What are your must have travel items? Share in the comments section below!

Do you have questions about any of these items or ready to talk about your next trip? Send me a message any time.


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