From stocking stuffers to splurges, here are five great gift ideas for the travelers in your life. I’ve included our favorite things for each category, all of these we own and love.
Compact and entertaining for hours, card games are the perfect addition to anyone’s carry-on bag. The best travel card games have simple rules, can be played with virtually any number of players, and take less than half an hour to complete.
A good card game blurs the time in the air, in the car, or waiting for a flight delay. A nice way to unplug for a few minutes and interact instead, you can even make friends with the guy that’s hogging your armrest.
Our family also likes to bring a card game to the hotel lounge for happy hour. Even when Luna was little we would play Uno together while we had cocktails and she sipped her Shirley Temple.
Our Favorites: UNO and Monopoly Deal
Get them in the tin box if you can – it’ll keep them tidy in your bag.
Find Monopoly Deal here: Monopoly Deal Card Game
Find UNO here: UNO Card Game Tin
Who says your “gels and liquids” bag should only hold shampoo? Upgrade your traveler to “economy plus” when you fill her stocking with carry-on size liquor bottles! As long as they fit in the standard quart-size Ziploc, one-ounce bottles are perfectly fine for carry-on. Once on board, travelers need only ask for their favorite mixer.
Or to take it up another notch, try Our Favorite: The Carry-On Cocktail Kit
These nifty little tins hold all the extras you need to make a real cocktail at 30,000 feet. Each kit has a small metal spoon and jigger, ingredients to doctor up your basic cocktail, and even a linen napkin. We recently tried the Moscow Mule kit and it definitely took our airline drink to another level.
Each kit contains instructions about what to order from the drink cart. For the Moscow Mule, we ordered vodka, ice, and limes. There’s enough ingredients in the kit to fix two drinks, but everything in the tin can be reused, so you could restock with a small bottle of bitters or whatever extra you’d like and use all the tools again. There are a variety of kits to choose from, including Gin & Tonic, Champagne Cocktail, and Old Fashioned.
Note that the kits include a small bottle of liquid which technically should be in your “gels and liquids” bag when you go through security. I recommend taking a look inside the tin before you pack it in your carry-on.
Find the Carry-On Cocktail Kit here: The Carry On Cocktail Kit The Moscow Mule
I think e-readers were invented for travel, because they are packed with features every traveler loves.
Our favorite: Kindle Paperwhite
Lighten their load – a Kindle only weighs a half a pound but it can hold thousands of books. One of the best things about the Kindle is the ability to add more titles on the fly. Especially when traveling overseas it can be hard to find a bookstore with just the right book. With Amazon, the bookstore is huge and on-demand.
We recommend you spring for the Kindle with 3G included. This allows the user to purchase and download books from anywhere, even if wifi’s out of reach. If you’d really like to spoil them, add a Kindle Unlimited subscription, which includes unlimited access to Amazon’s library of ebooks and audio books.
Find the Kindle Paperwhite here: Kindle Paperwhite
Now that we carry an entire music collection in our phones, we can enjoy our tunes as easily on the road as at home. Make their hotel room a little more like home with a wireless speaker.
Our favorite: Bose Mini Soundlink
It might be little, but this compact speaker fills a room with sound. It’s great on your hotel balcony too. At night, bring some aloha into your room by streaming ocean wave sounds from your phone’s white noise app.
We love this speaker around the house too. I keep it on the kitchen counter to stream music and podcasts. It’s super easy to set up and sounds good virtually everywhere. We have the carrying case too, which makes packing a snap.
Find the Bose Mini Soundlink here: Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II (Pearl)
A Nice Carry-On Bag
Here’s something I think most people don’t splurge on for themselves. A nice carry-on bag can last years and make the time at the airport and on the plane so much easier. A good carry-on bag is easy to carry, helps keep a traveler organized, and has style too.
Our favorite: Tumi Alpha Bravo backpack
Luna has one of these and I am very jealous. Besides looking really cool, the backpack has lots of different size pockets and is super comfortable to carry. Like all of Tumi’s products it’s really durable and has a lifetime guarantee. If you want to truly spoil your traveler, any product from Tumi will do it.
Find the Tumi Alpha Bravo backpack here: Tumi Alpha Bravo Knox Backpack, Anthracite, One Size
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