13 Great Travel Gift Ideas That Won't Break The Bank

Girl in hat rummaging through her crossbody

Written by Shannon O’Donnell on

Shannon O'Donnell is a long-term traveler who has been on the road since 2008 and has lived everywhere from Southeast Asia to Barcelona, where she now calls home. She travels slowly and supports responsible tourism along the way, winning numerous awards for her work advocating for the communities impacted by travel and tourism.

Girl in hat rummaging through her crossbody


Take the guesswork out of picking the perfect affordable holiday gift for the travel lover in your life with this succinct list of top traveler gifts that are easy on your wallet—each gift comes in under $50.


Facing gift-giving holidays or birthdays means you need to find some great gift ideas for your loved ones. If you have one or more travel-lovers in your life, they can tend to be some of the harder people to shop for. After all, what do you give to folks who tend to appreciate carrying as little as possible? 


The answer is in purchasing great travel gifts that will augment your loved ones’ travel experiences. If they don’t break the bank, that’s a great bonus! The following gifts are all under $50 and will tickle any traveler’s fancy.


Crossbody Carry Bag

Call us biased, but we love the 5Gyres + Eagle Creek collab line—a chic collection of Eagle Creek favorites that are splashed in a stylish multicolored print evoking shards of microplastics collecting in ocean currents. With the Limited Edition 5Gyres Stash Crossbody Bag ($35), you can feel good about purchasing this useful, hands-free crossbody, as 10% of your purchase goes to the 5Gyres initiative. And the traveler in your life will use this modern take on the quintessential fanny pack everywhere they go.


Packing Cube Set

Packing cubes end up on every travel gift list for a reason—if you travel, they are truly just that useful. Capable of turning a swampy mess of loose socks, undies, and travel accessories into easily-grabbable, convenient heaven, they work for every go-getter in your life from the weekend warrior to the hardcore RTW wanderer. With the Pack-It Cube Set in Koi Print ($28), your beloved will adore this gorgeous, gender-neutral print of splashing koi fish on a soothing blue background. If you really want to spoil someone, add a two-cube compression set in the reverse colorway($40)


Portable Luggage Scale

Is there anything more frustrating than getting to the airport and realizing that your bag is overweight, resulting in sky-high fees? The traveler in your life will go crazy for this pocket-sized, travel-themed stocking stuffer, which weighs your bags quickly and accurately. The Camry 110lb Luggage Scale ($8) is made of rugged engineering plastic and features a sturdy black strap that will connect to just about any bag. Dangle the bag from the scale, and voila—you have a heads-up on how much you have packed. Can’t beat the price-point, either, which is well under $50 and is a great addition to one of these other gift ideas.


Travel Jewelry + Accessory Organizers

Soft, lightweight, and supremely functional, the 80 Pockets Jewelry Organizer ($21) is the organizer that your traveling friend has been seeking. It takes up less than two inches of closet space when hanging, and rolls up with a small footprint. Long pockets hold bigger items like necklaces, and reinforced, gusseted pockets are perfect for bulkier items. Throw in some packing sacs ($28)wristlet organizers ($17), or a cinch organizer ($27) for your loved one’s bobby pins, hair brushes, scarves, and odds-and-ends and they’ll have a streamlined packing solution next time they travel!


Mini Hair Dryer

Consider gifting your travel loving friend the Conair MiniPro Ceramic Hair Dryer ($29). This little wonder is well under $50 and is top-rated by travelers for a reason—it combines a foldable design with some serious output, meaning that you need not sacrifice function for form. While most hotels nowadays have hair dryers, they usually suck. Also, most vacation rentals, hostels, and camping environments do not. Dual voltage means that it can be used in the US and most of Europe, sparing you yet another converter. Your gift recipient will appreciate picture-perfect hair in their social media snaps!


A Stargazing Guide

Astrotoursim is gaining popularity, so for the wanderlusting daydreamer in your life, pick up a guide to travel based around stargazing. Published by Lonely Planet, Dark Skies: A Practical Guide to Astro-Tourism ($14 - $26) is a quirky and fun guide to dark-sky hotspots will fill you in on the best spots to view the heavens in all their glory. Want perfect viewing of the aurora borealis, rocket launches, or eclipses? You can read about these hotspots here. Both print and e-book versions are available; consider picking out the combo pack so your traveler can carry the book effortlessly with them no matter their reading style. 


Travel-Sized Dry Bags

Nowadays, cellphones are a necessity for action shots and communication alike. Unfortunately, they have a distressing tendency to give up the ghost when hit with a direct shot of H2O. What’s a water-loving traveler to do? The solution is an inexpensive, indispensable waterproof cellphone bag like this Waterproof Cellphone Dry Bag ($15), which protects your phone from total submersion up to 100ft. With credit card slots and a convenient neck strap, this nifty case is perfect for every adventurer’s lifestyle. For bonus props, add a float strap ($8) to ensure that a phone overboard situation will end in a speedy retrieval and your great gift idea is still under $50! 


Durable, Light-Weight Toiletry Kit

Creativity is great for some travel gift ideas, but so is practicality. Upgrade your loved one’s toiletry kit and they’ll be thanking you every time they try navigating in tiny bathrooms and shower stalls. The Pack-It Specter On Board ($46)is a lust-worthy, ultra-light toiletry kit they’ll use for many years to come. It offers a ton of organizer pockets, naturally, but it’s the swivel hook that’s been missing from their life—this hook ensures easy hanging in tight spaces and guarantees your traveler quick access to everything inside.


Still searching for that perfect something to complement your travel gift? Snag a few of our suggested travel stocking stuffers, which are perfect for wanderers of all types!


Related Links (from the Eagle Creek blog):

18 Great Travel Stocking Stuffers

Best Gift Ideas for Frequent World Travelers 

Ultimate Gift Guide: 25 Best Gifts for Travelers