San Francisco panorama at sunrise with waterfront and downtown

Written by Caroline Eubanks on

Caroline Eubanks is a freelance writer from Atlanta, Georgia whose work has been published by BBC Travel, Afar, Thrillist, and National Geographic Traveler and is the author of the book This Is My South: The Essential Travel Guide to the Southern States. You can follow her work at

San Francisco panorama at sunrise with waterfront and downtown


Know someone tight on living space who also loves to travel? These 14 gift ideas are perfect for city living, and many do double duty as a gift that will help them travel better, too.


So your friend or family member is moving to the city, or perhaps they’re a die-hard city person and you’d like to gift them something thoughtful that fits with their lifestyle. You might think city-dwellers and city-loving millennials have everything they need, but consider buying them items that fit into their jetsetting lifestyles while also helping to organize their often tiny living spaces. 



If your loved ones live in a big city, they may be living in a cozy space where every inch of storage counts. Packing cubes, like the  Pack It Specter Tech Cube M ($18), are great for putting away spring or winter clothes when they're not needed. If you know your giftee has a lot of bulky winter items to store, opt instead for a  Pack-It™ Compression Sac Set ($30), which conveniently compacts clothes into a smaller size. The carry handles on the packing cubes are easy to grab in a hurry, and the translucent fabric on the compression sacs makes it easy to see what’s inside. Both of these items come in a variety of sizes, whether your loved one needs to store bulky sweaters, shoes, or t-shirts. And the extra benefit? Each of these items is ideal when packing for travel!

Meanwhile, the  Cargo Hauler 110L Wheel Duffel ($179) can act like a collapsible trunk that is both easier to move, and it fits under most beds. They can keep it in the guest room closet with blankets or lock it up with valuables while they rent out their space and head into the unknown. Integrated backpack straps make it easy for your city-living friend to carry it up and down stairs if needed (important for those ever-present sixth-floor walk-ups!), or attach it to a car’s roof rack for moving. And, of course, this bag is great for long trips. Talk about a gift that works overtime doing double-duty.

City living has some other obstacles: tiny bathrooms. Help your friend or loved one keep their space tidy. They can store shampoo and other items off of small counters with a  hanging toiletry kit ($37), which provides more counter space when hung on the door. Multiple compartments hold plenty of items and a built-in  3-1-1 pouch makes it easy to get through security when traveling. Thanks to the handy hook, those city people in your life can place it just about anywhere. 



Many city dwellers leave for the morning and don’t come back all day before hitting the gym or happy hour, so a bag with all the essentials for the day makes a great gift idea. The  Packable Daypack ($37) and  Packable Duffel ($36) come in a stylish minimalist design in a lightweight fabric. The pockets hold all the items they might need, and the main compartment locks to prevent theft on public transportation commutes. 

These city folk also get around primarily on foot, so a quality pair of shoes is essential.  Vans Made for the Makers SK8-Hi Reissue  ($85) come with thick rubber soles and the all-black coloring easily transitions from work to play. These canvas and suede shoes also repel liquids and dirt, keeping their appearance longer than other brands. Double bonus? They’re padded for extended wear, which is essential if your loved one also loves exploring new cities on foot when they travel.

Those on the go might want to enjoy a cup of coffee from home or their local coffee shop before arriving at the office. The  KeepCup ($10 and up, depending on style) is a popular brand of reusable mug that comes in multiple sizes and is made of tempered glass and plastic with a rubber sleeve. It’s machine washable and the preferred brand of baristas. 



Even avowed city people have to get out of town every now and then. Naturally they’ll need a create way to carry their most important gear. The  Wayfinder Backpack 40L ($129) provides great stability with waist and chest straps. The front zippered compartment has pockets for cords and other tech items, while a padded interior pocket will protect their laptop

Even the most experienced travelers can be the victims of theft while traveling. The  Undercover Money Belt ($17) provides peace of mind and security, keeping cash and other important documents on their person, tucked underneath their clothing. The moisture wicking fabric adds to the comfort, and the belt also comes in a  luxurious silk fabric ($31), and as an  Undercover™ Bra Stash ($14) or a handy  Undercover™ Hidden Pocket ($14). 

To round out your gift, gift them an  RFID Zip Organizer ($40), which will easily hold their passport while traveling and will protect their credit and debit cards from electronic theft all of the time. This will also  hold plane tickets, visas, and foreign currency while keeping them organized. 


Need more ideas for the city-dwelling travel lover in your life? Our Ultimate Gift Guide: 25 Best Gifts for Travelers offers a thorough list of memorable gift ideas.


Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

3 Creative Uses for Packing Cubes

20+ Gifts Perfect for Millennial Travelers

Buying Guide: Duffels