Gift Edit 2023

I’m a Former Travel Editor, and These Are the Best Gifts for Travel Lovers

published Sep 28, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
overhead shot of a person folding a floral shirt in suitcase that's on a bed with blue and white checkered sheets with other clothes and accessories surrounding the suitcase
Credit: Photo: Christopher Testani; Prop Styling: Carla Gonzalez-Hart

This feature is part of Apartment Therapy's Gift Edit, our editor-curated collection of gift ideas. Need more inspiration? Check out all our guides here.

With Americans now traveling in record-breaking numbers, chances are good that there’s a frequent flier on your list this year. And while we’re all happy that full-fledged vacations and trips to visit loved ones have bounced back after the pandemic, there’s no denying that being in an airport or aboard a plane is as miserable as ever. If you’re on the hunt for gifts for your harried globetrotter, then you’re in luck.

Fortunately, there are numerous products that will make the entire travel process smoother and less stressful. From ingenious suitcases and clever bag organizers to tech accessories and airport clothing staples that are the perfect ratio of relaxed to chic, the items on this list are sure to make travel easier, time and time again. Whether it increases their comfort on long flights or helps them breeze through the TSA line, there will be something on this list for everyone.

Here are the best 20 gifts for the traveler in your life.

1 / 20

Help them streamline that ugly nest of tangled cords at the bottom of their carry-on bag with Away’s Tech Case. It’s stocked with plenty of pockets and elastic loops to keep all of their cords and electronic accessories organized and safe.

2 / 20

An overpacker’s salvation, this bag comes with a removable hanging clothes organizer that holds a week’s worth of clothes — while still fitting in the overhead bin. When Apartment Therapy Best List Editor, Britt Franklin, took it for a spin this summer, she found the “seemingly indestructible luggage just might be the equivalent of a suitcase superhero!

3 / 20

This set of organization cubes takes the stress out of packing. The five pieces all come with mesh tops and can fit enough clothing for a lengthy trip. The cubes also come in 16 different colors and funky patterns, so you can match their personal style to a T.

4 / 20
was $129.90

Apartment Therapy editors swear by this bargain roller bag from Quince that makes for an equally stylish Away dupe. Director of Commerce, Mark, tested it last spring on two trips and found it to be “a sturdy, reliable travel companion that I’d highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a cheap carry-on that looks expensive, holds a lot of items, and packs quite a punch!”

5 / 20

If they're still using old shopping bags to store their shoes, upgrade them to this Away Shoe Cube. The nylon cube keeps dirty soles from mucking up other items in their bag, and it’s waterproof and machine-washable for easy cleaning.

6 / 20
The Container Store

Look in any savvy jet-setter’s toiletry bag, and you’re bound to see Cadence’s colorful honeycomb-shaped capsules. The small TSA-approved bottles are designed to hold a wide array of personal care products, sealing in any liquid, gel, or cream with a leakproof magnetic lid.

7 / 20

Water-resistant and hangable, this toiletry kit has plenty of pockets and compartments to keep grooming products organized. It’s also made of recycled polyester and comes in six fun colors.

8 / 20

This little wireless wonder can charge up to three items at once: a smart phone, an earbud case (if compatible with wireless charging), and an additional device such as a tablet. Plus, it doubles as a phone stand, making it a must-have item on flights with no seat-back screens.

9 / 20

Jewelry is notoriously one of the trickiest things to pack, but this stylish vegan-leather-trimmed case from Paravel makes it a breeze. The top features earring and ring storage bands that are fastened in place by snaps, while the bottom has six separate compartments for larger pieces like necklaces and bracelets secured by a drawstring bag for worry-free packing.

10 / 20

This two-in-one bag is a carry-on traveler’s dream. It can be used as a backpack or a duffel, folds open like a suitcase to hold a few days' worth of clothes, and has plenty of easily accessible pockets for storing boarding passes and passports, plus a separate padded laptop pocket. Even better? Its dimensions are within the standard size for an airline personal item, meaning it’s small enough to stow under a plane seat to eschew the fight for overhead bin space.

11 / 20
Lo & Sons
was $205.00

If a tote is more their style, this sleek one from Lo & Sons is a solid option. With plenty of interior and exterior pockets, plus a separate shoe compartment at the bottom, it can easily fit four days' worth of clothes, according to Apartment Therapy Commerce SEO Editor Sarah, who bought the bag over the summer: “By the time I was done packing, I was a bona fide Mary Poppins, ready to hit the road with my magical bottomless bag in tow.”

12 / 20

If the traveler on your list is an overzealous souvenir shopper, consider gifting them this Paravel duffel, which folds and zips down to the size of an ultra-lightweight pouch. At its smallest, it can be tucked into a corner of a suitcase; at the end of a trip, unfurl it to full size to carry mementos picked up along the way.

13 / 20
Best Buy
was $329.00

A good pair of noise-canceling headphones are a must for any long plane ride. Give them a sense of serenity even in the most crowded coach cabin with this top-of-the-line wireless pair from Bose, which features soft ear cushions, multiple sound settings, and up to 22 hours of battery life.

14 / 20

Keep them warm and cozy no matter how drafty the plane cabin might be with these ultra-fuzzy socks, which come in three colors: pink, gray, and white. Plush socks are one of the easiest ways to upgrade the comfort quotient while in transit — especially on night flights when they’ll be trying to get some sleep.

15 / 20

A cardigan is another key to comfort inside airports and on aircraft, where the temperature can shift from freezing cold to stifling in just a few minutes. A colorful sweater that’s easy to slip on and off will help combat those unpredictable fluctuations, while also making their airport outfit feel more put-together.

16 / 20

These cloud-soft joggers make for an ideal plane pant: They match with anything, are comfortable and cozy but not too pajama-like. They’re sure to be a staple of any frequent traveler’s wardrobe.

17 / 20

This belt bag will keep them from fumbling for their essentials in the airport and at their destination. It’s made of rugged nylon, can be worn as a crossbody bag or around the waist, and even has a loop to attach a water bottle.

18 / 20
Williams Sonoma

A reusable water bottle is a must for any eco-minded traveler. This one from Yeti was designed for the road, with sturdy stainless steel, a durable handle for clipping onto bags, and double-walled vacuum insulation that keeps drinks ice-cold while eliminating sweat on the bottle exterior. It even has a pop-up spout for easy sipping.

19 / 20

These slip-ons transition seamlessly from TSA line, to plane seat, and on to sightseeing upon arrival — all without sacrificing style. With a cushioned footbed and rubber sole, they’re a comfortable walking shoe for most terrain.

20 / 20

This handy little book light will ensure that they can read on-the-go, without bothering their seat-mate on a redeye flight. It’s also rechargeable, has a clip at the base, several brightness levels, an adjustable neck, and up to 60 hours of battery life.