Gift Edit 2023

13 Practical Travel Gifts Under $50 All Jetsetters Will Love

updated Nov 9, 2023
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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.

The holidays are around the corner, and the anticipation for wintertime travel is already palpable. I have some vacation plans lined up, myself, and although I’m excited to visit loved ones, the thought of packing, going through airports, and flying to my destination always stirs up stress. As a result, I’m constantly on the hunt for things that’ll make the traveling process run smoothly. I’m lucky that my colleagues here at AT have so many good product recommendations for this exact purpose, and you’ll also be happy to learn that plenty of them are quite affordable! Although we definitely suggest picking these items up for yourself, they’d also make wonderful gifts for the other globetrotters in your life. Whether you present them with a set of packing cubes or a foldable charger that can power three devices at once, your giftees are sure to be delighted by these awesome picks.

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was $49.99

The only thing worse than your phone dying is when it happens while you're someplace where you don't speak the language. That'll never happen again as long as you or your giftee has this 3-in-1 foldable charger in your shoulder bag. Sarah, our commerce SEO editor, never goes on a weekend trip without it, writing, "I knew that by throwing this charger in (my bag), I’d be set with chargers for all my essentials and found myself so relieved I didn’t have to go rummaging around for the right cables." In fact, she said the magnetic charger is so good, she even finds herself reaching for it at home.

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Staying hydrated while traveling is key, but perhaps your bestie doesn't want to lug a bulky bottle while seeing all the sights. To solve that problem, get them this collapsible water bottle. It's made from durable silicone and collapses down to about a third of its full height; plus, it has a strap that lets them hang it on the outside of their bag. Contributor Phoebe found the bottle's compact design to be especially useful on busy days. "And since it’s made from BPA-free, lead-free, and phthalate-free, food-grade silicone, I can easily fill it with ice-cold water or even a piping hot beverage without worrying about anything icky or unsafe getting into my drinks," she wrote.

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There are plenty of handheld garment steamers on the market, but you don't always know which ones will work effectively. If you've ever used a CHI hot tool on your hair, then you know this brand is as high-quality as it gets. If their flat iron can get the crimps out of your hair, you'd best believe their steamer will get the wrinkles out of your linen shirt. "This is definitely the one I’d recommend for those looking for a compact and portable tool that works well and works quickly," wrote Best List editor Britt. "If I ever was in a rush and needed to steam clothing in a pinch, I have full confidence that this steamer would knock those out with time to spare." The steamer's slim shape makes it perfect for tucking into a suitcase.

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Contributor and former travel editor Jessica swears by Away's shoe cube when packing footwear. The water-resistant nylon box is certainly an upgrade from grocery bags, and it comes in two sizes. This product is especially useful if your giftee is packing nice shoes that they don't want to get smushed. They'll definitely appreciate this unique and thoughtful gift.

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was $17.99

Anyone visiting a hot and humid destination will undoubtedly get plenty of use out of this adorable handheld fan. It folds in half when not in use, so your recipient will be able to easily stow it away in their purse or pocket. "Not only did it cool me down remarkably well, but I could not get over how cute it looked — I mean, it’s pink and bear-inspired," wrote AT's style editor, Blair. The fan also comes in four other colors for those who aren't partial to pink. Most importantly, it'll bring some much-needed relief on sweltering days.

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was $17.99

Longer flights typically provide passengers with built-in seat monitors for movie watching, but those with shorter flight times aren't always so fortunate. That's why Britt suggests picking up one of these brilliant phone holder mounts. "Not only is this phone mount good for planes, but also for hotels, the airport, and anywhere you can find to clip it," she said. "I'm always using this to watch movies or shows on my phone while traveling, and it keeps me from hunching over and straining my neck since I can set it at a good placement for comfortable viewing." The mount also rotates 360 degrees, ensuring a good position no matter the sitter's angle.

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Looking for a small but novel gift your recipient won't be expecting? Snag this clip-on reading light, which is another one of Jessica's recs. "This handy little book light will ensure that they can read on-the-go without bothering their seat-mate on a redeye flight," she wrote. "It’s also rechargeable, has a clip at the base, several brightness levels, an adjustable neck, and up to 60 hours of battery life."

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Urban Outfitters

Disposable wipes are a must-have in almost any makeup wearer's bag, but if you want to help your jet-setting friends be more environmentally conscious global citizens, get them some of these cute reusable makeup erasers. They're essentially face wipes made from polyester fibers that remove makeup, dirt, and oil from the skin with warm water. Britt loves that one side of each eraser is ultra-soft, while the other side has a slightly more rough texture for gentle exfoliation. "When I pack them for trips, the bag of reusable wipes takes up less room in my luggage than my box of disposable ones," she wrote. Your giftee is sure to work these into their weekly routine in no time.

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The Container Store

Gifting clothes is a little too personal, but gifting packing cubes for said clothes? A 10 out of 10 idea, if you ask us. Contributor Nic recommends this three-piece set from The Container Store, noting that they help him keep his clothes organized throughout his entire trip. "They make it easier to access everything you want without making a mess because you can move the cubes around without de-organizing their contents," he said. "Pro tip: Bring an empty one to use as a dirty laundry bag. It prevents cross-contamination, which is really nice on longer trips." Simply put, these cubes are nothing short of game-changing.

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As someone who just ordered an AirTag, I couldn't be more excited to try the travel item that multiple AT editors have been obsessing over. If your giftee plans on leaving the country any time soon and you feel generous, present them with one of these ingenious trackers before they depart. "I'd heard people rave about AirTags for years, but I didn't cave until last year when I heard stories about people being able to locate their lost luggage with it," said Tamara, AT's managing commerce editor. "It gives me total peace of mind, and I wish I had gotten one years ago. If you buy one travel item, it should be this." You might even grab a cute little holder for the AirTag if you do plan on gifting it to a loved one!

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The cool thing about this crossbody bag is that it'll allow your giftee to simultaneously bring their water bottle along and keep their hands free while they hike, explore new cities, or run errands in preparation for their trip. Sarah loves this one, which made Oprah's list of favorite things, but Calpak's water bottle holder is a bit more budget-friendly (not to mention super cute!).

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Road trips and long treks through the mountainside warrant this foldable solar power charger, which can power as many as three devices at once without an outlet. It's one of those products that's also good to have on hand at all times in case of emergencies. "It's a bit heavy, but I still take it on every trip (and to concerts!)," Britt said. "I couldn't tell you the last time I've had to deal with my phone hitting 0 percent because this charger is never too far away." It might not make the most glamorous gift, but the charger certainly is useful.

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A reusable bag might not be the most essential item for international luggage packing, but it'll definitely come in handy during road trips and weekend getaways. Britt swears by the social media-famous Baggu brand and their standard-sized nylon totes. "They can fold down and be packed into pouches that I'm able to put in my pocket, purse, or carry-on, which has helped a lot whenever I've needed to take things out of my suitcase to lighten the load," she said. "They make great road trip snack bags, too!"