8 gifts for the traveler in your life

Banu Ibrahim
Updated 20th December 2017

Story highlights

  • These travel gifts will be real crowd-pleasers this holiday season.
  • From silk Slip Eyemasks to the Carry On Cocktail Kit, these are our favorite items to shop right now.

No matter what holiday you celebrate or how, gift-giving is usually at the forefront during the festive season. But gifting travelers who may be always on the go can be tricky to navigate.

What travelers really need are the best essentials to get them through all their long-haul trips as seamlessly as possible. This could be smart luggage that can charge up their devices and alert them if their baggage is overweight, noise-canceling headphones to block out external commotion, or even a handy, TSA-approved cocktail kit to help kick back and relax even with limited legroom. Then there are the extras like photo journals and novelty maps that help inspire their future trips.

No matter what option you go with, either the aspirational route or the practical one, you're sure to find a product that's a real crowd-pleaser. To get your search started, we've rounded up eight products that fit the bill.

Note: Prices ahead reflect the listed retailer's price at time of publication.

Raden The A22 22-Inch Charging Wheeled Carry-On Suitcase ($295; nordstrom.com)

Jet-setters know that there's no bigger buzzkill than desperately needing to charge your devices with no open outlet in sight. Thanks to luggage companies like Raden, you can now juice up your smartphones and tablets straight from your carry-on suitcase. Meet the A22 22-Inch Wheeled Carry-On, a smart suitcase that not only can power up multiple electronics through its two USB ports, but also can tell you if your baggage is overweight and help locate your carry-on should it go missing. When you sync your Raden up to its integrated iOs app, you can get real-time information on the total weight of your belongings, as well as tracking information. And as high-tech as Raden is, it still includes all the standard essentials you look for when buying luggage, like four silent spinner wheels, a durable outer shell and a lightweight design.

SLIP Silk Sleepmask ($45; sephora.com)

Silk eyemasks are pretty hard to beat. They allow your skin to retain more moisture, as cotton tends to absorb water from the skin. Silk, however, is more delicate on the skin and can help promote hydration, even when you're midflight. SLIP's signature sleepmask is a natural, hypoallergenic product that can work on even more sensitive complexions. So when you're catching some z's during an international flight, you can rest easy knowing the more delicate areas of your face, like your eyes, are being pampered. And this is an ultraluxurious gift, even though it doesn't break the bank.

The Carry On Cocktail Kit: The Moscow Mule ($22.50; amazon.com)

Some people need a good libation to get through an extended journey. Hey, we don't blame them -- flying is stressful, after all. You can buy alcohol on the plane, but not having your drink of choice available just makes traveling that much more tedious. That's why these genius little kits from Carry On Cocktail are so handy. All of these miniature packages come with the extra ingredients you need to craft your favorite cocktail, whether it be a Moscow mule or an Old-Fashioned. The liquids inside the kit are under the 3-ounce TSA limit, and they come with a recipe card to guide you along the process. Simply order the liquor and any missing ingredients from your flight attendant and you'll be on your way. Cheers!

Bose QuietComfort35 ($329.95; bose.com)

The one thing every traveler needs is some peace and quiet. While there's no real way to guarantee that on a packed train or plane, you can get pretty close with noise-canceling headphones. This pair from Bose features both active and passive noise-canceling technology, to help block out as many unwanted sounds as possible. It has received high marks from independent tester Consumer Reports for excellent noise quality and overall noise reduction. And with about 20 hours of total battery life, these headphones can help the travelers on your list keep calm and carry on, no matter where they're headed.

Trtl Pillow ($29.99; amazon.com)

Often, the standard U-shaped travel pillow just doesn't cut it. These usually don't provide optimal neck support when you're traveling long distances. That's where Trtl Pillow comes in. This marriage between a travel pillow and a scarf was designed to hold a traveler's neck in a better position than its U-shaped counterparts do. It does this with an ergonomic design created to support both the head and the neck, and can also conform to most neck, jaw and shoulder shapes. The topping of ultrasoft fleece makes it comfy to lean on. Not too shabby for 30 bucks.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera ($149.99; bestbuy.com)

Every avid traveler should have a camera to store all those memories in one place. Fujifilm's Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic camera is just the thing, especially for travelers who are looking to save as much room in their carry-ons as possible. This minicamera can instantly print images for your scrapbooks. And with six different shooting modes, you can capture the perfect snap no matter what you're shooting.

Kath Stathers' "The Bucket List: 1,000 Adventures Big & Small" ($24.01; barnesandnoble.com)

Wanderlust is contagious. It's what gets us out there in search of adventure. Photo books and adventure guides are a solid way to fuel that desire. This anthology of adventures from Kath Stathers will help any traveler add to his or her bucket list. The work features 1,000 trips for all ages, from swimming with dolphins in New Zealand to driving through the clouds in Sri Lanka. "The Bucket List" is a great source of inspiration even the most well-traveled people can utilize.

Lukes of London Deluxe Scratch Map ($32; macys.com)

Scratch-off maps have risen in popularity recently. These novelty maps can help travelers check off countries from their lists in an interactive and decorative way. This world map shows all countries and continents covered in gold foil. The idea is once you've visited a place, you can take a coin to scratch the foil off that country, revealing a vibrant color underneath. The goal for travel addicts would be to have as little gold foil left on their map as possible. Not only is this a great way for travelers to get excited about their new adventures, but it looks pretty chic mounted on a wall. Sounds like a winner all around.