39 best gifts for travelers in 2020 that they'll actually use

Your favorite globe-trotter will love these gifts.
Here's what to buy all the travel lovers on your gift list.
Here's what to buy all the travel lovers on your gift list.Getty Images

Our editors independently selected these items because we think you will enjoy them and might like them at these prices. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a commission. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time. Learn more about Shop TODAY.

Times are different as we approach this holiday season, with many reimagining what it means to explore and attempting to get a taste of travel via limited, local or even virtual options.

Whether they’re still flying, stealing away on the weekends, or hitting the road with the friend or family pod of their choosing (or, ahem, inheriting), we’re here to make their journeys as streamlined and satisfactory as possible.

From worldly food assortments and home goods to mobile tech and games (and, of course, no shortage of convenient and stylish clothing, accessories and gear along the way), read on for a wide range of gift ideas that will inspire and support adventure-seekers of all tastes, interests, comfort levels and ages this holiday season and beyond.

To quickly jump to the category you're looking for, click on the links below or keep scrolling to see all 39.

Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s 2020 Gift Guide to find the perfect present for everyone on your list!

Best equipment & gear gifts

1. Madewell The Zip-Top Transport Leather Tote

This beloved, Leather Working Group-approved carryall from Madewell is large enough to contain their laptop, favorite book, or whatever else their inquiring hearts desire and comes with a detachable crossbody strap that can be swapped for instant customization. If you’re having trouble choosing, The True Black Brown goes with everything.

2. Everlane The ReNew Transit Weekender

Give the eco-minded wanderer a weekender they can feel good about with this 100% polyester-recycled wonder from Everlane. Available in three shades, the sleek, yet roomy style boasts a padded laptop sleeve, two water bottle holders, a luggage pass-through, and multiple straps for organized and convenient carrying. Reviewers also love it for its waterproof finish — great for keeping goods dry!

3. Yeti Hopper Flip 8 Soft Cooler

Yeti has earned a cult following for sleek and sturdy outerwear that manages to stand up to adventure. This water, puncture, UV and mildew-resistant cooler has a near five-star rating for its tough exterior, compact size, and ability to keep drinks (up to eight cans) and food cold for hours on end (bonus points if you stock it with some travel-friendly provisions).

4. Osprey Tempest 20

Lighten their load with this new and nimble backpack from Osprey, designed to offer a breezy and balanced lift whether trekking up mountains or just around town. Available in four shades, a special AirScape back panel and hip belt offer additional ventilation and stability for trying routes and higher temperatures (comparable options for men here).

5. Away The Carry-On

A good set of luggage goes a long way. This lightweight carry-on from Away is among some of the airport carousels’ most coveted, complete with 360-degree spinner wheels (a must for the mover and shaker), a durable shell casing, an advanced interior compression system and one cushy return policy (100 days). Oh yeah, and it also includes a limited lifetime warranty.

6. Corkcicle Origins Tumbler

Ensure they stay hydrated and alert with this sleek and smart tumbler from Corkcicle. The triple-insulated design promises to keep cold liquids cold (9+ hours) and hot liquids hot (around 3 hours), and the secure, shatter-proof lid will help safeguard against spills. We especially love the walnut finish for the nature lover in your life.

7. LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottles

Have a serious explorer on your hands? Give them a gift that could save their life with a self-filtering bottle. This one from LifeStraw claims to clear water of microplastics, chemicals, bacteria and parasites when in a bind (there’s also a two-pack for the daring duo).

8. Coleman Kickback Breeze Chair

No seat? No problem, thanks to Coleman’s breezy chairs. Your giftee can just pop into place, kick back, and relax. A compact, lightweight design also makes for easy stashing in a trunk, suitcase, or even backpack.

9. Rumpl Sherpa Puffy Blanket

It can be tempting to ditch a billowing blanket when packing in an effort to reserve some room. Enter Rumpl, the brand making a name for itself by offering eco-conscious, waterproof, machine-washable puffers that can be rolled and packed with poise. We especially like this reversible (even more space!) pick, which has sherpa lining on one side for increased warmth.

10. Nomadix National Park Collection Towels

A towel is another item that can be hard to squeeze into an already-stuffed bag, which is why we love this sleek, multi-purpose, moisture-wicking version from Nomadix. Designed with a quick-drying and absorbent fabric made of post-consumer recycled plastic bottles and described by the brand as "the only towel you’ll ever need," there are also special-edition prints for the national park enthusiast and beyond.

11. Hydro Flask Stainless Steel Food Thermos

Hydro Flask makes it easy to store — and secure — food while in transit with their durable, BPA and phthalate-free steel food thermoses. A custom TempShield insulation keeps meals fresh and hot, and an air-tight lid locks in liquids. Still not convinced? The brand offers a lifetime warranty with purchase.

Best clothing & accessories gifts

1. Smartwool Unisex Merino 250 Gloves

Fashion meets function in these smart gloves from Smartwool, which feature a sweat-safe fabric and touchscreen-friendly tips for warm, dry coverage so they won’t need to compromise with every phone call. Available in several shades, their sleek design makes for easy layering and they’re machine-washable for quick cleaning.

2. Bombas Women’s Sparkle Cushioned No Show Gift Box

Add some pep to their step with this sparkly assortment of supportive socks from Bombas. The "no show" design makes them compatible with a range of shoes and they can take additional comfort in the fact that the brand donated one pair for every one purchased to someone in need. (More gift sets and styles for both women and men right this way.)

3. Charter Club Oversized Cashmere Scarf

Upgrade them to first class — at least aesthetically speaking — with this this chic and versatile cashmere from Charter Club. The oversized design means it can be worn as a scarf, poncho, blanket and beyond. Scoop it up in one or a few of eight outfit-completing shades.

4. Athleta Venice Jogger

Joggers are having a serious moment right now — and for good reason. They make the perfect couch to sidewalk, runway or trailhead transition pant. This refined pair from Athleta is made with a special Sculptek Light fabric for full, yet still breathable coverage and optimal mobility (there are also roomy pockets for protecting essentials or picking up little somethings as they go).

5. Cool-Jams Moisture-Wicking Button-Front Pajama Set

Ever have trouble adjusting to the temperature when sleeping away from home? Enter Cool-Jams, a company making soft, sweat-wicking and seriously snuggly pajamas accessible to the masses. Available for women and men in a range of shades, styles and sizes, a lightweight, quick-drying fabric makes them especially airy and convenient for travel.

6. Allbirds Tree Runners

Give them a shoe they can wear all day every way (or at least 98% of the time) without leaving a big footprint on the environment thanks to these innovative runners from Allbirds. The lightweight, breathable structure relies on responsibly-sourced eucalyptus tree fabric.

7. Glerups Boot with Natural Rubber Sole

Glerups’ shoes are made with 100% natural wool for keeping feet just warm enough without overheating. This new bootie style has a natural rubber sole for staying cozy and protected whether they’re in their hotel, camper, or man/woman cave (because of the fabric, they also happen to be stink-proof, meaning they won’t have to worry about any lingering odors when packing).

8. Merrell Ontario 85 Wool Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

When looking for a quality pair of hiking boots, you want to pay attention to things like breathability and flexibility, comfort and stability and - of course - traction and durability. This new, waterproof style from Merrell (available in two shades) just so happens to also be extremely stylish for running errands or meeting with friends (check out men’s boots here).

9. Patagonia Pack In Jacket

Sturdy enough for their morning hike, yet sophisticated enough for a last-minute dinner reservation, this insulated and eco-conscious jacket from Patagonia is as practical as it is polished. It’s also extremely compact, complete with its own zipper pouch for convenient stashing and packing. We’re currently digging the Roamer Red combo for women (browse men’s options here).

Best grooming & hygiene gifts

1. Aesop Travel Arrival Travel Kit

Prepare for their arrival with this travel-inspired kit from Aesop, which comes pre-packed with a TSA and weekend getaway-approved shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body balm for a full-body cleanse. The brand also offers Departure and country-themed kits with additional essentials.

2. Color Street Nail Polish Strips

Help them polish up in a pinch with these double-ended lacquer strips from Color Street. Easy adhesive-based application means they don’t have to worry about spills or smelly removers on the go, and there are a bunch of travel-inspired shades to get them in the spirit.

3. Mario Bedescu Dewy Skin Collection

Protect the skin they’re in with this simple, yet effective showcase of minis from Mario Bedescu. Top picks include the Enzyme Cleansing Gel (so refreshing), Dew Cream (hello hydration!) and Facial Spray (the perfect pick-me-up on long days).

4. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel

Frequent or long trips away can often mean less trips to the facialist. Help them fake it until they make it with Dr. Dennis Gross’ award-winning peels. A potent dose of acids and vitamins help to remove dead skin cells and restore nutrients for a healthy complexion.

5. Clean Reserve Giving Back Gift Set

Travel perfumes make it easy to spray on — and swap out — scents while in route. This set in particular includes a mix of sultry, sweet and citrusy formulas that are as clean as they are calming (meaning they won’t overpower the rest of the crew in the car or cabin).

6. Peter Thomas Roth Masking Minis 5-Piece Set

Help them reverse (or at least conceal) the effects of long days on the road with this smart set from Peter Thomas Roth. It features five of the brand’s bestselling masks in miniature tubes for targeted, waste-free application. The Cucumber Gel Mask is among our post-flight go-tos.

7. Supergoop! The Jet Set SPF Kit

Being outside often means additional exposure to harmful UV rays (yes, even during winter months), which is why we love this protective travel trio from Supergoop!. The Unseen Sunscreen in particular is a favorite among makeup and skin care pros for its lightweight, sheer formula, making it ideal for all skin types, tones and occasions.

8. CHI Tourmaline Ceramic 3-Piece Travel Set

This small, yet sturdy travel set from CHI — complete with a straightener, curling iron and dryer — makes it easy to set and style in a cinch. The ceramic plates also offer additional frizz protection amid high-humidity seasons and demographics.

9. Quip Adult Electric Toothbrush

Quip’s toothbrushes have been gaining momentum for their sleek design and sonic vibrations, timed to ensure a thorough cleaning with every use. Paired with a protective travel cover that doubles as a mirror mount, they can also be hooked up to the brand’s app for improved hygiene.

10. Gigi Globetrotter Candle Gift Set

Allow them to to escape some of their favorite places (at least mentally) with a travel-themed candle. This poshly-packed set from Anthropologie has six scents inspired by major cities like New York, London, Tokyo and Paris tucked neatly inside a handheld box — no additional wrapping required.

Best tech & entertainment gifts

1. Google Pixel Buds

Google’s new Pixel Buds are like wireless headphones and a virtual assistant in one. Just cue up Alexa to access your favorite songs, podcasts, people and more. One charge yields up to 24 hours of distraction-free listening when stored in the corresponding charging case and. Here’s where it gets really cool: Real-time language translation helps you decipher and learn new phrases on the spot.

2. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Thinner, lighter and now waterproof. Amazon’s Kindle gets a sleek, splash-safe upgrade in its latest iteration. Named after its 300 ppi glare-free display "that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight," the Paperwhite can be paired with their Audible books and bluetooth buds for discovering new worlds whether sitting on the bus, the beach or just in the bath.

3. GoPro Hero7 Silver

With video stabilization, voice control and an intuitive touchscreen (add to that very durable casing), GoPro’s waterproof cameras were built to be tested. Photos and videos upload to the GoPro app for easy sharing so you’ll be able to follow along from a safe distance.

4. Garmin Instinct Solar Watch

Don’t let its sleek design fool you. This waterproof, solar-powered outdoor smartwatch from Garmin was meant for sport. It was constructed to U.S. military standard 810 for shock, water and thermal resistance. It also has health tracking for monitoring health stats like your heart rate and sleep patterns and — perhaps the best part — has a built-in GPS for navigating new territory.

5. The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small

Inspire their next expedition with this book written by Kath Stathers, which opens to reveal 1000 adventure-filled tasks and destinations for the worldly or would-be wanderer. It will also serve as a beautiful coffee table companion and conversation starter while in planning mode.

6. Rifle Paper Co. Explore the World 2021 Wall Calendar

And what better way to plan (or dream and reflect) than with a travel-themed calendar? This version from Rifle Paper Co. has 12 illustrations of top destinations around the world and a notch for adding a worldly, organized touch to any kitchen or office wall.

7. Drinks by the Dram Whisky Explorer Advent Calendar

Treat the cultured whisky enthusiast to a drink (or 24) on you with this discovery-themed advent calendar from Drinks by the Dram. Just peel to reveal award-winning batches sourced from around the world (make a real splash by throwing in a set of equally-sophisticated glasses).

8. VTech KidiZoom SmartWatch DX2

Encourage early exploration with this smartwatch from VTech, which allows kids to capture their own quality photos and videos with the flip of a wrist. Complete with free learning games and its own AR experience, it’s also great for keeping kids informed and entertained during down times.

9. Mindware Unbored Road Trip Kit

Secure additional boredom protection with this road-trip themed kit from Mindware. Designed for kids ages 8 and up, the luggage-style box opens to reveal a wide range of games and activities to help family members tune in to one another and their surroundings.

Still looking for the perfect gift? Be sure to check out Shop TODAY’s 2020 Gift Guide to shop for everyone on your list, including:

To discover more deals, shopping tips and budget-friendly product recommendations, download the TODAY app and subscribe to our Stuff We Love newsletter!