Fantastic Gift Ideas For People On Your List Who Love To Travel

How is you rChristmas/Holiday/End of year shopping coming along? I am mostly done but am flying back to Italy in less than a week so am scrambling to get everything finished before I go. I didn’t do a Black Friday / Cyber Monday shopping post this year because my own inbox was so bombarded with endless Black Friday shopping emails, I just couldn’t face being part of that circus this year.

So what I thought I would do instead is write a post after the event telling you about the MVP items I have used in my travels over the past year. I have traveled more months than I’ve stayed at home in 2023 so have had to use my travel items more than ever. This has really reinforced which things are indispensable and which are just space wasters in the valuable real estate that is my suitcase. Without further ado let’s check them out:

Conair Travel Steamer

best travel steamer for international travel

Small but mighty, this Conair Travel Smart Steamer was a lifesaver this year and is perhaps my favorite travel gadget and top of the most valued list. For more than one reason too. It is nice and powerful for steaming wrinkles out of clothes. I travel for about 8 weeks at a time so I used this to refresh clothes living in my cramped suitcase too. I also like the idea that you can steam pillows or anything else you might be concerned is holding bacteria.

It is quite compact, weighs next to nothing, and doesn’t take up much room in your suitcase. I bought mine at the beginning of the year, it has been on every trip with me, has been used half to death and still keeps chug-a-lugging along. Check it out here on Amazon.com

BaByliss Nano Titanium Professional Hot Air Dryer Brush

best travel hairdryer brush

I use a dryer brush like this at home but it is way too cumbersome to pack for travel. I have an enormous amount of hair so didn’t have particularly high expectations for the small travel sized BaByliss Nano Titanium hot air brush, but it is fantastic! It blows my hair out smooth and the nano titanium part makes drying even my huge head of hair, really quick.

You can see in the image above how smooth it gets my crazy curly hair. This was walking with one of my Glam Italia Tour groups up to Civita di Bagnoregio in October 2023. Left to its own devices my hair looks like a Dollar Store home perm, so being able to blow it out nice and smooth without any drama is a Godsend. Check it out here on Amazon.com

BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Hair Dryer

best travel hair dryer

If you’re not into the single item hot air brush type hair dryer, the BaByliss Pro Nano Titanium Travel Hair Dryer is incredible. According to Amazon I purchased mine in 2018, so if we take out 2020 covid year when none of us traveled, and exclude 2023 when I used the hot air brush from the same company, this little dynamo has had four years of hard core travel use, and is still going strong. Don’t be put off by how tiny it is – it is really powerful. Also the nano titanium part makes it dry hair more quickly and keeps your hair smooth. Check it out here on amazon.com.

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Apple AirTags

I have an Apple AirTag in my suitcase and another in my carryon, and I can’t even tell you how much peace of mind it brings when I’m out and about in the world! Especially with the last two summers being so bad all over the world for lost luggage. It is a relief to board your flight and see your suitcase has boarded it too, and to arrive at the other end and be able to track your suitcase to the luggage carousel.

When I arrived to Rome in May I thought for a horrifying few minutes that my suitcase was lost. I turned on the AirTag and it walked me around the corner to where someone had taken it off the carousel by mistake. This makes the perfect gift for anyone who travels. Even if your suitcase goes to Dubai while you’ve flown to Madrid, your AirTag will locate it for you long before the airlines can. I won’t fly/travel without it. Check out AirTags here on amazon.com

The Paravel Foldable Duffle Bag

This little gem has bailed me out more times than I care to mention! The Paravel Foldable Duffle Bag zips down into itself into the shape and size of an iPad. It weighs nothing and takes up no space in your suitcase. Mine sees daylight when I’ve over-shopped or somehow can’t fit everything back into my suitcase at the end of a trip. (Which basically means I’ve over-shopped.) The bag has a surprisingly large capacity. I roll up loads of clothes and lightweight items using them to fill the Paravel bag, which comes on the plane with me, and fill my suitcase with whatever new things I’ve bought.

It makes a fabulous Plan B and prevents you from needing to buy a second suitcase/checked bag. I bought mine (years ago) in sensible but boring navy, but I wish I had the red one. These bags are really sturdy, can handle a lot of weight, and trust me – you’ll be amazed at how much you can fit in there! Check out the Paravel bags in all their colors here on Amazon.

The Jisulife Handheld Mini Fan

portable travel fan

We just had the two hottest summers on record in southern Europe and this handheld mini fan was a lifesaver! It’s super small and slips into your handbag needing almost no space, so is really convenient when you’re out sightseeing all day and don’t want to carry around a single extra thing. It is also surprisingly powerful and holds a charge for a really long time. I charged mine in May before heading to Italy and made it through a really hot few weeks without needing to recharge it. (It has a USB port, so no nuisance batteries to deal with). They come in multiple colors and at under $15 these make great stocking stuffers too. Check them out here on Amazon.com

Bagsmart Electronic Organizer Case

best electronics case for travel

These electronic organizer cases also cost under $15 and make great stocking stuffers. To be fair I thought mine was pretty ugly when I got it and wasn’t sure I’d use it, but I have used it to death! It’s a perfect compact size and is nice and slim, so doesn’t take up room in your carryon or handbag. (You should always keep all your chargers etc with you when you fly – don’t put them in a checked bag in case you need them.) Normally I would opt for something sleek and black but I have left sleek and black on planes and trains before, so opt instead for eyesore pink or any other color I will see and not leave behind. I like format of the pouches and zippered sections on this organizer. See it here on Amazon.com

Kindle Paperwhite

I was late to the party when it came to buying a Kindle. For years I read everything on the Kindle App on my iPad and it wasn’t until about 4 years ago that I finally bought a Kindle Paperwhite. Now I don’t know how I ever lived without it!

amazon prime day sale kindle

This is the travelers absolute best friend. Mine can hold somewhere between 5000 and 8000 books (!) and I don’t even have one of the souped-up models. I love that the Kindle is so slim and lightweight, so can slip into your handbag. They have low-light abilities, so you can be reading and not be blasting light into the eyeballs on the person trying to sleep next to you on the plane. I also love that I can be anywhere and still read, not needing a reading light. Again, I got mine in a color (sage green) rather than black, because I didn’t want to leave it behind on a plane or a train. There are a variety of different models and colors available. Check out Kindles here on Amazon.com

Audible Gift Subscription

This is kind of cool and is great for travelers. Audible is Amazon’s audio book service. They have gift subscriptions, so your travelers (or anyone else in your life) can enjoy listening to audiobooks courtesy of you. Statistics show that audio books are the fastest growing sector of the book market, and that readers/book lovers consume vastly more content when they can listen to books rather than have to find time to sit down and read. Personally, I am a voracious reader, but I love listening to audio books while doing housework, cooking, driving, doing things that prevent me from sitting down and reading. Check out Audible Subscriptions on amazon here.

Merino Base Layers

This really does have to be one of the best travel hacks around! I swear by merino base layers when I travel. In the summer I wear a merino cami under whatever I’m wearing to fly in, in the winter I wear a long sleeved merino t-shirt styled base layer. I also have several J Crew merino crew neck sweaters.

merino wool base layer

What makes merino so brilliant for the traveler in your life is this wool is super fine like a t-shirt weight. It’s non-itchy so even those of us who can’t normally wear wool (me!) can have this next to our skin. Merino is moisture wicking, so if you perspire it wicks it away from your skin. It’s also temperature regulating, so will keep you comfortable in temperatures from below zero up to about 75 degrees Fahrenheit/20 degrees Celsius, making it ideal when you are traveling from a cold climate to a warm one. It also is really helpful when you are moving from freezing cold outside into warm buildings/museums/homes/shops. And you don’t have to struggle with multiple heavy layers of clothing.

merino wool base layer

Merino is smell resistant, so you can go multiple wears without having to launder it, and it packs down super small so is ideal for travel. Winter travelers already know how cumbersome it is to pack thick sweaters when you travel! I buy Icebreaker Merino (see their store on Amazon here) but there are multiple other brands selling high quality merino products on Amazon too. In the photo above I’m wearing a black J Crew merino sweater in Rome when a very unexpected cold snap hit.

My Glam Italia How To Travel Italy Books

Best Florence Travel Guide Book

If you know anyone thinking about traveling to Italy, or anyone who already loves Italy, please think about gifting them my Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy books! All four books are best sellers and are popular worldwide. Rather than send people into the overwhelming tourist crowds like most travel guides do, my books show the reader loads of different, equally amazing and often more exciting places to visit. Most of the places I talk about are just down the street from where the crowds are, yet have very few if any other people there. There is so much more to see and do in these big Italian cities than just hang out where the tour buses go, and I want you to see these incredible places! All four books are designed to take a good trip to Italy and make it the best trip of your life.

Glam Italia! How To Travel Italy teaches you how to plan and execute your best trip ever. It is full of fantastic information, tips, tricks and ideas. Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things To Do In Rome will make you fall in love with the Eternal City and show you endless places the tour bus crowds don’t know about. Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things To Do In Florence gives you insider secrets to places you’ve never heard of before, and tells you intriguing stories about some of the places you have heard of! This book will change the way you explore and discover the most beautiful Renaissance city in the world.

Glam Italia! 101 Fabulous Things To Do In Venice is an absolute game changer. It will take you away from the tourist crowds, show you incredible sights you’d never heard of before, and will make you fall hopelessly in love with the most unique city on earth!

Do you belong to my newsletter? Join the thousands of people around the world who belong to my monthly newsletter and discover incredible places in Italy to add to your travel itinerary! Most of these places are well off the main tourist radar but all of them are fabulous. Join the newsletter here.

Great Gift Ideas And Stocking Stuffers For The Travelers In Your Life

Whether you are looking for Black Friday sales or Cyber Monday sales, or just want some gift ideas for the travelers in your life, the following are either things that I use on every trip, or are things my Glam Italia Tour travelers have used and I have thought were pretty cool. Almost everything on this list is under $30.

Best Travel Gadgets

The absolute MVP travel gadget this past year was my Apple Air Tag. I actually have a few of them in different bags, but he peace of mind I got every time I landed and could see my suitcase was at the same airport as I was, was worth its weight in gold.

At the time of writing this post Amazon has AirTags at their lowest price ever.

You probably already know that in the post-Covid world airlines have been losing up to 10% of checked luggage. Travelers with Air Tags could at least tell the airline exactly where their bag was, be it in the wrong country or be it in the misplaced luggage room. Personally I flew 8 internationals and 16 domestics this year and breathed a massive sigh of relief when I could see my suitcase had landed with me. Available in single units for under $30 on Amazon

Travel Charger

You should always fly with a fully charged external power bank. Although many planes now have chargers in the seat back, they don’t always work. If your flight gets delayed/rerouted you need to be able to have phone/electronics access.

You also need an external battery for when you are out an about on your trip. Typically while traveling we take more photos and videos than usual, and that uses up your phone battery really fast. You can find portable chargers in a variety of sizes and weights, most of which are light enough to keep in your handbag and not weigh you down. See Portable Phone Chargers here on Amazon.

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Travel Adaptor

If traveling to a foreign country, most of the time you will need a travel adaptor to not only configure that country’s different plug shape, but also to convert the electricity to their voltage. Without an adaptor, should they have a higher voltage than your home country, your electronics will fry the moment you plug them in. (The U.S. runs on 110 volts whereas Europe runs on 220.) Similarly, if your country runs on 220 volts and the guest country is 110, your electronics will operate at half speed.

I have used this travel adaptor for years. (Mine is in blue) It is compatible with 150 countries around the world, so it will no doubt work with wherever you are going! See it here on Amazon.

Electronics Case

I have been using a small packing cube for my electronics, but several of my tour travelers this year had these electronics cases. They come in several colors.

These electronics cases are quite a slim fit, so pack easily into your hand luggage/carry on bag. I always recommend bringing a back up charging cord and a back up charging block, as these both have a habit of disappearing/being left behind. See Electronics cases on Amazon here.

Handheld Fan

Like the electronics case above, this handheld fan is also on my personal Christmas list!

This past summer there was a heatwave in Southern Europe and it was very hot every day. Some of my travelers brought these handheld fans with them, and I seriously wished I had one! The fans are small enough to slip into your handbag, yet are surprisingly effective! I also like that they have a USB charger, so you’re not having to mess around with buying batteries. See handheld fans here on Amazon.

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Flashlight

This one is also on my Christmas list. It doesn’t hurt to have a powerful mini flashlight with you when you travel.

Whether you’re walking home in the dark or whether someone has blown the electricity in your apartment, (happens all the time in Italy where I travel all summer!) it is definitely advantageous to have a more powerful light source than your cellphone. This mini flashlight measures less than 5 inches and only weighs 4 oz. It fits easily into a handbag, or clips onto a pocket. See it here on Amazon.

Travel Hairdryer

I have had this tiny hairdryer for several years now, and it is definitely another travel MVP. Although incredibly small it is also incredibly powerful. I have very thick hair and am able to blow-dry it in normal time, even though this dryer is tiny.

The Titanium part of the dryer gives you a smooth, quick blow-dry, and stops the crazy, static hair you can get from regular hotel hairdryers. At an average price of $35 it is a smoking deal! Check for Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday sales. Find it here on Amazon.

Kindle

This is another of my absolute MVP travel electronics, and is something I use every day of my life. It took me a while to move into reading digitally, and for the first few years I just used the Kindle App on my iPad. 2 Christmases ago I bought myself a Kindle Paperwhite (bought in the Amazon Black Friday/Cyber Monday for sale. (For $99).

Not only is is amazing for travel, it is has become indispensable in my daily life too. The Kindle Paperwhite holds around 5000 books, is waterproof and glare resistant (perfect if you like reading at the beach or by the pool). There are several different types of Kindles, but I have and love the Paperwhite, so that’s the one I talk about.

Kindles are so lightweight and slim, you can slip them in your handbag and read anywhere. You don’t need to have a light on to read with a Kindle, so can comfortably read without waking the person next to you. I don’t know how I ever managed without mine! See Kindles here on Amazon.

Kindle Unlimited: I bought the Kindle that didn’t come with Kindle Unlimited. (You can add Kindle Unlimited any time) Because kindle books have no manufacturing or shipping costs, most sell for $5 or less. Authors receive the same amount of royalties regardless of whether you buy a $24 paperback or a $4.99 eBook, so you can read very inexpensively with Kindle. You can read library books on Kindle via the Libby App – it connects to most local libraries.

You also have the option of joining Kindle Unlimited. This gives you access to millions of books for free, all covered by your monthly membership fee. All of my books are in Kindle Unlimited, so you can get them free too! Check out Kindle Unlimited here.

You can also get/give memberships to Amazon’s audio book program, Audible. Gift memberships can be for 3 months, 6 months or 12 months. Check out Audible Gift Memberships Here.

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