12 Days of Christmas for Travelers – Gift Guide

We are all about spending less money on things and more money on experiences! That being said… there are some essential items that we need to get to where we are going. This list of for all of you that are looking for the perfect gift for the traveler in your life.

Most of these we actually received as presents ourselves and LOVE them.

1. Carry-on Backpack

2018 marked a year of me searching for the perfect travel backpack. I tested out at least a dozen. This eBags TLS Mother Lode Weekender Junior backpack is perfect!

I purchased it so that I can avoid bag fees on budget airline tickets like Spirit, Frontier, and American Airlines Basic. It has plenty of room for clothes and anything else you need for a weekend trip. I highly recommend the junior version instead of the original. The original is a little too big to be comfortable.

2. Skyroam (10% off with code RLLS)

I discovered Skyroam while searching for a reliable way to stay connected while traveling. If you worry about the traveler in your life, this is a great present so that they have no excuse to let you know that they are safe. It is also a battery charger, so you’re phone won’t die when you’re out all day.

There are a ton of options in terms of purchasing. I personally have the Skyroam Solis with day passes, so I only pay for what I need.

I’ve successfully used it in:

  • Mallorca, Spain
  • Madrid, Spain
  • London, UK
  • Scottsdale, Arizona USA

3. Kameleon Dress/Jumpsuit (10% off with code RLLS10)

This was the first item I ever purchased to save space when packing.

I started out with the Ultimate Travel Dress and now have the Ultimate Travel Pants as well, which I use much more often. On our most recent trip, we went straight from Las Vegas to Hawaii. I wore the pants to our fancy night out in Vegas, dinner with the family in Hawaii, and on the final plane back home. I wear size M if you are curious about sizing.

Here’s a picture of both the dress and pants in olive from their Instagram:

4. Waterproof Camera

My first big trip was to study abroad in the Galapagos Islands when I was in college. I brought a disposable waterproof camera to get some cool shots while I was there. Well… that was a failed attempt at saving money to get a waterproof camera.

Fast forward almost 10 years and waterproof cameras are now affordable. This is the one that I’ve had ever since I returned from the Galapagos. I actually just purchased this new version before our most recent trip and loved it!

Here are some pictures unedited so you can see the quality:

Sunset along Ka’anapali Beach
Ka’anapali Beach during the daytime
Snorkeling at Black Rock during a very rough wave day – still pretty clear shot!

5. Solid shampoo, conditioner, and body soap

I decided to try these out for three reasons: 1. we actually started to budget in the expense for buying new travel sized toiletries for each trip because we purchased them so often; 2. to reduce the amount of single-use plastics we use; and 3. to avoid having any liquids in my bags when going through airport security.

I have now used them on at least 10 trips. They have made packing way easier. I just leave the bars in my suitcase when I unpack, so I barely need to pack any toiletries now. Even though they are pretty pricey upfront, both Mike and I use them on our trips and we aren’t even halfway through the bars. They have definitely paid for themselves at this point. TIP: Don’t buy Lush’s circle tins because they are a tight squeeze. Get the square tin at Lush and some soap savers at the Dollar Tree. It’ll extend the life of your bars and make them mess-free.

Full disclosure: I only have tried Lush, but there are several other brands available on Amazon. Here are the ones I have:

Shampoo: (the shampoo is much better than the conditioner)

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Soap: (the soap is very blue and washes off blue, but it doesn’t stain)

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6. Suitcase

Luggage is one of those things that everyone needs but nobody wants to buy, making it the perfect gift! I highly recommend buying suitcases at Marshall’s or Ross. They really do always have the best deals, but you will be limited on which colors you get.

This is what we look for in our suitcases:

  • Carry-on approved sizes. Some airlines allow bigger suitcases than others. I recommend going with the 20″ spinners to be safe. If you’ve read our previous blogs, you know we really do carry-on only.
  • Expandable – this is a must. Sometimes it’s hard to pack everything exactly the same way on your way back home as you did when you left.
  • Hardshell
  • 4 wheels
  • Built-in TSA lock
  • Handle on the side for easy overhead storage

Although often advertised, I recommend NOT buying a luggage set. If someone is a frequent traveler, they are unlikely to use all three suitcases. Carry-on is the way to go!

This Amazon Basics suitcase seems to have everything we look for in a suitcase if you don’t have a Marshall’s or Ross nearby:

7. Luggage tags

We actually got these a present from Mike’s mom a couple years ago. They are really durable and stand out.

Tip: don’t put your address on your luggage… you may be opening yourself up to unwanted attention (and nobody is really going to ship it to you without contacting you some other way)! I put my name, phone number with country code (+1 for the US), country, and email address.

8. Portable Bluetooth speaker

We happened to win this in a golf tournament earlier this year (yay for freebies!). We bring a speaker everywhere we travel and this one is perfect because it’s small, portable, and powerful. I’m actually listening to it right now at home as I’m writing this πŸ™‚

7. Reusable water bottle

If you’re buying someone a water bottle for their travels, make sure it fits in a side pocket of a backpack! Hydro Flasks really do keep your water ice cold or super hot for a long time, but they are on the more expensive side.

9. Kindle

We usually upgrade ours during Prime Day every other year. It is a must-have for travelers (and much less costly than an iPad). We keep our books and movies on our Kindle. Our recent flights to and from Hawaii were on planes with no WiFi or in-flight entertainment, and we were SO grateful we had several episodes of the Great British Bake Off downloaded from Netflix on our Kindle!

10. Waterproof watch

I got this for Mike as a present for our Honeymoon in 2015. He still brings it with him on all our vacations. It is waterproof up to 100 ft, so we even bring it snorkeling and diving. It is really helpful on cruises when you actually want to be at an event or excursion but don’t want to bring your phone (most people’s timepieces these days).

11. International adapters and multi-port USB plugs

We’ve used this adapter in the US, UK, Spain, Greece, and Germany. It’s super helpful to have even when traveling domestically because it has 4 USB charging ports!

12. The gift of travel.

This is the ultimate gift for a frequent traveler! Mike and I usually buy each other trips for Christmas and birthdays. One year, he bought me a romantic yacht getaway. Last year, we went to Boulder, Colorado for his 30th birthday.

Have you bought someone the gift of travel before? We’d love to hear your story!

Feel free to comment or email us at hi@RichLivingLessSpending.com with any questions about these products or general travel! Check out our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest for more travel tips.

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Our last trip of the year – Hawaii. Happy Holidays!
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