30 Best Travel Gift Ideas For Frequent Travelers (Ultimate Guide)

Best Gifts for Travelers
Best Travel Gifts for the Holidays in 2019
Travel Gift Ideas

Looking for the perfect present for that traveler in your life? It’s not always easy! These are best travel gift ideas for wanderlust lovers, no matter what your budget.

Skip the moneybelt this year, and buy a birthday or holiday travel gift that your favorite intrepid globe-trotter will actually use on their next international vacation.

These popular gifts for travelers can help make any journey more comfortable and convenient.

Working as a professional traveler for the past 9 years, I’ve become especially careful about what I pack on my trips around the world.

There’s only so much room in your bag! Most travelers prefer to pack light.

I’m the same way and choose to pack travel gadgets that have multiple uses, don’t take up to much space, and will improve my travel experience abroad.

So here are some of my best gift ideas for travelers that are guaranteed to put a smile on the recipient’s face!

My Travel Gifts Review Guide For 2019

Why Listen To Me?

Experience! I’ve been traveling around the world almost non-stop for the past 9 years working as a professional travel blogger, visiting over 50 countries so far. This guide is also completely independent.

Budget Travel Gift Ideas
We Actually Use Everything we Recommend!

Best Travel Gifts Under $100

1: LifeStraw Filtered Water Bottle

Water Bottle for Traveling

A must-have for international travel to keep yourself safe from sickness. The LifeStraw Filtered Water Bottle cleans up 99.9% of waterborne parasites & bacteria from water sources in countries where water quality can be an issue.

The 2nd stage activated carbon filter reduces odor and chlorine aftertastes too. I also use mine for day-hiking trips. They have a minimalist straw version, for people who prefer their own container. Long-lasting filter – handles 1000 liters.

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2: Anker Powercore Portable Charger

Gifts For Travelers: Portable Charger

We all use our smartphones, cameras, and other portable gadgets a lot. There’s nothing worse than running low on power when you need it the most. For travelers, this can be an extra headache if your ticket confirmations, directions, or translation app lives on your phone.

The Anker PowerCore 10,000 is about the size of a credit card (just thicker) and can fully charge your smartphone up to 3 times! It has a smart quick-charge technology and is the smallest & most powerful power bank in its class. I also use mine to recharge cameras, my Kindle, and more.

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3: Cabeau Evolution Travel Neck Pillow

Portable Travel Neck Pillow

Travel neck pillows are one of the most popular items to pack for long-haul flights. But many of them don’t live up to the job of supporting your neck comfortably. The Cabeau Evolution Travel Pillow is crazy comfortable, packs down small, and holds your neck in an ergonomic position for sleeping.

I never fly without mine! I’ve tried every travel pillow there is, and this is the best. However if you’re looking for something that packs down even smaller, the TRTL Travel Pillow is pretty good too. It’s just not quite as comfortable as the Cabeau.

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4: Sony Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Bluetooth Speaker for Travel

I love this thing! The Sony Bluetooth Speaker makes it easy to watch movies with other people on your laptop when traveling, throw an impromptu hostel party, or play your favorite songs on the beach.

There are a lot of Bluetooth speakers on the market, and I’ve tried many of them. The Sony simply has the best sound quality for its size, and the battery lasts up to 12 hours!

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5: Antique Ocean Desk Globe

Desk Globe Travel Gift

Maybe not be something you actually bring with you traveling, a fun desk globe is a perfect accessory to show off inside the home of a travel addict. The Antique Ocean Desk Globe is a quirky conversation piece and wanderlust-inspiring planning tool for your next travel adventure.

Your favorite traveler can day-dream about exploring Africa, South America, Central Asia, or any other destination from the comfort of their desk at work or at home. I’m planning new adventures looking at this thing right now!

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6: Eagle Creek Packing Cubes

Travel Packing Cubes

Packing cubes! The best way to keep your luggage organized. My personal favorites are these from Eagle Creek. They weigh almost nothing and can hold a lot of clothing.

The garment folder, in particular, is a wonderful way to keep your shirts and/or pants wrinkle-free. I use the medium sized cube for my collection of t-shirts and sweatshirts, and the smaller cube for underwear & socks.

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Gifts For Travelers Under $25

7: Foldable Duffel Bag For Traveling

Duffel Bag for Traveling

Have you ever found yourself in a situation when your suitcase was too heavy to check on a plane? Or you bought too many souvenirs and ran out of space? I have. That’s why these days I carry a packable duffel bag as a backup.

But that’s not its only use! You can use it as a makeshift beach bag, laundry bag, or grocery bag too. I also use it when I’m hiking & camping abroad, to help store extra gear/clothing in a hotel’s storage room, so I don’t have to bring everything into the mountains.

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8: SimpacX Fabric Passport Holder

Travel Passport Wallet

If you travel internationally quite a bit, your passport is going to get pretty beat-up. That’s why I love my simple, lightweight passport wallet from SimpacX. It gives just enough protection, without being bulky.

You can also use it to hold credit cards, airline boarding passes, and extra cash. Keep your passport looking like new, so you don’t have any trouble at customs & immigration due to worn-out travel documents!

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9: International Travel Plug Adapter

Plug Adapter For Traveling

In order to use your electronics in foreign countries, you’re going to need a great international travel adapter plug for different sockets. I’ve tried them all, and this one from BONAZZA is hands-down the best!

Not only does it accept 2 or 3 pronged plugs for use in over 150 different countries, but it also includes 4 (!) USB inputs for charging your mobile devices. Plus the design is super slick, one of the smallest adapters on the market.

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10: Portable Luggage Scale

Tarriss Luggage Scale

Airline baggage fees are starting to get out of control. They want to charge you for EVERYTHING these days! To ensure you don’t get hit with paying extra, I always weigh my luggage with a portable luggage scale before checking in.

This way, you can pack your bags to the maximum weight limit every time without going over. This backlit scale from Tarriss is lightweight and portable, with the ability to weigh luggage in both kilos or pounds.

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Unique Luxury Travel Gift Ideas

11: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon Kindle

The Amazon Kindle probably doesn’t need an introduction. It’s the ideal gift for a bookworm or even those who like to read occasionally. Travelers like me love it due to its small size and long battery life.

The “Paperwhite” version allows you to easily read in the dark, plus there’s no glare from the sun when reading on a beach (unlike trying to read on your phone). You can fit thousands of books on it — a library in your hands. Excellent for flights and long bus rides.

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12: Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

Headphones for Traveling

The Sony WH1000XM3 Headphones are a frequent traveler’s best friend. Their advanced noise-canceling technology makes it feel like you’re all alone, even if you’re stuck on a packed airplane with crying babies!

Listen to your favorite music or podcasts wirelessly via Bluetooth, with deep bass and crystal clear highs. Control volume, ask Siri questions or take phone calls with the touch of a finger. Now that I own these, I’m not sure how I traveled previously without them!

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13: Osprey Farpoint 40

Osprey Travel Backpack

The Osprey Farpoint is one of the most popular backpacks for carry-on travelers. It’s perfect for weekend trips, or minimalist travelers who pack light.

The front-loading design makes it easy to get at your luggage, and comfortable straps help when lugging your stuff around on trains, planes, and automobiles through Europe or Southeast Asia.

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Looking for more travel gift ideas? Make sure to check out my Ultimate Travel Gear Guide to peek inside my travel bag.

Fun Travel Gifts For Men

Some of my favorite travel gifts for men, based on my own personal experience as a traveling man. Like most of this list, I personally own all these items because they rock!

14: Bluffworks Gramercy Travel Blazer

Blazer Jacket for Traveling

While I started traveling as a budget backpacker 8 years ago, these days I’m older and a bit more fashion conscious. Especially in major international cities, or Europe. Packing a suit when you travel light is difficult, but not with the Bluffworks Gramercy Blazer.

This fashionable jacket is wrinkle-free and can be rolled up and packed away easily. But it also looks and fits great, featuring a bunch of hidden pockets that help with traveling! It’s perfect for flying, or when you need to dress-up on the road.

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15: O’Douds Solid Travel-Friendly Cologne

Travel Cologne Gift Idea

O’Douds Solid Cologne is an excellent product for men who want to smell nice while they’re traveling. Because it’s not a liquid, you can easily pack it carry-on too. Liquid cologne is packaged in large glass bottles, not exactly travel-friendly. Not this one!

The scent is crisp, musky, and masculine. Very strong stuff, a little dab will go a long way. Easily lasts all day. Smells better on you than in the tin — you need to give it a try.

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16: Toiletry Dopp Kit For Traveling

Gifts For Travelers: Toiletry Bag

Every man needs a good toiletry bag for their adventures around the world. This Arc’teryx Toiletry Kit is lightweight, durable and waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about wet surfaces in hostel/hotel bathrooms.

With 3 compartments, one of them transparent and another breathable, it has plenty of room to pack everything the traveling man would need. You can attach it to a towel rack to free-up bathroom space too. This is how I pack enough shaving cream to keep my head shiny and clean!

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Fun Travel Gifts For Women

Ok, I admit I’m not a woman. However, after consulting my professional traveler wife Anna Everywhere, she has recommended the following travel gifts for women — based on her own expertise and advice from her traveling friends.

17: Portable Travel Jewelry Box

Women's Travel Gifts: Portable Jewelry Box

Storing a few jewelry items when you travel can be a pain. Especially when it comes to earrings, many women complain about them breaking in their luggage. This pretty little Travel Jewelry Box from Vlando is perfect for your next journey.

Keep delicate and expensive jewelry items safe and secure in one place. It has room for earrings, rings, necklaces, and even bracelets. A super simple and compact design.

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18: TUO Origami Unicorn Organizer

Travel Garment Organizer

TUO stands for Travel Undergarment Organizer. Its purpose is to store anything travel-related, like socks, underwear, electronics, jewelry, or other loose items that some women tend to pack when they travel.

Staying organized when you’re off galavanting around the world is so much easier using this fun little bag. You can hang it from towel racks or doors and unfold it for full access to your stuff in hotels or bathrooms.

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19: BaByliss Pro Nano Hairdryer

Babyliss Travel Hair Dryer

The BabylissPro Travel Dryer is the perfect hair dryer to pack in your bags for a vacation. It’s both powerful and small, a rare combination.

If you aren’t staying in fancy hotels all the time, you may not have easy access to a good hairdryer. This one folds up nice and small, so it won’t take up too much room in your bag.

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20: Security Door Stop Alarm

Travel Door Stop

If you travel alone and worry about safety, check out this travel-friendly security door stop. The Sabre Security Door Stop Alarm requires no wires or complicated installation, powered by a single nine-volt battery.

Place the door-stop under your door before going to bed, and if someone tries to enter your hotel room during the night, this device blocks the door from opening. Plus its powerful 120db alarm wakes you up (along with everyone else nearby), scaring off any intruders!

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Best Gifts For Outdoor Adventurers

21: ENO Adventure Travel Hammock

Portable Travel Hammock

A hammock is a great gift for travelers and backpackers. String it up in the woods or on the beach to relax and enjoy the view. I’ve even used my hammock on boats, between palm trees for beach naps, or as a comfortable swinging seat after a long hike.

The ENO DoubleNest Hammock is extremely strong, lightweight, and easy to pack, perfect for people who don’t want to waste space in their travel bag. Designed to hold up to 400 lbs, you’ll always have a place to sleep.

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22: Leatherman Wave Multitool

Cool Travel Gifts: Leatherman Multi-Tool

A good set of tools is always useful when you travel, but it’s not realistic to pack a whole toolbox. The Leatherman Wave is the next best thing. Perfect for any job, adventure, or everyday task.

It includes 17 common tools, crammed into a simple compact package that can be opened and operated easily. Never be without a sharp knife, pliers, bottle opener, screwdriver, or scissors again! There’s also a smaller version called the Leatherman Squirt.

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23: Black Diamond Headlamp

Headlamp for Hiking and Camping

In my opinion, a headlamp is an absolutely essential piece of travel gear for adventure travelers. My favorite is the water-resistant Black Diamond Storm.

Headlamps give you hands-free access for reading a book in the dark, exploring a cave, returning from a hike after dark, or searching through your luggage in the middle of the night. It always comes in handy when I travel!

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24: Microfiber Backpacking Towel

Soft Microfiber Towel

Every adventure traveler needs a packable microfiber towel because it has a million different uses. It folds up super small and dries very quickly. Perfect for camping, or even staying in hostels.

The Sea to Summit DryLite Towel comes in a few different colors and sizes. I’ve used it swimming in natural hot springs, to wipe down camera gear after a storm, and even as sun & dust protection in the desert.

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Gifts For Travel Photographers

Do you know a traveling photographer? Check out some of these great travel photography gifts that will help them craft the perfect postcard photo during their next trip.

25: Portable Travel Camera Tripod

Travel Photography Gift: Joby Travel Tripod

Whether you want to take photos of yourself when traveling solo or capture the magic of the northern lights, a tripod is a necessary tool. The Joby GorillaPod is small enough to take anywhere and strong enough to hold larger cameras too.

It’s easily attached to different objects, so you can shoot photos from the side of a balcony or hanging off a tree. I’ll sometimes sneak it into “tripod restricted” areas like some cathedrals, monuments, or other attractions. It fits into a day pack easily.

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26: Peak Design Camera Clip

Camera Clip for Travel

One of my favorite pieces of camera gear, the Peak Design Camera Clip allows you to wear your camera on your belt, or on your backpack straps, keeping your hands free for other tasks. The camera adapter fits into most tripod heads too!

Clipping in and out of the device is very quick and easy. You can even run with your camera strapped to your belt wearing this thing. Never miss another shot due to messing around with a camera bag. It’s a fantastic accessory for those who go hiking with their camera.

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27: Camera Lens Pen

Camera Lens Pen for Traveling

Nothing is more annoying than a dirty lens when you’re trying to capture beautiful photos. A Camera Lens Pen is a dedicated cleaning solution for your camera lens, keeping travel shots crisp and in focus.

Smudges on a lens can distort light sources, create glare, and ruin shots. This is one of those products you can never have enough of. Small and easy to carry, it’s always good to have a few lying around.

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Essential Books About Travel

28: Vagabonding

Vagabonding Book

The book Vagabonding is an excellent read about how to travel more, no matter what your budget or background. This book inspired me to take my first international trip!

Learn how to take a break from your normal life and travel for a few weeks, or even a few years, while experiencing the world on your own terms. Get ideas for how to make traveling long-term possible, from others who’ve done the same.

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29: Ultimate Journeys For Two

Couple's Travel Book

National Geographic’s Ultimate Journeys For Two by Mike & Anne of HoneyTrek.com is an excellent book about couples adventure travel from their six-year journey across all seven continents.

They’ve picked out their top 75 favorite destinations, travel tips, and inspirational stories shared in a coffee-table style book full of incredible photography.

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30: The Best American Travel Writing

Best Travel Writing Book

Ready to be inspired by other people’s travel stories? You can’t go wrong with a collection of The Best American Travel Writing Of 2018. Each year, the best of those stories are collected in this great series.

You’ll find stories about what it’s like to be an American on vacation in France, being black on the Appalachian trail, modern technology in Korea, and the food scene in Moscow. Stories were curated by Cheryl Strayed, author of “Wild”.

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The Human Fund

Happy Holidays This Season!

Well, that’s it for the best travel gifts for 2019. I hope you found some unique gift ideas for the traveler in your life who likes to pack light.

Whether you’re travel shopping for a birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwansa, or even Festivus — you can’t go wrong with these fun gifts for travelers!

I actually own and use most of these products regularly during my travels.

Happy shopping this holiday season, and remember to get out there and explore the world yourself a bit too! Think of it as a little present to yourself.

Because we all know that travel is the gift that keeps on giving! ★

Looking for more travel gift ideas? Make sure to check out my Ultimate Travel Gear Guide to peek inside my travel bag.

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Best Travel Gift Ideas for the traveling in your life. Find a great present this holiday season! More at ExpertVagabond.com
Best Travel Gift Ideas for the traveling in your life. Find a great present this holiday season! More at ExpertVagabond.com


I hope you enjoyed my guide to the best gifts for travelers in 2019! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:

Have any questions about these travel gifts? What about other suggestions for travelers? Drop me a message in the comments below!


Hi, I’m Matthew Karsten — I’ve been traveling around the world for the last 9 years as a blogger, photographer, and digital nomad. Adventure travel & photography are my passions. Let me inspire you to travel with crazy stories, photography, and money-saving travel tips.
Matthew Karsten
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Comments (50)

  1. Great list, a lot of cool ideas there! How about adding a translator like Travis or Pocketalk? I’m thinking to get one for my dad but I’m waiting for Black Friday offers. Keep up the good work Matt :)

  2. Does the lifestraw really work? Would love to get one for myself. If I use lifestraw for tap water, does the taste differ? Hmm. I hate tap waters with the chlorine taste.

    • It does! I’ve been using one for years, especially for travel. And yes, the activated carbon filter helps reduce chlorine taste.

      The only time I use a different water filter is during week-long backpacking trips. For regular travel and day hiking, the Lifestraw is perfect.

    • Hmmmmm. Like for their luggage? I really don’t think it’s necessary to be honest, and kind of gimmicky. I’ve been traveling for 9 years, and airlines have only misplaced my bags 4 times, all showed up eventually. Usually the next day. A luggage tracking device isn’t high on my “must-have” list…

  3. Any power bank is a definite MUST have for travelers! I need to know my phone will be charged, because it is also my camera – and you need to take cool pics of your adventure.

    Also think a neck pillow is a great travel gift.

    • We’re all so plugged in these days with electronics, a spare battery is a life safer sometimes. I use mine for my phone and my GoPro all the time.

  4. Really nice list with some practical gadgets. I already own a lens pen and have to agree that it is really handy. Just bought the GoPro Hero 5 so the session would have to wait, but I think they really are planning to add some amazing additions in the next models. I really like the Domke camera bag, and need one desperately, so shall give it a go. Thanks

    • Glad you liked the travel gift list Mike! You can never own enough lens pens… I lose them a lot. But they are so handy for cleaning your camera.

  5. The lifestraw is a lifesaver! No pun intended lol. But really…what a sweet invention that was. Bring it everywhere with me

    • Right? It’s wonderful for travel, and helps save the environment (and your wallet) too. The plastic bottle situation is getting out of hand all over the world. Anything we can do to help reduce that waste is a good thing!

  6. Some neat little gadgets here, thanks for sharing :) As a woman the little jewellery box would be a great travel accessory, as normally it gets dumped and carried around in one little pouch! I think the garment steamer would be a bit cumbersome to carry around though!

  7. I am looking for travel gift:) thats mean cup which is possible to warm water or put soup to warm that things in every situation. For example I walk near seaside , is heavy rain, and I need sth warm I take cup and do sth warm to drink. with greetings

  8. I love that tripod! I use it all the time. This is a great list…I wish it was Christmas time again so I could put these on my list!

  9. Great article, Matthew! All true, all helpful… definitely a “go-to” list that I’ll tuck under my wife’s pillow closer to next Christmas, haha…. cheers!

  10. Honestly, a lot of those travel gifts for women really are great. Yes, they are archetypically female, but it sounds like he based the list on women he polled. Dare I say it was even “bold” for him to talk about the cup as a man. I’ll admit that a part of me did eyeroll that the adventure science book was in the male category. I think what some of the female readers were hoping to point out was that most of the items mentioned in the female section were pointedly appealing and useful to women alone, and none necessarily engaged the mind or body. While the male section, barring a few items, women would genuinely find equal interest in, so could have easily gone into the “everyone” section. Obviously this list is helpful and is meant with only good intention. Looks like most are taking it as such.

  11. that water bottle looks like a real life saver. I have had some serious issues with water quality even where i live.
    Also that travel pillow is a new one for me, great stuff, will definitely look into getting of those… just need to make sure i don’t use it while driving… you never know.

  12. I love that cork globe and a community member kindly bought it for me as a gift after I posted how cool it was on Facebook. It sits at my new apartment in Wellington and I need to figure out how to stick 70 pins into it now to mark the countries I’ve visited.

  13. Hello Matt ☺

    I am very fond of travel gadgets. It’s always good to have such useful things as gifts. Thanks for the suggestions to give to people who love traveling!

  14. Okay I need to get a LifeStraw! It helps to cut down on the number of water bottles I buy on the road as well. I’d add the P-style for women adventurers – it allows us females to wee while standing, from a kayak, etc and it’s great for going off the beaten track.

  15. My friend’s camera lens pen saved a photo session of mine last week. And the dumbest part was, I own one, I just don’t keep it on me. They are a lifesaver!

    Oh and I love that jewelry organizer. So cute.

  16. Nice list of travel accessories, Matt. One thing I’m really looking forward to getting this year is the Pilot from Waverly Labs, an earpiece that translates foreign languages for you in real time. It sounds to-good-to-be-true, but the tech seems legit.

    • I’ve heard of that translator before! Would love to try one sometime. Google translate works pretty well if you really need help.

  17. About the steamer: Mens clothes are often anti-wrinkle, especially when they’re backpacking. Women’s dresses usually aren’t.

  18. You have some great suggestions here! Love the life proof case and the eno hammock. As a female traveler, however, it was a bit disheartening to see your recommendations for women. While I’m sure this wasn’t your intention, it certainly perpetuates the stereotype that women travelers should be concerned with organizing jewelry and panties, wrinkle-free clothes, and personal security, while books about getting out of your comfort zone, games, and handy tools are recommended for men. It’d be awesome to see gifts such as these recommended for female travelers, too!

    • It was not my intention. But when I ask female travelers what their favorite travel products are, these were the top recommendations that were not also shared by men.

      I’ve never met a man who recommended the travel steamer, or a woman who recommended the multi-tool. I’m sure there are plenty who would, but these don’t seem to be high priority for most.

      I could remove the “women” and “men” descriptors, but I won’t, as then people won’t find my article when they are searching for those terms. Which they are.

      For women reading this article and getting offended, buy whatever you want! I’m not saying you shouldn’t get a multi-tool or adventure book. :-)

      • I am glad you took the time to reach out to men and women who want to share what has worked for them.
        The list is helpful for me and gifts for others. I was struggling. Now, I got my own shopping list. :)
        Thank you.

  19. Hi Matt,

    I was going to buy the JBL speaker you recommended on your ‘Gear’ page until seeing that you’ve recommended a different speaker here. As this content is more recent, can I assume you prefer the Sony to the JBL? Do you think it’s worth the extra weight?

    Finding your site extremely useful in preparing for my upcoming travels so thanks a lot. Will make sure I use the affiliate links ;)


    • Hey Rich! Yeah I used to travel with the JBL. It’s a bit lighter than the Sony, but the Sony has better sound and battery life. Will hopefully be updating my travel gear page soon.