Ultimate Gift Guide for Travelers 2012

 In Gift Guides, Style

I hate guessing what someone might love for the holidays. I want to know exactly what will rock their world. Not an easy task, but one I try for each and every year.

Travelers are no different from crafters, bakers or bike enthusiasts. Whether they are toddlers, teens, single or married, everyone has a little something on their wish list that will make their day.

Today, instead of offering up tips on how to find that perfect gift, I’m just going to share with you some of our favorite things. Maybe one will be perfect for the little (or big) traveler in your life and save you hours of walking aimlessly through the mall.

Trips, Travel Vouchers and Gift Cards

What better gift to give a traveler than travel itself. Groupon offers gift cards so your family and friends can choose their own adventures. Or you can snag a winter holiday deal in Europe through companies like Thomson, Expedia, Iceland Air and Virgin Vacations. Airlines often offer up gift cards as well, helping your loved ones get one step closer to that dream trip.


  • iPhone 5. Probably the gadget of the year for some. The new camera has made this a must have on our Christmas wish lists.
  • Joby GP3 GorillaPod SLR_Zoom Flexible Tripod. Light weight, compact and easy to use. Now dad AND mom can get in on the family shot and make a few lasting memories.
  • Life Proof iPhone case. Never stress out about where you take your phone every again. Even under water. Capture a few tropical fish and let your kid drop your phone a thousand times; this case is hardcore and built to last.

Joby GorillaPod SLR Zoom Tripod

Kid’s Gear

  • Skip Hop backpacks– your toddler will love one of these cute animal packs. If critters aren’t your child’s thing, check out the Roxy Girl bags. They will have your little surfer begging to hit the beach in no time.
  • Kidz Gear Wired Headphones for Kids You do not have to listen to Cars for the 86th time ever again! These headphones keep the sound in and fit a child’s head perfectly.
  • iPlay Swim Diapers – In our swim class students have to wear a swim diaper until they are 5 years old. Instead of spending a small fortune on yet another type of diapers we grab a pair of iPlay swim trunks with a washable built-in diaper. We have never had a leak yet!
  • Mustang Survival’s Lil’ Legends Child’s Vest – water safety is always high on our list. This vest has traveled to Hawaii and back allowing Dek to jump into waters he would not be able to go into unless in our arms.

iPlay Swim Diaper

New Mom and Dad

  • Ergobaby 360 – we would be lost without our Ergobaby. It is the only way I get the boys out the door and off on an adventure. It’s easy on my back and is built to last.
  • Umbrella Stroller – you don’t need a fancy stroller to travel the world. A cheap option can get you through the roughest terrain. Better yet, if the baggage handlers break your stroller you won’t have to pour out a small fortune to replace it.

Can’t Live Without

  • Thermos 22oz Tritan Hydration bottlewhile pregnant with Ty I had to drink more water than I ever thought possible. This handy pop up top water bottle got me through. Not only is it functional, but the design is sleek and fun to carry around.
  • White Noise Travel Sound Conditioner I pretend this is for my kids but it is really for me. We take our sound machine everywhere. It keeps our sleeping environment consistent, drowns out noisy hotel guests, traffic and fighting cats.

Maps and Memories

  • Paris in a Box by Muji.us – Stick it on your shelf or bring it down to create a Parisian wonderland with the other toys in your house. Either way you can’t go wrong.
  • Global Eye Chart by ByteLevel.com – why put a boring old eye chart on your wall when you could decorate your space with this global version.
  • The World is Your Travel Puzzle By Crocodile Creek – One for home and one for the plane; this puzzle teaches us geography and about the animals in our planet.
  • USA map chalkboard surface decal by Dezign with a Z on Etsy.com – no time to paint your own? You can pick up this chalkboard map to start planning your own road trip across the country.

Paris in a Box by Miji.us

DIY Gifts

  • Design Aglow shows off inventive shadowbox keepsakes from your travels
  • 71 Toes highlights how to add travel memories to your dining room walls to spark a little travel inspired conversation over a meal.
  • Instagram Memory Display brings all those photos trapped in your phone out onto your walls.
  • Suitcases and Sippy Cups makes her own roll up chalkboard map and gives us the how-to.
  • For more DIY ideas check out my Pinterest board – Craft Ideas and Travel Inspired Crafts.


Travel Memoirs

  • As the Romans Do: An American Family’s Italian Odyssey by Alan Epstein – family moves to Rome to start a new life in the eternal city.
  • A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle – Food lovers beware. DO not read this book on an empty stomach. Not only will you follow along as Mayle restores an old house, but you will be sitting beside him as he discovers every mouth-watering morsel in the South of France.
  • Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks – What happens when a guy is dared £100 to hitchhike around Ireland with a mini-fidge? You’ll soon find out.
  • Hungry Monkey by Matthew Amster-Burton – parents of picky eaters are given hope by Seattle’s very own food writer Amster-Burton, a dad who was on a mission to raise an adventurous eater.

Books the Kids

  • Dodsworth in London and other tales by Tim Egan – The perfect chapter books for young readers ready to discover a new city.
  • This is London and This is Rome by Miroslav Sasek – Part artists notebook, part guidebook, this series will transport you to a far off place, or maybe your home town.
  • Zig Zag City Guides – Beautiful travel guide series created by Alana Zawojskiby. Even if you aren’t headed to Rome or San Francisco these cards will teach you just why you should start packing your bags.

In the interest of full disclosure there are links to my Amazon Affiliate shop in this post. I was also compensated for a portion of this post. As always all opinions, goofiness and text are my own. 

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Showing 7 comments
  • Tonya @ The Traveling Praters

    I have to second the noise machine. We don’t travel without one, it’s the only way my husband can sleep when we’re away from home. Great list!

  • Cam @ Traveling Canucks

    Great list – we’re also big fans of the Ergo Baby carrier and we learned the hard way that water diapers are essential when traveling in warm climates! 🙂

  • Annie André

    Looks like the books by Miroslav Sasek made it to several travel lists LOL. I just love his book series. we have two so far. I wish I had these in digital format so i could carry all of his books with us while we travel.

    Great list. I think i could spend days going through all the lists and links drooling..

  • Lillie - @WorldLillie

    Love how this article turned out. What a list! Thanks for including my article in the mix at the end!

  • Vera Marie Badertscher

    What a great bunch of ideas, and thanks for including A Traveler’s Library list of 10 Perfect Gifts for Travelers Who Read (and listen to music and travel with pets, and do lots of things).

  • Cassie

    Great list! Wish I’d seen it before to give to my family 🙂 I LOVE the Joby Gorillapod tripod! It’s one of our travel essentials, so small it fits in a purse!

    And I’m going to bookmark your Amazon links to use when we shop, we buy WAY too much on Amazon and aren’t allowed to use our own–I’ve been telling our gadget-loving family to use it when they shop. I’m hoping that Kev’s rich, photography-buff uncle will upgrade his pro-camera soon and use it 🙂

    • © Keryn Means/ walkingon travels

      Thanks Cassie! No one has EVER bought from my Amazon store so I would really appreciate it. I’m going to check yours out now too. If you could put baby formula and food on your it would help me out 😉