Gifts for Travelers
Christmas Gifts for Travelers for $20 or Less
Travelers come in many stripes, from minimalist backpackers to five-star jet setters. We've got holiday gifts for most any wanderluster on your list, all for less than $20.
EatSmart Precision Voyager
Gifts for Travelers Who Always Overpack.Airline passengers who try to cram the entire contents of their closet into a suitcase risk steep fees for overweight baggage -- up to $100 or more on many major carriers. A luggage scale can alert them they're over the limit before it's too late. The EatSmart Precision Voyager ($20 on Amazon) has a digital display and holds up to 110 pounds.
Another problem with overpacking: It leaves little room for souvenirs. Envirosax (starting at $7 on Amazon) come in a compact pouch and weigh just 1.4 ounces, yet they unfold to hold up to 44 pounds. With graphic prints, as well as tamer solids, they also make cute totes for vacationers.
Gifts for Travelers Who Love Wine.For a loved one who's constantly seeking out new terroir, Magellan's sells packable wine glasses ($20) for both red and white varietals. That means no scrounging for cups before a picnic overlooking a vineyard -- or a toast in a bare-bones hotel. WineSkins ($7 for two on Amazon) will keep a couple of spare bottles safe on the way home.
Gift for Travelers Who Can Sleep Anywhere.Where some require blackout curtains and 400-thread-count sheets, others are fine with a reclined seatback. For the latter group, there's the Grand Trunk Ultralight Travel Hammock (starting at $18 on Amazon). It can cradle up to 250 pounds and comes complete with ropes, hooks, and stuff sack. Lest anyone get too comfortable, the Eddie Bauer World Travel Clock ($20 on Amazon) includes an alarm and makes a handy stocking stuffer. It also doubles as a flashlight.
Gifts for Travelers Who Keep Journals.You can't buy many first-class products on a coach budget, but Moleskine notebooks have a reputation for being among the best of their kind and start well under $20. Opt for a classic notebook (starting at $10), a dedicated travel journal ($20), or a city notebook ($18) with maps of New York, Paris, London, or Berlin. The Inka Pen from Nite Ize ($18) can record a thought wherever inspiration strikes -- at high altitude, at 30 below, or even underwater. It fits on a keychain for easy access and transforms into a full-size pen or touch-screen stylus.
Gifts for Armchair Travelers.In the absence of a trip on the 2013 calendar, a subscription to a travel magazine can deliver vicarious pleasure. Popular titles including Backpacker, Budget Travel, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Outside, and Travel + Leisure all offer a year's subscription for $20 or less.
Still don't see an ideal present? Our guide to unique gifts for men includes two more crowd-pleasing gifts for travelers (of both genders) that cost just $20.
Bonus tip: Add to the worldly appeal of any gift by wrapping it in a map.