Vacation at Pompeii

Looking for some of the best gift ideas for travelers on your holiday shopping list?  As regular readers of our blog know, we are avid travelers. Over the course of our journeys, we’ve found some things that we simply HAVE to have when traveling.

Note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and as Amazon Influencers, we earn from qualifying purchases.

gift ideas for travelers

Our gift ideas for travelers


A lightweight backpack –  One of the best gift ideas for travelers is a backpack. Our daughter, Meghan, recommended this backpack because is is light, folds up into itself, and is made of water repellent material. It is great backpack for day trips as well as cruise excursions and it holds your water bottles, sunscreen, and souvenirs.

Coolibar hatWe first found these awesome hats at the Garden Center in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and fell in love with them. The traveler in your life will love these lightweight and easily packable hats because they are cool, comfortable, and provide excellent protection from the sun.  

Eagle Creek starter packing setWe use these packing sets for every single trip we take. Why? Because they are, in a word, amazing. When we took a four week trip to Italy, we used these and they made the whole trip work. Steve was able to pack 16 XXL shirts in one of the pack-it folders! We first found them at The Container Store but you can also purchase them here on Amazon


gift ideas for travelers

Travelon cord organizerThis cord organizer is a real game changer and is a great gift idea for travelers. They’ll know where every cord is, and will be confident that when they need it, the cord won’t be a tangled mess. Your traveler will love this handy, lightweight, tri-fold organizer. We don’t leave home without it!

External batteryNothing is worse than wanting to take great travel photos with your smart phone and realizing you have a dead battery. This battery pack phone charger is a must for anyone on the road and is a great gift idea for travelers. 

Postcard Jar – Help your traveler start a new collection of inexpensive, yet meaningful souvenirs by giving them a Postcard Jar. While on the road, they can buy themselves postcards and then either mail them or bring them home for display in this handsome jar that will quickly fill with memories while becoming a conversation piece. We started our jar full of postcards when we got married and it was the inspiration for our blog. 

Smartwool ankle socksA traveler’s feet are along on the journey every step of the way (ha!). Help your traveler have happy feet with these comfortable, durable, and warm, socks. We love them because wick moisture and don’t slip.  

Bucket tote bag from ElevateWe found Elevate on our trip to Kearney to see the Sandhills Crane migration. Inside the store we found beautifully crafted leather goods, all made by small, family-run businesses in third world countries. One of our favorite items we found was this leather travel bag. Hand made from genuine leather, this bag not only looks good, but is also functional. It slips over the handle on luggage so it can be carried easily through an airport. The best thing about this gift, however, is knowing that each purchase from Elevate helps a family escaping poverty.

Travel laundry bagLooking for functional gift ideas for travelers? Try this laundry bag that will help the traveler in your life keep dirty clothes in place and make doing laundry on the road as quick and easy as it can be. Read more about our travel tips for doing laundry HERE

Cinch sackThis little miracle cinch sack from Eagle Creek just might be the best invention for organized travel, ever. It is Ann’s favorite travel accessory. A large pocket surrounded by small pouches on the sides, it easily holds and organizes the small things that travelers need (think lip balm, a small bottle of Tylenol, a charger, and more). Just pull the cords and it closes tightly, keeping everything tucked safely inside and easily accessible when they are needed.

More great gift ideas for travelers


Lightweight, digital luggage scaleHere’s a great gift idea for the traveler in your life: a digital luggage scale. With baggage weight restrictions on airlines, folks need to know how much their bag weighs before heading to the airport so they can avoid extra fees. While it can be pretty easy to weigh a suitcase at home, finding a scale on the road can be a different question. That’s why this sleek scale that easily slips into a bag can be a blessing to have along on the road.  

Airbnb gift cardAirbnb home shares (like our Postcard Place in Pawhuska) are becoming more and more popular with travelers who want a home away from home. Armed with this gift card, your traveler can pick and choose from about 1.9 MILLION places to stay in 65,000 cities around the world. An Airbnb gift card is one of the most versatile gift ideas for the travelers on your list.

A few more of our favorite gifts for travelers


Passport walletHere’s another great gift idea from Elevate in Kearney, Nebraska: a leather passport wallet. Travelers on your list will love the way this wallet protects their passport and keeps their other essentials neatly together while looking good in the process. And don’t forget, each time you make a purchase from Elevate, you’re helping elevate people out of poverty. 

Durable luggage tagsIn a world filled with look-alike bags, travelers need an easy way to pick their luggage out from the crowd. These colorful tags make seeing a suitcase on a baggage carousel easy. Plus, they are durable enough that your traveler can go with confidence that their luggage tag won’t be separated from their bag. We’ve used these for years and love them. 

Label makerWhen thinking of gift ideas for travelers, you probably don’t think of a label maker, but you should. Use this to stick labels with name, phone number and other identifying information on electronics like computers and phones, It’s even a good idea to place this information inside luggage. This provides one more way that your traveler can be reunited with property should it be lost along the way. 

Satin pillow caseWhile traveling with a pillow isn’t always practical, bringing a pillow case from home is. Ann takes one with her wherever we go to protect her fine hair from tangling on rough pillow cases in some hotels. 

Postcard Jar t-shirtWe’re now offering Postcard Jar t-shirts for followers of our blog! With multiple styles and colors, there is one that’s perfect for every traveler on your list. 

What are your favorite gift ideas for travelers? Let us know in the comments below and if you have questions about any of these products, just ask us! 


gift ideas for travelers

  • Last week, we had the pleasure of making handmade pasta (via the internet) with our friends, Deb and Massi, who were in their home kitchen in Italy. ⁣
You can read all about it, and get the recipe, on our blog. Yep, you guessed it, the link is in our bio. ⁣
We met Deb and Massi of @italyunfiltered a few years ago when they created an amazing food and wine itinerary for us. We've remained friends and it was so good to see them, even if they were a world away.
  • We were supposed to be in Rochester, Minnesota, this week for Ann to see a cardiac sarcoidosis specialist about some recent issues with her heart. Of course, we did not travel to Rochester for her scans and doctor visits because of the coronavirus outbreak.⁣
Instead, her cardiologists called her from their homes and her scans and tests will likely be delayed until June or July. We'll keep in close touch with them if anything changes, as well. We are so grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are continuing to work crazy hours from home as well as in our hospitals around the world.⁣
This is such an unprecedented and stressful time for all of them. Words will never be enough to convey our gratitude for the roles they are playing in the battle against this deadly virus while caring for those with other diseases and illnesses at the same time. ⁣
Every healthcare provider we've talked with in the last two weeks has had the same message for those of us who don't have to go to work at a hospital. ⁣
Just. Stay. Home.
  • Yesterday was Day 16 of social isolation for us. Because of Ann's underlying heart condition and suppressed immune system, we've cooked all our meals at home (no takeout). We've starting to get more and more creative as time has gone by. ⁣
Last night, we made chicken and shrimp vindaloo and learned online how to make homemade naan.⁣
It wan't as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, The Oven, but it did satisfy the craving we've had for Indian food. ⁣
What are you craving these days?
  • We moved our living room furniture around this week and put two swivel chairs near the sliding glass door. Each day, we take time to turn around, rest our minds, enjoy in the view, and just be. #webelieveinhome
  • Our daughter, Meghan, is a cardiac ICU nurse. Despite all of the current uncertainties in healthcare during this pandemic, early this morning she put on her scrubs and went to work a 12+ hour shift. 
She is not alone. Across the country and around the world, healthcare workers are putting the safety of themselves and their families at risk to help others. It's what they do. Every. Single. Day. 
We are incredibly grateful that there are selfless people like this in the world and we pray for them and we hope you'll join us. 
We couldn't sleep this morning, so we wrote instead. Click on the link in our bio to read our morning thoughts and prayers.
  • Trying to decide where we’ll travel this weekend. Covered porch? Living room? 😉
  • We are staying home. 
We've been here for almost a week now because Ann is one of "those people." You know the ones. Those people with an underlying health issue. Those people with a suppressed immune system. One of those people who could become seriously ill, need hospitalization, and even die if exposed to the coronavirus.  Those people need your help to stay safe and live. And all you have to do is stay home when you don’t NEED to be out.

Over the past few days, we’ve seen photos, videos, and witnessed first hand people of all ages (but mostly young people) gathering in groups for what us mid lifers would consider “non essential” reasons: birthday parties, movies, youth sports practices, St. Patty’s Day celebrations at the bar, spring break at the beach, and the like. 
We don’t understand it. 
We try not to judge. 
But just for a time during this worldwide pandemic, could we ask people who are participating in non-essential activities to consider who “those people” most at risk really are?

Those people are already battling serious illnesses.

Those people want to see their grandchildren grow up.

Those people need to do their jobs as nurses and doctors.

Those people are first responders. 
Those people run the grocery store, and the pharmacy, and the gas station. 
Those people pray for you and your generation. 
And what about those other people? 
The ones you know.

Those people who made sacrifices to meet your needs.

Those people who took care of you when you were sick.

Those people who went to your games and cheered you on. 
Those people who taught you in school.

Those people who helped you pay for college.

Those people who cooked your favorite dish for you.

Those people who taught your Sunday School class.

Those people who have forgiven you.

Those people who will always love you unconditionally.

We keep wanting to scream, “It’s not about you, it’s about those people!” But the truth of the matter is, IT IS ABOUT YOU. 
You have the power to help.
You have the power to influence others.
You have the power to flatten the curve.

And by not changing your behaviors, you also have the power to harm. 
How will you choose to use your power?j
  • We’re sharing your postcards and encouraging you to help others and stay positive. 
If you’d like to send us a postcard, mail to: Postcard Jar, PO Box 334, Crete, NE 68333.

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