7 last-minute gift ideas under $35 for ladies who love travel
Coming up short on gift ideas for a lady traveler (or travel lover) in your life? Looking for an extra stocking stuffer or two? Here are a few inexpensive ideas guaranteed to make women with #wanderlust smile on Christmas morning:
1. This TSA-approved wine opener - $12
You can't take normal bartender's corkscrews onboard planes because they have that little knife to remove the foil. This lies in direct contrast to one of my favorite travel activities: sipping wine in the hotel room with music going on a tiny Bluetooth speaker while getting ready for a fun night out. I've dealt with this issue countless times, and it usually involves buying a wine opener at my destination (that goes in the trash on my way out) or otherwise hoping my accommodations can help out (not always a slam dunk)-- until I recently discovered these! So, save her the heartache with this nifty knife-less corkscrew that even spells out "TSA Approved" just to help speed things along at security.
2. A reusable TSA-approved bag filled with fun or luxury travel-size products - $6+
Inspire her to carry-on instead of check with a reusable, sturdy bag to keep her liquids in while traveling. I prefer the Lewis N. Clark version for about $6. Then, upgrade it by filling it up with a selection of travel-sized beauty, skin or haircare products from a beauty store like Ulta or Sephora. Don't worry too much about whether she'll like the products you select -- either way, it makes the whole package more of a thrill to open, and it's fun to try new things (just ask Birchbox).
3. One of these incredibly useful travel jewelry cases - $10
When you search online for tools to hold your jewelry while traveling, you're likely to get a dozen variations on the cloth-based jewelry roll. I'm not a huge fan of these because things can slip out and it just feels like an inefficient way to package such tiny items. When you travel with only a carry on as I do, space is at a premium. Instead, try one of these small, nifty cases that keep your dangly pieces separate from your studs and so on. If you're planning to get her a piece of jewelry anyway, use one of these small travel cases as the packaging to make it even more of a winning gift.
4. These ever-portable hydrating beauty treatments - $10
Travel can really dehydrate skin. For that I love sheet masks, which for the uninitiated are one-time-use hydrating beauty treatments in a throwaway pouch. The wonderful thing about these masks is they're inherently portable, and I've never had a TSA agent ask me to count the tiny amount of liquid inside the pouch as part of my quart-bag allowance. I stuff as many as I can inside my toiletry bag and use one every few days. It's important to remember to take care of yourself - including your skin - on trips, and after the first week of a two week trip I'm usually dying for one of these.
5. Scratch-off world travel maps - $31
You'll never think about thumbtacks on an old map again when you see these beauties. I personally have the version with black seas, but the version against a white background is gorgeous too. I also got mine mounted and framed (no glass), but it did come in a fun tube if you'd prefer to give it that way. No matter how you gift it, it's sure to be loved by your traveler.
6. A silky sleep mask- $26
I'm a big fan of sleep masks, both at home and on the road. They're definitely nice at home if you have a partner with a different bedtime as I have -- but they become even more necessary when you need to sleep on a plane or your hotel room doesn't come with blackout curtains (so, most budget rooms). I've tried many kinds, but don't find them all to be a great fit for my face. I like this version for its simplicity, and that it very cozily also covers your ears. Sleep masks are an easy thing to overlook for first-time international travelers, but after my years of travel I consider them essential.
7. This RFID-blocking passport case - $18
As a frequent traveler, I've received many passport cases as Christmas gifts over the years, but unfortunately I haven't used any of them. Why? None of them block RFID scanners, the handheld technology that can scan your passport number (and more) to steal your identity. I do sometimes wonder if I'm being paranoid, but RFID scanners are easy to buy, and passport data is high-value. I'd rather not risk it - so I use this instead of the cute passport covers I get at holidays.
Have more gift ideas for travelers? If you're a frequent flyer, what unexpected yet useful items would you love to get?