Skip to Content

26 Unique Travel Gift Ideas Under $50 (most are under $20) for 2023

26 Unique Travel Gift Ideas Under $50 (most are under $20) for 2023

Share with your friends!

If you need gift ideas for someone who likes to travel, I have tons of unique ideas. 

And none of these are gadgety-knick knacks that no one will ever use, or just the same old items being recommended over and over again.

These gift ideas I’ve put together here come from my own experiences and things I’ve found useful and practical in my travels. 

Whether the recipient is a seasoned world traveler or about to take off on their very first trip, I’m pretty confident that at least something on this list of unique travel gifts will come in handy!

In this gift guide for travelers you’ll find tons of products and accessories (most under $20), great stocking stuffer ideas, white elephant gift ideas, travel experiences (instead of things) and last-minute gifts (including ones that are giftable online).

This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click through and make a purchase I may make a small commission. I only share information about things I know, love and trust!

Travel Products and Accessories (perfect for stocking stuffers)

Space Pen

Fisher Space Pen Raw Brass Bullet Pen Fisher Space Pen Raw Brass Bullet Pen
$30.60

A pen that stays in your travel bag is always a good idea - this pen can write in any condition - perfect for travelers

02/21/2024 02:38 am GMT

This might seem odd, but I never travel without my ‘space pen.’

A space pen is a pen that will always works – 

It writes upside down, under water, in extreme temperatures. 

Gift this to someone to keep in their travel bag, because you always seem to need a pen. 

It’s definitely a little fancy, but makes the perfect travel gift, and someone will appreciate the practicality behind it. 

Rubberized Luggage Tags

Silicone Luggage Tags Straps Bulk Personalized Oversize id Initial Label Set with Privacy Cover Suitcase Family Rubber Travel Accessories Silicone Luggage Tags Straps Bulk Personalized Oversize id Initial Label Set with Privacy Cover Suitcase Family Rubber Travel Accessories
$8.49 $7.99

You should only ever use luggage tags that are one-piece, so that they're less likely to break in transit.

02/21/2024 02:53 am GMT

Rubberized luggage tags are the perfect little stocking stuffer.

They’re also highly useful for someone with an upcoming trip. 

I always recommend using the rubberized luggage tags, instead of the belt buckle-style ones which can get ripped at the seams and fail more often. 

I like these rubber ones that are one piece so you don’t have to worry about it breaking, and they come in bright colors for easy spotting. 

Towel Clips

If you know someone is heading out on a cruise or on a sunny vacation, these towel clips are another great stocking stuffer. 

I use these at the beach, at the all-inclusive resort and on cruises!

02/21/2024 03:08 am GMT

You can even use them at the local pool or when you’re at the pool in Vegas.

They secure your towels to your chairs (it does get windy by the ocean after all), you can also easily identify which chairs are yours from all the same hotel towels. 

(They come in fun shapes like margaritas, flamingos, flip flops, parrots and more).

They’re also perfect for clipping your wet swimsuits to your room balcony to dry out.

Foot Hammock

This foot hammock has been the biggest flying hack when it comes to comfort.

I sling it behind the tray table in front of me and have an instant foot rest.

This makes a world of a difference when it comes to comfort in economy seats. 

Airplane Foot Hammock (Memory Foam), Perfect Airplane Footrest to Relax Your Feet | Foot Hammock for Airplane Travel Accessories Airplane Foot Hammock (Memory Foam), Perfect Airplane Footrest to Relax Your Feet | Foot Hammock for Airplane Travel Accessories
$14.99 ($14.99 / Count)

A must have for feeling so much more comfortable when flying in economy. Elevating your feet changes the game!

02/21/2024 05:32 am GMT

The foot rest is adjustable and it folds flat so it takes up no room at all.

Get the foot hammock here

Luggage Cup Holders

This luggage cup holder is one of the most useful travel accessories I’ve ever owned.

Move hands free through the airport when you’ve got your coffee and water bottle, without worrying about spillage! 

02/21/2024 03:18 am GMT

Slip it over the handle of your luggage, and you’ve got two cup holders or one cup holder and another spot to hold your phone, baby bottle or other small items that you need quick access to.

When you’re waiting in line at the airport gate and have a coffee in your hand and need to have your boarding pass and ID ready, this luggage cup holder is a life saver.

Get the luggage cup holder here

Stash Scrunchies

3-PACK Hair Tie Scrunchies, THE ORIGINAL HIDDEN POCKET SCRUNCHIE with Zipper Pocket Storage, Accessories, Small Items, Keys, Money 3-PACK Hair Tie Scrunchies, THE ORIGINAL HIDDEN POCKET SCRUNCHIE with Zipper Pocket Storage, Accessories, Small Items, Keys, Money
$14.99 $12.99 ($4.33 / Count)

Perfect for at the beach, pool, music festivals, clubs or concerts.

02/21/2024 05:58 am GMT

Sometimes you need something a little incognito to stash your small valuables.

I use these stash scrunchies that have a hidden zipper to hide small amounts of cash, airpods, jewelry or a key. 

Now you might be thinking, why not just put those in your purse?

I’m talking about when you’re at the pool or on the beach and you want to go into the water for a bit but you’re concerned about leaving your things out in the open. 

If someone is looking to swipe something – they’re looking for purses and wallets, not a hair accessory. 

They’re also good for music festivals and concerts.

For the ladies, these also work really well when you want to be discreet about carrying your feminine products too!  

For a discreet way to keep important items close – grab these stash scrunchies. 

Sling Travel Bag 

Unisex Mini Belt Bag with Adjustable Strap Small Fanny Pack for Workout Running Traveling Hiking, Black Unisex Mini Belt Bag with Adjustable Strap Small Fanny Pack for Workout Running Traveling Hiking, Black
$23.98 $12.98

The ultimate travel bag for everyday carry! Holds all the essentials without being too bulky.

02/21/2024 03:33 am GMT

For less than $20, pick up a belt bag and then fill it with essential travel items like an eye mask for the plane, lip chap, spf stick, gift cards, a rechargeable travel power bank, etc.

This takes 10 minutes to put together but looks so thoughtful! 

This belt bag is the perfect size for carrying your essentials without being too bulky.

I also love that it stays close to my body for feeling more secure and keeps my hands free to take photos or hold a drink.

You can go hiking with them, or when you sit down at a restaurant you don’t need to set it down anywhere.

HeroClip Carabiner

This isn’t just any carabiner – this is a clip that hooks to almost anything, anywhere so you can hang your things and keep them off the ground. 

I use this to hang my purse off the table at restaurants and in public washrooms when there’s no hook on the door to hang my bag.

It even hangs off the hinge of the door if there’s no gap to use. 

It’s the perfect travel accessory to hang bags (backpacks, duffel bags, etc) off the floor when you’re traveling like when you need to change in a bathroom stall and there’s no hooks. 

GEAR AID HEROCLIP Carabiner Clip and Hook for Travel, Strollers, Camping, Backpack, and Garage GEAR AID HEROCLIP Carabiner Clip and Hook for Travel, Strollers, Camping, Backpack, and Garage
$22.95 $21.21

These are so versatile - once you have one, you'll find a million uses for it.

02/21/2024 03:43 am GMT

You can attach a water bottle to your bag, or even at the gym. It’s a great ‘gear holder’ for any item, anywhere. 

These are so versatile.

Get the clip here

Hanging Toiletry Bag

Most people I know (including myself) seem to hang on to toiletry bags for way too long. 

This is usually an item that many travelers overlook buying for themselves.

It’s the type of thing people don’t like spending the money on, but love when they receive it as a gift.

This hanging toiletry bag is a total game changer, 

It’s perfect for when you check into your hotel and realize there’s zero counter space for your stuff.

With 4 individual compartments, it’s roomy enough to carry everything you need without being bulky.

It comes in this soft, faux-velvet material so it feels ultra luxe, without the pricetag. 

There’s a reason why this is the best-selling toiletry bag on Amazon 

YETI Insulated Cups

For camping, the beach, a cruise, an all-inclusive resort, road trips or any kind of travel, an insulated tumbler is a must-have travel accessory. 

I love the one with the handle for camping but they also make a tumbler version. 

02/21/2024 03:57 am GMT

Another reason these are the perfect travel mug is because they’re SO easy to clean when you’re on the go. 

Plus, they come in so many great colors. 

Pick out a YETI tumbler or mug here

An Insulated Beer (or Wine) Koozie

This is the perfect gift for someone who loves to go camping or spends a lot of time at the lake and on the boat. 

You might think they’re expensive, but what’s a perfectly cold beverage all weekend long worth to someone? 

YETI Rambler 12 oz. Colster Can Insulator for Standard Size Cans, Black (NO CAN INSERT) YETI Rambler 12 oz. Colster Can Insulator for Standard Size Cans, Black (NO CAN INSERT)
$25.00

You can't put a price on a cold beverage on a hot day!

02/21/2024 04:08 am GMT

They make all sizes now for regular cans, skinny cans and a wine glass. 

Make it a complete gift by adding in your recipient’s favorite drink. 

See the YETI collection here

Toiletry Skins

02/21/2024 04:28 am GMT

These toiletry skins are the coolest new travel hack product. 

For leak-proofing your bottles and containers, just stretch these skins overtop of the bottle and now they’re completely spill proof. 

If you’re always worried about something spilling or exploding in your bag, definitely try these out. Works great for shampoo, sunscreen, facial oils, makeup, etc.

Check out these toiletry bottle skins

Build a Flight Sleep Kit

7 inch Canvas Zippered Small Bag - Fill it With all the Flight Essentials! 7 inch Canvas Zippered Small Bag - Fill it With all the Flight Essentials!
$9.99

Build a sleep kit and add in a contoured sleep mask, sleepy time tea, ear plugs and a cozy pair of socks.

02/21/2024 04:33 am GMT

If someone on your gift list will be traveling soon, put together a little sleep kit for their flight. 

Find a small, lightweight bag (like this one) and fill it with all the essentials:

Not only is this a practical gift, there’s a lot of thought that goes into this one, too!

Pool Hammock

people on floaties in a pool

If someone on your list is traveling to a warm destination to spend some time by the pool, you’ve got to get them one of these pool hammock floaties!

These pool hammocks are the perfect size for your luggage as they pack away completely flat and take up less space than a pair of shorts. 

They have two ‘pillows’ on each joined by mesh in the middle.

They’re less than $20 and are the easiest floaties to inflate and pack away again.

Grab this fun gift on Amazon

Sand Proof Beach Towel 

Everyone loves the beach, but we all hate when sand sticks to our towels. 

The solution is a sand-free towel! The perfect gift for beach goers and cruisers. 

Not only do these towels absorb like a regular towel, they dry fast and virtually no sand sticks to these – even when wet. 

They’re perfect to travel with because they’re lightweight and can act as a blanket on the plane, a shawl on your balcony on chilly mornings or evenings, and a wrap on your way to the spa. 

This sand-free towel comes in over 40 colors & patterns

Towel Poncho

woman in an outdoor setting wearing a towel poncho

A Towel Poncho is perfect for discreetly changing out of your swimsuit at the beach or pool when there are no change rooms around!

And it doubles as an ultra absorbent towel. 

I use this when I go camping and for hiking to natural hot springs 

Towel Poncho Changing Robe with Hood, Thick Quick Dry Microfiber Wetsuit Changing Towel for Surfing Beach Swim Outdoor Sports, Absorbent Wearable Towel Cover Up with Pocket Towel Poncho Changing Robe with Hood, Thick Quick Dry Microfiber Wetsuit Changing Towel for Surfing Beach Swim Outdoor Sports, Absorbent Wearable Towel Cover Up with Pocket
$50.99 $24.99

Comes in all kinds of colors and perfect for the beach, pool, camping, paddleboarding, surfing and hiking.

02/21/2024 04:42 am GMT

There’s both adult and children’s sizes. 

This one is a great gift for: 

  • Swimmers
  • Paddleboarders
  • Kayakers
  • Surfers
  • Hikers
  • Campers
  • Beach goers 

See the Towel Ponchos in 10 different colors here

Travel Resistance Bands

If you have a fitness friend on your list, a lightweight set of resistance bands is the perfect way to get a full body workout in, on the road. 

These can be used in a hotel room or even on the beach!

They’re inexpensive and would also make the perfect white elephant exchange gift!

Grab a set of 5 resistance bands here

Bed Shelfie

Don’t you hate it when you check into your hotel room and there’s either a small bedside table or no bedside table at all?

A useful travel gift for someone who travels for business a lot is a bed shelfie!

It’s a little bedside shelf that you attach to the side of your bed. 

How many times do hotels never have a bedside table or night stand and you’ve got to put your stuff on the floor or the other side of the room? Problem solved! 

02/21/2024 07:42 am GMT

Also perfect if you’re staying at a relative’s house in a spare bedroom without a night stand.

This bed shelfie is the perfect solution.

Use it to hold your phone, drinks, books, glasses, anything.

If you travel with a CPAP machine that usually takes up most of the nightstand space, now you’ve got extra room. 

These are great if you travel a lot for business, 

They’re also great for using in your RVs and travel trailers when space is limited. 

Travel Books

02/21/2024 04:53 am GMT

You can’t go wrong with the tried and true travel guides and books from the legendary 

Ricks Steves (best for a Europe trip) or the massive collection of Lonely Planet books. 

You can pick up a physical copy, or send an e-book or a kindle version (great for last-minute gifts). 

See the collection of Rick Steves book here

See the Lonely Planet travel guides here

Travel Experiences & Giftable Online

FareDrop Membership/Flight Deal Subscription

If you have an aspiring traveler on your list – why not gift the opportunity to travel the world – for cheap! 

One of my favorite apps for finding crazy discounts on flight deals is FareDrop.

It’s an app (or desktop version) that sends flight deals (we’re talking an average of 50-70% lower) straight to your phone (or email) based on your travel goals. 

The best part is that you can gift FareDrop to someone. 

You can also choose to notify the person receiving it or not if they want to wait until holiday time!

You can even give it as a physical gift – it’s a paper airplane design that you can print out and fold up and it includes their unique code to redeem their subscription.

Purchase a FareDrop gift for someone here

I also wrote a full review and tips about using FareDrop to its fullest potential.

GuideAlong Audio Tours

GuideAlong is the ultimate road trip companion! 

It’s a narrated driving tour app where you download a tour to your phone, and then it plays automatically when you’re in the area through GPS satellite signals. 

It’s just like having a tour guide along for the ride.  You’ll hear stories, local tips & directions and navigation play automatically, all based on your location. 

Best of all it doesn’t require a cell signal, they work offline with GPS.

Right now, it’s available in the United States, Canada and Australia for places like Yellowstone National Park, Banff National Park, Hawaii and over 60 more destinations. 

If you want to purchase a tour as a gift, simply click on the tour as if you were to purchase it, but instead of clicking ‘buy this tour,’ you’ll click gift a tour right underneath. 

On the next page, make sure the ‘send tour as a gift’ is toggled on. 

The recipient receives email with your personalized message, and easy instructions to download. The sender receives the receipt with a reference number.

View available road trip audio tours on GuideAlong

Gift a Travel Experience

I book most of my tours & excursions through Viator and these are consistently some of my favorite travel memories.

Some of my favorites include hiking with locals to secret beaches, insider taco tours, adventures to natural hot springs and visiting hidden gem towns stuck in the 1700s. 

Viator put together a great list of the 15 best travel experiences to give this year, find your ultimate gift here.  

Audio Books

For long road trips, audiobooks are a great way to pass the time. 

You can gift an Audible subscription from Amazon! A subscription provides the recipient one free book per month. Podcasts are included too!

See Audible subscription gift options here

Flytographer Photo Session

Flytographer is an online marketplace that connects travelers with local photographers in 350+ cities worldwide for fun vacation photo shoots. 

What’s extra special though, is that Flytographer’s carefully-chosen photographers not only take stunning photos, but also share insider tips on things to eat, see, and do while showing travelers unique parts of the city they may not discover otherwise

You can purchase a gift card or maybe book a surprise session if you’re going to be traveling together! 

Check out options on Flyotographer here

Airbnb Gift Cards

This one speaks for itself, but did you know that Airbnb gift cards can also be redeemed for experiences?

Some of my favorite tours have been booked through this format, like sandboarding in Cabo San Lucas and a local wine tour in New York State!

Guess Where Trips

Visiting a hidden gem winery on a surprise trip!

One-day, self-guided, SURPRISE road trips & hidden gem finders. Our trips include a ‘Before You Go’ package and four surprise stops.

Each stop is packed with a new destination, specific recommendations, maps, travel tips, and fun facts.

You select a day trip based on your interests and travel preferences, such as:

  • enchanted adventures
  • haunted & abandoned places
  • funky breweries, offbeat oddities
  • quirky gems
  • picture perfect itinerarie
  • & whimsical wonders.  

Then you can choose to either receive a physical package of all your trip detail in the mail, or immediately to your inbox if you only need a PDF.

Then you hit the road and start your adventure by opening each stop one by one. 

Currently available in: 

  • Canada (Ontario, BC, Alberta & Nova Scotia)
  • USA – Northeast (DC, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York & New England)
  • USA – Southeast (North Carolina, Georgia & Florida)

Check out Guess Where Trips here

More Gift Ideas & Travel Products

11 Unique and Practical Travel Gift Ideas for Him (under $75)

Road Trip Packing List: 16 Items to Bring

28 Essential Travel Items That Are a Complete Game Changer

What to Pack for a Hotel Stay (13 genius ideas)

Lightweight Carry On Bags Under 6 lbs (multiple airlines tested)