6 Last-Minute Stocking Stuffer Gift Ideas for the Frequent Traveler

Yeahhhh buddy, ’tis the season (for putting things off to the last minute)!

If you have an Amazon Prime membership, there’s still time to order gifts before Christmas with free 1-day or 2-day shipping.

Here are some cute stocking stuffers for anyone who travels often. And hey, if you get an Amazon gift card, maybe you’ll treat yourself to a couple of these.

6 Gift Ideas for Travelers

1. Noise-canceling earbuds

For the love of gods, yes yes yes. These little guys are worth their weight in gold if you want to work or read during your flight. And if you get the seat next to a screaming child (we’ve all been there), they can go a long way toward preventing that third Aleve (or is that just me?).

gift ideas for travelers

The prices run the gamut

Earbuds are like cars: there are cheap ones, and there are really not cheap ones. What’s funny is how, at all price ranges, you can find a solid pair with nearly all 5-star reviews.

I’d personally go middle-of-the-road, but whatever you decide on will surely be welcomed with open arms. I mean… ears. 🙂

2. Travel tubes

I called these one of my must-haves of travel for good reason: they’re TSA-compliant, durable, soft, and can store nearly any liquid easily.


Yes yes yes

They’re also reasonably priced considering all the use you’ll get out of them. I like to store coconut oil in them because they’re squeezable and easy to refill. And they don’t leak.

I’ve flown with these things all over the world. I love the built-in suction cup so you can take them into the shower with you and turn them into a dispenser of your own products.

A dear friend got these for me. And now I recommend them as a gift for your loved ones. I take mine with me everywhere.

3. Inflatable neck pillow

It ain’t the prettiest thing in the world, but it beats shoving your coat against the window (if you’re in a window seat) or doing the whole nodding off and jerking violently thing (if you’re in the middle or aisle seat).


Strongly considering getting one of these

That they’re inflatable means you can squeeze the air out and roll them tight for packing. Would also be useful on buses or trains, too.

They’re only $10 or $11 bucks at the low end, so it’s a cheap gift that can go a long way toward comfort.

If your giftee travels in coach a lot – or if you they have a long trip coming up – this will be a welcome addition to the carry-on.

4. Fire tablet

I have one of these and use it for reading and light internet browsing at home. It’s super thin (thinner than a magazine) and light, so you can throw it into any bag without added weight or bulk.

An incredibly affordable and thoughful gift

An incredibly affordable and thoughtful gift

You can read books on this tablet, add apps, and even stream movies on it. There’s a (just OK) built-in camera, but it’s helpful in a pinch. They’ve also become, at $40, extremely affordable in recent years.

If you want to go all out, you can add a nice case to it. But I leave mine loose and haven’t noticed much wear and tear. I’ve read dozens and dozens of books on my Fire tablet – I keep it next to my bed and read a chapter or so before bed most nights. And take it with me on planes to mess around online and read. Good to pair with the earbuds above.

5. A nice pen and notebook set

You always need a pen at the most awkward moments (filling in those customs forms right before you land).

This is a recommendation from Jay. I shouted across the apartment, “What would you put in a traveler’s stocking?!” “A pen and notebook!” he shouted back.

I try to keep my life as paperless/digital as possible, but some peeps still like to jot down ideas/doodle/scribble/journal the old-fashioned way. If you know someone who likes the pen-to-paper method, this would be a nice gift.


A nice pen is always welcome

And even without the notebook, you can always use a nice pen in your bag.

6. Their own Amazon Prime membership or an e-gift card

If you’re really behind on your shopping, an e-gift card is always an idea. You can print it out and put it in a nice card to present to the person. I love gift cards so I can stack my other discounts and portal bonuses with purchases. Or just have it on hand for when I really need something.

You can also gift an Amazon Prime membership. Gifting it will extend the life of the other person’s membership by a year if they already have one. Or start it anew if they don’t (duh).

They’ll have access to lots of streaming music and movies, and of course they can order most things with free 2-day shipping. I use my Prime membership constantly – and you get a free Kindle book per month (just remember to “return” it when you’re done!). Although the selection of free books isn’t vast, I always find something I’m interested in reading.

Bonus. An Evernote subscription

Why am I such a dork?

Without a doubt, Evernote is my #1 productivity tool. I use it to store everything – it’s my external brain, my digital file cabinet, my go-to way to collect any type of information.

There are numerous note-taking apps (to compare them would be a whole other very long article), but the one I keep coming back to is Evernote. For its simplicity, its cross-platform access, and the many recipes available via IFTTT.


My lagan love

It’s also incredibly useful for travelers.

Two subscription plans

Two subscription plans

There are two subscription plans. I’d go with the “Plus” version. Unless you know the person uses Evernote already, then I’d suggest the “Premium” subscription.

This one’s a bonus because:

  • It’s not tangible
  • It’s worthless if the person won’t use it

Despite its formlessness, I find this tool adds shape and organization to my life in new ways pretty much constantly.

Bottom line

Happy holidays!

If you’ve procrastinated on your shopping, here are some quick, easy stocking stuffers for the frequent traveler on your list:

On another note, I’d like to say thank you all for your readership in 2016. It has meant the world to me.

Have a wonderful holiday and feel free to add your ideas to the list!

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. Hey, thanks for the link to the silicone travel tubes – I hate the plastic ones you can find pretty easily everywhere that are pretty flimsy and rarely good for more than one use. It just went on my wishlist 🙂

    Something else you could put on this list: a good powerbank for recharging things in-flight or when the little pillar of outlets at the gate is filled up. I got my mom one for her Kindle addiction, and I always have mine in my bag. While some airlines have outlets in coach now, I’ve had problems with the plug staying in all of them.

    • Those little power bricks are a good idea! I carry one that’s about the size of a chap stick and it’s saved me a time or two.

      And yes, the travel tubes are a godsend. I even use them at home sometimes.

      Thank you for sharing your idea! 🙂

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