Fodor’s Holiday Gift Guide 2019

Our editors have found the perfect gift for everyone on your list.

The holiday season can be stressful, especially when it comes to giving presents. But we’ve got you covered with 20 perfect gifts for the people on your list who love to travel. From stocking-stuffers and travel gadgets for under $20 to a suitcase that costs more than a plane ticket, these are the ultimate gifts for wanderers, adventurers, foodies, and fashionistas. Get in, wanderluster, we’re going shopping.

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PHOTO: Carlos Jaramillo
1 OF 20

For Fashionistas

This is the ultimate purse for stylish frequent flyers. The design of this packable bucket bag is absolute genius: the bottom of the purse zips off into a flat oval disk and the walls of the purse unsnap to lay flat, meaning you can pack this bag in your suitcase without worrying about it getting crushed. Structured bags are nearly impossible to travel with (unless you’re using them as a carryon) so this bag lets fashionistas be fabulous, even if they’re halfway around the world. The size is perfect for daily essentials and the embossed crocodile design in black, blue, emerald, or navy means it’s fancy enough to bring to an elegant dinner.

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PHOTO: Robert B. Decker
2 OF 20

For Your College-Bound Cousin

Long gone are the days of tapestries and blacklight band posters–the university scholars of the 21st century are not only thoughtful but aesthetically inclined. So why not give them the gift of sophisticated decor with a touch of philanthropy via these gorgeously designed National Park Posters created by artist Rob Decker. A photographer and graphic artist who studied under Ansel Adams, Decker donates 10% of his poster proceeds to organizations that support the National Parks. With iconic 1930s and ’40s vintage-inspired designs, a dorm room suddenly transforms from a cinderblock-walled holding cell into a cozy grown-ish pied-à-terre for the budding adult in your life.

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PHOTO: Atelier Cologne
3 OF 20

For the Olfactory Obsessed

All of Atelier Cologne’s scents tell a story. Inspired by destinations and stories from around the world, these gender-neutral perfumes are perfect for travelers. The customizable gift set comes with three 30-ml perfumes with your choice of colorful leather cases that can be embossed with words, initials, or symbols. With three perfumes, you’ll be building a scent wardrobe that you can tailor to your favorite destinations, with scents made from ingredients like lime from Mexico, bergamot from Italy, and jasmine from India.

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4 OF 20

For Adventure Lovers

Baboon’s go bags are a wild mix of form and function. The super-durable and water-resistant bags are ready for any adventure with adjustable shoulder straps and easy-access pockets, while the cool design and bright colors give the bags a streetstyle vibe. These bags look equally at home in a hip hotel in Kyoto as they do at Everest base camp. The best part? The absolutely outrageous patterned interiors featuring colorful illustrations of dinosaurs, astronauts, and tigers.

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PHOTO: Madewell
5 OF 20

For the Efficient Packer

Don’t hate the smart packers in your life. Sure, they can smile a little smugly as you get that shameful “heavy” sticker slapped on your giant case. And yes, there was no need for that excessively cheery “see you later!” as they breezed off the plane and past baggage claim after landing. They are not working Mary-Poppins-magic by somehow making that compact bag produce new outfits every day on a two-week trip while you haul around an overstuffed bag filled with nothing to wear; they’re just packing smart. Don’t hate, celebrate! Salute the efficient packer on your list with the ultimate smart-travel gift: an item that does double-duty. Madewell’s cute and cozy Packable Puffer is a lightweight puffer with an easy A-line shape that folds into itself to become a comfy neck pillow. And it’s filled with a warm-as-down alternative made of 100% recycled content (one women’s jacket = 15 plastic bottles, one men’s = 20½). Gift yourself one, too, and before you know it you’ll be rolling instead of folding and carrying-on with the other smart-asses.

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PHOTO: Valfre
6 OF 20

For the Person Who Prioritizes Fashion Over Function

Mexican-born, LA-based artist Ilse Valfré is the woman behind the designs at Valfré, an online clothing and accessories boutique. The pieces are one-of-a-kind, featuring original designs and nods to pop culture icons or classic trends: think zodiac signs, mermaids, and animal print. If someone on your gift list refuses to be boring, look to Valfré. They even make fun portable phone chargers for travelers (our favorite features the “Lucy” character motif used throughout Valfré’s line of products). Now your gift-recipient can be cute even in transit.

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PHOTO: The Motley
7 OF 20

For the Worldly Traveler Who Wants to Smell Like the World (but Fresher)

We rely on photography to capture our travel memories, but so often it is our sense of smell, not sight, that truly takes us back to a special place and a special emotion connected with that place. In the same way that the smell of fresh scones can take you back to Grandma’s kitchen in rural Ireland, the bittersweet aroma of cherry blossoms can immediately transport you to Japan’s Himeji Castle where you held hands with someone special and watched a thousand cherry trees burst into bloom. It can be hard to buy a fragrance for someone else as it is so personal, but Motley’s Atlas Cologne suggests both places traveled and yet-to-be-explored, making it the perfect, personal gift for the global traveler on your list. Compounded and hand-poured in Los Angeles, Atlas transports with hints of Atlas Cedar from the mountains of Algeria, Oakmoss from the forests of North America, and notes of worn leather blended with bergamot from southern Italy, and it comes in travel-friendly rollerball and 2 fl. oz. spray options.

PHOTO: Mama Kim's
8 OF 20

For the Gourmand

Literally spice it up–give the foodie in your life something different from a set of powdered seasoning or a flight of marinades and sauces and tempt them in 2020 with a variety of delicious homemade Korean kimchi. Made from cabbage, radishes, and mustard greens, Mama Kim’s Kimchi Variety 3-pack creates an opportunity to taste all the textures of the fermented veggie side dish which can be put on sandwiches, soups, noodles, or eaten all by itself. And don’t forget about kimchi’s healthful properties–besides being high in fiber, vitamin C, and carotene, fermented foods contain healthy bacteria (lactobacilli) which aid digestion. Give the gift of spicy, flavorful health this season!

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PHOTO: Carl Jasper Yu
9 OF 20

For the Undiscovered Tik Tok Star

Everyone wants a great (and easily portable) travel camera for their adventures, but there are so many quality ones to choose from at this point. What makes all the difference? The compatibility with your phone, and for when you’re ready to go viral, the stabilizer for your shots. Find them all in DJI’s Osmo Pocket Camera. This handheld gimbal is perfectly pocketable, meaning the aspiring teen (let’s be real, she’s a teen) YouTuber in your world can be effortlessly on-the-go. The corresponding Mimo app allows users to effortlessly edit and enhance content to a professional degree. Get used to hearing “Don’t forget to like, follow, and subscribe.”

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PHOTO: High West Utah Distillery
10 OF 20

For the Merrymaker

The American South has long been famous for its whiskey production, especially in states like Tennessee and Kentucky. But David Perkins, a former biochemist and founder of High West Distillery in Park City, Utah, couldn’t help but be fascinated by Utah’s long and complicated history with the spirit, which served as medicine and preservative for Mormon settlers in the 19th century. Creating unique bourbon whiskey and ryes, a bottle of High West Utah Whiskey offers a complex take on a traditional American spirit. It’s the perfect time of year to warm up with a strong glass of booze or a wintery cocktail, so why not try something different with a heavy pour of the High West.

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PHOTO: Target
11 OF 20

For the Young Globetrotter

Kids these days love tiny things (who doesn’t really), so what could be better for a kid who loves to travel, or for a kid you want to get excited about traveling, than the doll-sized Our Generation Well Traveled Luggage Accessory Set; it works with American Girl dolls and Our Generation dolls from Target. The 35-piece set comes with a rolling suitcase as well as a mini passport and camera. There’s even a cat-shaped travel pillow, snacks (gummi bears!), an inflight meal with mac and cheese (of course), toiletries (shampoo, dental floss, a toothbrush with its own case), and destination-inspired stickers that can be used to decorate the doll’s suitcase.

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PHOTO: Pendleton Woolen Mills
12 OF 20

For Your Friend Who Loves to Picnic

If you’re anything like us, finding a gift for the friend (or loved one) that has everything is usually a task we leave until the last moment. But stress no more, as the Pendleton National Parks Blankets are the perfect gift…we promise. Made right here in the good ‘ol US of A, the wool blankets honor nine different national parks including Glacier, Acadia, and Badlands with color schemes that reflect each park; there’s even a special woven label that contains the name of said park. There are twin, full, and queen options, as well as throws, but if the price tag is a bit too much to handle ($200-$300), there are crew socks that also feature the national park colors that are a more manageable $12.50.

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PHOTO: Aesop
13 OF 20

For the Rihanna Wannabe in Your Life

Let’s face it–unless you’re a superstar that can afford to travel with your own private stylist, it’s nearly impossible to arrive at your destination not looking like a zombie. Super-dry, recirculated air, dehydration, excessive alcohol, and poor sleep all take a toll on your body. Next time, pamper yourself with the Departure Travel Kit by Aesop. Though pricey, Aesop products–frequently found in luxury hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants–are known for their premium ingredients and unique scents that leave you feeling clean, refreshed, and hydrated. This travel kit includes hand balm, rinse-free hand wash, mouthwash, toothpaste, hydrating facial mask, facial mist, and lip balm so you can arrive feeling–and looking–like a celebrity.

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For the Person Who's Cracked Multiple Phones by Dropping Them

If you’re traveling, it’s not easy to keep hold of your phone. Between snapping pics, running to where you think the nearest bathroom might be, and/or bouncing over cobblestone streets in the back of a tiny car, a sturdy case to keep your lifeline soundly in the palm of your hand is essential. That’s where the premium case brand Grip2U comes in. Though slightly bulky, it’s (dual-shock absorbing) plastic exterior has a secure rubber band attached to its back that you can slide your hand in for a snug grip while you take a forward-facing photo (without your phone slipping through your fingertips!). Additionally, the case has a kickstand and comes in a variety of colors. The brand has a few other collections, including “Boss,” which features a tight space behind the back that can hold three cards.

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PHOTO: The Grommet
15 OF 20

For Your Dry-Lipped Friend Who Can't Relax

This CBD-infused lip balm is the perfect stocking-stuff for any traveler that suffers from constantly dry lips. With essential oils and CBD, it’s more than just a chapstick. The lavender “lip goo” (it’s lip balm) smells great, has a calming effect, and seriously moisturizes. Five stars, two thumbs up, and a big glad smile.

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PHOTO: Sol de Janeiro
16 OF 20

For Those Who Need a Super-Soft Skin Starter Pack

For your jet setter friends around the world, the Bum Bum Goddess Collection from Sol de Janeiro is the perfect set of products to maintain super smooth skin with an extremely addictive scent. The set comes with their iconic Bum Bum Body Cream, moisturizing shower gel, and a body mist—all carry-on friendly. So, when you need a quick refresh in between flights, the sweet-but-definitely-not-overpowering body mist can double as a hair or face mist, so you’ll be smelling amazing all day long.

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PHOTO: Cuyana
17 OF 20

For the Chic, Minimalist Traveler

The perfect bag for the minimalist traveler comes in the form of a chic, mini circle bag from Cuyana. It’s ideal for all types of hands-free travel, like walking adventures or less strenuous hikes. The chic, leather structure has enough space for the necessities: phone, wallet, keys and lip balm. It’s the most stylish fanny pack money can buy.

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PHOTO: Kerzon
18 OF 20

For Your Friend Who’s Obsessed With Paris

Candles are the ideal present—beautiful, ephemeral, and luxurious, they’re great for both best friends and perfect strangers. This gift set from Kerzon includes smaller sample sizes of their deluxe Paris-inspired scents that bring a little bit of the city into any space, making the room instantly glamorous with just the strike of a match. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont has woody notes of cedar and sandalwood, Jardin du Luxembourg is fresh and delicate with lilac and honey, and Place des Vosges has the floral scent of rose and geranium. These candles smell so good, you’ll wish they were perfume.

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PHOTO: Alleyoop
19 OF 20

For the Minimalist Who Demands Quality

The Alleyoop Pen Pal looks like one of those pens from the past–you know the ones. The famous four-in-one pen has been reborn into … an actually good makeup tool. It’s got four features–black eyeliner, brown brow pencil, white highlighter, and nude lip liner. And get this: They’re actually good. The eyeliner goes on easy and stays all day, and it’s a solid black line, not some light, barely noticeable line–same with the brow pencil. Throw this in your bag along with some concealer and mascara and it is truly all the makeup you’ll need for your minimalist travels.

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PHOTO: SteamLine Luggage
20 OF 20

For Your Favorite Person in the World

Yes, it costs more than your rent, yes it is the most frivolous suitcase on the market, and yes it is the most fabulous bag in the world. The vintage-inspired Steamliner bag is made with soft, buttery leather crafted into an old-school trunk-style suitcase, but with all the modern fixings like silent-glide wheels, a telescoping handle, TSA-approved locks, and inside pockets for convenient storage and organization. As the most expensive thing on this list by far, this is a present for somebody truly special: your fiancé, your brother, your mom, or even maybe yourself? Go ahead and spring for the matching hat box, too. You deserve it. But don’t you dare check this bag.