Happy Thanksgiving Americans! (Happy Thursday, rest of the world.)
The holiday season is upon us, and you all know what that means… Consumerism!
Today’s post is for all of you searching for that perfect gift for the traveler in your life. As a full-time flight attendant, I know a thing or two about travel. I’m bringing you my Top 9 Gifts for Travelers this year. Whether they are flight attendants, backpackers, or business travelers, there is a gift that will delight. This gift guide is perfectly timed for Black Friday sales, so get to shopping!
Without further ado, I present to you the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers.
*Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you buy through one of the links, you won’t pay extra, but I’ll earn a small commission to help with the costs of running this website. So basically, it is a double gift. Win-win-win!
2022 Holiday Gift Guide
Top Gifts For Travelers
1. The Luggage Tag that Says it All
This first gift for flight attendants and frequent travelers is more than just a kitschy themed gift. (We will have some of those later, don’t worry.) Show your support for flight attendants with the Pay Me For Boarding luggage tag.
Those of you who have been following along with the blog for a while will know all about the injustice in the aviation pay structure. Flight attendants spend a lot of their time working for free—through delays, “sits”, and, most insultingly, boarding.
I encourage anyone who hasn’t yet to check out my post from last March Pay Me for Boarding: Why Flight Attendants Must Fight For Fair Pay to learn more about how this madness could be legal and the growing calls for change.
Public awareness of this issue is growing, in large part due to the Pay Me For Boarding campaign, launched by a flight attendant in 2020. This ‘Pay Me For Boarding’ luggage tag is the perfect gift for the flight attendant in your life. Not only does it show your support for an issue critical to their livelihood, but the money spent will be put toward supporting people doing really good work to change these unfair labor practices.
Not a Flight Attendant but still want to show support? Consider gifting your favorite frequent traveler a ‘Pay Them For Boarding’ flight tag instead. You can find luggage tags, stickers, and solidarity pins here: Shop — Pay Me For Boarding
And while you’re there, don’t forget to sign and share the petition to get fair pay for flight attendants. You can find it here: Pay Me For Boarding Or here: Petition · Flight Attendants Need to be Paid For Boarding · Change.org
2. Monos Carryon Suitcase
Does your flight attendant partner travel exclusively with their (ratty looking) work luggage? Does your spouse embarrass you in the security line with their ugly, dated suitcase? Are you sick of being just another basic b*tch in a sea of black carry-ons? Let’s change that!
This next gift for flight attendants and frequent travelers will have heads turning as you sashay through the airport and saunter up the airplane aisle. Monos is a relatively new luggage brand that keeps design simple, but oh-so organized and undeniably pleasant to look at.
I discovered this brand after seeing a man walk on my airplane with the most attractive suitcase I’d seen in some time. It was a white hard case with speckles of dark green, gray, and beige. It was magnificent. I liked it so much that I approached him later in the flight to ask about it. He told me the brand—Monos—and said that he loved it.
Truthfully, I can’t give a review; I don’t own this suitcase—yet! But this review from Insider raves about the Monos Carryon Pro.
I can tell you about some attractive features of buying this bag (besides the ‘Terrazzo’ print). Monos offers free shipping, 100 days to try, and a lifetime warranty on their products. Sweet! Plus, they are currently having an early Black Friday sale that will get you up to 40% off. Use the code EARLYBF2022 at checkout to get the discount. And if you’re looking for someone to shop for, I know of a particularly sweet, blonde flight attendant with a penchant for writing who could use a brand-new bag. Just a thought!
Shop Monos luggage at Monos.com
Gifts For Outdoorsy Travelers
3. An REI co-op membership
Some of you may remember this little 35-day adventure I just went on called the Camino de Santiago. You know, the one where I walked 500 miles through Northern Spain carrying all my worldly possessions on my back?
If you have no idea what I’m talking about but think this sounds cool enough to read about, click here to check out my Camino de Santiago content.
In the weeks leading up to The Camino, I spent a LOT of time in REI. I bought shoes and returned them and bought new shoes. I got a dry bag and wool socks (essential, they say, for preventing blisters.) I got a blister kit in case the blisters prevailed over the wool and I got “hiking underwear,” which I never knew existed until this experience. Lastly, I got my prized possession—my teal green 36 liter Osprey backpack. (The one made famous in my Camino Instagram stories.)
A couple things helped me throughout this gearing up process: One was the helpful and knowledgeable employees of REI and the second was the Co-op membership I had purchased on a whim the year before.
“What the heck is a co-op?” you might be asking. I’ll tell you, and I’ll tell you about some of the benefits that make this $30 investment a FANTASTIC gift for any “outdoorsy” travelers on your list.
REI, or Recreational Equipment, Inc., is a member-owned company. That’s right, no shareholders. Every time you check out at an REI store, you are given the opportunity to “buy into” the company with a $30 Co-op membership. The company pays members dividends, gives discounts, and the opportunity to have first dibs on certain products.
My beloved backpack, for example was a Re/Supply item that had been returned after only one use, and therefore came with a whopping 50% discount. Uhhhh…STEAL! Only co-op members can purchase Re/Supply gear, and there is some good gear at very good prices. A co-op membership gets you discounts on services for bikes and snow gear and special pricing for in-person events like classes or guided adventures.
The membership also makes shopping and returns a breeze. Your phone number is all you need for hassle-free returns at REI. (Have I mentioned you can return anything for any reason for a full year, used or not!?)
You can read about all the other benefits of the REI Co-op membership here : REI Co-op Membership Benefits & Rewards | REI Co-op
My REI Co-op membership paid for itself with my very first purchase. Because it is a lifetime membership, this is a gift that keeps on giving. And that special outdoorsy someone on your list might be thanking you for years to come.
Give your favorite outdoorsy adventurer a gift they will appreciate for years. Click here to buy an REI Co-op membership.
4. TellYourTrail Trail Poster
Reignite memories of adventure with this gift from Tell Your Trail. These posters display well-known and beloved hiking trails from around the world in sleek, beautiful design that your outdoorsy traveler will love. I happen to be partial to the Camino de Santiago poster at the moment, but there are also posters of The Pacific Crest Trail, The Appalachian Trail, even the Everest Base Camp Trek.
This is the perfect gift for the outdoorsy traveler in your life. Visit TellYourTrail.com to see all the trail posters offered and to buy just the right one.
Essential On-the-Road Accessories
5. A Packable Jacket
Oh, you thought I was going to stop with the “packable jacket” nonsense? Think again!
A packable jacket is an essential travel item. Every person who travels should have one, even if they’re only a weekend getaway type. This is one of the best gifts for travelers, and you can get them anywhere and for every budget. Department stores, online retailers, and discount shops like TJ Maxx or Ross will all carry some version of a foldable, packable coat. I’m going to link one from Uniqlo, because it’s the one I have, and one from Amazon, because I earn commission if you shop through the link. (At least we’re honest, hey?)
6. Yeti Tumbler
Next on the list of best gifts for travelers is a good, solid travel mug. Whether in the car or in the air, the Yeti tumbler is an essential travel accessory. I take mine literally everywhere with me—vacations, work trips, or long rides in the car. It keeps hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold longer than any other mug I’ve used. It’s easy to clean, has a good, tight seal around the lid, and comes in more than 20 colors.
Click here to buy and have your favorite traveler sipping in style.
For the Av. Geeks
7. Customizable Aviation-Themed Anything From Airportag
What’s a gift guide for travelers without some aviation-themed merch? This section is all about the perfect gifts for aviation geeks.
Airportag is the place to go for aviation-themed gifts. From phone cases to pillowcases and everything in between, you can find a customizable gift that will make your favorite flight attendant laugh (or cry because it is TOO real.)
If you’re wondering what to buy a frequent traveler, this boarding pass phone case might be just the thing. They are totally customizable; Insert your favorite city codes in the airport spot, your giftee’s name, and a date that’s special to them. Cool, huh?
Click here to see more customizable phone cases so that your traveler can prove to the world that they are a bigger traveler than the other travelers.
*BONUS* Stocking Stuffers
8. Bath & Body Works Concentrated Room Spray
Flight attendants know best when it comes to neutralizing odors. And trust me, there is no better spray to cover up nasty aromas than Bath & Body’s Concentrated Room Sprays. Each delicious-smelling canister is 1.5 ounces, perfect for travel & getting through airport security. There are tons of different scents, including some limited-edition seasonal options for you holly-jolly spritzers. But the real reason this gift is so great is that it’s not just for your favorite frequent traveler. No, this is a gift for everyone who will use the airplane lavatory after them. A gift to the world, really.
Wouldn’t be caught dead in a mall this time of year? Click here to buy them on Amazon.
9. Steaming Eye Masks
Travel will take a toll on your sleep cycle and your appearance, if you’re not careful. These steaming eye masks are the perfect little remedy. They’re made of a soft cotton that warms once opened, creating a steamy little sauna for your eyes. This is such a luxurious way to fall asleep on a long haul flight or to have a mini spa experience in your hotel room. This is an inexpensive gift that will wow the traveler in your life. I promise they’ll be reaching out to thank you later.
And there you have it, folks. Our list of the Top Gifts for Travelers for 2022. I hope you found something that will tickle your favorite traveler’s fancy, or maybe a nice gift for yourself. Best of luck this shopping season; May the odds be ever in your favor.