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Gift Guide For Your Travel-Crazy Friend (Or Yourself)

It’s that time of year again, when everyone and their mother seems to be offering their suggestions for gift guides and best-of lists. So who am I to argue? I couldn’t resist putting together some ideas for that world traveler on your holiday list. All of these items are practical, affordable and fun. So if you’re stumped on what to gift that travel-obsessed cousin, or your friend heading off to study abroad next semester, give these ideas a look. Because you can never have too many sparkly accessories, am I right?

My picks for travel gifts I’d love to get (and to give):

Bold luggage tags: Most people stick with basic black when they choose a suitcase or carry-on. It’s sleek, it’ll hide most dirt and scuffs and you likely won’t grow as tired of it as if you went with a pink-leopard-print number. But the problem with black is that almost everyone else will also have a black bag, which can make for some awkward moments around the baggage carousel if you grab the wrong black bag. My favorite way to make my bag instantly identifiable is with a distinctive luggage tag. They’re relatively cheap, come in every color and pattern, and are easy to change out when you grow tired of your current one. They make a great gift, because even if someone already has a luggage tag, they could always use another one (and they’re tiny, so it’s not like you need to clear out closet space to store your collection). I love this grey glittery one from amazon and these adorable Tepper Jackson designs (I’m partial to the polka dots and “Jet Set”).

App gift cards: Translation apps, exchange rate apps, apps to keep all your travel documents organized and handy; it’s mind-boggling the amount of travel apps on offer. And there are constantly new apps being added, so your travel buddy can keep up-to-date on the latest and greatest. Whether she wants a new game to pass the time in the airport, or an app to help her budget for her next adventure, this little card is a gift she’ll love (and, big plus, it’ll take up no room in her suitcase).

Cuddly wrap: You can never have too many beautiful wraps. Whether they’re silk, cashmere, cotton or acrylic, they’re one of the most versatile items you can have in your bag. They can act as a blanket on the plane, a scarf used to brighten up your tired travel wardrobe, a shawl to cover your shoulders when modesty is required (in churches or religious sites); they can even be a beach cover-up. I love the bright colors of this scarf from j.crew factory.

Sound isolating earbuds: Whether you want to get some sleep or listen to music on the plane, sound isolating earbuds (a less expensive cousin of noise-cancelling headphones) can be a lifesaver. Regular earbuds are no match for the engine noise and general distracting sounds on an airplane, so these guys can be lifesavers whether you want to listen to an audiobook or just send a signal to your chatty seatmate. Whatever your reason, earbuds (like these from Brookstone) can be your savior on a long, noisy flight.

*I was not paid to promote any of these products; they’re just ones I found through my own searching, and liked!

What travel gift would you like to find in your stocking? What are your favorite travel gifts to give?

For more travel stuff, follow me on twitter @StephSpitler

Image via Shutterstock