The Best Small Gifts for Travelers


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The Best Small Gifts for Travelers The best small gifts for travelers are my must-haves for travel as well. Ever wonder what to get for the frequent traveler in your life? Every one of these items is in the bag at my feet as I write this while on my flight home tonight. Whether I’m headed out for a quick overnight business trip, a long girls weekend, or a week cruising in the Caribbean, there are several travel items that I don’t like to leave home without.

This fall has been the busiest travel season of my life. I’ve been to Seattle, Sedona, Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Sioux Falls, Lake Michigan, Bend, Santa Fe, and most recently Cozumel and Costa Maya with Princess Cruises. I’ve partnered with Princess Cruises to share these travel tips with you today. Wherever you might be headed, these items are guaranteed to make your travels just a little bit easier.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed exploring all of those places and at the same time, I am oh so ready to be home for the holidays. My couch and the soon to be in place Christmas tree are calling to me.

Traveling on the Crown Princess

Through all my travel this year, I’ve really streamlined my carry-on. It’s pretty much down to a science over here. These are five carry-on items that you or the frequent traveler in your life might not already be packing. Priced great for stocking stuffers or bigger gifts, these gifts for travelers are some of my favorite things.

1) Powerful portable charger – I love this one. It’s relatively lightweight and it’s good for multiple phone charges with enough juice to fully charge my MacBook, camera, and any other devices. I’ve carried those little portable stick chargers for years and they don’t hold a candle to this one.

2) Mini outlet strip – if you’ve ever found yourself stuck on a long layover in an airport with limited outlets, you’ll understand the benefit of this item. People are happy to share their outlet when you carry one of these. (I will add that I don’t always carry this one on shorter trips, but on travel days with multiple flights and layovers, it’s handy to have.)

3) Small bag for cords, charger, batteries, and any other bits and pieces. It’s beyond convenient to have them all contained in one place instead of tumbling out of your bag each time you need something. I use this super cute bag from 42nd & Pine. However, any small cosmetic bag works well for this. (I’ve used ziplocks in the past and found that about half the time they’d rip before the end of the trip. So, if you decide to go that route, definitely opt for the heavier freezer strength.)

4) Klean Kanteen – this small 12-ounce water bottle has been a travel must for me for years. It’s worth every penny. The insulated bottle stays cold or hot for hours. (I left some ice in the bottle in my bag after a trip one night and the following afternoon it was cold water with some remaining ice cubes!) It’s completely leakproof. It’s small enough to tuck in a bag without taking up too much space.

5) Snack bags, always pack a snack bag – cosmetic bags, ziplocks, or just a dedicated pocket in your carry-on can work for storing snacks. I love these sturdy clear cosmetic bags and truth told, I keep a snack bag in my purse whether I’m traveling or not.

The Best Small Gifts for Travelers - a.k.a. What's In My Bag?

BONUS TIP (and completely priceless) – the benefit of using a carry-on bag with a trolley sleeve can’t be over said. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or for another traveler, a great carry-on bag can make all the difference when you’re walking through the airport.

The first time I slid my bag over the handle of my suitcase and then walked through the airport without a bag swinging on my shoulder, I swore I’d never again use a carry-on bag without this handy pocket sleeve. Here are some great bags with trolley sleeves: The Michael Kors tote bag (pictured below) is well priced for a quality bag.

The BEST Carry On Bags with Trolley Sleeves

There are plenty of other less expensive options for carry-on bags with trolley sleeves. While I can’t speak to their durability, they’re probably worth trying. Lo & Sons O.M.G. bags are premier carry-on bags that will hold everything I mentioned here plus at least that much again, and still fit under the seat in front of you.

ALL The Must Haves For Your Cary On - Traveling with Princess Cruises

Take a peek into our trip to Cozumel, Mexico and come back Wednesday for a fantastic new recipe inspired by an extraordinary dinner at The Chef’s Table with Princess Cruises. I can hardly wait to share it all with you!

You all loved this carry-on bag so much, I’m giving one away this weekend. ENTER THE GIVEAWAY for my favorite Michael Kors tote bag – Check out all the colors HERE and leave a comment at the bottom of this post telling me which one you’ll pick if you’re the winner! Giveaway ends Sunday, November 26th, 2017 at 11:59pm PST. (contest sponsored by Barefeet In The Kitchen, not affiliated with Princess Cruises) GIVEAWAY CLOSED

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Princess Cruises to share my travels with you. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. For more information about Princess Cruises and/or to book a cruise visit their website at

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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. Cara Collier says

    This just made Christmas shopping so much easier. So many things I never think about that are so useful. Thank you.

  2. Catherine says

    I’d really love this bag. I’m always buying purses just with the idea “will this purse work for my airport life?” I travel between the USA, Mexico, and Brazil once or twice each each year so a purse that fits all my needs like that and is my fav brand would make the best Christmas surprise ever

    • Catherine says

      And um bright red all the way, dunno about other people but lol I always like my things in bright colors so it catches my eye so I don’t leave it on a counter or if it’s being stolen.

  3. Dorte Godiksen says

    Ohhh i would love to be the lucky woman, and being able to brag about it to my dear daughter that I finally have “the bag “ 😍
    It would be a great gift for Christmas 🎅🏻🎄🤶🏻

  4. Tammi says

    Hello, let me start by saying that I absolutely love your Facebook page and as I am not to computer savvy, did not realize you had a blog! I a delighted to be able to look back on the things you have posted!

    What a generous offer and just in time for Christmas visiting! I truly do hope I win the Michael Kors carry on. It matches my furbaby’s harness and leash perfectly so we would be coordinated when we travel. 🙂

    I pray you and your family have a delightfully blessed Christmas!

  5. Billie Whit Purvis says

    Thanks for the tips… I am 54 and have never flown commercial… first trip will be in January to Atlanta to visir my brother going through spinal injury rehab… im nervous abt the flight but he’s so worth it!
    Happy Holidays!

  6. Megan Pohl says

    I would love to gift this bag to my younger sister. She just had twin preemie girls 4 weeks ago with one just coming home, the other is still in the NICU. She’s also a teacher and does so much for those kids and now her own, but she’s struggling a little emotionally. I know this would help cheer her up! Please and thank you 🙂

  7. Susan Kunz says

    This would be SO much better than using a Trader Jones tote…😊. Love the Damson color! Purple is so regal looking!

  8. Peggy Wood says

    I love Michael Kors bags. I am preparing for a cruise so this bag in a dark color like black or purple would be great.

  9. Carole Desmarteau says

    This is a great tote, and who doesn’t love Michael Kors products! If I should be lucky enough to win one, I think a beige one would be really nice. I’m off on a Caribbean cruise next March, so it would be a perfect traveling accessory. Thanks for this opportunity.

  10. Glenda says

    what a great gift to win and such a blessing as well thank you for all the recipes and God Bless you and your Famuly 🙂 xxxxxxxx

  11. Heather says

    I would definitely pick the purple one. It’s too cute. I would also use it for my nursing stuff when I have to report for clinical shifts.

  12. Lisa Beattie says

    I love the black. I was Black Friday shopping today and actually window shopped the Michael Kors I purses. So beautiful but way out of my budget. Thank you for doing this and good luck everyone!

  13. Brigitte Sheffield says

    Mary – you are so sweet !! Love your recipes (have tried several) and love this bag 😊
    Would be blessed to win one in Olive….
    Thank you for the opportunity and Happy Holidays to you and yours….

  14. Sonja Dale says

    Gotta love Amazon! I really digging the Graphite colored Michael Kors bag. And really surprised with all you were able to fit in it! Happy travels!!

  15. Meredith says

    I love them alll, but the graphite is my favorite. Thanks for sharing all of your tips! I am new to work travel and have had trouble organizing everything and tend to overpack.

    • Michelle Christmas says

      I would choose the large Kelsey tote in black.
      I put the wrong email address on the first comment.

  16. Kathy Altar says

    This bag looks like the perfect gift for my daughter. Would love it in Olive! Thank you for achance to win one….

  17. Katherine Nicholson says

    There is a black with a hint of leopard print, that would be my first choice. My second choice would be the color Dusk, it looks like a light beige.

  18. Lola Issa says

    You truly have some of the best recipes I have used them to make blueberries muffins that were to die for. most of the recipes are easy for me to follow and they are really good.

  19. Theresa Keener says

    WOW! So generous of you to have this giveaway! I would love any color! Thanks for doing this and brightening someone’s day! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  20. Maria Eakin says

    LOVE this bag! I would pick Damson color. I like that it slips over the handle of your rolling suitcase so someone can’t just walk by and grab it and run! Great security feature! Luv it and luv your blog and FB posts! Happy holidays!

  21. MaryLou Ashby says

    Love your page on Facebook and have used tons of your recipes. Can’t believe you are giving away this tote! The red one is the bomb, and I love that color. Thank you for doing this. You are a good person

  22. Diane Carter says

    Love Micheal Kors bags. I splurged last year and bought one for myself and absolutely love it. I’ve looked at all the colors and really liked the red one but would probably go for a more neutral color, maybe olive?

  23. Nicky Hardware says

    I love your recipes… I screenshot so many to try! Thanks for sharing.
    I’ve just come back from Germany and a carry on bag is a brilliant idea.. especially as one of the Wheels came off my suitcase.
    I would love one the same colour as yours… is it Damson?

  24. Suzanne Key says

    My sister travels all over the US as well as internationally. She is always looking for a carry on size bag for her computer and paper work. She would love this. Thank you so much !

  25. Karen Boehlert says

    Oh my, a MK would definitely be quite the Christmas gift! I like all of the colors but would choose the damson or navy or black.
    Good luck everyone!

  26. Mallory says

    The tote in Damson is just beautiful! Thank you for all of the travel ideas! I will definitely be using some of them!!

  27. Joan Love Cieminski says

    I would love to win this tote for all my traveling! If I had to pick a color, I would like graphite or. Black!

  28. Joan Love Cieminski says

    Would love this nice tote for all my traveling! It can sure hold a lot. I would love either the graphite or the black! I love a good surprise!

  29. Buai Ly says

    Yay! You’re so sweet to be doing a giveaway!!! Dusk color is my favorite!!! Good luck everyone! Win or no win I still look forward to making more of your recipes!

  30. Deanna Daly says

    OMG Who doesn’t love Michael Kors😍 I’d be in heaven w/Any one of those colors….The bright reds gorgeous & so is the black w/pattern(I think it was called Kelsey) I’d love to own a Michael Kors..So Thank You for that chance & Happy Holidays!!

  31. Anita says

    Thanks for the tips! I love the olive color, and the bag would be handy when I head to Germany after Christmas to visit my Army son and his family!

  32. April Brown says

    These tips are great for beginner travelers.
    I love it! 😍

    If I were to win the give away the color would be a hard choice. I’ve never owned anything so nice. So maybe the dual color or the black. But I also love the gray color.
    I suppose it wouldn’t matter if I did win… any of them I would be grateful for! 💕