Traveling is one of the most enriching activities out there. Exploring new places will introduce you to new ideas, cultures and people who will open your mind. Unfortunately, there is one downside to travel: the actual traveling part.
The packing, going through airport security and “actually having everything you’ll need” part of a trip often creates a whole bundle of anxiety in the days leading up to the departure. Whether they’re going abroad for the first time or traveling every week, the best thing you can get the traveler in your life is stuff to make the whole process easier. The team here at Babbel collected some of the budget-friendly items we can’t travel without, so you can be the savior of your jet-setter friend this year.
1. Flip-Flops ($3)
If the person you’re shopping for is traveling on the cheap, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll run into a disreputable shower. Flip-flops are the solution! The best ones to get are Old Navy flip-flops because they’re extremely cheap, and that’s pretty much all you need in a flip-flop you’ll be bathing in. After all, there’s no reason to have fancy shoes in the shower.
2. Big Scarf/Wrap ($7)
I could spend days expounding on the importance of neck warmth, but that’s only one of the many functions of a scarf. The right scarf can provide your neck with support to sleep on a plane, act as a blanket when you can’t turn that tiny air-blower thing off, and transform into a tarp if you only brought khakis in your suitcase and need to sit on the ground. Loritta Women’s Fashion Long Plaid Shawl is one good option, but I would recommend seeing a scarf in person before purchasing it.
3. Leggings ($15)
We often think about keeping our upper bodies warm, but what about our legs? For the friend going to Spain in April with no idea of how cold it can get there, warm leggings are definitely the way to go. Uniqlo’s Heattech Leggings are our favorites because they work very well. They’re the best solution for keeping your friend from freezing.
4. Silicone Travel Bottles ($15)
When you’re avoiding the checked bag fee, you need to get as much in your carry-on as possible. Fortunately, you can get away from the liquid ounce limits by getting travel bottles. Kitdine Squeezable & Refillable Silicone Travel Bottle Containers are a great option because they save you from having to go out and buy new tiny shampoos and body washes every time you’re somewhere new.
5. Compression Socks ($20)
I know this sounds like an incredibly boring gift, but compression socks can literally save your friend’s life. Wearing them reduces the risk of blood clots forming in your legs. Wanderlust Air Travel Compression Socks are some of the most highly rated that we’ve found. And of course, compression stockings make a great stocking stuffer.
6. Umbrella ($22)
An umbrella is one of those things you completely forget about until it’s already started raining, and judging by the number of broken ones you see on the street, it can be hard to find a really good one. The Teflon Windproof Travel Umbrella is a fantastic umbrella because it’s both super compact and light, and the rain slides off it like water off a duck’s back. And always remember the rule: friends don’t let friends go to England without an umbrella.
7. Travel Adapter ($25)
Most people who have gone overseas probably already have an adapter for their plugs, but it’s an indispensable item to have. My personal favorite is Flight 001’s 4-In-1 Universal Travel Adapter because it both looks really cool and works in 150 countries. For someone who doesn’t realize England has a different kind of plug than Spain, it can be a life-saver.
8. First Aid Kit ($30)
A first aid kit is something everyone needs, but very few people actually go out and buy. It’s kind of like renter’s insurance, because how often do apartments flood, really? In any case, a good one to get is the First Aid Only All-Purpose First Aid Essentials Kit, because it’s compact but pretty much covers all the bases.
9. Babbel ($12.95 a Month)
It would be great if you could give the automatic ability to speak a language as a gift, but since that’s impossible, Babbel is the next best thing. Whether your recipient wants to master a language or just nail down the basics before traveling to a new country, Babbel is a great place to start. With specific lessons on ordering food and asking for directions, having this app will very much come in handy in a new country.