25 Clever Travel Gifts Under $100 They’ll Actually Use

These useful travel accessories put the fun in functional.

Tote bag attached to suitcase handle with yellow checkerboard travel belt.

Cincha travel belts transform any tote into a airport-friendly personal item.

Courtesy of Cincha

To crib a line from William Morris, the 19th-century British designer, you should never give a gift that you do not know to be beautiful or believe to be useful. Thankfully, AFAR’s favorite travel gifts often not only combine substance and style but also include another important element of gift giving: good value. From a packable duffle made from recycled water bottles to a cheeky luggage tag, here are 25 travel gift ideas that cost less than $100.

A pair of compression packing cubes

Pack is way easier with these compression cubes.

Courtesy of Thule

1. Thule Compression Packing Cubes

Buy now: $45 for two, thule.com; rei.com

Once you try packing cubes, you’ll be hard-pressed to go back. Our newest favorites are Thule’s Compression Packing Cubes, which are made with Bluesign-approved ripstop nylon that is water-repellent, ultra-durable, and manufactured with minimal impact on the environment. A set of double YKK zippers allows you to close the cube and then zip it even tighter to eliminate extra air and reduce bulk.

Black Yeti mug with straw

This travel mug is road trip ready.

Courtesy of Yeti

2. Yeti Rambler Straw Mug

Buy now: from $38, yeti.com

Drinking water out of a regular screw cap bottle while driving is not only frustrating—it’s dangerous. Yeti’s new Rambler Straw Mug is designed to fit into all cup holders and comes with a reusable straw lid so you can easily take a swig without taking both hands off the wheel. Available in a 25-ounce or extra-large 35-ounce style, this travel mug is also great for iced coffee runs.

Red and purple travel belt securing white tote to suitcase handle

Don’t worry about your personal item sliding off your roller bag ever again.

Courtesy of Cincha

3. Cincha Travel Belt

Buy now: $40, cinchatravel.com

These colorful belts allow travelers to secure any type of personal item to a suitcase handle so it doesn’t slide off while maneuvering through the airport. Here’s how it works: Simply slip the elastic loop of the belt over the handle of your carry-on and snap its buckle around the front of your personal item. It’s made with vegan leather accents and is adjustable to 45 inches to accommodate even the most overstuffed tote bag. Plus, for every belt sold, Cincha donates 100 airline miles to Miles4Migrants to help reconnect migrant families.

gifts under 100-rumpl travel blanket.png

The Rumpl NanoLoft travel blanket packs down to the same size as a water bottle.

Courtesy of Rumpl

4. Rumpl NanoLoft Travel Blanket

Buy now: $99, rumpl.com; rei.com

Know someone with a redeye flight booked? The Rumpl NanoLoft Travel Blanket is the closest you can get to bringing a sleeping bag on an airplane—minus the bulk. When stuffed into its included carry sack—just like a packable jacket—the puffy blanket is the size of a Nalgene water bottle and weighs only 0.7 pound. Use its “Cape Clip,” a simple loop and clasp on two corners, to secure the blanket loosely around your neck so it doesn’t slip off your shoulders while you’re sleeping. This also means you’re free to use your hands to sip tiny bottles of airplane wine or adjust your seat-back movie screen without sacrificing any coziness.

Mushroom print pattern on three pouches

The Go Pouch Set comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns.

Courtesy of Baggu

5. Baggu Go Pouch Set

Buy now: $39, baggu.com

Baggu’s Go Pouch Set includes three all-purpose pouches that are essential for keeping your bags organized. The small one is perfect for stashing your keys, Airpods, and lip balm, while the medium doubles as a toiletry bag. The large is big enough to use as a packing cube for clothes. New patterns are released frequently—the set of Sanrio characters with Hello Kitty and Keroppi on it are particularly fun.

gifts under 100-blue lagoon the cream.png

A little dab goes a long way.

Courtesy of Blue Lagoon Iceland

6. BL+ the Cream

Buy now: $85, skincare.bluelagoon.com

Dry airplane air wreaks havoc on your skin. Prevent that by layering on an ultra rich face cream like the new BL+ the Cream from Blue Lagoon Iceland, which is made with microalgae and silica sourced from the same geothermal source as those famous blue pools. The travel-friendly 15 ml pot may be pricey—but a little goes a long way and makes for a luxurious gift.

gifts under 100-airfly pro.png

This clever device allows you to watch movies on airplanes with wireless headphones.

Courtesy of Twelve South

7. Twelve South Airfly Pro

Buy now: $55, twelvesouth.com; amazon.com

It’s possible to use wireless headphones to watch movies on in-seat screens on airplanes with the Twelve South AirFly Pro wireless transmitter. It plugs into the headphone jack in airplane seats and sends audio signals via Bluetooth to headphones. (It also works as an AUX IN adapter in a rental car.) It has a 16-hour battery life and is roughly the size of a matchbox.

gifts under 100-paravel cabana vanity case.png

The mini Cabana vanity case sells for just $65.

Courtesy of Paravel

8. Paravel Cabana See-All Vanity Case

Buy now: $95, tourparavel.com

Crafted from two recycled water bottles and leather details ecocertified by the Leather Working Group, Paravel’s vanity case is spacious enough to hold all of your travel toiletries and has see-through side panels for keeping its contents easily visible.

9. Apple AirTag

Buy now: $29, amazon.com

Anyone who is staunchly Team Checked Bag needs an Apple AirTag, a Bluetooth tracking device the size of a quarter that can be tucked into luggage and tracked through Apple’s Find My network (just like the iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods). Lost bags will be a thing of the past.

Sheet mask in golden wrapper

Yina sheet masks are gentle even on the most sensitive skin.

Courtesy of Yina

10. Yina Divine Bio-Cellulose Sheet Masks

Buy now: $20 for one, $85 for five, pinkmoon.co

Flying can be harsh on your skin. These moisturizing sheet masks from Yina, an organic skincare brand founded by doctors of Chinese medicine, are packed with skin-soothing ingredients like cucumber root, ginseng, and white peony root. Though they may seem expensive for a sheet mask, just consider them an affordable alternative to a facial at the hotel spa. They’re really that good.

Orange backpack made from puffy nylon material

In addition to classic neutrals, the Luka backpack comes in limited shades like “Pumpkin” seen here.

Courtesy of Calpak

11. Calpak Luka Laptop Backpack

Buy now: $98, calpaktravel.com

Weighing just 1.75 pounds, this lightweight backpack has a pocket for all your travel essentials. There’s one for a 15-inch laptop, as well as a hidden zipper pocket in the luggage sleeve to keep your phone or passport handy. There’s even an entire compartment to keep shoes separate from everything else. The Luka Laptop Backpack is available in classic colors like black and gray, plus limited-edition ones that sell out quickly.

Red and purple Bombas slipper socks

Coziness is key this winter.

Courtesy of Bombas

12. Bombas Gripper Slippers

Buy now: $45, women’s, bombas.com; men’s, bombas.com

Nobody wants to pack a full pair of slippers when they travel, but cold feet can put a damper on a cozy cabin getaway. Regular socks may suffice in a pinch, but this pair of Bombas comes with special grippy bottoms to prevent slipping and sliding. Also available in youth and toddler sizes, starting from $22.

This luggage tag is useful, yet cheeky.

This luggage tag is useful, yet cheeky.

Courtesy of Genuine Fred

13. “Tripping” Luggage Tag

Buy now: $10, genuinefred.com

This luggage tag is a trifecta of gift perfection: It’s useful, beautiful, and just plain funny, too. The pastoral scene emblazoned with the word “TRIPPING” is the work of multimedia artist Wayne White, who’s also known for his Emmy-winning art direction on Pee-wee’s Playhouse in the late ’80s. He’s designed a similarly saucy passport wallet, if you’d like to complete the set.

Small capsules for carrying skincare products by Cadence

The labels on top of Cadence Capsules are also magnetic and can be customized so you never lose track of what’s inside.

Courtesy of Cadence

14. Cadence Capsules

Buy now: from $14, keepyourcadence.com

Made from recycled ocean-bound plastic, these capsules from AAPI-owned brand Cadence also help eliminate the need to buy miniatures of your favorite travel toiletries. Simply dispense up to 0.56 ounce of your favorite face wash, moisturizer, etc. into each capsule from the larger bottle you keep at home. They’re seriously leak-proof, too. (I found them upside down in my dopp kit after checking my bag recently and not a drop had spilled.) Sold individually and in sets, each capsule magnetically attaches to the others so you can build a honeycomb of sorts.

The Away Jewelry Box is available in black, blue, and red leather.

The Away Jewelry Box is available in black, blue, and red leather.

Courtesy of Away

15. Away Jewelry Box

Buy now: $85, awaytravel.com

Traveling with jewelry doesn’t have to be a tangled nightmare. This smooth leather boîte from hard-shell luggage maker Away is cleverly designed with a flat panel for storing earrings, a padded cord for rings, as well as slip pockets for keeping necklaces separate. Chunkier earrings and bracelets can be stored in the center.

This sleek portable charger is ideal for those who hate sorting through tangles of wires.

This sleek portable charger is ideal for those who hate sorting through tangles of wires.

Courtesy of Amazon

16. Anker Magnetic Battery

Buy now: $45, amazon.com

Every traveler needs a powerful portable charger in their tech kit. This one delivers its juice wirelessly to all models of iPhone 12 and newer and magnetically attaches to the back of your phone, so you can use it on the go. It also features a built-in foldable kickstand so you can watch videos on your phone while it charges. When the charger needs recharging itself, just plug it in with a USB Type C cord.

We will never scoff at the gift of hand sanitizer ever again.

We will never scoff at the gift of hand sanitizer ever again.

Courtesy of Aesop

17. Aesop Adventurer Roll Up

Buy now: $65, aesop.com

Even though hand sanitizer shortages are so 2020, it never hurts to upgrade someone’s hand care regimen. This trio includes TSA-friendly bottles of Aesop’s Rinse-Free Hand Wash Gel, Rinse-Free Hand Mist, and Aromatique Hand Balm, all in the Aussie brand’s Resurrection scent—a refreshing blend of mandarin, rosemary, and cedar. The gift set comes with a roll-up pouch designed specifically to hold each one of the bottles.

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Keep the sun off your face with this oversized hat.

Courtesy of Baggu

18. Baggu Packable Sun Hat

Buy now: $36, baggu.com

With a brim diameter nearly two feet wide, these sun hats from Baggu are so large it’s hard not to make a statement wearing one at the pool. Thankfully, they fold down neatly into an included circular pouch, so you won’t have to wear it through the airport. Go ahead and purchase one for your friend who hides from the sun but basks in the glow of a little extra attention poolside. Available in more than a dozen fun patterns and colors.

The Trtl Travel Pillow is also available in a smaller size for kids.

The Trtl Travel Pillow is also available in a smaller size for kids.

Courtesy of Trtl

19. Trtl Travel Pillow

Buy now: $50, trtltravel.com; amazon.com

Can you put a price on a good night’s sleep on an airplane? Yes, if you pick up a Trtl Travel Pillow. Ergonomically designed using a lightweight padded frame wrapped in fleece, this $50 invention provides neck support without the bulk of a traditional travel pillow.

The Dare to Roam Steward Dopp Kit is available in Moonlight (seen here) and four other colors.

The Dare to Roam Steward Dopp Kit is available in Moonlight (seen here) and four other colors.

Courtesy of Dare to Roam

20. Dare to Roam Steward Dopp Kit

Buy now: $48, daretoroam.com

Sure, everyone already owns a toiletry bag. But it’s probably coated with a few years’ worth of makeup stains and toothpaste smears. Replace it with this roomy dopp kit from Dare to Roam (founded by singer Ciara) that’s made with a special antimicrobial and water-resistant nylon fabric.

This laptop case is built like your favorite outdoor gear—durable and waterproof.

This laptop case is built like your favorite outdoor gear—durable and waterproof.

Courtesy of Matador

21. Matador Laptop Base Layer

Buy now: $60, matadorup.com

From reusable toiletry bottles to packable beach blankets, Matador makes some of the most durable travel accessories out there. This padded laptop case is no different. Suitable for 13- to 16-inch laptops, it comes with an inner drybag liner that can be rolled over and secured for waterproof protection. Plus, there’s an external pocket to store a charger and a mouse.

With a collapsible heel, the Teva Mocs are the perfect shoe for taking on and off quickly.

With a collapsible heel, the Teva Mocs are the perfect shoe for taking on and off quickly.

Courtesy of Teva

22. Teva ReEmber Camp Shoes

Buy now: $80, teva.com; rei.com

The Teva ReEmber Moc is the ideal travel shoe. Thanks to its easy slip on/off design, you’ll want to wear these slipper-like sneakers everywhere from TSA security lines to lounging around campfires.

Some countries still require travelers to bring a hard copy of their vaccine card.

Some countries still require travelers to bring a hard copy of their vaccine card.

Courtesy of Royce New York

23. Royce New York Leather Vaccine Card Holder

Buy now: $75, saksfifthavenue.com

Though local vaccine requirements may have been dropped, many countries still require travelers to show a hard copy of their vaccine card to enter. Protect it with this luxe vaccine card holder from Royce New York that is made of real leather, has a clear vaccine card panel on one side, and includes card slots on the other.

Fast-drying Nomadix towels are made from postconsumer recycled plastic bottles.

Fast-drying Nomadix towels are made from postconsumer recycled plastic bottles.

Courtesy of Nomadix

24. Nomadix Original Towel

Buy now: $40, nomadix.com; rei.com

Sustainable travel accessories are a thoughtful gift for the recipient—and the environment. Made from postconsumer recycled plastic bottles, these fast-drying, stylish travel towels are a multi-purpose solution to any traveler’s towel needs—shower, beach, yoga, camping. Plus, purchases help fund the brand’s beach cleanup initiative, Bare Coast, which organizes coastal community groups to comb shorelines collecting plastic waste. Nomadix also donates 1 percent of its sales (not just profits) to environmental causes via 1% for the Planet.

17 Useful Travel Gifts Under $100

Even if you customize the Paravel Fold-Up Bag with an embroidered monogram, this gift still comes in under $100.

Courtesy of Paravel

25. Paravel Fold-Up Bag

Buy now: $70, tourparavel.com

Made from 22 recycled plastic water bottles, Paravel’s ultra-light nylon bag collapses and zips down neatly into a small pouch when not in use. It’s a suitable gift for both notorious overpackers who always need a spare bag to bring home souvenirs, as well as for minimalists searching for a new weekender that takes up virtually zero closet space. That said, it holds so much more than you’d expect.

This article was originally published in 2021; it was updated with new information on November 2, 2022.

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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