Best Christmas Gifts for City Travellers

For the coming Christmas, here is a little list of Christmas gifts ideas for those who like city breaks. Easy to find, but at the same time practical gifts for any budget to keep your travelling friends and loved ones stylish, organised, hydrated and to bring in some fun into daily trips.

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To be well-organised

Hanging Toiletry Bag

by Trijit from Budget Travel Buff

Hanging Toiletry Bag has become an essential part of Travel Accessories for men and women. Toiletries are arguably some of the traveller’s (especially for female travellers) most valuable possessions, so it is a good practice to keep them safeguarded.

Hanging toiletry bags have plenty of pockets and compartments that will keep your personal care items organized. You can easily find your item on an emergency. These are the durable, waterproof and lightweight which make it a backpacker’s one of the most preferred travel gear.

One of the best use of this hanging toiletry bag is when you travel solo and stay in a hostel where you have a shared washroom. In many cases, you won’t get a chance to keep your toiletries on a shelf. Here you can hang this toiletry bag on the washroom door or shower rod and have everything you need at your fingertips.

If you travel frequently then Hanging Toiletry Bag might be your best gift for Christmas. Choose wisely as per your need while buying this bag. Check if the bag has enough compartments and hanging features available.

Check out more hanging toiletry bags on Amazon.

Pocket Scarf

by Maria from Europe Up Close

A scarf should be in every traveller’s bag. It keeps you warm and peps up an outfit. Scarfs come in handy when you visit a place that requires more modest clothing, like a church or mosque and is a lightweight accessory with a multitude of uses. 

My favourite scarfs are the ones with little pockets. I don’t know who came up with this genius idea, but I love it. I usually put my passport and most of my money in there (and then keep ~20-50 $ in my pocket for spending money). I find the pocket travel scarf especially useful because I can easily replenish my “pocket money” when I am in a bathroom or somewhere private.  It is so much more comfortable than those money belts or neck wallets, but just as effective to keep your valuables safe. 

I travel by myself a lot, so I split up my money and credit cards and stash it in as many places as possible: some in my wallet, some in my phone, some in my front pocket, some in my purse, some in dirty laundry bag back in the hotel and now also in my scarf. That way, I don’t risk standing in a foreign country with no money or credit card. 

Standard Luggage 3in1

by Natalie from LoveandRoad

Nothing better as a Christmas gift than a stylish and smart cabin backpack. Even better if this bag can de be used in all your trips and help you to travel lighter and faster. Yes, Standard Luggage can do all that and more, this 3 in 1 bag can be used as a backpack, as a messenger bag or as a checked suitcase, in case you have packed too much.

The straps change positions or can be hidden giving you many possibilities to use the bag. The squared design helps to pack a lot in the big compartment and the smart pockets keep your little things protected and organized. Talking about protection, this cabin backpack has a special compartment for laptop, wires, and tablet, perfect for people who travel for work or work while travelling.

You can use this backpack for a weekend getaway, a day trip or as you cabin luggage combined with a bigger suitcase. It has a city-style, but don’t be fooled by its appearance, this backpack can go to the beach, mountains and endure a lot, I have tested it during my 5 years of full time travelling it is still in perfect shape. 

The Standard Luggage size fits in most airline baggage allowance which means peace of mind during the boarding time. The bag size is 55×34,5×19 cm and 35 litres, and if you open the expansion it becomes 55×34,5×24 cm and 45 litres. Read the Standard Luggage review here and you will be sure this is the most useful Xmas gift. 

A travel wallet is always handy for travellers, no matter if you’re going on a longer trip or weekend somewhere. It’s a neat way of keeping your passport, boarding cards, currency, and other important documents for your trip in one place.

Travel Wallet

by Alex from Swedish Nomad

There are plenty of travel wallets on the market, but I specifically recommend the travel wallet from Bellroy, which is made in high-quality leather, which is responsibly sourced.

It’s very compact but still, it manages to fit 4-10 cards with various sections for passport, tickets, cards, and bills. One of the best features of this travel wallet is that it comes with a micro travel pen. You barely notice the pen, but it’s incredibly handy if you need to fill out visa forms or some other documents when you’re on the go. Bellroy also delivers worldwide, and there are 4 different colours to choose from.

If that wasn’t enough, the travel wallet from Bellroy also features RFID protection and a 3-year warranty.

To keep you healthy and hydrated

Insulated Water Bottle

by Matilda from The Travel Sisters

One of the most practical and useful Christmas gifts for someone travelling to an urban area is an insulated water bottle.  Every city traveller can use an insulated water bottle which you can fill at public water stations and fountains to ensure you stay well hydrated.  Using a reusable water bottle instead of always purchasing single-use plastic bottles of water reduces plastic waste which is important to travellers that care about their impact on the environment.

In addition to being eco-friendly, a reusable water bottle can help keep travel costs low by not having to constantly purchase expensive plastic bottles of water. The water bottle I love and have personally used for years is the Klean Kanteen stainless steel bottle. This reusable water bottle is durable, leak-proof and BPA-free and is also double-wall vacuum insulated so it keeps drinks cold or hot for several hours without condensation.

Reusable Straw

by Stella from Around the World in 24 Hours

A straw might seem like a strange Christmas present. Many people have
never seen or heard of reusable straw. But for travellers who spend a
lot of time visiting cities, a reusable straw can be a valuable present.
After all, many cities like Los Angeles have started providing plastic
straws only if customers request them. Some cities like Seattle have
banned them outright. What’s a traveller who just wants to sip on a mai
tai to do?

Enter the reusable straw. These eco-friendly lovelies are available in a
variety of materials, including metal and glass. You can get them in
plain metal or in a variety of colours. There are two tips you need to
remember when giving someone reusable straws or using reusable straws.
First, they can be difficult to clean. Make sure when you give someone a
the reusable straw that you buy one that comes with a cleaning brush and a
carrying case for the straw.

The other important thing to remember is to not leave your straw behind
in the restaurant after you use it! That’s why it might be a good idea
to buy someone a brightly coloured reusable straw. It’s less likely to be


by Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

You might think that a portable water purifier would only be useful for hiking, mountain climbing, and other outdoors activities. But what about when you’re travelling to cities where the tap water is not drinkable? A water purifier can be very useful for city travel too! Not only will you save money by not buying bottled water, but you’ll also be reducing your plastic waste and will be one step closer to becoming a zero waste traveler.

I’ve been using water purifiers for many years now, and I’ve tried several different models. The one that’s been the easiest to use is the Steripen, which is what I travel with now. It’s very lightweight and easy to carry, and it can be recharged via a USB port on a laptop, so you don’t have to worry about buying batteries.

The Steripen uses ultraviolet light to sterilize water. You just stick the wand into a full water bottle, turn it on, and swirl the wand around for 90 seconds to make sure that all of the water gets treated. It’s important to note that, while the Steripen does sterilize the water, it doesn’t filter out any particles of dirt that might be floating in it. So while it will kill off any bacteria or viruses, if the water comes out of the tap looking dirty, then it will still look dirty after it’s been sterilized, even though it’s safe to drink.

Wine Tote Bags

by Elisa from World in Paris

A wine tote bag is a great gift for an urban traveller, as long as he loves wine!

Wine tote bags are perfect for wine road trips or wine tasting tours when we always find THAT bottle (or bottles) of wine that we absolutely want to buy. With a wine tote bag, you can be sure your wine makes it home!

Wine tote bags are also a good idea to take to your picnics in the park. Most of these bags are thermally insulated so you can carry your bottles of wine in perfect conditions. In this case, you can complement your present with smaller articles like a fancy bottle opener or a set of metallic wine stakes to hold the bottle and glasses on the grass.

There are different kinds of wine tote bags, with different capacities (up to 6 bottles), materials and styles. The most popular designs include a detachable, padded bottle divider to keep bottles from clanking together.

Where to buy a wine tote glass? Apart from the traditional wine shops, you can buy these bags online, in shops like Amazon or online wine shops.

To stay charged and connected

Travel Adapter

by Zach and Julie Ruhl from Ruhls of the Road 

If you know a travel lover who is planning on doing any international travel, they are going to need a travel adapter. When picking which adapter to buy, there are a few things to keep in mind! First, we recommend a universal adapter, meaning your friend won’t need an army of adapters for every destination!

A universal adapter includes a plugin option for every country worldwide and a handy guide to tell them which one to use wherever they are in the world. Secondly, we recommend one that has USB ports in addition to the plugin. USB ports are handy for charging phones or other gadgets and if they are like us, they travel with a ton of them. Therefore, the more USB ports the merrier! 

Here is the one we use and recommend! It has 4 USB charging ports on the side so this little guy lets us plug in multiple things at once, talk about multitasking! 2 of these and we are good to go anywhere on earth. Help your travel lover prepare for a trip by gifting them an awesome universal travel adapter. 

Portable Power Bank

by Lesley from Freedom56Travel

A really excellent travel-related gift that I would love to get for Christmas is a portable power bank.

With so much of our lives (not to mention our travel plans!) dependent on our mobile phones, it only makes sense to ensure that you have an external source of power available when travelling.  It has been my experience that power outlets are not always available, especially when you really need them!

I use my phone to take most of my photos when travelling, and I’ve found that using my phone like this depletes the battery more quickly.  I’ve made it a habit to always carry a portable power bank in my day bag to plug my phone into so I never have to miss a perfect photo opportunity.

Power banks come in a variety of sizes, usually rated in terms of mAh (milliamp hour).  The higher the mAh, the larger and heavier the power bank and the more capacity it has to charge your devices. 

Choose a portable power bank based on how you want to use it.  I keep a high mAh bank at home in case of power outages and a smaller and lighter one in my day bag so it’s easier to carry.

To keep the rain away

Lightweight Rain Jacket 

by Stephanie from Navigating Adventure

I don’t travel anywhere without my lightweight rain jacket. There is nothing worse than being caught in the rain, and I was so glad I had it on a recent family holiday to Melbourne, Australia. 

Well known for experiencing four seasons in one day, it was important for me to have a convenient option for wet weather for the whole family. Rather than packing an awkward umbrella which we would all need to huddle under (not to mention it being a pain at airport security, having to pull it out of your carry on luggage before going through the X-ray), I decided to pack each of us a lightweight rain jacket. 

We purchased jackets that can be folded up into their own pockets, meaning they take up little space, and they don’t require an extra small bag for storage – which you will inevitably lose at some point along your journey. 

I carried our jackets everywhere in my small backpack or handbag, so we were always prepared for wet weather. 

This item is perfect for city adventures – as we can check out the shops, museums and sights knowing that if the weather isn’t great we won’t get stuck waiting inside or having to run between buildings. I recommend one with a hood if you can – it will also keep your hair and face dry so you don’t look like a drowned rat amongst the metropolitan crowd. 

Compact Umbrella

by Sinead from Map Made Memories

A perfect gift for a city traveller is a durable, compact umbrella that folds up small enough to easily fit into a day bag. For short city breaks, travellers wish to travel light and will not pack a variety of coats or waterproofs to suit all weathers – especially if the majority of their city sightseeing will be indoors undercover.

However, being caught in heavy rain can ruin a day of sightseeing or waste valuable exploring time having to return to your accommodation to change clothes. A reliable, compact, lightweight umbrella is a great way of minimising packing but also being prepared! You can buy a compact umbrella in any colour or pattern according to the recipients’ preferences or establish their world traveller credentials with a funky map print umbrella!

To help bring back pretty photos

A Voucher for a Vacation Photographer

by Sierra from Free to Travel Mama

Olga with Flytographer in Paris

When it comes to a unique Christmas gift for travellers, we highly recommend a certificate for a session with a vacation photographer. Travellers often visit amazing destinations with incredible moments and stunning vistas but come home to mediocre selfies and images that didn’t quite capture the beauty of the place as well as they had hoped. With a gifted certificate to hire a professional, travellers can capture the whole family in photos together, have a romantic couple’s photo session, or get great images for the person travelling solo.

Vacation photos can later be printed on canvases for their walls, included in vacation scrapbooks, or used for next year’s Christmas card. Besides the result of gorgeous images, the photoshoot itself will likely be one of their favourite trip memories! Local photographers make the shoots very enjoyable and know all the best photo spots. They can probably also give tips for a hidden gem restaurant to enjoy after their session or the best place to watch the sunset.

Gift certificates for professional photoshoots in faraway cities can be purchased directly from local photographers, or from a company like Flytographer that allows recipients to choose the location and date of their photoshoot from over 200 cities worldwide. A vacation photo session will not only be a traveller’s favourite Christmas gift, but also their favourite souvenir from their next dream trip!

A Portable Camera Tripod

by Daniel from Layer Culture

Any avid city traveller should travel with the necessary gear they need to have the best time and experiences as possible. I like to take a lot of photos when I travel. One item that I would love to travel with when exploring cities in South America is a Portable Camera Tripod.

The GorillaPod which is compact and comes with wrappable legs and rubber grips will let you secure your camera to almost any surface. The compactness of the tripod makes it easy to carry, and the design allows you to carry it with ease. Carrying a Portable Camera Tripod along your travels gives you ample opportunity to take more photos in and around the city.

The tripod makes the perfect Christmas gift and a must-have for any solo travellers out there who have nobody around to their take picture. Never miss out on those awkward photo opportunities again. 

Travel Steamer

by Louisa from La Passion Voutee

I never knew portable steamers existed until I heard about the handy little device from friends. My personal distaste for pressing clothes had me hitting the checkout button on Amazon shortly afterwards. Truthfully speaking, getting clothes crease-free was still the last thing you would catch me doing. But with a travel steamer, I could do it faster without the need for a pressing table. 

I packed this travel steamer on a trip to Dallas and ended up using it a few times. It was a rainy week, and my “perfectly” folded clothes needed some intervention. More recently, my hotel room in Wyoming got cancelled (who knew there was a deadline to check-in?). So, I ended up crashing in the car and resorted to a truck stop to refreshen up the following morning. Thankfully, I had the travel steamer in tow. 

No one at the graduation ceremony had the slightest idea about the inconvenience I had experienced the night prior. I’ve also taken said steamer on trips to Belgium and Congo (check the voltage requirement of your destination, though). I’ll be heading to Alaska in a few days, you bet this lightweight steamer will be in my luggage. Believe me, you won’t regret getting this steamer for Christmas.

To make your trip fun

Travel Board Games

by Penny from Globe Trove

Travel board games make amazing Christmas gifts for people who are on the go. These games are light and easily portable which makes them easy to carry. Travel board games are definitely an asset. They help pass time when you are on the road and they also help to break the ice when you meet new travellers. I can’t think of the numerous times when I have been stuck at an airport because of a delayed flight and we have pulled out a game. It definitely kept the boredom at bay.

Travel board games can cater to children as well. It helps to keep them occupied on long journeys. Just makes sure that the ones that you buy are age-appropriate because many games can have tiny parts which could pose as choking hazards. Luckily there are many options to choose from.

Bluetooth Speaker

by Mitch of Project Untethered

For Christmas this year, I’d love to get a new Bluetooth speaker. A travel friend recently introduced me to the JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth speaker, and I’ve wanted one ever since. It’s awesome! It’s perfect for travel—compact, rugged, waterproof, and great sounding. I used to always just use my phone speaker to listen to music while travelling, but after hearing the JBL Flip 4, I realized I was missing out.

Best of all, when staying in noisy city areas, you can use it to block out the city noise. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laid awake at night listening to barking dogs, car alarms, and loud music. If I get a nice Bluetooth speaker for Christmas, I’ll be able to play some white noise, drown out the annoying city sounds, and get a good night’s sleep (I’ve tried using earplugs, but they always fall out and get lost). Finding good gifts for travellers is no easy feat. Luckily, with a quality Bluetooth speaker, you can’t go wrong.

Scratch-As-You-Travel Map

by Ann from Eco-Conscious Traveller

An awesome gift I would like to receive for Christmas is one of those awesome scratch-as-you travel maps. The concept is basically you leave the map poster on your wall at home and once you’ve been to a country and you return you scratch it right out – it’s pretty simple but effective. I think it’s a great gift for travel enthusiasts, travel bloggers, backpackers and general wanderers.

There’s a huge sense of satisfaction when any traveller comes home and can say I’ve been there and done that so it’s pretty neat to have a reminder on your wall every day of where you’ve been in the world. It can also act as a great conversation starter to anyone who visits you at home if you hang it up in an area of the house that you visit regularly. ‘Oh, you’ve been to Sri Lanka? I really want to go to. Can you tell me more about it?’ ‘Why yes, I can!’

To do something good

Forster an Orphaned Baby Elephant or Lion 

by Lydia from Africa Wanderlust

Looking for a perfect African themed Christmas present? How about fostering an orphaned baby elephant? Yes, this sounds unbelievable, but it is real, and that is what I want as a way to experience an African Chrіѕtmаѕ. Here is how it works:

Obviously, I would not be taking the elephant home with me. But for as little as $50 a year, I can contribute to the care and wellbeing of an orphaned baby elephant. The past couple of years, my hubby and I have decided to get more meaningful gifts for our birthday and Christmas. By fostering a baby Elephant, I can give the gift of life to one of the cutest animals out there and protect them from poaching and extinction.

This method of care saves hundreds of baby elephants every year. An added perk is if we are ever in Kenya, we’ll be allowed to visit our elephant outside of regular visiting hours and can skip the crowds. Another alternative is to foster a lion to help Zoologist track and conduct research on the lions.

What makes these gifts perfect for the city and urban traveller is that it allows me to do a bit for the community and the environment without ever having to leave the comfort of my home. Also, fostering an orphaned baby elephant or lion are unique gifts that you will remember for the rest of your life. Why would you not want to give it a shot?

If still unsure about choosing the right gift

Why not just leave it to them to pick one? A gift card can be a great option.

Don't be shy, write what you think!