Nothing beats packing your bags and taking off on an excursion, whether by land, sky or sea. Most of us appreciate a good getaway. And gifts that encourage such adventures are almost guaranteed to be well received.
With the holidays rapidly approaching, these are our 41 best last-minute travel gifts for 2023. From handheld game consoles to sturdy walking boots to the perfect neck pillow, the experts here at Tom's Guide have strong opinions on which items deserve space in your suitcase or carry-on.
The best travel gifts range in price from under $20 up to several hundred. Regardless of taste or destination, we've got ideas that should please even the fussiest of jetsetters. Now boarding: the best last-minute travel gifts of 2023.
Mavogel Cotton Eye Mask
Combine this super-soft sleeping mask with a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones, like the Bose QuietComfort 45 below, for a relaxing in-flight experience, even in the middle seat. The Mavogel Eye Mask provides complete darkness and is adjustable to fit any head size. They also come with a lovely little travel pouch.
Wandrd Prvke 21L backpack
This oddly-named backpack is full of secret compartments and features, including an oversized weather-resistant roll-top for expanding storage and a hide-away water bottle pocket. The main area is also highly configurable, with plenty of space for gadgets and gear — there are even separate sections for a laptop and a tablet. Oh, and it fits nicely under the seat in front.
This one is for anyone who has ever wanted to watch an in-flight movie with their seatmate without having to sync up two screens. The AirFly Pro from Twelve South plugs into a standard 3.5mm audio jack and wirelessly transmits audio to up to two Bluetooth-enabled headphones. How romantic.
Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack
Keep important items, like sunglasses, hand sanitizer, charging cables, etc., close at hand with this stylish and lightweight hip pack. The Black Hole Mini wears comfortably around the waist or across the body and stows easily in a carry-on until you're ready to board.
Beyond being well-rested, staying hydrated is one of the keys to beating Jet Lag. To do that, you need a good refillable vessel. The Hydro Flask is our favorite water bottle for travel because of its thin, attractive design and outstanding insulation that keeps bevs cold for 24 hours or more. It also comes in an array of snazzy colors.
Keemall Inflatable Neck Pillow
A decent inflatable neck pillow just may be the ultimate travel hack. This one is just $15 and has a soft, machine-washable cover. Inflation takes just a couple of breaths into the one-way air valve. And when deflated, the Keemall can be packed into a small carrying case for easy stowage.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2
Want the best noise cancelling earbuds money can buy? Say no more. These second-generation Bose QuietComforts will isolate you into a tranquil zone of peace and quiet. Audio quality is also excellent, which is perhaps why we called them the best-ever wireless earbuds for noise cancellation in our Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 review.
Anker PowerCore Slim 10000
This rugged Anker pack is one of the best portable chargers you can buy. The 10,000 mAh battery has plenty of juice to recharge your smartphone multiple times, just in case the seat-back power is once again on the fritz. It also boasts ports for USB-A, USB-C and Micro-USB. (Note: be sure to clip the coupon on Amazon to save 30%),
Away Travel Bigger Carry-On
Smart luggage is a smart move. The Bigger Carry-On from Away Travel features a built-in removable battery to keep gadgets charged. It's also super sleek, durable and overhead compartment compliant. Find out more about why we love the Away Travel Bigger Carry-On in our review.
REI Big Haul 60 Duffel
As its name implies, the Big Haul is all about schlepping lots of stuff — 60 liters worth, to be exact. Best of all, it can be carried as either a backpack or a duffel bag, and the straps easily tuck away when not in use. It also boasts numerous attachment points and a weather-resistant exterior.
Delsey Paris Helium Aero Luggage
Checking a bag? This lightweight, hard-sided spinner suitcase is tough-built and cleared for takeoff. It features two internal zippered compartments, a durable polycarbonate exterior and the ability to expand capacity by two inches (just in case you pick up too many souvenirs). Best of all, it's also designed to survive occasional mishaps like tumbles down subway stairs.
Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses
There's more to these stylish Ray-Ban sunglasses than meets the eye. The ultimate hands-free content creation tool, the Meta Smart Glasses boast an onboard 12MP wide-angle camera and five built-in microphones. They're even live-stream capable! Find out more in our Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses review.
Epicka Universal Travel Power Adapter
Picture this: You land in a new country, excited to start exploring. You check into your hotel and go to juice your phone up, but, oh no! You've forgotten your AC plug adapter. Or worse, you brought the wrong one (guilty). Avoid this reality from ever happening with Epicka's sturdy-built universal adapter. It works with the four most common outlet types, which translates to compatibility in 150+ countries.
Sony ZV-1 vlogging camera
Get your vlog on with Sony's pint-sized ZV-1 video camera. It shoots high-quality 4K and is simple to operate. Flip the screen around for selfies or shoot in vertical mode for sharing on social. It also features rock-solid image stabilization and reliable autofocus tuned to human faces. Find out what else it offers in our Sony ZV-1 review.
Never misplace your keys, car, smartphone, wallet or luggage again with one of these little round trackers. Sold individually or in four-packs, they offer peace of mind for those on the move, especially when checked bags and short connections are part of the itinerary. Learn more in our Apple AirTag review.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 40
The Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 is a stylish and compact instant camera that makes use of the brand's smallest (and most affordable) Instax Mini format. Dead-simple to operate with no shortage of retro charm, the Mini 40 is a great road trip companion. Find out more in our Fujifilm Instax Mini 40 review.
Fitbit Charge 6
Monitor your health and wellness with the best overall fitness tracker of 2023. The Fitbit Charge 6 keeps tabs on heart rhythm, blood oxygen saturation, pulse, skin temperature, sleep quality and more. Of course, it can also track your fitness stats as you explore. Find out more in our Fitbit Charge 6 review.
GoPro Hero10 Black
If getting extreme is part of your travel plans, you'll need a decent action camera to document your exploits. The GoPro Hero10 Black may not be the brand's most recent release, but it's plenty capable and can often be found for a discount. Video quality is top-notch, as is image stabilization. Want to know more? Read our GoPro Hero10 Black review.
Games and Entertainment
Apple iPad Air
The latest Apple iPad Air is the best overall tablet of 2023 and a great choice for travel, thanks to its lightweight (and elegant) design. It also offers great battery life, a truly stunning display and speedy performance. For more on why we love it, head to our Apple iPad Air review.
Nintendo Switch (Mario Kart 8 Bundle)
One of the best holiday Nintendo Switch deals is this Mario Kart 8 Bundle for $299 at Best Buy. You get a Switch console, a digital copy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and three months of Switch Online. Not to shabby considering the console alone usually costs that amount.
The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom
Believe the hype. This game is expansive, nostalgic, fun and totally awesome. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is finally available for the Nintendo Switch (and Switch Lite). Grab a copy today and get lost in the vast lands and skies of Hyrule.
Outerwear and Weather Prep
Carhartt Rain Defender Graphic Hoodie
Stay warm and cozy while you travel in this relaxed fit, midweight hoodie. It comes in a range of styles for both men and women, including graphic and non-graphic versions. Plus, all Rain Defender hoodies are treated with Carhartt's Durable Water Repellent (DWR) to keep you dry.
L.L. Bean PrimaLoft Packaway Hooded Jacket
This lightweight, insulated synthetic jacket is the perfect mid-layer for cold-weather activities like hiking and snowboarding. It's also a good choice for those who get chilly easily on airplanes. When not being worn, the PrimaLoft Packaway does what its name suggests: packs away into an interior zippered chest pocket. In this form, it makes for a good travel pillow.
Patagonia Houdini packable jacket
Fun fact: This was Houdini’s favorite jacket, hence the name. He even wore it during some of his most famous escapes. Okay, not really, but there is something magical about a packable garment that takes up almost no space, weighs next to nothing, yet provides a fair amount of weather protection.
Scarpa Maverick Mid GTX Hiking Boot
Stylish and supportive, these Italian hiking boots are appropriate for dirt or pavement. The outsole strikes a perfect balance between stiff and flexible, a Gore-Tex liner keeps your toes dry and an odor-crushing insole ensures you don't offend anyone. They're also among the best hiking boots in 2023.
Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket
Offering greater rain protection than the Patagonia Houdini, the Outdoor Research Helium Rain Jacket will keep you dry in all but heavy and/or sustained downpours. It's also lightweight, comfortable and super breathable. Plus, like all the jackets in this guide, it packs down for easy carrying.