Worldly Wander - Traveler's Gift Guide

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15 Presents Under $50!

1. LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw

The LifeStraw is definitely a must-have if you’re planning to go to a country with questionable drinking water. It’s also a great way to safely refill your drinking water while on a long hike. Instead of buying safe-to-drink water in plastic bottles, we love that the LifeStraw is a reusable bottle that allows us to reduce waste while traveling!

The Reusable LifeStraw Go is a BPA-free water bottle that filters water while drinking. It's great for travel, backpacking, camping, and emergency kits. The hollow fiber membrane water filter removes bacteria and protozoa from lakes, streams to ensure safe, clean drinking water with a 2-stage activated carbon filter. It removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites without chemicals, iodine or batteries.

Nomad Lane gifted us each a passport holder at the start of our North American road trip. It was truly a blessing to help us stay organized going back and forth from the U.S. into Canada, and Mexico. Now that we’re backpacking, we love that our SIM cards, vaccine records, passport, boarding passes and SIM card ejector are all in one place.

The luggage tag is super convenient for when we’re taking short flights - we just pop them on our checked bags and go. When we land, we love the sheer ease of using them as wallets. We don’t have thick wallets to begin with - we typically just keep our driver’s license and two credit cards with us anyways when we’re traveling. The fact that the wallet and the passport holder both have RFID blocking protection is just another layer of security for peace of mind.

3. Eagle Creek Pack-It Full Cube Set - 3 Pack

When we got to Peru, about two weeks in, we realized how disorganized our packs were. Despite the fact that we each had minimal clothes (just over a week’s worth) we decided the practical thing to do was to buy some packing cubes. We searched high and low, and none of the Peruvians had any idea what we were talking about. Finally, we found some Eagle Creek ones in an outdoor store and bought three for 60 soles (about $60) each, so a total of 180 Soles, or $60 USD. If Amazon delivered to Peru, we definitely would have liked to have gotten this set through them because you can buy the same amount we got for about half the price!

4. YETI Bottle Rambler (26 Oz)

We each have a 26 fl Oz Yeti. Usually, one of us travels with cold water and sometimes the other will travel with hot water. It’s useful in case we want to make instant soup, coffee or tea while flying, long bus rides, or multi-day hikes.

5. Gregory Mountain Products Baltoro 75 Liter Men's/Women's Backpack

I got this pack after making the huge mistake of purchasing one off eBay. Lesson learned. You really need to physically go in person to the store and TRY ON the packs to see what best fits your hips and spine! I’m 5’ 3” and this pack (size small) just fits my torso perfectly. I got it because of (1) comfort and (2) the solar panel. The solar panel connects directly to a USB battery making charging my iPhone and GoPro a piece of cake after simply walking around in the sun for a bit with the top down. It’s not under $50, but still on sale! See more here.

6. Travel Smart by Conair Dual Voltage 1200 Watt Folding Hair Dryer

I found this little guy and am so glad I brought him with me on this journey! He’s so small and has come in handy for more than just blow drying my hair - I use this to dry my clothes too if I need to expedite the process and there are no washers or dryers available in the country I’m in.


7. WorkAway Subscription

It’s $48 annually to have a WorkAway profile and we justified doing it because that’s about the cost of a night or two of lodging. This is a website/service that allows you to trade varying types of work for lodging. For instance, most hosts ask for anywhere from 3-6 hours per day, 5 days a week, in exchange for a free room and meals. If we get one gig, say for a week, then it’s already more than paid for itself! Read more about WorkAway here.

8. Worldwide All in One Universal Power Adapter AC Plug International Wall Charger with Dual USB Charging Ports

I found this guy on Amazon and he had the best reviews and was only $12 bucks so I figured why not. So far, so good! I’ve used it in 6 different countries and no problems. Would definitely recommend for the price alone but also the universal compatibility. It is compatable with outlets in the US, EU, UK, Oceania, and Asia. We love that it has 2 USB ports so we can charge our phones with leaving the power outlet open to a laptop charger. Better yet, bring an extension cord with multiple outlets to turn your one power outlet on this into two or more!

9. Portable Charger Solar Charger Power Bank 24000mah (3 USB Output Ports)

When I left my 9-5 job, one of my coworkers gifted this to me. She said, “as a mother… I just always worry about you not being able to charger your phone.” It honestly was one of the most practical and useful going away gifts that I got. I can charge it using literally sunlight (duh) or plugging it into a wall outlet if I need some juice ASAP. It has three USB outlets so Josh and I often times charge both our phones at the same time, 4-5 times each before it needs to be recharged!

10. TSA Approved Combination Luggage Locks & Pacsafe Retractasafe Cable Lock

The day before we left, we each bought both of these luggage locks from REI. The TSA approved luggage locks are perfect for locking the zippers of our backpacks together so the pockets can't be opened - plus you can set your own combination.

We use the Pacsafe retractable luggage lock with the leash to lock our bags together to a piece of furniture at airports when we’re sleeping; you can set your own combination with this as well. It has also come in handy when we’ve already checked out of our hostel and they’re willing to let us leave our bags there. Locking them together, we think, makes it harder for someone to walk away them.

11. Sweater to Neck Pillow | Flight Fillow

Before we left for South America, we partnered up with Flight Fillow, which is a tiny sleeve that you can use to quickly fold a sweatshirt or sweater of yours up into a neck pillow for your flight. We’re all about packing light and this little guy fits into my pocket - a win-win. On a side note, I bought a sweater in Peru that snags easily so when we’re not flying, I roll the sweater and keep it zipped into my fellow to avoid anything in my pack from ripping it.

12. GoToob+ Silicone Travel Bottle with Locking Cap, 3-Pack, Large (3.4oz)

These guys have been a life saver. The day before we flew out I went to REI and got a pack of three. I keep shampoo, conditioner and body wash in them. It brings me peace of mind that I can just toss them in my carry on with zero stress that they will leak.

13. Dr. Bronner's Hand Sanitizer - Lavender - 2 Oz (Travel Safe)

I got two of these as an impulse buy at Whole Foods Market when checking out and wish I bought half of dozen. We throw these into the side pocket of our packs and use them daily. In South America especially, a lot of the bathrooms didn’t have toilet paper (much less toilet seats) or soap, so carrying this around with us has been revolutionary.

14. Phone Lasso Patch and Black Neck Lanyard/Strap for all Smart Phones

While we we're in Argentina, I saw that my friend had one of these attached to her iPhone. I asked her why and she explained how her phone was stolen while she was using it on the subway in Buenos Aries. This strap makes it easy for us to walk around with peace of mind, knowing that we can clip our iPhone to something - our clothes, purse, whatever and it can't be easily snatched away. We'd recommend for travelers planning on going to big cities in South East Asia or just high tourist places - like most major hubs in South America.

15. Light My Fire Original BPA-Free Tritan Spork with Full-Sized Spoon, Fork and Serrated Knife Edge

We each carry two around with us that we got from REI and love them. They’re just very practical to have while hiking and staying in those gnarly hostels - who knows what their utensils have been through, if they have any!