20 Christmas Gifts Under $20 for Travelers
Price: Starting at $14 | Buy it at Moleskine
You can't buy many first-class products on a coach budget, but Moleskine notebooks have a reputation for being among the best of their kind. Opt for a classic notebook (starting at $15) or a city notebook ($14) with maps of Paris, London, Berlin, New York City, or Milan.
Price: $8 | Buy it at REI
For loved ones constantly seeking out new terroir, nesting wine glasses mean no scrounging for cups before a picnic, and no toasting with plastic cups from the bathroom in a bare-bones hotel. Wine tasters can also bring bottles back safely with WineSkins ($3 each at the Container Store).
Price: Starting at $20 | Buy it on Amazon
Where some people require blackout curtains and 800-thread-count sheets, others are fine with a reclined seatback. For the traveler who can sleep anywhere, the Grand Trunk Ultralight travel hammock cradles up to 250 pounds. It comes complete with ropes, hooks, and stuff sack.
Price: Starting at $15 | Buy it on Amazon
Airline passengers who try to cram the entire contents of their closets into a suitcase risk steep fees for overweight baggage -- $75 and up on the major U.S. carriers. A luggage scale can alert these stuff-it-all-in packers that they're over the limit before it's too late. The Tarriss Jetsetter digital scale holds up to 110 pounds and comes with a lifetime warranty.
Price: $7 | Buy it on Envirosax
Another problem with overpacking: It leaves little room for souvenirs. Compact travel or "wanderlust" bags weigh just 1.4 ounces and unfold to hold up to 44 pounds of extra stuff for the trip home. With graphics for Sydney, Paris, New York, and more, they also make cute totes for vacationers.
Price: $20 | Buy it on Buff
Buff headwear will look familiar to anyone who's watched "Survivor." This deceptively simple sleeve of moisture-wicking fabric transforms into at least a dozen different accessories. For legions of devoted fans, it's a must-have item worth collecting in multiple prints.
Price: Starting at $11 | Buy it on Amazon
On a world map that resembles a giant scratch ticket, globetrotters can mark all the countries they've visited. A coin uncovers color and geographic detail beneath the gold foil. Scratch maps of the world are available in multiple sizes and color schemes, including an inexpensive travel-size version.
Price: $20 or less | Buy it on Amazon
No trips on the calendar? A subscription to a travel magazine can bring vicarious pleasure. Popular titles including Backpacker, Condé Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, and Travel + Leisure all offer a year's subscription for low prices.
Price: $11 to $15 | Buy it at Lush
Shampoo bars free up room in a quart-size bag for carry-on liquids. They come in varieties such as Godiva, a jasmine-scented 2-in-1 bar for cleaning and conditioning hair. They also leave room in a $20 gift budget for travel-size shea hand cream from The Body Shop ($5 each).
The Bitter Truth Cocktail Bitters Traveler's Set (starting at $21) contains bottles small enough to be allowed through airport security in carry-on luggage, making it an ideal companion for a globetrotting mixologist. The set includes five flavors -- original aromatic, celery, orange, Jerry Thomas', and Creole -- in a handsome box.
Price: $11 | Buy it at Walmart
For travelers who need every last inch to count, compression packs are the way to go. Sold in multiple sizes and available at most sporting goods stores, these plastic bags zip shut and have valves that let air out but not in. They're easy to use and can reduce volume by up to 80 percent. (Some high-end carry-ons have compression systems built in.) Be careful not to over-pack with all that extra space, though -- most airlines impose a weight limit for carry-ons.
Price: Starting at $10.50 | Buy it on Amazon
A USB battery pack is a welcome gift for just about anyone with a smartphone. Balancing cost, capacity, weight, and size can be tricky, though. A 2.7-ounce "lipstick-size" stick by Anker ($13 to $16) holds 3,350 mAh of power -- more than enough for an iPhone 7, for instance, which has a 1,960 mAh battery.