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Heading out on an adventure is what some people absolutely live for — and there’s nothing like a few new pieces of travel gear to kick off a trip. While your favorite traveler may be saving her pennies and dimes for hotel reservations, excursions, and dinners, she’ll definitely appreciate a gadget that will make her travels a little less stressful. The best travel gifts? Those that are easy to pack, durable, and won’t weigh them down when sprinting through airport security lines. We’ve rounded up a handful of the best gifts we could find for female travelers, from headphone organizers and card games to mini deodorants and filtered water bottles.
Our Top Picks
Best for Organization Freaks: ELFRhino Headphone Organizer
There’s almost nothing more annoying than pulling out your headphones and finding they're hopelessly tangled. Alas, this brilliantly simple gadget eliminates the pesky issue once and for all. You just wind the headphones around the square and then latch them into place using the snap. The silicone material is extremely durable and will flex to hold up against pressure; plus, the design of the organizer means that it only takes one pull to set the earbuds free. We love that the bright colors — turquoise, baby pink, and sunny yellow, among others — help make the organizer easy to find in the bottom of a packed tote or in the depths of a purse. The gadget isn't just for headphones, either; you can use this to organize charging cables and cords as well. At such a low price, it's easy to justify gifting a few.
Best for Social Travelers: Exploding Kittens Card Game
Yeah, it has a weird name, but that sense of humor is what makes this strategy-meets-roulette card game such an utter delight to play. There are laser beams! There are goats! There are explosions! And this game — the most-funded game in the history of Kickstarter — is completely family-friendly, so there’s nothing too inappropriate (or graphic) for younger players. Whether you're traveling with a group or flying solo and looking to socialize, the game makes a great companion on long train rides, ferry crossings, and the like. Sure, there are all sorts of games on phones nowadays, but if vacations are about disconnecting, why would you spend your leisure time looking at a screen?
Best for Techies: GoPro Hero7 Camera
GoPros are something that both gearheads and travel junkies can bond endlessly over — and for good reason. These lightweight, portable, go-anywhere cameras can be strapped onto helmets or heads to film a traveler’s experience from their exact POV. It’s a great (sneaky) way to get your friend to “take you along” on their SCUBA diving adventure, and they'll have you to thank for the serious Instagram likes they rack up with the resulting footage. This latest model features live streaming stabilization so they can broadcast as they film, plus 4K HD video and 12MP — and yes, if you have to ask, it's fully waterproof. Once you start them off with the camera, there are plenty of accessories and add-ons they can buy to really tailor its performance to their destination and activities.
Best for Product Junkies: Native Coconut & Vanilla Deodorant Mini
Sure, travel days can be exciting adventures — when flights take off on time, and, say when you’ve splashed out on an upgrade that lets you toast your vacation with a business-class mimosa. For the other 99.9 percent of travel days, however, schlepping your bags through the airport, running to catch a departing train, and cycling through simultaneously freezing and roasting plane temps can lead to some serious sweat. We love Native’s coconut and vanilla deodorant, a stick formula that fits handily in a purse without having to shove yet another liquid in a bursting-at-the-seams Ziploc bag. It’s cruelty-, aluminum-, and paraben-free, and it’s made from natural plant extracts that are ideal for sensitive skin. And have we talked about the scent? One little whiff during a sneaky restroom reapplication, and you’ll be transported straight to the beach.
Best for Wine Lovers: Around the World in 80 Wines
Vino-loving travelers know that one of the greatest joys of visiting a new country or region is sampling the vintages produced there. So if you’re looking for a gift for a jet-setting oenophile, this is just the thing. Author Mike Veseth takes readers on exactly what he promises in the title — a wine-driven journey that addresses one country at a time. The book starts off where its predecessor did: In London, home of Phileas Fogg, and goes to the usual suspects — France and Italy — before veering into lesser-known wine regions of the world that. Despite having a relatively small presence in the U.S., readers will learn about the history and production of wine in Syria, Georgia, Lebanon, and Algeria (which once led the world in exports). At the least, it’ll guarantee you a lovely bottle as a thank-you; at the most, this engaging book might just inspire her next adventure.
Best for Smartphone Addicts: Mophie Powerstation
One thing that can ruin a traveler's day in an instant? A dead phone or tablet. Not only does it cut them off from valuable information — maps, hotel confirmations, copies of their passport, texts from their mother — but it also prevents them from capturing their trip through images and video. Having an external battery pack handy is always a good idea, no matter where you’re going, but we especially love the slim, sleek profile of this power station. The pack can fully juice up your electronics twice, so occasional on-the-road top-ups are no problem. Two USB ports allow two devices to be charged at once — and it works with both Apple and micro-USB devices. Speaking of Apple, with colors like gold, rose gold, and space gray, you can pick a color that will match your Apple products.
Best for Light Packers: Kipling Noelle Bag
Thanks to their nylon construction, Kipling bags are known for being incredibly durable and rugged. This writer has had hers for 10 years, and let me say — nary a stitch has come out of place. The bags are also smartly designed: a spacious, zippered main compartment (with a few smaller pockets) keeps valuables safely tucked away while two exterior pockets accommodate essentials like sunscreen and city maps. When well packed, the bag can hold up to a couple days’ worth of clothes. Best of all, these totes are truly multipurpose, so once back at home, you can use it as a gym bag or even a diaper bag.
Best for Eco-Conscious Travelers: Brita 26-Ounce Premium Filtering Water Bottle
You never quite know how the water will be in a new destination, and if you're swapping to harder or softer H2O than you're used to, the difference can be jarring. But staying hydrated, especially after hours on planes and outdoor on foot, is incredibly important. What to do? Rather than buy endless amounts of bottled water — which is both expensive and bad for the environment — this Brita water bottle keeps tap water filtered on the go, so it always tastes as crisp and refreshing as it should. It comes in a huge range of colors, too, from a basic clear to sea glass, so there’s bound to be one that suits your well-hydrated traveler. The bottle is BPA-free and has a handy carrying loop — pair it with a carabiner for a traveler who likes to pack compactly.