Lonely Planet staffers try out a lot of different gear on our travels, but there are just certain items we think truly make a difference in the life of an avid traveler. Whether it's a camera that makes our travels a little more whimsical, or something to help get that bottle of wine or olive oil back home without breaking, these items have helped us on the road.

If you're looking for the perfect gift for the on-the-go traveler in your life, look no further than our list of favorites. 

Patagonia Ultralight Tote

Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Tote Pack

Recommended by Becca Hunt, Lonely Planet publisher: illustrated and gift

The Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole Tote Pack is the perfect super light, durable, stuffable tote/backpack for travel of all kinds – day hikes, city walks, or as a carry-on. Pack it in your suitcase for every trip.


iClever BK05 Folding Bluetooth Keyboard

Recommended by Alexander Howard, Lonely Planet managing editor

For the traveler who can’t turn off email, the iClever BK05 Folding Bluetooth Keyboard lightweight, foldable keyboard gets the job done (but seriously, set your OOO).

Yellow duffel bag from North Face
The North Face Base Camp Duffel can be carried as a backpack or a duffel

The North Face Bright Yellow Base Camp Duffel

Recommended by Fionnuala McCarthy, Lonely Planet editorial director

You won’t have any trouble identifying your bag on the luggage carousel. This soft North Face Bright Yellow Base Camp Duffel can be carried as a backpack or by the handles, which is way preferable to a hard case in my opinion.

Apple World Travel Adaptor Kit
Apple World Travel Adaptor Kit contains all worldwide plugs

Apple's  World Travel Adapter Kit

Recommended by Melissa Yeager, Lonely Planet senior editor

I recently learned that Apple sells this World Travel Adapter Kit that gives you all their worldwide plugs. I love that this saves you from needing a converter so you can plug in your Apple devices directly — without fear of damaging them.

A rectangular white camera with rainbow stripes next to the lens on the right-hand side
Polaroid cameras give great keepsakes from a trip

Polaroid camera

Recommended by Sarah Stocking, Lonely Planet digital editor
From $100

This is certainly an extra item for a traveler's bag, but it's pure and simple fun. Snap photos of travelers you meet a long the way and share the print with them, or add the print to your journal, incorporating art and words to have a unique keepsake of your trip.


Wine Wings reusable bottle protectors

Recommended by Melissa Yeager, Lonely Planet senior editor

If you’re looking to bring home wine, spirits, olive oil or other liquids in glass from your travels, you need this. Pack the bottle inside and zip it closed. It’s now cushioned for the flight and if it happens to break, it won’t leak on the contents of your luggage.


Sonos Roam portable speaker

Recommended by Sasha Brady, Lonely Planet digital editor

Take your tunes on the go with this portable speaker from Sonos. It’s incredibly lightweight at a teeny 1 pound and was designed to be suitable for adventures in all sorts of landscapes — from the beach to the campsite and snow — with a solid dust and water-resistant IP67 rating. It has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, sounds great and comes with a decent 10-hour battery life.

A travel adaptfor an bag.

FSTravelP worldwide travel adaptor

Recommended by Fionnuala McCarthy, Lonely Planet editorial director

I know this is not sexy, and no one is going to shriek with delight when they unwrap it, but this will be appreciated by a traveler for years. It works in every country, is a neat size and you can charge multiple devices at once. It also comes with a mini carry bag that might make it easier not to leave behind.

Aer's black cable kit, opened to show cords stashed in mesh pockets

Aer Cable Kit 2

Recommended by Alexander Howard, Lonely Planet managing editor

Keep track of all your cables (we're not totally wireless just yet) while on the road with this durable nylon-face bag. There are multiple pockets to keep things nice and orderly and a padded interior for protection. 

A black LensPen NLP-1

LensPen lens cleaners

Recommended by Erin Lenczycki, Lonely Planet photo editor
From $10

My camera lens and phone seem to always be smudged, and even if I pack thirty microfiber cloths, I never seem to have a clean one. So this little thing is a life-saver for me: it's tiny, cheap, and so much better than a t-shirt. I also use it on my glasses daily!

Black men's bike shorts from Patagonia

Patagonia Endless Ride liner shorts

Recommended by Ben Buckner, Lonely Planet senior editor, sponsored content

These padded shorts – available in styles for men and women – will definitely save your butt when out on a bike. A chamois pad in just the right place takes the pressure off, but the nylon-spandex material elsewhere is light and grippy. You'll never go off-road on a bike without them again.

More gift guides for every type of traveler

This article was first published Nov 15, 2020 and updated Dec 8, 2023.

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