Given that our team works from all around the world, we know a thing or two about small travel essentials.
Sure, we all have our favorite packing gear and travel items we’ve invested a pretty penny in, but sometimes, the items we neglect packing are the little things.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best stocking stuffers for the traveler in your life. Every traveler will appreciate these compact travel essentials on their next trip.
Best Bluetooth headphones: Apple Airpods and JBL Tune
Headphones are a must for any trip. Grab a pair of these 2nd Gen Apple Airpods so you’re never stuck twiddling your thumbs on a long plane ride (or even just a 10-minute train ride). The JBL Tune headphones are also a great option for something more budget-friendly.
Best wired headphones: Kimwood wired headphones
Though most tech has moved to using Bluetooth, planes have not caught up with the latest technology. I always pack a pair of wired headphones with me too so I don’t have to pay for those horribly uncomfortable ones they try to upsell you on.
Best plane cocktail: W&P Craft Cocktail Kit
Everyone loves a plane cocktail. There’s something about being thousands of miles up in the air that makes planes the best bar. Add a plane cocktail kit to the stocking so your giftee can imbibe while flying miles high.
Best travel water bottle: Nomader collapsible water bottle
Staying hydrated while traveling is very important and a foldable water bottle can save a ton of luggage space.
Best seat accessory: Perilogics seat tray mounts
There are few things worse than getting to your seat on the plane and finding out there’s no in-flight entertainment. This phone holder fit for plane seats lets you stream stuff from your phone without having to crane your neck or tire your arm.
Best portable charger: AsperX Charger
I cannot tell you how many times a portable charger has saved my butt while traveling. I’ll never get caught in the middle of nowhere on 1%.
Bath and Beauty
Best face mask: Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask
Keeping skin hydrated while traveling is always a struggle. This nourishing face mask helps fight jet lag and is a favorite of many of our DFC team members.
Best toiletry bottles: FlatPak by Matador
These FlatPak toiletry bottles are super lightweight and don’t take up a lot of space like bulky plastic bottles usually do.
Best makeup remover: Reusable makeup remover clothes
These reusable makeup eraser cloths are perfect for traveling. All you need is water to erase the day from your face and then you can toss them in the wash.
Best destresser: BodyRestore shower steamers
Our DFC team has previously raved about shower steamers. They are a small thing to toss into your carry-on but they can be a big relief to use after a stressful day of travel. I always pack one so I can unwind without soaking in questionable tubs.
Best hand sanitizer: Touchland Power Mist
For a hand sanitizer that won’t dry your hands out and smells like a luxury perfume, try the Touchland Power Mist Hand Sanitizer.
Best skincare tool: Cyrotherapy Ice Roller
This Cyrotherapy Ice Roller keeps skin looking plump and renewed. It also helps relieve headaches and is great for relaxing those tense neck and face muscles after a long flight.
Best toothbrush protector: Bril UV-C Toothbrush Sanitizer
If you’re packing a toothbrush case, you might as well get this Toothbrush Protector by Bril that sterilizes your toothbrush while you’re on the go.
Best balms for smooth lips: Aquaphor and Laniege lip mask
I swear by Aquaphor and their lip balm keeps lips hydrated even in the driest cabin air. Another DFC reader favorite is the Laniege lip mask. Use it at night to repair and heal chapped lips.
The life-saver: Poo-Pourri
I highly recommend packing travel-sized Poo-Pourri on your next group trip, especially if there’s a group of you sharing one bathroom. Your nose will thank you later.
Travel Gear and Accessories
Best compact backpack: Packable Osprey backpack
Remarkably, this packable Osprey backpack folds into an itty bitty little pouch and is a great daypack for travelers.
Best travel wallets: Urban Union passport wallet and Bellroy wallet
No one wants to travel with a clunky wallet that makes it hard to keep track of all your papers and currency. This passport wallet is specially sized to hold your passport and boarding pass along with all your cards and cash. For something slimmer, consider this slim wallet that even has a place for all those Euro coins.
Best jewelry case: Vlando Viaggio jewelry case
This mini, rollable jewelry case prevents necklaces from getting tangled and earrings from getting lost. It’s compact but fits a lot, so traveling in style is still an option.
Best tech case: Canboc Carrying Case
Keep cords organized while you’re on the road with this Canboc Carrying Case that has a spot for all your chargers and cords so you don’t end up with a tangled mess of all your tech.
The unexpected handy tool: Luggage cup holder
Stay hands-free while shuffling through the airport with this Luggage Cup Holder. It might seem excessive, but trust me it’s a nice to have when you’re trying to juggle your passport, a coffee, phone, and more while making your way to your gate.
Best hand warmers: OCOOPA rechargeable hand warmers
Rechargeable hand warmers are a very nice luxury on any winter getaway. The OCOOPA warmers have three different heat settings and can be used as a backpack portable charger for your other devices.
The thing you always forget to pack: Universal travel adapter
A worldwide travel adapter is a must-have for any avid explorer. This one will have you covered in 150 countries.
Best phone accessory: Clip-on phone lens
A clip-on phone lens is the perfect stocking stuffer for those who see themselves as a travel photographer or simply those of us who do it for the gram. This pack comes with 3 lenses for a great deal.
Best luggage tracker: Apple Airtag
An unfortunate travel trend that’s been on the rise this year is lost luggage. Gift some peace of mind with an Apple Airtag to help keep track of luggage, even when airlines drop the ball.
Best luggage scale: Longang digital scale
This compact luggage scale will help you make sure that your bags aren’t overweight. Plus, it’s so lightweight that you can pack it on your trip to make sure your souvenirs don’t go over the weight limit on the way back.