The stockings are hung by the chimney with care. But the question is – what should you fill them with? You can find the perfect stocking stuffers for your traveling family pretty easily – if you start with our Gift Guide to the Best Stocking Stuffers for Traveling Families.
It happens every year. I think I have all my Christmas shopping done. My packages are wrapped and my cards are all signed. Then on Christmas Eve, as my kids hang their stockings over our bookcase (yeah, no mantle), I remember. The stockings! I didn’t buy anything to fill their stockings.
That’s why I was scrambling through CVS early last Christmas morning, grabbing random gift cards, toothbrushes and sticks of gum (yeah, I know!) for my kiddos’ stockings. I spent more than I wanted to, and nothing had any real meaning. It certainly wasn’t the way to start the day.
This year, I’m prepared. I’ve sought out the best stocking stuffers for my traveling families. These gifts are sure to delight the entire traveling family – from the babies to the seniors, and from the beach lovers to the campers. Read on to see my recommendations for the best stocking stuffers this year.
Want to breathe a little easier when staying in a strange place? This kitschy tabletop cactus does double duty. It’s a portable USB powered humidifier, great for combating dry, stuffy air.
And the Apollo Box Cactus Soft Light is also a soft, soothing nightlight for those dark nights in an unfamiliar hotel. A great choice for the family member who doesn’t sleep well when away from home.
Forget cotton! For the softest socks around, ask Santa for BambuLife Socks. These comfortable, well-fitting socks are made from bamboo which, unlike cotton, is grown without fertilizers or pesticides.
They feel softer than cotton socks, but naturally trap odors and keep feet cool with its moisture-wicking properties. Because who wants to explore a new destination with stinky, sweaty feet? Put bamboo to work for your family by putting these socks in everyone’s stocking!
Of course, our favorite thing to find on Christmas morning is the gift of travel itself – and that’s just what your family will find if there’s a CityPASS in their stockings.
CityPASS are deep-discounted ticket booklets that open the doors to a variety of attractions in a given city. With 13 North American destinations to choose from, you can give your family the world – or a deep look into a little part of it – and save money, too.
As my kids got older, they became more conscious of their clothes, so all five of them appreciate a lint roller in their Christmas stockings. Evercare was the inventor of the lint roller, and I don’t think anyone has done it better than the original.
Evercare uses an Extreme Stick tape with picks up every piece of cat fur or random cotton speck that lands on our clothes, at home or while traveling. And its size makes it a perfect stocking stuffer, as well as a great accessory to have in your travel bag or backpack.
Minnie Natural Hand Sanitizer by Olika
A good hand sanitizer is essential on any trip, and they’re the perfect size to put in a stocking. But most aren’t present-perfect in appearance – until now.
Meet Minnie, the tiny bird-like hand sanitizer by Olika. Minnie is a naturally hydrating must-have that includes essential oils and aloe vera among its seven (only seven!) ingredients. Fighting germs and staying healthy has never been so pretty before.
STOCKING STUFFERS FOR THE LITTLEST TRAVELERS
Soundbub may be mom’s best friend when she’s on the road – with or without baby.
When you’re traveling together, use this lightweight portable speaker to play white noise to lull your little to sleep. When you’re traveling alone, connect with baby through the mobile app that allows you to record messages to play when you’re away.
I love researching the places we plan to visit. Now your young ones can do the same with the Come Travel With Me book series by Michele Fisher.
This stocking-sized (5×7) travel guides are written just for kids, with color illustrations and a focus on the attractions that would appeal to the younger set. Current titles feature Philly and Chicago, with more to come!
Let’s face it – babies can be messy. Sure, the little one with Mickey bar smeared all over her face may look cute in pictures, but after you take that pic, you want her cleaned up pronto!
That’s why Miss Mouth’s Messy Eater Stain Treater is a great stocking stuffer for babies (or the parents who travel with them). This stain treater works hard (and instantly!), but it easy on skin, baby clothes and the environment. Win, win! It comes in a spray bottle or convenient portable wipes – both which fit into a stocking (or any travel bag).
STOCKING STUFFERS FOR TEENS AND TWEENS
My teen calls her Paww SilkSound Wireless Headphones “ear buds with style,” and I can’t say I blame her. These lightweight headphones look like a stylish headband, but deliver on the sound, with over 8 hours of play time, Bluetooth connectivity and hands-free calling.
Libby loves hers in golden yellow, but they also come in blue frost, tortoiseshell and black onyx – and you even get a convenient carrying case great for traveling!
Help your tweens and teens learn a new language (while having fun) by putting a deck of Lingo playing cards in their stockings.
It’s a deck of standard playing cards, but each card is emblazoned with a foreign phrase in the language of your choice (comes in Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Italian and Aussie Slang). Pronunciation is included too, so you won’t sound too foolish when asking donde estan los banos? (or just hold up your king of spades).
My daughter loves to take pictures, but hates waiting for print copies. With the Polaroid POP Instant Digital Camera, all she needs to do is point and click – and she’ll have her memories in her hands in seconds, without using a computer. Yes!
Digital zoom, self timer and photo booth mode assure teens they can be in the picture, too. And a variety of filters and stickers make her pics fancy or fun, whatever her mood.
Travalo Easy Fill Perfume Sprays
My teen has a “signature scent,” but the standard bottles won’t get through the airport check. Problem solved when she finds a Travalo Easy Fill refillable perfume spray in her stocking.
These atomizers are easy to fill with your favorite scent in a matter of seconds. And the 5 ml perfume pod is TSA approved, but still provides 50 sprays of her favorite scent.
I always use a clutch to store to-go essentials in, which I can carry alone or toss in my purse or backpack. So I’m crazy about this artisan clutch, which is fashionable and good for the environment!
Each is unique and made from 100% recycled materials, the perfect eco-friendly travel choice. And absolutely adorable!
I may forgo makeup while camping or on a road trip, but I find a good lip balm is essential wherever and however I’m traveling. My favorite is the Beesential Lip Balms, which come in a variety of yummy flavors.
And even better than one lip balm? A travel case of five so you can share the yummy, all-natural moisturizing (but I suggest snagging the Lemon Lavender one for yourself!).
Long road trips? Love ‘em. But the way my hands feel after hours on the steering wheel? Not so much.
That’s why I love these hydrating, revitalizing fingerless gloves from Skineez. They contain spandex for compression and are pretreated with nutrients like shea butter and retinol, so my hands feel rejuvenated and moisturized during the drive.
A step up from your regular “travel sized” necessities, this black zipper pouch from David Beckham House of Travel contains high quality products with multiple uses, to compliment your on-the-go-lifestyle.
Included is Polish Up, a duel body-and-hair wash; Greater Look face moisturizer; Truly Brighter, an eye balm that quiets dark circles (oh, yes!) and Seriously Groomed, a beard and hair balm. So yes, this is a unisex stocking stuffer – win!
WHAT ABOUT DAD?
My husband is a runner, so he’s always up for a foot massage. But that’s not so easy to do when we’re on the go. That’s why his all-time favorite stocking stuffer is the Moji Foot Pro Massager , a portable unit that can massage and stretch his entire plantar fascia as he rolls his foot over cool stainless steel spheres secured in a non-slip base.
Toss it in the freezer (or your cooler, inside a baggie) to get a refreshing chilly massage.
Sure, travelers can always ask neighbors to keep an eye on the house. But if you want some added protection against home damage, you need a Notion – the small, smart home sensor that is an electronic eye on the look out for problems while you’re away.
The Notion can let you know if someone enters your home, opens a window, a pipe breaks or the temperature changes. It will even let you know if someone tries to break into your liquor cabinet. Notion in the stocking means peace of mind next time you travel.
The joke around our house is my husband is our bellhop. He carries everything for us. But it’s no joke when we go to the beach and he’s lugging boogie boards, beach chairs, a backpack and even a cooler along with him.
That’s why this year I’m filling his stocking with HeroClips, the hang anything anywhere hybrid clip with a built-in hook that holds up to 60 pounds. It comes in a variety of sizes, so there’s one for whatever you’re taking with you.
A quick drying beach towel that fits in a stocking? Absolutely! This is a big towel – large enough to stretch out under the sun or wrap around yourself after surfing.
But the NewLyfe Microfiber Beach Towel folds up into a bonus dry bag. It’s great for beach days, workouts at the gym, relaxing poolside and, yes, even in dad’s stocking.
STOCKING STUFFERS FOR AIR TRAVELERS
I just melt when I get a personalized gift, one made especially for me. The luggage tags you can make on the Shutterfly site are fun and cute as well as personal.
And let’s not forget the practical side – they really help me ID my luggage quickly! Perfect stocking stuffers for your favorite flyer.
With all the “secret” added costs of air travel these days, it’s essential for a traveler to know the weight of her luggage. And the EatSmart Precision Voyager Digital Luggage Scale allows you to do just that, whether you’re traveling in the US or internationally.
Its simple clip-on scale weighs your luggage up to 110 pounds or 50 kilos, allowing you to avoid overweight baggage fees. Ka-ching!
A neck pillow that fits into my pocket? Yes, please, Santa!
This compact sleeve works with your own favorite sweater to become a convenient, comfortable neck pillow perfect for air travel. The body of your sweater acts like stuffing for the pillow, while the arms hold it in place around your body. Like a comfortable hug while you fly!
Did you know that the four germiest locations on a plane were the seat-back tray, the lavatory flush button, the seatbelt buckle and the overhead air vent (according to Travelmath)? That’s some impressive trivia, but it can also be a traveler’s worst nightmare – unless he finds the SterilStay In-Flight Essentials kit in his stocking.
The kit is stocked with antibacterial wipes, a headrest cover and a bag large enough to cover the tray table – everything to put a barrier of protection between you and those germy stowaways. They also offer a Hotel Essentials Kit (because no joke, a hotel remote may have the same number of germs as the average toilet seat!).
Yes, you may have seen this on Shark Tank (I did). All five sharks wanted in on LuminAID – and so will the camper in your life. Stuff that stocking with the gift of light, an origami-inspired solar lantern that packs flat and is powered by sun or USB cable. Shiny, sustainable and safe, these lanterns are perfect for the campsite.
I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t “premium instant” an oxymoron? Well, not any more.
A pro-climber and a professional foodie teamed up to create these coffee packets, which conveniently dissolve in hot or cold water. Camp out with your favorite flavor – Coconut Creamer Latte, Dirty Chai Latte or the medium roast Original Blend.
COOL GIZMOS AND GADGETS
When I’m on the go, I like to be as hands-free as possible. But sometimes there’s just no place to hang my bag….until now.
Clipa is a bracelet that opens up to hold your bag from table edges, seat headrests, tray tables, just about anywhere. So that hook missing from the back of the bathroom door is no problem – if there’s a Clipa in your stocking this Christmas.
Wherever your travels may take you, you’ll always want to have a power bank with you. After all, laptops, smart phones and cameras all seem to run out of battery life at the most inconvenient times!
Fortunately, River Rapid from EcoFlow packs a big power bunch in a tiny package. The smallest and lightest quick-charging power bank available today, it’s the perfect backup for your electronics, with the power to charge a smart watch 20 times, bring your iPhone back to full life once, or add 50 minutes to the life of a MacBook Pro. When you’re making memories by the minute, this could just be the power you need!
I have a huge purse. Huge. I mean, I can usually fit my Bible, two hairbrushes, a knee brace and a rogue stuffed elephant in it, with room left over. What I can’t do is find my keys easily. So I’m hoping to find a Finders Key Purse in my stocking.
This chic clip looks like a decorative pin on the outside of your purse, but on the inside, it’s holding up your keys at the top. No more fumbling around your purse while the valet impatiently waits? Genius.
I usually stay away from food in the stocking (with the exception of a strategically placed candy cane). But this year I’m making an exception for McCrea’s Caramels.
These handcrafted caramels are tasty reminders of some of our favorite travels…..from the Cape Cod Sea Salt and Tapped Maple, which remind us of our favorite New England road trips, to the Black Lava Sea Salt, which conjure up dreams of our bucket list trip to Hawaii. In fact, I’m sure Santa would appreciate a caramel instead of a cookie this year.
The Great Family Cookbook Project
Another tasty choice – but this one won’t leave crumbs in your stocking. Instead, leave your favorite foodie a gift card for the Family Cookbook Project software.
Then, with just a few easy clicks, she can compile a collection of food favorites – like recipes from your road trips, campfire foods or Disney copycats. And she can invite others to submit recipes too, making this stocking stuffer a tasty project to work on until your next trip together.