2012 Best Travel Gifts Under $50
Travel has gone to new heights in 2012: a daredevil leapt from a hot-air balloon near the edge of space, another walked a tightrope across Niagara Falls, and the U.N. projects that a record one billion people have traveled internationally.
The shaky economy hasn’t kept travelers down for too long, and it shouldn’t prevent you from spoiling your globetrotting friends and relatives. Start by browsing these affordable travel gifts that have soared to the top of our holiday wish list—each under $50 and available for purchase online, whether from a living room or hotel room.
For the style set, we’ve found monogrammed carry-on totes, graphic T-shirts with airport codes, and a set of TSA-friendly travel perfumes inspired by destinations from France to Japan. Road warriors, meanwhile, will appreciate practical solutions like a shaver the size of a smartphone and a portable charging station that hooks up four devices to one outlet.
We’ve also got gifts to feed the imagination, from an all-American road-trip-inspired game to a new collection of true travel tales from some of the world’s best fiction writers. A world map poster that keeps track of your wanderings gives you the added satisfaction of scratching off each destination as you reach it.
Life’s big trips traditionally ended up in a photo album on the coffee table; now those images are more likely to languish on your smartphone or hard drive. The company Printstagram lets you easily compile the vacation photos you’ve shared on social media into a tear-off desk calendar or adorably tiny book.
Our list wouldn’t be complete without some travel-related products with a nobler mission. So look for fair-trade, one-of-a-kind madras scarves that support weavers in India; prints from an artist donating to hurricane relief efforts in New York and New Jersey; and flip-flops from a company that contributes to the impoverished in Eastern Europe. Because charity, like travel, is a gift that keeps on giving.