13 Smart Gifts Solo Travelers Will Swoon Over
Traveling alone can be absolutely glorious. Want to race through the Louvre to hit the highlights in an hour? Great. Prefer to luxuriate over a long breakfast in Mexico City? Done. With solo travel, you have the freedom to go wherever you want, do whatever you want, whenever you want. The pace and style of a trip is completely up to you. Yes, it requires some extra effort and planning, but it almost always ends up being worth it.
Of course, there can be downsides. It's on you to remember all your bookings, handle all your luggage, navigate transportation, and deal with any snags along the way. There can also be the issue of safety, particularly for women. But added preparation — and perhaps a few key gifts — will make the experience easier and more enjoyable.
Once you peruse the inspiration below, make sure to check out the rest of Travel + Leisure's 2018 gift guide, where you'll find creative and thoughtful ideas for anyone on your list — from the always stressed to the royal-obsessed.
Power Trip Charger
Fully charged batteries give all travelers peace of mind, but especially solo travelers. This universal adapter can charge up to five devices at one time and has built-in over-voltage protection to ensure no devices get accidentally fried.
To buy: papersource.com, $30
Sunday Riley Let It Glow Kit
Skincare devotees swear by Sunday Riley, which they credit for keeping skin clear and perky. This new set features six of the cult-favorite brand's most beloved products. The TSA-friendly sizes are ideal for solo travelers who want to keep up their routine but conserve space in their carry-on.
To buy: spacenk.com, $175
Ted Baker Marciee Leather Crossbody Camera Bag
Staying hands-free is always a good ideal when you're on your own. A compact cross-body bag holds all the essential items for a day of sightseeing, but it still looks sleek when you're hitting the town to treat yourself to a solo sit-down dinner.
To buy: bloomingdales.com, $175
Katana Safety Arc
A personal alarm is one of those items that no one wants to need, but it's another peace-of-mind tool that can put solo travelers at ease. This one attaches directly to the back of a smartphone, putting it in easy reach without adding a lot of bulk. Alerts can be triggered three ways (two accompanied by a shrill siren, one silent). Once engaged, they initiate contact with a response center to assess the situation (and emergency services, if needed) and also ping seven designated contacts with your location, along with a message that you might need assistance.
To buy: amazon.com, $100
Convertible Travel Pillow and Infinity Scarf
The name might sound a little silly, but this multi-tasking accessory is key for solo travelers who don't want to be burdened with any unnecessary (albeit nice to have) items. A zippered pocket around the neck hides an interior neck pillow that can be inflated just like a pool floatie. Genius, if you ask us.
To buy: uncommongoods.com, $35
Apple Watch Series 4
The latest edition of Apple's smartwatch works as the perfect wingman (or woman) for a solo traveler, especially if you spring for the cellular-enabled model. Maps provide directions in a much more subtle manner than busting out a guidebook or trying to walk and stare at a cell phone simultaneously; real-time translation comes in handy in a country where you don't speak the language; and the calling capabilities can help you stay connected.
To buy: apple.com, $499
Uber Gift Card
Some people feel like gift cards are a cop-out, but in reality, it's all about what that credit can go toward. For solo travelers, that might be a ride from the airport or a car back to a hotel late at night. Either way, it's sure to be appreciated.
To buy: amazon.com, from $25
Stow Sapphire Blue Universal Leather Tech Case
Whoever came up with the adage "a place for everything and everything in its place" would covet this smart organizer. The right side fits most tablets, along with a passport and three credit cards, while the left side can be used to secure charging cords and anything else a solo traveler wants to keep handy.
To buy: ahalife.com, $465
Herschel Supply Co. Classic Little America Backpack
Any decent travel bag will have compartments that make travel must-haves easily accessible, but this one goes the extra mile. A side panel can squirrel away headphones, and the drawstring closure provides an extra layer of protection against anyone with sticky fingers.
To buy: bloomingdales.com, $120
MZ Skin Hydra-Bright Golden Eye Treatment Mask
No travel companion means no judgments for throwing on these soothing patches mid-flight (or anytime, really). Tiny gold particles make them feel fancy, but it's the combination of collagen, hyaluronic acid, and seaweed that does the heavy lifting of fighting dark circles and fine lines. Importantly for travelers, those ingredients also hydrate and depuff skin — essential after a long flight.
To buy: revolve.com, $106
Naked Cashmere Georgia Wrap
Any seasoned traveler will sing the praises of a chic wrap that doubles as a plane blanket and spruces up any outfit. This option comes in a dozen colors and can be monogrammed.
To buy: nakedcashmere.com, $200
Everlane Women's Modern Point Flats
The value of a do-it-all flat cannot be overstated when it comes to a solo traveler's wardrobe. Available in four colors, this pair from popular retailer Everlane is made from supple yet durable Italian leather and appropriate for just about any occasion on the road.
To buy: everlane.com, $155
Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 Carry-On Expandable Spinner Suiter Suitcase
Every traveler needs a solid carry-on bag that's easy to roll and roomy enough to store several days' worth of clothing. This 21-inch Travelpro pick delivers on all fronts.
To buy: amazon.com, $220