It is that season again and we all have shopping to do! We have updated our gift guide to make the photographer or traveler in life happy during the holidays. Here are some of our favorite items for photography and travel that we think will make great gifts. Let me know what you think of our choices and share your favorite ideas so we can buy some new stuff too!
We organized the list from big items to stocking stuffers so skip to the category you want to see or scroll through it all.
The Big Ticket Items
If you have a photographer who is looking for something to experiment with or really add to what they love, a good drone is an amazing gift as long as you have a big budget. The perfect drones for traveling are the DJI Mavic Air 2, which is going to give you the better quality and is the one I recommend, or the DJI Mavic Mini, which won’t be as good in quality, but is smaller for travel.
DSLR or Mirrorless Camera
This one will take some knowing of the giftee and probably some specific directions, but we have a guide outlining all our favorite cameras to help you pick the perfect one for this special occasion.
A New Lens
This one shouldn’t be as daunting as a new camera because you are limited to the brand of camera your giftee owns. If you have heard them talking about needing a new travel, wide-angle or telephoto lens, this guide to our favorite lenses is where you want to find the perfect one to get.
Hiking shoes have come so far in the last ten years. No longer are you stuck with bulky and ugly boots that you would never take travelling. Now, you can get great hiking shoes that are sleek enough to be used as regular shoes that you can take travelling and enjoy their comfort whether you are walking through a city or up a mountain. My favorite shoes and the best I have ever worn are the 9.81 Trail Pro from Garmont.
My favorite all-around camera backpack is the Think Tank Streetwalker HardDrive. It is an awesome backpack for travel. It is really well-made and functional. The only issue I have run into is during some international travel where it is a little too big for a personal item on some planes and has to be used as a carry on. If that is a concern for you, maybe check out the regular Streetwalker bag. Make sure to use this link as Think Tank is offering our readers a free gift with any purchase!
Camera Messenger Bag
If you prefer a messenger bag to a backpack, I have two favorites. For one of my favorites, check out the Exposure 13 or 15 from Think Tank. For my other favorite, check out the Everyday Messenger from Peak Design. Both are very functional and have been enjoyable to use.
Camera Holster/Sling Bag
My favorite all-time holster bag is the Digital Holster bag from ThinkTank. The design on this bag is incredible as it is so functional and comfortable at the same time. Thinktank has also offered our readers a free gift so make sure to use the above links!
For a little more money, my favorite sling bag comes from Peak Design. I love this bag and used it on almost every vacation we do.
Peak Design Capture Clip
Soon after I got really into photography again, my wife got me the Capture Clip from Peak Design and it has been one of my favorite accessories. Essentially, it is just an attachment you connect to your belt or backpack strap that you can attach your camera to for easy, quick access wherever you need it.
Thermarest Evolite plus
If your traveler is also a camper, the Thermarest Evolite Plus is my all-time favorite mattress. This thing is much more comfortable than a normal air mattress as it has some foam padding, but still rolls up very compact. It is also self-inflating and just awesome.
Platypod is one of my favorite travel accessories. Sometimes, traveling with a tripod can be a huge pain or even not permitted. In those situations, the Platypod is perfect to ensure you can still get the shots you need.
The price on clothes is going to vary, but if you want to gift someone a great piece of clothing that will make travel more comfortable, functional and stylish, check out our favorite clothes for travel.
My favorite camera strap is the Leash from Peak Design. It is comfortable, convenient and perfect for travel due to its thin, small size. I love the Peak Design attachment mechanisms that allow you to easily switch between normal carry, sling carry or no strap at all. It is such a huge advantage to the normal straps that are such a pain to disconnect!
If you prefer a sling-style strap, they are going to push you over the $50 just a little, but they can be very comfortable. For general travel, the Black Rapid Retro is my favorite strap (see my full review here). If your giftee does a lot of hiking, the added stability of the RucPac Sentinel comes in handy (here is my review of this strap).
Filter Nest Mini
If your photographer likes to use filters, I think the Filter Nest Mini from Mindshift is the best gift there is. This thing makes using filters so convenient and is the perfect size to carry all the important filters that you need.
Travel adapter and surge protector
Having a travel adapter is essential for travel. The problem I have run into more than one times is that the power conversion can ruin your gear. My wife lost a hair dryer to the power in a London hostel and I have lost computer batteries to the power in Budapest apartment and Spanish hotel. Because of that, you need a surge protector as well. This Bestek converter and protector combines both in one and is the ideal travel tool for anyone that likes to go international.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is a great tool if you like to hike or roadtrip. My favorite first aid kits are from Adventure Medical as they are designed really well, have great components and are lightweight and budget friendly.
This may seem weird, but it is one of the best gifts we have ever gotten because the Yazzi bags are seriously the best. We have been using ours, which is very similar to this one, for a decade now and it is always convenient and is very high quality.
Scratch-Off World Map
These maps are great and come in a variety of styles. We have one in our entryway in a nice frame and it is beautiful, reminds us of our travels and is a great conversation starter. We think there should be one in every home!
Lenspen is a perfect stocking stuffer. I love it for travel as it great for cleaning my camera lens, the lcd screen and any electronics.
You learn how essential earplugs are the first time you score a hotel right in the middle of hopping district and realize the noise from outside is going to keep you up all night. These earplugs are all you need and you get a supply that is going to last a long time for a great price.
Personalized Luggage Tags
Personalized luggage tags are a great way to give a personal touch to a thoughtful gift, plus they are very useful but most travelers neglect them so they make a great gift. Check out the selection of options on Amazon to pick the perfect style.
Most digital cameras use SD Cards, but you will want to make sure they are right for the camera used by the giftee. They come in all sorts and sizes, but we almost always stick to SanDisk to avoid failures that often happen with cheaper brands. We also like to get 64 gb to 256 gb sizes. Pick the right one for your photographer on Amazon.
The Thinguma is an amazingly useful tool. It goes on your keychain and ensures you have the right tool for almost everything you need when out shooting. It is also so flat and compact, you don’t even notice it on your keychain. See the current price now on Amazon.
If the traveler in your life doesn’t have a luggage scale, it is the perfect gift as it is very useful and will be appreciated before every trip taken. This is the one we like on Amazon.