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10 Unexpected Holiday Travel Gifts

If you have a traveler or two on your shopping list, cancel that trip to the mall. You don't have to search through boring racks of discount luggage to find perfect presents for your fellow globetrotters. Sure, suitcases and language translators make nice gifts -- but you can do better than that!

santa claus with globe

This year, present your loved ones with travel gifts that are, well, a little less traveled. Read on for 10 ideas.

While most guidebooks are destination-specific, this interesting series focuses on practical tips for nine different types of travelers. If you've got a solo traveler, an avid volunteer, a foodie or an adventurer on your shopping list, he or she will love one of these Traveler's Handbooks. Each volume offers comprehensive advice and anecdotes from experienced travelers in each specialty who've been there and done that. Price: $7.99 - $9.99 for Kindle editions, $16.99 for paperback.

If you've got a friend or family member who's prone to overpacking, this digital luggage scale from Etekcity can save them a few bucks at the airport. The lightweight scale will tell you how close you're getting to your airline's weight limit so you're not stuck moving clothes from one bag to the other in the check-in line. Price: $7.99.

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Help a traveling friend or family member keep their data secure on the road with the Alban Passport Holder Travel Wallet. U.S., Canadian and many E.U. passports have embedded chips that use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology to store information. This stylish leather wallet is designed to prevent this data from being skimmed by enterprising thieves with RFID readers. Price: $14.95.

For the adventurous female traveler who often finds herself in remote places without public facilities, the GoGirl just might be the perfect stocking stuffer. This "female urination device" (FUD), made of medical-grade silicone, has a unique funnel shape that allows women to pee standing up just as easily as their male counterparts can -- making backcountry hikes, long road trips and other out-of-the-way journeys much more convenient. Price: $19.98 for two.

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Got someone on your list who loves the great outdoors? Surprise him or her with an America the Beautiful Pass from the U.S. National Park Service. The pass grants a year of free entry to all federal recreation sites across the U.S., including national parks, wildlife refuges, monuments and more. One pass covers a carload of passengers (at sites which charge by the vehicle) or up to four adults (at sites that charge per person). Price: $80.

This fun world map allows your favorite traveler to scratch off each country he or she has visited, offering a visual representation of all his or her travel memories. The map measures 33 by 23 inches and is printed on glossy silk art paper. Price: $22.99.

gorillapod tripod

Perfect for avid photographers, the GorillaPod has three flexible arms that can either stand straight or wrap around a wide variety of surfaces -- so you can suspend it from a tree branch for an aerial shot or rest it on a table to stablize your camera in low-light conditions. The GorillaPod comes in a wide range of sizes to accommodate various cameras, phones and tablets. Price: $19.95 and up.

For the traveler who loves to write, sketch or simply jot down notes during a trip, these gorgeous Paperblanks journals make a perfect gift. They come in a variety of colors, sizes and designs. We like the Old Leather Jade Mini Notebook, which comes in a travel-friendly size (4 x 5.5. inches). Price: From $12.66.

Remember the old days when you could get the instant gratification of printing out a Polaroid snapshot just seconds after you took it? That's the retro appeal of this Polaroid Z2300 10 MP Digital Instant Print Camera, which combines the sharability and convenience of digital images with the indulgence of printing out your latest snapshot right on the spot. The camera includes an integrated printer that produces two- by three-inch photos in less than a minute. Say cheese! Price: $129.99.

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The Gift of Travel

What's every traveler's dream gift? A trip, of course! Amtrak Vacations, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and BedandBreakfast.com are a few examples of travel providers that offer gift cards for flights, trips or places to stay around the world. These gift cards give recipients the freedom to customize their vacations, and they'll definitely be thanking you (a lot) when they're building sandcastles in Tahiti or hiding away in a mountain lodge in Switzerland.

Want more gift ideas? Check out Top 11 Travel Stocking Stuffers and 8 Travel-Themed Holiday Gift Ideas for the Home.

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--written by Caroline Costello and Sarah Schlichter


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