Since traveling is a huge passion of mine (It makes up nearly half my list!) and often appears on other people’s dream lists as well, I plan to write about travel on a regular basis. Every Thursday, you will find a post relating to all things traveling- either a personal story, tips and advice or recent news. All of the posts are designed to inspire and help you pursue your travel dreams.

Since the holidays are just around the corner, you might be shopping for an avid traveler or hoping to be gifted some useful travel items of your own. So what does every hardcore traveler need?

Noise-canceling headphones.
If you’ve ever sat in a window seat next to an airplane engine, you understand why this is so nice to have. Most headphones start around US $25 and up. Earbuds start at around $15.

Eye mask
I tend to take a lot of redeye flights and night trains, so having some means of blocking out light is essential. I confess that I haven’t bought one myself. But after trying to sleep through a night train trip with a light shining in my eyes, I’m getting one before my next trip. Eye masks are quite cheap, starting at around $4. They are also sometimes found in high-end amenity kits.

Travel Pillow
Because most airline pillows just won’t cut it. If you even get a pillow in the first place. Many travel pillows resemble neckwraps and some are inflatable, which saves space when they’re not being used. They are priced at around $10 and up.

My parents gave me a digital camera last year as a birthday present and it has proven to be a wonderful gift. With a large memory card, it’s easy to take hundreds of pictures without worrying if I’m going to run out of space. Plus, many cameras come with features like taking video, so you don’t have to lug along a separate video camera. Cameras start at around $100 for a simple point-and-shoot to thousands for a high-end digital SLR camera. Camera accessories like a waterproof case also make a good gift.

Carry-on bag
With many airlines now charging fees to check a bag, traveling with just a carry-on makes more sense then ever. Besides saving money in fees, you can also save a lot in time since you don’t have to wait in line to check bags or wait to pick them up at baggage claim. Plus it’s rather hard for an airline to lose your bag if you don’t give them a bag to lose in the first place. A website called One Bag offers a lot of great packing tips and some recommendations for carry-on bags.

Other gift ideas include an iPhone since there are many travel apps like flight trackers out there that can be installed on it. An Amazon Kindle or other electronic book reader also works. Happy traveling!