Are you having a Secret Santa party at work or with a group of friends? Well if the person you’ve drawn loves to travel, I’ve got the perfect gift idea for you! Here’s a list of 40 Secret Santa gift ideas under $40.
This list would also be great for White Elephant, Chinese Christmas or other gift exchange parties! You can click any picture or linked text below to be taken directly to that item on Amazon. Please note some of the links below are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link.
What is Secret Santa?
If this is your first time playing Secret Santa, let me briefly explain how it works. It’s a little different everywhere, but generally it involves a group of people all having their names in a “hat” and everyone drawing for who will receive a gift from them. You are then that person’s Secret Santa! It is usually kept a secret up until after the gift is unwrapped, but I’ve also played where you never find out.
1. Bluetooth Speaker
This bluetooth speaker has two of the most important things to look for right in it’s title: Waterproof and 24-Hour playtime. While this Anker speaker barely passes for “under $40” there are definitely a ton of other options when it comes to portable speakers. Let this be your jumping off point and remember to always look for waterproof and water-resistant options! Anker is a pretty trusted name, but I’ve also had good experiences with Sony, Altec Lansing and Ultimate Ears.
2. Scratch Map
A scratch map will be on any travel-focused gift guide! This particular map also comes with a frame. If the person you have in mind doesn’t like lottery ticket type scratching, consider a map with tack or a magnetic map with markers.
3. Phone Lens Kit
Here’s a phone lens kit that works for both iPhones and Androids. I bought this same kit a few years ago as a present for a budding photographer, she loved it!
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for an adventurous traveler, how about a LifeStraw? This would also be a great gift for doomsday and zombie apocalypse preppers! They filter out 99% of bacteria from water, making it safe to drink.
5. Water-Resistant Travel Bag
A water-resistant travel bag can come in all shapes and sizes. I currently have a backpack that I like to stuff my laptop, camera and gimbal in while traveling. What makes this bag so unique is that it can fold up to a tiny little thing and be tucked away as a “just in case” bag!
6. Free People Sleeping Mask
Here’s a gift for your hip Secret Santa: a Free People sleeping mask. But if you’re having trouble justifying this boujee, leather sleeping mask, click here for one that’s highly rated on Amazon and under $20.
The most talked about travel pillow of 2019. You’ll want to act fast if you’re a Prime member, it’s on sale (Dec. 2019)! If you’re not a Prime member, try Amazon Prime with a 30-day free trial. There’s no better time than around Christmas to get 2-day deliveries and extra $$$ off certain items!
If you want to go with a more classic travel pillow, I highly suggest this AERIS travel pillow. Not only does it come with a storage bag, sleeping mask and earplugs, but it’s also under $25! I have one in blue and it’s been with me on all airplane rides longer than three hours.
2. Water Shoes
These are not your water shoes from the 90s. If your Secret Santa likes to float the river, hit up the lake in the summer or wants some stylish poolside shoes to slip on, grab a pair of these. And while you’re at it, grab a pair for yourself like I did. The link above is to the women’s version, but they also have a men’s listing here. Side note for the ladies: My last pair of Nike’s were a size 10 and I ordered a 9 in these and they fit perfectly. Also, I literally wear these every other day.
3. Shampoo & Conditioner Bars
I keep saying I am going to try shampoo and conditioner bars, but haven’t bought any for myself. This would be a great gift for any traveler that is looking to keep a little more plastic out of the ocean and save a bit of space in their luggage. It’s on my list of gifts I hope to receive this year so I can finally try them out on my trip to New Zealand!
4. Power Bank
Another Anker product! Apower bank! Here’s a Secret Santa gift idea that anyone could use and love. While you could definitely get a cheaper one, this one boast at least two full charges for most phones! And 3.6 for mine (iPhone 8). All of my cheaper $5 chargers get me back up to around 70-85%.
Great for anyone who must always have their hair fixed, this 2 in 1 flat iron and curling iron is travel sized and comes with a little storage bag! I’ll be keeping this in mind for when my youngest sister starts traveling.
6. Travel Adapter
Now this is truly a must for any international traveler! If you’re Secret Santa is planning an overseas trip, they are going to need an adapter. This particular adapter is a “5 in 1” and even has USB ports.
1. A Floating Cooler
Here’s something I bought myself to float the river and keep hydrated! A floating cooler. Otherwise you have to rent one. This gift would be perfect for anyone that loves to be on the lake, river and in the pool!
2. Travel Gift Cards
If you’ve seen my other gift guides, this one might look familiar… A travel gift card for Airbnb, Uber, Carnival Cruise Line or Hotels.com, can help immensely in their next trip. It might even get their mind spinning on where to travel next! If all else fails, a regular Visa gift card is always a winner.
3. Packing Cubes
This is also an item I am eyeing for my upcoming trip to New Zealand, packing cubes. While my ticket comes with a carry-on and a checked bag, I really want to try and just keep to one or the other! Preferably the carry-on. We might do some flying between islands and I don’t want to have to pay for the extra bag! If you know an over-packer (like me) save them some grief and buy them this set!
4. Travel Cocktail Kits
For your 21+ Secret Santa gift idea (or younger if you’re outside the States), how about an Old Fashioned Cocktail Kit? This particular kit makes six servings!
This Gin & Tonic Cocktail Kit is probably the only one I won’t be buying as a gift this year. But hey, maybe your Secret Santa is a gin drinker! This kit makes three servings.
For your classy Secret Santa, try gifting this Champagne Cocktail Kit. Honestly, this is the one that interests me the most. I’ve never heard of a champagne cocktail, but I’ll give it a try for research purposes, or course! This particular kit makes six servings.
5. A Jewelry Organizer
This jewelry organizer is similar to one I will be gifting this year! If you’ve ever packed headphones, necklaces are basically the same. They always get tangled. This is a great gift for anyone who loves to always have a necklace or two on!
6. A Selfie Stick with Lighting
Gift big or go home! Don’t gift any basic selfie stick like the other tourists will be using, give the gift of perfect lighting with this selfie stick/flash combo. This particular selfie stick also converts to a tripod!
1. Silicone Wine Glasses
Here’s another gift for those that love to be on or near the water! With silicone wine glasses you don’t have to worry about glass breaking and it helps cut down on using non-reusable cups.
2. Toiletry Set
A travel toiletry set is a gift you can be sure will get used. This men’s kit has 20 pieces and a bag to store everything in!
Here’s a similar travel toiletry set for women. Although, women are usually more particular about their products, so keep this in ming if this is the gift you plan on buying.
3. A Portable Blender
I was inspired to put this portable blender on this Secret Santa gift idea post after seeing an ad on Facebook. It also made its way onto my “to buy” gift list this year. It’s a good thing my younger sisters don’t read my blog… LOL.
4. A Car Power Inverter
As someone who travels a lot by car, a power inverter is a must. If you know someone heading out on a road trip, this is an excellent gift idea. I’ve used mine for charging camera batteries, my laptop and even a heating pad when my car’s heater was nonexistent.
5. Travel Hair Dryer
A small foldable hair dryer isn’t something everyone usually needs. Hotels usually always have one available for you, right? Well, when it’s bolted to the wall in the bathroom and you can’t be in the bathroom, you have a problem. This would be great for anyone who loves to road trip in camper vans or RVs!
6. Travel-Sized Steamer
This travel-sized steamer would be a great gift for a bride- or groom-to-be with an upcoming destination wedding. I’ve needed a steamer when traveling for weddings more than once, so I can only imagine how handy this would be if it was my big day.
A passport wallet is a great idea for your international traveling Secret Santa, and this one can even be personalized! As someone who was gifted this one, I definitely recommend it!
1. Waterproof Phone Pouch
Another gift great for the water lover! I bought this two pack of waterproof phone pouches for floating the river and they worked great. I do recommend doing a tissue test before 100% trusting the pouch, I did! While on the river, I used my phone to play music on a speaker, texted and took pictures! All safely within the pouch.
2. Toiletry Bag
A toiletry bag that they can fill with their own items is also a great choice. Whenever my boyfriend travels anywhere (even to the gym) he always has this bag with him. I gave him this bag two Christmases ago and it’s holding up great!
Here’s a toiletry bag that’s a bit more feminine and that can be hung up!
3. A Smartphone Tripod
If your Secret Santa is know for always taking pictures, consider some type of smartphone tripod! My mom purchased this one and used it for filming videos of DIY projects. It would also be great to set up at a Secret Santa party to make sure you can get everyone in the group picture!
4. A Water Bottle
This water bottle may look familiar if you’ve looked at some of my packing lists and other gift guides. It’s one I bought myself a few years ago and has traveled all over with me. Bonus: It’s also a fruit infuser bottle for your Secret Santa that loves to keep hydrated!
5. A Quick Dry, Microfiber Towel
If you’re looking for a great, practical gift idea, this microfiber towelis for you. I was gifted this for Christmas for my trip to Iceland and boy did it come in handy! We used it to wipe off the windows for the first few hours in our drive. We needed it for all the rain we got on our our pants and jackets as we were getting in and out of the car. We were going to use it for the hot springs, but never got around to going to one. I also used it for when I floated the river this summer!
6. Camera Rain Cover
Here’s another gift for your Secret Santa that loves to take photos! This camera rain cover was a must in Iceland next to the waterfalls and now I won’t be deterred taking photos if it’s raining on one of my trips!
7. Sriracha Key Chain
I saw this Sriracha keychain and instantly knew I’d be purchasing it as a gift for my boyfriend this year! If your Secret Santa is always reaching for the hot sauce, they’ll get a kick out of this!
8. Phone Stand
Talk about perfect for someone who’s always flying! This phone stand is great for resting on a tray table and watching your phone on a long flight.
9. Reusable Straws
For your environmentally conscious Secret Santa, give the gift of reusable straws! These are also a great gift for places where the use of plastic straws are banned.
10. First Aid Kit
If you know a clumsy traveler, this first aid kit could be the perfect Secret Santa gag gift!
11. Makeup Remover Cloth
These makeup remover cloths are perfect for a traveler! They dry quickly, take up less space than a whole package of makeup remover wipes and are more environmentally-friendly.
12. SD Card Reader for iPhone/iPad
Some people just can’t wait to look at, share or edit the photos they take on their camera! Give the photographer on your Christmas shopping list this SD phone reader! This particular one is compatible with iPhones and iPads. Let it be a jumping off point if you need one that works with another phone brand.
13. Travel Planner
For the aspiring writer, blogger and planner! This travel planner helps your Secret Santa keep track of every detail of their trip, but also helps them remember it better! This particular planner helps keep track of six trips.
14. Wine Bag
A lot of people like to buy wine in California, Fredericksburg, Italy and France and then bring it home. Help alleviate some of their stress of packing it in their checked luggage and gift them these wine bottle bags. Not only do they help protect the bottle inside their luggage, they also help protect their clothes from the wine if the bottle does break!
While the numbered lists might not add up to 40, trust me, I have listed more than 40 Secret Santa gift ideas and options! Also, this post took quite a long time to put together, if you see any broken links or links that are not linking to the correct product, please send me a message or leave a comment below so I can fix it!
Merry Christmas and good luck with your Secret Santa gift shopping!
Hi friends! If this list left you needing more Secret Santa gift ideas, take a look at my other gift guides by clicking here. Let me know if this list sparked a new idea in your mind by leaving a comment below!