The New York Times

The Frugal Traveler's Holiday Gift Guide

Want to sightsee on bikes but don’t want to rent? There is Citizen’s Tokyo model folding bike. With six gears and 16-inch wheels, it weighs an airplane-friendly 29 pounds and costs an astounding $164. Throw in a $28 carrying bag and you’re ready to check it on the next flight to Narita.

As you may have gathered from my souvenir-hunting post last week, the Frugal Traveler is somewhat reluctant to buy, well, things. It’s not stinginess on my part - it's that I dislike spending money on needless, often useless objects. Waste is the antithesis of frugality, and unnecessary belongings can make travel more difficult than it already is.

The same logic also operates in the holiday season. I don’t want to give - or receive - anything that, while momentarily amusing, fails to provide a useful function, or on the other hand is functional but charmless. And, needless to say, it shouldn't be expensive.

But when it comes to travel-related products, many fit all three categories of wastefulness. Those SuperHeadz cameras sold at Flight 001 may be adorable, but for practicality, give me something digital. The odor-resistant, easy-to-clean underwear by Ex Officio, and the varieties of socks by SmartWool are travel essentials, but come on: Who wants undies and socks for Christmas? Then there’s luggage, an impressive present but, given its tendency to disintegrate with heavy use, usually overpriced (I'm looking at you, Mandarina Duck).

So, to improve this situation, I’ve put together a list of gifts perfect for the frugal travelers in your life that will inspire them to cross oceans and deserts - and give them the tools to do so easily, cheaply and with style.

Here are 10 useful gifts for the frugal traveler in your life.

#10. Want to sightsee on bikes but don’t want to rent? There is Citizen’s Tokyo model folding bike. With six gears and 16-inch wheels, it weighs an airplane-friendly 29 pounds and costs an astounding $164. Throw in a $28 carrying bag and you’re ready to check it on the next flight to Narita.