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Finding the Best Travel Gifts
Do you know someone about to go travelling? Are you looking for the perfect gift? Maybe it is for someone who is already on an adventure or perhaps you are making travel plans and being asked what you might like as a gift?
It can be a difficult task when searching for the ideal present for someone else. The last thing you want is to give or receive a present that is not needed or is not ideal. Even with the best of intentions, this can happen.
Unless you know the person well and are very sure of what they might want as a gift for their adventures, it may be better to ask what they need. It is always a pleasure to give a gift that is really appreciated.
Take into consideration the following:
- Are they planning to travel with as little baggage as possible?
- Will they be travelling in winter or summer? Or both?
- Are they travelling long-term or on a short holiday?
- Is it a road trip they are going on and will they have room to carry something larger that might be an ideal gift?
Many of us know how difficult it can be to pack wisely but still end up with items we wish we hadn’t put in our bag, those ‘must have’ items that are used once, if at all.
We asked some fabulous travel bloggers from around the world to suggest travel gift ideas that they either use or that they would love to have themselves, many wonderful ideas have been recommended and are listed below.
A really practical gift to give someone who loves travelling is a new rucksack that can be used as carry on luggage and as a daypack at the destination. When choosing the best rucksack for travelling to give as a gift, look for something that is sturdy, has a zip that opens right around to give easy access, has a padded laptop or device compartment and has different sections to keep belongings organised. A rucksack is a trusted travel companion that goes on many adventures with the owner, so choose it carefully. Does the person you are buying for like designer labels, are they somebody that carries a lot of tech with them or have they had a baby and still love to travel? There are rucksacks to suit every type of traveller, so think carefully about what they need from a rucksack so you can pick the perfect gift.
Karen Bleakley is a freelance travel writer and blogger at Smart Steps to Australia where she helps families move to Australia and explore their new home.
Karen from Smart Steps to Australia
Secret Pocket Belt
One item I always bring with me when travelling is a belt with a secret pocket, where I can hide any large amount of cash which is better not to show in shops or markets. This is even truer if you are an aid worker and live in countries where there is a lot of poverty and every medium amount of money can be of interest for pickpocketers.
In the belt, you can place to a maximum of 5-6 rolled notes, meaning that you can use it to conceal up to 600 USD. As this was a gift for myself, I highly recommend it as a present for your travelling friends and relatives.
Mario from Human Italian
Victorinox Swiss Army Knife
Top on my packing list for traveling is my Victorinox Swiss Army knife, Huntsman II. My grandfather first purchased me this item as I headed off to
university, with my name engraved on the side. What I thought of as nifty at the time has become essential travel gear 20 years later. In college, I appreciated the wine bottle opener for picnics in Paris when I was studying abroad. When camping with friends, I used the small saw for fireside projects and tiny tweezers for splinters.
Cerise from Enchanted Vagabond
Travel sized Beauty Products
Being a beauty blogger at Fabulous and Fun Life my favourite gift for travellers is a collection of luxurious and hydrating travel sized beauty products.
Ingrid from Fabulous and Fun Life
Janska Mock Socks
There is nothing more comforting when you go on a long-haul flight to take your shoes off and slip into warm, and super snuggly socks.
The most important thing when flying is to feel cozy, comfortable, and relaxed. The Janska MockSocks tick all the boxes for me. They are made with a double layer of fleece plus a skid resistant sole that makes them ideal to even walk around on the airplane.
They are the perfect gift for men and women alike. With a choice of seven colors and five different sizes, it is easy to find one that will make your loved one happy.
The JanskaMockSocks are not only a practical but also a stylish gift for anyone who loves traveling. They are lightweight and fit easily into any carry-on bag.
To top things off, Janska MockSocks are made in the USA and are machine washable. For more travel accessories and ideas, please click here.
Anke from Fun Traveling With Kids
I think a Kindle is the best possible gift you can give a traveller. I love books and resisted buying a Kindle for a long time, but now that I have one I can’t imagine life without it.
A Kindle gives you access to unlimited books at your fingertips, without having to lug around heavy books and squish them into your backpack. It’s such an incredible gift to be able to take out your Kindle while waiting for a delayed plane or to sip a coffee at a pavement cafe and read a book about the country you’re visiting. You can whip it out in a restaurant if you feel awkward having dinner alone, or read it on the beach without getting sand between the pages. You can also download lots of classic books for free if you’re on a budget.
Maire from Temples and Treehouses
This travel wallet by Passport Amigo is the perfect travel companion for every trip.
One of the great features of this new Tyvek™ Travel Wallet is that the outside and inside can be written on. So you can plot your journey on the atlas-quality map cover and make notes inside.
And with 4 interior pockets, there’s plenty of room for storing small travel documents or keepsakes such as museum tickets, beer labels, currency notes, etc.
When you return from your trip, simply slip your passport out of your wallet, return it to the keepsake tin, along with any other items you’ve collected such postcards or special photos from your trip, so you have a reminder of your travels all in one place.
When you’re ready for your next trip, you can purchase another wallet and begin collecting the set!
Melanie from Passport Amigo
Noise Reducing Headphones
The worst part about getting on vacation is getting there and getting back. Flying in Business can be great but most of us will probably be flying in the
back of the plane. Noise reducing headphones can make your onboard experience more enjoyable. The first time I came across these headphones was on a transatlantic business class flight with American Airlines. In business class, they distribute Bose noise-reducing headphones instead of the earbuds you get in economy. I bought myself my own pair after I noticed the advantages. The noise reducing feature compensates for the monotonous hum of the aircraft engines. It helps me to sleep, or just to relax when I want to listen to some music. If you close your eyes you can completely forget you’re on an aircraft.
Sylvia from Wapiti Travel
Portable External Hard Drive
As a traveler, we are used to taking loads and loads of pictures of the places we visit. A couple of times it happened that our camera memory got
exhausted on the spot. That is when a hard drive comes in handy. We always carry an external hard drive during our travels. We make sure we transfer all the pictures from the camera to the hard drive by end of the day in that way the pictures are stored safely. It is surprising that some of our destinations folders have more than 1000 pictures. And we wonder how we would have managed without a hard drive.
Rashmi and Chalukya from Go Beyond Bounds
Peli i1065 iPad Case
Deeptha from The Globe Trotter
HP Spectre Laptop
The HP Spectre is easily the best laptop I have ever owned. It is also the most expensive laptop I have ever owned which makes it the perfect gift for the special traveller in your life who would never spoil themselves with this snazzy piece of tech.
I’m frequently flying around the globe and my HP Spectre comes everywhere with me. Its slim, lightweight design barely makes a dent in my carry-on allowance and the 10+ hour battery life make it the perfect companion for a long-haul flight.
The 13.3 inch size slides easily into my handbag making pulling it out for x-ray a breeze but the compact size does not distract from your viewing pleasure thanks to over two million pixels. The HP Spectre converts into a tablet by folding the tactile keyboard all the way around which is where the ultra-responsive touch screen comes into its own.
Packed with 16GB of memory, a lighting fast Intel processor and Bang & Olufsen speakers this lean powerhouse is a delight to use and I am seriously in lust. I bet you know someone who would be too!
Bonus: Get the sleek matching mouse!
Allison from Flights to Fancy
Travel Photo Map
A perfect gift for any traveler is a travel photo map. Using an easy online template, you can add travel photos to complete a blank outline map of either
the United States, a specific state, Canadian provinces, Europe, or the seven continents. The best part is that the map is fully customizable and you can see online how the photo will look before you print and frame it.
Most people who travel want to remember their time and experiences at that specific destination. This travel photo map allows you to choose the right photo to represent the place, country, state or continent you have visited and have it on display to reminisce on your travels. Read more about the Travel Photo Map.
Margie from DQ Travel
Inflatable Neck Pillow
Every traveler must go through more than one long trip on his journey. Hours sitting in the same position can generate great discomfort in your body,
especially in the neck and back.
How to avoid it? The most important thing is to have the right clothes and some items that can help you, such as a neck cushion.
These cushions have a shape that adapts to your neck and allows you to relax your head and sleep without pain. A must in any traveler’s luggage, and certainly an excellent gift for someone who will start an adventure soon.
The most comfortable model for not using large luggage spaces are the inflatables neck pillows. In this way, you can fill them with air only when you need them, and the rest of the time transport them without using unnecessary space and without adding weight to your backpack.
Ale from Universoviajero
Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 action camera
If you’re feeling generous, an excellent present for an active traveller would be a Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 action camera. Action cameras are brilliant because they’re small, robust and able to record superb action footage while being immersed in it. You can attach them to helmets, handlebars or even surfboards to take footage and shots you wouldn’t get any other way.
The Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 is my go-to action camera. It takes great quality 4k footage, has image stabilization and really handy features like photo burst mode, voice control and a colour touchscreen display that even works through the waterproof case.
The camera is a great choice for anyone that wants to show sensor data (such as speed, altitude, gradient) over the top of the video footage; perfect for sports like cycling!
Read the full review of the Garmin action camera by Clare from the Epic Road Rides blog.
Clare from Epic Road Rides
It was on my first overland trip to Southern Africa that I saw a headlamp. During this trip, we were camping in all the safari reserves in Zimbabwe,
Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. Of course, there were not many lights nor electricity as we were mostly camping in the bush. It was a perfect tool to prepare dinner, barbecue and sit around the campfire while having your hands free to enjoy a nice G & T.
When I moved to South Africa myself a few years later, a headlamp was the first thing I bought for the many trips that I was going to undertake. And actually, it is the perfect gadget to have handy all the time. Even when we experienced a lot of power cuts last year, I always kept a few headlamps in the drawer so that we weren’t bothered too much of not having electricity for a few hours.
Jessy from Planet Pilgrims
Reusable Water Bottle
One of the most useful and practical gifts you can give any traveler is an insulated water bottle. Every traveler can use an insulated water bottle if they
don’t already have one. It will keep drinks cold or hot for hours, and encourage them to stay well hydrated. Using a reusable water bottle instead of always purchasing plastic bottles of water also helps keep travel costs lower and reduces plastic waste which is good for the environment. The water bottle I use and recommend is the Klean Kanteen which is a stainless steel bottle that is durable and leak proof and BPA-free.
Matilda from The Travel Sisters
I’ve always loved to receive gift cards before travel. There are so many options these days from Airbnb vouchers for accommodation bookings, prepaid credit cards for splurging on the road or just regular gift vouchers from big box stores for the expenses that pop up in the lead up to travel (like needing to top up your expensive hair products and moisturiser in case you can’t find them elsewhere).
Store-specific gift cards from places like Kathmandu or Patagonia are super-helpful when the giftee needs gear but make sure to ask which brand they prefer, or just stick with a general gift card.
Emma from Little House Lovely Home
Cross Body Bags
For me, the best travel accessory is my cross body travel bag. It’s the perfect way to carry all my personal belongings with me whether I am out
sightseeing or traveling to my destination. I have a specific lightweight cross body travel bag that I use whenever we travel and leave my usual handbag
Your everyday handbag is far too bulky and usually doesn’t offer any security features like a cross body bag designed specifically for travel. My travel
bag has various different compartments perfect for keeping different foreign currency separated, as well as passports, tickets, notebook, pens, sunglasses, mobile – I can even squeeze in my DSLR!
The beauty about cross body bags is the built-in security features. Features include secret pockets, RDID protection, lockable zippers and slash proof.
I think a cross body travel bag is an essential travel accessory and would make the perfect for a traveller.
Melissa from Thrifty Family Travels
Go Pro Camera
An awesome gift that melts a traveler’s heart is a GoPro.Who doesn’t love a GoPro when traveling? Especially for the adventure-loving people, this HD-
camcorder is a gift from above. Nowadays,less is more. Just a size of a fist, this camera records every single second of every single wild travel adventure in HD. Tiny yet built for the ruggedness this world has to offer. Afraid to get sand, water or dirt in the camera? No problem at all. Go pro is built for the long run.
Star and Pierre from Anything Under Our Stars
External Power Bank Battery Charger
An external battery or power bank is one of the most useful travel gifts that every traveler needs. It is one of my essential travel items and I always
bring at least one external battery with me when travelling. They are necessary to charge my smartphone and other electronics when I don’t have access to a power outlet – for example on a flight or when spending time outdoors or sightseeing. Like most people, I use my smartphone for everything from email to taking notes and photos to look up directions, so my battery is depleted very quickly. If you don’t want the traveler in your life to get stuck with a depleted battery, a power bank makes for a perfect affordable gift.
Patti from The Savy Globe Trotter
Digital Photo Frame
Travelers that like to take pictures need a way to display all the travel photos so that they are not just sitting on an SD card somewhere. Personally, I
love my Nixplay digital photo frame and I think it’s the perfect gift for travelers. I keep it in my living room and it scrolls through my favorite memories. It’s easy to add new photos to your frame. You can either do it on the Nixplay website or app. Plus, if you want, you can authorize friends to send their pictures directly to your frame. The frame has wifi and stores your photos in the cloud. It comes in several sizes and colors. Some of the photo frames can also play videos.
Anisa from Two Traveling Texans
The best little travel gift Mark and I ever gave each other was our portable travel safe. It is a sturdy safe that you can attach to anything that is well mounted.
When we travel we normally attach it to a sink or something else within the room that would take a lot of noise to get it off! I feel it is safer to use that some of the hotel safes. It is a good size for money or jewellery and if you don’t have too many it will hold a passport or two.
We got this little fellow from our local Aldi store but there are plenty that you can find on the internet to purchase.
Bec from Wyld Family Travel
Read more about Portable Travel Safes and Anti-Theft Backpacks
Nomads World Backpacker Accommodation Voucher
For the Traveller heading to Australia and New Zealand, Nomads World offers a Bed Hopper Multi Night Pass. This would be an absolutely awesome gift to give or to receive. Their backpacker hostels are highly rated and very popular.
The passes are available from 7 nights up to 60 nights, taking the worry out of budgeting for accommodation when on a trip.
Nomads World also offers work and travel packages with lots of added information for first time Aussie explorers.
Base Backpacker Hostels also offer Bed-Hopper passes and a range of quality, fun backpacker hostels that are incredibly popular.
Read our East Coast Road Trip Itinerary for inspiration on places to stay and things to do.
Tour or Activity Voucher from ‘Get Your Guide’
Get your Guide is one of the biggest global online travel agents and offer Worldwide Tours and Activities. It is really easy to search for 1000’s of things to do in any country then click on the ‘Give this as a Gift’ link and follow the prompts.
The gift certificate does not have to be for a specific activity and is valid for up to 18 months from the purchase date. The vouchers can be purchased for any amount you choose and are then used towards a chosen product.
Buying a Voucher for a friend to be used on any tour or activity of their choosing is another way to ease the worry of budgeting on a trip.
Browse their website to see what tours and activities are on offer…
Pure Wool Thermal Base Layer Clothing
For travellers about to head off skiing or to any cold climate destinations, pure wool undergarments are ideal as a gift. Wearing a base layer made from pure wool and then adding further layers of clothing on top is the best way to regulate body heat and stay warm.
It is exceptionally warm and very soft to wear against the skin, and it soaks up to 30% of its own weight in moisture whilst still keeping the wearer dry as it is moisture-wicking and able to draw perspiration away from the skin
The odour-resistance properties of Merino make it even more appealing for travellers as the wool resists bacteria. This means a merino item can be worn for longer without getting stinky and does not need washing as often as regular clothing. Simply hanging it out to air between uses will generally freshen it up, ready for another day of adventuring!
Jane from Explore The Great Ocean Road
Portable Coffee Makers
There is something so good about waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Taking along a portable coffee maker on your travels can be really useful. Saving money whilst enjoying a brew at any time of the day and anywhere you choose is a bonus.
We use an AeroPress coffee maker as it is so simple, lightweight and durable. As long as there is somewhere to boil water, we are good to go. However, there are so many choices available for the coffee addicts amongst us. Coffee plungers that are integrated within a thermal mug make for an excellent way to drink on the move…
Water Filter Bottles
Reusable water filter bottles are an ideal way to save money and also eliminate the use of throw plastic throw away bottles. Taking it a step further, the water filter system bottles are a great way to ensure safe drinking water when on the road.
Quite a few different makes of water bottles with built-in filters are available with different uses – some will filter river water etc. and a few are able to filter water from almost any source.
These travel gift ideas and more can be found on Amazon