There are plenty of listicles, marketplaces, algorithms, and idea generators for finding the best gifts for travel lovers. Here, however, I’d like to segment the gift ideas for travellers by the type of traveller they are! Whether they’re adventurous or artistic (or both!), then read on to discover the best gifts for travel lovers and get some inspiration for what to buy for travel fans!
Why buy a travel related gift at Christmas?
Firstly, why not?! Then ask yourself, does that friend or family member who you know LOVES to hop on a plane and is “always on holiday” really need the bath deluxe pampering gift set you’re planning to buy? In my experience, a thoughtful gift that will come in handy is always incredibly appreciated, and used! All gift giving is a beautiful, generous act, so why not give it that extra special personal touch and find the best gifts for people who love to travel?
The First Timer
The first timer is off on maybe a gap year, or their first solo trip, their first extended trip, or even just leaving the country for the first time! The gifts you give can have such a positive impact on this traveller. Play your cards right and you’ll quash any jitters about leaving home, get them the item they just can’t quite afford yet (travelling can be expensive, yo!), or simply let them know you’ll still be there on their return.
A couple of gift ideas for first time travellers include:
Notes From The Heart
Now this really is the most unique travel gift you can think of. There’s nothing more personal than a handwritten note of love, especially when a lot of thought has gone into it!
Speaking from my own experience, on my first longish trip away from my Mum at the age of 10 she was absolutely adorable and gave me a card to open EVERY DAY. Of course, you don’t need to do this for an extended trip, but even on my own gap year she gave me a card to open in each new country. Isn’t she the cutest?! I loved it so much it’s now become quite the tradition for every trip!
While your loved one may not necessarily get homesick, reminding them of the love and connections back home is always a warm, mushy feeling. And always appreciated. And best of all, it’s practically free!
Day Bag or Bumbag
Set them off right with a decent day bag or bumbag to take on their travels. This is a really practical gift idea for travel lovers, and particularly for first timers as they might not yet have one! A simple rucksack that can be sturdy and comfortable (bonus points for aesthetic) will do the job just fine. There are tons of ideas, but my top tip for buying a travel day bag is to get one with enough pockets! You don’t want to be faffing around digging for your keys, purse, or passport when you’re on the go.
Alternatively, invest in a bumbag (or fanny pack, depending on your nationality) as a holiday gift for travel lovers you know. They can be relatively inexpensive, and are always useful if they or you are concerned about safety in their destinations. This is especially great for new travellers, as it means a little extra peace of mind that their most crucial belongings stay in one place, and always in sight.
Many travellers take a lot of care and effort to be environmentally conscientious on their trips. Whether that be reducing plastic usage, leaving no trace, supporting small businesses, there are plenty of ways to be a mindful traveller.
Gifts for such environmentally focussed explorers (and all travellers for that matter!) include:
The use of shampoo and soap bars as alternative to plastic-packaged liquids has been growing among travellers for a while now. Not just for travelling, these handy bars can also be used in daily life and get you one step closer to a plastic-free bathroom!
Simple yet effective, you can purchase shampoo bars to suit all your hair needs from Lush, and likewise soap bars can come from all sorts of cosmetics shops and drugstores. The benefits of using bars instead of liquids when travelling are endless. They save space, they save money (they really do last ages!), they won’t leak AND they’re environmentally friendly. What more could you want?!
Reusable Water Bottle
A reusable water bottle is another gift idea for travel lovers doing their best for the planet. When out and about sightseeing all day it’s important to stay hydrated. That’s where a water bottle that can be refilled as many times as you’d like comes in! In many cities there are free water fountains available to replenish your bottle, which not only avoids buying single-use plastics, but also saves a bit of money!
There are plenty of reusable water bottles to consider purchasing as a small travel gift, take a look at the many styles and features to see what might appeal most!
The Culture Vulture
One of the many wonderful things about travel is the chance to see and experience different cultures. For the traveller who loves museums, art, music, theatre, history, and more, here are a couple of ideas to find them a unique travel gift:
It doesn’t get much simpler than a guidebook as a travel related gift. If you’re looking for an alternative guidebook that doesn’t just suggest activities, accommodation, and eateries, then look no further. CultureSmart! offer cultural guidebooks on a wide number of destinations across the world, written by experts and academics on that location. Their wealth of knowledge and experience means you’re in the safest of hands with getting to understand your next destination! I’ve read the Greece and New Zealand guides and both offer such a unique way of writing and sharing the culture, because it’s not just a copy paste job, it’s real experts sharing their advice!
Each guidebook takes you through a history of the country, immersing oneself in their political past and present, their customs and habits, the people’s behavioural norms and expectations, and tips and scenarios for business, guest, and a number of lifestyle situations. Such a cool gift for travellers will be an added insight into the place they’ll be visiting, and a chance to get even more excited for the upcoming trip! The books are slim enough to tuck in your carry-on luggage, and you can pretty much read the guide on your flight in preparation for the next adventure.
Another fun gift for travellers could be to look into their next destination and give them an experience gift. This could be tickets to an event or show, a pass to the local museums or art galleries, or a tour of the city itself.
Some cities offer multi-entry passes to various attractions, for example, the Copenhagen Card can give you access to a range of activities across the city from garden entry to historical landmarks. Perfect for staying flexible but thoughtful with your travel related gift!
Travelling is so often synonymous with adventure. For those that like to get their hearts racing and the adrenaline pumping, a travel related gift that suits those interests and that is practical for their chosen activities will be perfect.
These are a couple of travel related gifts you could get at Christmas for the traveller off on an adventure:
When you’re activities are as exciting as the adventurer’s, you need to make sure that you’re well-prepared for every eventuality! For those that enjoy water sports, a waterproof bag is an essential travel accessory. Keeping your belongings safe and dry while you whizz down the rapids or snorkel in the reefs will be one weight off your mind with such a useful item by your side.
If you think your travel lover friend might be the clumsy kind, consider a waterproof bag that has a waist strap and double zip, as this could avoid any potential disasters!
Portable Solar Charger
When you’re out and about as much as the adventurer, you definitely need to have yourself a portable charger to keep your devices working. Just imagine being on that hike and not being able to take those “I Did It” photos?! This is the gift for travel lovers that is always a winner, because you can never have too many power banks!
Better than just a standard portable charger is a solar one. Make the most of all that time spent outdoors by getting a bit of digital juice to your charger. Granted, portable solar chargers don’t always get much charge from solar energy, and do require being fully charged from a power socket, but it’s still handy to top it up while on the go. Plus, a product like the Levin Solar Charger is waterproof and durable enough to withstand getting bashed about thanks to its shockproof and dirt proof body!
GoPro or Sports Camera
A great gift idea for travel lovers with an adventurous side is the gift of capturing those once-in-a-lifetime moments! A GoPro or similar sports camera can range from cheap and practical to a real splash out gift with all the bells and whistles. Depending on your budget and needs, you’ll find a number of options to suit a gift for travel lovers who want to live life in the fast lane. You’ll be thankful too when you get to see the epic footage and shots they capture with your gift!
The Long Haul Explorer
The long haul explorer holds a special place in my heart. These noble creatures brave the longest of flights to visit distant lands, never leaving the confines of airports or planes for at least 16 hours at a time. Better still, these troopers also battle the ordeal of 12-hour long bus rides between cities, overnight trains, and any other lengthly method of transport that you can think of.
Make their arduous adventures a little more comfortable with these suggested travel related gifts:
Headphones & Headphone Adapter
Music, audiobooks, podcasts, movies – what do they all have in common? They all require sound. Granted, movies don’t necessarily do, but so much of the atmosphere comes from the audio they still count. Having a good pair of reliable headphones or ear buds will make all the difference to the travel lovers in your life as they really are such an invaluable accessory that can be used pretty much every day. Before you purchase this travel gift, it’s worth checking what style they prefer such as over- or in-ear headphones, and if they require certain features such as a microphone.
If headphones aren’t a possibility, there’s a small travel gift that makes a great addition to their existing audio gadgets. A headphone adapter to fit those annoying double-pronged airplane jacks will make you the genius to whom everyone says “why didn’t I think of that?!”. Such a simple travel gift, but yet so effective as it means the traveller will have the blissful pleasure of using their own headphones rather than those often less-than-reliable airline ones. No more waiting for the cabin crew to replace the broken pair, you’ll be watching movies and relaxing in no time!
If you think a long haul flight is bad, just imagine doing the same journey but without any form of built-in digital entertainment. Yup, I’m talking about lengthly bus, train, or boat journeys that are much, much worse. If your friend struggles to pass the time, there are heaps of ideas you can consider getting as a unique travel gift.
A pack of cards, travel games, or books are some of the best travel gift ideas for someone embarking on long trips. Have a think about what their interests are, and you’ll be surprised at how such a simple but thoughtful gesture will go a long way. They’ll be thinking of you when they imagine the alternative boredom that could have been without your gift! Bear in mind that the travel gift will be best if it’s light and compact, and of course not breakable!
I was recently the recipient of a Notes On A Nervous Planet by Matt Haig, gifted by Elle from Elle Goes Global, and it’s such a great read! It would certainly make a perfect addition to my luggage on my next trip.
Ah the travel blogger. What do you get for someone who already seemingly has every possible travel related gift out there? While the perpetual traveller may not care much for everyday items, gifts that will be used on the road are the best ones.
Here are my suggestions for what gifts to get the constant traveller AKA travel bloggers!
Tripod or Camera Accessories
It’s a well-known fact that one of the biggest travel blogger gripes is struggling with taking self-portraits. A tripod is the best travel gift for such a person facing this difficulty, no more selfie arms or awkwardly asking strangers for photos!
If capturing themselves in photos isn’t a priority, then general camera accessories are always helpful for travel bloggers with a keen interest in photography. A camera bag, lens accessories such as Lensball Pro, battery packs, SD cards, an Adobe Lightroom subscription and much more are all great gifts for those that love travel as much as capturing their trips to share. Have a think about what might be most useful, and ask them what they need most!
It’s pretty fundamental to blogging that you’re required to write, so a notebook is a great gift idea for travellers doing just that! Not even just bloggers or blogging notes, but budget tracking, journal taking, itinerary planning, or doodling can all be done with a simple notebook.
The travel easily and are a vital item to take on a trip for bloggers and trip-planners alike. And, you can spice up your gift with a personal touch thanks to the literally thousands of fun styles and looks to choose from!
Whatever you’re planning to buy as a gift for travel lovers this year, do remember that your generosity is so appreciated, and your kindness will not go unnoticed. You could easily get any of these items for any traveller and without a doubt they will be grateful. Gift giving is hard, but ultimately it’s the thought that counts, so the more unique the travel gift idea the better! Happy Shopping!
What are some travel related gifts you’ve thought of? Share some inspiration in the comments!
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Transparency Disclaimer: CultureSmart! were kind enough to gift me two of their guidebooks: the essential guide to customs and culture for Greece & New Zealand, however, all opinions remain my own.
This post includes Amazon affiliate links which, if clicked and purchased, incur no additional cost to you. It is simply a way to give a little back to bloggers such as myself for the recommendation provided.