As a gift giver, shopping for gifts for travelers can feel like fun. But those of us on the receiving end of these traveling gifts know that some travel gift ideas are better than others.
Of course, that’s true of all gifts, but we travelers, in particular, need functionality and convenience above all else.
A lot of gift guides for travelers out there include some questionable items, but I’ve spent the past few years compiling and updating this gift guide to make it the most comprehensive list of travel gear and gift ideas that people would actually want. And we’ve come up with 42 items that will serve any traveler in your life.
Every item in this gift guide is useful, practical, long-lasting and many even eco-friendly. If you’re out of travel gift ideas, you should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for here.
Bring business class comfort on your economy class flight with this deluxe travel pillow
. Forget the limp U-pillows in the airport shops, this is the Ferrari of head support.
Guaranteed to avoid the dreaded post-flight crick in the neck. It has supports for your neck, chin and head using a memory foam core, and it can even strap to your headrest to keep you extra stable mid-flight. Designed to give you the ultimate in-flight comfort, the only thing this pillow doesn’t have for your neck is a built-in masseuse.
I am a sucker for a nice travel journal. They are like memory vaults, full of anything from journal entries to the bizarre directions a stranger gave you that you had to quickly scribble down. What better way to hold onto these precious moments than this quality, Japanese design from Midori?
It pulls the travel picture together with a stylish, classic look. Its high-quality craftsmanship will furthermore hold your treasured memories safely without falling apart.
Who knew thermoses could be so cool? These stylish insulated bottles keep your cold stuff cold and your hot stuff hot while also being slim, chic and environmentally friendly.
has a number of designs made for travelers to take water, booze, coffee, tea, soup or any other liquid you’d rather not have lukewarm. Absolutely one of the best gifts for travelers who like to stay on the move with refreshment always on hand.
You will never believe how useful packing cubes are until you try them. These handy little packing cubes
do two things: they keep all your clothes separated for easy access, and they save you space by compressing them all.
When you travel with packing cubes, you’re staying exceptionally organized and saving yourself a ton of packing space in your bag! Say goodbye to dirty old shopping bags full of clothes, these make great gifts for travelers who need some organization in their life.
We’ve all been there: Plans have gone out the window, it’s pouring with rain, you can’t find where you’re supposed to be going and you’re starting to panic. In times like these, it’s always good to have a reminder that it’s all going to be OK.
That’s just where this shirt
comes in: Look in the mirror, look at the shirt and remember to keep your chin up. After all, what could be better than traveling?
Picture this: Walking the streets of a far-off city while you head towards a beautiful art gallery, your phone suddenly dies and you lose your directions. You could run all the way back to the hotel and use the wall socket, or you could save yourself a whole lot of hassle with this power bank from Anker.
This portable charger is an amazing piece of technology. It’s so small, you can keep it in your pocket next to your phone. Yet, it can hold enough charge for at least three full recharges. It’s a perfect gift for a city traveler.
There is nothing like a quality cup of joe on a trip. The ESPRO travel press
means that you never have to settle for instant coffee.
With the french press and pour-over capabilities, as well as a tea brewing capability, this travel press means you can have a cuppa your way, no matter where you are. It is also nice and compact to slide smoothly into your gear without taking up too much space.
I lovethese washbags from Scrubba.
They are basically a portable washing machine for your trail gear. Dirty, stinky trail gear that’s being worn day after day is a hygiene risk (not to mention gross). But a Scrubba will have it fresh and clean with just a touch of detergent and some water.
These make perfect gifts for travelers who are looking for a space saver—washing your clothes mid-hike means you don’t have to pack as much clothing, plus the bag can be used as a laundry bag once dry. What’s more, you’ll save money while traveling by not having to pay for washing services or a laundromat, which makes it one of the best travel gift ideas.
One of the most irritating parts of traveling to new countries is power sockets. Why can’t they be standardized like charging cables? It would make things so much easier.
Thankfully, there is a magic solution. This universal travel adapter
adjusts to fit any socket anywhere in the world, instantly giving you peace of mind about whether you will be able to charge anything on your arrival. Compact, sleek and ruggedly designed, this is one of the best gifts for travelers who are looking to cut down on unnecessary purchases during their trip.
Just to be clear, we are not telling you to buy the Egyptian artifact held at the British Museum (though if you get the chance, you should definitely see it). Rather, Rosetta Stone
is a language learning tool that is easy for everyone to use.
Plus, it rounds out this gift guide with one of the best travel gifts you can get. No, it’s not a piece of tangible travel gear, but it will be something that the traveler in your life appreciates on his next adventure.
This is a great travel gift idea because it teaches everyday foreign language skills that you can use quickly and easily, instead of getting bogged down in excessive vocabulary and grammar. With a wide range of language options, Rosetta Stone is a great way to prepare yourself for a new country and make yourself some new friends. That’s why it’s one of the coolest travel gift ideas.
With its lightweight fabric and a funky mountain theme that tells people where you’d rather be, this is one of the best travel gifts for someone who needs a little extra in their wardrobe (or bag). And, besides, you can rep your favorite travel website while on the road!
One of my favorite places in the world to hike is the mountains of southern New Zealand. I also love being able to drink from the ice-cold streams that snake through the valleys and forests thanks to the LifeStraw filtered water bottle
Forget the iodine tablets and the extra water bottles, this filtered bottle gives you clean, natural water with every sip. This is one of the best travel gifts who are eco-conscious and don’t like getting sick on the trail. I think it’s safe to say: That is most of us.
This is one of my personal favorites. As someone who hoards charging cables, stationery, SD Cards and other tech bits because “you never know…” It’s amazing to have somewhere organized to put them all.
This handy little pouch
is basically a toiletry bag for electronics. It holds all your electronics in a maximum-storage/minimum-space design that will fit perfectly in your luggage. This easily makes it one of the best gifts for travelers trying to save space. Plus, if you go to the Peak Design store and order this Tech Pouch with the backpack from earlier, you save 10 percent.
In my opinion, one of of the all-time best gifts for travel is a Bluetooth speaker—or as I refer to them, Instant Party Machines. If you’re out on the beach and need some beats to get the mood going, you can connect your phone and get a soundtrack going.
If your playlist runs out of steam, there’s no AUX cord to worry about, just connect someone else’s phone and you’re back on. Plus, this particular speaker from JBL
is sturdy and water resistant so it can handle a drink being spilled on it.
I’ve traveled with one of these speakers in nearly every country I’ve visited from Colombia to Laos, so join the party.
Between trips, every traveler craves a taste of the world to keep the wanderlust at bay. With Atlas Coffee Club, you can travel the world with the tip of your tongue.
This gift subscription delivers a new single origin coffee to your travel friend every month. It’s complete with tasting notes, brewing tips and a postcard from the country of origin. In other words, it’s a simple gift that supports local coffee farmers and is, therefore, one of the best gifts for people who travel with a mug in their hand.
Meet the next generation of headphones designed for active listeners. The Jaybird X4
‘s are custom designed to stay on while you exercise so you never again have to scrabble in the bush on a trail trying to find your other earpiece.
Matched with a high-quality sound production system for a flawless listening experience and an eight-hour battery life, this is one of the best gifts for travelers who like to stay active on the road—or just listen to tunes while hustling through the airport.
One of the best gifts for travelers is something that will keep their most important things safe: passports, tickets and money. With this passport wallet from The Goods LA, it’s all together in one discreet package. Plus, it has enough space for multiple passports and credit cards.
“The Stack” also includes a hidden pocket for your cash stash or tickets. All of this is protected by a full perimeter zip to keep any sticky fingers from reaching in your wallet. This is a great way to give peace of mind to your traveling friends and give them a very slick accessory at the same time.
Goodbye screaming baby on the plane, goodbye roaring bus engine, goodbye snoring roommate. Life instantly becomes a relaxing and pleasant melody with these premium noise-canceling headphones.
Featuring the latest sound-wave negating technology for perfect noise isolation, these headphones from Bose
are a must for any traveler. Tune out the loud and chaotic noises of travel and simply relax with your music, movies or podcasts. It’s a perfect travel gift idea for all the audiophiles out there.
Alright, I know what you’re thinking. You can’t possibly read from a screen because nothing will ever beat paper (except scissors).
Folks, I’ve been there. I am a voracious reader, but on my first trip, I realized that I had to do something about all the travel books I had accumulated because my back was killing me from lugging them around.
After moaning to a friend about this, they gifted me a Kindle Paperwhite
…and I haven’t looked back. With its natural paper interface, it looks nothing like a smartphone screen. A whole library of travel books can be made available in a device that weighs less than most paperbacks, plus it comes with a ton of accessories. This is one of my favorite travel gifts for travelers who love their literature.
The best travel gifts are the ones that keep your important stuff safe as well as stylish, and that’s exactly what NOMAD does with its range of smartphone cases.
Beautiful, American-made leather cases that not only look amazing but that also protect your electronic baby from the hard knocks of life on the road.
They even have cases that will fit a Moment smartphone lens for those who like to take smartphone photography to the next level.
If the Swiss army started making clothes instead of knives, The Baubax 2.0 is the jacket
they would make. It comes with 25 features designed for travelers: an eye mask for sleeping on the plane, pockets on the inside for your iPad, phone, passport and sunglasses, airpod straps, a blanket, collapsible water bottle, inflatable footrest, and (I’m not kidding) an inflatable neck pillow in the collar.
As far as gifts for travelers go, this piece of travel gear is top notch—you might not even need a backpack!
Every traveler knows the airline bag struggle. You need a carry-on backpack that is the size of a cabin bag with the storage capacity of a suitcase.
The only item you see everywhere, however, is the clickety-clack wheelie bags that would be hopeless on a hiking trail. Fear not, the 45L Peak Design Travel Bag
is our favorite carry-on backpack to date. Designed to be taken from the airplane cabin to the trail, this weatherproof wunderbag is the perfect gift for travelers who need a new backpack.
It’s definitely not the cheapest option on this list—this is a nice gift—but I’ve got one myself, and honestly love it. I’m sure they will, too!
When I shop for travel shoes, I look for something that is weatherproof and supportive without compromising on style. Normally these categories are mutually exclusive, but fortunately, Vessi has come in with these amazing kicks.
These light, sporty shoes come with different designs for city life, every day and active wear. Unlike other “waterproof” shoes, the Vessi travel shoes
have a patented fabric weave that keeps them waterproof for life, which is perfect for impromptu storms or adventures.
If you’ve ever wanted a hammock that works hard and plays hard, this is your stop. The Kammok Roo
works hard by being made of tough, tear resistant material and stronger-than-steel cords. It plays, not exactly hard, but incredibly comfortable and provides the perfect resting perch between your hard travel adventures.
Use it in the backyard on a summer evening or as a camping hammock in the bush. Big enough for one or two, this is among the best travel gift ideas for those who are creatures of comfort.
One of the summer’s great conundrums is wanting to relax where there are no trees to hang your hammock. That was until this year when, thanks to a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign, the Mock ONE
came to the rescue.
This lightweight hammock setup is perfect for a trip away in the car. It takes only 60 seconds to put together the frame for portable comfort. These make great gifts for travelers who want to chill out, no matter where they are.
Not everyone is looking for more things in their life. For someone who already has all the things they need, try buying them an experience—quite literally the gift of travel—with a Tinggly gift pack
. Simply choose your gift category, send it to your friend and they have a choice of experiences that make perfect gifts for travelers.
Think: Kayak trips, bungee jumps, off-road driving, and culinary tours are all on the menu. So your friend is sure to find something they like with this, one of the most comprehensive travel gift ideas.
We all have a friend whose travel outfits are just a bit too shabby and old, but who refuses to go shopping. If they aren’t getting the hint, why not give them the gift of fashion and convenience?
With Stitch Fix,
you send in your measurements, their stylists pick out some new threads and they send them to your door at a time of your choosing. You can keep the lot, keep one or two bits, or send them all back postage paid—the choice is yours.
You are essentially getting your whole new travel wardrobe delivered right to your door, with a stylist who learns your aesthetic and vibe. This is one of the best gifts of travel for both men and women who are fashion-conscious but don’t have a lot of time to shop for themselves… because, you know, they’re out traveling.
While we’re talking about deliveries, let’s talk about Quip.
This is a revolutionary electric toothbrush, designed for travelers who want to keep their teeth extra healthy.
The sleek metal design is compact enough to slip into a bag, and fresh brush heads are delivered to your door every three months so you always have maximum brushing power. The vibrating technology gives your teeth a bit of extra polish to keep all those late-night travel beers and morning coffees from doing too much damage.
Are you looking for gifts for travel friends but have no idea what they like? Give them the gift of choice with a REI Gift Card.
Their online store stocks an amazing range of gifts for travelers from high-quality tents to yoga mats to socks, so they are sure to find something they will like.
Hands up if you’ve lost your keys, wallet or phone on holiday. We all know that sinking feeling of your things not being there when you need them, and not remembering where you left them. But thanks to Tile,
you can find them quickly and easily via Bluetooth.
You simply attach a receiver to your valuables, then if you misplace it, you can make them ring via Bluetooth. These are also trackable online if you lose them out of bluetooth range or if they are stolen. Keep track of those elusive keys and walkabout wallets, and thwart petty thievery. Pretty neat, huh?
Deep down, many of us are yearning to return to our roots and see the land that we came from, but it’s not always an easy task finding out where that is. Thanks to 23andMe,
you can find out exactly where your ancestry lies using an easy process.
Just a quick cheek swab and you can find out where your great great great great grandparents were from. Who knows, you might even get to meet a distant relation you never knew you had.
If you’re looking for a travel daypack that’s a cut above the rest, look no further than this Arkadia backpack.
It’s lightweight, durable and, best of all, the main compartment is fully waterproof. It’s basically a packable, dry bag daypack! And the adjustable side straps and padded shoulders mean you can carry your stuff around all day with minimal discomfort.
This is one of the best travel gift ideas that can be used for hiking in a rainy season. Or it can be used for bicycle commuting at home if the weather isn’t holding up.
When you’re doing adventurous things in dark places, you need to be able to see what you’re doing. Try lighting up your life that with this 200-lumen head torch from Petzl.
With a 200-foot range of lighting in both white and red light, this is one of the best travel gifts for caving, canyoning or camping. Plus, it comes with a phosphorescent strip so you can find it in the dark—no more blundering around the tent when you need to go water a tree at midnight.
After a day on the trail, there is nothing I hate more than fiddling with matches or gas cookers to get dinner started. Thankfully, the BioLite CampStove 2
is here to help.
This amazing little stove burns biomass wood, pinecones or pellet fuel and has adjustable heat settings. All this energy funnels to a grill top and even a phone charger.
Best of all, the fire is smokeless, so you don’t need to get up and move every time the wind changes. At five pounds, you might not want to take it backcountry hiking, but it’s a brilliant and lightweight assist for camping trips. It’s the perfect travel gift idea for anyone who wants to bring a bit of glamping to their camping.
We all have that one friend—that one traveler—who has kept the same sleeping bag for too many years, who insists it has character…if that’s what character is supposed to smell like.
Do them and yourself a favor with this sleeping bag from Cotopaxi
. With a high-quality duck down fill and 15-degree rating, this is one of my favorite travel gifts for someone who loves cold weather hiking.
What’s more, it comes with a very handy integrated pillow pocket and packs down nice and small for those travelers with a space budget, which, let’s be real, is all of us.
When I travel anywhere, I like to save bag space by taking clothes that are versatile without compromising on quality. One of the best ways to do this is by taking a jacket that is durable and weatherproof for hiking, but also suitable for sightseeing in the city.
That’s why I absolutely love this hoody from Arc’teryx
. Lightweight, insulated and quick-drying with a bit of subtle style, it is one of the best travel gift ideas for someone looking for a versatile winter layer.
If your camping set is needing an upgrade, look no further than the Big Agnes Copper Spur
. This is one of the best travel gifts for backcountry hikers who likes a bit of headroom, as this tent is designed for maximum internal space (HV = High Volume).
As well as being very lightweight (UL = Ultralight), it is adaptable for hot summer nights with the ability to turn it from a tent into a ventilated shelter. Three-season, two-person, one award-winning tent. One of the best gifts for people who travel light and love camping!
If you’re hiking in the bush and Google Maps just isn’t going to cut it, the Garmin eTrex 20x
is what you’ve been looking for. These are designed to get you geolocated no matter the weather conditions or the forest cover.
Durable, boasting a long battery life and coming with a handlebar mount for wheeled adventures, this is certainly a key piece of safety gear for anyone venturing off the beaten path.
Every traveler needs a way to show the world the crazy stuff they’ve been up to. With the GoPro 7,
you can capture it all with a high-resolution, waterproof camera that will survive the toughest adventures.
Plus, with the new Shorty accessory, you can add a handy handle that can turn into a mini tripod for that perfect shot. One of the best gifts for travelers who like to remember all the action.
Take your travel photography to the next level with these mountable lenses from Moment
for your smartphone. Compatible with almost any device, you can get a single lens for enhanced mobile travel photography, or a whole kit of different sizes if you want to get serious about your travel photos.
These are the best travel gift ideas for travelers who want to capture a special moment without having to haul around a chunky DSLR.
It’s a fact: handheld selfies make your face look weird. Get yourself a better picture with a selfie stick. The distance will put your face in better proportion, plus it gives you more space to get your friends into the shot.
Our best recommendation is this extendable, battery-free version from Anker.
Take it from me, the one time I wish I had a selfie stick was in Vietnam: wearing a triangular Non La hat makes it very hard to take a picture with a friend. The best travel gifts are ones you can share with friends, after all.
We’ve all got one AWOL friend who’s off gallivanting around the world. And, if you can’t think of that friend, it’s probably because you are that friend. So whether you’re shopping for gifts for others or yourself, rest assured that this list has you covered.