Finding the best gifts for travel lovers should be easy, but when all the lists have the same things and you’re thinking to yourself “I’m sure they already have that.” You might be right! If the giftee is a frequent traveler, they probably have the basics but I’m going to give you some gift tips for frequent travelers, but I’m also going to give you some important insight from a traveler on how to figure out the best present possible. It might take just a little detective work, but it’ll be worth it. Of course, I’m also going to recommend a gift that anyone who travels will love.
While gift guides for men and women can be handy, most travelers have the same needs. Once you get past the basics, then it’s really more about personality, travel style, and needs. Every traveler has one thing in common, they love to explore and have new experiences. That’s usually why people galavant around the globe. Not all people who fly like planes, and not all people who backpack like to pack. Everyone wants a simpler, smaller, easier way to do things.
The BEST gift for a travel lover
I’m diving right in here because if you’re looking for something to “wow” someone without doing the legwork but still want something fantastic, then the gift of an experience is a must. You can either organize something you know they’ll love (fancy dinner, skydiving lesson, hot air balloon ride, or a stroopwafel making class) or you can give them a Tinggly Gift which is basically a gift certificate for tons of experiences or getaways around the world.
They have a few different price points and themes for you to choose from. No matter if it’s a wedding, birthday, holiday, or just because, they have a gift certificate that’s perfect. I bought one for Sean for his birthday, and while we haven’t gotten to use it yet, I got him one that we can use for a stroopwafel class for 2 or a Delft blue workshop for two!
It’s super easy to redeem as well, so no hassles will be had! Oh, and if you’re SUPER last minute or worried the mail will take too long, NO WORRIES! You can have a digital version sent so they have it right away. But they have the boxes, too, which is nice if you want to wrap something. This gift is extremely popular for friends and family who live far away because they can have a present show up in the mail, and once they redeem their gift, they’ll be thinking of you the whole time!
They don’t expire, are easy to exchange, are planet-friendly, and make the perfect gift. Here’s the one I’d recommend to give your favorite person with some great options all over the world! Just make it a deal that they have to send you a photo once they have the experience!
How to pick the perfect gift for someone who loves travel
If you want to create a more personal gift, then you’ll have to do a bit of detective work. But I’m here to help you figure out what to look for and what to ask…while being stealthy.
Do they post on social media? If so, see what they’ve shared about their travel style. Do they travel with a backpack? Do they like the spa? Do they pack carry-on only (meaning they only travel with what they can carry on the plane)? Are they techy and have a lot of gear?
If they are a backpacker, or only travel with a carry-on, chances are that they are looking for any opportunity to downsize and/or upgrade anything that’s in that bag. Basically, if anything is worn out, they’ll be on the lookout for a similar product that’s durable and smaller. So, next time you talk, talk about travel and how they pack. I’m sure something will come up like, my toiletries are a mess, or my shoes are always getting everything dirty, I need to find a better way.
Frequent travellers get stuck in their ways, so sometimes we continue to do things efficiently because it’s how we’ve always done it. I’m specifically talking about packing here. So, by helping them discover a shoe bag, or a clear, heavy-duty TSA approved liquids bag, you could be making their lives much easier!
Basically, listen to their problems, and find a good solution. Remember, that size and quality are very important here. Nobody wants a flimsy passport cover, but a RFID-blocking one, might be appealing. This is the one we travel with and it fits both passports.
Essentials for frequent travelers
Now that you’ve done the work, let’s figure out some options that might make someone’s life easier if they travel all the time. These gift ideas are also for people who are moving abroad, taking a gap year, or taking a lot of flights.
Am I filling this list with what I have and love AND what’s on my wishlist? Yes, yes I am 😉
Power bank: This gift is for anyone and everyone, but I put it in this gift guide for travelers because when you’re somewhere you don’t know, or even speak the language, you’re going to want your phone to work to help with Google Translate, Maps, and a taxi service. I use one like this from Anker and love it!
Dirty laundry bag: Obviously, none of us want our dirty clothes touching our clean clothes, so a laundry bag can help with that. Plus, if they go to the laundromat, they can use the bag to take the clothes and use it again when they’re all clean and folded! Yes, the bag I’m suggesting is called a diaper back, but it can hang on the bag of the bathroom door, is a wet/dry bag so it doesn’t get anything else icky or smelly, and looks nice, too!
Dry bag: If you know someone who is around water a lot, island hopping, loves to kayak, then a dry bag might be a great idea! Find out if they have one first, but if not, it can be a savior for those moments when the boat fills up and your bag gets soaked.
HDMI cable: If your friend or family member travels with their laptop and loves Netflix, then an HDMI cable for their laptop is a seriously thoughtful present. We’re always using ours to hook up to TVs in hotel rooms and apartments. It just makes things easier. This one is for a computer with USB-C, which is pretty common now, but you can easily find one for a traditional USB, as well.
Jacket: A packable jacket is a must-have item for anyone who is on the road long term or just in an area where the temps change quickly and having a warmer jacket in your day bag is necessary. For Down fans, Uniqlo’s ultra light Down jacket is the go-to and fan-favorite, and for those who are allergic (that’s me!), the North Face ThermoBall™ Eco Jacket is the way to go.
Noise-cancelling headphones: If they don’t already have these, they’ll love you for them! Now, the key is to figure out if they like the over the ear headphones or in the ear headphones. I’ve had both and the in-ear ones are great and super small, but it will depend on the person. The QuietComfort 20 are my favorite and they are from Bose. If you have the option to find them refurbished, it’ll save you a ton! (That’s what I did.)
Packing cubes: People swear by them. This gift totally depends on the person. I’ve never tried them and don’t feel a need to, but people that you just know would like their bag to be super organized with LOVE these. Check out eBags and browse around, they even have ultralight ones.
Phone holders: These are good for a ton of uses. If you’re around water or participating in something when you can’t hold your phone easily and pockets aren’t a good idea, this is perfect. Example, I used one when I was in Stockholm and did a little rooftop hiking 🙂 Here’s one that’s packaged with a dry bag!
Poncho or light weight rain coat: I got a reusable poncho as a give on a press trip, and I’ve gotten the super cheap one-time use ones, but I use my ultra-light raincoat from RAINS and love it. It barely takes up any room at all and is roomy enough to have a jacket on under it (since it runs a bit big). If you’re making a little travel gift pack, then even the cheap ponchos are good to put in it, however, splurge for a reusable one is always nice 😉
Power brick: Traveling with one of these just saves so much trouble and frustration. When going around Europe, there are times we’ve found one outlet that’s not for something important. ONE! So having extra plugs and USB ports to charge from is amazing.
Reusable shopping bag: Everywhere appreciates a reusable shopping bag. I don’t leave home without one. Even if the person has their set for home, give them one just for their travel bag that they can leave in there.
Shoe bag: These help keep your suitcase organized and clean. It’s just a thing people don’t really think about!
Jewelry wrap: A great gift for anyone who likes jewelry is a jewelry wrap. They usually have spots for earrings, watches, necklaces and such. I found a bunch on Etsy that you can check out. The wraps take up less space than the travel jewelry boxes that you’ll find, but if they take a lot of luggage, they may like the box.
Tide pen: Everyone should have a Tide Pen in their car, purse, bag, whatever. But when you’re not sure when your next appointment with a wash machine will be, it’s even more handy!
TSA approved toiletry bag: I know famous travel YouTubers that still don’t have a nice bag for this. But having a sturdy clear bag makes it easy to fill, easy to clean, and easier to pack!
Water bottle: Depending on where the person travels, a self-filtering water bottle might be appropriate. There are so many on the market to choose from but Brita, Lifestraw, and Grayl are good ones to choose from.
If you pick one of these gifts and your giftee loves it, please reach out on Instagram and let us know! We love knowing we’ve helped in any way.
Wishing you joy and travel 🙂