Gift-giving can be tough. Some people are really hard to shop for. They don’t require much and don’t really need much so you find yourself at a loss at what to get. If you have a traveler on your list then this post is for you. I have compiled a list of some of the best gifts for travelers that are sure to make that wanderlusters Christmas Day perfect.
I don’t know about all of you but Turkey day means family, tasty food and sifting through Black Friday ads for the best deals. Admittedly, I have most of my shopping already done before Christmas. This is, however, a blessing and a curse. It’s done, but anytime I go somewhere I see a great deal on another cool thing and then have to fight every urge to not buy it and blow my budget. The struggle is real.
Every year Christmas shopping starts with a list of who I want to buy for and ideas of what I want to buy. I do this because it allows me to start thinking about it well before shopping time. Like in July, when someone says something like “ooo I really want a blah blah” but then immediately forgets all about said blah blah and then bam, Christmas comes and it’s on the list. I hope this list I have put together will help you get the perfect gift for the traveler in your life.
If the traveler on your list has an affinity for the colder climates this is an especially good gift. A down jacket (or down alternative) is a great jacket for travelers because it is warm but it breathes so being active won’t mean overheating. They are also really easy to pack since they can be rolled up really small and tight. Fitting perfectly in a carry-on.
This is a great little gift for anyone, even a traveler. Socks are something you need almost every day, travelers typically do a lot of walking, in shoes of all kinds. There is a ton of socks types too.
Some great socks that make a great gift for travelers are long socks. Tough ones that won’t fall down like these from Crissy socks, and they are cute too boot. These are perfect under a hiking boot or for a long day of walking around town.
Fuzzy socks are also a great gift for keeping a traveler’s toes warm and toasty after a long day.
Handy Gifts for Travelers
Hydro flask (or similar)
These insulated bottles are the perfect travel companion and make a great gift for travelers. I keep a small one for hot water and a larger one for cold water with me when I travel. You can take them to the airport empty and fill them up past security which saves you money since airport water bottles are not cheap. I like having a hot one for when I order a drink I can keep it warm a lot longer. It’s also handy when on the road you can fill with hot water and it stays hot all day, great for mid-day tea or adding to instant noodles or oatmeal for a quick snack. Here are a few I like:
Any traveler will tell you that these things are perfect for packing in the most efficient way possible. A cube for undies, chargers, bathroom stuff and dirty clothes. Things are just in the suitcase willy nilly and things are easy to find and get to so they are a perfect gift for travelers. Here are just a few types.
This seems like a boring gift but it is the perfect travel companion in an age where everything needs charging. If you have read my post about packing you know that one frustrating thing when traveling is looking for the nearest plugin a new room, let alone multiple plugs if there is more than one thing to plug in. This frustration is heightened when traveling internationally if you don’t have an adapter you might not get things charged up! So an intentional power strip is a perfect gift for a traveler. Just locate a single plug and bring a single adapter and everything gets the power it needs.
As I mention above, things need charging. Phones are a hand traveling tool, they can look up yummy grub and then tell you how to get you there, hire a cab, find you something to do and keep in touch with those back home. Being near an outlet is not always an option so these portable chargers are a perfect addition to a backpack or carry-on.
Luggage Carry On
A good piece of luggage is indispensable when traveling. It makes a great gift for travelers. A nice carry-on-sized bag will be a traveler’s travel companion. There is plenty of options: soft or hard and colorful or plain. Just make sure to get a sturdy, good quality one since it will get plenty of use.
Electronic Gifts for Travelers
Noise-canceling Wireless Headphones
Headphones are a must for any traveler. Listening to music or watching a movie is a great way to pass the time on a plane or train. Noise-canceling means you can focus on what you’re listening to and not the crying baby in aisle 31 or what Rebecca in seat 87 will be doing when she lands. Wireless is great because you don’t have to worry about getting tangled up in or catching them on something and them flying out of your ears or off your head. Here are a few I like:
Bluetooth Wireless dongle
If your traveler has wireless headphones already or you opted to buy a then a pair as a gift I recommend a wireless dongle like this one to accompany it. Many new planes have screens built in the headrest full of movies and other content. The airlines typically provide headphones but they are just basic ones, much better to be able to use the fancy ones you already have. The wireless dongle lets you use wireless headphones with any aux jack. I recommend this one.
iPad (or tablet)
I am an Apple nerd so I, of course, recommend an iPad but any tablet is a great gift for a traveler. My iPad Is my main companion when I travel. It’s my computer, my tv and game system all in one. I have games to keep me entertained, books to read, movies to watch, I can write this blog from it and even edit photos all from this small lightweight device. I am not sure what I would do without it honestly. Tablets today are more affordable than ever ranging from basic ones at 50 bucks, iPads start as low as 300 and of course, go up in price them fancier you get. Here are some for every budget.
While most people have come to rely on their phones for photos, and phones have really come a long way but a truly dedicated camera can’t be replaced. Travelers are seeing the world and the best way to go back for cheap is through a stunning photograph hanging on the wall. Cellphone photos will always look best on a cellphone or screen. A dedicated camera will give your traveler wall-worthy images that will transport them back to where ever they want. There are tons, some for every budget, here are a few I recommend:
Many of the phones take really nice videos but again they aren’t a replacement for a camera. Most cameras now take great video so this one isn’t the right gift for every traveler but, if your traveler liked to take video then a dedicated camera for that is the best gift. This will ensure you can capture the best possible video. Action video cameras like the Osmo action or the go pro are most popular they are small and travel well and they can handle pretty much any activity. Our favorite, however, is the Osmo pocket by DJI. It’s super small, the gimbal is built into the movies look very stable and the quality is fantastic for the price and size. We liked it so much we bought 2! Here are some video cameras I recommend including our favorite, the Osmo pocket:
Travel pillows are always handy and, of course, one would make an excellent gift for travelers. When you are on the go sometimes anywhere needs to be a bed. A good travel pillow makes sleep on a plane or train or in a car much more enjoyable. There are all different types to choose from I prefer a more traditional type of pillow but they have ones for all types of sleepers and situations. Here are just a few:
Fun Gifts for Travelers
A Wall Map
This is a fun gift for any traveler. There are all sorts of maps you can get that fit any decor. You could do a paper map and use stickers to mark where they have been. They have ones that you can scratch off the places you have gone. Go crazy and get a map that’s the size of the wall and mark locations with photos or those places. Our perfect way is this cardboard one. We use push pins to mark where we have been. This is a fun and easy gift and relatively inexpensive. Here are some to get you started:
While this one is a little hard to wrap it is a great gift for travelers. I am not a reader. I find it hard to really get into a book and I just don’t ever find the time than in comes audible. Now I can “read’ all the books I want while on the road. They are perfect for passing the time on the train, plane, car or just waiting or before bed. It is an easy gift to give too because you don’t need to know what book to buy!
There you have it. My ultimate gift guide for travelers. There is something for all budgets and for all travelers. This list is, of course, not exhaustive, what are some of your favorite gifts for travelers?