Looking for a gift for a travel lover in your life? Whether it’s a birthday, Christmas, or another holiday, finding a travel gift is no easy task! Thankfully, we’ve created this guide on the best travel gift ideas for all types of travelers (and budgets) to help you with your search.
Now that travel is picking up again, people are looking for new gear to take on their adventures. From smart travel gadgets to other accessories, travel gifts can help make life easier on the road. Business travelers and novice travelers alike have much to gain by using the unique travel gifts listed in this article.
Though I prefer experiences over things and pack lightly when I travel, I still often find myself searching for the best and most useful gear to accompany me on my trips. There’s always a time and place to splurge on the best gifts for travelers.
If you’re looking for some fun and unique travel gift ideas for a birthday present or the holidays, you’ve come to the right place! Leave the knickknacks and dust-collectors on the shelves, and browse these unique travel gift ideas that I’ve longed for, gifted, and received over the years.
Gifts for travel lovers at a glance
Are you on the hunt for the perfect gift for that friend or family member who is always jet-setting off to some exotic locale? Look no further, because we’ve got you covered! These gifts for travel lovers are sure to put a smile on their face and make their next adventure even more memorable.
From practical gadgets to stylish accessories, these items are great for men and women of all ages and backgrounds. Whether they’re backpacking through Europe or enjoying a luxurious vacation on a tropical island, these gifts are sure to come in handy.
On a budget? No problem! There are plenty of affordable options, like travel-sized toiletries or a handy luggage tag. Or, if you’re looking to splurge, consider a fancy camera or a high-quality backpack.
But it’s not just about the price tag – the best travel gifts are all about making the journey more comfortable and enjoyable. So, whether it’s a cozy travel pillow, noise-cancelling headphones, or a portable charger, these items will help your loved one relax and make the most of their time on the road.
Here are some of my favorite gift ideas for travel lovers for each budget:
|Cheap: $||Personalized Travel Journal & Vacation Planner|
|Mid: $$||Fjällräven Hip Pack|
|Luxury: $$$||Coleman Camping Tent|
So, what are you waiting for? Check out our list of the best gifts for travel lovers and start shopping!
Best travel gifts under $25
You don’t have to break the bank to find unique gifts for travel lovers. For less than $25, you can find many fun and practical gifts for that special someone in your life. This includes travel gear, attire, and accessories that make traveling easier and more efficient.
Here are some affordable travel gifts that will bring nostalgia and happiness to that jet setter in your life.
1. Novelty Travel Socks
Would you rather be traveling right now? Me too. That’s why you should consider getting these “I’d Rather Be Traveling” socks on Amazon. They are fun, cozy, and high-quality. What more could you want in a gift for someone who likes to travel?
2. Scratch Map
Scratch maps are a great gift for avid travelers. They help you keep track of your prior trips while inspiring you to plan new ones. Using a coin, you can scratch off the countries and states that you’ve been to. In my opinion, it’s much easier (and less dangerous) than sticking a sharp pin into a map. Plus, when friends and family come over, you’ll have some impressive wall art to show off. Scratch maps come in all colors and sizes, so choose wisely!
3. Resistance Exercise Bands
Looking to impress that fitness lover in your life? This unique gift for travelers has got you covered. The Fit Simplify Exercise Bands are great for any workout while you’re traveling on the road. It comes in 5 resistance levels for intermediate and advanced strength training. While traveling, it’s so important to keep exercising and stretching. This travel gift will bring the gym to them!
4. Packing Cubes
Packing cubes are the best way to keep your luggage neat and organized. These small accessories are cheap, weigh nothing, and help you stay organized when you travel. All you have to do is fold your clothes and belongings into each of these cubes to maximize the space in your luggage. When you only spend a night at a hotel, you won’t need to go searching through your entire suitcase to find the clothes you need. Sometimes, I even use one for my laundry.
I’m often asked how I manage to travel long periods of time with just a backpack – I attribute 90% of it to the packing cubes!
5. Hotels.com Gift Card
Nothing says “I appreciate you” like the gift of a vacation. There are tons of amazing hotels out there, ranging from exotic wellness resorts and beachfront properties to charming B&Bs in the middle of nature. Spend a few nights at a beachfront bungalow in Bali or a ski resort in Vermont. It’s no wonder Hotels.com gift cards are among the best travel lover gifts in the world.
6. Emergen Vitamin C Supplements
To travel in a deep and meaningful way, you need to be in good health. Obviously there are many ways to boost your immune system – from regular exercise and sunlight exposure to ice baths and proper sleep. However, a great way to keep healthy while on the fly is by having Vitamin C supplements handy. This isn’t one of the most fun travel gifts out there, but it’s definitely a practical gift for people who love to travel.
7. Luggage Scale
It seems that most airlines these days are charging way too much for baggage fees. There’s honestly no worse feeling than standing at the check-in counter and hearing “your bag is too heavy.” To save cash and avoid this hassle altogether, I’ve relied on portable luggage scales. It’s one of the best cheap travel gifts out there, and will save you so much frustration at the check-in counter.
After getting one of these, you’ll never have to worry about paying baggage overweight fees again. Take that, RyanAir!
8. Anthony’s Organic Instant Coffee
Unique gifts for travelers come in all shapes and sizes, and this is among the most practical. Anthony’s Organic Instant Coffee is the ultimate gift for that jetsetter in your life who’s always on the go. I haven’t traditionally been a fan of instant coffees, but this is among the healthiest and best tasting ones out there. It’s organic, gluten free, and non-GMO. And the best part? It only takes a few seconds to make!
9. Travel as a Political Act by Rick Steves
Travel as a Political Act is a fascinating read by a fascinating man. Written by the ultimate travel guru, Rick Steves, this book shares compelling stories from his decades of adventures around the world. It brings together travel and politics, and shows how we can learn more about our own country by viewing it from afar.
10. International Travel Adapter
Have you ever arrived at a new destination only to find out you can’t charge your precious devices? Not a great feeling. I always bring an international travel adapter with me wherever I go so I can charge my laptop, phone, and camera gear. The idea is that you’ll want to get an adapter that’s used in most countries and includes USB inputs for mobile devices. This is one of the smallest, cheapest, and most used ones in the market!
11. Unique Gifts for Travelers: A Travel Journal
I’m often asked “what’s the best way to get started as a travel blogger?” Keeping a travel journal is the secret sauce. That way, you can document all your unique experiences on the road and share them later with your family and friends.
Even if you’re not vying to become the next Rick Steves, having a travel journal is a great way to jot down your thoughts and experiences. It’s one of the best cheap travel gifts out there, and it truly inspires!
12. Travel Padlock
Travel padlocks are essential when you’re backpacking. Most hostels I’ve been to have lockers, so you’ll want to pack one of these to lock up your valuables. Though many hostels rent out padlocks for a few dollars (or Euros), you’re better off buying one of these to save money in the long run.
13. World’s Smallest Chess Game
Looking for a travel themed gift that is fun and unexpected? Get the world’s smallest chess set! This classic game of chess is a fraction of the size of your typical game board, but it’s certainly no less enjoyable. Bring it on the plane or play it by the pool at your hotel. It’s easy to see why this is among the best presents for travel lovers.
14. Microfiber Travel Towel
These all-purpose travel towels are perfect for camping, going to the gym, and lounging at the beach. They dry super quickly, so you don’t have to worry about lugging around a wet towel all day after hitting the beach. Versatility is the most important thing to me, which is why I think microfiber travel towels are a great cheap travel gift option.
15. Passport Holder
A simple passport holder is the difference between a crinkly and worn-out passport, and one that looks brand new. I’ve chosen one with a sleek design that can fit cash, boarding passes, and credit cards, all while not feeling too bulky.
16. Travel Neck Pillow
Air travel can be a pain in the neck. That’s why I always use a travel neck pillow, which allows me to sit back and sleep comfortably while on flights. This is a wonderful (and cheap) travel gift idea for tall people, those with back/neck issues, and pretty much anyone else.
17. Lensepen Cleaning Pens
Any photographers in the house? Whether you own a DSLR or point-and-shoot camera, it’s a good idea to clean your camera lenses regularly. The LensPen Pro Pack is cheap, easy to use, and works wonders in cleaning off all types of lenses. This six-piece cleaning kit includes a Hurricane Air Blower, Lens Cleaning Tissues, Lens Cloth, Lens Cleaning Liquid, and Brush and Cotton Swabs.
18. Travel-size Laundry Bag
Let’s face it: doing laundry is one of the most tedious tasks ever. If only there was a way to do laundry and dream about travel at the same time. Enter world map-themed laundry bag. This cheap and creative travel gift is easy to take on the go, and will give you that dose of travel inspiration that you so desperately need when doing laundry. ‘Nuff said!
19. Earplugs are a great gift idea for travel lovers
Earplugs come in handy way more often than not. Perhaps it’s just my luck, but nearly every time I’m on a flight or cooped up in a hostel, I’m right next to a loud snorer. Getting a pair of earplugs could be the difference between a good night’s sleep and being kept up all night by snorlax, late-night drinkers, or loud music. It’s definitely one of the most reliable and cheap travel gifts out there.
20. Travel jigsaw puzzle
Looking for a travel gift for the whole family? Consider getting a jigsaw puzzle of one of your favorite places or landscapes. This Barcelona jigsaw puzzle contains 1,000 pieces that will help you recreate Antoni Gaudí’s beautiful masterpiece, Park Güell! Jigsaw puzzles are a fun activity for kids and adults alike.
21. Travel Throw Pillow
Bring your adventures home with you and get a travel-themed throw pillow. Consider one with your favorite travel quote or a map of the world on it. This travel gift is cheap and it will give you a reason to smile every day.
22. Travel Wall Art
Looking for a cheap travel gift to remind you of your past vacations? Consider getting wall art and prints for your home! I recently made an Etsy shop with some of my favorite travel photos on the road. By clicking the link below, you will receive a 25% discount on the travel prints in my shop. Hope you find one you like!
Unique travel gifts under $100
With just $25-$100, you can buy everything from practical outdoor gear to cute travel-themed gifts. Here are more unique gift ideas for travel lovers in 2023:
23. Keurig Mini Coffee Maker
Coffee lovers where you at? The Keurig K-Mini is the ultimate coffee maker for traveling. It fits in a tiny bag, making it super portable and accessible from just about anywhere.
Picture this: you’re on a long-haul flight, bleary-eyed and caffeine-deprived, when suddenly you remember the small portable coffee maker your thoughtful friend gifted you. As you pull it out of your carry-on and start brewing a fresh cup of joe, you can feel the envy of your fellow passengers. Bringing a portable coffee maker on your travels is not only a game-changer for coffee lovers, but also a thoughtful and practical gift that will be appreciated by any jet-setter.
24. Suavs Shoes
SUAVS shoes are super light, comfortable, and versatile – perfect for traveling! They’ve got a minimalist yet elegant feel to them and can be worn without socks. From hikes in the Chinese countryside to strolls down cobbled streets in Boston, I’ve worn my black pair during all kinds of occasions. I even wore them during a networking event (by accident), but honestly, they looked more sophisticated than many of my other shoes and fit right in!
25. LifeStraw Water Filter Bottle
LifeStraw’s water filter bottle is a wonderful substitute for single-use plastic bottles, not only from an environmental standpoint, but also a financial one. Single-use water bottles are costly if you frequently buy them, so you’re better off going with one of these in the long term. They are perfect for hiking and camping, as you can literally take water from the lake and filter it in this bottle.
As far as reusable water bottles go, this is a tad bit on the pricey side. But what makes LifeStraw special is that it has a built-in reusable filter that lasts 5 years.
26. Smartwool Hiking Crew Socks
If you’re looking to travel in style, you’ll definitely want to check out these wool performance socks on Amazon. They are perfect for hiking and lounging around – making them the ideal gift for people who love to travel. These socks are one of the comfiest and most versatile that I’ve tried, so it’s definitely worth considering as a gift for a travel lover.
27. Lightroom Presets for Instagram
Spending too much time editing your photos from recent trips? The best way to cut this down (and restore your sanity) is by using Lightroom Presets. My good friends Bree and Stephen are wedding photographers who know a thing or two about taking stunning photos! They offer a package of Lightroom presets that are absolutely amazing at a great value! Be sure to use my code JONMIKSIS10 to save 10%!
28. Anker PowerCore Portable Charger
If you’re like me and take lots of videos on your phone, you constantly suffer from low battery life. There’s nothing worse than your phone dying just as you’re about to capture that epic landscape or special moment. The Anker PowerCore Portable Charger is small and compact, yet capable of charging your smartphone up to 3 times! I swear by it, as it’s one of the smallest and most powerful of its kind on the market.
29. Travelon Anti-Theft Bag
Looking for a practical gift for a female traveler in your life? Instead of gifting a money belt, consider an anti-theft bag. The Travelon Anti-Theft Bag is one of the best of its kind on the market. The straps and zippers have cool locking compartments and mechanisms to prevent people from unzipping them. They have pouches for passports, credit cards, and other personal belongings. I’ve never used this myself, but my friend Gina, an avid adventurer with years of backpacking experience, swears by it and believes all female travelers should have one.
30. Portable Bluetooth Speakers
Do you love bumping your favorite tunes while traveling? Then the Bose Portable Bluetooth Speaker is definitely for you. Whether you’re camping in the mountains, relaxing on the beach, or trying to watch your favorite movies with a friend or loved one, this speaker is a must. It’s small, easy to pack and attach to a backpack or cooler, and gives you a great bang for your buck.
31. Ancestry DNA Test
Is your friend or loved one a curious soul? If so, an ancestry DNA test kit is an awesome travel gift idea. This genetic ethnicity test allows you to uncover your family’s geographic origins. Not only do the results indicate which countries your family comes from, but also the specific regions within them. Perhaps you’ll even feel inspired to visit the places of your ancestors. If you’re interested in learning your family’s heritage, an ancestry test will set the record straight!
32. Joby Gorillapod
The Joby Gorillapod is a great travel gift idea for the photographer and videographer in your life. Unlike many conventional tripods, this can be mounted pretty much anywhere, supporting cameras under 2.2lbs (1 kg). The Gorillapod is very lightweight, versatile, and easy to transport – perfect for all types of terrains.
33. BagSmart Camera and Laptop Backpack
I’ve went through many backpacks over the years, and this is by far my favorite! The Bagsmart Camera Backpack holds my DSLR, vlog camera, multiple lenses, portable charger, and a laptop, among many other things. The adjustable side strap also holds my tripod. This backpack is ideal when you’re on the move, which is why I think it’s one of the best travel gift ideas out there.
Best travel gifts over $100
Whether you’re looking for a romantic travel gifts or gift ideas for business travelers, you’ll find something below that suits your needs.
34. North Face Camping Tent
A round-up of the best gifts for travel lovers wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the outdoors. The North Face camping tent is ideal for couples looking for a romantic nature getaway. It’s super compact, lightweight, and easy to set up. If you’re looking to go camping anytime soon, this tent will not disappoint. A great value for the money!
35. DJI Mavic 3
I love this drone! It’s compact, fun and easy to use, and captures epic 5k videos. The DJI Mavic 3 has all the bells and whistles, and it’s much quieter than the other drones out there. Check out my TikTok page to see some of my best travel drone videos.
36. Nordgreen Scandinavian Watch
This is among the best gifts for travelers, hands down. The Nordgreen Native Scandinavian watch is simple and elegant, perfect for digital nomads and other travel lovers who practice minimalism. You can wear it on a nature getaway, a business trip, and just about anything in between.
37. Portable Cold Tub for Cold Immersion
If you’re into health and wellness, you’re probably well aware of cold plunges and their health benefits. These days, everyone is making the plunge – from famous celebrities and athletes to Fortune 500 CEOs and other high-performers. Up until recently, there hasn’t been a cold tub solution that is portable and easy to travel with. Enter the Edge Tub by Edge Theory Labs.
This is my go-to cold plunge both at home and while traveling. The tub is inflatable and it fits into a backpack. This makes it perfect for outdoor adventures and other getaways where you’ll want to keep up your health and fitness routine. Is this one of the most fun gifts for people who like to travel? Absolutely!
38. Pendleton Acadia National Park Blanket
Don’t you just love America’s National Parks? If so, you’ll love Pendleton’s warm and cozy blankets. There are several National Park-themed blankets you can choose from, but I decided to pick Acadia National Park for this article. I visited there this summer and couldn’t get enough of its epic landscapes and pristine beauty. Part of the blanket proceeds are donated to the National Park Foundation, which supports the restoration efforts of America’s National Parks. If that’s not enough to convince you…well, here are a couple of my favorite photos from Acadia this summer!
39. Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones
There’s nothing more frustrating than being stuck on a plane next to a crying baby. While listening to music at full volume on your headphones can partially block out the noise, some babies are just too ear-piercing. Enter Sony’s Noise Cancelling Headphones. These wireless Bluetooth headphones are every traveler’s best friend, perfect for listening to music, watching videos, and blocking out unwanted noises.
40. LTE Mobile Hotspot Router
Have you ever had issues connecting to internet while traveling abroad? If you’re like me and you’ve struggled with international data passes, then this is for you. The GlocalMe 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot Router offers high speed 4G internet in over 140 countries around the globe. It’s among the top travel gift ideas for business travelers and location independent workers who can work from hotels, cafes, and other transient environments. No SIM card needed!
41. Samsonite Hardside Luggage
Samsonite’s Omni Expandable Hardside Luggage is my favorite large suitcase that I’ve ever owned. It’s got a rock-solid outer shell, which is scratch-resistant and gives me peace of mind as it’s thrown into the baggage hold. The spinner wheels are always a nice touch, as they make it easy to roll around in multiple directions. With sturdy handles, carrying the suitcase is a breeze. I’ve used my Samsonite on several trips so far, and the suitcase still looks brand new!
42. iPhone 13 Pro Max
Apple’s latest smartphone, the iPhone 13 Pro Max, has such an incredible camera that’s perfect for snapping pictures and videos on the road. Sure, it’s on the expensive side, but it costs much less than many popular DSLRs on the market, and will give you a similar quality photo for your Instagram feed!
43. One of the best birthday gifts for travel lovers: A travel blog!
Does your special someone love to travel and have a knack for writing? Get them started with a travel blog! It’s super easy to set one up, and who knows, maybe it’ll even turn into a career!
44. Southwest Airlines Gift Card
When in doubt, go with a gift card. That’s been my philosophy for as long as I’ve had a wallet in my pocket. Some folks are tough to buy for, which is what makes the Southwest Airlines gift card an attractive travel gift idea. Southwest flies to more than 100 destinations across the US, Central America, and the Caribbean. It’s considered a budget airline, where your dollar goes much further than many other airlines. What I like about Southwest is that they include two checked bags in their regular fare, which is a lost art amongst the major budget airlines these days (i.e. Ryanair, EasyJet, and Spirit Airlines). Travel is truly the gift that keeps on giving!
45. MSR Guardian Purifier
The MSR Guardian Purifier is one of the best water purifiers on the market, perfect for camping and other nature trips anywhere in the world. This gift for travel lovers is especially beneficial for international travelers. During my global travel adventures, I’ve found that you can’t always trust the water, so it’s good to have a purified on-hand just in case. Whether you’re a business traveler, digital nomad, or a backpacker, this water purifier for backcountry use will come in handy!
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about gifts for people who like to travel
Here are some common questions and answers about unique gifts for travelers:
What to buy a traveler who has everything?
So, you’ve got a friend who’s been everywhere, done everything, and has a collection of souvenirs that would put a museum to shame. What do you get someone like that? Fear not, intrepid gift-giver, we have some ideas that even the most seasoned traveler will appreciate.
First, consider experiences over material possessions. How about a hot air balloon ride over the Grand Canyon, a cooking class in Tuscany, or a private tour of a famous landmark? These unique experiences will create memories that last a lifetime.
If your friend is all about practicality, there are always upgrades to be made. Upgrade their luggage to a high-tech, lightweight model or gift them a set of noise-cancelling headphones for their next long flight. A portable charger or a universal adapter are also great gifts that will come in handy on their next adventure.
Lastly, consider personalized gifts. A custom map of their travels, a photo book of their favorite memories, or a personalized passport holder are all thoughtful and meaningful gifts that show you know and appreciate their love of travel.
So, there you have it – even the most well-traveled person can still appreciate the gift of a cool experience, a practical upgrade, or a personalized memento of their adventures. Happy gift giving!
What do you get a friend who loves to travel?
Oh, the possibilities are endless when it comes to gift ideas for a friend who loves to travel! But fear not, we’ve got some travel ideas that are sure to please.
First, consider practical gifts that will make their travels easier and more enjoyable. A cozy travel pillow, a stylish and durable backpack, or a set of packing cubes are all great options. A portable charger or a universal adapter can also come in handy on the road.
For the more adventurous traveler, consider an experience gift like a hot air balloon ride or a scuba diving lesson. If they’re a foodie, a cooking class or a food tour in a foreign city would be right up their alley.
If you want to go the sentimental route, consider a personalized gift like a map of their travels or a photo album of their travel memories. A customized passport holder or luggage tag is also a thoughtful and practical gift idea.
At the end of the day, the best gift for a friend who loves to travel is one that shows you support and appreciate their wanderlust. Happy gift giving, and happy travels!
What do you get someone for a long flight?
Ah, the dreaded long flight – a necessary evil for any traveler. There are so many things to do before flying, but don’t fret. We’ve got some fun travel gifts to make the journey a little more bearable.
First and foremost, comfort is key. Consider a comfortable travel neck pillow, a soft and warm blanket, or a pair of compression socks to help combat swollen feet. Noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs can also help drown out the drone of the airplane engine and the chatty passenger next to them.
If they’re an avid reader, a good book or a Kindle loaded with their favorite titles can help pass the time. Puzzle books, like crosswords or Sudoku, are also great options for those who like a mental challenge.
For the tech-savvy traveler, a portable charger and a tablet loaded with their favorite movies and TV shows can help pass the time. A travel-sized humidifier can also help combat the dry air of the airplane cabin.
And of course, snacks are a must. Consider packing their favorite treats or a gift card to their favorite airport eatery. Are these some of the best gifts for someone who loves to travel? You bet!
What is the most commonly forgotten item for travelers?
Imagine that you’re halfway to your destination, and suddenly it hits you – you forgot the one thing you really needed. It’s a traveler’s worst nightmare! So, what is the most commonly forgotten item for travelers? Drumroll, please… it’s the humble toothbrush!
Yes, it seems obvious, but when you’re busy packing everything else, it’s easy to forget this little guy. But don’t worry because most hotels and airports offer toothbrushes for sale or complimentary use. So, next time you’re packing for a trip, don’t forget to give your toothbrush a little love and attention. These can even make a great travel gift, too!
What to buy someone who travels a lot for work?
Whether they’re a business class traveler or they otherwise travel a lot for work, there are many things they’ll want to bring with them on the road.
Consider gifts that will help make their business trips a little more comfortable and efficient. A sturdy and stylish carry-on suitcase, a cozy neck pillow, and noise-cancelling headphones are all great options.
For other business class travelers, a portable charger, a universal adapter, or a laptop case with plenty of pockets and compartments will make their work life easier. A Kindle loaded with their favorite books or a tablet with their preferred streaming services can also help pass the time on long flights or layovers.
If you’re looking to splurge, a high-quality travel briefcase or a professional-grade camera for their work trips can help take their productivity and creativity to the next level.
And of course, snacks and coffee are always appreciated! Consider a travel gift card to their favorite coffee shop or a pack of their favorite snacks to keep them fueled and energized on the go.
Best travel gifts for holidays and other special occasions!
I hope you found my article of the best travel gifts in 2023 to be interesting and helpful! Whether you’re looking for a Christmas gift, birthday present, or something unique for another holiday or special occasion, I hope you found what you were looking for! I regularly use many of the products in this article, as they’ve served me well on adventures around the globe.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy Travels!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn commission from qualifying purchases at no cost to you. I recommend only products and companies I use and trust, and the income goes towards maintaining my travel website and social channels.
For further reading, check out my latest travel articles below.
- 15 Locals Trips from Boston, MA
- 14 Affordable Cities to Visit in Europe
- Best Weekend Trips in New England
- 13 Travel Tips for Flying on a Plane
- Best Travel Apps for iOS and Android
- 33 Helpful Things To Do Before Flying
Itineraries & Travel Guides:
For more articles and videos, be sure to check out my homepage!
Check out the links below to see what’s new in the Global Viewpoint world!