Looking for the perfect gift for the traveler in your life? Then check out these travel gift ideas from people who’ve traveled a ton, and given and received many a gift!
Over the years, we’ve received gifts from well-meaning friends and family who, as hard as they try, sometimes miss the mark. While we always appreciate the sentiment, given how little we can take with us, these gifts often end up in storage at home.
The tough thing about shopping for travelers is that we’re always really limited on space, constantly filtering out excess baggage and only keeping things that make travel easier.
So here’s a no-nonsense guide to what you can get for serious travelers — things that they’ll actually use and love!
We’ve also written a travel gift guide for men.
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1. Leatherman Multitool
The Leatherman Signal is a great gift for outdoor lovers and adventurous travelers. Living out of a backpack, Dana and I are constantly limited to what we can pack, but Dana doesn’t go anywhere with at least this tool! (And often one or two more…)
This Leatherman is an efficient beast boasting 19 tools in one. It’s saved us on more than one occasion. Useful features we’ve used often are the can and bottle opener, hammer, knife, pliers, and whistle.
The most memorable use has been opening freshly picked coconuts when we were on a small island in Nicaragua.
2. Travel Blanket
Have a friend who is constantly cold? I am that friend. The airplane is always way too cold, and the super-thin airplane blankets are never enough.
I’ve used this travel blanket on nearly every camping trip or sight-seeing excursion. Because it’s made of down, it’s warm but still lightweight and compact. It packs down neatly and I take it everywhere, making it one of my favorite travel gift ideas.
3. Personalized Coordinate Keychain
As much as we’d like to, it isn’t always possible to be traveling all the time. In those times of limbo, it’s nice to have something to remind me of a special travel memory.
This coordinate keychain could be a nice placeholder for until we’re ready to start traveling again. I also love that it’s personalized. So you could put coordinates of a special place you two have been, somewhere you both dream to go, or someplace you know is meaningful for your friend / partner.
4. Refillable Leather Travelers Journal Set
With Instagram and other social media, travel memories are often publicized in short captions. But for me, some travel memories should be more than a quick caption. There should be moments of personal reflection, and a journal has been perfect for just that.
My travel journal is a place to even share a mundane list of things we did, and things we plan to do. Realizing it’s easy to actually forget all of the amazing things we’ve done, I’ve been grateful I’ve kept a record of everything.
This journal works for me because it’s refillable, and the leather is solid and good quality. Because I take it everywhere, it really takes a beating, but still looks great (actually, the leather improves once it has worn a little). They also have lined and unlined refill options.
5. Leather Electronics Cable Roll-Up Organizer
It can be extremely difficult to stay organized when you’re constantly on the move. In my early days of travel, it felt like 80% of the time I was just looking for the same cables and chargers that were haphazardly tossed inside my one of my bags. Having a slim organizer to keep everything in one place was one of the best things I could do to keep my sanity and reduce unnecessary stress.
I like this roll-up design, as can be as compact as whatever you’re carrying. the mesh pockets keep things in place, while still making things easier to find. It has tons of pockets and elastic loops for charging cables, headphones, pens, and anything else you might need.
6. Epicka Universal Travel Adapter
A reliable universal adapter is another must-have for any international traveller. “Reliable” is key — these things have a tendency to fall apart really quickly. So we have always been on the hunt for a good travel adapter that’s strong, very useful, and reliable.
This adaptor works in over 150 different countries, so it saved me the headache of having to research adapters for every country. There are 4 USB ports and even a USB-C one for newer devices. I was basically able to charge all of my devices with this one adapter.
7. RAVPower Portable Power Bank
One of the best and most challenging things about travel is that every day is unpredictable. You’re not always guaranteed to have an outlet to charge from when you need it. And even when you are, you’re not guaranteed to have power — a lot of the world suffers from frequent power outages.
I’ve been using portable chargers for years, and it’s been amazing seeing how much they keep improving. They keep getting more powerful AND smaller (how??). I’ve found RavPower to be the best power bank right now. This bad boy charges super quickly and can even charge our computers through its high-power (60W) USB-C Power Delivery port.
8. Canway Foldable Travel Duffel Bag
We mostly travel with larger suitcases when we’re going somewhere for a few months, but I also like to have a smaller bag to take on shorter trips. The Canway Bag is the perfect size for a 3-day getaway, and it’s completely foldable, so it’s very compact when not in use. It’s also water-resistant, has a side shoe pocket, and a ton of other pockets to keep things organized.
9. Eddie Bauer Women’s CirrusLite Down Jacket
A good jacket can make the difference between a trip filled with positive memories and an unpleasant trip where all you can remember is the blistering cold.
People often sacrifice taking a good jacket because it takes up so much space. High quality down jackets like Eddie Bauer’s CirrusLite Jacket is one of the best jackets to get the best of both worlds. They’re really warm and are still great for traveling because they are compact when packed down.
10. Apple AirPods Pro
When Apple came out with the Airpods Pro, I thought AirPods are AirPods… how different could they be? Turns out, they’re really different. They’re on another level.
The sound quality and noise cancellation features are really impressive. Active noise cancellation completely blocks out outside noise, so it’s been a game-changer on planes, in cafes, on loud buses/in loud cars, and in other crowded places. It’s also sweat-proof and waterproof.
11. Hawatour Portable Elastic Travel Clothesline
Many people (me) don’t think about mundane day-to-day things like laundry when planning their travel packing list, so few people think to add a clothesline to that list.
I learned a little too late that most places in the world only have washers and no driers AND they don’t always have drying racks. These portable travel-friendly clotheslines are a simple and elegant solution.
12. Digital Hanging Luggage Scale
The hanging luggage scale is perfect for someone who always seems to pack a bit too much. The most nerve-wracking moments for me is that moment when you place your luggage on the weighing belt, holding your breath and hoping it’s below the limit.
Before we got our portable luggage scale, we went by “feeling” and would have to hope for the best at the airport. Our luggage scale has seriously saved me so much anxiety and stress! And we’ve never had to pay extra baggage fees!
13. Back From Bali Womens Sarong
Sarongs work great as a travel gift because they’re so versatile. They can be used as a dress, wrap skirt, swim cover-up, a scarf, or a beach blanket.
These Back from Bali Sarongs are high quality, ethically made, and support local Balinese businesses. They also come in a variety of beautiful colors and designs.
14. Osprey Porter 46 Travel Backpack
We’ve had many backpacks break and die on us over many years of intense travel. The difference a high-quality backpack can make is huge! The Osprey Porter 46 backpack is an excellent carryon backpack.
There is a back zipper that makes it convenient to store your laptop and take it out during security. The front panel is secure and accessible for things like plane tickets, passports, wallets, etc…
Osprey, being a backpack company, is an expert in this field. Even when full and heavy, it’s still comfortable when worn over long periods of time.
15. Nefeeko Collapsible Water Bottle
Reusable water bottles are not only cost-effective, but they’re also good for the environment, because they prevent you from constantly buying more plastic water bott.es. That being said, they can take up valuable space in your carry-on.
The Nefeeko Collapsible Water Bottle packs away nicely when not full, and it also has a carabiner so you can attach it to the outside of your backpack.
16. Flathead Reusable Straws
Flathead reusable straws are a great gift for eco-conscious friends. These straws are compatible with a variety of tumblers and can be used for both hot and cold drinks. The straws can be easily washed in the dishwasher or can be washed with the cleaning brush that comes with the kit.
17. Adidas Women’s Cloudfoam Travel Shoe
The Adidas Cloudfoam Shoes are marketed as a running shoe, but it would probably more accurately labeled as a walking shoe. It’s my go-to airport shoe and everyday travel shoe. It’s great for long days sightseeing in cities and running errands.
They’re really easy to take on and off and are extremely comfortable. It’s lined with memory foam and Cloudfoam cushioning, which feels exactly like it sounds – like you’re walking on clouds.
18. Teva Verra Travel Sandals
These Teva Sandals are essentially the Adidas Cloudfoam shoes in sandal form. They’re also insanely comfortable. They took 0 days to break-in and are really well made.
I have walked hundreds of thousands of steps in these and they still look great. After hours of walking, it’s usually my legs that get sore. My feet never blister no matter how much I walk when I wear these, so I love them to bits.
19. AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker
We have been Aeropress users for years. It’s approved by Dana, who is one of the biggest coffee nerds I’ve ever met (he also has an expensive hand coffee grinder that would make a very fancy gift!).
Aeropress our preferred way of making coffee even when we’re not traveling and incidentally, it’s one of the best ways to may coffee while traveling. It’s lightweight, compact, and portable. They also last for a long time.
We’ve been using the same Aeropress making 3-5 coffees every day for the past 4+ years.
20. GorillaPod Compact Tripod Kit
A portable, light-weight tripod is a great gift for photography lovers. We often find ourselves in remote places in the middle of nowhere. So it’s always nice to have a tripod to capture our memories when there’s no one around. It’s also a must-have for any night photography if you want to capture those beautiful Milkyway shots.
The Gorillapod tripod is extremely versatile. You can stand it, straighten it, and get creative by wrapping it around the closest thing to you. It’s also nice and compact and therefore one of the best travel tripods around.