Looking for the perfect holiday present for that traveler in your life? It’s not always easy! With so many options out there for travel gear, it can be hard to know where to begin. Whether your traveler is heading to New York or heading out on the mountains in Japan, you’ll be able to find something they’ll love. These are the best travel gift ideas for wanderlust lovers, no matter what your budget.
Skip the money-belt this year, and buy a birthday or holiday travel gift that your favorite intrepid globe-trotter will actually use on their next international trip.
Check out our other gift guides for 2021: for Book Lovers, Stationery Addicts, and for Hygge lovers.
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Best Gifts for Travelers for Christmas
Nalgene Water Bottle
Whether you’re camping or heading out on a road trip, a durable water bottle is a must-have. Nalgene makes some of my favorite bottles out there. With dozens of color, size, and design options, so you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit for everyone on your list. Plus, they won’t break the bank.
Up your loved one’s packing game with a new set of packing cubes, like this set from Eagle Creek. With the help of these cubes, which come in a variety of sizes for different packing needs, their suitcase will be more organized than ever. It’s the perfect gift for someone planning their next big trip.
Sea to Summit
You never know when you might need a dry bag in your travels. You may find you’re going on a water adventure or you might end up in a water festival in Thailand or out hiking when a sudden shower hits. The Sea to Summit dry bags are some of the most lightweight and durable ones around, and we have found they are the most reliable as well. They have definitely saved our electronics a few times.
Universal Power Adapter
Finding the right travel adapter over the years has been a challenge but after getting this adapter we love it. It converts plugs for any country in the world at the slide of a switch, which makes for great travel gifts for people who travel for work or leisure. Most importantly it is light and durable so you won’t have to replace it after a few uses like other models we have tried.
See what other electronics I recommend for travel.
There’s nothing worse than having your phone die while you’re exploring a new location. This compact portable charger will help prevent that from happening. Not only is it small enough to fit inside your pocket but when fully charged, the high-speed charger can provide up to three full phone charges.
Travel Passport Wallet
A travel wallet is a great idea to help keep you organized, especially in the airport. If you’re like me, you have a ton of passports and boarding passes to keep track of. This wallet helps make sure our passports are safely zippered away and our boarding passes are easily accessible in the front pouch. You can also keep over items in here like your car keys (I know I’ve gotten back from a trip before and had to anxiously search the bottom of my bag for them) or cash.
The GoPro Hero 10 is the newest model out from GoPro. With its ability to record 5.3K 60p using the new HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization, the ability to shoot 23-megapixel photos, and the best low-light performance out of any model yet, it’s safe to say if someone is looking to buy a GoPro this should be the choice. GoPros are great for adventure video and photography or just capturing your travels without a bulky camera. I love mine for snowboarding and SCUBA diving, but it can be used for just about anything.
HP Sprocket Portable Printer
HP’s Sprocket Select, an ink-free pocket printer, produces appealing wallet-size prints on the go. It’s a solid choice for making novelty prints from a smartphone or tablet. This is great for printing photos on-the-go to share with your new travel buddies or to add photos to your journal.
Speaking of journals, what better notebook for travel than the Traveler’s Notebook. With its variety of sizes and beautiful leather covers, you can mix and match different inserts to best fit your needs. This makes it great to use as a travel journal for your trip to Bali, change out the insert and use the same cover while journaling in Argentina. The planner inserts are also great for keeping track of your itineraries and travel wish lists.
Also, see Traveler’s Notebook Guide to learn more.
But if you’re looking for a more traditional journal, a bullet journal is a great option. The bullet layout lets you write like a traditional journal, using the dots as a guide for your lines, or you can draw, outline, jot notes, or whatever you need.
Also see Bullet Journal Guide to learn more about Bullet Journals.
Or see the gift guide for Stationery to get more ideas like this.
Not all readers are into tablets, but if they’re willing to give one a try, the Kindle Paperwhite is definitely one of the best. It’s great for travel because you can carry as many books as you want without going over your luggage allowance or breaking your back.
Amazon Gift Card
You choose the amount, they choose the book. Or anything else from this list.
Audible Gift Card
Same idea but for the readers who prefer to listen. You can gift 1, 3, 6 or 12 months. If you’ve never tried Audible before, you can sign up for the free trial to see if it’d be a good gift. Try it free Here.
They are much smaller and more lightweight than my previous headphones and with the advanced noise-canceling technology, the comfortable ear pads, and great quality sound out there these make long-haul plane flights bearable. You can control the volume and skip songs at the touch of a finger and they don’t cover your ears so they are easy to sleep with. If you travel on a plane anywhere these days you have to have a pair of these headphones. Plus with extended battery life these are a must-have.
Silk Eye Mask
One of our favorite sleep masks, this pure silk mask has been recommended by dermatologists and beauty experts for its crease-resistant properties. Silk doesn’t tug on the delicate skin around the eyes like cotton or other fabrics would, giving it an anti-aging reputation. Slip also makes silk pillowcases, which offer similar benefits to skin and promote soft, frizz-free hair.
COOLIFE’s stylishly simplistic luggage has become a favorite with travelers for its indestructible design, easy internal organization, and built-in TSA Lock. You can shop both carry-ons and checked luggage, or even an entire matching set.
Herschel Retreat Backpack
Herschel makes some of my favorite bags (check the next item too). I love the Retreat backpack because it can be used as a small daypack or for longer adventures. There’s also a Pro version that has a larger volume if you’re looking for use a backpack as your only bag. A large compartment, fleece-lined laptop sleeve, padded straps, and drawstring closure and magnetic straps, this is a great pack. Add in a lifetime guarantee and it’s even better.
Herschel Novel Duffel Bag
The Novel is a perfect weekender bag that features a functional side-access shoe compartment to keep your footwear separate and accessible. The Novel duffel comes in 3 sizes to fit whatever kind of packer you are or whatever trip you’re going on.
The North Face Base Camp Duffel
The North Face
The Base Camp Duffel is a classic North Face selection. I’ve used this bag on 6 continents. It’s made it through some rugged airports, to the top of Kilimanjaro, and all over Europe. It’s huge and can be used as either a duffel with a side strap or as a backpack for easier carrying.
Custom Luggage Tags
Little Dot Studio
Luggage Tags are an inexpensive item that almost any travel could use. While you can find luggage tags in almost any store, why not get a personalized one that looks a little more sophisticated than your average. This one from Little Dot Studio is exactly that.
Tinggly is a complete gift box that lets the recipient choose one from hundreds of thrilling experiences and delicious treats from over 100 countries around the world. All you have to do is choose which gift box best fits your recipient’s interests and they get to choose the what, when, and where. Choose from Best Helicopter Rides, the Bucketlist Collection, Gap Year Collection, Best Driving Experiences, and many more. Still not sure what your loved one would like? You can always get them a gift card and let them choose the gift set.
Skyn Iceland Facelift in a Bag
Inspired by the natural resources of Iceland, Skyn’s products are 100 percent vegan and the packaging is recyclable. There are a ton of moisturizers and serums to choose from, but these eye, forehead, and smile line gel patches are the next best thing to a jet lag cure, and feature mineral-packed Icelandic glacial water and arctic cloudberry and cranberry seed oils to revive skin and reduce signs of aging or excessive red-eyes—making it the ultimate essential for post-trip pampering.
Wanderchain Souvenir Keychain
Think of this as the modern version of the pressed penny souvenir: The vegetable-tanned keychain can be customized with engraved tokens for every state, country, or continent visited. Plus, with every order, a meal is donated to a child in need.
Organic Sateen Travel Sleep Set
For those who always prefer their own bed (and bedding), this wrinkle-averse organic cotton pillow and eye mask set has you covered. Pro tip: Opt for navy or gray so the sheets don’t get lost—and woefully left behind—in hotel or Airbnb bedding.
National Parks Soap Set
This trio of limited edition botanical soaps is inspired by national parks across the country and crafted in collaboration with the Parks Project, with five percent of every purchase supporting conservation works. The refreshing Acadia scent blends scotch pine and rock rose with exfoliating seaweed, while creamy Redwood is infused with juniper and fir needle lushness, and Zion mixes sage and sabino cedar—all of which put an especially fragrant spin on forest bathing. Bonus: The bars are wrapped in pretty printed paper that eliminates the need for gift wrap.
Calming and Hydrating Facial Mist
It’s no secret that cabin air and cold weather do a number on our skin. Combat dryness and a travel-weary complexion with a soothing spritz of this hydrating treatment mist during your next flight, or whenever you need a mid-day pick-me-up.
Travel Scratch Map
Remember the days when you put a pin on a world map to mark where you’ve been? Now there’s something better. This has a gold foil layer that you can scratch off as you go and keep track of where you have been. Create your own wall art by showing off your travels and don’t worry about buying those pins to go with it. This is perfect for the person who is dreaming of traveling around the world.
“I Was Here” Journal
For the creative traveler, this unconventional journal has far more to it than blank pages waiting to be filled. It’s beautifully illustrated from cover to cover and offers fun challenges and prompts that encourage users to explore the world in a more whimsical way.
Try the World Subscription Box
Try The World
The most satisfying way to get to know a place is through its food — and it doesn’t require leaving home, thanks to a new generation of artisanal subscription services. One of our favorites is Try The World, which curates a selection of snacks, ingredients, and beverages from a different country every month.
Digital Luggage Scale
Airline baggage fees are getting out of control. They charge you for everything. To ensure you don’t get hit with paying extra, use a portable digital luggage scale. The portable option helps save you time looking for a scale or readjusting your bags at the counter.
Whether you’re reading a travelogue, flipping through a guidebook, learning about the world’s best road trips, or just looking at pictures of amazing scenery, books are a great way to get inspiration for your next trip or get a taste of wanderlust when you can’t travel at the moment. My favorite guide books are Lonely Planet. And I always love a Bill Bryson book. The link below will take you to some other great options.
Merino Wool Socks
These Merrell merino wool socks feel great to the touch, featuring excellent absorbency and wicking properties thanks to the natural characteristics of merino wool. They are highly recommended as everyday wear in the cold seasons but also make great travel socks because of their natural anti-bacterial and odor-resistant properties. Plus they just feel so cozy.
Also look at our hygge gift guide for even more coziness.
Trtl Travel Pillow
Travel Pillows are perfect for long-haul flights, uncomfortable busses, and airport naps. Every traveler could benefit from a good travel pillow to your comfort in transit and feel better and more well-rested when you arrive at your destination. Trtl Pillows are the best on the market and seem to be on everyone’s must-have list this year.
Hopefully you found some inspiration on our list of travel gift ideas. Whether you’re buying a digital luggage scale, packing cubes, a travel backpack or noise cancelling headphones, the traveler in your life will appreciate the gift.
You can also find links our posts on travel tips, Japan travel, and more stationery posts.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at you extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using the links. You can also see my full Disclosure and Terms and Conditions (you know, the real boring stuff).