Buying gifts for travellers is hard. I know this thanks to my mom who complains every time my birthday or Christmas rolls around and she tells me how difficult it is to shop for me (Sorry mom!) Really though, I get it; travellers tend to value experiences over things. However, it’s also safe to say that most family members or friends can’t afford to send you on a vacation every time a holiday rolls around. Thankfully, there are still a few things that travellers do want to enhance their travel experience. So, from one travel addict to the friends and family of another, here are my top pics for travel gifts that travellers actually want to receive.
Stocking Stuffers for Travellers
Looking for a little something special for a friend, co-worker, or to pop in the top of someone’s Christmas stocking? Here are some awesome classic travel gifts that will come in handy.
Silk Sleep Mask
Ideal for plane travel, hostel rooms, or even hotel rooms that don’t have dark black-out curtains. A sleep mask is easy and light to pack and can make all the difference in the world for any traveller trying to get some sleep. Buy a top-rated silk sleep mask here.
I love having a separate passport wallet for travel. It’s much easier to keep my credit card, bank card, and passport all in one place rather than try to juggle between finding my normal wallet and then a passport. Check out these leather passport wallets here.
I’m a writer, so you won’t find me without a journal when I travel. Even if it’s not work-related, a travel journal is a great way to keep track of memories, important information, contact numbers, or even to draw or doodle if you are an artist. I actually sell my own line of travel journals, you can take a look here.
Travel Gifts: Gear
Travelling requires a lot of gear that, let’s be honest, isn’t always what travellers want to spend their money on. More often than not our gear is worn, lacking, or maybe even completely inappropriate. What may not seem to be the most exciting to you, will likely put a big smile on our face because it makes our adventures that much easier. Here are my top travel gear recommendations for travel gifts.
If the traveller on your list uses a lot of tech on the road then a power bank is a must. Fun fact: I usually have two with me. Not only is it handy while you are out travelling for the day, but they are also ideal for nights if there aren’t enough plugs in your room (common in hostels and some hotels). Buy this power bank here.
Whether your traveller’s trip involves water sports, boating, island hopping, or maybe even just a rainy weather forecast, a dry bag is perfect for storing electronics or some clothes to keep them safe and dry. There are a few different sizes to choose from. Buy a dry bag here.
I don’t consider myself to be a photographer, but my travel tripod is one of my top travel gagets. For photographing things like waterfalls to being able to take a photo of myself (that aren’t a crappy selfie)- it’s come in really handy. This one is easy to fold and under 3.5 pounds, making it perfect for travel. Buy this travel tripod here.
Quick Dry Travel Towel
Bringing your own towel isn’t necessarily if you are staying in a hotel. However, if you are staying in a hostel- you’ll need one. They also come in handy if you plan on heading to a beach during your travels, or work as an extra blanket if you are cold at night or on the plane. These quick-dry ones are ideal for those who are moving around a lot. After all, there’s nothing worse than packing wet things! Buy this quickdry towel here.
Light-weight Day Bag
A small day bag is ideal for everything from city exploring to hiking to hitting the beach. I got this small and inexpensive one for my trip through the South Pacific and I used it daily. Plus, it folds up really tiny when you don’t need it making it ideal for light packing. Get this light-weight day bag here.
Vessi shoes have become my go-to athletic shoes for travel. Not only are they lightweight and supportive but they are waterproof-yes that’s right. Actually waterproof (I tested mine by jumping in puddles and it worked!). These are a relatively new addition to my travel wardrobe (I have the everyday move) but they have come in incredibly handy for everything from rainy days in Ireland to flooding in Crete. They have options for men and women.
Eco-Friendly Travel Gifts
Being a responsible and eco-friendly traveller is more important that ever. While it’s not always easy to be green while travelling, there are few simple items that really will make an impact in terms of helping save the oceans and environment. Here are my top picks for eco-friendly travel gifts.
LifeStraw Reusable Water Bottle
Reusable water bottles are always a good idea, but this LifeStraw bottle takes it a step further with its unique filtering system that removes 99.999% of bacteria, allowing travellers to drink questionable water when necessary. it’s durable and easy to bring around. Buy the LifeStraw Water bottle here.
Reef Safe Sunscreen
Did you know that normal sunscreen actually damages and kills coral and marine life? That’s why reef safe sunscreen is so important for any type of water activities. Stream 2 Sea is an amazing brand because they have properly tested their products to make sure they truly are safe. Plus, the packaging is eco-conscious as well. Buy Stream2Sea sunscreen here.
Plastic straws are a huge problem for the environment (have you seen that horrific video of the sea turtle with the straw stuck up it’s nostril?), yet they are used everywhere. You can help cut down on that use by bringing these reusable straws (with cleaning tools and storage containers) wherever you go and using them instead of the plastic ones offered by bars, restaurants, and food vendors. Buy these reusable straws here.
Toothbrushes are another plastic item that pile up quickly in landfills and on beaches. Help reduce the plastic by choosing bamboo toothbrushes which are biodegradable. Get a box of bamboo toothbrushes here.
Travel Gifts for Women
Personally, I think that women always have a few more needs and considerations when packing and travelling. Looking for the best travel gifts for the adventurous woman on your list? As a female traveller, here are my personal favourite recommendations.
You can also check out my list of top travel accessories for women for some more ideas.
Travel Perfume Bottle
Allow the female traveller on your list to bring her favourite scent with her with these re-fillable travel bottles. The small size makes them carry-on friendly and they are durable enough that they won’t smash and break like the normal travel size bottles. Buy this travel perfume bottle here.
Versatile and Stylish Travel Clothing
Looking good while being comfortable is important to women on the road. One of my favourite travel clothing lines is Diane Kroe- which covers both those needs. Her pieces come in numerous sizes flattering for all shapes and all of her pieces are versatile and offer multiple looks. My favourite: the mariposa kaftan which is perfect for the beach. Check out Diane Kroe’s products here and use promo code HANNAH10 to save 10% on your order.
Essential Pieces for a Capsule Wardrobe
Another travel clothing line I love is encircled which offers basic, stylish, and ethically made pieces perfect for creating the ideal travel capsule wardrobe. My encircled essentials are the dressy sweatpants (I always wear them on the plane) and the evolve top which has travelled with me for 5+ years now. Check out encircled clothing here.
Travel Gifts for Men
Just as women have a few needs of their own, so do men. Here are some travel gift ideas for the adventurous man on your list.
Pick-Pocket Free Clothing
One of my favourite travel brands for men and women is The Clever Travel Companion which offers pick-pocket-proof clothing. T-shirts, sweatshirts, and even underwear with hidden pockets, perfect for stashing credit cards, cash, or your passport. Check out this pick-pocket free clothing line here.
Just because he’s a traveller doesn’t mean he needs to smell like one. This solid cologne comes in several different manly scents and is easy to throw in a bag to use on a daily occasion or just for a night out. This product is cruelty-free and made from natural, organic products. Buy this solid cologne here.
Swiss Army Knife
Swiss army knives can always come in handy, especially if the man you are shopping for is an outdoorsman. This swiss army knife has several handy extensions. Just make sure he doesn’t bring it in his carry-on! Buy this Swiss Army Knife here.
Travel Gifts: Experiences
What do you get the traveller who has it all already? How about an epic experience for their next trip? I’m not saying you need to gift an entire vacation (but if that’s your style, let’s be friends?), but you can easily add to an existing trip or vacation by choosing one of these types of experiences as travel gifts.
A Night at a Hotel
Many travellers are on a budget and stay in low-cost hotels or even hostels to help cut costs. Treat your traveller to a night at a nice night hotel. If you feel inclined, you can even add some extra credit on the account for a meal or a spa day. I like to recommend using booking.com because they have some great deals and often have free cancellation if there is an issue and it needs to be cancelled.
A Day Trip or a Tour
Another option is to get them tickets for a day trip or a tour. Whether it’s a walking tour, cooking class, show, or even tickets to a museum. I love using Get Your Guide for this service as they use local companies in each city. I’ve used them many times and have always been very happy with the experience.