It’s that time of the year again to make your holiday shopping list. If you’re wracking your brains trying to think of what to give the travel enthusiast in your life, fear not! I have created a list of awesome holiday gifts for travel lovers that would make any adventurer start rockin’ around the Christmas tree.
Most of the items on this list are things that I personally own and use when I travel. Or, they’re things I totally wouldn’t mind finding under my tree this year. In addition, they’re all pretty budget friendly, because nobody is going to buy you that thousand dollar photography drone for Christmas, Brenda…
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click a link and purchase one of these items, I will get an itty bitty (no, really…) commission at no cost to you! Thanks!
I’ll let you in on a little secret: travelers LOVE travel gear. We are obsessed with it. We’re constantly researching and trying out new travel gear that will make our lives easier and more efficient. Giving travel gear is definitely a great way to make your traveler’s days more merry and bright.
And, the best part is you don’t have to drop hundreds of dollars on a new luggage set for your traveler to get excited. There is plenty of budget-friendly travel gear that
Although it’s been said many times, many ways: Packing cubes are the greatest thing since oxygen. I’m not sure a traveler can have enough of them. They come in all shapes and sizes and are so helpful in keeping things organized.
My packing cubes are my secret weapon for traveling carry-on only. Each cube helps compress my clothes so that I can fit as much as possible into my backpack. Even though I already own several packing cubes, I would still be giddy to receive more as a gift!
READ » Why Carry-On Travel is the Bomb Diggity
Travel Laundry Bag
This is a recent addition to my travel must-haves. After several trips ending with my whole pack smelling like dirty socks, I bought myself a travel laundry bag to stuff all my smelly clothes into. When not in use, it folds up small so it’s nice and packable. And when it’s filled with clothes, it closes at the top to help separate your clean clothes from your dirty
Packable Day Pack
Travelers typically don’t need to bring all their belongings on day trips, so it’s nice to have a separate day pack that folds up nicely when not in use. There are many different packable daypacks, but my favorite is made by Eddie Bauer. Mine has been over the river and through the woods and is still in great condition. And I love that it has multiple pockets and water bottle sleeves on the sides!
Anti-Theft Travel Purse
If you’re concerned about helping the lady-traveler in your life stay safe on the road, consider purchasing an Anti-Theft Purse. This purse helped me feel so much more relaxed while traveling in Central America. The cross-body strap is slash proof, the zippers lock closed, and the interior cards slots are equipped with RFID-blocking material. It also comes in several different colors!
READ » Do I Really Need an Anti-Theft Purse?
Many budget travelers that stay in hostels have to pack their own towels for showering, beach-going, etc. As they travel from place to place, often they are forced to pack up a not-so-dry towel that quickly begins to smell like musty old feet.
Microfiber towels are great because they’re super absorbent and dry quickly to prevent odors. They can also fold down really small, so they don’t take up a lot of room. These towels are not only great for drying off after the shower, but you can also bring them along on a hike, in case you find a lovely stream or lake you want to enjoy.
I love traveling with my hammock. It makes a great excuse to just hang around outdoors and nap. They also make a great blanket to sit on at the beach. These sub7 hammocks by Eno are especially great for travelers. They are extremely compact when folded up and they only weigh just under 7ounces- Perfect for the traveler packing light! You’ll also want to get some tree straps to make hanging the hammock much easier.
READ » Travel Gear I Use
LifeStraw Water Bottle
I got my LifeStraw water bottle for Christmas last year, and it has to be one of my favorite gifts for travel lovers! As they make their way around the globe, travelers will often encounter water that is unsafe to drink. In many countries, you have to purchase plastic water bottles to stay hydrated, which generates a lot of waste.
But the LifeStraw Water Bottle changes all that! The specialized straw filters out 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites so you can drink water from the tap in any country! This water bottle takes the uncertainty out of drinking tap water around the world AND reduces tons of water from plastic bottles! Getting a LifeStraw Water Bottle will certainly make any traveler have a holly jolly Christmas!
Elephant Herem Pants
They may be a bit of a traveler cliche, but they’re also dang comfy. If your traveler follows the backpacker scene, no doubt they’ll be familiar with elephant pants. These “harem style” pants are super lightweight making them the perfect thing to wear when it’s hot, but you have to cover up those scandalous shins of yours.
They’re super comfortable and come in tons of different designs. Plus, when you make a purchase, this company will donate money towards elephant conservation! Your traveler may have asked for a hippopotamus for Christmas, but elephants are the next best thing.
Hidden Pocket Infinity Scarf
This is another nifty little accessory that can help your traveler keep their things safe while also looking smokin’ hot. This infinity scarf looks like a regular old scarf. But hidden within the folds is a small pocket you can use to hold things like credit cards, a passport, cash, and even a phone. Keep your hands and pockets free of easily-nabbed items by storing them in your scarf! Even the meanest of Grinches wouldn’t think to check there!
THE LITTLE THINGS
If you’re looking for smaller stocking stuffers for travel lovers, there are plenty of little things that will make your traveler sing Fa
Shampoo Bars are the solution to all this headache. Much like a bar of soap, shampoo bars are a solid bar of shampoo what lathers when wet. You don’t have to worry about spillage or sneaking just another ounce of liquid into your carry-on luggage.
Megababe Anti Chafe Stick
Okay, probably not the most glamorous of gifts for travel lovers, but trust me, this little stick is sure to bring some Christmas magic the next time your traveler goes on a warm getaway. This anti-chafe stick will save your traveler from burning red patches on their inner thighs and have them shouting Joy to the World from the humid streets of Thailand.
READ » Chafing While Traveling; Or, the Time I Wanted to Saw Off My Own Legs
Environmentally Friendly Sunblock
When the weather outside is frightful, it’s time to pack up and head to the beach! Why not give your beach-bound traveler the gift of unburned skin and unbleached coral reefs! This environmentally friendly sunblock has SPF50, for great protection from the sun, and is made with all natural and biodegradable ingredients that won’t harm the ocean or its inhabitants! Now that’s a Christmas miracle!
Laundry Soap Sheets
Doing laundry in a hotel sink isn’t always fun or easy, but sometimes it’s just gotta be done! These laundry soap sheets are the perfect, compact, liquid-less way to get your clothes clean. Fill up a sink with hot water, toss in a few of these sheets and hand wash your clothes to get a bit of that travel stink off. These area great way to tell your traveler, “Hey, I care about you not smelling terrible while you travel.“
Locks make a great small gift for travelers!
Small travel locks like these can be used to lock luggage or backpack zippers, lock up a hostel
Noise Reducing Earplugs
Crying babies on planes, snoring hostel roommates, and too-loud music playing on long Central American bus rides are just some of the annoying noises travelers may encounter. A pair of noise reducing earplugs is the solution! When others ask “Do you hear what I hear?” your traveler can happily respond “No!” As a plus, these ones also help with pressure in airplanes.
USEFUL TRAVEL TECH
There is some pretty dang sweet technology out there nowadays that travelers find incredibly useful. And while all the fancy stuff like drones, new iPhones and DSLR cameras would definitely award you as gift-giver of the year, I don’t want my gift guide to make you jingle all the way into bankruptcy. Here
Sandisk iXpand Drive
This little thing takes all the headache out of taking travel photos with your phone. Y’all, I love my iXpand drive. You can just plug it into your iPhone, download the day’s worth of travel photos, then delete them off your phone to save storage space! Travelers can back up their files without having to lug a laptop or hard drive around with them.
READ » Why I Love the Sandisk iXpand Drive
Universal Travel Adapter
There are so many different types of outlets around the world it can get really annoying to have to keep track of all your adapters. Luckily, this little gadget takes the hassle out of trying to remember which adapter to bring to which country. This universal travel adapter includes plugs for US/EU/EK/AU and works in over 150 countries around the world.
External Power Bank
Between phones and cameras and kindles and all the electronics that accompany travelers, it can become complicated to coordinate the charging of all these devices. Nothing’s worse than using your phone as a GPS and having the phone die while you’re somewhere in the middle of Iceland.
I’m obsessive about my external power banks. I bring like three with me on every trip just in case. I must always have a back-up power source. And if your traveler is a bit paranoid like me, a good external power bank will be well received as a gift.
Bluetooth Camera Remote
Solo travelers will often face the dilemma of how to capture great photos with themselves in the frame. You can always go the awkward selfie route, but a Bluetooth camera remote is a Game. Changer.
This awesome device connects to your phone camera via Bluetooth and allows you to control the camera shutter from up to 30 feet away! This way, your traveler can pop into the beautiful scenery and set up sweet pics like this one. No Instagram Boyfriend required! Plus, it can help take great holiday pics of you and your cat!
Okay, if you really want to win gift-giver of the year, you have to get your traveler Global Entry. What is Global Entry? It’s a program that drastically reduces the amount of time you have to wait at customs and immigration when you return from abroad.
Global Entry members merely check in at a kiosk and they’re on their way. Global Entry is not just for US Citizens. Citizens of many other countries are eligible for Global Entry as well. Find out more information about the Global Entry program, and sign your traveler up to get them home for the holidays just a little faster!
Immersing your traveler in some of the best travel media is a great way to help them embrace their love of travel. If you want your traveler to be happy in a million ways, there’s no better place to look than the huge selection of travel media available. With all these great books, movies, and more, travelers can traverse the globe while staying warm by the fireplace.
If your traveler has a trip planned or has expressed interest in a particular destination, you might want to give them a well-written travel guide for that place. Lonely Planet writes some of the best travel guides I’ve read and they cover hundreds of destinations in multiple languages! With just one book, your traveler can access important travel information like cultural insights, budget tips, and city maps.
Books are a great way to inspire your traveler to visit new destinations. They’re perfect for the traveler who needs a little entertainment material on their next trans-Atlantic flight, or who
- How Not to Travel the World – Lauren Juliff
- The Yellow Envelope – Kim Dinan
- Delaying the Real World – Colleen Kinder
- How to Sh*t Around the World – Dr. Jane Wilson-Howarth
Wild: From Lost to Found – Cheryl
- A Thousand New Beginnings – Kristin Addis
Travel Movies and TV Shows
It won’t be a silent night when your traveler gets some good travel movies and/or tv shows to binge watch! Movies and TV shows are another great way to help your traveler entertain themselves and keep their bucket lists lengthy and excessive! Some of the most popular travel movies and TV shows available include:
- Into the Wild
- Lost in Translation
- The Darjeeling Limited
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
- An Idiot Abroad
Of course, you could go all out and give them a gift that will drop a little travel insirpation at their front door once a month. Travel magazines are a great way to let your traveler learn a little bit of new information in the travelsphere while also giving them plentiful material for their next travel inspo collage! Some of the top travel magazines to gift your traveler include:
Mastering a foreign language is very useful for travelers, but it can be quite tough. There is plenty of great language learning software available, but many of them are quite an investment. Though Rosetta Stone may be one of the most recognizable ways to learn a foreign language, it’s also a good chunk of money.
A great way to help your traveler learn a new language without spending a ton of money is to sign them up for Babbel. This language learning app helps people learn real conversational skills on the go. With a monthly subscription to Babbel, you can help your traveler sing “Feliz Navidad” and actually know what they’re singing about!
Travel Coloring Book
If your traveler is the creative type, give them this awesome travel inspired coloring book! Let your traveler add their own splash of color to some of the world’s greatest destinations and they’re sure to have a White Christmas…or a Blue Christmas…or a Red Christmas…
TRAVEL DECOR FOR THE HOME
If your traveler is about decking the halls with more than just boughs of holly, why not give them a little something to help add that travel touch to their home? Here are some great home decor gifts for travel lovers!
Pretty much every traveler I know, including myself, is obsessed with maps. World maps, city maps, subway maps, you name it. And luckily you can find pretty much anything with a map on it. I found an adorable world map skirt, a world map shower curtain, and even a world map mug for drinking a nice warm holiday wassail.
If you want to go with something a little more customizable, why not get them one of these sweet scratch-off world maps! As your traveler continues their adventures, they will be able to scratch off country by country, revealing the colorful map beneath!
For someone a little more crafty, check out this awesome cross-stitch map! Your traveler can choose it either fill it all in with different colors, or finish it one country at a time to represent the places they’ve traveled.
For more world map prints and products, check out one of my favorite places for travel home decor: Cost Plus World Market!
Globes! They’re like maps, only spherical! And for travelers, just about as equally exciting as maps. Globes have come a long way since those good
You can find globes in just about any size and color nowadays. And some are even cooler than you can imagine! Check out this classy etched glass globe. Or how about this globe made of cork so you can stick pins in all your favorite places. Amaze your traveler with this floating desk globe! Or give them some travel inspired Christmas cheer with these globe ornaments.
Find more globes online, to match your traveler’s home decor!
Travel Wall Art
In the off chance that your traveler has already over decorated with maps and globes, there are some other lovely pieces of wall art that inspire
Find more great travel wall art on Amazon!
Maybe your traveler is a talented photographer with some great travel images of heir own. Why not get some pretty and travel-inspired frames for them to display their photos? Some of my favorite picture frames come from World Market, and you can check them out here!
Foreign Currency Organizer
Most travelers will have some leftover money and coins from their travels that they didn’t get a chance to spend abroad. At home, there’s not really anything to do with this extra change except maybe to put in all in a plastic bag an shove it in a drawer somewhere.
If your traveler is one of these people, give them a cool currency organizing binder! This set comes with a binder full of little pockets where travelers can organize and display all the cool coins they’ve come across in their travels!
TRAVEL GIFT CARDS AND CERTIFICATES
If you’re not about to go dashing through the snow to pick up holiday gifts, check out some of these great gift cards and certificates you can send your traveler for the holidays.
Southwest Airlines Giftcard
Southwest Airlines offers gift cards in $50 increments, which you can easily purchase right through A
If your traveler is looking for more unique places to stay, think about giving them an
Remember when we discussed how much travelers love travel gear? If you’re just not sure what they need or want, send them a gift card for REI. This store is one of the best for travel gear, hiking gear, camping gear, etc. No matter what kind of travel your loved one enjoys, they are sure to find something they’ll love at REI.
Tours and Attractions
If you know where your traveler is headed next, you could give them the gift of a fun experience. Viator has a database with thousands of awesome tours and attractions all over the world. Check out what they have to offer your adventurer and choose a fun tour based on their interests! Food tours, biking tours, walking tours, pub crawls, and more, there is sure to be something perfect for your traveler.
City Discount Cards
More and more cities across the world are jumping on the city discount card bandwagon. These cards will get you into different attractions, restaurants, and modes of transportation for free or at a discounted rate. If you know where your traveler is headed next, try looking to see if that destination has a city discount card. Nobody will be disappointed with discounts as a holiday gift!
For travelers visiting some of the top destinations in the US, check out CityPASS. This company has great discount attraction cards for many cities in the US, including New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and more!
Shopping for the traveler in your life doesn’t have to be stressful. With all these great gifts for travel lovers, you’ll be sure that your traveler has the most wonderful time of the year, spending the holidays with you!
Thanks for reading, and I ho-ho-hope you enjoyed all my
cheesy fantastic holiday puns!
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I wish the Global Pass was eligible for every citizen, it’d save so much time!