Yes, it is that time of year already, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are right around the corner! Time to start to think about what to get all those special people in your life. If those people happen to be travelers like me, you are in luck. As an experienced traveler, I have a few ideas for the best gifts for travel enthusiasts. Many of these I use all the time (even when I am not traveling) and the rest are items on my own Christmas list – hint, hint!
All of these recommended gifts for travel lovers are available online. If you are like me, you will do most of your shopping that way because it is just much easier and you avoid all the crowds. Plus, you can easily ship the items to your loved ones if you aren’t able to visit them over the holidays.
Best Useful Travel Gifts
These days I am trying to be a minimalist, so I really appreciate gifts that are useful! I will go as far as saying some of these are life changing! When you give a practical travel gift, the recipient will think of you each time they use it!
Note: This post contains affiliate links. See Disclosure below for more information.
GoPro and Accessories
I really love my GoPro, we used to use the GoPro HERO5 Black, but upgraded to the new HERO7 Black (in 2018 I think). I mainly use it for my videos on my youtube channel, but you can also use it for photos although you should be aware that it has a fish-eye lens. It still works for us, so we haven’t felt the need to upgrade.
The latest model is the Hero 9 Black (released September 2020), which has some exciting new features including upfront performance improvements, enhanced tools, and a full color front-facing screen. Alternatively, you could save a bit and get the HERO8 Black which also gives you super smooth footage, whether you are holding your GoPro or it’s mounted. You won’t need a separate gimbal. Image quality is excellent.
Note: I would not recommend buying a GoPro model earlier than the 7. It may be cheaper, but it will require you to use a separate gimbal for steady video.
If the person you are shopping for already has a GoPro, maybe they would like some accessories. I use the 3-way grip all the time, but I would love to try a car mount (which could be a perfect gift for someone who enjoys road trips) and some more underwater accessories.
We asked for a rolling backpack a few years ago and it has definitely come in handy. With all the photo/video equipment that we now carry along with us when we travel, our backpack was getting heavy! A rolling bag is a much better option for both my back and Russell’s.
When we got our backpack, there weren’t many with wheels available. As the popularity has increased, so have the options on the market. For example, this one can be used as a backpack with wheels, a wheeled carry on, or stacked as rolling luggage and it comes with detachable daypack. See more options available here.
Portable Battery Charger
This has probably saved my life at least a few times (ok, well maybe I am exaggerating a bit)! I rarely leave my apartment without it though. I just don’t want my phone to run out of battery when I need to make a phone call or try to connect with someone.
When you are traveling, it is even more important. I don’t want to be without my Google Maps (how did we survive without GPS)? Plus, you can also use the battery charger to charge your camera. I only need to charge my powerbank once or twice a week, and it can charge 3 devices at the same time. See more powerbank options here.
It took years of traveling before I caved and bought a neck support pillow. I really didn’t want to carry another item with me. Now, I don’t ever travel without it. It makes a huge difference in how well I sleep on the plane, especially on a long haul or red eye flight.
The more sleep I get on the plane, the more I am able to do once I get to my destination. It also puts me in a better mood. I just have a simple University of Texas Longhorn neck pillow that I picked up at the Austin airport. You can get a cute one that fits the personality of the person that you are shopping for or get a travel pillow that is a little fancier.
See all the options here.
When traveling, you need earphones! You will want to listen to music, audiobooks, and podcasts, and watch movies. Sometimes you want to eliminate the noises around you.
Wireless headphones make it all much easier. Just connect them to your device using Bluetooth. No more being tied down by cords.
When you travel internationally, you have to carry your passport and additional currencies in addition to what you would normally have. It is helpful to have a place to put it all and even better if it has some anti-theft protection. Getting robbed is a nightmare no matter what, but it’s even worse when you are away from home.
When looking for a travel wallet you are going to want something that protects you against electronic theft as well particularly if your credit card has contactless technology. Some credit cards, passports, and driver’s licenses now come with embedded radio frequency identification chips which a thief may be able to use to get your information if your wallet is not RFID blocking.
Amazon Prime Membership
Earlier on this blog, I talked about how great Amazon Prime is for travelers, so if you know any travelers that aren’t Amazon Prime Members, then I think a membership would make a great gift. When you give them an Amazon Prime Membership, you give them more than just free shipping. It also includes access to music, eBooks, videos, photo storage and more.
Get more information about gifting an Amazon US Prime Membership here.
Get more information about gifting an Amazon UK Prime Membership here.
Best Experience Gift Ideas for Travelers
For those who want to make memories rather than collect stuff, why not give the gift of a special experience. They will think of you while they are enjoying themselves.
With Tinggly, the gift box recipient(s) can choose from experiences in over 100 countries. There are plenty of experiences to choose from like hot air ballon rides, tours, boat rides, foodie experiences and more – everyone will find something they are excited about.
USA Sightseeing Pass
The USA Sightseeing Pass is another option if the person you are buying for is planning on visiting different cities around the country. This pass covers some of the top attractions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas, and a few other cities. You choose how many attractions to include. Then the recipient can choose which attractions to go to from a extensive list.
Nice to Have Travel Gifts
Since I still haven’t exactly become a minimalist, there are some nice to have travel items that I do really appreciate. Some of these travel gifts are just fun and while you can manage without them, some do make life (or travel) easier.
Digital Photo Frame
My friends got together a couple years ago and got me a Nixplay Digital Wifi Photo Frame and it is probably my favorite gift I have ever gotten. Having an automatic slideshow of my family, friends, and travel photos just makes me smile! I love that you can easily add new photos through an app on your phone. Plus even friends that don’t have a Nixplay Frame can send photos to you.
Travel Subscription Box
With a travel subscription box, the recipient will periodically receive some travel inspiration. There are boxes tailored for all different travel interests, so check out my list of the best travel subscription boxes.
Phone Holder for the Plane
When airlines offer free entertainment through an app on your phone, I have struggled to find a way to have the phone stay upright so I can enjoy the movies. I usually end up holding the phone with my hands which gets tiring. I love the idea of having a phone holder like this that works in any plane.
As a travel enthusiast, I enjoy reading about travel. I like books that can help me discover new places to visit or that share interesting travel stories. If you are looking for an inspirational travel book, then check out the Ultimate Travel List from Lonely Planet. It has 500 amazing ideas for places to go!
You can find more interesting books about travel here.
Travel Scratch-Off Map
I try not to get too obsessed with counting how many countries I have been to. In some cases, I prefer to go back to countries I have already been to so that I can see more. Still, it’s fun to visually track your travel goals on a map.
A map would make a great present for a travel lover. It would look nice hanging on an office or bedroom wall and it’s a great conversation starter. You could also get a scratch-off USA map like this one for anyone whos working on visiting all 50 states.
Travel Coloring Poster Map
Coloring books are all the rage because they are relaxing and therapeutic. Go one step up and instead of a coloring book, get this jumbo-sized map for that travel lover in your life. They can create a piece of art that will help them remember places they have been. Kids can join in on the fun too.
I have never been very good at keeping a journal and now my blog sort of serves that purpose. Maybe a cute travel journal would motivate me?! Doubtful.
Time is always tight when I travel. I love that this journal from Waypoint Goods has daily prompts that are fill in the blank style to make it easier to record the highlights. It has even pages for a two week trip plus a packing list and four pages of travel recap questions. You can’t ask for a simpler way of recording your holiday memories.
Travel Hair Dryer
Those of us who have long hair know that the hotel hair dryers don’t cut it. Plus, if you are staying in a vacation rental, a hair dryer might not be available. It’s nice to have a travel sized one to bring along with you If you are traveling internationally, be sure to get a dual-voltage one.
Electronics Travel Organizer
These days, I think everyone travels with a lot of electronics. I have even more now that I have my blog. It would be nice to have something to help organize all the electronics and their different cords and chargers!
There are lots of different organizing options. See more here.
Collapsible Water Bottle
It’s nice to have a water bottle with you at all times, but space is always at a premium. I think a collapsible water bottle solves the problem! Plus, it’s good for the environment. It’s perfect to stick in your carry-on bag and take with you on your travels. You don’t want to get dehydrated.
Travel Coffee Maker
I know some people cannot function in the morning without their coffee and some that are a bit of a coffee snob – not that there is anything wrong with that! It may be easier than you think to have good coffee even when you are traveling. Personally, we use the Aeropress both at home and when we travel.
Get more information about it and some of the other coffee makers for travelers.
Best Travel Stocking Stuffers
Did you hang up your stockings by the chimney with care? We don’t have a chimney but I still like to do Christmas stockings. I thought I would include a few travel gifts ideas that are cheap and make a great travel stocking stuffer.
An international adapter is a must for any international traveler, and it conveniently fits into a stocking! Look for one that is universal so that it covers any country. This would pair really well with the travel hair dryer and make a great gift for someone going to Australia or somewhere else abroad.
Carry on Cocktail
We all know that travel can be stressful especially when you have to deal with all the lines at airports. Wouldn’t it be nice to relax a bit on the plane with a nice cocktail?
See all the different drink kits available here.
Fun Luggage Tag
A pretty luggage tag is a great way to show off your personality and also makes your suitcase easier to spot at baggage claim especially if you are one of the millions who have a black suitcase.
See some of the cute bag tags available here.
Best Funny Travel Gifts
I also thought I would include a few totally fun ideas. These quirky travel gifts are meant for those with a sense of humor who enjoy a good laugh. A funny travel gift could also work well as a secret Santa or white elephant present.
Airplane Armrest Extender/Divider
Anyone who flies coach knows the battle with the person next to you for the armrest! I can remember many flights where I wish I would have found one of these. I wonder how people would react!
Travel Foot Rest
This is a great gift for travelers that are vertically challenged like me. It’s like a hammock for your feet. Anything to make those long plane rides more comfortable has to be a good thing. It could also come in handy if you or someone you know has to travel with a leg injury.
Check out more airplane foot rests here.
Funny Travel T-shirt
A funny t-shirt is always a great conversation starter. That travel enthusiast in your life will get a laugh out of these. See more travel t-shirt designs here.
Travel Gift Ideas
There you have it, my recommendations for the best Christmas gifts for travel enthusiasts this holiday season.
What else is on your travel gift wish list this year?
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Last Updated on February 22, 2021