We all have travelers in our lives and they are a group that can be tough to buy for. We want to give them the world, but just can’t. Especially since travelers run such a wide range from backpacker to business and from aspiring to seasoned.
Gear can be quite personal, but don’t get discouraged! There are still great ways to surprise the travelers in your life, and I’ve included some “don’ts” to avoid disappointment. You can even shop most of this list online, so no need to change out of your PJs or deal with people!
The gift ideas are in the following sections:
Pro-tip: you can use a lot of these specials on gift certificates; you can get the deal now and commit to the tour or trip you want later!
Unique gift ideas for all types of travelers
Ok, now that we have that out of the way. We know cash isn’t a fun gift anyway. So what do travelers want? Anything that helps them with seeing the world! Quality and durability are important, but equally important are size and weight of things that they’ll carry. With that in mind, many of these gift ideas WEIGH NOTHING!
8 Travel Gifts Under $25
Now for the stocking stuffers, secret Santas and smaller budget ideas (ALL of which I personally use).
|$12 silicone bottles||$19.99 universal adapter||$9 quick-dry cloths||$10 collapsible bottle|
|$20 microfiber towel||$7 magic soap||$10 shampoo bar||$23 portable speaker|
Entertainment gifts (weightless)!
No one wants to lug around books, but for all the planes and trains and waiting, entertainment comes in handy. The beauty of all of these is that they literally weigh nothing, but add so much to a traveler’s bag.
Gifts to inspire the traveler
Whether it’s decorating the house or bringing travel into everyday life, there are a ton of options from wallpapers to watches for any traveler.
Technology for travelers
Some people want to say we should leave our technology behind while traveling, but holy cow it’s useful.
The best cameras for travelers
Yeah, I know that cameras should be under technology, but there are so many options out there, I wanted to dedicate a separate section here. Cameras can be quite personal, so if you’re going this route, it’s good to know what your traveler is after. Size and weight are huge considerations, so I personally don’t travel with a DSLR, but it’s all a matter of preference.
Whether your traveler already has a camera or not, accessories are key. Extra batteries, cases, etc. make the cameras that much more powerful. Here are some accessories that every travel photographer, amateur or pro, needs:
- SD cards. The bigger, the better and speed matters.
- Extra batteries/external charger. The real ones tend to be expensive, but thankfully, you can find most on Amazon.
- Selfie stick (begrudgingly). Yeah, I know, they’re annoying. But still useful. I use mine less for selfies and more for stabilizing video.
- Tripod. I have a light titanium one like this one that is enough for my needs, but still light and compact.
- Action cam mounts. This $20 kit will include mounts, tripod and a selfie stick.
- Lifeproof cases. Travel is hard on gear, so serious cases are life savers.
Unique gifts for travelers
What else could they need? Here are a few last ideas if the list above hasn’t inspired you yet:
Gifts for different types of travelers
The above is pretty general, but your traveler is special. What kind of traveler are they?
Especially for the business traveler? Business travelers tend to have everything they “need,” but if they have everything in the list above, maybe think about CLEAR for the US-based so they can skip security lines (they’ll be thanking you all year!).
What’s the one thing every backpacker wishes they had? And international sim card/data plan. T-Mobile has the best worldwide coverage and is your best bet regardless of where they are traveling to; if they don’t already have a sim, you can get them a new card and international plan or pick them up a gift card so they can set it up themselves.
What about the aspiring traveler? The aspiring traveler is in the planning stages and can absolutely benefit from planning tools like Lonely Planet guides or a savings account (maybe cushioned with its first deposit).
Don’t! Gifts to skip for travelers
Many gifts, as well-intentioned as they are, will land flat with travelers. Here are a few things to avoid:
- Gift cards for a small amount to a place with only expensive stuff ($20 to Sharper Image doesn’t go very far).
- Backpack or anything that needs personalization without consulting them (fit and size are super important for a pack, so they need to be in on the decision).
- Frivolous stocking stuffer type items (my sweet mom used to get us daily calendars that neither my brother nor I used, and I always thought – this is dinner somewhere!)
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