Earlier this week I shared 36 – 36! still can’t believe that number! – gift ideas for digital nomads, but I appreciate most travellers don’t fit into that category. So, in the pursuit of equality, today I’m sharing some other unique travel gifts for all kinds of travellers.
These aren’t your usual travel gifts. You can find scratch maps, travel journals and luggage gift ideas all over the internet. You’ve no doubt already come across loads of them. This list of gifts, I hope, will offer something a little more unique for when you’ve already worked your way through the usual suspects.
I’ve rounded these gift ideas into categories to help you pick something unique for any kind of traveller. That means you can save some time and skip straight to the most relevant section, or skim through everything to find just the right fit.
Surprisingly useful travel gifts
If you struggle with the season of giving because you hate pointless crap, fear not. There are plenty of useful gifts you can give a traveller this year that they won’t already have.
One of the best travel investments I ever made was my noise cancelling headphones. They’re the kind of thing you don’t realise you NEED until you have them. If you want to buy a life-changing gift and have the budget, every traveller will wonder how they travelled without them – especially on planes! For a more budget- and space-friendly version, I also love my wireless sports headphones.
Almost every traveller stays in an Airbnb from time to time. If you want to give the gift of travel, Amazon now sells Airbnb gift cards that your loved one can use to fund their next adventure. Options start from just $25.
If you want to give the gift of luxury, let your travel-loving loved enjoy a little more comfort with Priority Pass. Priority is a subscription-based lounge pass that gives the owner access to airport lounges all around the world. And with three different membership options, there’s something to suit every budget.
Novelty travel gifts
At first glance, it’s hard to come up with an original travel gift idea. That’s where these slightly wacky but super fun novelty travel gifts come in.
What do you get the travel lover who has everything? How about Lonely Planet’s ‘Ultimate Travel’ colouring book to keep their wanderlust alive all year? This bumper colouring book contains 100 ready to colour in images. That means they can visit two destinations a week, from the comfort of the sofa.
If you know a traveller who’s a sucker for cute things (yep, that’ll be me!), how about getting them the world’s cutest travel pillow? This elephant pillow magically transforms from useful travel pillow to adorable travel companion in seconds. It’s a travel pillow that performs beyond just the journey, and it’s perfect for those moments when you feel a little homesick and just need a cuddle.
I had to do a double take when I first saw this carry on cocktail kit! But I promise you it’s for real, and I promise it’ll put a smile on any traveller’s face this Christmas.
Gifts for someone going abroad
Sometimes a picture can say a lot more than words – especially when those words are in a language you don’t speak. However long your loved one is planning to travel for, I promise this picture dictionary will come in useful. Whether they’re moving to a new country or planning a round-the-world trip, sometimes you need a little hand in communicating. This takes all the stress out of every situation.
One of the most useful things I travel with is a WiFi hotspot that allows me to connect from anywhere. You don’t have to be a digital nomad to get a lot of use out of a mobile hotspot. From sharing your travel memories on social media to updating loved ones back home, it’s always good to know you have WiFi when you need it. I currently use the TEP Wireless device but SkyRoam is another popular option for less frequent travellers.
Gifts for foodie travellers
Food and travel are the perfect match, which probably explains why so many travellers also consider themselves foodies. Get them one of these gifts to enjoy when they’re not off trying new dishes in exotic lands.
It’s not for everyone, but whiskey-loving travellers will appreciate this globe decanter and glass set. Just don’t be surprised if it becomes the talk of every dinner at their house from now on.
If you want to bring a taste of the world to them, a Try The World subscription box gives them the gift of global cuisines delivered to their door. Every month, a selection of tasty treats from other countries will turn up, ready to enjoy from home.
Wine lovers enjoy travelling to wine regions, and they always want to bring back a bottle or two. This handy wine protector is a simple idea but will keep their precious cargo safe in transit.
Quirky travel gifts
Sometimes the best travel experiences – and the best travel gifts – can be found a lot closer to home. Ancestry’s DNA ancestry kit can uncover your own and gives you 2x more geographical detail than any other DNA test. You never know, the results may even inspire their next trip or two!
For the traveller who has everything (including a home!), Lost in Translation is the perfect coffee table book. Each page contains a word from another language that doesn’t translate into English. As a linguist, I might be a little bit biased, but I’m sure everyone can appreciate this book. And if you’ve ever used the word “hygge”, it’ll be right up your street.
Love it or hate it, it wouldn’t be Christmas without Monopoly. Inspire their wanderlust while battling to pass go with this US National Parks edition, complete with outdoor-themed counters including a tent, a boot and an American bison.
Gift ideas for female travellers
If there’s one thing that travelling long-term with a man has taught me, it’s that travel is different for women. There’s a good chance your mind springs straight to safety, but it’s the day-to-day practicalities where I’ve noticed the biggest difference. These gifts have been chosen with those pain points in mind.
Theft-proof bags with extra security features are easy to come by now. You can never be too safe, so I think that’s great. What isn’t so great is that most of them seemed to have been designed by – and for – men. This theft-proof backpack gives you all the security you want at home and away, but you’d never know it’s not just a regular bag.
Even if we don’t like to admit it, the female body can be very different from the male one. Unfortunately for us, most backpacks – including hiking backpacks – are designed to fit the male body more than ours, which ultimately puts our health at risk. That’s where the Berghaus Freeflow hiking backpack for women comes in. It’s a hiking bag designed specifically to protect and flow with the curves and contours of the female body, and it comes it two sizes.
One of the biggest differences between my suitcase and my boyfriend’s is the presence of toiletries and cosmetics. Looking after my hair is and skin is important to me, which is why I make sure I always have at least the essentials with me. The thing is, those bottles take up space AND weight. LUSH solid shampoo bars not only help solve that problem, but they’re much more eco-friendly too given the lack of plastic.
Unique hiking gifts
Whether they’re hiking near or far, these unique hiking gifts will surely come in helpful.
Travellers don’t just want to enjoy the world we live in, but we want to protect it too. Using a filtered water bottle is a great way to cut down on unnecessary plastic, especially during the times you need to stay hydrated.
A portable charger is one of my main travel essentials as a digital nomad, but the weight quickly adds up if you need a lot of juice. Anker now makes a solar panel portable charger which uses the sunlight to charge on the go. It’s perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking, and lets you have unlimited power.
If you can’t give them the gift of hiking, give them the next best thing: hiking inspiration! Fifty Places To Hike Before You Die features some of the most incredible hikes in the world, so they can’t start planning their next big adventure.
Unique camping gifts
I’ve spent a lot of my time in Africa camping and discovered some handy trinkets along the way. These gifts will make a happy camper even happier on Christmas day.
No coffee lover wants to give up their morning cup of java, and now they don’t have to. Camping doesn’t have to mean instant caffeine thanks to the Nanopresso coffee maker. This small, portable coffee machine makes it easy to enjoy a fresh cup of Nespresso coffee no matter where you are.
Everybody loves a hammock, right? Hammocks are just as great for taking cool Instagram snaps as they are for a cheeky afternoon nap. Choose a cotton rope hammock for Bali vibes, or a parachute style for pure camping comfort.
You don’t have to go glamping to enjoy a little more luxury while camping. Add some flavour to their next camping trip with The New Camp Cookbook and give them the gift of meals they’ll look forward to.
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