Holiday Gift Guide for the Traveler in Your Life [Updated 2021]
I just love the holiday season and as a traveler, this is the time of year I enjoy looking at different gift guides to get inspiration on what to get my travel friends. Since travelers can be a tricky group of people to buy for since they’ve been around the world picking up fun and unique items along the way, I wanted to share some inspiring gifts to spark their inner wanderlust. As someone who frequently catches the travel bug, I thought I’d put together a holiday gift guide for that travel lover in your life!
Here are some useful, practical, and interesting gifts to get those frequent flyers on your list this holiday season. I’ll start with the stocking stuffers and then move into the larger gifts!
Holiday Gift Guide for the Traveler in Your Life [Updated 2021]
Perfect Stocking Stuffers for the Traveler in Your Life
The worst feeling is when you’re cramped in your airplane seat and go into your filled-to-the-brim carry-on bag to get something to do, and all of your cords spill out! A tech organizer is such an easy way to keep the sanity of everyone sharing a row. They make for great stocking stuffers for travelers of any kind, including non-travelers! Plus, these are made from recycled plastic bottles.
The Slip eye mask is amazing for those travelers that have a hard time sleeping in new locations or take a lot of long flights. They now have an eye mask with room for you to blink your eyes as well! These are on the pricier side because they are great for your skin and made of silk. They definitely come in handy, when traveling long distances or going through multiple time changes!
GoToobs are great for the eco-friendly traveler who loves their at-home products but doesn’t want to keep buying travel-sized items. These are great to fill up with shampoo, conditioner, and face wash to use on the go. It will also save a traveler money by not having to purchase single-use products. Plus, they have tons of great reviews on Amazon.
These aren’t the most exciting gift, but luggage tags are an easy addition to any travel kit or stocking! Amazon has a ton of different cute and highly rated options here. If you want something that is more customizable, Etsy has some cute ones that you can get to match a passport cover!
There’s something so annoying about the battery life of our phones while traveling. Especially if we use maps, cameras, the internet, etc. A power bank is a MUST if you’re using your phone for a lot of reasons, like taking photos, using maps, etc. I used one all the time when I was traveling around the world long-term. This one is great for any travel lover and highly rated on Amazon.
LifeStraw is a really well-made product used to purify your water when you’re traveling or camping. They are easy to pack and filter up to 1,000 liters of contaminated water without using chemicals. It also is super affordable and is great for any traveler, plus they are packable and can fit in a carry-on or in your checked bag. They now have a LifeStraw water bottle which would be a perfect stocking stuffer for a traveler.
Know an outdoorsy adventure traveler or someone heading out on the road in an RV? This could be the perfect gift for them. It gets them in for free to all of the National Parks around the USA!
What better gift than opening up a boarding pass to your favorite destination or somewhere you haven’t been! For the ultimate surprise, gift your travel lover a plane ticket to a destination they’ve been wanting to go to or gift them a quick weekend away!
Make sure to get a ticket that allows you to move the dates and/or change the ticket-holder name, so you don’t get stuck with unnecessary travel stress!
Gifted credit cards can be a great gift option for a traveler because it allows them to use them on any travel or non-travel purchase! Visa has a ton of great options.
Double down and use your own travel credit card to purchase the prepaid one so you can get your own rewards!
Airline Club/Lounge Membership/Priority Pass or Gift Card
If your travel friend is spending hours in airports, gift them the relaxation that comes with spending time in an airline club or lounge! Even something positive, like a vacation, can be stressful, so it’s an easy win to ensure someone you care about a little comfort while at the airport. Priority Pass is great because it gets you into lounges all over the world.
Know someone who loses things quite a bit? Tile Mate’s are great gifts for travelers to attach to their wallets, keys, bags, or camera. Then they allow you to track where they are if you lose them. These are great for travelers so they can locate lost items!
Great Gifts, Large and Small for Any Traveler
A really important item for someone who loves to travel—especially internationally—is a travel pillow. I’ve tried a lot of pillows over the years and my top three favorites (in order) are:
BCozzy Pillow – It’s so comfortable and is completely adjustable, so it fits perfectly for anyone who uses it.
Cabeau Pillow– How can you not appreciate a memory foam pillow? The traveler on your list can sleep on (while quite possibly flying through) a cloud!
Trtl Pillow – If the other two prioritize comfort, this is the best option for prioritizing support! It props the neck up and is perfect for sleeping in the middle or aisle seats.
I can’t speak highly enough about packing cubes. They keep your bag completely organized and have helped me so much when traveling. It doesn’t really matter the brand, but I like Eagle Creek the best because of their flexibility and you can really fit a lot into each pack. I also really like these from Amazon.
Added Bonus: When using packing cubes, you can pack your clothes in such a way that automatically gives you a dirty clothes cube, so your worn clothes don’t touch your clean ones if you move locations more than once!
Travel Camera or GoPro
Most travelers love taking photos of their adventures and sharing them with friends and family. Here are some of my favorite cameras that are fun to bring along on any adventure!
GoPro Hero 9 – This is perfect if you’re traveling alone and want some epic selfies or want to make some videos! I loved having mine when I was on water adventures or wanted photos of myself when I was solo.
Sony a6000 Mirrorless Camera – This camera is seriously the best thing to happen to me! It’s the perfect size for traveling and the photos come out clear and crisp without much fidgeting with the camera. You don’t need to know a thing about photography to get great photos with this thing.
As someone who loves to learn a few words of a language before visiting a country, I’m obsessed with my Rosetta Stone subscription. This is particularly great if someone in your life is planning on going to a new country where it’s hard to get around in their native tongue. I’ve been loving Spanish lessons on this and you can have multiple logins if you’re traveling in a pair!
This is such a creative gift for the travel lover in your life. It’s a subscription package that sends the recipient a package of different foods they can try from all over the world. Such a fun gift idea for someone missing a certain country or someone who just loves international cuisine!
I usually bring a few headphones with me just in case I lose a set. I recommend packing ones with cords and ones without for a long-term trip just in case cordless die. If your traveler friend is anything like me, they will appreciate an extra set—especially ones that are noise cancelling for the plane and bus rides!
I love my Kindle! I also read a lot on my phone, so don’t use it as much as I’d like, but it’s perfect for traveling if you don’t want to haul books with you. It’s such a great size for it to slip right out during security checkpoints and right back into a carry-on.
Check out one of my favorite travel books, or get them something they can easily take with them…Audible! With a few options to choose from, you can gift them as many book credits as your budget allows.
Note: Gifting Audible to your travel friend is a great pairing alongside those noise-canceling headphones I suggested earlier!
As a traveler, you can never have too many travel bag options! I love my Calpak carry-on bag for most of my trips. I know many people rave about the Away bag for their carry-on, but Cal-Pack has been the winner for me for years. It’s compact, sturdy, and has great wheels and space.
I love this version of Allbirds sneakers! They also have water-resistant merino wool sneakers. These shoes are perfect for those that have high arches or those that put a lot of pressure on the balls and heels of their feet while walking. Basically, they’re a shoe for everyone! Even better, they’re eco-friendly!
Purse or Belt Bag
You can’t go wrong with a great purse for travel or a fun fanny pack. Try the Gatta Bag for the beauty and area to hold your camera. Or, try a belt bag (another way of saying fanny pack). As an extra gift, add in an RFID-blocking wallet to add that extra sense of security when traveling to a new country or place that is high foot-trafficked areas!
Note: There is an old wives tale that says it’s bad luck to gift a purse/wallet without any money in it, so make sure you throw in a dollar!
This is a fun idea for any travel friend! They can figure out where their ancestry is from and perhaps then plan a trip there! The results would give them plenty to research before they go on their trip, especially if they can pinpoint specific locations their ancestors might have traveled, lived, etc!
Know a spontaneous traveler that chooses their adventures by spinning a globe, closing their eyes, and stopping it with a finger? Gift them hundreds of experiences in one fell swoop with The Tinggly Give Stories, Not Stuff gift box!
Any frequent flier knows that life gets much easier in security lines when toiletries are a) travel-sized and b) organized. Truffle provides the ease and comfort of both of those points with their travel set products that are specifically made for frequent travelers! They even organize their products by how much the TSA approves of them!
A weekend bag is a gift that keeps on giving, really. It’s the perfect size to use at any time, not just for traveling! A solid shoe zip-pocket on the bottom is a must for me, and I love the Lo & Sons Weekender Bag for that very reason, among others.
During many of my travel-planning sessions, I’ve found myself picking towns, cities, and even countries to visit based on the hotels that I could stay in if I visited that location. Great Escapes USA, The Hotel Book, offers such beautiful photography that, of course, how could you not want to go to that hotel, let alone see the sights that the geographical location provides?
Such a fun way to finalize a trip! Basically a visual checklist, a scratch-off map is a clear picture of how many places your wanderlust friend has been and how many they have yet to visit!
Hopefully, this holiday gift guide for the traveler lover has helped you find gifts for your friend or loved one! In case you need more ideas, feel free to check out my other stocking stuffer idea posts here and here. I also have all of my absolute favorite travel gear ready for you to shop here.
Just remember, most travelers love to get unique things from different places they visit, so practical items that will help them travel more comfortably are great gifts for them, even if they seem boring to you!
What are your favorite travel items? I’d love to hear if there’s anything missing in my post that I should add or try out for myself!
Welcome to the Traveling Spud! I’m Katie, a 30 something from Idaho who quit her marketing job in San Francisco, California to travel the world for a year. After a trip around the world, my heart chose Idaho. I'm addicted to outdoor adventures, photography, and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zones and cross experiences off of their bucket lists. Let's explore together! Read more here.