Travel Gifts They’ll Actually Use

Mother’s Day, Fathers Day, graduations, weddings, etc. Spring and summer bring lots of gift-giving opportunities. If it’s the thought that counts, show your traveling friend or relative that you’ve really thought about them by picking out something they’ll really love! Destination guides, gift cards, and other basics are always welcome, but here’s a list of useful travel gifts that every traveler wishes for, but perhaps won’t buy for themselves. Things that may not be ‘essential’ but will make their trips easier and more meaningful. And a few things that might encourage them to bring their love of adventure into their home décor.

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modes of transportationWhat kind of Traveler is Your Friend?

Road Trippers | Luxury Travelers | Wildlife Lovers | Cruisers | Adventurers | Campers | World Explorers | Children (and those who travel with them)

Road Trippers

National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways and Byways– the 300 best drives in the U.S. Sure to get them planning their next adventure!$19.04*
Adventure! My Road Trip Journal– encourages them to record their travels in this easy to use journal with daily prompts.
Portable cooler keeps drinks and snacks cold on the road. Upgrade them to a YETI Hopper if they’re likely to take the cooler out fishing or to a campsite.
Car garbage can hooks onto the center console to stay out of the way, but is convenient for keeping the inevitable car clutter under control.
AAA 64 piece Premium Roadside kit – (hopefully) all they’ll need to keep that car running on their travels.
Nikon Travel Binoculars – They’ll want to keep a pair of binoculars in the car. These have great optics at an affordable price.
America the Beautiful annual passAmerica the Beautiful Pass– the magic entry card to all U.S. federally operated recreational sites! Valid for one year.

Luxury Travelers

Ultimate Journeys for Two by Mike and Ann Howard- Your friends will surely find a new destination in this book written by lifelong honeymooners!
Apple Airtag or Tile key finder, anything finder. Put one of these devices in checked luggage to make locating easier.
Cashmere travel set – splurge on comfort at 30,000 feet.
Sailing Ship set – decanters and glasses -world travel themed liquor set- I’d get this just for the awesome glasses!
This Is Ground MOD kit fitted out for traveling. Luxury leather case in sizes to accommodate tablets and laptops.
Bose QuietComfort wireless headphones – Shut out airplane noise as well as the sounds of unhappy babies. Your friends want these, believe me!
Tumi Voyager small carry-on- rolling bag for flights and first day at destination. Quality and style!

Wildlife Lovers

Wildlife Photography guide – Everyone could use a few suggestions for improving their wildlife and bird photography. These books should help!
Photographer’s Vest – they’ll want lenses, binoculars, etc. close at home.
Tilley Hat – the quintessential safari hat.
Samsung portable hard drive– backup those once-in-a-lifetime photos on the go! This SSD fits in the palm of your hand!
Soft-sided duffel for bush planes, etc. Make it easier on them by choosing one with a backpack option!
Splurge on Swarovski CL Companion binoculars– remarkable quality in a compact, travel-friendly size. ALWAYS on our packing lists!
Foster an elephant from the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in their name- They’ll love the thought and will especially love the opportunity to visit the orphanage in Nairobi as a sponsor.

Useful Travel Gifts for Cruisers

Heroclip carabiner – This ingenious clip works as an ordinary carabiner but swings open to work as a purse hook. At a beach or pool, use one of these to clip your towel to your lounge chair.Magnetic hooks are another great idea for organizing cruise cabins. Ship walls are metal, so one of these will add a spot for hanging a robe.
Power strip with USB – there are never enough outlets in a cruise cabin.

Portable lock box  keep valuables safe while swimming, etc. (not sure I’d pick one of the bright colors as that would surely attract attention!)


The LOCTOTE AntiTheft bag works equally well and folds down for minimum packing. Some versions can be carried as a backpack.

Nikon Coolpix waterproof camera – Use these while snorkeling or just hanging out on deck. These cameras take remarkably good pictures even underwater!
Full Face Snorkel– ensure their hygiene by giving them their own snorkel.
Underseat Spinner small carry-on- rolling bag for flights and first day onboard before luggage is delivered.


Useful Travel Gifts for Adventure Lovers

For sturdier protection from falls, but not waterproof, go for an Otterbox case.

Life Straw personal water filter- Slip this kit over the front seat headrest and your child has an activity center! There’s even a spot to slide in your iPad for movie watching.
SteriPEN uses UV light to purify water. Great for back-country treks or traveling internationally.
Scrubba wash bag – Being able to clean clothes anywhere allows you to pack light!
LifeProof case for phones – the name says it all. These cases will protect their phones from water, sand, and unexpected falls.
Solar chargers – anyone traveling off the grid will be glad to have one of the chargers.
13-in-1 Survival Gear Kit – pretty much covers all you’ll need in case of an emergency
GoPro Hero sports and action camera – every adventurer needs one of these.


AeroPress coffee and espresso maker– Is your friend a coffee lover? There’s no need to settle for instant when traveling!
The Espro Travel Coffee Press makes excellent coffee in its own 12 oz insulated mug.
Lightweight double hammock– a great way to unwind in the great outdoors.
 Wine bottle flask Bring your wine with you and roll up the wrappings for easy carry-out and re-use.
Scrubba wash bag – Being able to clean clothes anywhere allows you to pack light!
Helinox Zero camp chair – ultralight and compact, this chair can be carried on hikes or used around the campfire.
Blackstone tabletop griddle– campers (and picknickers!) can cook up a great meal using this propane-fueled griddle.

World Explorers

National Geographic Atlas of the World – every traveler needs a great atlas. Whether planning trips or reviewing past adventures, this book will surely be pulled out.
Heroclip carabiner – This ingenious clip works as an ordinary carabiner but also swings open to work as a purse or stroller hook.
Kindle ereader– travelers don’t even THINK of leaving home without one! The latest kindle is waterproof, making it even better for traveling.
Magnetic Globe Travelers love to keep track of their adventures. (and maybe show off a bit!)
Also choose a scratch off map they can frame.
SteriPEN uses UV light to purify water. Great for back-country treks or traveling internationally.
Upgrade their carry-on luggage to a made-in-the-USA Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30 or Western Flyer. Both are made of high quality materials and convert from shoulder carry to backpack carry. They’ll appreciate having an easy carry solution when faced with cobblestone streets and crowded trains.
clothing arts pantsClothing Arts Pick-Pocket Proof pants – dress pants, jeans, and adventure pants for men and women.

Useful Travel Gifts for Children (and those who travel with them)

Kids Backseat Organizer – Slip this kit over the front seat headrest and your child has an activity center! There’s even a spot to slide in your iPad for movie watching.
Volume limiting headphones for kids– comfortable and safe for little ears.
Ultimate U.S. Road Trip Atlas from National Geographic Kids – games and fun for a long road trip. Also check out Beginner’s United States Atlas from National Geographic Kids
Travel Pillow for kids
>Travel Journal for Kids – start kids early with the travel bug! Encourage kids to observe and document their trip.
9-in-1 Outdoor Exploration Kit – pretty much covers all you’ll need for an afternoon exploring!
Binoculars for Kids – remarkably high quality in a sturdy design

If you’re looking for inexpensive travel gifts or stocking stuffers read Stocking Stuffers for Travelers.

Hope these ideas will be helpful to you. Send along any ideas for gifts that YOU’D appreciate as a travel lover!

50+ Travel Gifts They'll Actually Use. Unusual gifts chosen for travel interest.
Travel gifts they'll use.

2 thoughts on “Travel Gifts They’ll Actually Use

  1. What a great list to choose from. I think the Lifestraw is on the top of my list and the kid’s backseat organizer would be great for our granddaughter.

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