65+ Best Travel Gifts (They’ll Actually Use!)

Whether it’s the holiday season, or birthdays, graduations, and weddings, gift-giving is always in season. If you have travel lovers on your list, show them you care by picking out a gift that reflects their travel style. Destination guides, a gift card, and other basics are always welcome, but we’ve put together 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 enhance their travel experience. And unique gifts for travelers that will encourage bringing their love of adventure into their home décor.

Frequent travelers usually travel light. In order for your gift to make it into their luggage, spend a few minutes thinking of what kind of travel your friends or family members enjoy. Are they backpackers? Or do they prefer luxury travel? Do they travel with children or pets? Once you’ve spent some time considering their style, use our guide to find the perfect gift that they’ll be sure to use.


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)

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Best Gifts for 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.

The LOCTOTE AntiTheft bag works as a portable safe and can be secured to the car, or in the evening hotel room.

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.

Unique Travel Gifts for Luxury Travelers

Finding a gift for luxury travelers can be difficult. They often have the latest of everything. Consider giving them a subscription to Rosetta Stone language learning software, or a high-end travel magazine like Condé Nast Traveler.

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 their bags easier. (especially important with so many recent flight disruptions!)
Cashmere travel set – splurge for comfort on long-haul flights. This is a great gift idea for those who have everything!
Sailing Ship set – decanters and glasses -a world travel themed liquor set is definitely a unique gift for travel- I’d get this just for the awesome glasses!
This Is Ground MOD kit fitted out for traveling and keeping important travel documents organized. Luxury leather case in sizes to accommodate all mobile devices including tablets and laptops. This is Ground makes many of the best luxury gifts for travel and at home!
Bose QuietComfort wireless headphones or Apple noise-cancelling AirPods (my personal favorite and a great option if you don’t have much space)- Shut out airplane noise as well as the sounds of unhappy babies. Your frequent flyer friends want these, believe me!
Tumi Voyager small carry-on rolling bag for flights and first day at destination. Tumi is known for quality and style. This would be my ultimate gift!
Priority Pass membership. Give the gift of relaxation while between flights. Available at over 1300 airports.

Best Gifts for Wildlife Lovers

This is my niche so it’s really easy for me to recommend gift ideas here. They’re all things I would like!

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. There are lots of different styles to choose from. I prefer a less conspicuous vest like the ones from Scottevest.
Tilley Hat – the quintessential safari hat. Always on the list of best luxury travel gifts, but often an item the traveler won’t buy for themselves.
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 bag 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

If your favorite traveler is a cruiser you will have lots of options for gift-giving. There are a lot of small size cruise accessories they might enjoy. If they cruise overseas check out the World Travelers list below for more ideas.

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.
Waterproof case for their phone. Can be used to take picture while snorkeling, but it’s also just safer not to leave valuables on the beach.
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.

These are great for a hotel room that doesn’t have a safe too.
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

These are your intrepid friends. The ones conquering mountains, hiking in the snow, and relishing any outdoor challenge. These might also be the ones you worry about when they’re away. Gift them one of these items to keep them safe on their next trip.

Life Straw personal water filter- Filters out 99.99% of bacteria and parasites from their water bottle.
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. For sturdier protection from falls, but not waterproof, go for an Otterbox case.
Solar chargers – anyone traveling off the grid will be glad to have one of the chargers. At the least, adventure lovers should always have a backup external battery or power bank with them.
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.

Great Travel Gifts for Campers

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.

Best Gift Ideas for 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.
Amazon Kindle paperwhite ereader– travelers don’t even THINK of leaving home without one! The battery life on the kindle is great, lasting a very long time which is ideal for long flights or when access to electricity is iffy. The latest kindle is waterproof, making it even better for traveling. (Bonus points if you remind your friend to download books from their library before their long flight!)
Apple Airtag or Tile key finder, anything finder. Put this in checked luggage to make locating their lost bags easier.
Magnetic Globe Travelers love to keep track of their adventures. (and maybe show off a bit!)
Alternately choose a scratch off map they can frame or a world map mounted on cork.
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)

As a grandmother, I love to find things to make travel more fun for the kids. When I’m traveling with them (or babysitting at home) I carry a Grandma Bag with lots of entertainment items that might make great gifts.

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. Having easy access to the kid’s entertainment in the back seat will save you a lot of bother.
Portable white noise machine. Compact enough to fit in a diaper bag and (hopefully) lets the parents get some sleep!
Volume limiting headphones for kids– comfortable and safe for little ears. These come in different colors and style.
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. This small size neck pillow comes in lots of colors.
>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 idea for unique gifts for travelers was helpful to you. Send along any ideas for gifts that YOU’D appreciate as a travel lover!


Travel gifts they'll use.
60+ Useful travel gifts for everyone on your wish list. Unique & fun ideas for all types of travelers.

2 thoughts on “65+ Best 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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