Now of course, ‘traveler’ is a complex word and carries many definitions for different people. To name a few, there’s the minimalist, the beach bum, the long-term traveler, the overpacker, the foodie, and the one who’s talking about a new trip every time you see them. Because of this, it can be tough to find the perfect gifts for people who travel; you want something useful and that adds value to their trip in some way. We’ve got you covered – we’ve compiled a list of the ultimate travel gifts that he or she is guaranteed to love.
Arguably the most important thing a traveler can have on a long flight, a good neck pillow can make all the difference between a comfortable rest and waking up feeling like you can’t turn your head in one direction. Travelers might not know they need this, but trust us, they do. Our recommendation is the Travelrest Ultimate Memory Foam Pillow- it’s super supportive and rolls up to the size of a toilet paper roll.
Oh, there are simply not enough good things to be said about one of our favorite maps, the Bucketlist Map! From road tripping through the majestic mountains of the Karakoram Highway, connecting China to Pakistan to watching the Aurora Borealis under Finland's starry skies, and hundreds of extraordinary places in between, this map is packed with travel ideas and inspiration sure to captivate your friends. Comes as a re-writeable poster, scratch-off poster or big canvas print to suit any type of traveler!
JournalYou don’t have to be a writer to enjoy writing. Out of the everyday routine, lounging on the beach or watching the sunset among the mountains, traveling is the perfect opportunity to write. Even if it’s just to jot down restaurant recommendations or favorite memories from the vacation, every traveler needs a good journal. Make this travel gift extra special by including a favorite poem or letter to your friend on the first page. When you’re far from home, something sentimental is always treasured.
A fun activitiy
Because most of us don’t really need more things, sites like Groupon are great way to gift an experience, rather than something material. With deals all around the world covering everything from beauty to getaways to restaurants or travel activities, there’s something for every price range and travel gift ideas for any type of traveler. Want to see your friend jump out of a plane? Well, this way you can make it happen!
Sleeping Bag Liner
Something that may be overlooked as a travel essential, this sleeping bag liner will hands-down improve the adventurous traveler’s experience! RAB's silk liner adds a surprising amount of warmth and can be used in sleeping bags or as a protective layer between the [sometimes gross] hostel bed sheets. It’s much easier to wash than the whole sleeping bag and packs down into a small ball, guaranteeing easy storage even for the minimalist traveler! This one’s a winning gift for travel lovers!
A Favourite Book
One of our favorite things about traveling is that there’s much more time for leisurely activities like reading! Away from their busy routine, travelers usually have plenty of down time or at least travel time and can always appreciate a good book.
Two of our favorite picks: What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, by Kristin Newman for the long-term traveler with a sense of humor (this book in particular is a better suited travel gift for women) , or Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed for the traveler who likes to talk about life.
Make a Playlist
Growing up, CDs or mixtapes were one of the most thoughtful gifts a friend could make! Remember that? Bring back the magic of a head-bopping, knee tapping mixtape by creating a travel playlist on your friend’s favorite music app. Compile your favorite jams, albums they need to hear, and perhaps a few songs that remind you of each other. Your friend can rest assured knowing that their next long plane ride or road trip will at least be filled with great tunes.
Disposable cameras are just downright fun! It’s easy to get caught up in the immediate gratification of iPhone or digital camera photos when we travel, but sometimes we get so invested in getting the perfect picture that we forget to look through our own eyes. With only 30 valuable photo ops from a disposable camera, your friends will be forced to place a little more thought and intention into each photograph. Plus, what better way to fight post-travel blues than getting the photos developed and discovering 30 new memories from the road!
Waterproof phone case
Because who doesn’t love underwater photos? A waterproof phone case is a great travel gift for your friend to start exploring the world of underwater photography. We like the iThrough case because it’s protective and slim enough for everyday use, and can capture photos up to six meters deep. This one is for iPhones specifically, but you can find an underwater case for just about any phone now!
Didn’t know what this was at first? Yeah, neither did we, but here’s why this small, seemingly trivial accessory has made it on our list of best travel gifts. Letting your sunglasses hang around your neck, rather than taking them in and out of a case throughout the day does wonders in terms of convenience and accessibility. Also if you’re anything like Sophie who writes our content, you’re much more likely to hold onto them this way... take it from her ;)
Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure as hell can make travel a lot easier/ more enjoyable when it’s spent in the right way. And easy, enjoyable travel sounds like happiness to us! What are your favorite travel essentials?