It’s that time of year again when we’re all on the hunt for that perfect present for all those special people in your life. But what are some unique gift ideas for people who love to travel?
We’ve carefully culled together some of our favorite travel gift ideas for 2019. All of these gift suggestions for travelers are things we personally own, we’re buying (or have bought) as travel gifts for our friends & family, and a few travel gifts that have popped up on our radar for 2019.
For this 2019 travel gift guide, we’ve made a point to pick out new and interesting items that are useful for the modern traveler. Yet always wanting to maximize budgets, these gift ideas for travel lovers focus on items that offer excellent value!
We’ve also been scouting out some of the best travel holiday sales running during 2019. Cyber Monday and Black Friday deals may be over, but we’re still noticing some of those deals are lingering. As you browse through this post, look for “💰Deal Alert!” which calls out some of the sales that remain.
For convenience, most of these gift ideas for travelers can be purchased directly on Amazon. We’ve particularly zeroed in on items available on Prime, to take advantage of the free 2-day shipping when ordering these travel gift items.
Don’t have Amazon Prime yet? You can use this link to get a 30-Day Free Trial to Amazon Prime! If you have no intention of keeping the Prime subscription, just be sure to cancel it within 30 days. Then do all your holiday shopping within the next 30 days before canceling and you’ll be taking advantage of truly free shipping! (That’s what we often do to get a month of Prime free each year.)
We hope these gift ideas for travel lovers provides you with some shopping inspiration as you hunt for the perfect present for your friends and family who travel. But you may even want to pick up a few things for yourself too. 😉 Happy shopping!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Travel Gift Ideas for the Home
Picture-Filled Coffee Table Books To Inspire Travel
These travel coffee table books will not only make a traveler smile, but will inspire travel! These books are great to have around the house to stir conversation about travel. And with enough gazing at these incredible destinations, perhaps one day a trip will manifest that puts you within these beautiful pages.
Fair warning: these books are all highly addicting to flip through.
For Bucket-List Seekers: A perennial favorite and the perfect gift for any travel addict is Patricia Schultz’s 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. For 2019, they just released a really nice “deluxe” hardcover edition of this perennial favorite travel book. So it makes for a particularly nice gift that’ll keep travel lovers day-dreaming for years.
Ultimate Travel Adventures: What really gives us wanderlust is National Geographic’s Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips.
For Unusual & Offbeat Travel: The Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders shows off loads of strange destinations that you never knew existed. We’ve regularly use Atlas Obscura as a source to some of the more offbeat places you see us roaming around. This is a great book!
For Couples Who Travel: For other couple travelers out there, we must also recommend Nat Geo’s Ultimate Journeys for Two! This book, written by our friends at HoneyTrek not only will spur wanderlust for that next trip but also has insider tips specific to couple travel. What a great gift for your other half!
Scratch Off Wall Map of the World
It’s fun to keep track of which countries you’ve visited. These nice scratch-off wall maps give a visual depiction of that while helping to plot where to roam around next! Simply use a coin to scratch off each country you’ve been to, which reveals a colorful map underneath! We like this one because of its cartographic style and it breaks down larger countries like US, Canada, and Australia, giving you the option to scratch off each state or province.
💰Deal Alert! At last check, it’s $2-off and there’s an additional 5%-off coupon on Amazon. Check prices now.
A 2020 Calendar Providing 365 Days of Travel Inspiration
Can you believe it’s almost 2020 already? It’s time for a new calendar!
This page-a-day calendar, based on the book 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, provides a new travel scene and info for every single day of the year. Let the dreaming commence! Who knows, tearing off a page one day could spur someone’s next trip! That’s why we love the daily desktop calendar.
But the 12-month wall calendar may further fuel your travel dreams each month.
Great Gift Idea for the Grandparent of a Traveler!
A wifi-enabled digital picture frame is such a fantastic gift for those friends and family who aren’t connected to social media. You may be snapping your adventures and posting your gorgeous travel pics to Instagram, but Grandma or Grandpa might not be among your followers. Yet they are still very much interested in your travels! So this is a perfect way to share your latest adventures with them.
Here’s how it works: The wifi-enabled picture frame allows you to use an app to upload pics directly to that picture frame. We’ve been using one with Heather’s grand-mommy, who loves waking up to see a new travel pic magically appear in her picture frame. But this just isn’t for grandparents either. A wireless picture frame is great for any family member or loved one who has chosen to stay away from social media, yet is still interested in your travels. Prices range by the size of the frame, which are from 8-18.5 inches.
Check prices for NIX Advance Digital Photo Frame
DNA Ethnicity Test – Then Travel to Your Homeland!
A DNA test can be a fun way for travelers to learn about their geographic roots. And Ancestry’s new DNA experience gives gift recipients a more precise ethnicity estimate with greater geographic detail. Not only does it make for a fascinating self-discovery, but it can then spawn travel ideas to reconnect with your ancestry. We’ve been wanting to do one of these and 2019 will finally be the year we learn more about our family histories. Then 2020 may be the year of traveling to our ancestral homes. So consider gifting a family member what may ultimately result in a family trip
💰Deal Alert! At last check, the
$119 Ancestry DNA kits have been discounted $50-off for the holiday sales! Check up-to-date pricing now.
Travel Accessory Gift Ideas
A Travel Daypack for Electronics That’s Also Waterproof
Travelers are forever plagued with water splashes, theft, and tears. But this lightweight travel bag was designed with travelers in mind and hence takes much of the worry away.
- It’s water-resistant for when caught in the rain.
- The durable backpack also has theft-proof hidden pockets.
- It’s lightweight (1.56 lbs.) and has ventilated, breathable padding.
- There are loads of compartments for electronics and even a USB port built into the backpack to charge on-the-go, with a portable power bank.
- It is within the dimensions to be a small “personal item” on any airline we could find (even the strict budget airlines).
- Despite all the functionality, it’s actually pretty sleek and stylish too!
Perhaps best of all is the price! We thought this backpack was such a good deal that we just bought one ourselves! We’ve been loving it ever since. But we’re not the only ones. This awesome backpack has now garnered nearly 7,000 very positive reviews on Amazon – read ’em here.
💰Deal Alert! These $50 travel backpacks are being heavily discounted to
$32 $23 at the time of publishing! Check prices now.
💡Here’s a fun gift idea for travelers: Buy a travel backpack like this and then fill it with other travel items like the stocking stuffers we’ve listed towards the end of this post.
Packing Cubes – Great for Traveling Couples
Packing cubes are a great travel gift idea for the traveler who likes to stay organized. These travel cubes make it easy to compartmentalize all your belongings so that you arrive to your destination with everything already in order. We own these packing cubes and it has been such a time saver to just pull out each cube and know exactly what we’re looking for.
We also love using them during shorter trips for when we only take a single bag for two people. The packing cubes allow us to check a single bag, yet still keep each of our belongings separate. So consider this as a gift for a traveling couple too!
The Ultimate Travel Bag for Women Travelers
Heather recently received one of these Travelon Anti-Theft Bags as a gift and has fallen in love with it. These bags have unrivaled security features and many different stylish options. The straps and body of the bag are completely slash-resistant. The compartments and zippers have locking clips to thwart and would-be pickpockets. And the bags have RFID blocking technology in slots for both credit cards and passports to protect from any thieves with handheld scanners who are trying to skim information.
Travelon’s Cross-Body Bucket Bag is among their most popular and comes in over 30 different colors. It’s a fairly sizable bag, capable of being able to fit a bulky DSLR camera, tablet, umbrella, and then some. This mini shoulder bag is a nice option, for a more petite bag that sports all the same security features. The exact bag that Heather has and loves is this Quilted Slim bag, that is not too big and not too small, and still stylish to use as her go-to purse simply when going out at night.
The Travel Gift You Never Thought of: Demi Hugger
We received one of these as a gift and it has made traveling through airports a breeze. If you’re ever trying to balance your backpack, handbag, or anything else on top of your roller bag while traversing through the airport, you need a Demi Hugger! This is a novel travel gift that will enable someone to whip through the airport handsfree as this luggage strap holds in place whatever else you’re schlepping around with you.
Travel Gadget Gift Ideas
Portable Travel Speakers
Set the mood during your travels by playing some tunes wherever you go. Portable speakers make awesome gifts for travelers! Play your own music in your hotel room, on the beach, or at the pool.
For this 2019 travel gift guide, we recommend the new Sony SRS-XB12 Extra Bass Portable Bluetooth Speaker. It’s small, lightweight, and waterproof, making it perfect for travel. Yet the sound packs a punch for its portable size. Just toss it into your travel bag!
💰Deal alert! It’s also a powerful speaker for its price. These portable speakers are a fantastic value at
$55. But the current deal slashes off $20, so see if you can snag this for $35 during the holiday sales! Check prices, colors, and inventory now!
A Portable Photo Printer for Your Smartphone
These are so much fun! This mobile printer essentially transforms your smartphone into a Polaroid camera. Snap a picture with your phone, then print it out right away with this little device. The best thing about these smartphone printers is for those instances where you’re traveling off the beaten path and you take pictures with new local friends you’ve met. They would love to have the photo you’ve just captured, but often they may not have a phone or a computer to receive the pic by email (let alone a way to print it). This portable photo printer solves that problem and allows you to connect with your new friends. It’s also a lot of fun to have at parties and social gatherings.
The Canon Ivy has is sleek, lightweight, portable, and prints great quality photos on-the-fly. It’s currently listed on Amazon for under $99, which is nice since portable printers like this have been far more costly in the past for inferior products.
Buy the Canon Ivy Portable Photo Printer
A Portable Charger to Keep Travelers Going
Powerful & Lightweight: Travelers love their gadgets but after a few hours of taking photos and using Google Maps, those batteries are drained. We own the Anker 10000 mAh portable charger which is lightweight and charges our phone and camera several times over. It works great and fits in my pocket. It’s about half the size and weight back-up batteries with the same amount of power.
Use Solar Power! How cool is this – for the traveler who likes to go off-the-grid yet stay connected, there’s a solar-powered charger. This portable and lightweight charger gets its energy from the sun to keep all your gadgets charged, even if you’re camping out in the middle of Africa! For that versatility and functionality it provides, this solar power charger definitely deserves a spot on our 2019 Travel Gift Guide!
Read more about this Nekteck 21W solar-powered charger here.
A GoPro Alternative with Great Value
This is a perfect gift for travelers heading to beach locations or those who like adventure activities.
GoPros are those well-known waterproof action cams that can take amazing footage during travels. But they are very pricey and the newest models run upwards of $500! If you have the cash to splash on someone that cares about brand-recognition, a real GoPro is the most logical choice.
But before making that splurge, do know that there are some high-quality GoPro-knock offs out there for far less. We bought one ourselves on Amazon for about $50 and have been thrilled with the value it’s provided. We find the video to be comparable to an actual GoPro at a fraction of the cost.
For 2019, Amazon has the Dragon Touch 4k Action Cam priced at a mere $44! This underwater action cam shoots ultra HD quality video and 16 MP photos. It comes with loads of attachments, two batteries, and even a wrist control. It also boasts thousands of great reviews that back up the value of this low-cost camera. Check the latest reviews and prices now.
If you can spend a bit more, it’s worth considering this Akaso Brave 20 MP Action Cam. This has even higher quality video, 20 MP photos, 5x zoom, and additional features such as built-in anti-shake video stabilization. This action cam also comes with a vast assortment of accessories, two batteries, a wrist strap, and more. The 10,000+ excellent reviews help to buy with confidence. Check the latest reviews and prices.
The Best Value Tablet for Travelers
We love traveling with our Fire tablet and have purchased them as gifts for many of our family members. Sure, an iPad is arguably a better product. But it also costs several hundred dollars! Not only is it a bit much for a gift, but why travel around with such an expensive tablet that can easily to succumb to loss or theft while on the road?
Instead, we find the Fire HD 8 to be the best value tablet on the market, at a price that’s remarkably under $100! It has an 8″ HD-display, 16 GB storage, and a 10-hour battery life that will help keep you entertained during your next long-haul flight. 💰Deal alert! They’re normally $80. But at last check, they are still being discounted to $49.99! Check up-to-date prices.
If you want more storage or a bigger screen – go for the newer and more powerful Fire HD 10. With a 10.1″ screen, it’s Amazon’s biggest tablet and also an Alexa hands-free device. The Fire HD 10 normally retails for $149, but there has been some discounts and offers that have popped up in December 2019. Check now.
A Gimbal Stabilizer for Mobile Phones
As someone who takes a lot of travel video, this is personally my favorite purchase we made last year. So we now firmly advocate it as an excellent gift for travelers who like to take video directly from their phones. Whether walking around town, navigating stairs, in a car, or on a horse, this simple device smooths out mobile phone video to give it that cinematic effect. It’s lightweight and portable too, so it lends well for travel.
We’ve taken lots of video during our travel over the years using our phone and it always comes out looking shaky and amateurish. Those days are over now that DJI has released a high-quality gimbal/stabilizer for phones that is also affordable! In the past, such gimbals were several hundred dollars. But the DJI Osmo Mobile 2 retails for a fraction of that. This bundle makes a nice gift set too, as it comes with accessories like a mini tripod and carrying case.
💰Deal Alert: The Osmo 2 retails for $149, but they’ve been discounted to $129 this month. Check the current price on Amazon.
Noise Canceling Headphones
Noise-canceling headphones make a great gift idea for travelers who are constantly passing through loud environments.
Top pick: Right now, one of the hottest travel earphones you can buy for someone are these PowerBeats Pro. They’re great for travelers since they’re compact, have a secure ear hook (more difficult to loose), and has noise isolation to block out as much airplane noise as possible during that next long-haul flight. There are lots of other high tech sound features too and it even made Oprah’s list of favorite things for 2019. Check prices now.
True noise-cancellation: For true noise-cancellation headphones, try the Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones. Since they’re over-ear headphones, they’re a little bulkier for travel. But these are some of the best wireless headphones out there that audiophile travelers will love. 💰Deal alert! They’re also on sale for $70-off on Amazon!
Spend less: Those Beats headphones are a nice deal, but if you’re not ready to shell out a few hundred dollars on headphones, we like these Sony noise-canceling headphones as a much more affordable alternative to the Beats line. Sure, you’re sacrificing quality and brand recognition, but these are fantastic headphones for the price! We bought these for our niece and can tell you first hand that the sound is great. Check the current price for these Sony headphones.
Give a Traveler the Gift of a New Phone!
When it comes to travel, there are three important factors to looks for in a new phone:
- Excellent camera,
- Storage space for all those photos,
- Unlocked, so you can use international sim cards or an international plan like Google Fi.
You’ll find that all in the new Google Pixel 4. It’s widely regarded as the best phone camera out there. Advanced camera features on this newest model include dual rear cameras, a telephoto lens, and a mode that even allows users to take pictures of the stars! If the 64 gb should be plenty with free cloud storage provided by Google Photos. The one thing we’re not crazy about this phone is its price tag. 💰Deal alert! But during this holiday period we’re still seeing prices $100-off, making it an excellent buy! Check prices now.
💰 For even more savings, consider buying the prior model, Google Pixel 3. It still has an exceptional camera and prices are currently being slashed. Check up-to-date pricing.
Is 2019 Finally Time for a Travel Drone?
Drones can be a great gadget for any traveler wanting to document their adventures from new heights! You can now get amazing aerial shots and video of beaches, mountains, waterfalls, wildlife, or wherever (within local drone laws, of course). And they’re fun to fly too!
We love flying our DJI Phantom drone, but hate traveling with it due to its bulkiness. So for this travel gift guide, we’re instead recommending two other DJI drones that offer the portability travelers need.
Portability + Value: One consideration drone gift for travelers in the DJI Spark! The Spark is so portable that it fits in the palm of your hand. It’s a great starter drone too. It’s very easy to use, can be flown indoors, has collision avoidance, and uses gesture control. The Spark may not have the highest quality video, the furthest range, or the fastest speed. But the 1080 HD, 30 mph, and a 13-minute flight time should be plenty for those starting to drone. Yet the Spark’s best features is simply its portability and its price. It usually retails for $399 but Amazon was sold out when we last checked (Dec 2).
Check prices and if Spark is available
Quality + Portability: Another great drone for travelers that DJI just launched last year is the DJI Mavic Air. The Mavic Air folds down to a size that you can fit it into a jacket pocket, making it the smallest drone they’ve ever produced. It’s a drone that can easily be packed into a carryon or brought along on a long hike. Video quality is 4K, it can fly up to 40 mph, and can go for about 18 minutes in the air. It costs a bit more for this added quality, but many drone enthusiasts agree its well worth it. The Mavic Air retails for
💰Deal alert! Check Mavic Air price now, currently being discounted.
Stocking Stuffer Gifts for Travelers (All Under $25)
Eco-Friendly Travel Straw Set
In 2019, we’ve seen the anti-straw movement sweeping world. It’s an environmentally-friendly way for us to each do our part to help the plastic pollution that’s plaguing the earth. While roaming around Mexico, many restaurants have been promoting a no-straw policy. Most of the major cruise lines have now done away with straws in 2019 too.
It’s all very encouraging to see. But what about the traveler who wants to sip on their poolside piña colada during their next tropical getaway or suck down a smoothie on-the-go?
That’s where these new stainless steel reusable straw sets come into play! They’re not only environmentally friendly, but are also non-toxic and BPA-free, unlike cheap plastic straws. This travel straw set comes in a nice wooden box too, which makes for a particularly nice gift.
You can choose both 2-packs or 4-packs.
A Retro Leather Travel Journal
Journaling and sketching is always a fun way to help keep travel memories alive when on a trip. This travel journal keeps things classy with its compass theme and retro charms that bind together the stylish faux-leather cover. The 150 blank pages of the journal contain a ringed-binder, so pages can be added or replaced. The old world compass theming helps to make this journal a fantastic gift idea for travelers. And it’s a steal, under $10!
Waterproof Travel Playing Cards
These are a such a fun travel gift idea! Just about any social traveler has a deck of cards. It’s can be fun to make some friends with an impromptu game. Yet, we all know what happens to playing cards when traveling around tropical or humid environments.
These Hoyle waterproof playing cards are perfect to take to the beach, camping, boating, or for any trip! And they’re an excellent price too! Check on Amazon.
And there are waterproof UNO cards too!
A Portable Phone Mount for Rental Cars
For those who are renting cars to get around when traveling, it can always be a challenge to navigate a new city. Thankfully apps like Google Maps and Waze come to the rescue, but rental cars never have a place to conveniently rest your phone. These portable car mounts clip right onto the air conditioning vents which then attaches your phone with a special magnetic pad. The portability is perfect for switching cars. This is a great gift for anyone you know who frequently uses car rentals. And by keeping hands-free and concentrated on driving, this portable mount will also help keep your loved ones safe! They’re inexpensive too, so consider picking up a few pairs in case you accidentally leave them behind in your rental car. (Oops! It’s very easy to forget them, haha!)
Buy 2-Pack of Maxboost Portable Car Mounts
A Flight-Friendly Swiss Army Knife for Travelers
A multi-tool is an essential item for any traveler. While on the road, there always seems to be a need for scissors, tweezers, or a bottle opener! Yet many nice Swiss Army knives get confiscated by airport security because of the knife blades.
That’s why this special Jetsetter Swiss Army Knife doesn’t actually contain a knife. Instead, the 7-function multitool includes a bottle opener, magnetic screwdriver, wire stripper, scissors, keyring, tweezers, and toothpick. And the scissors are under the maximum 4-inch TSA requirement, so it’s permissible for those who do carryon only. Check the specs in the full product description.
Splurge: Or splurge on this shiny upgraded version of the Jetsetter Swiss Army Knife that comes complete with a 16GB USB drive. What a classy gift idea for travelers and digital nomads! Buy it on Amazon.
A Cozy Classic: Memory Foam Pillow Sleep Travel Gift Set
This is an upgraded version of a classic gift for any frequent traveler. The pillow’s memory foam will help you actually get some sleep on that long-haul flight without bobbing your head and drooling on the person next to you. Feel like you’re sleeping in the clouds while your plane flies through them. This also makes for a particularly great gift set for anyone who embarks on long bus or train rides.
Buy the Aeris Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow with Sleep Mask & Earplugs
Splurge: This only goes slightly beyond our $25 stocking stuffer budget, yet these new wrap-around Trtl Pillows are all the rage and would likewise make a great travel gift. We’ve yet to try it, but travelers swear by its patented design that’s been scientifically proven to hold your head and neck in a more comfortable position to induce sleep when compared to the U-shaped travel pillows.
Read more about the science behind Trtl Pillows.
Lifestraw Personal Water Filter
Anyone receiving this awesome gift will be able to drink water from virtually anywhere in the world. The Lifestraw is great for camping, those wary of drinking the tap water, or just to have in case of emergencies. This invention that won Time Magazine’s Invention of the Year will filter out 99.9% of waterborne bacteria & parasites without the need for chemicals. We love ours and have used it on many occasions when traveling in places where the tap water is questionable.
Buy the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter on its own, or
Buy the Lifestraw Go Bottle with Lifestraw Filter
Wool Hiking Socks
Socks are a classic stocking stuffer. The active traveler in your life deserves a good pair for hiking. We like these soft Thermal 80% Merino Wool Socks not only for hiking but to keep our feet warm in cold destinations. Cotton won’t cut it. Any traveler, unless they’re a beach bum, needs at least one good pair of wool socks. And I’ve been loving these wool socks that have held up for years now.
Buy a 3-Pack of Thermal Merino Wool Socks
Magic Underwear That Are Great for Long Travel
The other classic stocking-stuffer is underwear. But for the traveler, you can’t just buy regular old Hanes or Fruit of the Loom. They need something that’s going to hold up on those long flights and bus ride in addition to grueling hikes and excursions. I personally love my ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Boxers and never travel without them. Their ability to hold up continually amazes and astonishes me. I’ve them given them the ultimate tests during a sweltering summer in Mexico and also during a 2-month African camping trip.Somehow never ever get smelly. We call them magic underwear. Highly recommend! When it comes to underwear, they’re on the pricey side, but they’re so worth it!
Buy ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Boxers
ExOfficio Make Women’s Give-N-Go Bikini Briefs Too!
A Micro-Fiber Quick Drying Travel Towel
This is another great travel gift idea, particularly for outdoor enthusiasts. These microfiber towels are super absorbent, lightweight, and dry fast. They’re perfect for travel or using at the beach. We love ours. Despite always trying to pack as little as possible, we actually recommend a large size towel because it can double as a blanket during long train rides or chilly bus trips. It makes for a great beach blanket too!
Buy Youphoria Micro-Fiber Quick Drying Travel Towel
This an essential item for any frequent traveler’s arsenal. Whenever we’re flying, we travel with a luggage scale to ensure that we avoid those overweight baggage fees that are different for each airline. So many budget airlines now charge you by the weight of your bag but they make you guess the weight when buying the ticket or checking in. That’s nearly impossible to guestimate! Use this device to weigh your bags before you go to the airport, instead of holding up the check-in line by attempting to shuffle the weight around to your carry-on at the airport. We like this lightweight, strong, yet inexpensive digital luggage scale that includes the battery.
Buy the Etekcity Luggage Scale here.
A Waterproof Phone Case
When traveling, you regularly face obstacles such as waterfall mist, freak rainstorms, splashes while boating, and even the occasional water gun fight. For any of these instances, a waterproof phone case is an absolute must. We always travel with ours. This universal waterproof phone case fits most all smartphone sizes and can even be submerged up 100 feet! Get one for yourself, if not for some gifts that your friends and family maybe never thought of.
Buy a Universal Waterproof Phone Case
A Worldwide Universal Power Converter
This is great stocking stuffer material for anyone embarking on an international trip! Rather than fumbling around with a bagful of different converters, all you really need is one of these little devices to plug in different devices internationally. This Worldwide Universal Converter provides two USB ports and an AC Adapter in 150+ countries around the world.
WorldWide Universal Converter All-In-One AC Wall Power Adapter Travel Plug
Travel Wallet & Passport Holder
This travel wallet will help to keep all the essentials safe. It’s waterproof, blocks RFID signals that attempt to steal credit card info, and has a wrist strap to keep secure. It can hold credit cards, passport, money, and has a coin pouch for all the foreign coins inevitably collected while abroad. And it’s on sale on Amazon for the holidays.
Check Out the Travelambo Travel Wallet
Give the Gift of Travel Experiences!
There’s a gift-giving trend happening right now that we absolutely adore. Give gift experiences, instead of things!
This has become how Heather and I exchange gifts with each other. Rather than buy stuff, we’ll splurge together on a travel experience we otherwise wouldn’t spend on.
So here are some ideas to give the gift of a travel experience!
Buy an Experience to Do during a Planned Trip
If you have a loved one who already has a trip planned somewhere, a great gift idea is to find an awesome experience for them to pursue in that location! Some fun ideas are a cooking course, wine tasting, skydiving, pub crawl, or an adventure tour. The possibilities are endless really.
We regularly use and recommend GetYourGuide to find and book such travel experiences, as they tend to have such a wide assortment of activities all over the world and a low-price guarantee. Most of their activities also have a generous cancelation policy, only requiring 24-hours advance notice, which helps to provide some reassurance to the person on the receiving end. Search the experiences available in the locations you’re traveling to next.
Travel Gift Cards
Gift cards can be a great solution to help enable your friend or family member to take that trip! Also, digital gift cards can make it particularly easy to email to a loved one who may be afar or already on the road. Travel gift cards can be the ideal gift for digital nomads, long-term travelers, and minimalists. They’ll always need a place to stay around the world, so an accommodation gift card will always come into use!
🏨 Hotels.com – Give the gift of a hotel stay! Hotels.com is our go-to travel booking site because they tend to have great deals and their loyalty program give a free stay after every 10 nights. A hotel gift card will be greatly appreciated by any traveler to put to use on a place to stay during their next trip. Denominations range from $25-$250 and these gift cards are emailed. Buy here.
🏠 Airbnb Gift Card – For those who prefer a more local experience and/or longer-term stays, an Airbnb gift card can be a great travel gift. You can choose a physical gift card or emailed version to electronically send to someone abroad.
🛒 Amazon Gift Card – Do you know someone who needs travel gear, but don’t know exactly what they want? They’ll certainly be able to find something with an Amazon gift card. Our family members regularly gift us these and we always find great ways to put them to use when gearing up for our next trip! You choose the denomination and can email the gift card. Order here.
Surprise Your Loved One With a Cruise Deal!
You may be aware of our love affair with cruises, as they provide for such a turn-key travel experience and can be some of the best travel values in the world. There’s not a more affordable way to spend a week traveling to several different exotic islands, all while you sleep on that luxurious floating hotel, while getting wined and dined.
💰Deal Alert: Cruise lines tend to be very generous with perks and promotions during the holiday period. Last year, we managed to find a deal with Holland America that offered everything from free drinks, pre-paid gratuities, onboard credit, and even transportation to/from the cruise port. With all the perks, it was almost like they were paying us to take the cruise! Check the latest last-minute cruise deals on CruiseDirect.com.
Buy an Entire Travel Tour
Whether an African Safari, a grand tour of Europe, trekking to Machu Picchu, or a luxury cruise of the Galapagos, you can find an incredible tour of a lifetime to gift on TourRadar.com, as they have the largest inventory of tours all around the world that we know of.
What’s on Your Travel Gift Wish List?
What’s on your wish list? Did you see anything here you’d like to pick up for yourself or as a travel gift for someone else? Let us know in the comments!
And if you’re not ready to shop for the holidays yet, be sure to bookmark this Travel Gift Guide 2019 page to save these travel gift ideas for later. Or Pin this to your Pinterest boards.
-John & Heather, Roaming Around the World
Bill Miller says
Love the Google Fi phones. Used them in Europe in July 2019 and in Central America, November 2019. Great way to keep up with your fellow family members when you’re travelling together but doing your own things in port. Texting is cool as well. WIFI use same low cost as if in the States. Use the Roaming Around the World link so these young travelers get the credit they so deserve.Party On!
Joe Bpp says
Thanks for this well researched and well thought of list of gift guide and travel gift ideas. It has saved me a lot of time.
Hey some many ideas to choose from. Very nice. Thanks for sharing with us.
Great post. Really well written and informative article. I personally think that a portable speaker or a power bank, both are the best things to gift a traveller because both are not so cheap and both will help travellers a lot on their trips.
Really nice post, keep it up.
whaooo!! great idea, i think i like the “Travel Daypack for Electronics That’s Also Waterproof” and the portable photo printer for smartphone. they are going to complement each other especially in this season.
I love the travel daypack for Electronics especially since it is also waterproof.
Brian Hastings says
Awesome collection of gift ideas. Thanks for sharing.
Robert Chase says
If you think to make a travel or tour, you must need the backpack for necessary tools carrying. As an awareness, a backpack must be locked. I lost some important tools from my backpack in the last summer CANADA tour.
Anti-theft back pack is a must have on travel! Unfortunately i didn’t have one on my vacation… Cheers
Heather Widmer says
Absolutely! I learned my lesson when I had my sunglass case stolen out of a small outside pocket of a regular backpack.
The Gifter says
The best of these gift options is Scratch the World – Wall Map, absolutely love it.
Heather Widmer says
We love this wall map! Such a unique gift for any travel lover on your shopping list!
Elijah Erwin says
Hi.. Thanks for the great article.
I think wireless earbuds are better choice than big headphones for travelers. Using one for last few months (Rowkin earbud). Really great experience. I would love to recommend it to anyone who loves music.
John Widmer says
Good point and we agree! We travel with earbuds rather than headphones ourselves, although many travelers we come across seem to favor full headphones with their true noise-canceling abilities. We’ll be updating this gift guide again for 2018 so perhaps we’ll change our recommendation to wireless. Thanks for the suggestion about Rowkin earbuds – will check it out! 🙂
Lisa Naas says
Also swear by the ExOfficio give n go boxers and ladies briefs. 2 years of perpetual travel and they are amazing! Durable and dry overnight after washing. Best travel underwear ever!
John Widmer says
Yes, they are so amazing! We’ve love them and have recommended them to some of our friends and family – and they all say the exact same thing. Best underwear ever! 🙂
A great list, giving me some ideas for this christmas! Will you be doing another for 2017?
John Widmer says
Thanks! Yes, am planning to update this sometime in the next few weeks for a 2017 travel gift guide.
Bluetooth speaker is an ideal gift for all ages, with the latest and advance technology Bluetooth or wireless speakers will keep us entertained by playing our favorite music anytime and anywhere we go. tips in buying a wireless speaker ” One important tip before buying a wireless speaker is your budget. How much are you willing to spend for a wireless speaker? That’ll lessen down your scope of the vast selection of wireless speakers on the market. Knowing what you can afford keeps you in the budget.
If you want a wireless speaker with features beyond the basic ones, set a realistic budget since it may come pricey.”
John Widmer says
Good advice that we’ll keep in mind when we update this article for 2017. Wireless speakers can certainly make great gifts for travelers!
Well… there are too many great ideas! Very nice. Thanks for share!
John Widmer says
Glad you liked the ideas. We’ll be updating this for a 2017 gift guide soon! 🙂
Well……..Great list. Thank you.
John Widmer says
Glad you liked! We’ll be updating it soon for 2017, so check back before the holidays! 🙂
Tim Johnson says
GoPro and the Solar Power Charger look amazing. I was actually looking for travel gifts here, but now I want to buy them all for muyself.
Heather Widmer says
Hey Tim, thanks for the comment. Highly recommend an action camera, now we can’t imagine traveling without one. I know the feeling all too well when shopping for gifts, but rather spotting new adventure gear for myself 🙂
I love the idea of the Lifestraw (I currently use a Steripen)…it seems so much easier!
Great list, I can vouch for the UE Roll bluetooth speaker it is awesome, I got one for Christmas last year and have used it a lot on our travels it sounds great. I will have to remember to ask for a luggage scale this year as ours broke.
Now that you have had a chance to use the GoPro Session do you still think it is as good as the Hero, what are the drawbacks? I would like to get a GoPro but I am not sure which model would be best.
So many great ideas! I want them all haha. I gotta send my girlfriend this post so she knows what to get me. The microfibre towel, solar charger and just about everything else on here are no my list!
Heather Widmer says
Hey Mike, thanks for the comment! Glad to hear we were able to assist with gift ideas from the girlfriend 😀
Oh man, my gear list is hella long, new DSLR, portable tripod, Drone, iPhone6, 5TB Hard Drive…oh man I need to get blogging, hahaah. Thanks for the awesome list, going to buy a few things off your list, since I don’t get any amazon credit for buying through my own links, might as well share the love!
Rock on guys,
Heather Widmer says
Hey Mike, thanks for sharing the love 😀 You have one impressive gear list!
Punita Malhotra says
What a cool compilation. How many of these have you tried yourself? My fave is the drone.
John Widmer says
Thanks! We actually have most of these items or have bought them as gifts for the travelers in our lives. A few of them, we’ve just purchased – like the drone!
Ok, I’d like quite a few things of these things including the portable printer (such a great idea!) and the GoPro Hero Session is right up at the top of my Christmas list! I became a packing cubes evangelist a couple of years ago and now give them regularly as gifts to travelling friends and family – they are the best!
Heather Widmer says
Hey Katja, thanks for the comment! We love the portable printer idea too! We us our GoPro a lot and can’t imagine traveling without it. Those packaging cubes make helps with our organization so much and condenses our luggage – love them!
Megan Jerrard says
I love the idea of a mobile printer for your smartphone!! I had no idea that these were on the market. Our favorite souvenirs from trips are postcards and photographs, and with the photo quality of the cameras on smart phones right now, it’s an instant Polaroid. Love it!!
This list is right up my alley!! I’m totally interested in the portable printer and have had my eye on cell phone lenses – I’ve just been waiting for good quality ones to come out. Really timely post too – I’ll just ‘casually’ drop this to my parents 😉
Ticker Eats The World says
Lovely list. I’ve been wanting to but lenses for my mobile phone for quite some time now and just have to go ahead with it soon. I think I need t forward this to all my family and friends before the holiday season and also my birthday next month,.
Vicki Louise says
Great ideas! I love the smartphone printer and lenses – and packing cubes are always a good buy! They just make everything so ordered and neat. Perfect for the type As among us!