Need Gifts for Someone Going Travelling? Welcome to Our List!
If you need gift ideas for someone going travelling, you’ve come to the right place! There are loads of large and small travel gifts for people who love to travel. The trick is to find gifts that they will actually want and use when they are out on the open road!
This is a topic we know quite a bit about. It’s taken a few years to refine our travel gear but we are now at a point where we’re happy with how we travel and our packing list. That said, since we travel light and lean, most larger gifts/items don’t work for us. This makes it hard for people to buy us a good leaving present. Not because we are picky and want the best luxury travel gifts – we just travel light and we don’t usually have the room to spare!
As an “essentials only” travel duo, this list reflects useful and practical gifts that we use all the time. So, whoever you have in your life heading off on their next adventure – like friends or family going travelling – here are 25 great ideas for gifts for her or gift ideas for him!
Things to Consider When Buying Gifts For Someone Going Travelling
When buying gifts for someone going travelling, you should to consider a few buying factors before you make any purchases. We chat about a few of them below in no particular order!
Purpose: The purpose of the gift should be pretty self-explanatory given the kind of product you buy. A camera is for taking photos and a dry towel is for towelling off, obviously. What we mean by “purpose” is: Is your traveller in mind going to use it? Does it serve their needs? Do they need whatever it is you are buying them?
The Traveller: Have a think about their “travel style” and you’ll very quickly begin to piece together what they might need and what they might find useless. This is not to say that you bought a bad gift – because these products are all great ideas – but does YOUR traveller need whatever you are buying them for their trip? That’s the better question to ask. For example, we probably wouldn’t need a neck pillow because we don’t have the space in/on our bag AND we try to take the train short distances at a time. That said, your traveller might be on long haul flight after flight so a neck pillow can be a life saver.
Price/Quality: Obviously, you will want to have a think about the price of the gift as a buying factor. Is the gift idea even within your price range that you set out? Is it wise to buy your traveller an expensive “thing” if they are going to a country where it might get stolen? These are things to think about.
Regarding quality, a higher price usually reflects a better quality good – but NOT always. Eric has a cheaper travel towel that he got in 2015 but it still works great for him. It’s pretty soft and very packable! You will want to ensure product quality on an item like a combination lock, however. Those types of gifts are important to get right. Plus, a good lock can last a lifetime.
Cheap Gifts For Someone Going Travelling
There are a ton of cheap gift options for someone going travelling. Many of these are “add-on”gifts that compliment things they already have or are smaller detail-oriented gifts (like a travel lock). You could also find out which of these smaller items your traveller doesn’t have and then buy a few of them like a “traveller sampler pack”!
Travel Journal – Shop Now
This is one item that Eric is glad that someone gave to him so many years ago. Writing in a travel journal is a great way to look back on old experiences and capture memories as they happen. Eric has been journalling since 2007 and – while now on his third notebook – his written ideas have spanned four continents.
His most recent journal is a leather-bound one like the one featured here. It’s durable for tossing into his backpack and the leather string keeps it closed and the pages protected. A travel journal is a great gift for someone travelling for the first time – and they might thank you years later for it!
Travel Adapter – Shop Now
If you are travelling to or from North America to Europe, Australia, or other parts of the world, it is very likely that you’ll need a travel adapter for your electronics since otherwise you’ll not be able to charge any of them. We have quite a few travel adapters at home since Eric with his North American prongs needs a travel adapter in Europe while Lisa with her European prongs needs a travel adapter when we are in Canada.
We really like adapters that come with USB-slots (like the one pictured above) since it means that we can charge both of our phones at the same time. So if your person going travelling is going on an international trip, check if the plugs are different in that location. In case they are, consider getting them a travel adapter. You can never have too many (good) travel adapters and admittedly checking the plugs at the travel destination be something that travellers often forget to think about!
Travel Towel – Shop Now
Depending on the trip we sometimes stay in hostels where towels are not always available. But even if we know that we are staying at Airbnbs or hotels we like to bring our travel towels. They fold quite small and are quick drying which makes them perfect to take to the beach or even use as a blanket when having an impromptu picnic.
If your traveller is planning a backpacking or adventure trip then a travel towel is an essential item. If you know that they don’t have one yet, then this might be a perfect addition to their travel gear!
Combination Lock – Shop Now
Once again, since we sleep in hostels sometimes we usually carry around a combination lock or two. Lisa especially likes this style since you don’t need a key and as such don’t have to worry about losing it. These locks are great for locking up your valuable at hostels and often you are expected to bring your own.
Lisa actually also has a smaller combination lock that she uses to lock up her backpack (which we mention it further below). While this might not really be necessary it gives her peace of mind when we are walking around or on a train/bus with all of our valuables in the bags.
Sleep Mask – Shop Now
We actually don’t have sleep masks but sometimes we wish we had since they can actually make such a difference. If the person going travelling has a trip planned that includes a long-distance flight or long-distance bus/train ride then getting them a sleeping mask can be a great addition.
Sometimes the light on airplanes doesn’t get dimmed and trying the sleep when the light is really bright can be a struggle that we have both been through many times. A sleeping mask can help your traveller get more sleep that they otherwise would which allows them to reach their destination better rested.
Travel Cord Organizer – Shop Now
We are usually travelling with our phones, camera, GoPro, laptops, external batteries and e-book readers which also means that we carry A LOT of cords with us. Having a travel cord organizer can be a lifesaver in this case. If the person going travelling plans on taking a similar amount of electronic cords and likes to keep his/her bag or suitcase somewhat organized, then a travel cord organizer like the one above can be a super useful gift.
Small Wireless Speaker – Shop Now
Eric is a big music lover and frequently talks about his wireless speakers that he left in Canada since they were a little bit too big to take to Europe. If your traveller enjoys listening to music as well and is going to be surrounded by other people, having a wireless speaker in a travel size can be a great way to bring people together.
We don’t actually own the one pictured above but Lisa is considering getting one like this for Eric. We like the hook that it comes with which makes it easy to attach to your bag or keychain if you wanted to.
Passport Cover – Shop Now
A few years ago Lisa always thought, “why do people get passport covers?”. Sure, they look nice but are they really necessary? Now that the corners of her passport are quite worn and admittedly look terrible she understands exactly why people get passport covers: to protect their passports from any potential damage or wear and tear over time.
This is quite important since your passport is literally the most important document to have with you when travelling to another country. We found the passport cover pictured above on Amazon and really like the design. Lisa is actually considering ordering a passport cover for herself now. We think this is a great stocking stuffer or gift idea for anyone that travels abroad frequently.
Mid-Range Gifts For Someone Going Travelling
Mid-range gifts are more the kind of gifts that are travel essentials and having a good one can make or break a travel experience. A great example of this is a daypack. A good day pack does what it is supposed to and does it well and comfortably. You then never have to worry about your choice of daypack. A bad daypack – whether poorly made or otherwise – can be an uncomfortable hassle for the entire trip. See how important these kinds of gifts are? Here are a few more examples:
Foldable Daypack – Shop Now
When we travel we always like to have a packable daypack with us since they are great for carrying all the things we need throughout a day exploring (camera, water bottles) without taking up a lot of space in our big backpacks. There are quite a few different brands – Eric actually has a Herschel foldable backpack – but Lisa is a fan of the Osprey daypack. It also comes with a couple of extra features like side pockets that some other foldable daypacks usually don’t have. If you are interested, we wrote a whole guide on buying a great daypack.
Packing Cubes – Shop Now
Packing Cubes can make life so much easier – believe us. In the past, Lisa thought that they were kind of unnecessary but over the years she actually started using big ziplock bags as packing cubes to separate her socks, underwear, tops and other accessories. Even though her backpack is great and makes it easy to keep things organized, her improvised system of packing cubes works super well.
Now, she would actually be super happy to get some actual packing cubes such as this set of five which comes in different sizes and gives the person going travelling more than enough space to organize the things they’ll take on the trip.
Lifestraw Filter Bottle – Shop Now
When travelling in parts of North America or Western Europe drinking the tap water is not usually a problem – and that’s what we generally do. However, when we visited Albania we were told to buy bottled water instead. Since we like to drink lots of water throughout the day we created quite a bit of plastic waste and it was also a hassle having to carry the big bottles of water to our apartment.
Therefore we can really recommend that you get the person going travelling a reusable water bottle with a filter straw. This way they don’t have to buy plastic water bottles and can drink tap water that will be filtered through the straw before actually entering their body. It’s a great gift idea for someone going travelling to Central or South America as well as some parts of Asia, Eastern Europe or Africa or for a person that goes hiking frequently.
Gorillapod Tripod – Shop Now
This is something that other couples can probably relate to. Have you ever travelled with your significant other and wanted to get a photo of the two of you but there was no one around to take one? This is where the Gorillapod Tripod comes in since you can pretty much attach it to any tree, pole etc. and get the photo that you want.
This is a great gift idea if the person going travelling is travelling with someone else or a photography fan. There are different versions of the Gorillapod Tripod depending on how heavy the camera is that you want to attach to it. We chose the one that would fit Lisa’s mirrorless camera (mentioned below), but if the tripod is only supposed to hold a smartphone you could get the lighter version as well.
External Battery – Shop Now
When travelling, sooner or later you’ll have the experience that you really need to charge your phone but can’t find a plug anywhere. We’ve had that happen more than a couple of times. Having an external battery with you to be able to charge your phone can be crucial if you need said phone to navigate to your hotel or on public transport.
In our opinion, this is a must-have item for any person going travelling – but can be even more important for people who use their phones to take photos since this can drain the smartphone battery quickly.
The external battery we linked to is super slim which is nice since it doesn’t take up a lot of space. This external battery can also hold enough charge to charge your phone more than once.
Fleece Jacket With Zipper – Shop Now
When we travel, Eric always has a Fleece Jacket with zippered pockets with him and it has come in handy so many times. This way, it’s easy to keep the most important personal belongings close to your body. It’s also a bit more secure than having these items in the pockets of your pants.
We would recommend bringing a fleece jackets to anyone going travelling to an area with frequent weather changes. A fleece jacket keeps the traveller warm during the cold morning and evening hours but is also easy to take off and carry around during the warmer hours of the day. Seriously, consider a fleece jacket with zip pockets as the perfect practical outer layer gift.
Small Toiletries Bag – Shop Now
When we travel we try to keep our toiletries to a minimum. Having a small toiletries bag can make this a lot easier – and it is convenient when travelling with hand luggage only as we often do. Lisa has a toiletries bag that is even smaller than this one which fits the minimal amount of make-up she usually takes on trips as well as a travel-sized hair brush. In addition, she also has an airport security approved plastic bag for shampoo, toothpaste etc.
Eric has one that looks pretty much exactly like the one pictured above (but in all black) and it fits travel sized shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, a razor, and lots of other necessities easily. So overall, if the person going travelling has to watch the amount of things they are taking, a small toiletries bag is definitely a good gift idea.
Travel Coffee Maker – Shop Now
If the person going travelling is an absolute coffee lover this might be a unique but also super useful gift idea. We have stayed at lots of places where we either couldn’t make any coffee at all or it tasted really bad. While we really like drinking coffee, we don’t HAVE to have it every morning. That’s why we personally don’t have a travel coffee maker.
But we also understand that there are people whose morning routine would not be complete without a cup of coffee! So, if the person you are looking to buy a gift for is like that, then this travel coffee maker might be a great gift option!
Phone Camera Lens Kit – Shop Now
We often had this scenario where we wanted to take a photo but didn’t have our big cameras with us and couldn’t zoom far enough with our smartphones without making the photo look really bad. Does that sound familiar? Probably. We didn’t actually know until recently that smartphone camera lenses are a a thing, but they sound super convenient. You just clip the lens in front of your phone camera and then have many more options for taking photos.
This is a great gift idea for people who usually take photos with their phones and are interested in making them look a little nicer than just snapshots. Since the smartphone camera lenses are quite small it’s also a suitable gift for someone travelling with hand-luggage only.
Travel Wrap – Shop Now
When travelling, Lisa always likes to take one of her big scarves with her (except if it’s a trip in the middle of the summer heat) since it is a super versatile item. The travel wrap pictured above is essentially the same but specifically designed for travellers and is therefore probably even better than a normal scarf.
It is quite lightweight and folds small but is still big enough so that it can be used as a blanket on an airplane, bus, or train. That’s what Lisa likes to use her scarf for since with some cheaper airlines you don’t get a blanket for long-distance flights anymore. Having something to wrap around you when you’re tired just makes it so much easier to fall asleep – or at least stay warm.
If the person going travelling likes to wear scarves or is similar to Lisa in this regard, then we think this travel wrap/scarf would be a great gift for them!
Expensive Gifts For Someone Going Travelling
If you want to go big and get a more expensive gift, or if you know your traveller is itching for a bigger piece of travel gear, then here are a few ideas listed below. Typically, these are gifts that you buy once and then don’t buy again for a few years (like a camera or backpack). These are also mostly products that we already use/would recommend so we put our “Penguin Stamp of Approval” on a few of these items!
Stabilizer For Smartphone – Shop Now
We are currently trying to get more into videos and have been trying to find an affordable stabilizer for our GoPro forever – so far without luck. A great alternative is getting a stabilizer for your phone. While this gift is of course not for everyone, we do believe that it’s a perfect leaving present for someone going travelling who wants to capture their adventures for their family and friends at home on video without bringing an additional camera.
A phone camera stabilizer can make videos a lot smoother and improve the shooting quality to a noticeable extent. It can also be a great hint if you want your traveller to share some of their experiences with you when they are gone.
Travel Backpack – Shop Now
Lisa loves her Osprey Farpoint 40 (pictured above) and thinks it is the greatest travel backpack ever. You can actually unzip the bag 3/4 of the way which makes it more like a suitcase when it comes to getting access to your clothes. This makes it easy to keep things organized in the bag – whereas Eric frequently has to take everything out of his top-loading backpack if we needs to grab something from the bottom. We chat more about comparing travel backpacks here.
If the person going travelling plans on doing a backpacking trip or just prefers NOT to travel with suitcases (which can sometimes be a struggle when walking through cobblestoney Old Towns in Europe, for example), then have a look at the Osprey Farpoint 40. We think it is a great size for males and females alike and have never had trouble taking it onto a plane as carry-on luggage.
Noise Cancelling Headphones – Shop Now
Another one of Eric’s biggest comfort items are his headphones. He has a pair of noise cancelling headphones (similar to these above) and they have saved his life on planes, trains, or in airport terminals. Sometimes, it’s nice to just get away and listen to music – or drown out annoying sounds around you!
There are versions that fold down smaller or come with a great carrying case so have a look for the pair that works best for your traveller. Oh, but if you do use these in the airport – make sure to watch the screens because you might run the risk of missing announcements for your flight! Check out these Bose noise cancelling headphones here.
Unique Carry-On Suitcase – Shop Now
If the person going travelling is not a fan of backpacks and prefers using suitcases instead, then how about getting them a unique carry-on suitcase? You just see too many generic black suitcases at the airports these days that having one in a unique design can be a real eye-catcher.
It can actually have great benefits, too. With more and more cheap airlines making you put your carry-on suitcase in the hold before you board the plane, there is a chance that someone mistakes your suitcase for theirs if you have one in a very generic color. Just something to think about.
The awesome colourful suitcase in the photo comes in quite a few different designs which you can check out – but of course there are also lots of other styles.
Mirrorless Camera – Shop Now
This is the camera that Lisa has had for 1.5 years now and really, really likes. It’s the first mirrorless camera that she bought and usually we take it over Eric’s bigger DSLR camera when we are limited for space. The photos it takes when in auto-setting are great but you also have the option to shoot manual if you want. If your traveller likes taking photos but is more of an amateur photographer than a real pro, then this mirrorless camera is a great option and gift idea!
GoPro Action Camera – Shop Now
In addition to taking our mirrorless camera we usually also take our GoPro when travelling since the memories we can capture on video are great. Eric actually owns the GoPro Hero 5 Session (which is pictured above) and we like it for its small profile.
However, sometimes it would be nice to see what we are actually filming since unfortunately this model does not have a screen at the back. We still think the videos so far have turned out quite decent – you can check some of them out on our YouTube Channel. Of course, you could always get a different model!
We think that a GoPro is a great gift for anyone going travelling that wants to capture some of his/her travel moments on video for the family and friends at home to see. Also, if your traveller plans an adventure trip with water or mud involved a GoPro is definitely recommended over a normal phone or camera.
E-Book Reader – Shop Now
When travelling with a limited amount of space it can be difficult to justify bringing more than just one book (and sometimes even that gets left behind). That’s why Lisa is glad that she has her Kindle E-Book reader which she usually takes with her when we go on longer trips. It’s not a Kindle paperwhite but she would definitely upgrade to one when she gets a new one.
If the person going travelling is an avid reader but does not have the space to take multiple books (also remember, books can be quite heavy!), getting them an E-Book reader is a great way for them to take their reading material on a trip.
And there you have it – 25 of the best travel gifts for those heading out on their next grand tour. In the end, there are loads of good ideas out there for gifts that can make travel more comfortable, convenient, safe, and fun. You just have to know your receiver and buy accordingly! Are you a pro at buying travel gifts? Let us know which gifts are a knockout every time!
As always, Happy Travel Gift Buying’,