Last Updated on December 14, 2020
We all love receiving presents but buying useful gifts for our friends and loved ones can be a challenge. We’ve compiled a list of practical, unique gifts for travelers, perfect for any occasion. These gifts cover a variety of price ranges with something included for all budgets.
Our suggestions feature stand-alone gifts, stocking stuffers and goodies for any kind of care package. Discover enough ideas to get you through every potential gift giving event throughout the year. We’ve traveled full time as vanlifers and backpackers for the last three years, as well as plenty of trips prior to that. We know exactly what types of gifts make travelers happy.
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Travel Gifts Under $15
You won’t break the bank while choosing these practical gifts for travelers. We’ve included a range of suggestions for when you need to give a present they won’t forget. These gifts are guaranteed to go along with them on every trip!
In keeping with travel gifts meant to keep them looking radiant, soft and smooth, every traveler (man or woman) needs exfoliating gloves. Let your favorite traveler know you care and buy them a pair. Exfoliating gloves are great for working up a good lather, perfect for washing away a day of hard travel.
This seems obvious but it’s an easily overlooked accessory by many travelers – until their nails begin looking like talons! Don’t let that happen to your friend or loved one and give them a travel gift to keep those nails in check. These nail clippers take up hardly any space, making them an essential travel kit item.
Ditch the itch with insect repellent. Yes, there are natural plant-based repellents but often they’re just an added flavouring for many insects and they must be applied often. This DEET spray is very effective, keeping the bugs at bay all throughout the day with just one application.
We promise this isn’t a gag gift! From measuring the inseam of trousers to better visualising the dimensions of an item prior to purchasing online, having a flexible measuring tape is something we cannot do without. This practical travel gift is very packable and weighs next to nothing.
Travel isn’t fun and games all the time, or is it? A Compact Boggle game is the perfect antidote to beating the hiccups all travelers face – delays, cancellations and so on. Of course, games come in handy at other times as well so consider some fun travel gifts for that person on your list.
Protect your phone during travel and still be able take photos and videos whilst kayaking, hanging out on the beach or getting caught in the elements. A waterproof phone pouch also protects portable devices from sand and dirt, making it a must-have travel idea for people on the move in extreme environments.
Overlooked and Unique Gifts for Travelers
These essential, overlooked items are either forgotten by mistake or people don’t even know they’re needed until it’s too late. Consider these must-have gifts for travelers and don’t let them hit the road without being fully prepared.
We’ve even included a few unique gift ideas certain to be used and appreciated by all types of travelers. Our experience has taught us that the most seemingly uncommon items are the most useful, often for more than one reason!
No matter what kind of traveler you’re buying gifts for, keep them prepared by having a bottle opener. From glass bottles with caps to wine bottles with corks, opening drinks when any occasion arises is vital to travel. Consider this useful present and send them out on the road fully prepared.
Don’t let your traveler spill precious liquids whilst pouring them into their hip flask – get them a tiny funnel for making every drop count. They’ll need plenty of help during long journeys and even short ones! Help them keep the top-up process neat and tidy with the simple addition of a mini funnel.
Going out to eat each day certainly seems easy and appealing, however it’s a challenge for long-term travelers to maintain a healthy diet. This travel gift takes advantage of a cooker in the hostel or a heating element (above) by keeping soups, stews and other hot foods warm for hours while on the go.
Carrying a personal water bottle is as natural as breathing for many folks these days. However, many travelers require the following extra features: 1) A loop for securely attaching the water bottle to a backpack and 2) A way of keeping liquids cold for 24 hours. Achieve both with a double-walled, insulted bottle like the one we recommend.
Give that traveler in your life their own waterproof blanket for use just about anywhere. Whether it’s a picnic in the park or a day at the beach, this blanket comes in its own compact pouch, complete with a cool matching carabiner clip. The Bearz Blanket weighs only 4 ounces, something every traveler will appreciate!
Having a sturdy daypack for carrying essentials is crucial to any traveler. From day trips to walking around town, you won’t beat the Deuter Speed Lite series. I’ve had my Deuter Speed Lite 15 since 2017 and use it daily – it needs a good wash but that’s about it. Deuter’s quality and durability is no secret with travelers looking for the best.
Keep those feet dry and warm with merino wool Smartwool socks. These come in a variety of styles and colours to suit anyone. We continue buying Smartwool because we know how a poor pair of socks can ruin the day. Having said that, consider these for that traveler on your list and make Smartwool socks a part of their packing list.
The person on your gift list is going to love these shoes for a variety of reasons. Altra’s Vali shoes for men and women are stylish, comfortable and they weigh less than 10 ounces. The Altra brand also features a unique “toe box” which doesn’t crowd feet like other shoes. Jerry has three pairs of Vali shoes and he’s been wearing them for several years.
We’re both very big proponents of Teva Hurricane sandals. These work great at the beach, while hiking or just on a casual walk through town. Don’t confuse these with just any old pair of sandals – Teva Hurricanes feature a rugged outer sole with plenty of traction and also provide comfort throughout the entire day.
We’ve relied on Shark Freestyle watches for years. These watches are completely waterproof, built tough and come installed with a battery which is good for five years. Shark watches are also known for their incredible assortment of colours and styles, perfect for anyone on your travel gift list.
We travel long-term and that means regular hair cuts for Jerry whilst on the road. Having a personal set of hair clippers has saved us a lot of time and money. This is one of the best travel gift ideas for men – those who like keeping neat, short hair will definitely agree with us!
How about a chic accessory for the fashionista traveler? This bucket/flapper style hat adds a touch of elegance to any autumn/winter outfit. This is perfect for a weekend in the city or a getaway in the countryside, making it a fashionable travel gift for women.
Looking for a gift for the boho hippy chick traveler in your life? Brookelynn Roese creates the most gorgeous hair bands, head scarves, hair wraps and accessories that every flower child will love – and they’re reversible! Give the gift of no more bad hair days on the road!
One of the simplest things for travelers to own is a packing cube, or several of them! Having a top-loading backpack makes packing and unpacking stuff quite cumbersome. Instead, arrange clothing in a packing cube and never have that problem again. Stay organised and sane while finding that pair of socks with these organisational wonders.
Allow them to choose unique accommodation when traveling with an online Airbnb gift certificate. They can pick funky city lofts, tree houses in the jungle, cottages in the countryside or beachfront bungalows. Airbnb has an amazing selection of places to stay throughout the world and in any price range.
For those preferring more conventional accommodation options, an online gift card for Hotels.com makes a great travel gift. They can select either boutique hotels, simple motels or a familiar national chain. Hotels.com has the best prices and selection whether booking ahead or at the last minute.
Power-Up Presents for Techies
We all need our devices these days no matter where we go. Being on the road means carrying quite a bit stuff so consider these tech gifts for travelers to make that task easier. From audio/video needs, staying charged on the road, safe wifi browsing and more, these gifts for travelers are certain to keep you connected to them.
A good VPN is critical to travelers using public wifi networks, even if those networks are password-protected. Hackers can create a seemingly safe “network” in public places; being on these means any online activity is now visible to them. VPNs protect users from these rogue networks. See our article for a special discount code for TorGuard and to get a much better idea of how VPNs work.
Don’t let their expensive electronics get fried during a power surge. A Belkin 3-outlet surge protector with USB connections easily handles these situations while traveling. This compact, lightweight surge protector will certainly become an essential travel item for them.
Many electrical powered items these days handle a range of different voltages. Of course, travel plug adapters are still needed for most international trips and this all-in-one model makes a great gift idea. They’ll love how compact and lightweight it is, making it a cinch to take everywhere they go.
Allow them to simultaneously charge two devices at once with this portable power pack. A powerful one like this can be used for four charge cycles before needing to be charged itself. It’s no bigger than a smartphone meaning they’ll carry it around everywhere they go.
Everyone needs to protect their phones from blunt-force trauma, but protective cases don’t have to be drab. Choose from a variety of colours and designs with OtterBox protective phone covers. These are some of the most rugged phone cases out there so get one as a gift for a traveler you know.
Bring some order to their rats nest of cables with this roomy organiser case. This gift is specially designed to keep all those pesky cords and cables neat and tidy on the road. It just makes sense to keep these all together, so this is the perfect travel gift for people who love order in their lives.
Let them back up their photos, videos, music and more on a simple 128 GB flash drive; these offer plenty of digital space without taking up space. In fact, giving several of these as gifts is an even better idea – they’ll need to store all of those travel photos and videos somewhere!
Give them the gift of better sound while they travel. Many laptops speakers are located underneath them, making their audio somewhat muffled. This bluetooth Rokono speaker sounds great and is smaller than a tennis ball. The Rokono is one of our recent acquisitions and we couldn’t be happier – obviously it’s not Bose-quality sound but it makes a big difference over our laptop speakers and it works with our ipod.
The miracle of Bluetooth makes these waterproof, wireless in-ear headphones a travel gift they shouldn’t be without. We remember the old days of wired headphones and how cumbersome they were, so why not give these as a gift ? Messy cords getting caught up in everything is now a thing of the past.
Treat the aspiring vlogger to a gimbal and they’ll take smooth, stable videos without any camera-shake. We’re using the Hohem iSteady Mobile Plus; it’s an affordable introduction to camera stabilizers offering good quality and tonnes of cool features.
Gifts for Travelers That Give Back
Keep your own karma in mind when choosing these thoughtful gifts for travelers. Each company below matches a purchase of their products with a donation to an assortment of causes. We encourage you to read more about each of these companies and the organizations they give back to.
Through their partnership with the Fair Labor Association, prAna is committed to providing safe, humane working conditions in the manufacture of their products throughout the world. From the sourcing of their raw materials to the packaging of the finished product prAna strives for sustainability in all aspects of it’s manufacturing process. Give the gift of style and comfort for him and her. Just one request prAna: make that short inseam a bit shorter for those of us without long legs!
If you’re looking for a fun travel gift and a way to support a great cause, look no further than Roma Boots. For every pair of boots purchased Roma donates a brand new pair of to a child in need. As their very own mission slogan states: “Giving poverty the boot.” Roma’s ultimate goal is to educate impoverished children globally to help break the cycle of poverty.
Whether they’re skiing, desert trekking, lying on the beach or just hanging out, don’t let chapped lips ruin their day. Give them this all natural beeswax balm made from organic, locally sourced products. The company also donates one percent of all profits to Portland Urban Beekeepers Association, a win-win for you and the bees!
Finding Your Own Unique Travel Gift Ideas
Now you have a good idea of the gifts travelers want and need so get them something they’ll pack along with them wherever they go. Let our suggestions help you decide on that perfect present, or start thinking about similar things they’ll love.