For those who don’t suffer from a perpetual case of wanderlust, buying gifts for travel lovers can be really difficult.
I’ve lost count of the number of times family members have told me that I’m impossible to buy for, and that my nomadic lifestyle is a problem when it comes to buying me birthday or Christmas gifts.
However, please believe me when I tell you that backpackers and long-term nomads are not impossible to buy for at all – there are tonnes of useful, sentimental and overall genius travel lover gifts out there that are sure to put a smile on your loved one’s face.
I’ve been backpacking for over 6 years now, and so I know when I’m talking about when it comes to the things that travellers actually need, vs those things that are only going to take up valuable space in their backpack.
Avon Skin So Soft for warding off mosquitos?
A great travel gift (yes, I know Avon is an MLM but their Skin So Soft is actually really good).
That white plastic alarm clock my mum bought me ‘just in case’ my phone alarm stops working? Not so much.
With this in mind, I decided to put together my ultimate list of gifts for travel lovers.
To make things easier, I’ve organised everything by price, starting from the cheapest. All of these prices were correct at the time of writing, and I used a UK address, so depending on where you live, these figures may be different.
It’s also important to note that many of these links are affiliate links, which means that I may make a small commission if you decide purchase anything (at no extra cost to you!).
So, are you ready to be inspired?
Here are my 51 best travel lover gifts.
50 Gifts for Travel Lovers (That They’ll Actually Use!)
Travel Lover Gifts Under £10
Regular towels take forever to dry (not ideal when you’re always on the move) and take up so much valuable space in your backpack!
What’s more, renting towels in hostels can get expensive, so I always recommend using a travel towel.
Microfibre travel towels are fast-drying, lightweight and can be rolled up super small, making them the perfect travel gift.
It may not be the sexiest travel gift out there, but a combination lock is an absolute essential for travellers, and it’s always good to have a spare. From making sure your bag is locked on overnight buses to being able to safely store away your valuables in a hostel, a combination lock is one of the most practical travel lover gifts out there.
Shampoo bars are great for so many reasons.
Not only can you take them in your carry-on luggage, making them perfect for those who travel light, but you also don’t need worry about your shampoo potentially leaking all over your nice new clothes (this has happened to me more than once).
Shampoo bars also save both water and plastic, making them way better for the environment than traditional bottled shampoo.
Mosquito bites can really ruin your holiday, and spraying foul-smelling, sticky DEET all over yourself is not only a pain in the ass, but it can also be super bad for you (I know a man that can’t grow hair on his legs after using DEET for years!).
With these mosquito bracelets, your travel friend can be both cute and protected.
They might not be the most glamorous travel gift out there, but rehydration sachets have been an absolute lifesaver for me on my travels.
It’s all too easy to pick up stomach bugs on the road, which can leave you feeling weak and lethargic – I’ve actually ended up on a saline drip more than once, which was not only inconvenient, but expensive too!
These rehydration sachets are designed to replace your lost salts and electrolytes and will perk you up in no time.
This travel gift is both cute and practical.
Let your friend know that you’re thinking about them by giving them a personalised luggage tag that will not only remind them of you, but will also help them to identify their luggage as soon as it appears on the belt rather than accidentally taking somebody else’s (this actually happened to my parents once!).
If your travel-loving friend is always on social media, why not treat them to some summery travel presets?
These beachy presets are a budget-friendly and unique travel gift that will give a gorgeous glow to your friend’s IG feed and make their travel pics look even more amazing than they already are.
If you’ve ever stayed in a hostel, you’ll know the struggle of washing your bikinis in the shower and then having nowhere to hang them to dry!
This travel clothesline will allow you to dry your things pretty much anywhere, making backpacks full of damp clothes a thing of the past.
9. Laundry bag
It can be difficult keeping track of what needs washing when you travel, and I think every backpacker knows the struggle of rummaging around their bag in the dark, trying (and failing!) to find clean socks.
This laundry bag is a simple and unique travel gift that allows you to keep your dirty things separate, saving you a lot of hassle.
One sure-fire way to make friends when travelling is being that person with playing cards.
These waterproof will stand the test of time and survive even the most rowdy drinking games.
An eye mask is another great choice for the frequent traveller in your life, and this luxury silk mask is both elegant and comfortable. It also comes in its own little bag, which is such a nice touch!
One of my best friends Leanne bought this exact set of bracelets for us (mine is the white one) and I think it is such a cool concept.
My white bracelet has one black bead in it, and her black one has a single white bead, meaning that no matter how far apart we are, we will always be connected. I wear mine every day, and not only it really pretty, but it’s a great reminder of how much my friends mean to me.
Beeswax paper is perfect for your environmentally-conscious friend because it reduces both plastic use and food wastage! Whether it’s taking home leftovers from a restaurant or making a packed lunch for a day trip, these beautiful beeswax sheets are a great way to carry food around.
Simple, practical, and eco-friendly bamboo toothbrushes are great gifts for environmentally-conscious folks and travellers alike. This pack of ten toothbrushes is 100% biodegradable and compostable, making them a guilt-free travel gift.
Travel Lover Gifts Under £25
Luggage scales are one of those things that you should overlook at your peril.
You don’t want to get all the way to the front of the check-in desk before being told that your case is over the weight limit.
Enter, luggage scales.
These tiny, portable luggage scales will allow you to make sure that your bags are under the limit before it’s too late, saving you lots of embarrassment at the airport!
I don’t have a passport cover and so my own passport is beat up beyond all recognition. From visa stickers on the front, sticky tape covered in green glitter (?!) and scratches to a pretty much non-existent logo, it’s certainly seen better days.
I don’t mind too much – in fact, I kinda like it because I feel as though it tells a story – but most people prefer their passports to be clean and pristine.
A leather passport cover with your loved one’s initials or name on it is a really thoughtful and unique travel gift that they will appreciate for years to come.
17. Ear plugs
I NEVER travel without ear plugs and I’m always losing them so a huge pack like this would definitely be a welcome addition to my Christmas stocking!
From hostel dorms to noisy plane journeys, ear plugs are one of the most practical travel gifts you can buy.
18. Anker power bank
Running out of phone battery is at best irritating, and at worst, downright dangerous. Having a portable charger means you’ll always be connected, even after the longest flight!
From camping to beach parties, socialising at hostels and hotel room parties, portable Bluetooth speakers always come in handy, and these ones are not only fantastic quality, but less than £25 – now that’s a deal!
One of the most classic gifts for travellers is a world map – I mean, what traveller doesn’t love poring over maps for hours at a time?! This map is a scratch map, meaning that your friend can scratch out all the places they’ve been, revealing more of the map each time they visit somewhere new.
This scratch world map is from Etsy.
Lonely Planet is the OG of travel content, and this book covers every single country in the world – yes, all of them! I would absolutely love to read this book, and no matter how many places your travel friend has visited, they are sure to find inspiration within the pages of this gem.
Another great choice for your practical friends, this bag will keep all your toiletries organised and easy to find. It even hangs up, meaning you don’t have to unpack everything each time you check into a new place!
This hanging toiletry bag is from Etsy.
Travel pillows are seriously a gift from God, and even though I can never sleep on planes, I still appreciate the comfort that a quality travel pillow provides.
This one is a memory foam pillow, meaning that it is even better than regular travel pillows! It also has a handy hook and clasp so that you can easily strap it to your luggage.
24. Leather journal
Although your friend may not usually journal, plenty of people who travel love to keep a journal to remind them of all the wonderful adventures they’re having on the road.
It’s also always great to have a journal to hand so that you can keep a note of any cool recommendations you get from your fellow travellers, from the best hostels in Bratislava to the foods you simply have to try in the Czech Republic.
There are tonnes of beautiful leather journals on Etsy, but I love this one.
Taking jewellery on a trip is the absolute worst.
If it doesn’t get lost, it ends up tangled beyond belief, and this is the main reason why I tend not to take anything other than what I wear daily with me.
However, a portable jewellery case is one of those unique travel gifts that is both thoughtful and practical, enabling your loved one to keep all of their jewels safe and in good condition.
Not only is this day pack super lightweight and waterproof, but it also folds up into a tiny pocket when you’re not using it, making it a true space saver.
Available in a range of colours to suit all tastes.
27. Travel scarf
It was only when I was researching gifts for travel lovers that I discovered this wonderful invention known as a travel scarf!
This scarf has a hidden zipper pocket, meaning that you can keep your phone and wallet extra safe – after all, who would think to pickpocket a scarf?!
Scarves are also the perfect flight accessory, because not only do they keep you nice and toasty, but they’re easy to take off if you get too hot onboard.
I’ve had more accidents on my travels than I care to count, and so now I always make sure I have a first aid kid with me, or at least the major components of one.
This handy set has all the basics, including a wide range of different bandage types, cleaning fluid, medical scissors and lots more. Whether you come off a scooter in Thailand or scratch a mosquito bite too much, every traveller needs a first aid kit at some point!
29. Argan Oil
I swear by Argan oil because it is so versatile.
It’s good for your hair, skin, nails…even for cooking! I’ve used Argan oil for years, and if I could only choose one beauty product to take on my travels with me, it would be this.
If you like the idea of a refreshing face mist after a long flight then you’ll love this Travel Emergency Kit from Pretty Useful Tools.
Complete with a sandalwood-scented perfume stick, a hydrating and cooling face mist, a rose-tinted lip balm and chamomile moisturiser, this set has everything you need to freshen up after a long trip.
Not only that but it’s super compact, making it the perfect travel companion.
Your environmentally-conscious friend will adore this Zero Waste Gift Set.
Perfect for somebody who is just starting their journey towards zero waste, this kit is packed full of essentials, including biodegradable bamboo cotton buds, reusable bamboo cotton makeup remove pads, a 100% cotton laundry bag, a cleansing face mask and a massage soap.
You can get this Zero Waste gift box from Etsy.
32. Earth necklace
One of the prettiest travel lover gifts there is, this delicate earth necklace is perfect for those who like to travel without compromising on style. Let your friend know you’re thinking of them with this sentimental gift.
You can buy this earth necklace from Etsy. It is available in either gold, rose gold or silver.
33. Heated scarf
I mentioned earlier how scarves are perfect for flying, but a heated scarf is even better still! This one can be used with a power bank for on-the-go warmth wherever you are – perfect for that harsh air-conditioning on aeroplanes!
Get yourself or a loved one this heated scarf from IWOOT.
34. Travel mug
Another great sustainable gift is this stainless steel travel mug.
Designed for maintaining the temperature of either hot or cold drinks, you can reduce your waste and ensure you always have piping hot coffee!
Sidenote: this is one of those travel lover gifts that is really perfect for just about anybody – even your 9-5 friends!
This stainless steel botanical travel mug is from IWOOT.
Being on the road, sharing dorm rooms with strangers and getting little sleep can really run you down, and so I always like to take vitamins when I’m travelling.
These Emergen-C supplements are a powerful blend of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals that will give your immune system a boost, increase your metabolic function and energise you – and all without caffeine!
36. Bum bag
They might not be ‘cool,’ but I adore bum bags/fanny packs. Perfect as a ‘hands free’ way to store your essentials, they are ideal for travelling, when you need to keep your money, phone and passport close.
Get this Eastpak Springer bum bag from Amazon.
37. Travel adaptor
Not the most exciting or unique travel gift, but oh so practical! Ensure that you are prepared for pretty much anywhere in the world with an international travel adaptor, complete with USD ports.
From boosting your circulation to supporting your veins, diminishing leg swelling and more, compression socks have great health benefits in general but they are especially good for long haul flights.
This pack of two pairs will have your friend feeling healthy and comfortable every time they fly.
My boyfriend recently got me one of these water bottles for my birthday and I am in love with it. Made of stainless steel, it’s super secure and it keeps your drink hot or cold.
I’ll definitely be taking this on my next trip.
Choose the right design and size for you at Amazon.
Travel lover gifts under £50
40. Travel steamer
Not only does this handy travel steamer get all of the wrinkles and creases out of every kind of fabric, but the powerful steam kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria to sterilise and disinfect all of your clothes – perfect for a long day of travel!
Wi-Fi isn’t just a luxury – it’s pretty much a necessity at this point, and being stuck without it can be at best inconvenient and at worst, flat out dangerous.
Cell service on the road can be spotty (trust me) and we might be in 2022 but that doesn’t mean that every hostel and café has working Wi-Fi.
It’s not always practical to rely on phone data, especially if you’re crossing a lot of borders, so having a portable Wi-Fi hotspot will make your life a lot easier.
42. Sleeping bag
You don’t have to be a camping junkie or van-lifer to need a sleeping bag.
More and more hostels are offering ‘camping’ options, where you can pay a reduced rate to sleep outside in the garden or terrace (provided you bring your own tent and sleeping bag), while still having access to all of the hostel’s facilities and the social atmosphere.
Choose a sleeping bag with a ‘mummy design,’ with tapered legs and a drawstring hood, ensuring that you will be super cosy whatever the weather.
43. Packing cubes
My auntie got me a set of packing cubes a few Christmases’ ago, and boy oh boy have I had my use out of them!
It’s an understatement to say that I am not the tidiest or most organised person out there, but packing cubes make it so easy to keep your things where they need to be!
Not only can you separate socks and underwear, tops, bottoms etc. (meaning that it’s so much easier to find what you’re looking for), but they save SO MUCH SPACE in your bag.
I honestly can’t recommend packing cubes enough if you’re looking for a practical travel lover gift.
Snap up this set of 6 packing cubes from Etsy.
Travel lover gifts over £50
This camera bag is the stuff that dreams are made of. With space for a laptop, DSLR camera, lenses, tripod and other camera accessories, as well as having completely waterproof material (as well as a rain jacket!), anti-theft strap, RFID protection for your credit cards and external straps for extra storage, this really is the King of camera bags.
A TrustedHousesitters membership is one of the most unique travel gifts on this list, but IMO, it’s also one of the best!
With this membership, your loved one will be able to house and pet sit all around the world, getting to stay in mansions, loft apartments, country cottages and farm houses for free!
Yes, that’s right – house sitting allows you to stay in other people’s homes for free, so long as you feed their pets, water their plants and generally take care of the place.
A membership to TrustedHousesitters will let you find thoroughly-vetted hosts from around the world for an entire year, which is a seriously awesome present!
Sign up to TrustedHousesitters here.
You can read my entire guide to house sitting here!
46. Travel insurance
Travel insurance is probably the single most important thing every traveller needs, and yet so many people gamble and travel without it.
I have seen way too many people get into accidents or fall ill and be landed with huge medical bills as a result of their failure to get comprehensive travel insurance, and for me, the risk really isn’t worth it.
The provider that I recommend is World Nomads. It was created by backpackers, for backpackers, and their cover is so comprehensive that you’d be hard-pressed to find an activity that isn’t covered with their plans.
Specialising in adventure travel and long-term travel (you can even change or extend your policy while on the road!), they really are the best on the market.
You can read my World Nomads review here.
Click here to be taken to their website.
This waterproof (!), Kindle is the thinnest, lightest Kindle yet, with double the amount of memory as a regular Kindle, and a single charge will last for weeks, not hours. With a built-in light allowing you to read anywhere and a library of over 5.5 million books, audiobooks and magazines to choose from, a Kindle Paperwhite is the perfect travel companion.
48. AirPods Pro
AirPods Pro really need no introduction. If you want the best of the best when it comes to ear pods, AirPods Pro are just that. Perfect as an extra special treat for your loved one, they will be sure to thank you if you buy them a set of these.
49. Osprey backpack
A good quality backpack is an absolute travel essential.
The first backpack I had was okay, but I didn’t do any research before buying it, and ended up living to regret it. It killed my back, it didn’t have a front-opening (making it difficult to find things), and two of the zippers broke on my first trip.
When I decided to upgrade and pay a little more, I couldn’t have been more pleased. My Osprey backpack is designed specifically for the female form, making it so much more comfortable and easier to wear, it opens at the front just like a suitcase, and the quality is just out of this world.
Osprey have a huge selection of backpacks, but below are my picks.
Here is a great men’s backpack from Osprey.
Here is a fantastic women’s pack.
So at 895 EUR, this one is a bit of a splurge but hey, if you can’t splash out when buying gifts for your loved ones, when can you?
Buying someone a piece of antique jewellery is a wonderful gift to show you care, and this corundum and pearl Art Nouveau pendant is the kind of piece that can be passed down from generation to generation.
Check out AC Silver’s full range of antique jewellery on their website.
50 Gifts for Travel Lovers | Final Thoughts
So, we’ve reached the end of my absolute monster of a travel gifts list!
I hope that this list has given you some ideas of what to buy your loved one for their birthday or Christmas, but please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you have in the comments section below – I personally own a lot of the things on this list, and so I’m more than willing to elaborate on just why I think they make great gifts for travel lovers.
So, happy shopping!
Until next time,
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