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My 2019 holiday gift guide for travelers has all the interesting and offbeat stuff you’ve come to expect – like mystery tours and one Euro houses in Italy (wait, what?) – but I curated it a little differently this year.
While it’s still chock-full of great gifts for travelers, I also collected some of the most beautiful items I found on my journey around the world.
In 2019 I spent two months in Turkey, three months in Ukraine, and six months in Mexico and all three countries had vibrant art and souvenirs just begging to be snatched up and brought home.
So, if you’re looking for unique, beautiful, and amazing Christmas gifts for travelers in your life, this guide will inspire you with:
- 15 gifts for travelers (that they’ll actually love).
- Unique home goods gifts from Turkey
- Tasty holiday treats from Ukraine
- Colorful and cozy gifts from Mexico
- And so much more!
With this list, you can rest assured that everyone you love unwraps your gift with a smile this holiday season (and treat yourself with a few fun finds as well). Let’s dive in!
15 gifts for travelers (that they’ll actually love).
I live out of a carry on bag and move to a new city every month, but I would still love to receive each and every one of these 15 gifts for travelers because they’re small, compact, and super useful!
1. SkyRoam Global Wifi Device
Are you sick of getting slammed with super expensive roaming data charges from your mobile carrier? Now you can use the SkyRoam global wifi device when you travel instead.
You can buy 24-hour passes for short trips, pay per GB, or get unlimited usage with monthly subscription plans.
The best part?
SkyRoam lets you connect up to five devices at once, so all your friends will love you when cell service drops and you let them use it too.
Image courtesy of Expack
2. Expack Subscription Box
Expacks are for expats.
Now, you can send your friends and family who live abroad a little taste of home with Expack subscription boxes.
The company curates a monthly collection of snacks from the country of your choosing (currently US, UK, Canada, France, and Germany are all available) and sends them to subscribers once per month.
Expack shares what they’re including in the box before they send it, so subscribers can skip it if they don’t like it or take the more fun route and opt for another country’s box instead!
3. A Super-Fast Phone Charger
Super fast phone chrgers make great gifts for travelers who never spend any time at home.
Now, there’s no more waiting around in cafes or bus stations to let your phone charge just a little bit more before heading out to explore a new country because this ultra-fast Aukey phone charger can charge your phone to 100% in around an hour.
Plus, it has foldable prongs so it’s easy to pop into your pocket or bag when traveling.
Just make sure to read the fine print before you buy, because the super-fast phone chargers generally only work with newer model phones.
4. Gift Cards for Local Restaurants and Services
Instead, put a personal twist on your gift for the traveler in your life by purchasing an experience your recipient loves in their hometown.
Consider giving a gift card to a local brewery, nail salon, or small boutique so you can both give back to your community while also ensuring they get exactly what they want.
Image courtesy of One Hope Wine
5. Wine from One Hope Wine
Speaking of doing good, there are plenty of companies that will give back with every gift you purchase from them.
I gift wine a lot, and this year I’m going to purchase mine from One Hope Wine instead of the local corner store.
One Hope Wine has an awesome selection of bottles from Napa Valley, but more importantly, they give back with every single purchase.
So far, they’ve donated over four million dollars to non-profits around the world.
Every bottle will tell you exactly what cause you’re supporting when you buy, so if your recipient is a dog lover you can gift them a bottle that supports adoptions or if they’re a teacher you can give one that supports education, etc. etc. etc.
I guarantee they’ll appreciate the thoughtful touch!
Image courtesy of Ten Tree
6. Sweater or Tees from Ten Tree
Ten Tree sells sustainable clothing and plants ten trees around the world for every item you purchase – they’ve planted over 34 million trees to date.
Pretty much everything they sell is super cute so whether you’re looking for coats, sweaters, tanks, dresses, or accessories for men or women, I know Ten Tree can deliver the perfect apparel gifts for travelers on your list.
(Just beware you will probably spend an hour browsing for yourself before you even get to the gift purchase.)
7. Mini Espresso Maker or Brew It Stick
What do hostels, hotels, Airbnb apartments, and camping sites all have in common?
When you’re staying in one, there’s a high chance you’ll also be stuck drinking instant coffee in the morning!
Not anymore, though.
With the gift of coffee, you’re essentially gifting a pleasant morning to the ones you love, and what’s not to like about that?
Image courtesy of Tieks Shoes
8. Tieks Shoes
Shoes are the bane of every traveler’s existence, so a comfortable and versatile pair is one of the most underrated gifts for travelers – that’s why I’m feelin’ these Tieks shoes.
They’ve got a classic look (so they’re super versatile) but they’re also comfortable so you can walk all day in a new city without getting foot pain or resorting to pairing giant hiking boots with a cute sundress in desperation.
Plus, they come in just about every color of the rainbow, so no matter what travel style your gift recipient rocks, Tieks has them covered.
9. Cozibot Travel Blender
Dan and I travel with this blender and it’s come in handy so many times. I love that it has a charging cord instead of batteries, and I love how durable it is. We kind of throw it around a lot and it surprisingly hasn’t broken yet, so that’s a win in my book.
For travelers who love smoothies and protein drinks (that’s me and Dan respectively), a portable blender is a game-changer.
10. UE Boom Speaker
I praise this speaker all the time on Slight North because we’ve been traveling with it since 2017, but I’ve never actually included it in a gift guide.
It’s also super durable and water-resistant, and it comes in handy when we have to watch TV or a stream a game on our laptops because we can’t connect to a TV (which is always).
Image courtesy of My Postcard
11. The Ability to Send Personalized Postcards
Dan and I went to DHL to send a card from Mexico to the US and were told that it would cost $40 dollars!
I knew international shipping was expensive, but that’s just ridiculous.
Luckily, I found a better (and cheaper) way to send postcards home to mom and dad on your travels.
MyPostcard is a thoughtful gift for travelers because the company will let your recipient create postcards with their own photos. Then, it stamps and sends them with free international shipping, so they can get a message home for as low as only $1.99.
12. Mystery Experiences With Amazing Co.
Amazing Co. is one of the most unique gifts for travelers becaise they take date night and casual outings to a whole new level.
Amazing Co. packages include mystery picnics, mystery food walks, drink discovery walks, and more, so it’s not only a great way to get to know a new destination but also to explore a new side of the city you call home.
Experiences are currently available in the US, UK, and Australia.
13. Eye Mask
Personally, I don’t get all the hype about eye masks, but Dan lives and dies by his.
We often stay in Airbnbs and hotels with crappy light situations at night, and when Dan forgets his beloved eye mask he literally sleeps with a pillowcase wrapped around his head like a hostage and I hate it.
Give the gift of sleep this year with a super-soft eye mask from Amazon.
14. The Black Penguin
I always include a book on my holiday gift guides, but this is the first time I’m including one I haven’t even read yet!
I haven’t been able to get my hands on this via Kindle yet but I’m confident it’ll be great.
The Black Penguin chronicles the journey of travel writer Andrew Evans, who set off to take a bus from the National Geographic Headquarters all the way to Antarctica.
It’s got adventure, it’s got tension, and it’s got a great score of 4.3 on Good Reads. I’m in.
15. A One Euro House in Italy
Italy really is selling houses for one Euro but I’m only including them on my holiday gift guide as a joke (unless you’re really rich, in which case, please buy me one) because they come with a catch for every dollar you save on the purchase.
These houses are in super rural towns that the country is trying to repopulate and are usually so run down they don’t even have water or electricity.
But yet… I still can’t help but daydream about buying one and disappearing into the Italian countryside for good.
Unique Home Goods Gifts from Turkey
Now let’s get into the gifts for travelers from the first of the three locations I lived in this year. I spent the first two months of 2019 in Istanbul and was totally enthralled by the colorful goods bursting from the Grand Bazaar.
These are some of my favorites.
I didn’t buy a Turkish lamp this time around, but it was only because I already own one from my time in the UAE.
These romantic mosaic-covered lamps are so gorgeous and perfect for a foyer, library, kid’s room, or honestly any other space in the home. If you know someone with an eclectic home decor vibe going on, a Turkish lamp will be a perfect gift.
Can you guess what these are used for?
Last up on my list of Turkish gifts are the insanely beautiful carpets the country produces.
Some have bright colors and eye-catching designs while others are more tranquil, but they’re all beautiful in their own ways and I’m going to buy 100 when I finally settle down in a home.
Tasty Holiday Treats from Ukraine
Ukraine is my second favorite foodie destination about Mexico (I know, talk about a Cinderella story) so my favorite Ukrainian gifts center around the cuisine.
Ukrainian and Eastern European Cookbook
If you know someone who loves to travel and cook, this Ukrainian cookbook is a great way to introduce them to a culture and foods they’re probably not very familiar with.
They’ll get to challenge their cooking chops and you get to eat their finished dumplings, what’s not to love about that?
Easter Egg Ornaments
These ornate, hand-painted Easter egg ornaments are everywhere in Ukraine, whether it’s the Easter season or not.
I celebrated the holiday with a local family in Kyiv and almost every Easter basket lined up at the families’ feet in the church had at least one or two. Despite being for Easter, though, they also make beautiful and unique Christmas tree ornaments.
(If that’s not really your thing, you can’t go wrong with this awesome pierogi ornament instead.)
Colorful and Cozy Holiday Gifts from Mexico
I want to buy pretty much everything I see in Mexico because the country is just full of so much COLOR! If I had to narrow it down though, these are my favorite vibrant gifts from this country.
Tiny Spirit Guides
Alebrijes are brightly patterned small animal sculptures originally created by Mexican artist Pedro Linares in the 1930s.
Most are a mix of one, two, or more animals (like a horse with wings) and they are used to protect the home from bad spirits.
In Coco, a Disney film about Day of the Dead, they were also represented as spiritual guides. I have a grasshopper alebrije but you can find every type of animal – real or imagined – online.
Skulls are closely associated with Mexico and frequently appear in Mexican art.
I love Mexico’s relationship with death – they celebrate the lives of the deceased on the Day of the Dead by throwing giant parties in the cemetaries with music, mezcal, and warm memories every year.
When was the last time you were at a graveyard that wasn’t solemn and quiet? It’s so refreshing!
Discover the Best Gifts for Travelers In Your Life With This Guide
Buying gifts for travelers isn’t easy.
But, this list of small, useful, and most importantly, thoughtful, gifts for travelers will put you on the right path.
Whether you’re gifting trip essentials, a mystery experience, or a bottle of wine and cozy sweatshirt from sustainable companies that give back, this holiday gift guide for travelers has everything you need for a very merry Christmas in 2019!
This article is part of the Timeless Travel Gifts series. Read the rest below:
Then, explore the complete Gifts and Gear series for more reviews and roundups of the travel products I can’t live without.
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I’ve been traveling full-time for three years, these are the resources that make it happen:
➤ I exclusively use Airbnb for savings and security on long-term stays in furnished apartments.
➤ I use Booking.com for short-term stays in hostels and hotels on weekend trips.
➤ Upwork allowed me to take the leap to travel full-time because they make it so easy to find freelance clients in any field.
➤ The Superstar Blogging Travel Writing Course launched my travel writing career and helped me become a contributor at sites like Cincinnati Refined and International Living, and even get published in the Boston Globe.