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I’m not going to say that I’m an expert on curating gifts for travelers, but I’m also not going to say that I’m… not.
Daniel and I have a unique lifestyle where we don’t have an apartment, travel full time, move every five weeks and live out of carry on bags. That means that buying gifts for us is really hard because we don’t really want things.
I’m very particular about my packing list for long term travel and if you don’t want to waste your money or have your gift left behind it has to fit into our lifestyle pretty well. Basically, what I’m getting at is that I know what travelers want because I am one.
This list of 20 gifts for travelers in 2018 has tons of small, practical and useful things that I would love and use regularly. Check it out and I know you’ll leave with some fresh new gift ideas for those hard to please travelers in your life!
Gifts for Travelers Under $10
Hey, we’ve all been on a budget before. These gifts for travelers under $10 will be appreciated because of they’re extremely thoughtful (while still keeping your wallet happy)!
Donate to a Good Cause in Their Name – $5 and up
A lot of travelers get hooked on one country or one region. Many of us just have a special place in our heart for one special part of the world and this gift is one of the most thoughtful on the list because of that.
What cause is close to your recipients heart? Is it animal conservation in a country, micro loans for women in business, sponsorship for a child in need or something else entirely?
Donate to it in their name, print the thank you email and put it in a card. Making the world a better place is a guaranteed way to bring a smile to the face of any traveler over the holidays.
Netflix Subscription – $7.99 and up
A basic Netflix Subscription is only $7.99 per month.
Netflix is the biggest name in the streaming industry and also the best because it doesn’t require a VPN to watch it. Although travelers get a different selection in every country it’s still been pretty good everywhere that I go. 99.9% of Airbnb apartments that I stay in don’t have cable or TV channels in English so Netflix is essential in my life.
Assorted Food and Alcohol – $9.99 and up
Anything that’s edible and can be consumed is always a great holiday gift for travelers.
Personally, I would love a six pack of local craft beer or a new brand that I haven’t tried yet. Or, you can give an expensive bottle of liquor or the world’s strongest coffee.
Beyond that, get a little creative and make a small package of local foods that they only eat when they stop by at home once or twice a year. For the Ohioan in me that would be a can of skyline chili, a pint of Greater’s ice cream, and a gift card to Marion’s Pizza!
Gifts for Travelers Between $10 and $20
These six gifts for travelers are between $10 and $20, which means they’re still budget friendly while also being incredibly useful in day to day life on the road.
Udemy Courses – $10.99
Udemy has over 80,000 online courses to suit every need and most of them start at only $9.99.
If your gift recipient is heading to a certain part of the world for a long term trip consider gifting them a beginner’s language course. Or, browse tons of unique courses to fit their interests like yoga, meditation, self-defense (parents out there will love that one), stock trading, speed reading, drawing, painting, baking, business, web development, singing… literally everything you can imagine is here.
One of my least favorite things about traveling full time is how difficult it is to maintain a hobby, but there are plenty of courses on Udemy to fill my time and teach me something new without taking up any extra luggage space.
iMoon Wireless Remote Shutter – $12.99
I’ve never actually owned a selfie stick despite always being tempted to buy one. My phone is full of landscape shots with a few crappy selfies of Daniel and I mixed in between them. They make me smile, but I never share them because the quality and angle is terrible.
Because of that, I love the idea of this iMoon wireless remote shutter. Simply place your phone wherever you want to take the picture and use the remote to snap it. No more double chins for me!
Travel Accessories Kit – $18.56
I feel like readers might be surprised to see this on my list of gifts for travelers because I’m not typically one to buy into any packages or tours (firmly believing I can do it cheaper myself).
I’m not going to lie, though, I want this one. I always find myself without something on our constant moves and it would be nice to have a back up to cover it.
I accidentally dropped my toothbrush in the toilet and this would have come in handy. I ran out of conditioner and spent about 30 minutes dragging a brush through my tangled hair, this definitely would have come in handy.
I think you get the picture. This essentials kit is a great gift for travelers and quite practical as well.
10L Earth Pak Dry Bag – $18.97
This waterproof bag really depends on who you’re buying it for. If the recipient lives and travels anywhere where they find themselves on beaches and in the water a lot, a waterproof bag like this is a lifesaver.
It’s so much better to dive on a crowded boat, take a tour, or even just visit the beach knowing your phone and camera are 100% safe from the water and sand and you don’t have to worry.
Anklet with Custom GPS Coordinates – $18.98
I love these ankle bracelets. I actually bought one for one of my bridesmaids as a thank you gift for being in my wedding and she loved it so much she cried.
They’re delicate, they’re classy, and they make perfect gifts for travelers because you can customize it with the GPS coordinates of their home. Thoughtful and beautiful, what more could you need?
Custom Luggage Tags – $19.99
True story: Daniel and I almost stole someones luggage in Cusco because it was the exact same Osprey bag as mine. I was on the phone (Daniel had left his camera in the Lima airport, what’s new?) and about 15 minutes later I looked down at the bag and realized it wasn’t mine!
I awkwardly brought it back to the carousel where a lone man was sadly watching my lone bag circle over and over again. Whoops.
All this could have been avoided with a unique luggage tag and I’m not going to lie, I want a custom one of Daniel’s bald head flying through space. Of course, if you’re looking for something a little more… normal, I also think these leather ones are quite beautiful too.
Gifts For Travelers Between $20 and $50
Next up on my list of 20 gifts for travelers are these six mid-range gifts that all come in under $50.
Wooden Folding Book Light – $27.00
My eyes are actually in pain as I write this because the lighting in my Airbnb is so harsh. Overhead LED lights without a shade are not my friend but they’re the only option outside of pitch black darkness here, so I suffer through them.
Lamps are just one of many, many things that most Airbnb hosts fail to furnish their homes with so having a portable one to bring with me is definitely going on my holiday wish list this year.
Sandals with Support – $27.99
I’ve been wearing cheap $2 sandals almost every day so far this year. Daniel and I walk 10,000 steps a day so I’ve put a lot of miles into them and it’s terrible for my feet. I sometimes get serious pain in the top of my foot and I don’t even want to know what kind of irreversible damage I’m causing down there. No more.
Every traveler needs a pair of supportive yet cute sandals and these ones look like they offer great value for the price. Onto my wish list they go.
Compression Packing Cubes – $28.95
I kind of can’t believe I don’t have these yet.
I work as a freelance writer and actually wrote sales copy for a company that sells them… it was so good, I convinced myself to buy it too. Making more space when packing is one thing (I literally break a sweat trying to zip my bag every time we move, how pathetic is that?) but most of all I want one for my dirty laundry.
It honestly hurts my soul when I have to pack up dirty clothes and underwear along with the clean stuff in my bag and one of these handy compression packing cubes will finally solve that problem (and no, actually doing my laundry is out of the question).
Waypoint Goods Travel Scarf With a Pocket – $29.95
I’m always paranoid about pickpockets because Daniel and I have had so many phones and wallets stolen over the years. When you’re carrying bags you mark yourself as an easy target and moving fast also makes you more vulnerable to losing things too.
These scarves with built in anti-theft pockets are awesome. Throw your phone, money and passport into one of these bad boys and you won’t have a worry in the world (while looking cute too). Nice!
Clutch Travel Purse – $32.98
Things I carry with me on the daily: headphones, phone, multiple currencies (when traveling in the Europe they just build up and you can’t stop it), and little things like earrings, hair ties or bobby pins.
I need something sturdy to throw it all into and forget about and this cute clutch does the job. Plus, you put it on your wrist and everything is much safer than it would be in your pockets. I’m partial to the coffee color shown above but there are plenty of others to choose from as well.
Panda Planner – $39.97
Luckily Daniel never reads the blog posts I write or he would know that I’m planning on gifting him one of these for Christmas this year.
When you travel full time while also working it’s hard to stay organized. We never have a proper workspace, we’re always running out the door to cafes, etc. etc. etc.
Recently we’ve been on a kick to stretch and meditate every day and it’s been super helpful. A Panda Planner like this is the next step in getting more organized and more focused in our work every day. They’re definitely pricey but are filled with categories, calendars, lists and more that you just don’t get in a normal notebook and I think it will be worth it.
Gifts For Travelers From $50 and Up
Last but not least on my list of 20 fantastic gifts for travelers is the non-budget-friendly category of gifts that’ll run you $50 or more. However, I think there are some real gems in here that you shouldn’t miss!
America the Beautiful Annual National Parks Pass – $80
This annual national parks pass in the US costs $80 for anyone aged 16 and up, $20 for seniors aged 62 and up, or $80 for a lifetime pass for seniors. Each one is actually good for two people so you can gift it to a couple and they can use it together.
I don’t go to $80 worth of national parks every year but Daniel and I have our fingers crossed for an epic US road trip in 2020 that’ll take us through the west and all the way up to Alaska. Yep, it’s a big dream but someone’s gotta do it. In a case like that, the Annual National Parks Pass can save some serious money for any traveler on your list.
TSA Pre Check – 5 Years for $85
Five years for only $85?! When you think about how much time and mental energy TSA pre check will save the traveler in your life this is a great deal.
In fact, the official TSA website says that “In July 2018, 94% of TSA Pre✓® passengers waited less than 5 min.” I WANT IT.
Travel Photography Course from Nomadic Matt – $99
Daniel is actually taking this course as we speak. Once it’s finished I’ll post his full review here as well but he has a lot of good things to say about it so far.
This course is a great gift for travelers because it’s taught by a super experienced travel photographer who’s worked for National Geographic and the BBC among other big names. It’s eight weeks long and looks jam packed full of real, helpful info.
If that’s not really what you’re looking for, you can also gift a course on how to become a travel writer, a travel videographer, or even on the business of travel blogging from the same site. I’m currently taking the travel writing course and enjoy it!
Portable Projector – $98.99
You might find it kind of weird to see a portable projector on the list but let me explain. Daniel and I travel on a budget a lot and sometimes that means staying in pretty crappy Airbnb apartments.
It’s not unusual to not have a TV at all or have on that we can’t connect to our computer. In that case a portable projector would come in super handy so I’m not staring at my computer screen all day for work and then again to watch TV when I relax at night.
I mean, I don’t know how practical it really is for travelers but what the heck, I thought I’d throw it on the list anyway because this is my blog and I do what I want!
Tinggly Experience Box – $119
Ok, last on my list of 20 gifts for travelers in 2018 is this interesting company called Tinggly. They’ve been around for years and I’m surprised I’ve never heard of them.
Everyone knows that experiences are the best gift and now you can give them directly with Tinggly gift boxes. Basically, what you do is choose the collection and buy it for the recipient. They can then redeem one of over 560 experiences in over 100 countries on their upcoming travels. Pretty cool!
Just from browsing for a bit I saw wine tastings, boat rides and a lot more. I’ve never done one but I think the idea is unique and it has good reviews online as well.
20 Gifts for Travelers in 2018
Well, there you have it. It’s never to early to start holiday shopping and you can officially consider this my Christmas wish list.
I know that travelers are notoriously hard to buy for (coming in second only to moms who are impossible) but hopefully this gift guide will help you out!
PS not really feeling anything on this list? Check out The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers for 18 more gift ideas that I love!