Last Updated on February 22, 2022 by Michela
Choosing the best gift for the traveler in your life can be difficult – they’ve already got the fancy suitcase, cute luggage tags, the oh-so predictable scratch-off world map – so what is there left to get them for their future adventures? Take inspiration from these unique travel gifts, a comprehensive collection of gifts travelers will actually want and love!
This list includes something for every world wanderer – highly useful gifts for the practical planner, personalized and sentimental tokens for memory-keeping, tech gadgets, flying essentials, road trip gear, and even ideas for traveling from home.
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For The Sentimental Traveler
1. Dune Jewelry
What better than a piece of a place you’ve visited to carry around with you in the form of jewelry. Dune Jewelry takes it to another level, beyond other basic options like engraving or simply writing a popular travel saying on a bracelet.
Dune Jewelry has a bank of materials collected from thousands of places around the world. Have a memory with your friend on a beach in Bali or walking around Central Park? Choose the sand from the exact beach to be used in the jewelry as a memory to gift that special someone!
Beaches, baseball fields, parks – there are tons of unique options, making it a versatile gift for any traveler.
It’s time to put on your DIY hat and some elbow grease into a unique sentimental gift for travelers!
Scrapbooks are especially perfect gifts when memorializing travel experiences you’ve had with your gift recipient. You can do it the old-fashioned way and gather supplies like these cute adventure stickers and traditional hardcover travel scrapbook.
3. Travel Journal
You can gift a travel journal to any of your favorite travelers, whether you’re traveling alongside them or not. This gift is especially fitting for the solo traveler in your life, who will want to document what the experience was like.
These are some of my favorite travel journals, from the basic & budget-friendly to the extremely trip-oriented and thought-provoking:
- WANDRD Travel Journal – Very travel-planning oriented with thoughtful reflection prompts.
- Page A Day – Sets a side a page per day with space to write down notes and fill-in-the-blanks to remember certain things about the day.
4. Travel Stub Diary
If you’re not crafty or you’re not sure the traveler in your life will like to journal, then gift them the Travel Stub Diary. It’s the perfect balance between the two previous options, a place where you can put souvenirs like plane tickets, museum passes, leftover foreign currency, and photos, plus write notes along your journey without deep-diving into journaling.
For Spontaneous Travelers
Have no ideas for a gift? Let the recipient choose!
Tinggly is an experience gift, where the gifter chooses a certain package at different price levels and then the recipient gets to choose what experience they want to have out of a list of options.
It’s the one of the most flexible and unique travel gifts for that one person you never know what to get! Check out all the experience options on Tinggly.
6. Pack Up & Go
What better thing to gift a traveler than a surprise trip? Pack Up & Go organizes weekend getaways in the US – but the trick is that the destination is a complete surprise!
This is the ideal gift for spontaneous travelers, but just keep in mind you’ll need to get some extra help organizign trip dates to make your recipient is available to go on the trip!
7. Gift Card
Gift cards may seem like the furthest thing from a unique gift, but in terms of unique travel gifts, a gift card is not a typical present.
Yet it can be often overlooked that many travel-industry companies have gift cards!
From airlines to Airbnb and Booking.com to specific hotel and restaurant groups, getting your traveler a gift card suddenly means more than just “I don’t know what you want, here’s this.” Instead its: I know exactly what you want and I’m going to help you get there!
For Practical Travelers
8. Packing Cubes
I rave about packing cubes for how greatly they allow you to maximize space in your suitcase. My favorite are the Veken Packing Cubes for the flexibility of the material, size capacity, and portability.
Plus, they are only $20 on Amazon – so they’re super budget-friendly.
Packing cubes are a genuine MUST for any traveler, so this is a go-to gift idea for those in your life who are especially hard to shop for!
9. Portable Charger
I have to include a portable charger to this list because it is the ultimate piece of travel gear! The security and peace of mind of having a durable and reliable way to communicate while traveling is priceless.
I never go anywhere without my Anker PowerCore Portable Charger. The brand has a variety of battery strengths at different price ranges, so you can pick the one that fits in your budget!
10. Portable Luggage Scale
Unique and useful = two perfect words to describe the ever-so underrated portable luggage scale. Virtually weightless, this can be a lifesaver for over-packers (takes one to know one!) and is an overall handy tool to have on hand whether you vacation a few times a year or you’re constantly hopping on flights around the world.
11. Filtered Water Bottle
A sustainable and always useful travel gift is a filtered water bottle. Having a water bottle with a filter makes it easy for travelers to get healthy, clean water everywhere on the go.
12. Foldable Jewelry Organizer
Not only is there a space for everything, but the soft material keeps your jewelry protected and folds down so that it doesn’t take up much space in your suitcase, unlike how traditional jewelry box organizers do.
For the Travel Tech Junkie
13. Cord Organizer
Between all the charging cords and headphones we take around with us these days, the traveler could use some extra help keep them organized. Perfect for a carry-on, a cord organizer keeps luggage organized and important charging cords easy to reach.
14. Portable Bluetooth Speaker
When you’re traveling in a different country, or even a different state, you probably won’t know the local radio station by heart – or even understand the language of the music! Sometimes your traveler in your life will just be craving their own favorite songs.
Enter the perfect gift, a lightweight and portable bluetooth speaker. (This Anker one is what I use and it’s perfect to slide into car doors and in the nooks of luggage, while also being budget-friendly.)
I don’t know how many times I can say portable in this post, but it’s an important quality to any gift for travelers! If you’ve got a bigger budget, then consider gifting your traveler a tablet.
Perfect for surviving long flights, tablets are small and travel-friendly entertainment! The one on my Christmas list this year is the Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 – I’ll come out with a travel-oriented review if Santa is good to me!
For The Frequent Flyer
16. Carry-On Cocktail Kit
One of the cutest unique travel gifts is the carry-on cocktail kit! If your friend or family member likes to take the edge off while flying, then this mini cocktail kit will satisfy their needs.
And if they really love their cocktails and don’t want to miss out on making their own while traveling, get them the Cocktail Canteen, with travel-sized tools for making cocktails on the road.
I always recommend bringing a pair of wired headphones on a plane in order to be able to enjoy the in-flight entertainment, an option you’ll definitely want available to avoid getting bored on long flights.
If you know your traveler loves their wireless headphones because let’s be honest, they’re way more convenient, you can help them solve the problem by gifting them Twelve South Airfly, a tiny tool that plugs into in-flight entertainment and allows you to connect by bluetooth with wireless headphones.
18. Musical Sleep Mask
Frequent flyers will love yet another one of the most unique travel gifts on the market – the musical sleep mask!
This soft, cordless sleep mask pairs to your phone with bluetooth to lull you to sleep on even the loudest or brightest of planes.
I want to point out one more unique travel gift for frequent flyers, but one that may or may not be harder to pull off. It’s called the Priority Pass, which has three levels of annual subscription prices that basically allow access to airport lounges around the world. I’ve never used it and I’m a budget traveler, so airport lounges aren’t my forte – but it could be a very thoughtful gift for the frequent flyer in your life!
For The Road Trip & Outdoor Adventurer
19. Travel Washing Machine
One of the more truly unique travel gifts of the list is yes, a travel washing machine. Everyone laughs at it until they’re in the situation of having no clean clothes left!
It’s truly a great gift for road-trippers and van-nomads or even for those who love camping.
20. Portable Coffee-Maker
Who can go a day without coffee? Well traveling in a camper, converted van, or traditional car could limit your coffee-making options.
The most sure-fire way to make sure your traveler gets their cup of morning joe in is to gift them a portable espresso machine.
21. Travel Pillow
I have no problem falling asleep on long drives – as long as I have somewhere to rest my head.
Make someone’s road trip more comfortable by gifting them the perfect travel pillow. This Therm-a-rest pillow is compact when not in use and expands to full-on comfort when it’s time to catch up on sleep.
For The Travel Photographer
22. WANDRD PRVKE Camera Backpack
This is hands-down the best travel camera backpack I’ve ever used. Going on three years and counting, I never go on a trip without it. I’ve poured out my love for this bag all across my blog so I’ll send you to my in-depth WANDRD PRVKE review if you want to dive into the specs, but know that the travel photographer in your life will never love another gift more!
23. Polaroid Camera
While most photography gear is incredibly expensive, something more budget-friendly and casual (in case the idea of walking into a camera store intimidates you – trust me, I’m a photographer and I can say it’s overwhelming!) is a polaroid camera.
This gift is perfect for the traveler who needs a little push to remember to stay present and capture the memories they’re making in action.
24. Smartphone Printer
So often trip photos will stay buried in the camera roll, appreciated for a moment and then rarely looked at until something sparks the memory.
The traveler in your life, whether they are a professional photographer or not, would appreciate a gift makes printing their trip photos easier and instantaneous.
Smartphone printers are the perfect answer!
Not all drones are $1000, so if you thought gifting your travel friend/border-line Instagram influencer a piece of essential photography gear was out of reach, read ahead for me to change your mind.
Get your traveler started with the Snaptain SP650, or one of their other similar models, at $129.99. The camera quality isn’t top-notch per se, but it is a great intro to flying drones and way cheaper than comparative models.
I’ve dedicated an entire post to ideas of budget-friendly photography gifts to make it possible to gift your photographer friend something they’ll love, without breaking the bank!
Something on my personal wishlist: a GoPro. Your travel photographer may have all the lenses in the world, but if they venture to anywhere with water – sea, ocean, lake – they will only be wishing they had a waterproof camera to get the best shots.
Since the GoPro is so small yet sturdy, this gift is also great for adventure travelers who love to do rugged activities.
27. Phone Gimbal
Taking smooth travel videos with your phone is nearly impossible without the help of a gimbal. Gimbals keep the phone stable while you walk around or pan across the landscape, eliminating the annoying camera shake and bumpiness in handheld videos!
I use this QIMIC 1-axis stabilizer and tripod, which is perfect for people starting out, since it’s a lesser expensive option.
If your traveler is a full-on Instagram Reels connoisseur they may love a 3-axis gimbal, allowing them more flexibility while shooting. In that case I recommend the DJI Ozmo Mobile 3 (which I use at work.)
For Trip Planning & Traveling From Home
28. Explore Local Subscription Box
Fun travel gifts don’t necessarily need to have anything to do with leaving your house! Gift your favorite jetsetter a piece of travel to their home with the Explore Local Subscription Box.
In the box, which you can set up to be received monthly or bi-monthly, as well as set the duration for the subscription based on your budget, the recipient receives a collection of local products from cities around the United States!
29. Travel Guidebooks
I’m a planner and I can’t help but love to read up on every new destination on my bucket list before I visit. If your traveler has a trip planned or a dream destination they’ve had their eye on, get them excited with a Lonely Planet or Rick Steve’s Guidebook.
These are some of my favorites for reading up on new places!
30. Travel Magazine Subscription
And in the same way travel guidebooks are great for travel planning and reading, travel magazines really know how to showcase a new destination and keep travelers up to date on the newest gear, best hotels, and more.
I’m partial to Condé Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure for their travel round-ups and in-depth destination features!
I hope this curated list of unique travel gifts has given you an abundance of ideas for what the world travelers in your life would love to receive most!
Let me know your favorite unique travel gifts in a comment!
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