This post may contain affiliate links, which means I'll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.
With some big festivities coming up like Diwali, which is big in my home country, India, and Christmas, which is big here in Europe, I’m sure all of you have started planning for the gifting season.
I thought I’d help you guys out a little by suggesting 25 gift ideas that you could gift someone going travelling that they will love.
I’ve split up the list by category and provided gift ideas under each one. I’ve also included a few travel tips and mentioned what kind of traveller friend you could gift a particular item to. So here goes..
#1 Water-Resistant Lightweight Backpack
Let’s start with the basic necessities. A lightweight, durable, spacious and water-resistant backpack is great for any traveller, be it for a short hike or a short trip. This travel bag can be expanded or folded to accommodate almost every travel item you can think of. How convenient!
I’m linking one here.
#2 Packing cubes
Now let’s say you buy the backpack from above (I’m getting my hopes up here you guys) this item will come in very handy as it is made up of compartments. So, go ahead and gift this along with the backpack to make your friend’s life easier. Some luggage organisers/packing cubes, come in sets as well so different pieces of clothing can be packed separately.
You can find a packing cube set listed here.
#3 Passport Holder
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve misplaced your boarding pass or lost your passport in your backpack? I know I have.
A passport holder is a practical and useful gift to give someone going travelling to prevent this misfortune. It helps you keep all important travel related stuff neatly organised in one place.
The one linked below even comes with a power bank pocket so you can charge your phone on-the-go.
You can find it here.
#4 Metal water bottle
If you have an environment-friendly traveller in your group, then a metal water bottle/sipper is an ideal gift for them.
Travelling with a reusable water bottle is a great way to reduce your plastic footprint and save money. Some of them even maintain the temperature of the water accordingly.
Just a casual reminder to stay hydrated folks!
You can check this one out.
#5 Collapsible Water Bottle
In case you think your friend would want to save space and the environment at the same time, then gift them this!
They are generally made of lightweight, flexible material like silicone so that it can be flattened when empty to save space in your already stuffed backpack.
You can find the water bottle here.
#6 Inflatable travel pillow + eye mask + earplug
I cannot even begin to tell you how portative, easy to use and great these products are! They help prevent catches in your neck and block out unwanted lights and sounds. They can be carried in your backpack as well so that they are handy at all times.
You can check out the entire set here.
#7 Scratch Off World Map
You know what equals the fun of travelling? Documenting your travels by scratching them off a world map.
As the name suggests, it’s a world map which comes in a cylindrical container and in various sizes so you can pick the map size that you want to gift – one that can be pinned on a soft board or one that can be hung on a wall, and scratch away!
You can find a map here.
Gadgets and Tech
#8 Digital Luggage Scale
The digital luggage scale is one item that is very useful especially while travelling by budget airlines like Ryan Air or Easy Jet that have strict baggage limits and are notorious for charging a hefty price for crossing it. Don’t forget to check the weight of your luggage before you travel to the airport. This has come in very handy during some of my travels with Ryan Air.
You’ll be able to find one here.
#9 Power Bank
The power bank is one product that, I think, everyone is thankful for. No matter what claims smartphone companies make about the battery life of their newest launches, there will always be a point in time when you will need one of these.
You can find a power bank here.
#10 Universal Adapter
Your phone is about to die, you search your room for a power outlet only to realise that the plug you’ve carried, isn’t supported. You wouldn’t want yourself or your friend to be in this situation hence this is one item that I have to include in this list of 25 gift ideas because it is a lifesaver for someone going travelling.
Travel tip: Never leave home without it! I don’t.
You can find the adapter here.
#11 Detachable Camera Lens Kit
This one is for the photography aficionados! Even if your friend is not a professional photographer or if they are, chances are they do not want to lug around different lenses or for that matter their heavy cameras. This detachable lens kit comes with different clip-on lenses – one for every kind of situation. Hence, this smartphone lens kit is the perfect gift for them.
You can find a lens kit here.
#12 E-book reader
Bibliophiles will love this one! The most famous one is, of course, the Kindle! There are a couple of different ones out there to choose from, but I highly recommend the Paperwhite. It comes in two variants – Wi-Fi only and 3G, 4 GB space and in-built adjustable light which is ideal for reading in dark environments (like after “lights out” in hostels).
You can check out the Kindle Paperwhite here.
#13 Polaroid Camera
Instant-print cameras make for an ideal gift for any kind of traveller. They’re portable and give you instant, printed retro-feel pictures. The cameras come in various sizes and with different features so depending on if your friend is a novice or a pro, you can pick a suitable one.
You can find the smallest variant here.
#14 Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot
The Internet has become one of our basic necessities nowadays, and accommodation Wi-Fi speeds can be limited at times, so it’s a challenge getting access to Wi-Fi on your travels and, as a result, one of the biggest worries that travellers have is inflated bills that arise as a result of mobile hotspot usage while roaming.
A portable Wi-Fi hotspot is what you need. As a bonus, this one even comes built-in with a power bank.
You can check it out here.
#15 Portable Bluetooth speaker
This travel gift is perfect for your music-loving friends. It is small, lightweight, waterproof and best suited for travel. You can be your own DJ on your travels. It is useful for home-parties as well.
You can find it through this link.
#16 Bluetooth Headphones
Okay, quick question, how many times have you pulled out your pair of earphones from your backpack and realised they’ve tangled in ways you didn’t think was possible?
A lot, right? I’ve been through it myself so here’s my solution to them. Wireless headphones! You can even opt for earphones if you don’t want to carry around a bulky headphone.
Travel tip: Pick the noise cancellation ones to drown out the noisy kids on flights.
You can check out the headphones here.
Drone photography and videography is something that is gaining interest around the world.
The most popular entry-level one that I know of is the DJI Mavic Pro. I highly recommend doing your own research before buying a drone though, as it is quite an expensive buy, requires various permits and quite a few countries/regions have limitations about carrying them and flying them.
You can make an informed choice by visiting the DJI site.
#18 Tile Mate Finder
The biggest fear that anyone, including me, experiences while travelling is losing your items – be it your luggage, keys to your Airbnb or even your phone!
So, here’s a unique travel gift to help with just that. Tile Mate is a Bluetooth tracker with a loud ringer that you can link/attach to anything.
You can either make the Tile Mate ring using your smartphone or make your phone ring using the button on the Tile Mate. Either way, your friends will thank you for helping keep their items safe.
You can find it here.
#19 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
We all know how harried and worked up people get at the very thought of packing. This book by Marie Kondo will help your friends in not only finding effective ways to pack their clothes but also store various other things around the house too. So, this makes for a neat (pun intended!) book to gift someone who wants to “fit more in less” and also, as a bonus, to those who want to declutter/sort out their wardrobes before the festivities start (read: people whose spirit animal is Monica).
You can find the book here.
#20 Journeys of a Lifetime by National Geographic
Do you know a friend who prefers hardcover books to e-books? Or one finds joy in taking a sniff of the book when it is opened? I know I love doing that each time I receive a new book. Then this book by National Geographic is the perfect gift for a traveller who is also an avid reader.
Travel tip: You can preload this or the previous book in the Kindle while gifting it.
You can find the book here.
#21 Travel Journal
This one is for all your writer and/or memory preserving friends and no, I’m not talking about the ones that share everything on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I’m talking about the old schoolers who actually like writing out their experiences. They will cherish this gift. I suggest gifting the book/journal with a pen because at some point on their trip they will require one and most times it is something that is hardly ever carried.
You can find a leather travel journal + pen here.
Whenever you feel you don’t know enough about your friend to gift them something travel-related, opt for giving them a gift card instead.
#22 Amazon eGift card
Amazon has a vast repository of products and sometimes, it can be overwhelming picking one rather than the other when you don’t know enough about the product in general. This way, you can let your friend pick out something for themselves.
You can customise yours here.
#23 Airbnb gift card
This is a great gift for someone who loves staying in Airbnbs or a first-timer who wants to experience it. For the uninitiated, Airbnb offers a wide range of quality, local accommodations usually priced lower than hotels.
Now this category is my favourite one and something I personally do for my close friends and family – customise their gifts! So obviously I had to include this category in the 25 gift ideas list.
It’s pretty simple – you gather a bunch of items that your friend either likes/wants to have/needs, put them all in a basket and throw in a little bow around it et voila! You have a gift basket ready.
#24 Self-Care Kit
This kit is a great gift for a woman traveller whose top priority is personal hygiene.
We all know how women, including me, feel about toilet seats anywhere other than their home.
Pee Safe is a spray that you can use on toilet seats to sanitise it and as a bonus, comes with a fragrance to save you from stinky toilets.
Apart from the spray, you could also include the Intimate Wash & Wipes and the cramp relief roll-on.
You can find the products here.
#25 Safety Essentials Kit
You could include a mosquito repellent and a mace spray as essentials in the kit.
A basic first-aid mini kit consisting of Band-Aids, an antiseptic liquid, an antibacterial cream or spray and bandage would also help.
You could also go a step further and add a Swiss knife in there as a multi-utility tool.
Your local drugstore should stock the first few items. For the Swiss knife, you can check it out here.
I hope you enjoyed this gift guide for your travel buddies. Make sure to check out the following posts for more ideas!