As a world traveler myself, I thoughtfully put together a list of 30 travel gift ideas that are super useful for anyone who loves to travel. I get it – we’re a hard bunch to shop for and honestly, at the end of the day we just want more travel. More memories. But there are some gifts out there that would AMAZING to unwrap.
So many travel gift guides are a little generic. Passport cases are super personal, scratch-off world maps are so 2010 and not everyone wants a travel pillow (I don’t, so please don’t give me one.) I can guarantee the frequent traveler in your life already has the basic travel gear like packing cubes and personalized luggage tags, too.
Seriously, I saw a gift guide with a world globe as a suggested gift for a traveler. That’s like giving an accountant a calculator for Christmas. Collectively, we can do better.
Everything on this list will absolutely be used again and again on trips. And that makes a great gift, doesn’t it?
Unique Travel Gift Ideas That Are Actually Useful
Skip the passport case, you can do so much better! These unique travel gift ideas are approved to please any travel addict in your life, and be used like, a LOT.
Dual-Voltage Travel Steamer
I love this travel steamer so much I use it at home, too. And it helps my travel outfits looking fresh and amazing after being stuffed in a suitcase.
This is one of the best travel gifts for women (and for men, but I find my husband could care less about this but the girls always steal it from me when we travel together.) It's truly one of the best gifts for travelers who care about fashion.
I've owned an Away suitcase for years, have taken it all over the world and I'm positive this is the best piece of luggage I have, or ever will, own. If you're looking to gift the unicorn of luggage to a travel addict, this is the brand.
Best part is, if the suitcase ever breaks, they will replace it for free! We did this after Air Canada royally dented our first suitcase. Within a week, a new one was at our doorstep, totally for free.
AAA Gift Membership
This is literally the perfect gift for everyone, but especially for people who take road trips. Need a tire change, replacement battery or tow? AAA is there.
It comes in handy so many times. Recently I was over 400 miles from home and my car battery light came on. It was such a peace of mind to know that if it died, I could just call AAA and have it fixed same day.
Collapsible Water Bottle
One of the best small travel gifts you can give. I love my stainless steel waterbottle, I do, but when saw a friend finish off her water, collapse her water bottle and suddenly have so much room in her day pack, I was jealous.
Brevite Camera Backpack
This is probably the best travel backpack for photographers. I tested it out on my trip to San Deigo and really loved how streamlined it is. You can carry a camera and camera lens in the bottom, which saves time digging a camera out of a stuffed backpack. The top part is large enough for the basics on a day exploring. It's a great gift travel photography lovers.
Nieto Dopp Kit
A solid toiletry kit is one of THE best important things a traveler needs, but it's so hard to get them right. Beckett Simonon's handcrafted Nieto Dopp Kit travel case is sleek, practical and sturdy. There's an internal zipper and a small outer pocket. Basically - I can store makeup, meds and jewelry all in one case that looks good sitting on a hotel sink. I love it.
National Parks Pass
I can't believe how many of my travel-loving friends don't have a National Park Pass. This thing gets you into all the parks plus national monuments and other parks (totaling to 2,000 federal recreation sites!) for free.
The National Parks pass price can be high for budget travelers so that's why many skip it, and that's why it makes such a great gift. Check to make sure they don't have one already before you send it off.
Digital Luggage Scale
Most people don't think about weighing their suitcase until they're at the check-in counter. I've had to toss out shampoos and items in an airport way too many times to county because I always forget to but a luggage scale. They're affordable on Amazon so snap this up as a gift for the traveler in your life.
Baggage Claim Eye Masks
One of the best airplane travel gifts you can give are eye masks. Yes, I know everyone gifts those cocktail kits. They're cute, but aren't used. Eye masks WILL be used.
They're my favorite thing to pack in my carry-on beauty bag especially for international flights as part of my winding down routine. Helps me feel so normal.
Rothy's Pointed Toe Flats
Rothy's Pointed Toe Flat is my other favorite travel shoe. I've had a few of these pairs for years and have also taken them all over the world. This shoe is machine washable, so I can get them as dirty as I want on a trip and toss them in the wash when I get home.
They're also REALLY bendy so they can squeeze into even the most overpacked suitcase. 100% one of the best travel gifts for her (they make mens shoes, too.) Read my full Rothy's review here.
Teva Universal Trail Sandal
I finally pulled the trigger on Teva Sandals this summer and holy cow, I'm not sure how I've lived this long without them. They are my favorite travel shoes!! This pair has a great grip on wet surfaces and is sturdy enough for long hikes, making it great for outdoor trips and weekends exploring new cities. Make sure to size down on these. Read my full review on Teva sandals here.
HelloFresh Meal Kit
You know what sucks about travel? Coming home to an empty fridge. This meal kit subscription box is handy to have so your friend or family can come home to a tasty homecooked meal with fresh ingrediants even if they've been out of town for weeks.
Arden Cove Anti-Theft Purse
Why are anti-theft purses always so dang ugly?! A few years ago I went on a mad hunt to find the perfect RFID blocking waterproof purse to bring on all my trips. Arden Cove is the answer and I swear by this bag. I've taken it all across Europe and the United States, and have never been pickpocketed because you can link the zippers together. If you want to impress your loved one, get them this.
iWalk Small Portable Charger
I love this small portable that can fit into my purse. I've had it for a few years now and I take it everywhere I go. It's amazing since you can still hold and use the phone like normal without a large bulky device hanging off it.
The Anker Powercore is a great option for really long treks in places I can't get outlets (like camping trips.)
Priority Pass (Airport Lounges)
I don't know how I did air travel before I got a priority pass. It's a life changer. This pass gets you into tons of airport lounges all over the world, totally for free, New York City to Lisbon To Vancouver. Nap pods, chargers, clean bathrooms, tons of snacks and drinks -- all available in lounges. This is a super useful gift for travelers! When an airport I visit doesn't have a lounge I feel like a peasant now.
Packable Rain Jacket
You never know when it's going to rain on a trip, so having this packable rain jacket is a major gamechanger. It's under $100 and is such a practical gift!! Comes in a few colors, too!
Drunk Elephant Babyfacial
My skin always gets really sad after a trip and this facemask from Drunk Elephant is the only thing that can set it right again when I get home. I swear by it. It makes a great luxury travel gift.
Hot dang I want a packable camping hammock SO badly! We go camping a few times a year and I always forget to buy us a hammock and then when I get to the site, all I want to do is read a book under the trees. Get this for an outdoorsy friend, they'll love you!
Portable Espresso Machine
While in Porto, my friend whipped out her portable travel coffee press to make a cup of much-neeeded coffee. Our hotel had only given us one espresso pod with caffeine (the rest were decaf - sob!) We were fresh off 18+ hours of travel and this was a lifesaver. Such a cool and handy gift idea!
The Flowy Jumpsuit
I bought myself this Everlane jumpsuit and it's now always the first thing I pack in my suitcase. It's so flowy and comfy, which is my favorite way to be while traveling. You can really just pull it on and be ready to go. I found it so handy especially in the mornings at hotels when I wanted to quickly get out of my PJs to grab coffee down the street.
Plus, it has pockets! Read my full feature on this amazing jumpsuit here.
Girlfriend Collective Activewear Set
I wore this travel set on 14 hour plane rides while hiking, out to brunch and even lounging on my couch. They're comfy AF, cute and go up to size 28. A travel lover dream.
You can view the latest styles on their homepage they're always adding new things. Need travel gifts for men? Girlfriend Collective has men styles, too!
Water Jug With Spout
One of my best road trip hacks is to get a large water jug that has a spout. I fill it up with water and ice before a trip and put it in the back seat. Then, while on the road, we can just fill up our water bottles instead of stopping to buy more.
It sounds simple but hardly anyone thinks to do ths, so this would be such a thoughtful surprise gift!
I literally can't stand when a hotel has crappy wifi and I had planned on it working. Every traveler has had this struggle but that's where Skyroam portable hotspot comes in. Solves the problem!
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Crying baby on the plane. The roaring engine of a train. The room next door at the motel is being too loud -- so many reasons noise-canceling headphones are handy for travelers. I really wish I had this pair by Bose!
This is the unicorn of swimsuits and it comes in so many styles. They fit everybody so dang well, it's crazy. And they're perfect travel swimsuits, I always take these on vacation especially when I know I'll be doing active things like snorkeling. Read my full feature here.
Waterproof, small and light. Travel books can be hard to squeeze into a suitcase (and heavy!) A kindle is a perfect travel gift for readers. It comes in a lot of colors, too!
All-In-One Adapter Plug
An avid world traveler probably already has an adapter, but I find it's handy to travel with a few so you can charge your phone, computer and camera battery all at the same time if needed. I have 2 I always take with me. And, people who haven't gone abroad may not know they need this so it's a good gift.
Solid Scent Perfume
This is one of my favorite perfumes of all time! Goodwell and Supply Co makes amazing scents but this one is my favorite. I tuck this solid scent into my purse and re-apply it as needed. It always gets tons of compliments. They also make candles scented like national parks, so tons of gifts travelers will love!
4-Port Multi USB Car Charger
Literally, the bane of my existence is when I rent a car and it doesn't have a USB port. Or maybe it does, but only one and then we all can't charge our phones. Best gifts for travelers who love to drive!
Solid Shampoo Bar
That tiny hotel shampoo and conditioner things usually always suck. And refilling travel shampoo containers always sucks - they always seem to explode in my suitcase! Enter: solid shampoo and conditioner. Easy to pack and use wherever for good hair.
When in doubt, a gift card to their favorite airline or simply a visa gift card is always a good idea for a loved one. Sometimes the best gifts for a traveler really is just cold hard cash so they can spend it on their impromptu adventure.
I promise these are gift ideas travelers actually want. Skip the personalized coffee tumbler, portable Bluetooth speaker or leather passport holder. A travel journal usually sits empty. But a meal kit, or comfy AF shoes or a lounge pass will be used so many times. You’ll win Christmas, I promise.