This post contains affiliate links.
Whether you’re in the middle of wedding season or two weeks from Christmas, this gift guide for travel enthusiasts will be your lifesaver! I pride myself on being able to buy thoughtful and meaningful gifts for family and friends. So when wedding season sparks up or the Christmas tunes get cranked, I’m flooded with messages about what to give travelers who stalk the #wanderlust on Instagram.
To help you find the perfect gift, I’ve broken this gift guide into smaller sections. The gifts are at all different price points, but I have included both expensive and cheaper gifts depending on the occasion you’re buying for and what’s in your price point. I’ve included the top gift ideas for the backpack travelers, luxury travelers, quirky travelers, techy travelers and overall great gift for all travelers.
People who would fall into this category would be those who enjoy the outdoors. They feel at home in the middle of the wilderness and gravitate towards the tallest summits. They don’t have to be a traditional backpacker in the sense, they might use a camper van on their travels or even stay in AirBnBs. Here are some unique gifts for the outdoorsy and adventurous folks in your life.
I’m a lover of a same compact backpack. I often only take a backpack on my travels. My trusty sidekick has always been the High Sierra Access Backpack. I sport a red one and love carrying it on hikes and using it as a carryon. It’s also compact enough to fit under my airplane seat, yet has enough pockets to keep everything organized.
But, if I were to go on a backpacking adventure, I’d pick up the Osprey Tempest 30 backpack. I tried this on in the store and loved it. It fit me perfectly and I loved that it didn’t overwhelm my frame. Osprey has been the most touted and reliable pack that I’ve seen talked about. It’s definitely on my Christmas wish list.
2. Camping gear
As you may have guessed, I have a love for the outdoors. If you want to give an outdoorsy gift to your special someone, I’ve got a complete list of camping essentials that you can choose from. Here are some of the highlights:
My favorite camping brand by far is Coleman. It’s reliable and sturdy and I’ve never had any problems with their products. So it shouldn’t surprise you that I decided to cuddle up with a Coleman sleeping bag. The model of my sleeping bag is no longer available, but this sleeping bag has the same specifics, just in a big ‘n tall version. I also love that Coleman sleeping bags can turn into Ozzie and Harriet sleeping bags. In other words, they zip together to form one large sleeping bag where you can cuddle your honey. That’s the best way to stay warm on a freezing night!
For those adventurers that love to cook outdoors, a camp stove is a perfect gift. I use a Coleman camp fuel stove
that has two burners and perfect for cooking up a pile of pancakes and eggs on the other burner.
If your special someone, is a legit backpackers and likes to fit everything in their pack, then a collapsible, hiking camp stove
is the best option. This portable camp stove was named gear pick of the year by Backpacker Magazine
. It’s only eight inches tall and five inches in diameter making it very easy to keep in a pack.
On my recent trip to Puerto Rico, I brought home a hammock for my fiance and he loved it! It was such a joy seeing his face as he unwrapped it. It definitely wasn’t the souvenir that he was expecting. The only negative part about my hammock is that it’s knit and absorbs water. I would recommend getting a material that is water resistant. This is a cheaper alternative
that you can purchase.
If you like the idea of a hammock, you can even purchase a hammock for two
. This would be a great Christmas present or wedding gift for a couple! Another idea for the adventurous backpacker is a hammock you can sleep in the night in. They currently make insulated hammocks
or even hammocks with bug nets
. These are a little pricier than a normal hammock, but they might be a better fit for your special someone.
Another camping essential is a lantern. I currently have a fuel lantern
that goes with my camp stove, but I would recommend a battery or LED lantern
for new campers. My fuel lantern does last all evening, but it’s harder to ignite it. Another great option is to buy numerous small lights
that they hang inside the tent, carry to the bathroom in the middle of the evening or even have on the picnic table. If you are buying them a lantern with a glass globe, do them a favor and make sure to purchase one with a carrying case. That will prevent it cracking or breaking while on their travels.
This is great for the caffeine addict. A cup of joe next to the campfire is one of the best ways to relax. It’s even better to take the cup of joe on the go and enjoy it while basking in a beautiful view. My family has used this thermos
for years while I was a kid. Some people opt for traditional coffee to-go cups
, but I think enjoying coffee out of a thermos is something that cannot be topped.
This summer, my fiance and I tested out an Embark tent
, which we love! It’s a rectangle, six-person tent that is very spacious. We’re always camping with a large group so this was a great purchase for us. Ideally, for a backpacker, you’ll want to purchase a compact tent
. What size tent you buy someone completely depends on what they’ll use it for. If they have a big family, a large tent is necessary. If it’s a couple, who
likes to have a little more room to sleep, a four-person tent will be sufficient.
3. Hiking boots
This gift if a little harder to buy if you don’t know their shoe size, so try to scope that out ahead of time. This is another gift that’s on my wish list. I’ve been lusting after these Columbia
boots for ages! (I especially love them in the blue shade.) They offer a little more ankle support than a sneaker and are sturdier, which is why these are ideal for backpackers who are attempting to climb large summits.
If your adventurer is only taking on short hikes, a nice pair of athletic sneakers will suffice until they become avid hikers. (My favorite athletic shoes to hike in currently are Skechers
Sport Flex. I prefer these over a lot of other athletic shoe brands because of the memory foam they have inside.
-Other hiking accessories
If your price point is lower than buying them a pair of brand-name hiking boots, you can focus on hiking accessories. Wool socks, hiking poles, long underwear, and waterproof hiking maps are all great gifts for backpackers. These are all practical and necessary, which often times makes for the best gifts.
If your special someone enjoys lounging on the beach and enjoying dinners at five-star restaurants, these gifts are geared towards them. We’ll start with some less expensive items then ramp up towards the expensive items.
1. Luggage accessories –
Luxury travelers love to be in the know. They want to know the best spots to stop at and fabulous restaurants to dine at. A way to help your special someone is by buying them a guidebook for their next destination. Better yet, if you’ve been to their next vacation spot, jot down a few suggestions you have for them. Make the gift even more personal by giving them a notebook to jot down their thoughts for their upcoming vacation.
3. Travel-sized toiletry kit
There are many different ways you can interpret this gift. You can either give them a cute toiletry bag
to hold all their travel-size goodies. If you want your gift to be a little more substantial you can fill the cute tote with products. Some great brands are Lush
, Bath & Body Works
If your special someone is into all natural makeup, buy them SeneGence.
One product that I’m in love with is LipSense. It’s a lip color that lasts up to 18 hours and is sweat, water, smudge and kiss proof. If you need help finding a distributor who sells the products, I have someone who can help you!
4. Packing Cubes
Help your special someone stay organized on their vacation with packing cubes. These are a lifesaver! I love using these to organize my pack and suitcase. I’m able to find everything in a timely fashion and see what I all packed. This is great for me because I only try to take a carry-on on my vacation. By seeing all the articles of clothing I’ve packed, I’m able to easily plan multiple different outfits. I also bring a laundry bag to put all my dirty clothes in.
5. High-quality luggage
If you’re looking to splurge on a special someone for a special occasion, luggage is the gift you’re looking for. Depending on how much your special someone travels, will determine how many pieces of luggage and what size to give them. A good starting point is buying them a nice and reliable carry-on
. If they tend to overpack, maybe a larger suitcase would be the best choice.
This is a traveler after my own heart. Gifts for these travelers need to be unique and sentimental. It’s less about the gift and more about the thought behind it.
1. Airbnb credit for a swanky stay on vacation
2. Scratch off maps
Seeing how many countries you’ve been is inspiring or motivating. Any traveler would love to have a scratch-off map
on their wall. This would also be a great housewarming gift for new homeowners.
-National Park map
3. A handmade wall calendar
A handmade gift is sometimes the most touching. You can scour Etsy
for some many travel-themed items. But this is one of my favorites, a hand-drawn calendar
4. Second-hand guidebook with notes scribbled in it
Whether the guide is from you or someone else, it’s a touching gift for a traveler. Quirky travelers love to see places that are actually worth it and not “tourist traps.”
One of my favorite travel books is “1,000 Places to See Before You Die.” It’s a great way to find travel inspiration. Over the years, I jotted down when I’ve been to each destination and what I loved there.
5. Travel-themed stationary
Quirky travelers want gifts that incorporate travels into their everyday life. Stationary or travel-themed cards
are a great gift for that special someone. Another thoughtful gift would be a journal for them to use on their upcoming travels or to make bucket lists they want to complete.
Is your special someone that loves to be connected to the outside world? Anything that has lots of lights and techy bells and whistles makes them go gaga. These are some ideal gifts for them.
1. International cell phone plan
Often times when you’re traveling in a foreign country, you won’t be able to use your cell phone. Upgrade your traveler with an international plan so they can be reached at all times. Or, they will be able to stay connected through social media and sharing snaps of their exciting adventure.
2. Mobile hotspot
For a nomad, it’s necessary to have a mobile hotspot to have internet on the go. Personally, I love being able to be connected while on the go. Visit your cell phone provider to find out which mobile hotspot would work best.
3. Cellphone that can take good photos
In this day and age, more and more people are opting to use their cellphones as their camera on vacation. There are so many cell phones that have high-quality cameras now that it makes your choice very easy.
4. GoPro for video
If home videos are more of your traveler’s thing, get them a GoPro. This also doubles as a great gift for an adventure traveler. This is actually another great gift for newlyweds, especially for them to use on their honeymoon.
4. Membership to a flight saving service
There are a number of websites that send cheap flight fares to your email. Many of them you can get free, but there are a few that you need to pay a small fee to get the premium membership. Premium memberships usually include last-minute deals and sometimes deals hand selected for you. One of my favorites is Scott’s Cheap Flights deal
Great gifts for any kind of traveler
1. Etsy prints
As a travel lover, anything that reminds me of travel is right up my alley. A travel quote
or a print of one of my favorite travel destinations
would be a great reminder to have over someone’s desk or to hang in their home. This is especially great for new homeowners.
2. Scrapbook of a trip you’ve taken together
Just returned from a vacation? Make a scrapbook for the loved ones who went on the trip with you. There are various ways you can do this. You can purchase a tradition scrapbook album when you pick the paper and have room to journal about the trip. Otherwise, an option is to make an album online through services like Shutterfly
. Not that ambitious? Frame a photo of their recent vacation or have a print enlarged for a wall canvas.
3. Digital picture frame for the traveler that has TOO many photos
If a scrapbook is unrealistic because the traveler has thousands of photos. Get them a digital picture
frame where all their photos can flit across the screen.
4. Coordinate bracelets
The newest trend in the travel world is coordinate bracelet
. Couples get engraved bracelets with coordinates that are special to them. But this gift could be easily given to someone who embarked on their first solo adventure.
Similarly, any other traveled-theme jewelry would also make a great gift. Some of my personal favorites are world watches,
starting a travel charm bracelet where you purchase a charm
of each destination that they’ve been to or compass earrings
6. Souvenirs from your vacation
Sometimes the best gifts are from abroad. If you’re returning from a vacation before Christmas or a loved one’s birthday, pick them something up on your travels. My sister did this when she went on her solo trip to Europe. I love the hand-carved, wooden, ox bookends that she bought me. Whenever I look at my bookshelf I feel loved that she thought of me even when she was thousands of miles away.
Hopefully, these ideas give you some inspiration for what to give your loved ones on the next special occasion. If you liked this gift guide, stay tuned for our next gift guide geared towards Christmas gifts coming soon!