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Gifts for travel enthusiasts

Gifts for travel enthusiasts

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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.

Backpack traveler

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.

1. Backpack

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:

-Sleeping Bag

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!

-Camp Stove

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.

Luxury traveler

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 –

Flashy and eye-catching are the adjectives that these travelers love to hear. A luxury traveler would love an engraved or personalized passport covers or luggage tags. Better yet, you can get matching covers and tags. It’s been highly requested on my Instagram where I’ve found my passport cover. It was at TJ Maxx, so I’m not sure if you can find it still. But I found a similar passport cover on Amazon.


2. Guidebook

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 and L’Occitane.
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.

Quirky Traveler

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

I love staying in swanky and unique housing while I’m on vacation. Whether it’s a teepee, wigwam, igloo, yurt, treehouse or a beach condo I love sleeping in a home that’s so much unlike my own. On my bucket list is to stay in a glass igloo in Scandinavia and a treehouse in Costa Rica’s rainforest. Sign up with my Airbnb referral code and save $40 off their night stay. 

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

If they’re not international travelers yet, you can purchase a National Park scratch-off map or even buy states maps where they can scratch-off the cities they’ve visited.

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.

Techy traveler

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!

25 thoughts on “Gifts for travel enthusiasts”

  • Great ideas! My brother is on the move fairly often and I got him personalized luggage tags as a gift a few years ago. I have been wondering what else to get him ever since!! Pinning this for later!

  • What a great post! It’s funny you mention 1000 places to see before you die, my Mom recently picked this up for me at a thrift store. There’s a message written in the front and many places checked off. I love it so much more. It’s fun to imagine the person checking those off. The most thoughtful gift my husband got me, a personalized travel journal

    • I love books from thrift stores! They always have great stories to tell. And a personalized journal is a very thoughtful gift, that was sweet of him!

  • These are all great ideas and for every traveller too! I love the Airbnb credit idea, so difficult. The 1001 things to see book is also a must, even if you never get to see and do everything! Not a camper, but I do like the sound of having a lantern, sounds so romantic!

    • I wish I had some Airbnb credit right now — there are so many places I want to book, but they’re just a tad out of my budget. And lanterns are always great! Love using mine evening in the summer evenings in the backyard, even when we’re not camping. πŸ™‚

  • These are all fantastic suggestions. I would love to get some camping gear this year. Also the suggestion of a membership to get cheap flights is perfect so many people won’t buy this for themselves but would love this as a gift. T

    • Ah, I love camping gear! I have a little bit of an extensive collection. Let me know if you need any suggestions on a certain camping item!

  • There are some wonderful gifts for every genre of traveler here! I’m actually looking for a bag so will check out the Osprey Tempest bag, I haven’t found anything suitable yet. For those who love making videos, I agree a GoPro would be perfect!

    • I love going to REI or Scheels and looking at their bags. It’s great that you can try them on and find the perfect fit for you! And I’m slightly obsessed with GoPros πŸ˜›

  • I am a backpacker at heart and an outdoor enthusiast. I have heard good things about High Sierra’s backpacks. I like that it has many pockets. Helps in compartmentalizing things. I have heard of Osprey for the first time though. Will check it out.

  • What a fun and diverse list! I’ve seen posts like this before, but none have been organized the way you’ve chosen. I like how you recognize that there are different types of travelers around and they don’t all want the same stuff. I really love the idea of a second-hand travel book or guide with stuff highlighted and scribbled in. It’s like getting a used textbook with “surprises” in every chapter!

  • You have some really great tips here just in time for Christmas, I love the idea of getting someone a second-hand Gudiebook with notes but I am not to sure it would go down well. I write all over my travel books and I have the same book as they one in your picture, I also have sections of it highlighted that I have been too. I am a huge fan of the scribble map, I have bought a few now for friends and they love them.

  • You literally hit the nail on the head for these!! My mom bought me a backpack, the packing cubes and a bunch of other stuff on this list one year because of my trip!! I am probably a combination of all of these πŸ˜‰ The mobile hot spot is a must!!

  • I love that you didn’t go the generic route with this gift guide. There truly are plenty of gift ideas to choose from. The key is to identify what type of traveler the person is. The techy traveler ideas are so cool!

  • This is a great list! Travel sized toiletry is extremely useful! They save up so much space and weight. I am also a big fan of packing cubes!

    • Thank you! And I adore travel-sized toiletries! It’s also a great way to test products without buying a huge bottle. πŸ™‚

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