Gift giving can be difficult for anyone, but especially onerous when buying for the traveler in your life. For instance, student travelers only have so much space. Active, adventure-seeking travelers are often ultra-light packers. Business travelers buy what they need for themselves!
How can you find the perfect gifts for people who love to travel?
It can be a lot to think about and to factor into your gift giving, which is why we’ve cut through the noise to bring you the best of the best in travel gifts—regardless of the type of traveler you’re buying for.
No matter your budget, keep scrolling to find our list of the best travel gifts of 2021.
The definitive list of the best travel gifts this year
Perfect for the international traveler or study abroad student, this all-in-one adapter/charger is easy to pack and easy to use. Great for iPhone/Smartphones and tablets, and computers, it works in over 150 foreign country wall outlets. Most importantly, it also includes 2 USB charge ports for your cell and a friend’s.
This gift is for the adventurer and one of the favorites on the best travel gifts of 2021. GoPro Cameras are the perfect gift for the person who travels for the thrill of it. It’s easy to connect to a smart device, compact (read: easy to pack), good quality, and durable! Whether they are intending to go white water rafting, skydiving, or meditating on a mountain top, a GoPro can capture all of it on camera #doitforthegram.
You know the ritual. The “try to get as much sleep on a plane as you can” ritual: Fluff the lumpy neck pillow, make sure your mouth is closed, and pray that your head won’t fall…again. It’s literally exhausting. Help your traveler get the sleep they deserve with this upgrade. This travel pillow is made of sweat resistant memory foam (with a washable cover) that includes a 3D eye mask and ear plugs.
Say so long to those $10 options at the airport. Give your friend one of the best gifts for a traveler—because they probably won’t splurge on this themselves!
Did we mention it also has over 2,900 positive reviews on Amazon?
“This pillow is GREAT! It’s a huge upgrade from those flat half moon things they used to call neck pillows! This pillow is soft enough to provide a good cushion to get rest, but firm enough to hold its shape. Compresses easily into the smaller bag provided you can throw into a backpack or carry-on so you’re not figuring out what to do with a neck pillow in the airport. Comes with earplugs and a basic eye mask, which also fit in the bag easily so you’re ready to rest anywhere. This is one pillow you won’t have to return!”
If you’ve ever flown internationally, you’re probably familiar with the numbing discomfort of swollen feet. That’s why we think one of the best gifts for people who travel is a pair of compression socks—we swear they’ll be more excited about getting “socks” as a gift when they’re as helpful as these.
Especially if your globe-trotter travels 10+ hour flights often, they are also well acquainted with the pins and needles of swollen feet. The good news is that there is a solution! These compression socks are perfect for international travel as they prevent troll feet, achy legs, and swollen ankles. Your traveler will hit the ground running as soon as they land abroad!
Headphones are a necessity for ANY trip, from the grocery store across the street to international travel across the pond… These noise cancelling headphones take it up to the next level, blocking out crying babies on long-haul flights, pesky buskers, or even constant overhead announcements.
How do they work? Most often, noise cancelling headphones use electronic processing to analyze ambient sound and attempt to generate the “opposite” sound. These headphones boast a thirty hour playtime per charge resulting in less noise, more sleep on the plane, and happier travels. Your traveler will never go back to regular ones, making noise canceling headphones one of the best travel gifts of 2021.
An oldie but a goodie for modern travelers, a reusable water bottle is a great gift is for the eco-conscious traveler in your life. This Nalgene water bottle comes complete with a multi-stage filtration system, dissipating fears of consuming bacteria found in tap water overseas. One filter replaces 550 single use plastic water bottles eliminating single use plastic water bottles, making it essential for this list of best travel gifts of 2020-2021:
“I bought this water bottle before a month-long trip to Peru, and I’m so glad I did! The tap water there is unsafe for drinking and most of the people in my group spent a lot of money buying bottled water from the market on a daily basis. Meanwhile, I was able to fill up from any tap and drink right away. I drank from many different hostels, airports and even questionable locations and never had an issue. It is one of the best gifts for people who love to travel, like me. I reused it every day for a month and it was durable as I kept taking it in and out of my day pack. I look forward to using this water bottle in many future travels.”
We’d be remiss if our list of best gifts for a traveler didn’t include a sturdy backpack. Perfect for the study abroad student, this backpack features a built-in USB port, shockproof laptop compartment, and a card slot on the shoulder strap convenient to keep transport /credit card for your daily commute. Shall we go on? This backpack is the best choice because of the back elastic bands to keep your backpack stable on rolling luggage, hidden pockets for accessories, and the built in rain cover. If that doesn’t convince you, maybe this review will.
“I scoured the internet searching for the perfect backpack that I’ll use on my upcoming trip to Europe. My main wish list was to have a backpack with hidden/back pockets, usb port, and shoulder support. At first I wasn’t too keen on having a backpack without front pockets, but after seeing this, I think it’s perfect as a carry-on piece where I don’t need to worry about someone opening a front pocket and trying to steal my snacks or socks. There are plenty of hidden pockets as well as easily accessible ones while wearing it. Give it as a gift for someone who loves to travel. They really made use of all available space. I love the laptop shock support as well.”
Having your phone die en route to the Colosseum or when you’re just about to snap a photo of the sunrise over Angkor Wat is one inconvenience your traveling friend will never have to worry about with an external battery charger. You can basically stop your search for the best gifts for a traveler here—this all-in-one portable charger just so happens to be the best, with nearly 13k positive reviews, 2 USB ports, and even a flashlight for emergencies.
“I travel internationally and sometimes take flights over 10plus hours that when you include time in airports and taxis and battery life in my devices that seem to run out of juice faster and faster, I really needed a powerful and dependable backup charger to make sure I was never out of power in my phone or iPad. I was already sold on Jackery value for money and performance however I was blown away I how quickly the backup charger would recharge my devices as well as take a charge when I am in a hotel and need to be juiced up and read to go the next day.” and
Music makes the world go ‘round. After all, there’s nothing like giving your friend the gift of listening to Harry Potter soundtracks while riding Scotland’s Jacobite Express steam train, aka the Hogwarts Express. Literal chills.
P.S. With Spotify Premium, you can give your world traveler the luxury of making their own global playlist without ads! So, yes, this is definitely one of the best gifts for people who love to travel.
Buy the best travel gift for your friends and family
What to give the traveler in your life can require a little more effort. No matter what type of traveler you’re buying for and no matter what your budget, we hope this definitive list helps in your search.
And while exploring gift options for the traveler in your life, remember to get out there and explore the world yourself. Travel is the gift that keeps on giving!
About the author:
Rebekah Bibee is a copywriter, digital marketer, and cat-herder. She writes about small businesses, best marketing practices, social media, and freelancing. In her free time, Rebekah is often preoccupied with the power of stories and how they inspire community-oriented action. Rebekah lives in Fort Lauderdale with her husband and two kittens. And would love to grab coffee if you ever visit.
Connect with her here on LinkedIn.