Based on our many years of travel, and having now visited over 70 countries, here are our gift ideas for frequent travelers. Find something on this list to make your own (or someone you know) travels a bit better!
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Gifts to Inspire Wanderlust
A Travel Magazine Subscription
A subscription to a Travel magazine – This can inspire wanderlust all year long! A couple of our favorite travel magazines include National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Gourmet Traveler, Outside or Travel & Leisure.
The Best Travel Books
There are some great books out there to motivate you to get up and go! Some suggestions:
The Ultimate Travelist – from Lonely Planet- top 500 places on the planet as voted by readers. It includes both natural and man-made places. Having traveled more than most I was somewhat surprised both by how many places I had actually been to, but also by the number with which I was not familiar. A great book to inspire you to get planning.
Other great options:
- Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World’s Most Amazing Places (National Geographic)
- 1000 Places to See Before you Die
- World Heritage Sites: A Complete Guide to 1,031 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
And if you love discovering great food when you travel, our 15 Terrific Gift Ideas for Travelers that Love Food has some other great book ideas.
Essentials for Any Frequent Traveler
With most airline limiting check baggage to 45-50 pounds or 20-23 kilos, it matters how much your suitcase weighs. If you haven’t bought new luggage recently, a lightweight suitcase can be MUCH lighter than your old luggage. Newer 28″ or 29″ luggage can weigh as little as 7-9 pounds vs. close to 14 pounds for older bags.
If you travel a lot- look for luggage with a good repair warranty as you may need it.
If you are looking to go lighter in weight a duffel bag without wheels can be a fantastic option; the Osprey Transporter 65L weighs in at only 1 pound. And like all Osprey packs, it has a lifetime warranty that covers everything!
You think you will remember, but as time goes on names and impressions fade. A travel journal is a great way to capture the sights, sounds, and impressions while they occur.
After many incarnations of travel journal- we prefer light weight and with an elastic band or magnetic fold so the pages don’t get bent, folded or damaged in your bag. Some travel journals even have a handy envelope in the back to store tickets, maps, etc.
Staying Organized while Traveling
Travel Document Holder
A good carrier to organize your itinerary, tickets, and passports keeps all your important documents in one place. A leather or heavy canvas or nylon carrier will last for years. We recommend one that zips, so your documents stay safe.
An Organizer for Electrical Cords
In our modern world it is possible to travel with a never ending array of electrical gadgetry. A good organizer for all those cords, headphones, etc. will keep them neat and organized.
Lots of options are available: square/rectangle, roll-up or lay flat. You can certainly find one that works for you. Having these cords and chargers all in one place makes them easy to find when you need it.
And a tip: buy things in different bright colors, it makes them easy to find in your bag.
An E-Reader or Tablet
An e-reader or tablet is great for carrying numerous books, including a guide book, maps, itineraries and of course a great book to read without adding a lot of bulk. We have found the Kindle particularly helpful especially while traveling in non-english speaking countries where it can be difficult or expensive to find a book or guide book.
And if you have a tablet or PC, you can still download Kindle’s free software and access Kindle books from any device.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noisy passengers on planes, loud talkers- all of that noise just disappears with noise cancelling headphones. So if you would like to travel in blissful silence, a good pair will be your best friend. (Helpful for sleeping on long flights as well.) Bose has long been setting the standard in noise cancelling headphones but there are less expensive options available.
Other Sleep Aids
A good travel pillow, eye mask and earplugs (if you don’t have noise cancelling headphones) will also help you get some sleep on the train or plane (or noisy hotel).
Not sure what to get the avid traveler in your life? More and more sites offer gift certificates. If you want to give a travel experience but are not sure what, sites link Tinggly City Discovery and many more offer you the ability to buy a gift certificate. The traveler can use the gift certificate on their choice of hundreds of activities and destinations.
In the digital age it is easy to make professional looking photo books to commemorate your trip. There are a number of sites offering great software for you to upload your photos, add your own captions or graphics and have it beautifully printed. Make one for someone you know or order a gift certificate for them to make their own. Our recommendation is My Publisher- their books are very high quality and the software is easy to use. (Tip: Subscribe to their newsletter to receive special offers and discounts.) Gift certificates are available.
Many (most?) airlines are now obsessed with the weight of your luggage. One pound over and it can cost you a fortune or you may have to repack your bag at the airport!
Get a good travel scale and all of this goes away. They are highly accurate and you can avoid any surprises at the airport. This has saved us a ton of time and money!
Water Bottle and Carrier
A refillable water bottle and a reusable, folding carrier come in handy. Staying properly hydrated will make you feel better. And with a separate carrier it’s easy to find and use.
We use these constantly. Need a beach bag, bought some shopping, too warm and want to take your coats off, etc. The uses for these folding, reusable bags are endless.
With many places banning plastic bags, these come in handy when you need groceries as well.
Universal Adaptor Plugs
We have one universal adaptor plug that works everywhere and it has two USB charging plugs on it as well. We know we will be able to charge anything upon arrival.
We have a couple of other plugs that work only in certain countries we can add if required, but a universal adaptor plug removes the need to know and have power plugs for each country.
First Aid Kit
We carry a small first aid kit in our hiking backpack. It has all the essentials- bandaids, tablets, hydrolyte, etc. We can use this for minor cuts and needs. Very helpful when you are not near a shop or somewhere that does not speak your language.
We always travel with a camera. We have a Canon DSLR. An entry level Canon DSLR is very reasonably priced these days. The beauty of a DSLR is you can start in fully automatic mode and as you become a better photographer move into manual mode!
Icebreaker Merino Wool Clothing
Icebreaker is one of our favorite brands of clothing when we travel. Not specifically a “travel” brand, Icebreaker’s merino wool clothing is machine washable. It is great in cool or warm weather and can be layered to keep you warm without being bulky. Wool clothing breathes and you can wear it for days without it smelling (great for when you don’t have access to a washing machine.)
We hope you found our gift ideas for frequent travelers useful, If you have other gifts to buy, you might enjoy these for some gift giving inspiration:
And if you have any other suggestions or items you can’t travel without, or you think is great gift ideas for frequent travelers leave us a comment. (no URL required to leave a comment).