Hi travelers! The holidays are upon us, which means you’ve likely been inundated already (for the past month or so even?) with holiday-themed everything. Gift lists are no exception, to be sure, so when I thought about writing one I hesitated.
Gift giving (after trip planning) is kind of my jam. I LOVE thinking up personalized gifts for people and then watching them open them up at the holidays! So, what you will see on this list are a few of the regular, easy-to-grab gift ideas. What you will also see are fabulous gifts that take a decent amount of knowledge, listening and understanding of your giftee to pull off (and are also super easy!)
And aren’t those always the best?
Gift Idea #1: Fun-time Plane Kit
What it is: Get a stuff sack and fill it with your traveler’s favorite snacks, magazines, an eye mask and airplane pillow! (The stuff sack later doubles for a laundry bag.) Fun tip: Give this as an anytime gift and hide it in your pal’s carry-on for them to find when they hop on the plane. Bonus if you include a thoughtful, hand-written card.
Who would love it: Anyone who swoons over gifts that take some thought and planning. So, you know, everyone.
Gift Idea #2: Passport Case
What it is: Passport cases are basically fun sleeves for your passport! You can personalize them any way you’d like, but I like the basic, map of the world varieties. They also make passports easier to find at the bottom of your carry-on as they add some heft to the little guy.
Who would love it: Anyone who believes their passport is a prized possession, who would name it as their horcrux, who would grab it first if their house was on fire. You know who you are, and I love you.
Gift Idea #3: Scratch-off Map/Pin-it Map
What it is: I’m slightly obsessed with maps (check out my Pinterest board full of them here) and having a beautiful one to hang over your mantle is a lovely thing indeed. Most travelers I’ve met love them too, because it is something tangible to point to and dream up the next trip. Lots of folks on Etsy are selling gorgeous scratch-off maps (or maps to stick pins in) of places you’ve been. These make lovely gifts for frequent travelers and support small businesses at the same time! Win!
Who would love it: Travelers who have evidence of their travels decorating their homes already- photos of past trips, knick knacks they’ve picked up along the way. If they like having their travels all around them, they’d love a map to show where they’ve been.
Gift Idea #4: Travel Accessory Bag Filled with their Favorite Travel Size Toiletries
What it is: Go to REI and grab them this hanging toiletry bag, and then stuff it with all of their favorite travel size toiletry items from the dollar bins at Target. This is a super thoughtful gift if your traveler is anything like most people, and waits to get these boring items until the last minute!
Who would love it: Me! I would love it! And also: any traveler that doesn’t have super specific, hard to find toiletries that they insist on using. Save this gift for the traveler that is more go with the flow for their shampoo needs.
Gift Idea #5: Packing Cubes
What they are: Packing cubes are basically adorable little zippable pouches for your clothing/shoes/etc. I like to think of them as enclosed drawers for my suitcase. They come in all different sizes, but a great gift idea would be this five-pack from Amazon in your traveling pal’s favorite color.
Who would love them: These cubes are great for travelers who go on longer trips, who wear what they pack more than once, and who like to stay organized. Towards the end of the trip you can even convert what you use them for: clean clothes/dirty clothes, for example.
Gift Idea #6: Travel Goals Money Jar
What it is: A DIY gift when you are short on time and still want your traveling love to feel special. Get a jar/box/whatever (bonus if you decorate it up a bit) and put some kind of cash money inside. Talk to the giftee about how you’ve noticed they are always dreaming of (insert specific dream trip here) and that you wanted to get them started on making it a reality. Gift variation: Tell them you’re going to put away $5 per week for the next year towards their trip if they do the same.
Who would love it: All people everywhere. (I’m assuming here, but I’m right. Pretty sure.)
Gift Idea #7: Jewelry with Maps or Travel Quotations
What it is: A reminder of their lovely travels that they can wear! Be careful not to choose an overused quotation though. (I’m looking at you, “All those who wander are not lost!”) If they have a good one as part of their email signature or that they’ve posted on Instagram lately, that’d be a safe bet, and pretty thoughtful besides. If not, go the map route. (See what I did there?)
Who would love it: Pay attention to what kind of jewelry your traveling friend usually wears. Try to keep your gift in line with what they love. You don’t want a gift that gathers dust in the back of the undies drawer.
Gift Idea #8: A Whisked Away Travel Gift Card
What it is: Amazing?! Seriously, though. These puppies never expire and it gives you and your love a chance to go on and book together, dream of where you will be Whisked Away together, all of it. On the other hand, if you have a friend who has been itching to travel solo, this is a good way to get their feet wet. No worrying about details, just heading to the airport.
Who would love it: All of the travelers everywhere!