The Most Unique Gift Ideas — From Quirky to Thoughtful
Sure, we all love to give (and get) a cozy sweater or the latest iPhone, but it’s those gifts that are a bit out there — the ones that are truly unique — that make the biggest splash at the birthday party or holiday gift exchange.
Whether you want to give your mom something other than a gift card this year, or you’re hunting down a present that reflects your best friend’s quirky spirit, the editors at Travel + Leisure have got you covered. From slippers that heat up your feet to a bubble wrap-inspired calendar, we’ve rounded up a selection of gifts that are sure to stand out this year.
And while you’re here, take a look at the rest of Travel + Leisure’s gift guides for creative and thoughtful ideas for literally everyone on your list (like your dad who always seems impossible to shop for, or your coworker who is very particular about her coffee).
Scratch Off World Map Poster
You could get an ordinary map and pin every country you’ve been to like everyone else — but where’s the fun in that? With this scratch off map, your favorite traveler will enjoy uncovering a world full of color, country by country. As a bonus, the poster comes with stickers they can attach to the cities they've explored.
To buy: amazon.com, $29
Portable Cat Tea Mug
This adorable cat shaped tea cup is the perfect addition to any office or camping trip. Your favorite tea aficionado can use it as both a teapot and a mug — and if they prefer tea leaves to tea bags, it also comes with a removable strainer.
To buy: amazon.com, $16
Do Something Dice
Have friends who can never seem to make up their minds on what they want to do? These dice will do all the decision-making for them. Each die is placed into one of four categories: exercise, sights, food, and nightlife. They can roll one (or more) to let fate decide where the day should take them, whether it’s to the museum or the beach, an upscale restaurant or an ice cream shop.
To buy: uncommongoods.com, $12
Heat-Up Plush Slippers
If your friend, cousin, or daughter is always complaining about how cold her feet are, she will love these adorable slippers. When she connects them to her computer with a USB cord, they’ll heat up to provide much-longed for comfort while she’s working or catching up on her favorite shows.
To buy: urbanoutfitters.com, $35
Low Profile Under Desk Elliptical
With all those health warnings against sitting at a desk all day long, we’re always looking for ways to keep us moving. Enter: this low profile, under-desk elliptical. Its small size makes it easy to hide, and it's designed to deter uncomfortable knee-to-desk contact when pedaling.
To buy: thegrommet.com, $249
Binge Watching Beauty Kit
Treat your best pal to an evening of Netflix and pamper. This soothing beauty kit includes cleansing towelettes, fuzzy socks, hand lotion, lip balm, a beauty mask, a sofa yoga guide, and a mini snack clip. Binge watching doesn’t get more glamorous than this.
To buy: papersource.com, $23
Phone Storage Workout Bottle
All the fitness gurus in your life can carry everything they could possibly need while they run, hike, or work out in this handy water bottle. It has space for storing a phone, keys, money, and gym membership ID — and for those who can’t exercise without music, there’s also a port they can pull their headphones through.
To buy: uncommongoods.com, $22
Bubble Wrap Calendar
Counting the days of the month has never been more satisfying or stress-reducing. Every date on the calendar is covered in a bubble your friends and kids (or anyone else in your life who can’t get enough of bubble wrap) can pop to mark off the day. The calendar also comes with extra bubbles for when they can’t stop at just one.
To buy: amazon.com, $25
The Bouqs Co. Succulents and Plants
The Bouqs Co. is now allowing you to send much more than bouquets to your botanically-inclined loved ones. You can gift pre-potted batches of mini succulents, orchids, air plants, and more. Or if you'd rather go the traditional floral route, opt for a subscription plan, which schedules fresh arrangements to be sent once a week, every two weeks, once a month, or every two months.
To buy: bouqs.com, from $46
These gorgeous birdcage chandeliers, table lamps, and floor lamps will add an artful touch to any home. Plus, the elegant gifts are perfectly customizable: You can choose which colors you’d like the hand painted birds to be, and the birds have magnets for easy arranging and rearranging on the twigs.
To buy: etsy.com, from $170
60 Hour Candle
In a perfect blend of utility and coziness, this coiled beeswax candle claims to burn longer and more efficiently than any other. Feed a three-inch section of wax through the candle clip, light it, and voila: one hour of candlelit comfort, no extinguishing necessary.
To buy: uncommongoods.com, $18 – $30
Whether this 40 oz. drink mixer is for concocting martinis or for decoration (or both), its beautiful and functional design promises to make the perfect addition to any jet-setter’s wet bar or drink cart.
To buy: amazon.com, $46
Bring back the ‘90s with this fun keychain game. It may be a smaller and simpler than the one we all grew to know and love — but millennials will still have fun reliving their childhoods while they take care of their digital pets.
To buy: amazon.com, $14