The Best Gift Ideas for Travelers
Share has become a go-to word for travelers. We’ve always shared our vacation photos, videos, and stories, but we’re also increasingly sharing our homes, our cars, and our dinner tables, thanks to companies like Airbnb. Human connection is often one of the most rewarding experiences of being in a new place. It's an indescribable feeling to find just as much warmth with a stranger as you have with your loved ones at home.
Our favorite gifts will help capture those memories, inspire future adventures, and make life on the road easier and more enjoyable. Some gifts will encourage travelers to get creative in commemorating their trips. Xenvo's phone camera lenses, for instance, combine the artsy fun of a traditional camera with the gratification of an immediate share to your friends on Instagram.
Some of the items that mean the most are the ones that help the wider world share in our good fortune. Give a lightweight camping hammock and you’ll also be funding outreach programs for underprivileged kids, or support efforts to conserve and promote U.S. National Parks with a cool graphic tee.
Whether it’s a gift for a holiday or a special occasion, these ideas will make meaningful presents for your fellow world wanderers. And don't miss out on the rest of Travel + Leisure's 2018 Gift Guides, where we've curated this year's best gift ideas for anyone you're shopping for: coffee lovers, aviation geeks, long-distance friends, and many, many more.
Try The World Subscription Box
The most satisfying way to get to know a place is through its food — and it doesn’t require leaving home, thanks to a new generation of artisanal subscription services. One of our favorites is Try The World, which curates a selection of snacks, ingredients, and beverages from a different country every month (Chile is pictured above). More gifts for foodies here.
To buy: trytheworld.com, from $19
‘I Was Here’ Travel Journal
City Map Glass
This intricate city map glass transcends typical cocktail glasses in style and creativity at a very reasonable price — and you've got to love a gift that looks more expensive than it actually is. They're made in the U.S. and hand-etched in New Hampshire and you can get a pair featuring their favorite city streets for just over $30.
To buy: uncommongoods.com, $16 each
A Birchbox Subscription
Could there be a more convenient way to stock a Dopp kit? With Birchbox, recipients will receive monthly boxes of travel-sized skincare, grooming, or makeup products from trusted brands like Kiehl's and MAC Cosmetics. P.S. We've got plenty more subscription gift ideas travelers will love.
If you haven't yet heard of Away, it's likely you've seen its hardside suitcases in your Instagram feed or rolling alongside celebrities like Karlie Kloss and Jessica Alba. The brand's stylishly spare luggage has quickly become a cult-favorite with travelers for its indestructible design, easy internal organization, and built-in USB charger, which is removable to comply with airline regulations.
To buy: awaytravel.com, from $225
Everlane Twill Weekender
Everlane is a pioneer of transparent pricing in fashion, selling designer-quality product often for less than half of the traditional retail price. This water-resistant duffel is sized to fit easily into all overhead compartments, has an external pocket for easy on-the-go access to items like a passport or boarding pass, and the base is screen-printed 11 times over for resistance to any dirty floors or wet grass it may encounter.
To buy: everlane.com, $115
Mark and Graham Monogrammed Leather Accessories
Mark and Graham has the most fun with colors and designs when it comes to travel accessories (and gift wrapping is always free!). For a gift that feels even more personal, you can add a foil-debossed monogram to each for $9.50.
The Trtl Pillow
Is there anything better than dozing off before takeoff and coming to the minute the wheels touch down? For the traveler who agrees, our editors wholeheartedly suggest this travel "pillow," which is actually more like a scarf with a hidden support structure that cradles the head, even in the middle seat.
To buy: amazon.com, $30
Jet Set Candy Charms
Travel-inspired jewelry is a fun way for loved ones to wear their wanderlust even when they’re not on the road. Jet Set Candy designs 14K gold and sterling silver charms with airport tags from Portland to Bangkok and everywhere in between that look lovely on delicate necklace chains or chunky charm bracelets.
To buy: bloomingdales.com, from $68
Help your loved ones track previous and future adventures with this contemporary globe. Colored pins keep track of bucket-list destinations and favorite vacations, while the stainless-steel and cork design gives it a fresh, grown-up look
Xenvo iPhone Camera Lens Kit Pro
For a gift that'll excite the Instagram lover, look no further than the top-rated Xenvo lens kit, which turns any phone's built-in front or rear cameras into wide-angle and macro 15x lenses. It's compatible with all iPhone, Android, Samsung, and Google phone models. And with a weight of in at just under five ounces, there’s no reason to ever leave home without it.
To buy: amazon.com, $35
Flight 001 4-in-1 Adapter
This compact, Lego-like converter enables travelers to plug in in 150 countries, and it comes with a color-coded map to make it easy to determine which prong situation accompanies their destination.
To buy: amazon.com, $25
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera
There will always be something that feels more authentic about holding a photograph in your hand over saving it into a digital roll. This stylish instant camera is a step above others on the market, offering shooting modes for different environments and a smart flash that calculates exposure based on the distance of the subject for a just-right brightness.
To buy: amazon.com, $124
Airbnb Gift Card
Electronic gift cards are always a lifesaver when you're in need of a last-minute gift or one for someone too far away for an in-person exchange. And with Airbnb, your favorite explorers will be able to stay at unique places in 191 countries around the world or book immersive experiences with locals.
To buy: amazon.com, from $25
We've got more gift card ideas for travelers, too.
Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet
The latest Fire tablet is the ultimate packable entertainment center for the road warrior. It's got up to 400 GB of storage (and an extra memory card slot for those super-long flights) for books, movies, TV shows, podcasts, and songs and up to 10 hours of battery life to play it all. Plus, with the Show Mode Charging Dock, it can function just like an Echo Show when they're not on the road.
To buy: amazon.com, $110
Vintage-inspired Travel Prints
Slip Silk Eye Mask
One of our favorite sleep masks, this pure silk mask has been recommended by dermatologists and beauty experts for its crease-resistant properties. Silk doesn’t tug on the delicate skin around the eyes like cotton or other fabrics would, giving it an anti-aging reputation. Slip also makes silk pillowcases, which offer similar benefits to skin and promote soft, frizz-free hair.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $50
'How to Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip'
A must-read for anyone who hopes to master packing, this gorgeously illustrated book by Hitha Palepu of the lifestyle blog Hitha on the Go offers advice on not just what to bring, but the best way to bring it, too. Plus, the cover is pretty much begging to be Instagrammed. Here are 40 more gift ideas for $10 or less.
To buy: amazon.com, $10
Stow First Class Tech Case
This leather zipped case by English brand Stow is the sleekest way to keep track of tech essentials while in transit. It includes an international adapter set and a powerful black leather memory stick, and you can personalize it with up to four embossed letters. Did we mention it’s Meghan Markle–approved?
To buy: ahalife.com, $530
Cuyana Alpaca Double Face Cape
Every seasoned traveler knows that being prepared for temperature changes at any moment is crucial — and this cape is how to do it in absolute luxury. Made in Peru with 100% baby alpaca wool, it's the ultimate versatility piece for a travel wardrobe. It's reversible, too, with a windowpane check on one side and an elegant striped pattern on the other.
To buy: cuyana.com, $495
Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II
The QC 35s are truly the best noise-canceling headphones our editors have tested to date. This model's wireless, but comes with a cord so you can keep listening even when the Bluetooth battery dies. The latest iteration also has a built-in Google Assistant that allows you to vocally queue up music, receive texts, manage your daily tasks, and get answers no matter where you are.
To buy: amazon.com, $349
SK-II Facial Treatment Mask
Allbirds Wool Loungers
Allbirds' sneakers are essentially slippers you can wear anywhere. They're made with superfine New Zealand merino wool, which manages to be temperature-regulating, moisture-wicking, and so, so cozy all at once. Could there be a better in-flight shoe?
Saje Pocket Farmacy Essential Oil Blend Set
Wellness enthusiasts will adore this unconventional “pharmacy.” It packs five essential oil remedies for coughing, stress, an upset stomach, and more into a tiny, travel-sized pouch — including Saje's cult-favorite Peppermint Halo roll-on, which is heaven for a headache or neck pain.
To buy: saje.com, $60
Kammok Camping Hammock
Give your favorite adventurer (or adventurous couple) the Roo Double hammock, and the company will donate to Explore Austin, which supports the development of youth from low-income communities through time spent in the Great Outdoors.
To buy: amazon.com, $99
‘The Bucket List’ Photo Book
In these pages, the curious traveler can venture from the mountains of Sri Lanka to the waters of New Zealand and everywhere in between — all from the comfort of a fireside recliner.
To buy: amazon.com, $35
23andMe DNA Ancestry Test Kit
For an out-of-the-box gift idea, this at-home DNA testing kit turns a saliva sample into a detailed genetic history, enabling globetrotters to choose their next destination based on the places their families are truly from. The brand's popular Health + Ancestry kit ($199) is a much more in-depth option, which gives further insight into things like food intolerances, personality traits, and more.
To buy: amazon.com, $99