Looking for some travel gifts and ideas to buy for your friends and family? We’ve got you covered with the best travel gift ideas you can possibly want.
Every year, I struggle with what I should buy my loved ones for Christmas. When it comes to my aunts, uncles, young cousins, and even friends who are traveling to my area, it’s especially tricky.
I don’t see them often yet I know there just HAS to be something that will fit their personality and yet is something nearly anyone can use or would enjoy.
There are a ton of gift options that are ideal for on-the-go people. I like to pick out items that would make their travels easier, more comfortable, and more entertaining.
My personal go-to’s have been things with a quirky appeal that are unique to my friends’ and family members’ tastes.
When I show that I’ve put careful thought into getting them a present, it’s made them smile and hold onto it for years.
It doesn’t even need to be pricey!
Top Travel Gift Ideas for Holidays, Weddings & Birthdays
For example, I got the happiest and excited response was about a manicure/pedicure at-home spa set that only cost about $30 on Black Friday weekend. What a score!
The following are types of gifts I just know someone in your life is sure to love.
Best Flying & Lodging Travel Gifts
Subscription-based travel gifts can be great as they are the gifts that keep on giving. To give a travel subscription as a gift, you simply need to pay for an annual subscription upfront.
You wouldn’t want the receiver of a gift to have to pay for something… That defeats the whole purpose of a gift.
Scott’s Cheap Flights
A Scott’s Cheap Flights premium subscription makes for an excellent gift for the avid traveler. Scott’s Cheap Flights is an email-based subscription service that automatically sends insane flight deals directly to your inbox.
Scott’s Cheap Flights makes for an excellent gift idea as the traveler will instantly receive great flight deals that will help them explore the world. Once they book that insanely cheap flight, they will instantly be thinking about you.
Wait until they actually go on the trip… They’ll be so grateful to have received an amazing experience for an affordable price.
Want to learn more about this service? Read our full review of Scott’s Cheap Flights.
Airline, Hotel or Airbnb Gift Cards
People have mixed feelings about gift cards. Particularly about giving them and receiving them. I’m not here to help you judge if that’s the right gift for someone or not.
I’m here to help you identify different ideas that actually ideal for travel. Gift cards are an excellent option for avid travelers in my opinion. Personally, I’d be elated if someone were to give me a travel gift card, no matter if that’s for hotel, lodging or airfare.
The one thing stopping me from traveling ALL the time is simply the cost of flying or the cost of lodging, so anytime I can get help in that department I’ll take it. It’s one of the reasons why I’m so passionate about travel hacking. I love traveling for as little as a cost to me as possible.
The good news is that there is no shortage of options for purchasing gift cards for travel. You can buy them for things like:
- GetYourGuide (for tours that travelers can take on their trip),
- Priority Pass,
- The list goes on and on.
There’s something for everyone. If you know that a friend or family member, is traveling to a certain destination you can get them a tour with GetYourGuide or book an Airbnb.
Grab these most gift cards on Amazon for a great price and you’ll be in good hands.
Best Travel Gifts for Comfort and Organization
We all know how important it is to feel comfy and “in your zone” when you’re in unfamiliar places or on a fast-paced holiday trip. You can’t go wrong with a practical gift that makes travel more convenient and comfortable.
These are just a few that I especially like to buy.
Packing cubes are great for you guessed it – packing! They keep items sorted and neat in your luggage. Who wouldn’t want to have a tidy travel bag?
It saves time and effort when you want to break out your reading glasses, book, medicine, slipper socks, etc. after that long trip once you get to the family’s house or the hotel.
eBags Light 5-piece Packing Cube is at the top of my list. I find that they’re so lightweight and durable.
They have self-repairing coil zippers with corded pulls so that they last for a long time. The nylon and silicone inside of them make them easy to fill.
I do have to admit that they don’t stand up like they’re supposed to by themselves and they’re a little expensive for the quality but if you find a deal they definitely are worth it.
Check out these top wheeled garment bags for luggage ideas.
Soft, cushy slippers will make anyone feel amazing! This is something I like to put in a care package when I know my friends will be on the road a lot, whether it’s for work, the holidays, or just for leisure.
I’ve gotten a few ladies the Snoozies Skinnies Women’s Lightweight Travel Flat slippers. They absolutely raved about these flats and I decided I needed to get a pair for myself.
These slippers are great to wear after you’ve had a long day on a plane, train, or in the car. They’re easy to carry no matter how you’re traveling.
You can put them right in the washing machine and they won’t shrink! They’re true to size (not wearing socks). Snoozies women’s travel slippers come in a variety of designs.
The only thing I’d say to watch out for is that you’re okay with flats that are so lightweight they’re almost like socks.
A travel blanket (that you can also use as a pillow with its pillowcase bag) is simply delightful! If you know that person on your shopping list would prefer to use their own bedding when traveling, this is an excellent gift. It even can be used on long train, plane, or car rides.
The EverSnug Travel Blanket/Pillow with Pillowcase are among my favorites in this category. Ths soft bag pillowcase makes it easy to take out and use wherever you are.
The backpack clip and luggage belt handle makes it easier to carry even if you have a bunch of other things you’re carrying. At 65 inches by 40 inches, you can share the blanket with your traveling companion.
It’s lightweight yet super comfy – I love taking this camping with me and breaking it out early in the evening. You’ll want to be careful when washing it as I’ve gotten some complaints it doesn’t go so well on the normal washing machine settings.
Check out these beach blankets if you know a beach lover.
Casserole Carrier Bag
Want to be able to make up a casserole and take it on that long drive to your loved one’s house on Christmas Eve? I love to bring insulated food carriers for a potluck dinner with friends or family. They keep your food warm and as fresh as possible.
This double casserole carrier bag expands and it’s thermal-lined so your food will stay warm for hours. It has double compartments that hold standard sized dishes of 9×13” to 11×15”. The compartments are water-tight and leakproof in case there’s any spillage.
The zipper is easy to find and use, super durable so you don’t have to worry about it breaking. You’ve got to love how it comes along with matching potholders. This carrier is both functional and stylish.
My only issue with it is that I can’t take it on longer road trips (unless I plan to eat the food or bring it to someone’s house a few hours into the trip).
Who doesn’t like to wrap themselves up in a nice, cozy robe after a shower or long day on the road (or on a plane/train)? It’s such a great feeling, especially when you find one that’s just the right fit for your body and feels so soft and luxurious.
I purchased the Nautica Long-Sleeve Plush Collar robe for my father and two of my uncles last year. All of them said they immediately felt warm and comfy after putting on their bathrobes.
My one uncle took his on a few plane rides and a road trip to use during and after. He was amazed at how versatile the robe is and that it has a nice shawl collar to keep him warmer with any other robe he’s had.
The pockets in the front make it really convenient since he likes to keep his iPod and wallet close while traveling. If you like polyester and don’t mind waiting a bit longer for it to dry, this is a perfect robe for your holiday travels.
Best Electronic Gifts for Travel
From portable DVD players you can use in your car to music gadgets like iPods, there’s so much in the electronics category that’s appealing. Given their nature, these items are so easy to bring with you when you travel.
Most are fairly lightweight and you can get cases or holders that protect them (as well as being able to put many of these right in your travel tote or travel purse. Best of all, you’ll have a means of getting your favorite form of entertainment anywhere you go with your electronics.
Think about getting one or more for someone special!
Handheld Gaming Device
You’ll see your child’s/grandchild’s eyes light up when you get them a handheld gaming device! You might even get one for yourself so you can play right alongside them while on the plane or train. These typically come with a whole lot of games already loaded on them so you don’t have to fuss with cartridges or downloading anything.
Just pure ol’ fun playing classic and more modern games in a small device you can fit into a coat pocket or in your travel bag with ease.
One of the more popular devices today is the Nintendo Switch. The graphics on this are AMAZING and it has features like a gyroscope, accelerometer, and advanced HD Rumble with the Joy-Con controllers that give them a subtle vibration while you’re playing games that are compatible with the feature.
Play in one of 3 modes – TV, Tabletop, or Handheld. It comes with a 128GB MicroSD card and the battery lasts for about 4.5 to more than 9 hours.
You can download and purchase games to load on.
Everything is fairly easy to use, the only complaint I’ve heard from some friends and family is that the right side of the controller is a bit crowded and they wish there were a convenient way to keep all of those accessories together provided with it.
WiFi Signal Booster
It’s always a good idea to make sure you’re covered when on trips and you want to be able to use multiple devices for the Internet or network connection. A WiFi signal booster does just that! Most of them provide signal at a fairly good distance from the signal booster box.
The NETGEAR WiFi Range Extender EX3700 is a top-notch wireless signal booster. It provides up to 1000 square feet of coverage and can connect up to 15 devices including smartphones, tablets, speakers, laptops, and many other types. It has great speed at 750Mbps with dual band and patented FastLane technology. Use it with any cable model, wireless router, or gateway as long as it has WiFi capability.
I like that I can plug in my wired devices, game consoles, and more and still get the same speed no matter where I go that has an outlet. The thing that I had a tough time with is that when there was an issue, it was difficult to get ahold of customer support. It also doesn’t always work with gateways or routers that have altered firmware.
Check out these other top travel routers to bring with you on your trips.
Garmin Instinct Tactical GPS Watch
All my friends who are outdoor enthusiasts love the latest gadgets when they are out having fun. I enjoy giving a watch with extra tech features that are ideal for navigation and make it easier to explore at night.
I love this rugged and reliable GPS watch and think it’s one of the best travel gifts. It has so many useful features, including night vision mode and stealth mode to turn the GPS off. I like the TrackBack feature that follows the same route back that I came.
Because it is made to military standards, it is heavy duty and can take some blows! I have knocked it around a bit out in the field and it is unphased. This watch has to be one of my favorite GPS devices I have ever owned.
The only thing I have to complain about is that the HD screen protector film doesn’t work all that well.
Electronic Organizer Case
With so many devices available and in use, all the cords and accessories get overwhelming. I know I have had to untangle masses of USB cables and other power cords. This case is a lifesaver for me and it also makes a good gift for people in your life with lots of electronics.
The Electronic Organizer, BUBM Travel Cable Bag/USB Drive Shuttle Case is a fantastic way for someone like me to stay on top of all my electronic cables and power cords. Especially when I travel, this case is so nice and handy and actually saves me from stressing out sometimes.
The durable waterproof nylon shell is good at repelling moisture and dirt to keep my cables in good shape. I also like the cool color options. One drawback is that the case can be a little overwhelming itself with all the configuration options. Overall, this is an excellent little case to add to a stocking stuffer gift list.
See Related: Best Travel Backpacks
Best Media Gifts for Travel
Whether you have people on your shopping list who like to read, listen to books/music, or do something else entirely, media is a great idea as gifts for frequent travelers.
Classical Music CD Collection
I like soothing classical music when I am driving and traveling to keep me relaxed. It is a good gift to give someone too if they travel a lot or just for general relaxation anywhere. Classical music fans will recognize these timeless classics.
The Most Relaxing Classical Music in the Universe is rightly titled because it is one of the most pleasant albums I have ever owned. I am a busy person and I need to de-stress from work and travel. This album has some of the most well known classical songs like Clair De Lune, Moonlight Sonata, and Greensleeves. I find travel time flies with this 2 cd set.
One thing I will say though is I would like just a little more variety as many of the tracks in this collection are a little too familiar. But, overall it is a very enjoyable and soothing addition to any classical music collection.
One of my favorite ways to pass the time when I don’t feel like looking at a screen or the pages of a physical book is to listen to an audiobook. I know several people in my life who also enjoy doing just that so I make sure to buy these for at least a few people on my Christmas list each year.
One of the books that I’ve gotten for a few people is Where the Crawdads Sing. Young and older friends alike have really enjoyed this one. It’s so descriptive, exciting, and suspenseful.
The scenes are written in a picturesque way that comes across well in the audio version. It’s insightful yet an unnerving story that will make you want to keep listening.
The audio is just over 12 hours long which is ideal for a long road trip one way, or to listen to on a plane or train ride then finish up while you unwind after a day of hustle and bustle.
Of course, you can’t beat the classic presents for travelers – books! Pick up a book that you love, or something that you know your friend or family member has been looking for a while. If you know someone who’s about to go on a trip and will have down-time during travel or at night, books will make a perfect gift.
Nala’s World: One Man, His Rescue Cat, and a Bike Ride Around the Globe is an illustrated book that only recently came out. I picked up a copy for myself when I saw it was available after seeing it on a book guide online.
This frolicking adventure of non-fiction documents Dean Nicholas and his cat on their travels through Greece, Georgia, Turkey, and other countries that were first posted on Instagram. It also explains how they met and what kind of antics they got into during their time traveling.
It was really sad at parts so anyone who is sensitive to talk of drugs and alcohol that the author describes as a part of his earlier lifestyle.
Best Food & Beverage Travel Gifts
Insulated Travel Mug
There are so many travel mugs to choose from out there and if I am going to give one as a gift, I want it to be high quality. That is why I like this one a lot.
This mug really does stay sealed which is good for me because I am clumsy and have broken many a coffee mug over the years. It feels pretty durable and can take a few tumbles without much damage. It holds the perfect amount of coffee and tea that I like to drink.
Plus, I primarily drink hot drinks and it goes the distance keeping them warm for hours.
I am not sure how long the button for one hand drinking will last, but the color options and other features including affordability make this travel mug one of my favorites.
Hot Chocolate Gift Basket
Chocolate is one of my favorites of all time whether it is candy bars or other treats. and of course, who doesn’t love hot chocolate? It also makes a great gift for someone during the chilly winter months.
This Thoughtfully Gifts Godiva Hot Chocolate and Coffee Set satisfies my chocolate and coffee craving. With a white and elegantly gold styled mug, it is nice to share with others.
Since I drink tons of coffee, it was a fantastic addition in this set that really sets it apart from just cocoa gift sets.
The truffle coffee was really yummy and the dark and milk chocolate cocoa mixes are really tasty with both milk and dark mix. It is such a nice gift too for any people you know who love chocolate as much as me!
I would have liked a little more different mixes, maybe mint chocolate. A great set for the holiday season with high-quality Godiva chocolate.
Pet Food Travel Bags
It’s now easier than ever to feed your pet while on the road (or while camping, at a family member’s house, etc.). Organization and convenience are so important when it comes to this. Keep everything in one place and avoid unnecessary spills and messes.
The Teamoy Silicone Collapsible Water Resistant Organizer is absolutely amazing. I’ve used it with my own dogs and am about to purchase one (or a few) for other people. It has 2 food carriers, 2 collapsible bowls, and 1 water-resistant placemat.
It’s roomy enough to carry other supplies for your dog as well and it has several divided spaces for ease-of-use. I wish it had an I.D. tag for when I bring my dogs to the kennel and that it had a solid base to it.
See Related: Cat Sedation Tips for Travel
Best Kids and Family Travel Gifts
Children can get really fidgety on road trips even if they have music to listen to toys that they’re able to hold onto. That’s where family/kids’ travel gifts come into play.
You can get top travel gifts that will keep kids and adults alike entertained and engaged in learning and creativity.
Magnetic Racing Game
Kids and car travel can be a bit of a challenge. However, instead of just using devices for entertainment, it is an excellent opportunity to play more games and puzzles. This portable game makes a great gift.
My kids are entertained when we are on the go with this great little magnetic car racing game. It is so simple and portable providing an inexpensive way to add some fun to otherwise tedious car rides. This little set works well for the price point and I was impressed with the details and design.
It functions well and is fun to play so that is a bonus. It does seem like it may not hold up for years, but it is a good stocking stuffer for younger kids and maybe even some nostalgic adults!
This racing game makes a great addition to a game collection because you can never have too many games!
Family Card Game
Card games you can play as a family regardless of the age of the participants is great fun! It’s even better if there’s some kind of educational element to it. Guessing games make for an exciting time that can last for hours and keep little ones occupied during long car rides.
Family Charades is a favorite of my own family. I’ve also bought it for my cousin’s and sister’s families since I knew that they spend a ton of time in the car, whether it’s for holiday travel or the average daily trips.
It has more than 300 charades and meant for 2 players up to as many as want to play. It’s ideal for ages 8 and up for vacations, family game nights, and mellow parties.
The only thing I see wrong with it is that the cards are light and not coated at all.
A travel journal is a wonderful gift for someone of any age. I find it’s really inspiring and fun for kids to have a way to record their observations and thoughts on trips.
You’ll always remember your adventures during holiday travels with this bold, bright travel journal from Lonely Planet Kids. It features a bunch of writing topic suggestions, ideas to get you thinking more creatively, and lists that make this a really interesting book.
The travel journal is among my younger cousins’ favorite gifts that I’ve given them before they leave my house (since they have to travel half the day to get here).
Travel Builder Sets
Kids love to build! Adults also really like to use building sets like LEGOs to make some amazing creations. Get creative together while on the go with a builder set that comes with a carrying case.
I love the LEGO Classic Creative Suitcase Building Kit. This kit contains 213 classic style pieces that will help you tap into your imagination. My friend, her husband, and their children get into playing with these on trips while in the car, in hotels, and sprawled on the floor on holidays with members of the extended family.
This is one of the top fun travel gift ideas. I just wish that the top of the case had a LEGO attachment grid for even more convenience and fun.
Drawing and coloring are beloved activities no matter the age or level of skill. With the right tools and means of support, it’s totally possible to draw away wherever you are.
The Crayola Light Up Tracing Pad lets little creative minds flourish. I got one for my cousin’s son and he uses it as often as possible on longer car trips.
I think it will be a big hit for my friends with kids this Christmas.
Since it lights up, you can use it even in low-light settings and this also makes it easier to trace lines. It comes with a graphite pencil, 12 short colored pencils, 10 blank sheets, and 10 tracing sheets.
You do need to purchase 3 AA batteries for the pad. It doesn’t fit your standard A4 size paper but it’s easy enough to fix the page so it doesn’t shift too much.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the best gifts for travelers?
The best gifts for travelers include anything that makes traveling easier or more cost-effective. A traveler simply wants to travel. A gift that involves airfare, lodging, transportation or anything making those processes easier will be a great match as a gift.
What do you buy a travel lover?
When looking for gifts for a travel lover, always look for portability. People that like to travel people like practical gifts that can be used in a variety of situations.
How do you give someone the gift of travel?
The best way to give someone the gift of travel is by providing the opportunity to experience something new. Most means of travel comes at a cost or travel can be made by means of your existing resources. You can give travel through a monetary means or give the time and resources to someone to create an experience.