Best Gifts for Travelers 2017

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Best gifts for Travelers

Hanukkah, Solstice, or Christmas gifts for travelers can be tough. It’s tough to come up with gifts for people who like to travel, because those people usually don’t want much.

Our family just spent a year traveling around Europe so we have a lot of travel gift ideas. Frequent travelers don’t want a lot of “stuff.” At least we don’t. We only wanted to carry things that were really useful. Other than travel ideas (we could always use those!) we were looking for things that made travel easier or more meaningful.

These aren’t just gifts for world travelers, they work for weekend getaways as well as longer adventures.

Here are some of the best travel gifts that we came up with.

Gifts For People Who Travel

I’ll start with a table so you can breeze through the travel gift ideas and click through if you are really inspired. Keeping reading for more information and reviews of the gifts for people who travel.

($) less the $50

($$) $50-$100

($$$) $100 +

Best Gifts For Travelers 2017

ImageItemPrice
Packing Cubes$
ExOfficio Underwear$
SteriPen Water Purifier$$
Geysa Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle$
MOGICS Donut Travel Power Strip$-$$
Kindle PaperWhite E-reader$$$
Amazon Gift Card$-$$$
RFID Blocking Neck Wallet$
Luggage Tags$
Travel Books$
Travel Journals$
Scratch Off Map$
Wanderlust Pillow Cases$

Good Gifts For Travelers

Packing Cubes

Henry and I both use these and love them. I got them for my mom one year when I was looking for a gift for traveler woman since she is even more of a world traveler than I am. They make packing and organization a breeze. And you can fit more in your suitcase or backpack when you compress your clothes into one of the cubes. We each have different colors, which makes it easy to quickly identify whose is whose. Double zipper pulls make opening/closing simple and fast and the mesh top panel means we can see the contents with out opening. If you are looking for a travel gift for mom, travel gifts for her, or the best travel gifts for men, look no further.


ExOfficio Underwear

We don’t usually talk about underwear here, but we do wear it (usually). The Ex Officio underwear is one of the best gifts for travelers because it’s easy to wash in a sink, roll dry in a towel, and wear again the next day. They are extremely quick drying and the antimicrobial treatment reduces odor in the fabric. These undies are made of durable fabric and the comfortable waistband won’t stretch out. They claim you only need two pair for any trip – one to wear, one to wash. Less to pack, less trips to the Laundromat. Henry has several pairs and loves them. But these aren’t just travel gifts for men; I got a few pairs for myself and wore them every day in Europe. If nothing else, these underwear make for unique travel gifts. Buy men’s Ex Officio or women’s Ex Officio undies on Amazon.


SteriPEN Water Purifier

The amount of plastic in the world puts me right over the edge of sanity. Watch the Story of Bottled Water and you’ll see why. I refuse to buy water in a plastic bottle. Fortunately, I don’t have to and neither do you. SteriPENs make great travel presents and gifts for the earth. The SteriPEN is magic. Well, it’s science, but you get the gist.

You stick the pen in your reusable water bottle for less than a minute and the ultra violet destroys over 99.9% of harmful bacteria, viruses and protozoa, like Giardia and Cryptosporidium. It’s chemical free and doesn’t alter the taste of the water like iodine does. I used one of these in Peru in the most suspicious looking water (from a trough, I tell you!) and never got sick. I only wish we had these when we visited China in 1995. This is the traveler’s gift that is most likely to save a life. Or at least save someone from days in the bathroom.


Geysa Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Next on my list of gifts for someone traveling is a reusable water bottle. Since you no longer need to buy disposable water bottles, you can invest in a metal, double walled reusable bottle. This one is leak proof and sweat proof and has a little handle for carrying or attaching to a backpack. The wide mouth opening makes it easy to fill or use with a SteriPen.


MOGICS Donut Travel Power Strip and MOGICS Bagel Travel Power Strip

This is another of our favorite gifts for people who travel a lot because it’s compact and super useful. If the travelers on your list are anything like us, they have a lot to plug in. Between laptops, iPads, Kindles, and phones, we need to juice up. The MOGICS Donut Travel Power Strip is the best charger and adaptor we’ve seen. It fits five U.S. plugs and two USB cables and it has a universal adapter to plug in just about anywhere in the world. The MOGICS Bagel Travel Power Strip has four universal sockets, a U.S. socket, and two USB ports. This is one of those really useful gifts for people who love to travel.


Kindle PaperWhite E-reader

I know you love the feel of “real books,” but for travelers, the Kindle makes so much sense. This is one of those great gifts for business travelers as well as leisure travelers. Each of the four of us has one and we use them all the time. We can carry hundreds of books for a fraction of a pound’s weight. There is no glare, so you can read in the full sun and since they have an adjustable light, you can read in the dark, too. This is especially nice when you are all in the same space and don’t want to have a light on.

Another bennie is that the whole family can be reading the same book at the same time. Do yourself a favor and splurge for the one without “special offers.” (Those are ads you see every time you use the Kindle.) Then you can read books set in Croatia or books set in Italy.


Amazon Gift Card

It’s not as personal as some of the other gifts, especially the undies!, but we have so appreciated the Amazon gift cards people have sent. We can’t carry much on our travels, but we read a ton on our Kindles. Gift cards let us all pick the books we like while keeping our packs light. Or they could be used to buy anything else on this list. You choose the amount.


RFID Blocking Neck Wallet and Passport Pouch & RFID Blocking Money Belt

If you are looking for the best travel gifts for her, travel gift ideas for him, or gifts for couples that travel, think money and passport protectors.

Henry and I both got RFID blocking wallets for our trips, but we should have gotten wallets that hang around your neck or money belts. We discovered that when Henry was pickpocketed in the Paris Metro. The RFID blocking technology safeguards your passport, credit cards, and personal information against identity theft. Apparently people have scanners and can read your credit card information with their machines when walking past you. Whatever they put into the fabric blocks these machines. And keeping your valuables under your clothes and attached to your body, makes them harder to steal.


Luggage Tags

If you are looking for funny travel gifts, I recommend a funny luggage tag. Anne Taintor luggage tags probably fall into travel gift ideas for her. I can pick out several I like! For the best travel gifts for him, a pizza luggage tag might fit the bill. Or maybe something a little more refined like a leather luggage tag. Whatever you choose, a luggage tag not only helps identify lost luggage, it individualizes your bag so you can find it in baggage claim.


Travel Books

Sometimes travel related gifts are for people who like to travel but aren’t doing enough of it. Books provide both inspiration and (hopefully) a kick in the butt to get going. Books are also nice gifts for someone traveling abroad to keep them entertained on an airplane.

A trip gift I really like is Vagabonding. Rolf Potts shares stories of his travels and tells you how you can enjoy extended world travel. I read Turn Right at Machu Picchu before going to Peru. It was funny and informational. It’s always cool to read about places your are going. Another travelers gift I enjoyed was Tuscany and Umbria: The Collected Traveler. I read it while in Florence, Italy and its articles, interviews, recipes, book recommendations, and quotes from writers, visitors, residents, and experts on the region gave us ideas of things to do and ways to experience Italy. There are Collected Traveler books for Paris and Istanbul as well.

While we mostly travel as a family or solo, I imagine it’s nice to travel with your spouse or significant other. One of my favorite gifts for couples who travel is inspiration. Books like Ultimate Journeys for Two: Extraordinary Destinations on Every Continent and Places for Passion: The 75 Most Romantic Destinations in the World have lots of romantic, sexy, adventurous travel ideas. It’s perfect for people who like to travel.



Travel Journals

It’s great to read about other people’s travels, but I bet the travelers on your gift list have some great stories of their own to tell. Travel journals are perfect gifts for people who travel a lot to record their adventures and memories. Both Henry and I kept a journal on our year abroad and I already like looking back on it. I only wish I had been a little more faithful about keeping it up to date.



Travel Themed Gifts

There are gift ideas for someone going travelling and there are travel things for after the trip (or between trips). These are for the latter.

Scratch Off Map

This is such a cool travel gift one of my favorite gifts for travel lovers. Once we land somewhere somewhat permanently, I want to get one for myself. The Scrape Off Map is just that. It’s a world map where you can scape off the gold color like a lottery ticket, to reveal the colorful country you visited underneath. U.S. states and Canadian provinces can be scraped off individually. The map is such a beautiful and fun gift for frequent travelers because it reminds them of places they’ve been and might inspire them to want to “scratch off” more countries.


Wanderlust Pillow Cases

I think this is one of those perfect gifts for travelers. We saw these pillows at a hotel in Salt Lake City. I thought they were cute then and I’d love to get a few as unique travel gifts for her (or me!). The message and design on these pillow cases make you want to explore the world…or at least curl up with a good book about exploring the world. These make my list of top gifts for travelers.


What else would you add to a list of great gifts for travelers? How about birthday gifts for travelers?

The best gifts for travelers need to be compact and useful. We've gathered the best travel gifts for people who travel in your life.The best gifts for travelers need to be compact and useful. We've gathered the best travel gifts for people who travel in your life. 

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28 thoughts on “Best Gifts for Travelers 2017

  1. Jen Morrow

    The water bottle would make a great stocking stuffer for anyone who loves the outdoors (It is on my wish list – hint, hint). Great suggestion for the power charger & adapter, my old one is so bulky (I bought it 20 years ago). It might be time for an updated model.

  2. Naomi

    It is hard to come up with gifts for people who only want to travel, but these are some good ideas! I don’t know what i’ll ask this year, I still have some time to think about it.

  3. Soraya

    What an awesome round up! I have seen so much about packing cubes and I really think someone should get this for me for Christmas haha! But wow that SteriPen looks like just what I need while traveling around Southeast Asia. I have been quite nervous trying something like this and end up having to opt for bottled water. But if you say you used it in Peru and never got sick, maybe I should look into it.

    1. Mel Post author

      I would definitely look into it. I was super nervous the first few times we used it because it just looks like you are shining a light into your water bottle. But, I know people who use them in all sorts of scary-water places and swear by them.

  4. Edith H Conyers

    I second all these items and Melynda is so clever about thinking up wonderful things. I have used the packing cubes for years and could not do without them. I have traveled many places with a filter water bottle and have never had an travel illness, Mongolia, Mexico, Peru and Indo China to name a few!! Thanks Melynda for such good blogs and ideas.

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