Shopping for someone whose vice is travel can be tricky at best. A plane ticket is too costly, and typical gifts like clothing or gadgets often become impractical. In need of some inspiration, or a wish-list for yourself? Here's 21 unique travel gift ideas for the wanderluster in your life!
1. Travel scratch map
Venturing the world is that much more satisfying when you can etch your route onto a scratch map. These watercolor maps are available for various regions or as an entire world map. Simply scratch out the countries you've been to and uncover the colorful patterns underneath. This unique travel gift stands out from the typical scratch maps which have been around for several years now. Comes in tubing for storage while travelling and is easily framed.
Price: $34.99 USD on Amazon
2. Aeropress portable coffee maker + grinder
Anyone with a combined love for coffee and travel is likely over the pungent taste of instant coffee. The Aeropress is one of the most popular portable coffee makers on the market, and includes a handy travel tote. We've been using it every single day for the past two years – it is a godsend! Serious coffee fiends should invest in a portable coffee grinder, too.
3. Phone charging passport holder
Another unique travel gift – this passport holder is practicality at its finest as it keeps your phone juiced up and your valuables all in one spot. Comes in a variety of colours and styles and can charge different types of smartphones.
Price: $37.99 USD on Amazon
4. Travel magazine subscription
For those with zero interest in curing their wanderlust, a travel magazine subscription is great for inspiring future trips. Some popular favorites include Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and Travel + Leisure.
5. Tile mate (loss prevention/item finder)
Tile Mate is the most popular Bluetooth finder on the market, and is easy to use. Simply loop the tile onto a keychain, tuck into a suitcase, or attach it to anything you don't want to misplace. The tile is then trackable via a smartphone which can make the tile ring or appear on a map to locate (when within range of any Tile user).
Price: $21 USD on Amazon
6. Fast drying travel towel
A fast-drying, compact towel is a product every traveller should own. It not only conserves space, but is practical as it dries quickly and doesn't acquire a damp odor as regular towels do.
Price: $19.99 USD on Amazon
7. AirBNB gift card
Why not gift the avid traveller the gift of travel? Airbnb is a welcomed reprive from hostels or even hotels, and offers a unique, local vibe in foreign places. Airbnb is now available in nearly every country worldwide, and is ideal for travellers seeking a less commercial experience.
A compact e-reader eliminates the weight and bulk of packing books, and is a breeze to carry on planes, cramped buses, and in hostel bunks. In addition to reading for pleasure, you can buy the full range of Lonely Planet travel guides too, so you don't have to lug around a thick book while you're exploring. A protective case is strongly recommended to cover the screen when it's stowed away.
Price: Starts at $49.99, but it is worth investing in the Kindle Paperwhite or higher, as these are glare-free and can be used in direct sunlight, priced at $89.99+ USD on Amazon. Various prices for Lonely Planet Kindle books.
9. Travel scarf with hidden pocket
Keep valuables safe and out of sight with this infinity scarf. It has a discreet zippered pocket to hold passports, money, and phones. Comes in a variety of colours and patterns.
Price: $12.99 USD on Amazon
10. Magnetic globe
The Bullseyes Magnetic Globe is a stylish way to track paths travelled (that is, once the avid globetrekker finally makes it home!). With a variety of colored magnets included, one can mark different trips (e.g. turquoise for “been there”, gold for “bucket list” destinations).
The globe comes in three colours, including black/gold, classic blue, and antique tan.
Price: $79.95 USD on Amazon
11. Space-wise water bottle
A Platypus bottle is great for ultra-light travel, as it rolls flat when not in use. For larger hydration that can be stored in a backpack (e.g. for long hikes), consider the Platypus Reservoir with its extended straw.
12. Compact, eco-smart toiletries
LUSH products are handmade with fresh, natural ingredients and are cruelty-free. Say goodbye to messy liquid spills with their solid and dry products instead. The shampoo and conditioner bars are great for travel as they're space-wise and last a long time. Their dry shampoo powder is also good for on-the-go hygiene.
13. Smartphone lens kit with remote
Eliminate the need for carrying heavy camera equipment with smartphone lens attachments. These can assist with getting zoom, macro, and portrait shots, plus includes a handy remote.
Price: $29.99 USD on Amazon
14. Durable travel thermos + carrier
The Hydro Flask is one of the most popular thermoses on the market, and is a newfound personal favorite for us. The double-insulated bottle keeps liquids hot for up to 6 hours, and cold for up to 24-hours (such a reprieve from lukewarm water bottles in the desert!). Recommended add-ons include a straw attachment and a carrying bag for ease of use on the go.
15. Sturdy travel umbrella
Save a traveller from buying overpriced, poor quality umbrellas on the road and buy a compact, durable one instead. Vumos' tiny umbrellas have a lifetime guarantee, and come in a sturdy case. Comes in a variety of patterns and colours.
Price: $18.95 USD on Amazon
16. Luggage scale
A luggage scale is an essential travel item for avoiding excess baggage fees. It takes up hardly any room and as we've personally discovered (the hard way), can save you hundreds of dollars when you accidentally forget to weigh your luggage before hitting the check-in counter.
Price: $9.99 USD on Amazon
17. A pack of playing cards
A pack of playing cards is a great way to break the ice with fellow travellers, and can make lengthy bus rides go by that much faster. These retro travel themed cards are suitably themed for the wanderlust junkie, and come with a carrying case for storage.
Price: $12 USD on Amazon
18. Compact travel adaptor
A compact travel adapter is a sensible must-have for any frequent traveller. Avoid the hassle of carrying several adapters in exchange for one that does everything, including USB outlets.
Price: $16 USD on Amazon
19. Selfie stick
End the suffering of poorly taken photos by other tourists with a DIY selfie stick. Vain or not (we'll leave that verdict with you), the selfie stick is useful for gaining the perfect photo at once in a lifetime destinations.
Price: $9 USD on Amazon
20. Airplane travel kit (w/ eye mask, ear plugs)
This is the travel gift that will mean the difference between a restless, wide-eyed night on a plane or a peaceful, life-saving hours shut eye. A must for any jetsetter.
Price: $19.95 USD on Amazon
21. Packing cubes
We've raved about them before in our men's and women's packing list before – packing cubes are a must for compact travel. Cubes organize clothing sensibly (i.e. they are the “drawers” of one's backpack), plus they reduce space.
Price: $19.99 USD on Amazon
And there you have it, 21 unique gift ideas for the travel junkie in your life. Which would be at the top of your wish list?