What a year this has been! Those of us who love to travel regularly saw our plans disappear before our eyes. While I totally understand why we had to pause our plans (and agree that it was necessary), it certainly has been disappointing to miss out but, there is something better you can do for yourself even in this Covid Era. Just click the link billow to learn more…
This year, more than ever, it’s important to shop early. Many shoppers will be purchasing gifts online and shipping directly to recipients. So it’s a good idea to purchase as much as you can early in December, and ship directly where possible.If you are shopping for someone who misses travel, you may be wondering if there are any travel gifts that would be a good option to purchase for this year. Luckily, there are loads of fun travel gifts that can be used now or in the future. Some of these gifts are used specifically for travel, while others are great to help with wanderlust while we stay home.
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The Best Travel Gifts for People Who Travel (Or Miss Traveling)
Unique Travel Souvenirs
Although I have missed traveling to my favorite places this year, I love sitting in my office that is decorated with unique souvenirs and other travel finds. If your gift recipient has any special places that they love to visit, you may consider finding a unique souvenir depicting or directly from, that special place.
I was recently delighted to find an original Disney Cruise Line fish extender fish on eBay (note that I framed the one I purchased in the above photo). There are several sellers who offer used items directly from the parks and the cruise line. I purchased from HonestGrader on eBay, which also has an antique booth at the Lakeland Antique Mall.
For those nostalgic for the glamorous jet age, a retro gift from the TWA Hotel could be a fun option. When I visited the hotel in 2019, I absolutely had to purchase the adorable amenity kit that was in my room. The official online TWA merchandise store offers this kit, plus clothing, ornaments, bags, model planes, towels, and other fun retro merchandise.
Luggage As a Travel Gift
I was only able to use the Away luggage pictured above twice before my travel halted. But I love how stylish and practical it is, and I know that I’ll be using it again soon enough.
My favorite travel bag is the Away Bigger Carry On, which can be purchased with a removable portable charger. It includes USB ports and the cords needed to charge it – you have to supply the specific cord for your phone. With the battery life of phones as they are, it’s nice to have a fully-charged charger on hand.
I also really like the new Away Zip Totes. They can slide right over the top handle of your rolling suitcase, and include space for a water bottle (essential for travel). You can get $20 off by clicking through my affiliate link here.
If the luggage is out of your budget, there are still lots of fun bags available on Amazon that you can purchase as gifts. Consider a small crossbody bag, a reusable travel laundry bag, or a foldable tote bag. I especially love these, because they can be easily tossed into a suitcase and used at your destination.
Journals and Passport Holders
Does the traveler in your life like to stay organized while traveling? There are lots of great gift ideas for organized travelers.
A solo traveler may love a passport holder, which can keep their passport clean and safe. There are so many options at any price point, including designer options from Kate Spade and Louis Vuitton, to more affordable options from Amazon.
If they are traveling with a family, a travel document organizer may be a better option. These organizers have space for several passports, boarding passes, credit cards, and other travel documents. I really like this one on Amazon.
I also love gifting travel journals. They are a great way for someone to keep track of their vacation before travel, and to chronicle their experiences during the trip.
Eccolo offers lots of gorgeous travel journals (see them on Amazon here). Unfortunately, my journal, pictured above, is no longer available for purchase. They also offer a dated travel planner.
I love listening to music while traveling (especially during flights). My AirPod Pro headphones are one of my favorite travel accessories and would be a great travel gift.
The AirPod Pro headphones are wireless and are also noise-canceling headphones. The sound quality is great, and they are easy to pack.
If noise canceling is the primary interest, however, I do prefer the Bose QuietComfort headphones. Those are larger, however, so they aren’t quite as easy to pack. However, the sound quality and noise-canceling is excellent.
Canvas Photo Print
Instead of purchasing lots of artwork for our home, we like to get canvas photo prints made from some of our favorite travel photos. I especially love this picture of Castaway Cay that hangs in my office.
We also have pictures from Grand Cayman, Martha’s Vineyard, Turks and Caicos, and Nantucket gracing our walls. They are perfect souvenirs of our journey.
There are lots of places to get canvas prints for gifts. Our affiliate CanvasPeople offers custom canvas prints, as well as blankets, mugs, and pillows. If you don’t have access to the perfect photo, you can always choose a gift certificate to give your recipient.
We always love traveling with games. They are great to play when in hotel rooms, as well as on the plane. Even if you aren’t traveling, you can always play games as a family at home.
If you are planning to play games on road trips, you’ll need to specifically look for games with limited pieces. They should be easy to pack up, and play while sitting in a car (rather than around a board). We’ve listed our favorite road trip games in this post.
However, you’ll have more options if you are playing the games at your destination, rather than on the road. Whenever we drive to a hotel, we always pack along at least one board game for our spare time. Here is a post with our favorite board games with teens.
Movies and Books
When I’m traveling to a destination, or have just returned, I enjoy reading fiction and nonfiction books about the destination. There are also some great movies that are shot on location and feature beautiful shots of places around the world. Any of these would be wonderful travel gifts.
Here are some options (available on Amazon):
A Tale of Two Valleys: I absolutely loved reading this book about the differences between Napa and Sonoma Valleys. I purchased it to read on the flight over to California Wine Country, and couldn’t get enough. I originally read it over 17 years ago and it still sits on my bookshelf.
Under the Tuscan Sun: This memoir and the subsequent movie will absolutely make you want to take a trip overseas to Tuscany.
Mamma Mia and Mamma Mia 2: This movie and it’s sequel were filmed in Greece (the original) and Croatia (the sequel). They are light, fun movies with beautiful scenery.
The Durrells in Corfu (also streaming on Amazon Prime): This four-season British comedy/drama aired in the US on PBS. It’s based on books written by the younger member of the family about their time on the island of Corfu in Greece. It’s an entertaining show, and much of it was filmed in Greece.
Tickets and Passes
Experience gifts are always popular, and there are lots of great sales this year. Hopefully, we’ll all be able to travel soon, and it would be nice to have attraction passes and tickets all lined up and paid for. They can often be an expensive part of your travel budget, especially for a family.
One great option is CityPASS, which offers a package deal of attraction tickets for some of the most popular city vacation destinations. These include Seattle, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, Orlando, Atlanta, Houston, Denver, Toronto, Tampa Bay, Southern California, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.
Included attractions and CityPASS prices vary by city. In some cases, you’ll be able to choose from different attractions. CityPASS can be a great deal if you plan to visit multiple attractions from a destination, and they can be a truly wonderful gift.
You’ll need to purchase one CityPASS per person, and typically won’t need to decide which of the included attractions you’ll visit. Check specific details for your chosen city to see what the procedure is for using the pass.
For other options, including local attractions, check directly with the attraction. In many cases, you’ll be able to purchase a gift card that can be used at any time by your gift recipient.
One of the best travel hacks is the use of packing cubes. These small mesh bags may seem like they are just an added step in packing. However, packing cubes can make it easier to unpack at your destination, can keep things organized, and can help compress your items to make more space.
If you are looking for a great gift for an avid traveler, consider purchasing a full set of packing cubes. They are available in different colors and sizes, so you’ll have loads of options.