Updated: October 28, 2018
Scouring the world (okay, the Internet) for the best gifts for world travelers was no easy feat! But I wanted to make sure I only included gifts that were truly unique and valuable. That’s right—you will NOT see any passport covers, travel journals, or scratch-off maps that are SO overdone on these gift guide posts.
If you want to skip around, use these links:
- Unique Travel Gifts for Women
- Unique Travel Gifts for Men
- Travel Gadgets
- Travel Books
- Backpacks and Luggage
- Gift Cards (perfect for last-minute gifts!)
*This post has affiliate links, which simply means I may receive a commission if you choose to purchase through a link I provide—at no extra cost to you. Thank you SO much for supporting the work I put into this site.*
You know the feeling when you’re 6 hours into your long-haul flight and your face either feels insanely dry or, if you’re like me, insanely oily? You just feel gross? Spritz some of this 100% rose water toner onto your face, and it’ll help balance it out! Plus, you feel like a freaking diva spraying this. I now travel with rose water toner.
This one is great for sensitive skin (because it doesn’t have alcohol or anything added to the rose water) and it’s travel friendly! It meets the maximum size for liquids set forth by the TSA. Just BE SURE toget the 100ml version.
Every world traveler feels homesick every now and then. How lovely would it be to have a candle with a custom scent based on a city, a state, or a feeling?
These custom maps are heartwarming. You can choose to create a map based on the traveler’s favorite place in the world or where they fell n love.
#4 Running Belt
This is what I travel with so I can keep my passport and cash close to my body and out of sight. I also use this to bring my iPhone with me when I go for a run. Super handy!
#5 Packing Cubes
I never understood the purpose of packing cubes—until I started using them! YES, they DO make a difference. Because they compress and compartmentalize, packing cubes allow you to pack so much more in your luggage.
If your world traveler is also a coffee drinker, get them this coffee-brewing travel cup so they can make the perfect brew whether camping in Yosemite or backpacking through Europe.
I’ve been eyeing this worldly MacBook case for a long time now. If you know your world traveler owns a MacBook Air, get them this hard case. Not only does it protect their MacBook from scratches, but it also looks pretty darn cool.
I almost got this for my Eastern Europe rail trip to protect my passport! This is a great alternative to those cheesy passport necklace things.
As a frequent traveler, I’m always misplacing my headphones, and I need them to pass the time in airplanes! These are a gorgeous set:
I CANNOT rave enough about this amazing multi-way piece of clothing that can be worn 8+ ways! I practically lived out of this while traveling in Italy, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Canada this summer (okay, I STILL live out of it. My friends see me in it all the time!).
When you buy this, not only are you getting a high-quality piece of clothing that is SO versatile, but you also are supporting an ethical, woman-owned business.
I have this in this exact color! It was gifted to me by my best friend for Christmas last year, and I NEVER travel without it. The glass water bottle is stylish and enwrapped in a silicone sleeve so if you drop it, it’s unlikely to break (I’ve dropped mine MANY times). Plus, the lid has a nice loop that you can hook your bag or backpack onto. Super handy.
Check out the BKR Glass Water Bottle here!
I’ve been wanting one of these for SO long! They’re glass reusable coffee cups—you can even bring them to Starbucks or your local coffee shop and use them instead of a paper cup! (And sometimes, they’ll give you a DISCOUNT for doing so!) This would be a nice addition to the BKR water bottle. Keeps your coffee in a nifty cup AND helps the environment by minimizing waste. Win-win!
WAY sexier than a FitBit, the Motiv is a sleek ring that tracks your heart rate, activity, and sleep 24/7. At the end of each day, it sends an activity report. If you plan on giving this as a gift, note that Amazon ships a ring sizing kit first (because Motiv has sensors, their sizing charts are a bit different than traditional ones), then you order the right size (shipping included) and get the actual ring in as little as 2 business days.
I like this because leather oozes quality. Also, it has a practical function: it prevents those pesky headphones from getting tangled in his pocket! This is a great little accessory for travel.
Perfect for a traveler who spends a lot of time outdoors and camping, this book was written by a survivalist expert and teaches you essentials such as how to split wood with an axe and a tasty (I’m sure) recipe for raccoon stew.
#16 How to Eat in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Foraging, Trapping, Fishing, and Finding Sustenance in the Wild
Another book written by survivalists, How to Eat in the Woods lowers the chance that your world traveler will starve while out in the backcountry. With information on how to trap and kill animals, as well as locate potable water, this book is sure to be informative, if not just entertaining.
Tim Ferriss recommends these for travel. Here’s what he said about them:
“I’m traveling with a pair of Blundstone boots I bought in Australia in 2006. I’ve worn these boots all over the world the past four years, from Paris to Ethiopia to the Falkland Islands, and they’ve served me great. They work for hiking in remote environments, yet they’re easy to slip off and on at airport security.”
Do we live in the future or what?? This little device is a recent development that’s been taking the travel world by storm. It’s an instant translator, meaning you speak English into it, and out pops either Chinese, Spanish, or Japanese. Please note it is a ONE-WAY translator, meaning it does NOT do the reverse of translating from Chinese, Spanish, or Japanese to English. But if you have an English-speaking friend traveling to a country where one of these three languages are spoken, this will definitely be helpful for them!
One of the BIGGEST pains for us first-world travelers is dealing with dying iPhones while we’re waiting at the airport or riding a bus. Get this powerful portable charger for your traveler so they never again have an excuse to not text you back.
This is the portable charger I actually travel with. I like that it’s a small, compact size, but it doesn’t pack as much juice as the one I listed above.
Moment lenses are premiere iPhone lenses. This one turns a regular iPhone into a professional camera with a wider angle (meaning your traveler can get more of the landscape into the photo.
I’ve been wanting a mirrorless camera for years. Basically, mirrorless cameras differ from DSLR cameras because they don’t make that shutter sound when you take a photo, and they are lighter weight. That means you can carry less weight when you travel and sneak photos without that sound!
Retro is in. Polaroid “instant” photos are making a huge comeback. Get your traveler this Intax Mini camera, and they could have unique photos while they travel.
Another model of instant film camera.
This is the EXACT pair of security cameras I travel with. They’re super compact for easy packing and simple to set up at your hotel or Airbnb. (Please note: I do NOT set up security cameras if I am sharing an Airbnb with someone and do not have their permission. I only set them up when I am traveling/staying somewhere alone).
You can access these cameras from your iPhone after you install their app, so you can monitor your place while you’re away. You can even get push notifications every time in sense noise or motion. Sure, it might seem extreme, but get your Airbnb burglarized and your laptop stolen just one time (yep, it happened to me) and you’ll be singin’ a different tune…
I’ve been eyeing these puppies for years. When there’s a crying baby on a flight or an annoyingly chatty neighbor, pop these noise-canceling headphones on, and you will have a quiet, distraction-free flight.
#30 SD Card Holder
I have this horrible habit of never uploading my travel photos from my SD cards…and then I lose the SD cards! Last year, my dad got me an SD card case, and that’s helped me stay organized. And this one is water-resistant, anti-shock, AND holds 12 cards!
#31 Kindle E-Reader
As much as I love the smell of books and the way they feel in my hands, the fact of the matter is they are WAY too bulky to lug around the world. For the well-read traveler in your life, get them a Kindle so they can access books no matter where they are.
Let them listen to books from anywhere in the world! Listen, we travelers do NOT have a lot of space in our backpacks. Giving the gift of an Amazon Audible membership will allow your world traveler to
I travel around the world with my Kindle, and a bibliophile world traveler like me would LOVE to have access to unlimited Kindle reads.
#34 Into the Wild
I’m in the process of reading this book about a man who renounced his earthly possessions, gave away all his money, and took off alone into the wilderness of Alaska. Tragically, he starved to death. But thankfully, his story has a lot to teach us. I’ve been so drawn to this story for a long time now. I think every traveler wants to read this one.
The author, Kim Dinan, is a well-known in the travel blog world. Her story is incredible. She quit her job to travel the world, but before she left, a friend gives her an envelope full of money and asks her to spend it while she travels. I finished this book over the summer, and the writing is beautiful.
Get this book for any of your friends who dream of traveling long-term, maybe even permanently. This book is legendary.
Okay, I know it’s the 2013 edition, so it seems outdated—but hear me out! One of the BEST travel essays I’ve ever read is inside it. It’s called “The Year I Didn’t” by Daniel Tyx, and you must read it.
#38 The Alchemist
This is one of my favorite books. Though not a travel book per se, this book will inspire wanderlust and a search for meaning in anyone who reads it. I’ve read it twice; the second time was when I found it in an apartment I was renting in Paris. It has such quotable quotes, such as, “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”
I think my dad got this book for me back in 2013 when I was planning a round-the-world trip. Get this for anyone who’s aspiring to travel solo for the first time internationally. It’ll help them prepare for things they’d never even considered. I know it helped put my mind at ease.
#40 Atlas Obscura
This book looks absolutely fascinating! Get it for anyone drawn to the weird and mysterious things in the world.
Based on the popular Facebook page project, Humans of New York features raw street photos of various NYC inhabitants, and more interestingly, the poignant stories behind each face.
#42 The Traveler
Okay, this is another one of my favorite books. I have a well-worn copy of it in a box at home. Though it is incredibly short (you can read it in 10 minutes) and may look like a children’s book, do not be fooled into missing the deep significance behind this sweet fable. Get this for any traveler who needs to be reminded of the truly important things in life (beyond “seeing the world”).
#45 Eagle Creek Adventure Weekender Bag
The folks at Eagle Creek sent me a free Adventure Weekender Bag for review in 2014. It’s great because it’s lightweight AND can convert into a backpack or duffel bag!
This is my backpack of choice! I’ve traveled with it for 5 weeks in Paris and 3 months in Toronto. It’s perfect for those who prefer to travel carry-on only and who want the flexibility and comfort of a backpack with a padded hip belt!
Okay, you probably can’t actually travel with these, but every traveler loves the nostalgia of good ol’ fashioned suitcases they can stack for home decor.
For when your friend wants to bring Fluffy on the airplane—get this!
All right, all you last-minute shoppers and friends of horribly picky people, gift cards are THE way to go! Not only can they be delivered via email at the click of a button, but they also allow your choosy gift receives to pick what they want. It’s a win-win!
#52 Airbnb Gift Card
#53 Uber Gift Card (Email delivery!)
Uber is your personal driver at the tap of an app on your smartphone. I’ve used Uber in San Francisco, Paris, Prague, and Krakow. It’s super handy when you’re traveling abroad and don’t speak the language or know the taxi system.
A cop out? NO! Getting your traveler an Amazon gift card simply means you want to give them the freedom to choose what they want. And if there’s anything a world traveler loves—it’s freedom.
There you have it, my friends. My guide to the best gifts for world travelers. I hope this helps you find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Happy shopping!
Is there anything you’d like to add to this list of best gifts for world travelers? Comment below to help your fellow shoppers out!
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