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Searching for the best travel gifts? Ones that are both practical and loved by the recipient? A present that a traveler will truly appreciate? Our Travel Gift Guide can help! As full-time travelers (on the road and in the air since 2014), we are tuned into what travelers need and want. On our list of the absolute Best Useful Travel Gifts, you will surely find the perfect present!
Best Useful Travel Gifts
There are some items that every traveler needs – like luggage and toiletries – and then there are some things that travelers want, which make the experience of travel so much better. To help you find the ideal gift for your traveler, we have included both kinds of presents in our Useful Travel Gifts Guide.
Looking for something a little quirky? Check out our massive list of 100+Unique Travel Gifts!
Useful Travel Gifts Every Traveler Will Love
To help you find exactly what you are looking for, we sorted our list of Useful Gifts for Travelers into categories: Packing, Tech, Clothing, Toiletries, Items for an Upcoming Trip and – the very best travel gift of all – the Gift of Travel!
We offer multiple practical travel gifts under each category. Additionally, our list of travel necessities gifts range in price – so whether you are looking for a stocking stuffer or luxury travel gifts, you will likely find it here!
Most Useful Gifts for Packing
Packing may be a daunting task, but it’s a necessary part of travel. Make the process a little bit easier with these functional and useful travel gifts…that are also gifts travelers will actually want!
#1 Luggage: Best Gifts for Travelers
We are kicking off our Travel Necessities Gifts list with a travel requirement: Luggage. Having something to pack clothes in is essential for every traveler…and there are ample choices when it comes to luggage.
First, you need to determine if the recipient would like a backpack or suitcase – both are fantastic traveler gift ideas, but most travelers have a preference.
Personally, we like backpacks because it keeps our hands free when we are (inevitably) rushing through an airport or train station. Backpacks also make great gifts for European travelers because rolling a suitcase over uneven cobblestone lanes is simply annoying and a hassle. Osprey backpacks and Cotopaxi backpacks are top choices.
Suitcase for Travel
However, I have to admit that I envy those traveling with sleek, hard-side spinner suitcases. Luggage by Travelpro makes fantastic gifts for people who travel for work. Their suitcases are top-quality with incredible features, like USB power ports (on select bags) and RFID-blocking pockets.
Not looking for a hard-side suitcase? Travelpro makes a full line of luggage, including briefcases and backpacks that are designed specifically for business professional travelers.
#2 Passport Holder: Useful Gifts for Travelers
While not 100% necessary, having a passport holder helps protect a traveler’s most precious document – and is one of the best presents for traveling overseas. The simple and classy leather passport covers are good gifts for travelers, but you can add a special touch by giving your traveler a personalized passport holder.
Another popular passport cover is one that doubles as a wallet. We think this is a good gift for people traveling abroad from the United States because it helps to keep all of your most important things (passport, money, credit cards) in one convenient place.
#3 Travel Wallet Document Organizer: Favorite Travel Gift
I don’t know what I would do without my document organizer! It keeps everything nice and tidy…and zipped up so that I’m less likely to lose important items along the way.
This RFID Blocking Travel Wallet is the perfect gift for a practical traveler because it is zippered and has numerous slots for a passport, currency and credit cards. Another feature that makes it a handy item for travel is a durable strap, so it easy to hold on to and it can even be clipped inside a larger bag.
#4 Anti-Theft Day Pack: Practical Gifts for Travelers
Pickpockets and thieves prey on travelers. What better time to snatch a wallet than while the person is awing over sights or trying to figure out transport in a crowded city? But an anti-theft travel bag stops sticky fingers from grabbing what doesn’t belong to them, which is why they make perfect gifts for someone traveling abroad.
My Timbuk2 Messenger Bag has anti-theft measures (like multiple inside zippered pockets) and we sometimes carry small zippered backpacks (with an outside water bottle pocket) that are fantastic for keeping our valuables safe.
That said, Travelon is a brand that makes a full line of anti-theft purses and bags. The bags by Travelon get rave reviews – and are great gifts for first-time travelers and seasoned adventurers.
Other anti-theft travel items gifts are a money belt (that you conceal under your clothes), a bra stash (which is one of the useful travel gifts for her) and boxers with a zipper pocket (ideal for men). All of these help to keep valuables out of the reach of thieves.
#5 Packing Cubes: Best Travelers Gift Ideas
Packing Cubes are one of the best travel essentials gifts! When we purchased our Eagle Creek Packing Cubes, we thought they were an unnecessary splurge…now we cannot imagine traveling without them. Not only do they help to organize, but they also compress – meaning we can pack more clothes without taking up more space.
We own many products from the line – and highly recommend buying them as gifts for frequent travelers. These packing superstars are lightweight space-savers that every traveler must have. Mix and match the different styles to create the ultimate useful travel gift set!
Read more about How Packing Cubes Make Travel Easier.
#6 Luggage Tag and AirTags: Top Travel Tips Gifts
One of the most necessary and useful travel items, a luggage tag helps to easily identify your suicase when it is rolling off the belt at baggage claim…or more importantly, when luggage gets misplaced by an airline or hotel staff.
That is why it is essential to have a tag securely attached to the luggage, like a TUFFTAAG travel ID bag tag. The metal luggage tags, which are an ideal gift for someone traveling, are secured with stainless-steel cables and come in a variety of colors.
In addition to luggage tags, savvy travelers have recently been securing AirTags inside their bags. In the unfortunate case that the baggage does go missing, with AirTags it is easy to track down its exact location!
#7 Luggage Scale: Useful Gifts for Vacation
Having to pony up extra cash at the airport for overweight bags is a terrible way to start vacation! A digital luggage weight scale from Etekcity is an affordable and fantastic travel gift!
The scale can easily weigh luggage (up to 110 pounds) or individual items as they are packed, ensuring travelers stay within allowable weight limits before they head for the airport!
Looking for more Packing advice? Find all of our top tips on our Packing Page!
Tech Gifts For Travelers
In the modern era of traveling, there are numerous technical travel gifts that can help enhance any trip! We love gadgets, but we are only highlighting the most useful travel tech gifts in this list.
#8 Travel Camera: Gift for your Favorite Traveler
For many, capturing the sights and precious moments of a vacation in photographs is as important as the trip itself…which is why great travel cameras make perfect presents for people who travel!
For budding photographers, the Canon Rebel Kit is one of the best travel presents, as it comes with heaps of accessories. The Rebel DSLR comes with multiple lenses (but we recommend purchasing an 18-135mm lens separately) and is packed with features to create amazing photos.
#9 Kindle Paperwhite: Practical Gifts for the Traveler
E-readers are one of the most useful gifts for someone traveling! With an e-reader, there is no need to pack multiple books for a beach trip or long-haul flight…users can download numerous books directly to the device.
The Kindle Paperweight is one of the best gifts for people who travel a lot, because it is packed with top features! A best-seller of e-readers, the Paperwhite features a glare-free screen, 8-32GB of storage space, plus it pairs with Bluetooth headphones and has a battery that lasts for weeks. Not only is it thin and light, the latest version of Kindle Paperwhite is also waterproof.
Bundle your present and give the gift of an Unlimited Kindle Membership that allows access to more than 1 million books!
#10 Garmin Watch: Gifts for People who like to Travel Outdoors
If you are searching for a gift for an outdoorsy traveler, a Garmin Fenix GPS watch might be what you are looking for! The high-tech, durable wrist watch is made for the adventurer and includes features like navigation tools, connectivity and a long-lasting battery.
We don’t personally own one of these hot gadgets, but we definitely see the appeal and think it would make a good gift for someone traveling on an outdoor adventure.
#11 Portable Charger: Useful Gift Ideas when Traveling
With full days of sightseeing, picture-taking, social-media-sharing and Google map-checking, mobile devices will surely need a mid-day boost – and that’s why a portable charger is one of the most useful things for traveling!
There are numerous choices for portable power banks, but the Anker PowerCore 10000 charger comes highly recommended as travel accessories gifts. The small, lightweight, portable battery-booster can recharge phones, iPods and iPads on the go, so the devices stays charged and ready-to-use. Trust us, it’s one of the best gifts for travelers!
#12 Waterproof Phone Case: Great Vacation Gift
Some of the best vacation moments are spent in the water – splashing in a pool, going head-first down a water slide, boating on a lake or snorkeling in the sea – and water is the worst place for electronic devices. Therefore, a waterproof phone case is one of the best gifts for those who travel!
The waterproof JOTO Cellphone Dry Bag is not only ideal for stowing handheld devices (plus money and credit cards), but it’s clear, making it possible to take photos while in the water. Tip: The case is a great small travel gift, as it costs less than $10 USD!
#13 Travel Adapter: Useful Gifts for International Travelers
Looking for gifts for someone traveling abroad? A travel adapter is a necessity for international travelers! There is no worldwide standard for power outlets, so a universal travel adapter is the way to go – especially when traveling to multiple countries.
When buying adapters as gifts for overseas travelers, make sure it comes with USB ports so they can charge multiple devices at one time. An adapter with multiple ports is one of the useful travel gifts for family trips, too!
Clothing Gifts For People Who Travel
Clothes that are designed with the traveler in mind make fantastic useful travel gifts! Our clothing gift suggestions for travelers include outdoor apparel, multi-functional scarves and accessories, too.
#14 Technical Travel Apparel: Useful Gift Ideas for Travelers
When you think of travel items gifts, you may not think of clothes – but technically designed apparel is one of the things travelers need. Lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing items make some of the best travel related gifts.
There are two companies that come to mind when we think of travel wear: Columbia and Mountain Hardware. We have long been fans of Columbia apparel. They have a range of tough-tested gear that is both stylish and functional – as well as comfortable.
Kris owns a pair of Mountain Hardware pants that have seen some miles, yet hardly show any wear at all. The gear at Mountain Hardware is top-quality and made for the outdoors. In addition to men’s apparel, they have clothing for women, too!
#15 Buff Multi-Purpose Band: Multi-Functional Travel Gift
The Buff multi-purpose headband is incredibly versatile – which is what makes it one of the perfect presents for people traveling! The band can be situated on the head numerous ways – as a scarf, hat, headband, hair cover, mouth-ear-and-nose cover and hood – to name a few.
Buff bands are also quick-drying and moisture-wicking – plus the fabric is treated to help control odors, which is another reason they make a great travel present.
#16 Lightweight Raincoat: Good Gifts for a Traveler
A rain jacket is useful to have on any trip! Traditional rain coats can be heavy and bulky – and while plastic rain covers work in a pinch, they are not ideal. That’s why a raincoat is one of the best gifts for someone traveling. The jacket is not only waterproof and breathable, but it only weighs 6.4 ounces and folds into it’s own carrying pouch that is the size of a granola bar. They make a similar style more fitted for women, too!
Pro Tip: While the raincoat by itself should keep your traveler dry, pair it with a lightweight and compact travel umbrella to make it a perfect travel gift pack!
#17 Compression Socks: Useful Gifts for Traveling by Plane
Airplane travel – especially long-haul flights – can take a toll on your body, most notably on blood circulation. Passengers often notice their feet and legs are swollen after a long flight – and some travelers have developed blood clots after being in the air.
Compression socks (as unattractive as they may be) aid in keeping blood circulating properly to reduce the risk of swelling and clotting while traveling by air – which is why we think they are one of the most practical gifts for traveling abroad.
Looking for a product with a little pizzazz? Try these colorful compression socks as gifts for airplane travel!
#18 Versatile Wrap: Top Useful Travel Gift
The wrap I carry with me is the most versatile item in my backpack and one of my most useful travel items. I have used it as a wrap (as intended), a scarf, a picnic blanket, a beach towel, a shower towel, a bus seat cover and rolled up as a plane pillow.
To wrap it up (pun intended), it makes a fantastic travel gift! Although my wrap was not intended for such uses, this versatile wrap is designed to be multi-purpose.
#19 Travel Scarf with Hidden Pocket: Smart Travel Gift
The Travel Scarf is an ingenious invention: it’s an infinity scarf with a hidden zippered pocket. So, while it is fashionable to wear and can provide a bit of warmth, it also has a secure spot for a passport, wallet and phone. We think travel scarves are quintessential gifts for someone traveling to Europe.
If you are shopping for Useful Travel Gifts for Him, consider gifting a water bottle, that is a Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Hidden Compartment.
#20 Travel Accessory Gifts For Clothes: Useful Travel Gadget Gifts
Minimalist packers and travelers on long trips will undoubtedly need to wash a few clothing items at some point on their journey. Fortunately, there are numerous apparel accessories that you can buy as presents for travelers.
Business travelers might like these folding hangers – and a mini-iron to keep clothes looking fresh for meetings abroad is another great gift for someone who travels for work. While we wouldn’t categorize these items as fun travel gifts, they are certainly useful!
Toiletry Travel Gifts
Toiletries can be tough to pack; travelers need quality products to ensure liquids won’t spill and that what they carry through security meets TSA guidelines. That said, there are a ton of helpful travel size gifts that are useful!
#21 GoToob: Useful Presents for Travelers
Travelers have been raving about GoToob products for years. The refillable, no-drip, silicon bottles are great for frequent travelers who want to carry their own brand of shampoo, conditioner and body wash with them on their trip.
The best reason GoToob products are good plane travel gifts: the bottles meet the regulations for TSA and the latest-edition of the bottles are clearly marked as being 3.4 oz and 100 ml.
#22 Toiletry Travel Kit: Gifts Travelers Will Use
If you are looking for a gift for a novice traveler, a Toiletry Travel Kit fits the bill! This travel kit gift includes 19 grooming necessities – all conveniently packaged in TSA-approved travel-size bottles. It’s like giving 19 small travel gifts in one package.
On the other hand, a luxury leather toiletry bag is fantastic for frequent travelers.
#23 L’Occitane: Best Luxury Travel Gifts
Spoil your traveler a little with something luxurious from the L’Occitane Travel collection. Their travel-size essentials, like shampoo, conditioner, lotion and creams are great gifts for people who travel.
And, during the holidays, they offer fun gift sets – like their 24-item Advent Calendar and travel-size lotion box sets, too.
#24 Travel Essentials: Most Useful and Practical Travel Gifts
There are a few essential toiletry items we would never travel without – and they just so happen to be really good gifts for travelers! Some of our essentials are sanitizer, tissue packets, Band-aids and a travel roll of toilet paper…just in case.
You can create a fun and necessary travel gift set of these items as the perfect practical traveler gift!
Read more about the Everyday Items for Travel that we always pack for trips!
Useful Travel Gifts For An Upcoming Trip
If the traveler you are buying a present for has an upcoming trip planned, our destination-specific travel gift ideas might be exactly what you are looking for.
#25 Guidebooks: Essential Travel Gifts
Guidebooks are outstanding gifts for people who love to travel. Lonely Planet has a collection of guidebooks for travel around the world. These books provide information and advice for destinations on every continent on the planet.
The collection of travel books range from multi-country to city-specific. They also have eBooks, language books and books for kids – as well as an entire series that can be given as gifts to inspire travel.
Pro Tip: Looking for something different? We also like Rick Steves’ Guidebooks as gifts for European travel.
#26 Must-Have In-Flight Travel Gear: Useful Gifts for Plane Travel
Plane travel is not as glamorous as it once was, but with the right in-flight gear, it can still be an enjoyable ride.
A good pair of noise-canceling headphones is a must – and if the loved one you are buying a gift for uses wireless headphones, then a Twelve South Airfly Bluetooth adapter might be useful if they want to use the seat-back entertainment options.
Travelers who suffer from extreme ear pressure will likely benefit from using earplugs like EarPlanes that help reduce air pressure discomfort.
Additionally, a Travel Clean Kit – which includes hand wipes, face wipes, a face mask and a headrest cover – is a great gift for people who travel by plane.
Pro Tip: These air travel gifts all make great stocking stuffers, too!
#27 Safety Gadgets: Useful Traveler Gifts for Staying Safe
It’s always a good idea for travelers practice safety precautions – and there are several ways to stay safe when away from home.
An alarm is a helpful travel item for solo, young and novice travelers. A personal safety alarm is one of the ‘keep safe’ travel gifts for people who love to venture on their own. The Vigilant Alarm is activated by a push button and deactivated by a hidden button. In case of battery failure, there is even a back up whistle.
A Door Stopper Alarm is another great gift that is useful for travelers. It can provide an extra level of security for staying in hotel rooms or apartment accommodations.
#28 Viator: Travel Experiences Gifts
Travel experiences are one of the best gifts for travel junkies! Whether looking for gifts for traveling abroad or destinations in your own country, gifting someone a travel experience is a fantastic idea.
Viator is a one-stop-shop for booking activities worldwide, offering more than 60,000 travel experiences. You can book these experiences in advance, which makes them fabulous travel gifts. From watching a Moulin Rouge Show in Paris to joining a guide for a Food Tour in Amsterdam, Viator has a range of activities that any traveler would love!
#29 Rosetta Stone: Helpful Gift for Traveling Abroad
Before traveling to a new country, we like to learn the some of the key phrases in the local language. Rosetta Stone offers interactive software in 25 languages to help explorers learn more than just a few words and phrases, which is why it is one of the best gifts for someone traveling abroad!
In fact, for those who want a continued online education of a specific language, Rosetta Stone offers year-long memberships.
#30 Priority Pass: Airport Lounge Travel Gift
We think the Priority Pass is one of the best gifts for frequent travelers. Membership with Priority Pass means VIP access to more than 1,000 airport lounges in cities around the world, which is a nice slice of luxury for frequent fliers. There are three levels of membership to choose from: Standard, Standard Plus and Prestige.
The Ultimate Travel Gift: Give The Gift Of Travel
Without a doubt, the absolute best gift for travelers is Travel! Planning a trip with (or for) someone is the greatest and most memorable travel gift ever! My mom gifted me my first European trip as a college graduation present – and years later, we still reminisce about our epic vacation abroad.
Plan A Trip On Your Own
Booking a vacation for someone else is a lot of work, but well-worth the effort. There are various details you will need to sort, like flights, accommodation and activities. No need to stress: we give our best tips on booking flights, finding the perfect hotel and our Ultimate Packing List on our Travel Planning Page.
Plan A Trip With A Trusted Tour Company
While it can be rewarding to plan a trip on your own, sometimes it is best to leave the nitty-gritty details to a professional. There really are a ton of details to consider, especially when planning a trip as a gift. Tour companies to the rescue! For solo travelers and small travel groups who want to book a tour, the key is finding the right travel company. Go to our Organized Tour resources page to find out more about booking a trip with a trusted tour company.
Whether you book a trip on your own or use a travel company, consider buying Travel Insurance!
Still need some travel inspiration? Take a look at our Travel Guides to check out the amazing countries we’ve visited – and our recommendations for what to do in each destination. Can’t travel right now? That’s okay! Scratch that travel itch to cope when you can’t travel.
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