Buy these gifts for friends going abroad and I promise that you’ll be the most popular person EVER!
I can’t guarantee that because while these gift ideas for travelers are awesome, I doubt any of these items will change your life.
And Truth Be Told:
I am super selfish and made this list for myself just as much as I made it for anyone else out there, searching for epic gifts for friends who are going away.
My dad has this unhealthy obsession with wool socks. And every year, without fail, he bestows upon me a heinous pair of wool socks because well, obviously, i’ll die if I get cold feet…ever!
And while I appreciate the sentiment:
It has gotten to the point where if I receive another pair of wool socks, I may just turn into a sheep. Baa.
My dad’s vain attempt to figure out what I want for the holidays. Inevitably, all roads lead to wool socks. LoL
This post is my desperate attempt to beat the holiday rush and create a unique travel gift list so that he doesn’t give in to his neverending compulsion to buy me wool socks, yet again.
But It’s My Fault Too:
I never have any brilliant ideas about what he should get me for Christmas, or my birthday or basically any occasion that requires a present.
And Then When He Does Bestow Upon Me the Wool Socks of Doom:
it’s super-awkward because I have to do the whole fake smile thing and act like I’m super grateful that I’m not receiving a Teletubie onesie from my great aunt Mildred.
So Read on My Friend!
Because we’re ditching the gift giving awkwardness this year!
Because In this post:
You’ll find some fantastic gift ideas for someone traveling abroad and get the scoop on some of this year’s best gifts for travelers!
This is literally the EXACT list that I will be sending my dad since he has no idea what to get me. Just note that since I’m a woman, these ideas are generally some of the best travel gifts for her, since I’m not a dude and have no idea what they want.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
1. Polarized Sunglasses
How cute are these sunglasses? Plus, who doesn’t need an extra pair of sunglasses that are POLARIZED and give you super snazzy and super extra UV protection?
I somehow always seem to lose my sunglasses and am chronically in need of another pair.
These bad boys are under $20, come in a variety of colors, and even make a WEIRDO like me look mildly cool.
These are one of my go-to gifts for people who love to travel…like me!
2. Scratch Off World Map
Could I have picked a more cliche gift for world travelers? Yeah, probably not but hey, it’s a cliche for a reason.
These maps are freaking awesome since every traveler wants to have a visual representation of where they’ve been and where they need to go.
So Embrace Your Inner College Kid:
And hang this bad boy on the wall as a reminder of all the places you’ve been to and of all the places you want to go.
Talk About a Great Gift Idea for Travelers.
3. Cute Socks
Cutest socks ever! Unless you hate cats. Then this gift would be really awkward and maybe slightly hilarious.
But if you hate cats:
Not to worry since this company manufactures ultra adorable owl socks too.
Which is Perfect:
Because we all need to wear socks and might as well make them cute ones? Am I right?
Funky smelling shoes or feet is never a good look, even when you’re getting your long-term travel grunge on.
Wear these socks with pride and always remember that smell free is the way to be (so much cuter and way more breathable than those insidious wool socks ny dad gives me).
4. Safe Travels Cuff Bracelet
I am a total sucker for anything shiny and pretty…kind of like Dori from Finding Nemo.
Throw in a Super Cute Travel Quote and I’m Like:
“Check please! I’ll take 1 for me and 10,000 for the free world”.
Okay, I’m not that bad but I do love inspirational jewelry that motivates me to keep going and to follow my dreams.
So I saw this one and was immediately like, “My precious!”
This bracelet is understated but charmingly beautiful with a subtle emphasis on travel. Plus, this bracelet comes in a variety of different colors (or as a keychain) for anyone who has a bad case of wanderlust that only retail therapy will cure (also a great gift for someone going abroad).
5. Catch Flights, Not Feelings T-Shirt
I feel like this shirt perfectly embodies my true life motto.
I see boys and I run in the other direction.
I see a flight and I’m a total maniac. You would think I’m an Olympic marathoner because I book it THAT fast.
But in Reality:
This shirt never goes out of style. I love the cut, color, and phrase since I feel like travel really is my one true love.
So if you and travel have a relationship that is getting pretty serious, then rock this shirt with me and we can be twinning at life.
6. Camera Lens Coffee Mug
I love, love, love this coffee mug!
I mean sure:
I’m not a real photographer, I just pretend to be one on Instagram. But I do love coffee and taking pictures. And honestly, those are the only two prerequisites for purchasing this mug.
Actually, you could totally hate coffee and still use this mug but I digress.
My friend is a photographer and uses this mug all the time and absolutely loves it since it’s cute, durable, and is less than $20.
Can I get a woot woot?
Yup, better write my letter to Santa now.
7. Travel Scarf with Hidden Pocket
I feel like Infinity Scarfs are cool, to begin with. You can contort them in about 12,000 different ways and they still manage to keep you looking fierce and fab. Oh, and they keep you warm on a frigid flight too.
But this Particular Scarf is Even Better!
Not only does it come in an assortment of colors that are way more appealing that concrete gray, but it has a hidden pocket!
Inspector Gadget level sorcery. Okay, totally kidding on that but this scarf really does have a secret pocket that you can use to hide all of your valuables and outfox even the smartest pickpocket.
Perfect for someone with insane levels of anxiety like me.
8. Rosa Villa Compass Bracelet
Umm, can you ever really have too much jewelry?
And the correct answer to that question is no since jewelry never makes you feel fat and always makes you sparkle.
And this piece is no exception.
With a simple design and an adjustable length, this bracelet is perfect for any traveler who needs a little reminder that everything in life is just a new and exciting adventure (okay maybe not but that’s what I tell myself in a lame attempt to stay positive).
Need a Super Cheesy Line to Accompany this Gift?
Just tell someone special that you’d be lost without them and boom, you have the perfect gift for any traveler.
9. Kjarakär Backpack
Ever found yourself looking for a stylish backpack that is functional too?
Yeah me too. And it’s such a drag because either the backpack is super cute and holds a toothpick, or the bag is super useful and looks like something that Paul Bunion would own.
But this bag is the answer to all your carry on needs. Not only is it versatile, stylish, and durable, but it can hold everything you could ever need and more.
It comes in an assortment of colors. Therefore, if you’re accident prone like me (aka a total walking disaster) then you can purchase a bag in black so that it, “doesn’t show the dirt”.
10. Travel Journal
I know I sound like a therapist when I tell you to journal about your feelings, but I swear, it really does work.
I mean, life doesn’t stop while you’re traveling and sometimes you just need to express yourself but don’t have anyone to talk to
And that’s where a journal comes in!
Between jotting down notes and sharing my feelings, I really would be lost without my travel journal.
But Clearly, it Can’t Be Heinous.
It needs to be as cute, functional, and as inspirational as possible. It also needs to be durable since I’ve destroyed many a journal throughout my many world travels (rain is the devil).
Also, Don’t Forget Some Great Pens!
You don’t want to be THAT guy (or girl) who is stuck at the end of the customs line because you didn’t bring a pen to fill out your boarding card.
So Bring a Pack of these Killer Pens!
And yes, Poppin pens are slightly expensive but so worth it! Best pens EVER.
11. Throw Pillow
If I owned a piece of furniture other than an air bed, I would get this throw pillow. Perfect accent piece for any traveler’s home and a great reminder that just because you don’t know where you’re going, doesn’t mean you’re lost.
If you know someone who owns a house and loves to travel, this is the gift for them. And added bonus, this pillow is a neutral color that can match almost any home decor style.
And the cover is removable:
So if it does get dirty, just wash it and you’re good to go.
12, Vacum Insulated Water Bottle
Everyone needs a water bottle when they travel!
Not only does it save you money, but water bottles are much better for the environment too. Plus, these water bottles come in a ton of quirky designs that are perfect for someone who is looking for something a bit more fun than a traditional water bottle.
And if That Doesn’t Convince You, Remember That:
This particular brand is BPA free, double insulated, holds 20 ounces of liquid, and is double walled so that your liquids will stay either incredibly cold (24 hours) or incredibly hot (12 hours).
Plus, it fits in just about any standard size cup holder and never sweats.
Geez, I wish I was a bit more like this water bottle. Lol. Never sweating and always fitting into everything I’m supposed to.
13. Retro USB Drive
When you have an ungodly number of electronic devices, like me, an external USB drive is absolutly, 110% essential.
With all my photos and blog posts and social media work, there’d be smoke coming out of my laptop if I didn’t use external storage of some sort.
But if you need storage:
Why not make it super retro and super cute, like this USB drive?
It’s a total throwback to the days of fly girls and mixed tapes and hammer pants (can’t touch this).
Now all you need is a bit of Nirvana in the background and you’ll be ready to rock out 90s style. Wait, where’s your Lisa Frank binder when you need it?
14. Noise Canceling Headphones
So these are the CUTEST noise canceling I could find.
Sad But True.
Whatever though. I feel like everyone needs a solid pair of noise-canceling headphones when they travel. Inevitably you’re gonna run into someone who will not shut up and who does not pick up on any of your social cues to stop talking.
You think that eventually, their throat will get dry up and that their voice will get hoarse, but no, nothing stops this chatty Kathy.
That’s the moment when you whip out your handy handphones, the universal sign to stop talking. I mean sure, they can keep talking but you clearly won’t be listening.
Yup, these gems of technology have saved me on more than one flight.
15. Power Bank
If you’re a directionally challenged, technology whore like me, then an external power bank is an ABSOLUTE essential.
I actually shudder to think what would happen to me if my phone died and I had no GPS.
Gasp, I might have to take a taxi or use a REAL map. The horror!
MADNESS I tell you!
But if you have an external power bank, just use it to charge your phone and you’re back in business.
But no need to buy a boring power bank anymore!
Whether you love unicorns or Frappichinos, there is definitely a fun power bank out there for you
16. Women’s Boots with a Secret Pocket
Can this really be a list of gifts for friends going traveling if no shoes are on here? I mean shoes are the best present ever! Not only do they make you look super fab, but they never make you feel fat.
So three cheers for shoes that never make me feel bad for eating my feelings.
But These Shoes are even BETTER than normal shoes if that’s possible.
Not only are these shoes cute and comfy, but they also easily zip on and off, making them a great choice for the airport, when you need to quickly remove your shoes for airport security.
These shoes have a, now not so secret, pocket that you can use to store all your valuables and come in a variety of colors if you need a pair of kicks that are on the snazzier side of things.
17. Passport Holder and Travel Document Organizer
OMG! Cutest Passport Holder Ever Right?
I mean, it doesn’t even look like a passport and document holder. It more closely resembles a cute little clutch that you can bring with you for a hot night out on the town.
Yup, an awesome clutch that just happens to hold your phone and have RFID blocking capabilities.
It also comes in a bunch of colors, has a removable strap and costs under $20.
So even if no one gets this for you, you can always splurge and get it for yourself.
18. Chunky Knit Sweater
Obviously, you need to layer up since planes are always frigid. Like Polar Express frigid.
So, sigh, I guess that means you’ll need an extra chunky knit sweater to keep you warm.
But instead of a generic sweater:
Why not try this super cute shirt with heart-shaped patches on the sleeves?
If I wasn’t broke like a joke I would’ve bought this for myself since it keeps you warm, comes in a nice neutral color that matches everything, and has lovely, signature heart patches that give it a distinct look.
A sweater that makes you yearn for the cold weather just so that you can wear it.
19. Unicorn Travel Neck Pillow
“I love sleeping on planes!” said no one ever.
That’s why you need a super supportive neck pillow. But why go for ordinary when you can buy something extraordinary, like this unicorn neck pillow?
Totally amazing right?
Plus, unicorns are all the rage now so you’ll totally fit in with all the Hipster cool kids. Actually, I don’t know that for a fact but I think this is the cutest neck pillow that I’ve ever seen.
The more unicorns in my life, the better off I’ll be.
20. Coffee Mug
After a nice vacation, I hate going back to work. I mean, talk about vacation blues to the extreme.
But there is one thing that makes going back to work slightly bearable…
And that’s coffee! Literally, I think coffee is the only thing that stands between me and homicidal rage when I ‘m getting ready for work.
Coffee is the one true love of my life; a love that can only be made stronger by an amazing coffee mug with an inspirational travel quote.
And if I’m Honest:
Anything that reminds me of travel and that helps me get through the work week is awesome in my book, like this stellar mug.
21. Aviator Travel Jeans
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Stop the presses! These are by far the best travel jeans that I have ever worn and make the absolute perfect gift for any traveler in your life!
I can now wear jeans on a plane and actually feel comfortable. Heck, I could even wear these as pajama pants and probably still be comfortable.
I don’t think I’ll ever wear another pair of jeans again.
AND THE POCKETS!
Don’t even get me started on the pockets. They are huge and deep, like Grand Canyon level deep. And stylish too. And there are 5 of them! Yup, pockets for days!
When I wanna be all cheap and avoid baggage fees, I can just shove all my crap in my pockets and lighten up my luggage! Heck yeah!
If only it was this easy to solve all of life’s problems.
These jeans are SUPER high quality too, so gone are the days of heavy jeans that smell not so great after a hot minute.
Replace your old jeans with these durable, flexible, breathable and super comfortable jeans, like stretchy yoga pant level comfortable.
The only downside of these. awesome travel pants for women?
They are $110 a pair. Yeah, kind of steep for me.
They are so comfortable and last so long that I feel like it’s an investment in a high-quality product. That’s why they really do make the perfect gift for friends traveling abroad.
21. Gatta Camera Bag (the only camera bag you’ll ever need)
Does your friend have a nice camera?
Then obviously you need to get him or her a nice camera bag since they don’t want to ruin the fancy
Most camera bags are hideous and utilitarian looking, not something that you want to be seen with every single day.
Gatta bags! Seriously the highest quality and most stylish camera bags that I have ever used. and at a relatively affordable price too.
I love the Rosewood Camille (above) and the Chloe Noir (smaller, chic, and black). Both are stylish on the outside and have a fabulous, felt like interior that cushions your camera and protects it from damage on the inside.
But it gets better!
This bag also has an adjustable divider that you can move around and that stays in one place. Talk about a total lifesaver and a crazy awesome gift for friends going abroad
I wish all things in life were as reliable as this travel must have item.