Need the best gifts for travellers, backpackers and wanderlusters? This travel gift guide includes unique travel gifts, travel essentials, travel photography gifts and more. Read on for my top recommendations for the best travel gifts this year.
Everyone loves a travel-related gift, but you want to get it right. After years of travelling all over the world, I’ve tested out a lot of travel kit. From backpacks to cameras, socks to saris, I have a definitive list of the ones that would make for the best gifts for travellers. Don’t waste money on getting a camera that’s too heavy to carry or a raincoat that’s too bulky to pack. This list of the best gifts for travellers recommends practical travel products that are lightweight, compact and comfortable.
But as well as being a practical traveller, I also love to buy presents that support communities, organisations and artisans abroad. Whether that’s an upcycled sari, a handwoven bag or local coffee beans. I’ve sourced some unique travel gifts made by artisans in different countries and scoured the internet in search of the best eco-aware and socially good gifts for travellers too.
Travel Essentials Gifts
Fjällräven Bergen (30L) – This is hands down the best travel backpack out there. The Bergen backpack is lightweight, comfortable and waterproof. It’s a traveller’s best friend and the best travel gift out there. Buy Fjällräven Bergen on Amazon, £100.
Fjällräven Kånken – This stylish Swedish backpack is the perfect day bag for travellers. It’s waterproof and made from hard-wearing but lightweight, vinylon fabric that withstands dirt. The backpacks were originally developed for Swedish school children to provide a comfortable backpack that stops back pain. They’ve since gained cult style status you’ve probably seen them on backs around town and abroad. This is a thoughtful gift for any traveller. Buy Kånken backpacks from Urban Outfitters, £75.
Lifeventure RFID Mini Travel Wallet – Keep your passport, boarding pass, debit cards and other travel documents safe with this travel wallet from Lifeventure. The multiple pockets and compartments mean you can neatly tuck in your valuables and easily access them whilst whizzing through the airport. The travel wallet has a water-resistant fabric exterior to keep your valuables and papers safe from wet weather. Buy RFID Mini Travel Wallet on Lifeventure, £19.99.
Karrimor Drybag (5L) – This waterproof drybag from Karrimor is the best gift for travellers who love watersports, surfing, boat trips, beach days or island hopping! Store your phone, camera and money whilst on the beach or out in the water and they’ll stay dry as a desert. Buy a Karrimor Drybag on Amazon, from £7.49.
The Little Bodhi Microfibre Travel Towel – Quick-dry, no-stink travel towels make a great travel gift for backpackers and beach lovers. The Little Bodhi travel towels are absorbent, quick-drying and have anti-bacterial properties to prevent odours. We rely on these travel towels from The Little Bodhi when staying in hostels. They also come beautifully designed with a leaf imprint and in five different colours. Buy Little Bodhi Microfibre Travel Towel, from £6.99.
Stainless Steel Water Bottle (500ml) – One Green Bottle is the best gift for travellers who are eco-conscious. These bottles are designed to be lightweight, reusable, sustainable and environmentally friendly. They fit neatly in the side of any rucksack and mean you don’t need to buy plastic water bottles whilst travelling. Buy One Green Bottle Stainless Steel Water Bottle on Amazon, £16.00.
Swiss Army Knife – The best travel gift that I’ve ever received was a Swiss Army Knife. All the kit any hardy traveller needs in one handy item. This Swiss Army Knife includes a knife, scissors, tweezers, toothpick, bottle opener, tin opener and corkscrew. Buy a Swiss Army Pocket Knife on Amazon, £24.65.
LifeStraw Steel Water Filter – LifeStraw is a compact and lightweight water filter that filters water for drinking. It can filter out bacteria and parasites and reduces organic chemical matter and chlorine. It filters a maximum of 1000 litres of water, which is enough for one person for approximately a year. The LifeStraw is the perfect gift for travellers, hikers and campers. Buy a LifeStraw Steel Water Filter on Amazon, €64.95 / £57.62.
Travel Gifts for Women
Portable Washbag – I couldn’t believe this when I saw it, but this portable washbag lets you wash your clothes on the go. Just add water, detergent and your dirty clothes. Roll down the top, clip it up, squeeze out the air and shake for a few minutes. Rinse off your clothes and hang them out to dry after. A nifty gift for friends who travel and good for the environment. Buy on Uncommon Goods, £37.35.
Upcycled Cotton Sari Robe – If you’re after unique travel gifts, then check out this stunning upcycled robe. Made from reclaimed saris by artisans in India, this kimono-style robe is handmade and every robe is unique. Purchasing this robe provides Indian women the opportunity to create a better standard of living for their families. You can find lots of great gifts for a wife or gifts for girlfriends like this sari robe on Uncommon Goods, £43.33.
Cork Purse – This cork purse adds sustainable style to any travel outfit. It’s soft, lightweight and easy to pack. The bag is handcrafted in the Algarve in Portugal and is 100% vegan and sustainable. Buy a cork purse on WeYounique, €27.99 / £24.65.
Scentered Aromatherapy Balms – Suffer from terrible jetlag or just find it difficult to sleep in a bed that’s not your own when you travel? The Sleep Well therapeutic balm is a traveller’s best friend. This balm is made from a blend 14 essential oils that help you sleep easy. Simply rub on your wrists, temples and neck and inhale. Other balms include De-Stress, Be Happy and Focus. All the balms are 100% natural, made from essential oils and are non-greasy. The balms are a perfect, portable size for travellers. Buy the Travel Essentials Balm Kit for £24.00 or individual balms from £14.50.
Made For Life Organics Skincare Range – Put together your own travel skincare kit with Made For Life’s travel range. I travel with their Daily Radiance Facial Cleansing Balm, Replenish and Protect Facial Moisturising Balm (which smells incredible), Soothe and Smooth Leg and Foot Balm and Head and Hair Treatment Oil. All of the products are hand-blended and 100% organic with natural active ingredients and botanicals. These are the best gifts for travellers to take care of their skin and hair whilst on the road. Buy them on Made for Life Organics, from £6.00.
Mooncup – No female traveller should be without a menstrual cup. Mooncups are eco-friendly alternatives to tampons and they’re amazing. The cup can hold up to 30ml, which is much more than a standard tampon. It means that Mooncups only need emptying and washing out every 6 hours. They’re the ideal solution for travellers, especially those who enjoy being active. They contain no bleaches, deodorisers or absorbency gels and they’re reusable. They’re so comfortable, you’ll forget you’re even wearing one. Remember there are two sizes: size A for women who have not given birth, and size B for women who have. Buy a Mooncup on Amazon, £16.35.
Travel Gifts for Men
Cork Wallet – This stylish, handcrafted travel wallet is vegan and made from sustainable cork in Portugal. It slips into any trouser pocket or travel belt. The wallet holds cards on the outside and cash in the middle. Buy a cork wallet on WeYounique, €31.99 / £28.18.
Men’s Patagonia UV Protection Hoody – Keep safe from the sun with this UV protection hoodie for men. Perfect for travellers who aren’t used to long days in the sun, especially on the beach or whilst hiking. The material is lightweight, quick-drying and moisture-wicking. The hoody provides 50+ UPF sun protection. Made by Patagonia. Buy a UV Protection Hoody on Amazon, £53.58.
Travel Electronics Gifts
Fujifilm S8650 Bridge Digital Camera – Bridge cameras are compact and lightweight, but give you the great quality of a DSLR. It’s a great travel gift for budding travel photographers who are just starting out and want something a bit more technical than a standard compact camera. Buy Fujifilm S8650 Bridge Digital Camera on Amazon, £116.56.
Toshiba 64GB USB Flash Drive – A USB Drive is a great backup storage device for travellers who love photography. You can store photos on the USB Drive to free up space on your memory card. Buy a Toshiba 64GB USB Flash Drive on Amazon, £16.79.
Travel-Related Gift Ideas
Love Letter Card Game – The best card game to play while travelling! This 2-4 player card game is perfect for couples, friends and family. The game is straightforward and a game can easily be played in under 10 minutes. There are very few pieces and it’s extremely compact. It’s one of the best cheap gifts for travellers. Buy the Love Letter Card Game on Amazon, £7.99.
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