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Updated November 2021
It’s true that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all gift when it comes to finding thoughtful gifts and cool gifts for travel lovers.
There are many different types of travelers out there that this list doesn’t begin to cover each, but I hope that after you read this post, it’ll give you a good base to help you think a bit differently and a lot easier about the items you’re planning on gifting this year.
Just as there are different kinds of travelers (minimalist, solo, introvert, foodie, etc.) there are different gifts that are just going to hit differently if you thoughtfully consider just who the person is, what they talk about constantly, what they do professionally, for fun, and just what could make them (personally) happy.
In this post, I will be sharing not only a list of thoughtful and cool gifts for travel lovers, but also share a few prompts that can help you reset your mindset around the gift-giving process, and to establish the purpose of a gift, in order to help you make the gift-giving exchange a bit more intentional, easier, and more meaningful.
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How to be a more intentional and thoughtful gift giver?
I was reading a post by Intelligent Change (the creators behind the famous 5 Minute Journal, which I LOVE as well as the Productivity Planner) that shared the tips I’m about to show you here, and they made me realize how easy it can actually be to buy a gift for a loved one.
It can be as simple as following and answering these questions yourself.
- How do you understand and measure the value of a gift?
- How can your appreciation and love be transformed into holiday gifts?
- How do you want to share your positive energy with people you care about?
- What are other ways of giving and sharing different from habitual practices?
The aim is to help bring clarity to the why before the what.
Why are you buying this particular item for this specific person?
Answering those prompts can help you gain clarity and understanding of why you’re buying, and what that gift could be, instead of just guessing and purchasing for the sake of purchasing something.
This post will be divided by different *types* of travelers and based on that and their style of travel, I will suggest a gift that they would possibly really appreciate.
As I said before, this gift guide is meant to be just that, a gift guide.
This is meant to inspire you to see the different types of gift items out there that you may not have thought of before, or inspire your own creativity and thus a gift that wasn’t on the list.
So let’s get started!
10 Thoughtful Gifts and Cool Gifts For Travel Lovers – Ideas For Different Types Of Travelers
As someone who has their heart in different cities of the world, I absolutely love the idea behind a city ring!
This thoughtful and cool gift is perfect to give to someone who maybe studied abroad in the city of their dreams or someone who may be moving away, and may want a little reminder on their finger of their home city.
I also really love how considering the items and engravings on the ring, it’s not too bulky or dramatic, and I’m also loving all the city options they offer for the ring!
They have everything from U.S. cities, to major cities around the world.
This ring is the perfect blend of stylish, simple, and thoughtful.
I LOVE gifts like these that can help travelers get a bit out of their comfort zone, whether it’s solo traveling in a city they’ve never been to, or traveling with friends and hyping each other to actually do what’s on the card – it brings a fun and spontaneous element back into travel!
You can bust these cards out while you’re having your midday coffee and people watching, after a day of sightseeing, as a fun airplane or bus/train ride game, or at your hostel’s downstairs bar or communal space as a way to make friends!
The deck comes with 50 unique and interactive prompts that for sure guide will guide the traveler to explore any city in a fun, unique, and adventurous way!
Psst! Want some more help? Leave me your email so I can send you my FREE Ultimate Gift Giving Cheat Sheet to help you find the most aligned gift for *everyone* on your list – really.
Travel is inspiration, challenges, reflection, awakening to new ideas and perspectives, new questions, and a whole lot of growth.
A quality notebook and pen is not only a thoughtful gift for the mindful traveler but also an invitation to document those memories and helpful tips learned along the way that will help guide future travels.
Papier notebooks and pens are some of my favorites out there for their beautiful quality and designs and craftsmanship, and I especially love this customizable travel notebook that allows you to upload your favorite photo and design the cover of your notebook with photos from your own travels, or bucket list places to go to. You can’t get any more thoughtful than that!
Peace of mind is priceless, and as solo travelers, they have to learn to take care of themselves and keep themselves safe while they’re traveling, as well as travel packed with the appropriate tools to help keep themselves safe.
That’s why something like the Addalock portable door lock is an ideal tool to have and add an additional layer of safety to the door of the place the traveler is staying at.
It’s small, compact, but packed with a lot of good reviews, ease of use, and the peace of mind that they have added security.
And for added security, or if they may prefer something with an actual alarm, there is the highly-rated EMDMAK door stop alarm that they can simply place under the door, and will go off if anyone tries to open and move the door from the outside.
Both are really good options, and ideal and thoughtful and cool gifts for the solo traveler in your life, or yourself!
Click here to check out Addalock portable door lock and click here to check out the EMDMAK door stop alarm
I am OBSESSED by how beautiful this camera bag looks!
I myself haven’t graduated over to using a DSLR camera yet, but man when I do, I’m getting me one of these bags to carry it around.
It’s so pretty, it doesn’t look one bit like a conventional camera bag, it will go with all your outfits (important stuff!), and it can also double as a normal bag/purse.
I really love Lo & Sons for many reasons, starting off with the designs of their luggage and bags – quality, style, minimalistic, that doesn’t sacrifice functionality, as well as the people behind the brand and their story and inspiration behind the brand.
Aside from that, the company is committed to not only minimizing but also finding ways to enhance the earth and its resources with some of their bags (such as the super practical and functional Catalina Deluxe Tote) created for simplicity, functionality, organization, and with major sustainability impact as these bags are made from recycled plastic bottles and reducing the carbon footprint.
Click here to check out the Claremont camera bag, and other amazing and beautiful bags like their famous Catalina Deluxe Tote (a great weekend bag with practical and helpful compartments) here.
Although items like reusable straws, bamboo cutlery, and even reusable silicone swabs are helpful tools to aid the reduction of pollution and plastic use when traveling, I think that looking into something like an eco-friendly gift set like this one from Earth Hero could be a great alternative this season!
This eco-friendly gift set comes with all the essentials for a perfect day off to take care of themselves – talk about super thoughtful!
Everything from a non-toxic soy candle, herbal lotion bar, detoxifying bamboo charcoal soap bar, kelp face mask, and an exfoliating agave fiber washcloth.
Consider this thoughtful gift and cool gift, with natural, paraben-free, and plastic-free items!
For the traveler who “has seen everything”
A social experience unlike anything else
Ah, yes. The traveler who “has seen everything” that no gift seems to excite them as much as the travel itself.
I think that there will always be something to enjoy, no matter how much they’ve seen or experienced, and a thoughtful and cool gift will always go a long way.
Consider maybe steering away from gifting an actual item, and going towards an experience.
Even if it’s virtually such as an Airbnb experience where they can learn how to make pasta with an Italian nonna, or take a coffee masterclass from a coffee pro and learn the essentials of coffee making around the world!
This way, they get to learn something, create a specialty dish and experiences like this are sometimes more memorable than physical gifts.
Or better yet, book a private group, invite the traveler you’re gifting, yourself and your friend group, and together have a fun session learning something new and interacting with locals, almost as if you were traveling!
Something such as this really cool experience with a Dubliner learning about Irish culture, history, and craic from a local, which sounds like so much fun!
Or a super fun and interactive game with a Spaniard full of scavenger hunts, truth & lies, riddles & other wacky challenges!
Both you and your friend are bound to have a memorable and fun experience, and what’s a better gift than that?
For the digital nomad traveler
Digital nomads are an interesting type of traveler – they are infinite travelers that only carry a few bags as they venture the world, and most of the time spontaneously hope from one place to the next.
What do you get them?
While things like pocket wifi or a VPN would definitely be helpful, why not get them the gift of new knowledge?
A course to either help enhance their knowledge, or help them start a side gig?
Think of a course on digital marketing, graphic design, copywriting, affiliate marketing, sales, etc. that can help them create more income streams for travel?
Whether it’s for professional development or even a new hobby, something like a course can definitely make a great gift that definitely adds something of value, but also doesn’t weigh down their bags.
I am not a full-time digital nomad…yet, however, I am constantly signing up for courses to uplevel my knowledge for this blog and creating content in general, so if you’re looking for a recommendation, I have to suggest Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
This course is perfect for those digital nomads with blogs, YouTube channels, online shops, and content creators in general that want to learn how to monetize their channels, whatever they are, by recommending products and brands they are already using, in helpful ways to their audience (big or small).
Affiliate marketing can create a huge boost and enhancement to anyone’s journey to becoming a digital nomad, and becoming full-time in doing the things they love by recommending products they’re already using to their audience.
This course is super comprehensive, and has cleared up a lot of doubts I had around affiliate marketing as I learned from the best!
The creator of the course has been able to successfully create a 50k a month income for herself through this business strategy, and she teaches you exactly how to inside the course!
I definitely recommend it! It is helpful enough to help those that already know a thing or two about affiliate marketing as well as to those that may want to get started on their digital nomad journey with affiliate marketing.
Click here if you’re interested in learning more about this course in particular!
Click here to check out SkillShare, Udemy, and Teachable courses, as well as Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing
There are SO many things I could list for this category, many of which I have included in this post, but thinking back on my own experience, I’d have to say in the practical sense, I would have loved to have had more tools to help manage and maximize space.
I have a toss-up between good quality packing cubes like these ones from Eagle Creek that I love, as well as a sturdy, long-lasting, and minimalistic-looking carry-on with many compartments like these other packing cubes from Eagle Creek, and also a travel wallet like this anti-RFID travel organizer from Eagle Creek.
There’s a lot going on during the first trip, as many know – emotions whether good or worrisome, keeping track of all of your things, making sure you’re right on time, and making sure you’re going to the right gate – and that’s not even counting what it’ll be like once you arrive at the destination!
For me, I would have really liked to have invested in a good quality carry on bag instead of going with a school bag, which on top of not knowing how to pack properly back then, the school bag structure really didn’t work out for me (at least the one I had which was a JanSport).
The person traveling for the first time will really appreciate the practicality of these items, you can definitely bet on that!
Check out this fan-favorite carry-on bag, and the travel wallet, and packing cubes that I recommend and have personally used!
For the traveler dealing with reverse culture shock
A book that talks about the change of identity when you travel
I wanted to make this category and include it inside this list because I think it’s an important one that is often overlooked.
I am talking about those travelers (whether they are first-timer travelers or not) that after returning from a trip, have a hard time returning back home and feel the struggles of reverse culture shock.
As someone who has felt it, I know what it’s like to feel that deep desire to go back to a place that taught you so much, and that you want to keep exploring, and feeling out of place at home for a variety of reasons.
If you know of someone who recently came back from a trip abroad or someone who has struggled to readjust back home, this book really helped me understand what was happening as a returnee going through the change of cultures and looking at my own differently with a global perspective.
For the traveler who felt deeply influenced by their travel experience, and wants to learn more about it, Travel as Transformation is a thoughtful and cool gift and book that talks deeply about this topic.
It goes deep in the exploration of imagining each country we visit is a place where one is reborn with a new way of existence that one didn’t know about before.
One of my favorite quotes from the book (I got a lot!)
When my old rules for life didn’t matter anymore, I was free to choose my own path. I could explore what the vital parts of my identity were when context was stripped away.”Gregory V. Diehl – Travel as Transformation
Read More: A Better Sense Of Self Through Travel
Concluding thoughts on 10 Thoughtful and Cool Gifts For Travel Lovers – Ideas For Different Types Of Travelers
I know I didn’t cover every *type* of traveler out there, but I did my best to add a little variety and suggest recommendations that I truly think would align with each taste.
Like I said at the beginning, I hope this post gave you a few ideas and inspiration most of all when it comes to gifting the traveler in your life.
There are different travel styles and travelers alike, that there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of gift, in my opinion.
I hope the variety inside this post gave you some ideas a little more customized and aligned to the likes of those travelers you are gifting this year.
If you’re still wondering what to get every last person on your list and mind, then check out my FREE Ultimate Gift Giving Cheat Sheet to help you find the most aligned gift for *everyone* on your list – really. Just leave me your email and name, and it’ll be on its way to you!
To many more moments of thoughtfulness, good intentions, and a wonderful end of the year ✨