Updated: 6 days ago
Anyone who knows me knows that a major part of my identity is travel, so much so I’ve made a career of writing about it! And because of that, often when it comes time for gift giving season, I’m often asked about what I want or need to improve my travels. If you’re stumped about what to buy the traveler in your life, today I’m sharing some of the best gifts I’ve been given that I have loved to use while on the go. Let’s dive in!
Trust Me, Travel Lovers Will Love Getting These Gifts
Want to ensure you won’t need to include a return gift receipt when you give your gift? These items are sure to be well-loved by your traveler, all loved and tested by yours truly!
Language Learning Subscription
As a digital nomad who has very limited space in her backpack for physical things, being gifted experiences is my preference. Since I prefer to slow travel and stay in one country for a few months at a time, learning the local language is a game changer to feeling more like a local. Because it can be hard to learn languages outside of the required high school language courses we used to dread, I found turning to online tutoring to be the way to go to be able to quickly learn languages.
Lingoda is a learning platform that teaches English, Spanish, French, and German, and often runs special program sprints where if you complete a course each day, you receive a full refund of the cost of the program. I have also used Preply to work with tutors to brush up on my French and Macedonian when I haven’t had a chance to practice it regularly.
If you’ve traveled to a lot of countries before, you know it can be hard to keep track of all the places you have been. After a decade of travel, sometimes when I cannot sleep I try to run through all the countries I’ve explored in chronological order and sometimes I cannot remember each spot I’ve explored! This scratch-off map is a fun way for travelers to track where they have been and be reminded of all the cool adventures they have experienced.
In our digital age, phones are essential travel gear providing explorers with maps, recommendations, a camera, and of course a method to check in with you back home. Anyone who has experienced their phone battery dying while out on their own in a foreign country will tell you, that running out of juice can quickly make your day significantly more stressful. Having a portable charger or two packed can provide great peace of mind while on the go. I love how compact this portable charger is. It can easily slide into a cross-body bag or backpack while traveling.
A Local Photo Session
Getting photos of yourself that aren’t just selfies can be a challenge while traveling solo. Yes, you can ask a stranger to take a photo at a famous site, but there is no guarantee it will turn out in focus, centered, and angled so you don’t have ten chins. I love booking a local photographer for a fun shoot when I fall in love with a new destination. Not only is it great for memorializing your adventures, but often local photographers will take you to spots not as commonly photographed or known by tourists so you’ll get the inside scoop on the coolest spots in town.
We know you want to help ensure your loved ones stay safe while on the go, so gifting any safety device is an all around win. I always travel with this door safety lock and this slash resistant day bag for extra peace of mind while on the go and always recommend other travelers bring them as well!
✈️ Pro Tip: Learn more about what safety devices you should travel with in the Jessi’s Journey article on Best Solo Travel Safety Gear.
Airbnb Gift Card
One of the more expensive budget items during travel is accommodations. While in recent years I have tried to switch from using Airbnb to book long stays in exchange for homestays or supporting local B&Bs, the convenience of Airbnb is very helpful when on the road. Buy your loved one a comfortable night's sleep by giving them a gift card so they can find the perfect spot to stay at no matter what country they’re traveling to.
Luxury Travel Pillow
Repeat after me, not all travel pillows are created equal! I try hard to sleep during my flight so I can land in my new destination rested and ready to explore. Some gear makes sleeping while sitting in uncomfortable airplane chairs much easier. I love traveling with this travel pillow because it can be molded to give neck support in many different positions.
As a digital nomad, I often work in public places while traveling. But as someone easily distracted who often forgets to take her ADHD medication, I have come to rely on my noise-canceling headphones to be able to get work done while on the go. Plus, when staying in hostels, if I end up rooming with a snorer, they ensure a good night’s sleep!
A travel journal is more than just a notebook; it's a chronicle of memories and a canvas for creative expression. Now that I’m in my thirties, I love looking back on all my travels from my twenties and reading about all the cool things I did! (Although sometimes when reading them, I’m in shock that I haven’t died yet!) Gift your travel enthusiast a beautifully crafted journal to capture the essence of their journeys. I love these national park themed journals and country specific journals as well. They’re perfect if you know the person you are gifting will be enjoying an extended period of time in one of those destinations!
Immerse your travel lover in the culinary delights of each destination with a cooking class. Whether it's mastering the art of making pasta in Italy or perfecting the art of sushi in Japan, a cooking class offers a hands-on experience that connects them to the local culture through its flavors. Whenever the travel bug starts to bite, but I don’t quite have enough saved up to officially book my trip, I love to book a local class to travel through food from the comfort of my hometown.
✈️ Pro Tip: My favorite cooking class I ever did was in Positano. Find out how to Hey Mambo Mambo To Positano.
Collapsible Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is crucial during travels, and this collapsible water bottle is the perfect solution for the space-conscious adventurer. These lightweight and foldable bottles can be easily stowed away when not in use, saving precious backpack space. Whether hiking in the mountains or exploring bustling city streets, having a reliable water bottle that adapts to their needs ensures they can stay refreshed on the go.
I’m an avid reader, but often do not pack a book with me due to limited space. I love using the Libby app to rent library books and will read them on my phone when I must, but a Kindle is a better option for lightweight and easy reading. I love that they have shade settings so that when you’re reading on the beach or at a sidewalk cafe table, you can still easily see your screen.
Give A Gift Your Traveler Won’t Want To Return
Of course, when it comes to gifts it is always the thought that counts. No matter what you give the traveler in your life, they’ll be grateful you chose something you thought they would love. And remember, no gift is greater than quality time when they spend so much of their lives exploring. Happy shopping!
If you’re a traveler, what would you want to be gifted? Tell me in the comments!