Shopping for useful travel gifts for someone going abroad can be a challenge, right?
I mean, look:
Frequent world travelers often already have everything they need or may not have much space in their bag for more. Plus, travelers tend to value experiences over things in the first place.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get great and thoughtful gifts for that friend or special someone going abroad!
I travel a lot (I’ve been to 43 countries in the past year alone) so I’ve got a few travel gift ideas that can help get you sorted in getting the right gift for a friend going abroad. That’s why, with the help of my readers, I’ve put together this list of great gift ideas for people who love to travel. We’ve got you covered with ideas for the best travel gifts for your boyfriend or girlfriend, your child or student, or simply gifts for friends going abroad.
[Disclosure: if you make a purchase through the links on this page, you help support this site through a small commission from the seller at no additional cost to you]
Anyone who travels will tell you that the most useful gifts for someone traveling abroad are often those that seem a little boring and too practical to the buyer, but are in fact amazing lifesavers to the friend going abroad. It’s amazing how excited a frequent traveler can get about their powerbank or neck pillow! So here are some of my favorite practical but useful travel gifts for someone going abroad:
Suggested by one of my readers over on Facebook, this thing looks incredible. The TRTL Neck Pillow has a built-in support to cradle your neck while you sleep, but folds down to half the size of a normal travel neck pillow!
Complete with everything you need to mix up a Moscow Mule, Old Fashioned, or Gin and Tonic in flight, the Carry-on Cocktail Kit is a fun and unique gift for someone who loves traveling. What better way to make those long flights slightly more bearable!
What do you get for that frequent traveler who also loves to read? Help them fit all that reading material into the palm of their hand with the Kindle Paperwhite. I’ve had mine for a year and a half and love it. The screen doesn’t glare in the sun (so it’s great for reading on the beach) and it doesn’t strain your eyes. And if you combine it with Kindle Unlimited (get a 30-Day Free Trial here), you can get thousands of books — including the entire Lonely Planet library — delivered free to the device.
Waiting around in airport really sucks right? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to make that time more enjoyable for that friend of yours who travels often?
Well, with a Priority Pass Membership, you can give the gift of access to a thousand lounges around the world! I’ve had this pass for over a year and I use it at nearly every airport I go to access first and business class lounges. They have different prices options, with the premium versions offering unlimited free access to lounges.
Have you ever faced the question of whether to bother bringing a laptop on your trip? Bringing it adds bulk and weight to your pack, but if you leave it at home you’ll be limited in what you’re able to get done. The Asus Chromebook Flip is the perfect solution while traveling abroad. It weighs just a couple of pounds and, though its hard drive is a bit limited, it has most of the functionality of a traditional computer. Oh, and the tablet mode is great for watching TV or movies on a plane!
This is the definitive gift for backpackers going abroad on a budget. Written by the world’s most popular travel blogger, “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day” breaks down exactly how to travel the world on a budget of just $50 a day. So if you are looking for a cool travel gift for a student, or just someone traveling on a budget, this makes an excellent choice. Oh, and it’s a very affordable but practical travel gift!
One of the more famous travel books out there, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die has been recently updated and makes for an excellent gift for someone going abroad. When you flip through the pages of this book, you realize just how much of the world you have left to explore. Perfect for igniting wanderlust!
Fitting everything into a small bag while traveling the world is a constant challenge. I use these compression sacs to take the air out of my clothes and to squeeze as much as possible into my bag. Sure, it’s not the flashiest gift for travelers, but if you’re just looking for useful travel gifts they will actually use, this is it.
This is a great affordable gift for travelers, as it’s the best eye mask I’ve found on the market. I’ve used it on trains, planes, in hostel dorms, or simply when the hotel room has too much light. This is a travel gift idea that they are sure to actually use.
Sure, it’s boring. But it might be the most useful travel gifts out there. Buying travel insurance is a relatively inexpensive way to protect against tragedy, making it one of the most useful and practical gift ideas for friends or family members going traveling. I personally use WorldNomads and highly recommend them.
If you’re looking for fun gifts for friends going abroad, why not keep your them entertained on the road? These gift ideas are sure to put a smile on that special traveler’s face:
I love Spotify Music, because for a low monthly fee I get access to a huge library of music and the ability to download songs offline to my iPhone (so I can listen on planes or where I don’t have cell service). And it makes a great gift for someone going abroad because it doesn’t take up any space in their bag!
Nothing makes a long flight a little more bearable like a marathon session of Stranger Things.
And if the traveler you are buying for is already on the road, gift cards to these streaming services are easy to send electronically. I especially love Netflix and Amazon Prime because you can watch TV and movies offline.
Instead of having to watch their favorite shows on a tiny phone or laptop screen, that special traveler in your life can cast their favorite streaming services to their hotel or AirBnB TV directly (through a WiFi network) using the very affordable Amazon Fire Stick. Better yet, it’s about the size of a lipstick case, so it’ll fit easily into their bags!
A reader had the brilliant suggestion for what to get a friend traveling abroad: the irreverent game Cards Against Humanity! Though it takes up a bit of space in a bag, this card set is a popular game in hostels around the world and sure to make them some new friends while traveling (now, now don’t get jealous…)!
Do you know someone who is planning to travel abroad carrying only — gasp — the camera on their phone? I nearly made this mistake myself when I set out to travel the world for a year. Thankfully, a smart uncle of mine talked me into buying a real camera and learning to take real photos. My Instagram feed thanks him for it! And so will that someone going abroad if you get them the ultimate gift of a quality camera!
Mirrorless cameras are the latest trend in travel photography. They shoot at almost the same quality as a traditional DSLR camera but are a fraction of the size. And the Sony a6000 is an excellent and affordable option that takes amazing photos. It’s still my camera of choice and most of the photos on this site were taken with it. If you’re looking for a gift that will wow that someone going abroad, this is it!
Ok, so a drone is not exactly a budget-friendly gift. But, if you’re really looking to go all out with your present, you won’t find a more exciting but useful travel gift than the DJ Mavic Pro. It’s the most popular drone amongst the traveler community for a reason: it takes gorgeous photos but folds down to the size of a water bottle! I’ve seen friends use and love this, and I have my eye on buying one for myself.
There is nothing worse than running out of power for your electronic devices on the road! That’s why I always carry the Anker 10000 powerbank. It fits into the palm of my hand but has enough juice to charge my iPhone 6 plus four times.
This is a great budget gift that every traveler will love!
Let me know your favorite gift ideas for travelers in the comments! What are some great ideas for gifts for friends going abroad? What about useful travel gifts for family members traveling the world? Let me know what presents you’d love to receive while traveling!
If you want to know what I pack for my travels, be sure to check out my post on what I pack to travel the world. And, lastly, if you’re a frequent traveler yourself, be sure to check out my awesome list of 20+ Resources Every Traveler Needs to Have.
Lastly, if you’re on Pinterest, pin this for later here:
Nate Hake has traveled to 65+ countries across six continents around the world and blogs about his travels at TravelLemming.com. He is from Denver, Colorado, and recently concluded a six month stint living in Mexico.