Shopping for useful travel gifts for a friend going abroad can be a challenge, right?
Travelers tend to value experiences over things in the first place. Plus, they don’t pack much. I once even sold everything I owned, except for the few things I packed in two small bags.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get thoughtful gifts for a friend traveling abroad!
Why should you trust me?
Well, I travel a lot (I recently visited 43 countries in one year) so I’ve got a few travel gift ideas that can help get you get the right gift for a friend/girlfriend/boyfriend going abroad for a bit of travel.
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18 Great Gifts for Someone Going Abroad
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 power bank 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 friend’s neck while they sleep on a plane, but it also folds down to half the size of a normal travel neck pillow!
Our reviewer tested out 5 of the best travel neck pillows, including the TRTL, and this is one of the best out there.
Here’s a joke for you: How do you know how many countries someone who loves to travel abroad has been to?
Don’t worry. They’ll tell you 😉
Ok, in all sincerity though, travelers REALLY love counting how many countries and states they’ve been to. And that’s the cool thing about this fun scratch-off map of the world: that special someone who loves to travel abroad can hang it on their wall and look forward to scratching off a new country (or state!) after every trip. What a cool travel gift idea, right?
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 to travel overseas.
What better way to make those long flights slightly more bearable!
What do you get for a frequent traveler who loves reading?
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 (it’s one of the few things I kept when I sold everything I owed).
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 your boyfriend, girlfriend, or friend 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. A solid choice for a gift for a student traveling overseas for study abroad or someone going abroad on a work trip.
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!
This is a great affordable gift for travelers, as a 3D contoured eye mask is so much better. I’ve used them 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. Give the gift of sleep!
Sure, it’s boring. But it might be the most useful travel gifts out there.
Whether your friend is going abroad to Mexico, Thailand, or around the world, 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.
Fun Gifts for Someone Going Abroad
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:
The Gift of Dinner With a Local Through EatWith!
If your friend who is going abroad is a traveler, then they almost certainly value experiences as gifts more than things.
So why not give the gift of an experience?
With that in mind, here’s a perfect gift idea:
There’s this super cool program called Eat With that lets travelers have dinners in the homes of locals.
I mean … how cool would it be to eat in a local’s home while abroad?
And the cool thing is that the program sells gifts cards, which I think makes the perfect gift for that traveling friend. So whether your friend is going abroad to Thailand or Mexico or France, they’ll be able to use your gift for a super memorable experience!
Oh, and be sure to use that link plus code AWIN2018 for $10 off!
Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or HBONow
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…)!
Electronic Travel Gifts for Someone Going Abroad
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. And just check out all the awesome photos I took during that year!
Bottom line: the ultimate gift for someone going abroad is 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!
DJI Mavic Pro Drone
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 DJI 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!
What are your favorite useful travel gifts?
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.