Best Travel Gifts 2018: Unique Gift Ideas For Travellers

Best travel giftsChoosing the best gifts for travellers can be a difficult task. By nature, or maybe just by my nature, travellers tend to have less attachment to material goods.

With that said, there are certain that can make your life much easier while travelling. Whether it was backpacking New Zealand or living in Spain, there were a few items that I came across that would be great gifts for long-term travellers!

I know that most travellers don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for gifts. Nor should you! Your money would be better spent on a trip! That’s why this list is comprised of items that are reasonably priced, with the odd exception, if you really want to splurge!

I have scoured my backpack and brain to come up with some of the best travel gifts for the special people or person in your life!

Best gifts for travellers

Antique Globe

This isn’t a gift you can take travelling, but it’s a nice one to have at your desk while you’re at home!

If you’re like me, and you have a fascination with maps, you’ll love this globe! Spinning the globe around eyeing up the different countries is a great way to inspire wanderlust.

I like this item, as it’s a visual reminder of all the places you can visit, that you haven’t yet. It reminds me that the world is a big place and I’ve only scratched the surface of it so far! I also like how it looks on my desk!

It’s one of the best travel gift ideas if you’re stuck on what to get!

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Bobby Anti-theft Backpack

This is hands-down one of the best gifts for people who travel! This backpack is perfect for long-term travellers, especially those of you going to Europe, where pickpocketing is rife.

I nearly got pickpocketed while I was living in Barcelona. The guy had the zip to my bag halfway open before I realised what was going on and pushed him away. If I had the Bobby anti-theft backpack with me, he wouldn’t have got anywhere near my valuables!

The backpack conceals the zips, making it virtually impossible for a pickpocketer to succeed. There are also a number of hidden compartments you can use to store your valuables away from prying hands!

I would go as far to say, this bag is a must if you’re serious about keeping your possessions safe. The peace of mind it will give is worth the price alone!

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Camera Tripod

If you know someone who is a budding photographer, then the Joby Gorilla Tripod is one of the best travel gift ideas!

The tripod is handy, as it doesn’t weight too much, while it has the strength to hold larger cameras as well.

The adjustable base means that it has more flexibility than the standard tripod. You can attach it to various positions to help you get some memorable shots!

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This is one of the pricier items I was talking about. Unfortunately, drones are not cheap! It’s one of the unique travel gifts that costs a bit extra!

If they were I would have bought one long ago. They provide you with the opportunity to take some truly stunning photos from a birdseye perspective.

You can also use them to produce beautiful videos that could potentially go viral and more than repay your initial investment! Or you could just buy it so you can fly it around and have hours of fun!

Whatever floats your boat!

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Go Pro

A Go Pro is one of the best travel gifts for adventurers! It’s a small, reliable camera that can be used in a variety of ways. No wonder it’s a favourite of adventurous travellers!

The advantages of a Go Pro are numerous. They are compact, they are almost indestructible and they are remarkably easy to use. Even my technophobe mum can use one with relative ease!

But wait, there are more benefits! A Go Pro will survive being submerged in a maximum of30 feet of water, while it has a nifty image stabilisation feature too. If you’re an adventure lover, you need a Go Pro, it’s as simple as that!

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A hammock is one of the best travel gifts for backpackers

Let me explain:

You may think there aren’t many opportunities to use a hammock while you’re travelling. Wel, you’d be wrong! There are ample opportunities to use one. You can use it at the beach, in the back of a beautiful AirBnB you’re staying at. Even while camping, you could set it up.

This Newdora hammock is lightweight and doesn’t take too much space in your luggage. It’s made from Nylon and is super strong while maintaining comfort. It even has a little pouch to store items such as your sunglasses or water bottle!

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When I went backpacking in Australia, I neglected to pack my hard-drive. This was my first backpacking trip. I naively thought I wouldn’t have much need for it. I would be out exploring and seeing things, rather than watching movies.

Well, I was half-right.

A year is a long time. You’re not always out and about exploring. There are days when you don’t want to do anything and just lounge about and watch TV. If you have a hard-drive you can do this, by watching whatever TV show or film you want.

You could even use it to store your photos if they’re taking up too much space. A hard-drive is one of the best gifts for travelers you can buy!

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I love flip-flops!

If I could wear flip-flops all the time without being judged, I would! The problem is, not all flip-flops are equal. When I was deciding what to pack for Australia, I found this out to my cost!

I packed a pair of cheap flip-flops thinking they would last me the whole trip. Two months later, they broke! I couldn’t believe it! Since then, I have only bought Havianas. why?

It’s simple, they last a long time! I’ve had my current pair for two years and they show no signs of giving up. They may cost a bit more than other flip-flops, but it’s an investment you won’t regret!

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If there is one thing that frustrates the life out of me when I travel, it’s the fact that I can’t carry books around with me. I found this out to my cost when I was backpacking Australia!

As a voracious reader, I kept on buying and buying books. Before I knew it, I had ten books with me, taking up space in my backpack. I couldn’t bring myself to leave them anywhere. Eventually, I sent them home when I got a job in Melbourne. I still had to carry them around for three months beforehand!

That’s why I strongly recommend you invest in a Kindle. I love the smell and feeling of holding a book in my hands. But, it’s simply inconvenient to carry them around while travelling.

A kindle is much more travel-friendly and is a fantastic travel gift idea for anyone that loves to read and live out of a suitcase! If you require access to the internet as well, check out my guide to the best travel laptops!

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Lifeproof Waterproof case

This is one of the best travel gift ideas! I’ve been unfortunate enough to crack the screen on my iPhone twice while travelling. Both times it cost me a lot to repair.

Why Apple can’t develop a phone that doesn’t need an extra case is beyond me! Sleek designs are nice, but if the phone is too fragile it negates the benefits.

A Lifeproof case is essential if you want to protect your phone while travelling. It will prevent your phone from being damaged, ensuring you can whip your iPhone out without any worries!

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This is the perfect gift for the more adventurous traveller.

The Lifestraw was developed to allow you to drink water from any source. The straw acts a filter, removing any harmful bacteria from water allowing you to drink the water without fear of contamination.

This could be a potentially life-saving item to have with you if you’re in a remote area. If you know somebody that loves to venture to remote destinations, this is a perfect and potentially life-saving gift that they would receive with open arms!

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RFID-blocking wallet

This might be a surprising gift idea for travellers, but it has its benefits!

You may not be aware of this, but your credit cards can be scanned remotely through your wallet. This was a shock to me at first, luckily, there is an easy way to prevent this.

Simply buying a wallet that is RFID blocking will protect your cards from thieves. As someone that has had close calls with thieves while travelling, you can never be too careful!

My RFID blocking wallet comes with me on every trip!

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Portable charger

This is an essential item while travelling.

Virtually everyone travels with electrical items nowadays. If you’re not, you must be stuck in the stone age! A portable charger is necessary to keep all your items fully charged while you’re on the go.

You never know when you might run out of battery on your phone. The ability to charge your phone could be potentially life-saving. Who knows when you might have to use your phone for an emergency!

Carrying a portable charger around will prevent this eventuality. This one pictured is small and won’t take up too much in your bag!

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Portable washbag

It wasn’t until I did my working holiday in Australia, that I came across this item. I took my toiletries in one big with a zip on the top. Little did I know, it would be extremely frustrating trying to rifle my way through the bag late at night.

I noticed a lot of travellers had these bags that had various compartments, which kept their toiletries in separate compartments. It was a revelation!

A portable washbag allows you to keep all your toiletries organised and in separate compartments for easy access. It’s much more convenient and is one of the best gifts for people going travelling!

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Scratch off travel map

This is a great gift for travellers. This map allows you to track the countries you’ve visited by scratching them off as you go.

Simply stick it on your wall, scratch off the countries you’ve already visited and you’re done. I find it’s a good way to inspire further wanderlust, as you have a visual reminder of places you’ve not yet been to!

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Scrubba Portable Laundry System

One of the most frustrating things about travelling is washing your clothes. In some places, it’s not too bad. When I was in Australia and New Zealand, all the hostels had washing machines. There was no issue with washing my clothes.

This was not the case when I was backpacking the Philippines. I had to use local launderettes and services to keep my clothes fresh! I wish I had known about the Scrubba Portable Laundry System back then!

It’s remarkably easy to use. All you do is fill the bag up, put your clothes in and rub the bag for a couple of minutes. It’s lightweight and doesn’t take up too much space in your bag. I’ll be taking this with me on all future trips for sure!

The Scrubba is one of the most unique travel gifts I’ve come across. I’ll be taking this with me on all future trips for sure!

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Swiss Army knife

This is an underrated item to include on your travels, but it can be a vitally important one!

A Swiss Army knife is a highly versatile tool that can double up as a number of items. If you need to cut something, unscrew something it can help you do that. It would make an ideal gift for a long-term traveller.

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Trtl Travel Pillow

I’m sure you’re familiar with those clunky looking U-shaped pillows that a lot of travellers have on long-haul flights.

Well, the Trtl Travel Pillow is a handy alternative. It’s small, easy to pack and holds your neck in a comfortable position, enabling you to sleep on long journeys.

I’m all about minimising what I carry around with me when I travel. This item is a godsend in that regard!

If you’re looking for gift ideas for someone going travelling, the Trtl Travel Pillow is a great choice!

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Concluding thoughts

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the best gifts for travellers. I’m sure there are many more items out there that can benefit travellers I’m yet to come across.This list will give you some gift ideas for those close to you who are regular travellers!

Are there any items on this list that I should have included? Have you used any of those items and have anything to say about them? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear thoughts!

Disclaimer: The Travelling Tom is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to and its partners. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.

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Tom is a travel addict who first left England to spend a year Down Under. Not satisfied with this, he then went to New Zealand, about as far away from home as he could get. He is now planning his next adventures in Europe and Canada while maintaining this blog.

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6 Responses

  1. I just ordered the travel pillow! Love this list. Pinning for holiday shopping later.

    • Tom says:

      It’s a great item Dana, much more practical than the U-shaped pillows! Thanks for pinning, hope it comes in handy later!

  2. Angie says:

    Love the unique items you included. The scratch off map went right on my Amazon wishlist. I love globes too and that portable laundry system is cool too. Thanks!

    • Tom says:

      Thanks Angie! The scratch-off map is a cool little one to pit on your wall. You could even frame it if you wanted too! The portable laundry is a lifesaver if you’re backpacking or on a road trip!

  3. Meg Cale says:

    The travel straw is such a cool gift for folks who are adventure travelers. I need one for my trip to Peru next week!

    • Tom says:

      Ye, It’s a great gift if you’re adventurous. Could be potentially life-saving as well! Definitely handy to have on you!

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