12 Perfect Gift Ideas for the Long Term Traveler
Let us guess…you know a traveler and are at a loss for what to get them. Since travelers have limited space, every item they take with them must be useful. We’ll show you some great gift ideas for your favorite traveler.
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Gift ideas for travelers
Without further ado, let’s dive into this list of twelve can’t go wrong gift recommendations for travelers.
1. Memrise Language App
With over 6,000 languages in the world, chances are good that your traveler will be going to a country where they won’t be able to communicate with locals.
Have they mentioned a time or hundred about how they would like to try to learn at least a handful of local phrases?
You can help them on this journey by getting them a subscription to Memrise.
Benefits of Memrise
We’ve tried a number of language apps but Memrise offers by far the most real-world approach to learning. Their video recordings of native speakers bring an entirely new experience to online language learning compared to a computer-generated voice.
Additionally, they do a great job of continuously building on vocabulary and phrases. No boring repetition to be found here!
Memrise offers three subscription plans ranging from one month to life use. Don’t be fooled by the free sign up- it’s extremely limited on what you can access.
If your budget allows, buy the lifetime plan for your traveling loved one-they’ll have unlimited use of all 21 languages they offer, plus any future additions that may be developed.
Price range: $8.99 – $99.99 USD
Website: Buy it on Memrise’s Website
2. Theft Proof Scarf (and so many other theft-proof clothes)
Hopefully, your traveling loved one has never experienced a robbery. But regardless of whether or not they have, one thing is certain- the potential for getting robbed is heightened as a traveler. Between carrying everything valuable with them, being in unfamiliar places, and in many parts of the world standing out as a foreigner, it’s one of those parts of traveling that no one likes to talk about.
We’ve all heard of money belts. But let’s face it- how many people actually use them? Ours has unintentionally found a permanent home at the bottom of our backpacks.
The Clever Travel Companion has taken the money belt to a stylish- and most importantly, practical- new level.
They’ve designed secret pockets for tank tops, dresses, boxers, long johns, and yes, scarves. The pockets are large enough to fit a passport, credit cards and cash.
If you’re at a loss to what to choose because of all the options, let us help you out. If your traveling person spends a decent amount of time in cool weather, go for the scarf. Not only is it super stylish being infinity style, but it’s easy to access and won’t make a person feel- or look- bulky. Otherwise, the tank top could be among the most perfect gift ideas for your traveler who spends their time in warm climates.
Price range: Starting at $45 USD
Let us guess- your traveling person has gotten sick on the road and you’ve heard their story(ies) a thousand times over.
Help them (and you!) put an end to it.
Many stomach issues are rooted in poor water quality. Lifestraw has come up with a solution- a 2 ounce straw that converts 1,000 gallons of bacteria, microplastic and parasitic water into safe H2O. In case you’re wondering, 1,000 gallons of water roughly translates to five years worth of water for the average person.
As if it could get any better, this gift is affordable and doesn’t have an expiration date.
And yes, it does get even better- Lifestraw will donate a school year’s worth of safe water to a child in need for every product sold.
The (slight) caveat? Suction action required, so your traveler’s lungs will get a bit of a workout.
Totally worth it to avoid stomach issues, wouldn’t you say?
Looking for options other than a straw? Lifestraw has you covered- they offer the technology for water bottles and gravity bags, too!
Price range: Starting at $20 USD
Website: Buy it on Lifestraw’s Website
4. Packing Cubes
You’ve seen it a million times.
Your traveler packing.
Did they pack their navy or green shorts? How about that bathing suit?
Living out of a suitcase is tough and living out of a backpack is, well…an organizational nightmare.
Make your traveler the envy of their traveling friends by gifting them packing cubes. These are literally how they sound- cube-shaped compartments that you can store different items in.
There are a lot of options out on the market, but we recommend choosing packing cubes that come in different sizes- after all, what good is an organizational tool if you’re going to mix undies with jeans?
Another thing to keep an eye out for- packing cubes with mesh. It keeps the air flowing and makes it easy to identify what’s inside.
And of course, color matters! Packing cubes come as flashy or neutral as you’d like. Therefore, this is one of the best gift ideas for matching a gift to the personality of your beloved traveler.
Price range: Varies, but $59 USD and up for a good quality set.
5. Quick Dry Travel Towel
We get it. We’re only on number five of gift ideas and you’re confused why a traveler would be excited about a towel.
No hard feelings!
But trust us, your traveling gift receiver will thank you for this one.
A travel towel ticks some of the most essential needs of a traveler- small, lightweight, and dry.
Yes, we said dry. Ever put damp clothes in a bag and open them days later? Ew!
Dry towels are especially useful if your traveling person stays at hostels, since oftentimes hostels charge a fee to rent a towel. That’s right- you’ll be saving your friend a recurring expense and they’ll think of you when they’re in their birthday suit. What more could you ask for?
Just don’t go overboard.
One or two towels is plenty. They don’t have a linen closet to store stacks of towels like you do.
Price range: $11.99 USD & up
Website: Buy it on Amazon
6. Dry bags
What’s more exciting than a dry towel?
A dry bag, of course!
For under $20 you can purchase your traveling loved one waterproof protection for their electronics and passport. An extra bonus is it keeps out sand and dust.
Dry bags come in all shapes, but what you’re looking for is the kind that you roll up and snap together. Our personal favorite is the bag by Mountainsplash. Their nifty straps turn the bag into a shoulder sling or a backpack. Plus, it has a handle if you want to carry it.
Mountainsplash dry bags come in 5, 10, and 20 liter sizes. They’re compact to store, too.
Another neat thing about these dry bags is that they float…just as long as you leave some room inside for air to sit in there.
The color options are great, too!
Price range: $7.99 USD & up
Website: Buy it on Amazon
7. Nord VPN
Quick- what’s one of the most important things on a traveler’s mind?
We’ll give you a second…
Safety comes in lots of forms, but the part we’ll touch on here is internet safety.
It’s almost impossible to travel without needing to connect to public WiFi at some point- airports, coffee shops, hotels- the list goes on.
Chances are your traveler will need to do some important stuff on their computer while abroad. Think keeping an eye on their bank accounts, paying bills, filing taxes, etc. So, it’s important that they stay protected from hackers.
We know there are people out there waiting to grab this information. But the good news is that with a VPN the chances of stolen information decreases significantly.
By purchasing a VPN, it hides your computer’s location. This means that you can be checking your email in Brazil but your IP address (the computer’s location) shows that you’re in Slovenia.
We don’t travel anywhere without using a VPN and the company we use is Nord VPN. They have dozens of countries to choose from and an extensive network for fast connections. In fact, we feel so strongly about the importance of VPNs that we wrote a post comparing the best VPNs on the market.
A VPN is easily one of the best gift ideas on this list for your traveler. You can sign them up for a monthly or yearly plan and rest easy knowing that their internet connection is secure.
Price range: Monthly plans starting at $2.99 USD/month
Website: Buy it on Nord VPN’s website
8. Collapsible Water Bottle
This is as cool as it sounds.
A water bottle that flattens down to the circumference of your palm, is 1.5 inches thick when collapsed, and can fit in your pocket.
Your traveler will get to save the environment and space.
Looking to create a double “wow”? This is one of those gift ideas for your traveler that goes perfectly with the Lifestraw mentioned in point number three.
And like any good water bottle nowadays, it’s BPA free and dishwasher safe.
Seriously. What more could your traveler ask for?
Price: $16.99 USD
Website: Buy it on Amazon
9. Scratch Off Journal
We’ve been harping on a lot of practical things here. So, let’s switch over to something artsier.
We’ve all seen the large scratch-off maps.
Sure, they’re pretty nifty. However, they’re designed for the person who travels a lot and let’s face it- scratch off maps aren’t the type of thing you can easily stick in a backpack.
If your traveler enjoys journaling, then the scratch-off travel journal could be one of the most perfect gift ideas on this list for them. There’s a scratch-off map in the journal so they’ll get to carry the map with them and record their experiences.
The journal comes with 64 pages, all made from recycled paper.
Price: $22.30 USD
Website: Buy it on Amazon
10. Shaving Body Cloth
You’ve surely seen unruly pictures of your dear traveler.
The beard. The armpit hair. The leg hair so long it’s curling.
You hope it’s a traveling fad but fear that your traveler is on a boycott against hygiene.
However, there usually comes that moment on the road when the need to shave comes ‘round. Norwex designed a body cloth that offers a baby soft shaving experience without any shaving cream.
You read that right.
No. Shaving. Cream.
Your traveler simply needs to wet the towel and rub it over the area they’re going to shave. Then, shave.
They’ll be wowed by the softness and close cut!
Price range: Starting at $19.99 USD
Website: Buy it on Norwex’s website
11. Travel Insurance
Let’s face it, even the cheapest of trips adds up financially. Your traveler may book their trip months in advance and then just like that, something could happen before or during it.
It’s hard enough dealing with unexpected health or family circumstances when traveling. However, add to that the possibility of losing out on the money your traveler has already invested into their trip and/or added medical expenses or the cost for a last minute flight home, and the results can be downright devastating.
Enter travel insurance.
It’s not something exciting to think about or something that motivates most to want to shell out money for, but if something happens during their trip, your traveler will thank you a thousand times over for your intuitive gift.
We recommend Travel Gaurd as a travel insurance company, since they are a global agency that offers a variety of plans for different needs.
Price: Varies greatly based on age, residency, and the plan you choose, among other things.
12. Extension Cord
It’s an odd one and definitely not the right fit for every person, so make sure to know your traveler’s needs well before you go buying them an extension cord.
However, for the right traveler, an extension cord is a lifesaver.
When traveling, it’s common for an outlet to be too far to reach the bed or desk, or for there to be one outlet when a person has multiple devices to charge, etc.
Having an extension cord can also help with safety when at a hostel, since your traveler will be able to have their electronic devices directly beside them instead of potentially in an outlet across the room.
That being said, make sure to not go overboard with an extension cord- no traveler we’ve ever known needs one 30+ feet long. Instead, consider buying them a retractable extension cord. It’ll be useful and compact.
Price: $10.99 USD
Website: Purchase on AliExpress
What Are You Waiting For? Get Gift Giving!
We hope these ideas help inspire a gift to give your beloved traveler. Even if you’re still on the fence about what to get them, just remember the golden rules of the perfect traveler’s gift:
Keep it small. Keep it light. Keep it useful.
Laura has been wandering the globe for over a decade. She’s an early bird and backpacker at heart and can often be spotted with a dog or ten that she’s befriended along the way. Much of the content Laura writes on A Piece of Travel includes details on wheelchair accessibility, with the support of her brother-in-law and sister. You can learn about their accessibility endeavors here.