By: Sarah Stone
If you’re anything like me, you only think of amazing gifts in short, occasional bursts of genius. Birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries are the worst—because if you have to think of the perfect present, you totally draw a blank. If you’re hard up for ideas of great gifts for travelers in your life, here are a few to get you started!
1: For the Luxury Traveler
If you have a friend who absolutely loves to live it up on travel—resorts, lodge rentals, and everything that comes with them—you don’t have to sell an arm and a leg to get her something meaningful.
One of the coolest gifts for travelers of all styles is a passport cover. It’s inexpensive, it protects your passport from getting too…frayed…and it looks amazing.
2: For the Budget Traveler
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the budget traveler. As a shoestring traveler, I try to scrimp and save on every part of a trip—but there are some basic things I’ll always need wherever I go.
The most valuable yet unexpected gift I can think of for your budget conscious friend is travel insurance. Offer to cover it for his next trip—often at less than $50 (or even less than $25) depending on where he’s going and for how long—and I guarantee he’ll be over the moon about it.
3: For the Volunteer Traveler
Most volunteer travelers who sign up with agencies or tour groups are asked to pay for certain aspects of their trip—such as housing, training, and support.
Helping your volunteer friend out with offsetting that cost (Volunteer Forever is an excellent resource) can go a very long way to helping them make the most of their upcoming trip! Or if they’ve volunteered abroad before, consider a donation to the group they worked with—chances are they’ve developed strong ties to their host group and knowing their friends and family support the cause as well can be an amazing gift on its own.
4: For the Backpacker
If your backpacker friend is anything like mine, she loves the outdoors—especially hiking. But she probably already has all the essentials, like a great backpack, boots, and more.
If she doesn’t have one yet, consider giving her a topographic GPS—either a stand-alone one or an app purchase for her smartphone. While a regular GPS is wonderful for most needs, a topographic GPS can give a bit more detail in backcountry and hiking areas, where the earth’s natural features and formations will help with navigation.
5: For the Well-Traveled Family
My family took road trips all the time when I was a kid—we’d drive up and down the East Coast to visit family, friends, and even for my mom’s archaeology work, which took her to colleges and universities from Florida to Pennsylvania.
As we started flying, we noticed we had the same black suitcases as everyone else—and usually we had two or three of them on any given trip. Matching, distinctive luggage tags for your suitcases, carry-ons, purses, and tote bags can help your well-traveled family quickly and easily identify their items without too much hassle.