essential travel apps

Looking to buy a special gift for that travelling friend? We share these gift ideas for travel lovers to take out the stress of shopping.

It can be hard to buy birthday or Christmas gifts for those that never seem to stop travelling! You can’t get them anything too big because it won’t fit into the luggage, or too heavy because again, too heavy in the luggage. You can’t buy them gifts for home because they are travelling so often. You can’t get them tickets for a show or event because they may not even be in the country at that time. Well, I am sure they will still love gifts for their return and you can, of course, contact them to see when they will next be home. Some of these gifts are more practical than others, depending on the type of traveller your loved one is!

So on that note – here are my ideas for gifts for those that love to travel!


scuba diving Philippines


This may not sound so exciting but the waterproof phone and camera case I received for Christmas a few years ago was a lifesaver! These aren’t just ideal for days when you’re heading to the pool/beach or taking a kayak or boat somewhere but also for nights out and day trips.

This pouch saved my phone from any damage when we went kayaking in Thailand during our James Bond Day trip and kept it safe during our trip on the Maid of the Mist in Niagara Falls.

The camera case has helped protect my little camera on long journeys, especially as it’s shockproof too! So I can drop without a worry!


I don’t know about you, but I spend every spare moment thinking about and planning our next trip! I have added this little gem to my own Christmas list because it is just perfect for my downtime after long days of teaching.


No ‘Gifts for travellers’ list would be complete without this bad boy! I would like to mention that I purchased one of these for Calum a few years ago – way before it became cool. Anyway, there is a deep satisfaction when I get to scratch off another country on the map, so I would recommend this gift to your travelling friends.


I was amazed when a friend showed me her collapsible lunchbox whilst working at summer camp last year but I was blown away when I came across this gem! A travel kettle than can collapse smaller for your luggage – mind was blown. You can also get lunch boxes that collapse smaller – perfect for flights and long journeys.

gift ideas for travel lovers


When travelling, there is nothing better than a hot bath in a decent bathtub. This one may not be for everyone but I love bath bombs and body wash, I’m always trying to bring a little bottle of bubble bath or buy a bath bomb during my travels. Personally, I love LUSH bath bombs so these are ideal Christmas gifts. Bath bombs are available on amazon but shopping in-store is cheaper in the UK and across Europe.


Water bottles are essential items for all travellers but collapsible bottles are even better! These are bottles that can be collapsed and tucked away into a backpack whenever they are not in use but you can also get versions that keep your drinks cold too. 


This one only makes sense if you stay in hostels and small guesthouses. When travelling to China and Japan, we spent a lot of time in tiny guesthouses and hostels, making showers a bit of a challenge. Having a toiletry bag with a hook allows you to hook all your products in the shower with you, making life in tiny and shared showers a whole lot easier!

Buying Broadway tickets


I am not talking about your usual gift voucher but a travel-related gift voucher of course! Different websites such as lastminute.com or Groupon, offer various day trips, weekends away, hotel stays and even activity days perfect for those adventurous travellers you know and love. My family bought me theatre tickets and a London hotel last year and we surprised a colleague recently with a few nights at a spa hotel – so go on and have a browse!

You can also gift air travel, which completely eliminates the hassle of figuring out what to get someone you care about. The way this works is by gifting sky hours, which is the easiest way to give someone the opportunity to achieve an air travel dream. You can offer your loved ones as many sky hours as you wish, starting at 30 minutes for $30.


This is a lightweight towel that can be folded up to a very small ball! It drys quickly too, perfect if you are staying in hostels or guesthouses that don’t provide towels.


For those travellers who head to more remote places in the world, this Power Bank can charge two devices at once and is shockproof – great for clumsy travellers like me.

Beach in Thailand on a budget

11. Osmo Action / Go Pro

We prefer the Osmo Action but either of these action cameras is great for travellers. Whether you are giving a gift to someone heading to the beach, going hiking, visiting theme parks or heading to the jungle, these small, portable cameras are great for all travellers. They come with a case that can be used in water but are also easy to use and shockproof. 


I love to read and spend far too long reading blog after blog about my next travel destination. That being said, nothing beats a magazine and for me, Lonely Planet, a glass of vino and a hot bath is my idea of heaven. Your travel-loving friend may be on the road a lot but I’m sure they would appreciate returning home to their favourite magazines. If you’re in the UK, head over to magazinesubscriptions.co.uk  or google your favourite magazine.


Right so we have the scratch map and the colouring book but this looks kind of awesome too! A cork globe that you can pin after each adventure! I feel this would be very therapeutic too and I love anything travel related for our home.


This is top of my Christmas list this year – it would solve so many problems! I love to dress up when we are travelling but find it so hard to keep jewellery safe and detangled. This cute envelope jewellery organiser looks adorable and I am getting this before our next trip!


For those who travel with every piece of technology you could possibly think of (like my other half), this organizer is a great solution. I have to get this for Calum before we go on our next adventure, purely to save the inevitable search for cables at the bottom of our luggage – not great when you are half asleep after a long flight.

magnetic world maps

16. Magnetic World Map

For those with a home base somewhere, this magnetic world map makes for a gorgeous gift. It is on the pricey side so it is maybe worth dropping a few hints first!


One of the best things about travelling is the amazing memories you come back home with. With a photographer as a partner, the number of pictures we have is endless so having something gorgeous to store those prints in is perhaps the perfect gift. I personally love this choice but there are plenty of artistic, travel-related albums available.


I love to travel but I can be a tad clumsy at times. Getting a travel first aid kit for those accident-prone travellers is a helpful gift and can really come in handy. You could also pick up these handy Glide products which are so helpful for those visiting warmer climates. 


Yes, an extravagant gift but a necessary one! On our first trip back in 2011, I carried 4 Lonely Planet Guides with me and we were only away for 3 weeks! By the time we went to Asia, Calum had treated me to a Kindle and it was a lifesaver! I was able to spend the very long and boring flights reading away and learning all about the beautiful destinations we were heading to.


Linked to the above – reading guidebooks is one of the best ways to get excited about your trip. However, I have also enjoyed reading about other people’s adventures. Other normal travellers, working out how to best explore the world. I highly recommend Lauren Juliff’s “How Not To Travel The World” – hilarious!

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  1. This list was so informative! I swear I am going to end up buying everything on this list for myself. Some items I was not even aware existed. Great blog (:

    • I know, I have already ordered 3 of them for myself!

  2. Great list, Katie! I really like the jewellery organiser, it’s so compact and handy! As “experienced” *ahum* travelers, we already have some of them of course (and they’re super handy!): kindle, microfiber towel, GoPro (although it broke), toiletry bag with a hook and a scratch map. Pinned for when some of my friends need inspiration. 😉

  3. Any list with a travel tea kettle is a winner to me!

  4. Such a good list!!! I have a lot of things already on here but obviously always looking for good travel inspo! 🙂

  5. This is such a great post thank you so much for sharing! I would genuinely buy all of these for myself let alone other people!

  6. This list is absolutely perfect (sneakily forwarding the link to my brother, parents, neighbours and everyone in between…)! Two years ago one of my friends from school got me a Scratch Map as part of our Secret Santa get together and it was honestly the BEST thing! It doesn’t have all the little flags at the bottom like this one, though, which is a bit of a bummer.

    • Forward away! (made a point of showing this one to family too!)

  7. wow some great ideas here I absolutely love the foldable kettle brilliant simplicity, oh and the scratch off map is just a hoot.

  8. Oh my! I totally want the scratch map, the magnetic map and the colouring book. I think I’ll have to leave some strong hints lying around for my bf before Christmas 🙂

    The Kindle is literally the best thing ever to happen to travel (well, okay, after, like, planes and stuff) – I used to travel around with a bag full of books and now I just take my tiny little Kindle. I love it 😀

    • The magnetic map looks awesome doesn’t it?! And yes the Kindle has saved my baggage allowance and therefore my bank account too!

  9. Nice list. The GoPro would definitely be a nice find under the tree this year that’s for sure. I love the scratch map and pin globe too. Happy Holidays.

  10. An interesting list. The travel survival kit is a great idea. Love that you are plugging your own shop! 😉

  11. number 9 is my favorite and let me add SIDLAN BAG – it is a multifunctional bag-blanket-mat for travelers like us <3

  12. I love the scratch map!! I feel so accomplished whenever I get to scratch a new country!

  13. Wonderful list and helpful tips to buy something for Christmas! I have already many things; Anyway now I have some idea to make a gift to my wife! I love the Cork Globe map, 😀 thanks for sharing it

  14. I neeeeeeed that scratch map! That’s on my wishlist for so long… but honestly I would want everything from your tips. Love it

  15. Great gift inspiration. The solar charging power bank and collapsible kettle are brilliant!

  16. i have a scratch map and i love it! I actually think I need to update it! It’s really a wonderful gift.

  17. Hey Katie great post, It is the perfect post I was looking for Christmas shopping. The gift ideas are cool. Guess will buy some of those for my friends.

  18. Love all the ideas. We love the water. So we especially need lots of waterproof gear.

  19. I like this list, the only problem is that out of the friends that I would buy gifts for I am the only full time traveller, so I am going to have to buy myself almost everything on this list lol #broke great post!

  20. Thanks for a great list of gifts. I also love wash bags with a hook and a battery pack is really a must have. My best friend got me a metal cup as a gift before I left on my latest travels. I have it hooked to my backpack and it great! I can heat up water on a bbq with it, use it in hostels and use it as a small bowl.

  21. A Kindle is a total must! And I love the book How Not to Travel the World… so good 🙂 So many great ideas!

  22. I love the collapsible kettle, never heard of it before. I can easily tuck that anywhere in my bag lol.

  23. Really like the waterproof gift idea. So practical!

  24. These are all great gift ideas! I love the idea of anything waterproof, you can’t go wrong with that!

  25. What a fantastic list! I would love the waterproof camera case, must be amazing to take photos underwater. Would also like so many items on this list. The cable organiser looks so handy as well, I am forever looking for things in my suitcase! Thanks for the great suggestions. Polly 🙂

  26. I so want that cork globe for Christmas this year! Or maybe the scratch map or gopro. 😛

    • I know I want that cork globe too!!

  27. Gift ideas are always helpful. I as a traveler would be happy to receive some of the waterproof gifts or solar powered power bank or travel cable organiser. Thanks for sharing!

  28. As an Englishman, the collapsible kettle is absolute genius! I didn’t even know they existed until I read this! Definitely think I need to get one! The Cork Globe would be cool as well!

  29. I shall forward this to my family straight away!

    I’ll take a fold up kettle and a go pro 5, thanks

  30. Its sort of a no brainer..but I do love the kindle for travelling. And a couple of things i want to have here is the collapsable kettle which in find totally hilarious and needed..and the scratch map!! And thanks for the resourses as well. Really helpful!;) totally bookmarking this…

  31. After our recent Bhutan trip, i definitely would be happy to receive some waterpoof gifts that you have recommended. Awesome list!

  32. Some amazing things on this list – some I have and some i now want!!!! I love your T-shirts too -brilliant!! I need to get that jetlag one for my husband who is popping over to Australia for 5 days in February!!!

  33. A great list . Now I know what to pick for my travel lover friends .. thanks for compiling the list

  34. Perfect list!
    Loved few of them more. Thanks for sharing

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