Any links in this post to a merchant may contain an affiliate link, which means that if you click on that link and then buy something, I may earn a commission from it. However, all opinions in this link are 100% mine and 100% honest. If I didn't believe in a particular product, I wouldn't recommend it to you.
The holidays are right around the corner! So, it’s time to start shopping for all those Christmas gifts. To make shopping easier this year, here is your ultimate holiday guide to the best gifts for travelers. This gift guide is broken down by type of travelers so you can find just what you’re looking for. And it includes things you may not have thought about before so you can really please those travel lovers. So, let’s get shopping!
- For Trip Planners
- For Road Trippers
- For Frequent Flyers
- For Beach Lovers
- For Outdoor Adventurers
- For City Slickers
- For Little Travelers
For Trip Planners
Let’s start with the trip planners: those people who love researching trips and putting together itineraries for everyone. It is especially important to please the trip planners in your life because they are the ones who will help you plan your next trip!
For people who love the planning aspect of travel, travel journals are a great gift. The perfect travel journal will include space to keep track of all of a trip’s details from beginning to end.
Destination guides can help you plan your trip to a specific place, whether it is a city, country, or theme park. They include maps, restaurant and hotel recommendations, and must do activities. These books are a great way to help your favorite trip planner get started on their next trip.
One of my favorites is 1000 Places to See Before You Die. It has amazing things to see and do all over the world. I use it every time I plan a trip.
If you are looking for a guide to a specific location, you can find tons of destination guides here.
Maps are essential to travel planning. So, why not give the planner on your list a nice map of their favorite destination? Or, give them a map to keep track of all of their adventures. Amazon has some great scratch-off maps of the world and the United States.
My favorite gift idea for travelers who love planning and organizing is packing cubes. These small cubes maximize the space in your suitcase while keeping everything organized and easy to find.
I recommend buying a set in a different color for each person in the family. (See why packing cubes are the best travel product ever.)
For Road Trippers
Do you have someone on your shopping list that loves road trips? If so, check out these wonderful gifts for travelers that love hitting the open road.
A portable GPS device is one of the most essential travel items to have, especially for road trippers.
While most newer cars have built-in GPS systems, I still prefer the portable ones because you can use them in your car, your friend’s car, and your rental car. You can also use them when walking or hiking.
Plus, you can save your phone’s battery by using a portable GPS unit instead of your phone. And they will work, even if you happen to lose cell service. These portable units can even save you money on car rentals.
I love Garmin GPS devices and have used them for years.
Another important item for road trips is satellite radio. It eliminates the need to search for radio stations every little bit. Plus, sports fans can always follow their favorite team while on the road.
Any road trip lover will be thrilled to get the gift of satellite radio. Use this link to get a great deal on a SiriusXM satellite radio subscription.
Gas Gift Cards
One thing is for sure: if you are going on a road trip, you will need gas! So, give your favorite road tripper a gas gift card for the holidays! This practical gift means they will have to spend less money to get where they’re going which will give them more money for their adventure.
Portable Air Compressor
One of the most practical gifts you can give to a frequent road trip traveler is a portable air compressor. While this may not be the most exciting gift, it will be a lifesaver in the event of a flat tire in the middle of nowhere!
My in-laws gave us one several years ago, and it has come in handy many times. It is compact and comes in its own carrying case.
For Frequent Flyers
While some people love the journey, others just want to get to the destination as fast as possible. Here are some gifts for travelers who are frequent flyers.
Did you know that you can gift airline miles to someone? The details vary by airline program, and there will usually be a transaction fee associated with it, but it is possible. Look at this article from Forbes magazine for more details.
Alternatively, you can always give airline tickets to your favorite traveler for their next trip. This is just one way you can give the gift of travel to your favorite people.
Anyone who has tried to sleep on a plane knows how difficult it can be. If you are shopping for gifts for travelers who fly frequently, look at a high-quality eye mask. This is the perfect way to give them some rest and relaxation on their next trip.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
Another essential item for those who fly often is noise cancelling headphones. These headphones keep your entertainment in your ears while keeping distracting sounds like crying babies and loud talkers out.
For Beach Lovers
For some travelers, the beach is the ultimate destination. Here are a few gift ideas for the beach lovers on your list.
Sand Sculpting Tools
Kiddie sand toys are fine for playing, but if you want to take your sand castles to the next level, you need some sand sculpting tools. These tools make great gifts for families who love spending time at the beach.
You can’t always guarantee you will have some shade at the beach, unless you bring your own. Therefore, a beach umbrella makes a great gift for beach lovers.
An umbrella will help make your beach trip with kids more successful.
Mesh Beach Bag
Another gift idea for travelers who love the beach is a mesh beach bag. These bags keep the sand out of your car and help your wet things dry faster.
For Outdoor Adventurers
If you are looking for gifts for travelers who love the outdoors, think about gear for all of their adventures. Here are a few that are sure to be a hit.
A camelback is basically a backpack for water. It is useful for anyone who likes to hike, run, or bike. It is much lighter to carry than bottled water and it keeps your hands free.
For anyone who loves to snorkel, having your own gear is a huge plus. This allows you to snorkel in places less touristy where it may be impossible to rent any. Look for snorkel gear that comes in a handy bag for extra convenience.
My favorite piece of outdoor travel gear is my underwater camera. It is rugged enough to take to the beach and the mountains. This camera allows me to take photos that would be impossible with my more fragile DSLR camera.
For City Slickers
While some travelers prefer the beach, others want to be in the middle of the city. Here are some great gift ideas for the city slickers on your list.
Tickets to a Show
A thoughtful gift for the person who loves being in the middle of it all is tickets to a show in one of their favorite cities. You could also buy them tickets to a tour, museum, or sporting event.
Most cities in the United States offer City Passes. These passes give you discounts or free admission to some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. They also make great gifts. You can usually order them online.
Restaurant Gift Cards
Give the gift of food to your favorite city slicker by buying them restaurant gift cards which they can use on their next trip. Choose from their favorite restaurant chains or local favorites in their destination of choice.
For Little Travelers
Don’t forget about the littlest travelers on your list! There are lots of gift ideas for children who love to travel too.
One of the best gifts for travelers of any age is travel pillows. A child-sized travel pillow will make any trip easier for children and parents. Look for fun colors and favorite characters to please your little travelers.
Portable DVD Player
One of the best gifts my son ever received was a portable DVD player. We take it with us on every trip, regardless of whether we are flying or driving. It is an essential travel item in our house.
Travel games help kids have fun during the journey. These include video games, card games, and travel versions of their favorite board games.
Travel Books for Children
An easy way to get kids excited about travel is to buy them travel books. These can be used to plan trips, create a travel bucket list, and read while on a trip.
My son loves his Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid.
Travel lovers can be hard to buy for, but if you get creative, you can find amazing gifts for them. I hope this guide to the best gifts for travelers helps you with your holiday shopping this year.
And check out my gift guide for moms who love to travel.
P.S. Need help finding the best places to go on your family vacations? My Ultimate USA Bucket List for Families will instantly give you 60 of the best vacation destinations for families in the United States! Get it for FREE in the box below and start planning your next trip today! Plus, as a bonus, you will receive my weekly email newsletter full of family trip tips and inspiration!