We know just how difficult it is to find that perfect gift for a family member or friend and it seems to get harder and harder every year.
But if the person you’re shopping for is a fellow travelholic then good news, we’re here to help you out! Check out the list below for some fantastic gift ideas for travel lovers. These are all essential travel items that we use and love while roaming the world full time.
Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links and we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase but it won’t cost you any extra. Be assured though that we only recommend items that we personally use and find truly useful.
So far I’ve had two travel wallets and they are super useful. The travel wallet I’m using for full time travel is the Pacsafe RFIDsafe Z100 RFID blocking bi-fold wallet. This wallet is super tough and has a steel chain that attaches to your belt loop with an anti-theft clasp.
The wallet also contains material that blocks thieves from stealing your credit card details using RFID scanners.
Pac Safe also sells more compact versions of this wallet and they also make travel purses for women (Cindy has one of these as well).
Cindy’s on to her second travel hand bag and she finds them really useful. For full-time travel she’s using the Pacsafe Citysafe CS100 anti-theft travel handbag. It features slash-safe exterior material and a slash-proof strap that attaches to the bag with anti-theft clips. Just like the travel wallet it also contains RFID-safe blocking material to keep your credit card details secure.
We nearly had our camera bag stolen in Guatemala. Fortunately the thieves only had time to slash halfway through the strap. So when we set off to travel full time we decided to get something more secure.
Fortunately Pacsafe also make slash-proof camera bag straps, so we didn’t need to replace our entire bag. These straps have a metal wire through the middle of them. Try and cut through that you pesky pickpockets!
Help the Turtles
Pacsafe is a great Australian company that makes some awesome products that we use regularly but there’s one other reason that we think they’re great.
Pacsafe supports a range of environmental programs that help sea turtles (and you know how much we love turtles!). So we know that everytime we buy a Pacsafe product we’re not only getting some great gear, we’re also helping out our favourite ocean buddies.
We always bring a digital luggage scale with us to weigh both our checked and cabin bags before our flights. When you’re buying souvenirs on your trip you want to make sure you don’t go over your baggage allowance. This is especially important if you’re taking a lot of internal flights in places like Africa where you’ll be on small planes with very tight baggage allowances.
These scales are super compact and weigh almost nothing. Of course, once you know the weight of your bags, you do need to actually check your baggage allowance in the fine print on your ticket. Otherwise you’ll be handing the airline some easy money as we found out recently in India!
Who’d have thought something this simple could be so useful! If you haven’t travelled with packing cubes, do yourself a favour and get yourself a couple to trial on your next vacation. Packing cubes make your packing much more organised and if you roll up your items before putting them in the cube, you can also save a whole lot of space and maybe even downsize your bag.
We recommend getting one large packing cube for your larger clothing (shirts, trousers, shorts, dresses etc.) and one or two smaller packing cubes for socks, underwear and handkerchiefs.
We hadn’t used vacuum storage bags for travelling until we set off to travel full time but now we wish that we’d started using them ages ago. They are super useful for compressing bulky items such as towels, sweaters and winter jackets. They work by evacuating the air from inside the bag through a one way valve.
We are mainly travelling in warm countries but we’ve brought along some warmer clothes for higher altitudes. As we’ll rarely use them, we’ve put these bulkier items in a couple of vacuum bags and they compressed nicely to fit at the bottom of our backpacks.
Just make sure that you get the ones that don’t require a vacuum cleaner to extract the air! You want the travel variety that you simply roll up to squeeze out the air, or at worst come with a free hand pump for travel. If you’re travelling for a long period, it’s worth bringing along a spare vacuum storage bag in case you get a leak or a tear.
It’s a bit of a mouthful but this type of backpack is really great for travelling because its straps easily pack away inside a pocket and let you roll the back pack behind you using the retractable handle. Let’s face it, unless you’re hiking the Inca Trail this is a much better option for most places you’ll be visiting.
There are various brands available but we use and love Osprey’s Sojourn series which comes in 45, 60 and 80 litre sizes. We’re using two 60 litre ones for full time travel and they haven’t let us down yet!
If the person you are buying a gift for has an upcoming holiday, why not buy them a day tour. Get Your Guide has heaps of fantastic tours to choose from around the world.
Whether you’re exploring a new city or setting out on a day hike up a mountain, a good daypack is an essential item for any traveller. If you’re looking to buy one as a gift, look no further than the Osprey Daylite Plus.
Full disclosure: we haven’t used this daypack as we already had a kind of ok one to take with us. But from all the reviews the Daylite Plus seems like some sort of next level daypack! Plus we’ve had such a great experience with our Osprey Sojourn backpacks that we’re sure it’s a winner!
Unless you’re a professional photographer, your best bet for a camera these days is to go with a mirrorless camera. They’re a lot easier to carry when you’re walking around town all day and they take up a lot less space. We own an earlier model (E-PL 7) of the Olympus PEN E-PL 9 and it’s a great little camera.
We currently use the GoPro Hero 4 which is rather old now but your best bet is to go with the latest GoPro Hero 7. Unlike ours it doesn’t require a separate waterproof case and it has automatic colour correction for underwater shots. I want to upgrade just for that one feature because it’s such a pain to correct that blue-green tint in post production.
When you go through as many airport immigration and security checks as we do, you want to make sure you always know where your boarding pass and passports are. Organisers are also useful for storing hotel and tour vouchers, print-outs of your visa approvals and copies of your itinerary.
There’s nothing more annoying than having your mobile phone run out of juice when you’re out and about exploring a new city. That’s why we always carry at least one Lithium ion power bank with us (we keep ours in the front pocket of our camera bag for easy access). Your power bank will also recharge many other devices that charge over USB, such as cameras or fitness trackers.
If you want to pack light, you don’t want to be lugging around a bulky towel to use at the pool or beach or when camping. Travel towels are the way to go. They are much more compact and light weight. They are usually made of a microfibre material that holds a lot of water and dries quite quickly.
We have a couple of generic brand travel towels that we bought back home but once we’ve worn them out we’ll likely go for the Youphoria travel towels. They’re the top rated travel towels on Amazon and look absolutely awesome!
Lonely Planet make the original (and IMHO still the best) travel guides. Cindy has a whole bookshelf full of them back home and loves to highlight bits of them and bring them along on our trips (as much as I try and convince her to go digital!). Their phrase books are really handy as well and we always try to learn a few words of the native language when we visit a new country.
Someone gave Cindy one of these a few years ago and she loves it! We put our scratch map up on the wall of our study. It’s an awesome feeling scratching off a new country or two when you get back from your vacation. It’s also super handy for teaching kids about world geography and of course they’ll love scratching things off as well.
International Power Adapter
While a lot of the larger hotels are starting to build out their rooms with universal outlets, many smaller hotels only have the native outlet, so a travel power adapter is essential. Most of them aren’t going to blow your mind but they do the job well enough.
Cindy swears by these and uses hers all the time. They’re great on flights where she can watch a movie or listen to some music without risking damaging her hearing by pumping the volume up to full blast.
This is maybe not the most exciting gift idea in the world but it’s certainly practical!
Portable hair clippers
The one perk of being bald is that over the years I’ve saved a boat load on haircuts! For years I’ve used an electric shaver to give myself a buzz cut (with a little help from Cindy on the bits I can never quite get to!).
Now that I’m travelling full time I’ve had to downsize a little. It’s cordless and rechargeable and it’s so far doing the job rather well.
Travel Note: You will need to take this in your carry-on baggage because it contains a Lithium Ion battery. Most airlines have banned these batteries from checked in luggage. If that’s too much of a hassle (and it is a bit of a hassle) then go for one with a cord.