For those seeking gifts for someone traveling abroad indefinitely, here’s a guide that’s as fun as it is practical. Imagine your friend or loved one embarking on a journey as a digital nomad, taking a job overseas, or simply deciding to travel the world with no fixed return date. The challenge? They might never stop!
I’ve been that person, constantly on the move. And believe me, when it comes to purchases, I’m incredibly selective.
There’s just no space for non-essential items in my life. As much as I might appreciate a good sale at Bath & Body Works, those products just don’t make the cut. Their lotions aren’t moisturizing enough, and how many cozy socks does one person need?
My travel lifestyle often finds me spending months at a time in foreign countries. Once, I unexpectedly stayed in Vietnam for sixteen months when travel restrictions hit!
What was meant to be a one-month trip turned into an indefinite stay, teaching me to travel light and only pack items I truly need and love. This guide is for anyone looking to gift something meaningful and practical to a traveler who lives out of their suitcase.
SHOPPING TIPS AHEAD!
Before exploring this handy gift guide for your eternal nomad friend, it’s crucial to first inquire about what they really want or need. It’s possible you have the perfect gift idea, like an Aeropress to save them from daily $4 coffees, but it’s wise to check if they don’t already own one.
With that important step covered, let’s delve into some thoughtful gift suggestions.
19 essential gifts for long-term travelers abroad
1. Customized travel playlists
Creating personalized playlists is a thoughtful and budget-friendly gift. Travelers are often on the lookout for new tunes, books, or podcasts. A well-curated playlist shows your effort and understanding of the traveler’s tastes.
As a Spotify enthusiast, I recommend making various playlists: one with podcast episodes, a comprehensive music playlist, and even an ASMR playlist for relaxation and sleep – Spotify’s ASMR library is extensive.
To gift it, consider a beautifully decorated card with the playlist’s URL, with options from places like Rifle Paper Co. offering charming physical and digital cards.
2. Travel diary with stickers
For travelers who enjoy journaling or scrapbooking, a unique travel journal makes a great gift. Consider the classic Midori notebook or perhaps the travel journal from Promptly Journals for their upcoming journey.
Adding a personal touch with stickers is a fun idea, especially if they’re relevant to the traveler’s destinations. Look for creative sticker sets that they can use to personalize and decorate their journal entries.
3. Essential daypack
A great gift for travelers is a durable and lightweight daypack. The ideal daypack should be compact enough to fit into a carry-on for ease of travel.
Even for those not keen on backpacks, a functional daypack is invaluable for carrying essentials like a laptop or camera equipment. Another stylish and practical option is the Troubadour Goods backpack.
It’s perfect for both everyday use and outdoor adventures, doubling as a chic accessory and a sturdy companion for hikes and travels, also serving well as a personal item on flights.
4. High-Quality packing cubes
Joining the packing cube trend can be a game-changer, and gifting a set of premium packing cubes is a thoughtful idea. If your friend doesn’t already own them, they’re in for a pleasant surprise.
Opt for high-quality ones, like those from Eagle Creek, which are notably superior to generic, free versions. The difference in durability and functionality is significant and will be greatly appreciated by any traveler.
5. Eco-friendly travel kit
Encourage sustainable travel with a gift of reusable essentials. Travel inevitably impacts the environment, so a kit with eco-friendly items like metal straws, a bamboo cutlery set, and reusable makeup remover pads can help lessen that footprint.
This gift can be tailored to fit various budgets, from modest to mid-range, depending on the number and quality of items included in the kit. It’s a thoughtful way to support environmentally responsible travel habits.
6. Quick-drying travel towel
For budget-conscious travelers, having a quick-dry towel can be a lifesaver, especially in places where towels are small or not provided. A quick-drying towel is essential not just for practicality but also for convenience in various settings, including beach destinations.
Turkish towels are a personal favorite due to their efficiency and compactness, making them an excellent choice for any traveler.
7. Stylish cord organizer
A friend gifted me a cord organizer from Daiso, and it’s become a travel essential. It neatly organizes tech accessories, fitting four cords and featuring a mesh zip pocket for essentials like a passport, SD cards, and flash drives. It even accommodates a 1TB external hard drive.
For those looking for similar functionality with a bit more style, there are fancier versions available on Amazon or at The Container Store. This organizer is a practical and chic solution for keeping tech gear orderly while on the move.
8. Versatile small bag
For travel, a large tote bag just doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s better to have something smaller for essentials like a phone, card case, or a DSLR. When choosing such a gift, it’s vital to know the recipient’s preferences, as they may be quite particular about style and practicality.
A recommended option is a tan or cognac bag (not brown), preferably in pebbled or Saffiano leather with a classic, zippered design. Brands like Michael Kors, Tory Burch, Coach, and Kate Spade offer durable, stylish bags that are perfect for various travel scenarios and last for years. Remember, being certain of the traveler’s taste is key.
9. Gift cards for their preferred brands
Purchasing clothing as a gift can be tricky due to varying sizes and personal styles. It’s often challenging to match someone’s style perfectly unless they have clear brand preferences or provide a specific list. A safer and more appreciated option is to give a gift card to their favorite brands, allowing them the freedom to choose items that suit their taste and needs. Some desirable brands for gift cards could include:
- Amour Vert
- Lezé the Label
- Fulton Insoles
- Old Navy
- People Tree
10.Essential portable charger
A portable charger is an absolute must-have for any traveler. If they don’t already have one, gifting a portable charger will be a game-changer for them. It’s all too common to be in a foreign country, trying to locate a hotel at night, only to find your phone’s battery at a mere 3%. A portable charger can prevent these stressful situations, ensuring they always have access to their device when they need it most.
11. Aeropress for coffee lovers
An Aeropress is an excellent gift for travelers who are coffee enthusiasts.
After seeing the positive reception it got from other nomads, gifting one can be a delightful surprise. It’s not only practical but also a money-saver, considering the rising cost of coffee shop lattes.
The Aeropress can be a great way for travelers to enjoy their favorite brew anywhere, adding comfort to their journey.
12. Smart, insulated water bottle
Focusing on sustainability, a smart, insulated, reusable water bottle is an ideal gift.
Such a bottle is not only eco-friendly but also convenient for travelers. With its insulation, the bottle keeps drinks at the desired temperature.
Opting for a smart water bottle adds an extra level of utility, as they often come with features like temperature control and hydration tracking, making them a perfect travel companion.
13. Comfortable travel pillow
Recently, I invested in a high-quality travel pillow, acknowledging the need for neck support during various journeys including flights, boat rides, trains, and car travels. After hearing positive reviews, I chose a well-regarded brand.
Travel pillow offers the right balance of support and comfort, making it an essential item for anyone who spends significant time traveling. It’s a practical and thoughtful gift for any traveler seeking comfort during long trips.
14. High-quality wireless headphones
Last year, I finally decided to get high-end Bluetooth earbuds and chose a popular brand. Despite their high price, I have to admit that I absolutely love them.
These headphones have become my go-to for all kinds of travel, offering both comfort and excellent sound quality, making them a worthwhile investment for anyone who values a great audio experience on the go.
15. Ideal travel footwear
Choosing the right travel shoes depends on your friend’s style and destination. For those with a laid-back, bohemian style heading to sunny locales, a pair of Birkenstocks, like the Mayari style, would be a great choice. On the other hand, if they’re traveling to big cities and prefer a more sophisticated look, stylish loafers are a better fit. For example, Birdie slides are a trendy option that’s both chic and comfortable for city exploration.
16. Advanced camera or new lens
For photography enthusiasts, a mirrorless camera like the Sony ArII is an excellent gift, offering quality comparable to a full-frame DSLR.
For beginners, models such as the Sony A6000 are ideal. If they already own a camera, consider gifting a new lens or accessories.
A 35mm lens, for instance, is a versatile choice, and a telephoto lens could be the next great addition to their photography gear.
17. High-end durable suitcase
A quality suitcase is essential for long-term travel. Hardshell suitcases are generally preferred over soft shell ones for their durability.
For example, the Away carry-on, purchased in 2017, has proved to be a lasting choice. Other options like the Delsey Chalet 24″ have a stylish appeal but may show wear quickly.
Navy might be a more practical color choice for durability. Additionally, the Paravel aviator carry-on is another good option, holding up well over several months of travel.
18. Elegant jewelry piece
A beautiful, simple piece of jewelry can elevate an outfit, especially for travelers. Gold hoops or gold medallion necklaces are particularly popular.
Before purchasing, find out the traveler’s jewelry preference and preferred metal. Then, opt for a high-quality version of their favorite piece.
For instance, a pair of 14kt gold hoops can be a cherished gift, as they are versatile and can be worn regularly, adding a touch of elegance to various travel outfits.
19. Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite
Having a Kindle is a game-changer for avid readers who travel. It significantly simplifies reading on the go, leading to more frequent reading rather than relying on audio books like Audible.
The convenience and practicality of a Kindle, especially the Waterproof Paperwhite version, make it an excellent gift for travelers who love to read.
In conclusion, this guide presents 19 thoughtful and practical gifts for someone traveling abroad, tailored to enhance their journey and suit their nomadic lifestyle.
From customized travel playlists to durable daypacks, high-quality packing cubes, and a waterproof Kindle Paperwhite, each recommendation is carefully chosen to ensure usefulness and appreciation.
Whether it’s for relaxation, organization, or sustainability, these gifts cater to a range of needs and preferences, making them ideal for travelers who live out of their suitcases.
What kind of travel backpack is best for international travel?
Consider a durable and lightweight daypack that can fit into carry-on luggage. Look for one with enough space for essentials like a laptop or camera.
Can you recommend sustainable travel accessories?
Opt for eco-friendly items like metal straws, bamboo cutlery sets, and reusable makeup remover pads. These help reduce environmental impact while traveling.
Are there any compact but effective travel towels?
Quick-drying travel towels, especially Turkish towels, are compact and efficient, making them perfect for travel, including beach destinations.
What’s a good gift for someone who loves reading while traveling?
A waterproof Kindle Paperwhite is an excellent choice. It simplifies reading on the go and is convenient for avid readers.
Yes, you can bring a smart, insulated water bottle on a plane. However, ensure it’s empty before going through airport security, then fill it up once you’re past the checkpoint.