If the Majaraja of Datia can gift the world-traveling Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, something as cool as this coat of armor in 1876 without the internet, there’s certainly hope for you!
Do you hear what I hear? It sounds a like someone frantically typing on a keyboard, panicking because they have no idea of what kind of gifts they should buy for their world-traveling loved ones. Welp, it’s time to stop slapping the keyboard and start taking notes! I’m going to share my top ten gifts for travelers in 2018 with you so you don’t have to worry anymore. Keep calm and read on, my friends!
I love to travel, that’s a given. In the past few years I’ve traveled up and down the United States and hit up a few countries overseas. Needless to say I know what travelers want – and need – when it comes to flying and navigating new lands. So if you’re wondering “what is a good gift for travelers?” or “what do you get a traveler for Christmas? Hanukkah?” or even “what are a few unique gifts for travelers?” you’re in the right place. If you’re looking for the best travel gifts for her or him, gift ideas for business travelers, general gift ideas, or just want to take advantage of the black Friday and cyber Monday deals for people who love to travel, you’re in good hands.
Note, this post contains affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through this link, you get to buy awesome gifts (at no extra cost to you) and I get a tiny commission that allows me to continue making fun, helpful, and informative content – thank you for your support!
This top 10 gifts for travelers in 2018 list is born from the practical items that I use over and over again on my travels, and even include a few things on my personal wishlist with direct links, here it goes:
#1 Universal Travel Adaptor
When I’m on the go I need electronics that will keep up with me. I want to wake up to a fully charged phone, camera, laptop, and backup batteries so I can bring back beautiful photographic memories and let my loved ones know I am safe via a call or text; but I can’t do that with a dead cell phone battery, lol! Most countries have their own electric outlet systems and some have different voltage requirements. I simply can’t plug an american-pronged device into a European socket – it’s not going to work OR I may get fried. Enter the Universal travel adapter, a beautiful piece of equipment equipped with multiple outlets that are compatible with over 120 countries. The device below has four usb charging plugs, an extension chord, AND fits in my luggage. Simply don’t let your traveler leave home without it!
My Pick: BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter 220V to 110V Voltage Converter with 6A 4-Port USB Charging and UK/AU/US/EU Worldwide Plug Adapter- https://amzn.to/2DE7PYo
#2 Convertible Jacket
So the airplane is freezing cold, but when I get off the plane the streets are hot. Then I walk into a museum and the artifacts must be kept at a temperature that’s not too hot and not too cold – it’s just right. Suddenly, after the museum visit, it rains…and it’s windy outside. How exactly am I supposed to dress to keep from getting sick given these temperature extremes? A convertible jacket, that’s how. Oh how I love practical 3-in-1 jackets!
The outer layer is a waterproof, breathable, wind-resistant, rip-proof, light-weight, adjustable-hood and cuffed jacket that will keep my body dry no mater what. The inside layer is an insulated zippered jacket that can withstand cold temperatures. Not only do I save packing space in my suitcase because I can wear this jacket on the plane, but it is multi-functional. Together, with these two layers combined, I am warm, dry, and happy no matter the weather.
#3 Travel Compression & Organization Bags
Space is of the essence. When I travel I want to take more than necessary but can’t. I also want to take a bunch of souvenirs home but I can’t do that, either. What’s a traveler to do?! I adopt a minimalist-traveler lifestyle and pack the things I want using travel compression bags. The concept is simple: place stacks of clothes in large plastic bags, seal it like a sandwich bag, then roll out the air. Voila! That nine-inch stack of clothes is now compressed into 3-inches of mold-free, odorless, and water-proof goodness, leaving more room for souvenirs! There’s also packing cubes to help keep clothing organized.
My Picks: Acrodo Space Saver Travel Bags for Clothes – 10-pack for Compression Packing Organizer & Storage – No Vacuum Rolling Bag for Clothing- https://amzn.to/2DG1X0R and Shacke Pak – 4 Set Packing Cubes – Travel Organizers with Laundry Bag- https://amzn.to/2ThVVZ4
#4 Compact Digital Camera
I’m not talking about your standard, cheap, point-and-shoot camera. These bad boys may be small, but they pack a lot of power. I want to take beautiful pictures of the places I’ve been, things I’ve seen, and people I’ve met. I want to come back home and look at my photos as if they are a souvenir themselves and to share them with the people I love. I’m a blogger and YouTuber on the side so I need: power, portability, speed, reliability, something small enough to fit in a bag, and to not look like a geeky tourist. This is where the compact, high-end digital camera shines. They are on the expensive end, but with a high price comes the best quality photos in a device of this size, second only to the massive and bulky digital SLRs (that take excellent photos, too).
My Picks: Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 IV Digital Camera + Sony LCJRXF/B Premium Jacket Case + 32 GB Sony Memory Card – https://amzn.to/2K7yNbw and Canon PowerShot Video Creator Kit [G7 X Mark II] with Manfrotto PIXI MINI Tripod, SanDisk 32GB SD Card, and Canon Battery Pack – https://amzn.to/2K7U195
#5 RFID Sleeves
Money is a sensitive topic and the protection of my money is a serious concern when traveling. Contactless payment overseas is a big deal. I really don’t have to swipe my credit card anywhere; I can just use apple pay or tap my credit card on a reader then go about my business. However, criminals could potentially see this as an opportunity to steal credit card numbers by proximity. What do I mean? According to NPR, one of the latest scams is to have a device that picks up the near-frequency signal (“RFID” stands for Radio-Frequency Identification) emitted by the microchip in your credit card, send the card number to a computer, save it, and use it to make a fake credit card to purchase items online or in a store. Not cool at all!
This happens without contact in a matter of seconds; but what can you do about it? The same thing I do – protect my credit cards and passport with an RFID-blocking sleeve. It’s so simple, yet so effective.
My Pick: 18 RFID Blocking Sleeves (14 Credit Card Holders & 4 Passport Protectors) Ultimate Premium Identity Theft Protection Sleeve. Smart Slim Design perfectly fits Wallet/Purse – https://amzn.to/2FswbpN
#6 Blanket Scarf
One of the top 10 gifts for travelers in 2018, and one of the best travel gifts for her, is a blanket scarf! The designs are universally flattering and fully functional – they can be a scarf, blanket, cardigan, wrap, skirt, cape, bandana, shawl…the possibilities are endless! I love that I can choose from a number of patterns to suit my needs, be it an upscale performance or as a shield against the cold. The blanket scarf is fashionable and affordable. Plus, if you need ideas on how to style a blanket scarf, here are two easy-to-follow articles from Real Simple and Stylecraze. You’re welcome, best-gift-giver on the planet!
My Pick: Plaid Blanket Scarf Women Big Square Long Scarves Warm Tartan Checked Shawl – https://amzn.to/2K5nu3i
#7 Camera Tripod
What can I say? As a blogger, photography enthusiast, domestic and international traveler, I like take pictures – a lot. It makes sense to use a tripod to capture a steady shot for my instagram page. Heck, or use the tripod to vlog! Let’s not forget about YouTube, folks! I have a tripod that is sturdy, strong, light-weight, and extremely flexible. Besides, you never know when that perfect photo moment will strike!
My Pick: JOBY GorillaPod 3K Kit. Compact Tripod 3K Stand and Ballhead 3K for Compact Mirrorless Cameras or Devices up to 3K (6.6lbs) – https://amzn.to/2FokDDX
#8 Chord Wrap/Organizer
Keeping track of all my electronics can be a task, but keeping all of the chords organized is a whole chore in itself. There are only so many twisty-ties, rubber bands, and strings in the world. I honestly wrap my electronic chords until they break or get lost. How tragic. If only I had something to help me out? If only I had a re-usable, simple, space-efficient, reliable way to not damage the power chords I would be in heaven. Welp, heaven is here on earth!
My Picks: Avantree Pack of 20 Reusable Cord Organizer Keeper Holder, Fastening Cable Ties Straps for Earbud Headphones Phones Wire Wrap Management, Assorted 3 Size and 5 Color – https://amzn.to/2RX4erI and Cocoon CPG7BK GRID-IT! Organizer Small 7.25″ X 9.25″ – https://amzn.to/2FpgQq8
#9 Foldable (Collapsable) Shopping Bag
Are you picking up on the space efficiency trend here? I’ll continue with the foldable shopping bag. Imagine this: you are walking over 8 miles a day on an amazing vacation when, out of nowhere, you find hidden treasure at a cute boutique shop or outdoor market in a foreign country. Driven by a desire to find unique goods, you walk into the shop and find the perfect hand-crafted souvenirs for friends and family. Since you are a wise traveler, you pack light and all you have is a cross-body bag. Can this beautifully embroidered rug from morocco fit? No. What about this pair of hand-made leather shoes from Italy at a steal of a price? Nope. You want these gifts that are perfect for friends and family, but how are you going to carry everything back with you?
I’ll tell you how – with a strong, machine-washable, 50-lb-carrying bag that was folded in your pocket. Not only is it great for gifts, but it can be used for multiple purposes. Think of it as a bag for: souvenirs, groceries, beach supplies, books, laundry, gym, and for any other domestic and international purpose that you can think of. Men and women alike can benefit from a versatile, travel-friendly product like this.
My Pick: Folding-Bags-for-Shopping-5-Pack-Ripstop Eco Friendly Reusable Bags Heavy Duty Grocery Bags for Beach Hiking Xlarge Recycling Cloth Bags – https://amzn.to/2FpgIHa
#10 Scratch Map
We’ve made it to #10, yippee! Like a hunter who triumphantly displays their stuffed-game on a living room wall, so does the traveler who checks off another country they’ve visited. This is the coolest thing I’ve seen on the market! I would love to have this map displayed in my room, office, or living room. Furthermore, after traveling to a new country your traveler can scratch it off the gold-colored map. They can simultaneously reflect on their last trip while eagerly planning their next destination. A friend – and business traveler – remarked this map would be an amazing gift for his kids to help them learn geography. Can’t forget about the kids, too!
My Pick: Maps International Scratch the World Travel Map – Scratch Off World Map Poster – Most Detailed Cartography – 33 x 23 – https://amzn.to/2OM5vzF
Bonus Gift Ideas
When in doubt, gift cards and certificates, as well as experiences, are sure to please the pickiest travelers (like myself). Honestly, giving the gift of cash or an experience screams, “I love you and want you to be happy!” lol, so don’t feel bad about giving these types of gifts! Consider a gift certificate for AirBnB to help defray the cost, or to find, affordable lodging. Perhaps an Apple store/iTunes gift card will allow your traveler to download movies, music, or apps for the ride and the destination. With Amazon they can purchase books, supplies, and everything under the sun). And Starbucks for a coffee and/or snacks at the airport.
In addition, gifting an experience can be a fun surprise, too. If your loved one is going to Paris, London, Rome, etc., book an exclusive tour, helicopter ride, museum pass, or wine tasting. Just select the destination and region to find hundreds of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities at all price points. The sky is truly the limit. Finally, as always, cash is king!
There you have it! My top 10 gifts for travelers in 2018. Do you have any gifts to add to this list? What items do you think the traveler in your life would like the most? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!