Are you a traveler and/or have one in your life? Looking for a travel-related gift they/you don’t already own? I’ve put together a list of 50+ fantastic items you may not have thought of that travelers will love!
Super useful items to pack for a variety of travel styles or just fun things that will add to the enjoyment of a trip. Some provide much-needed inspiration for future trips or help travelers document and share their experiences, preserving memories of past trips. Beyond your typical travel gear, these items are sure to delight!
While I am a devoted budget traveler myself and most of these ideas are pretty inexpensive, I have included a couple of pricier items that I think are super cool. Sometimes you’ve gotta splurge a bit 😉 Or for those gifting to budget travelers, something they would love but can’t afford makes an amazing present!
*This post includes some affiliate links. I earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) if you purchase a product or service through one of these links. Find out more here.*
1. International SIM Card
Keep in touch while abroad. Stick one in your phone and get service in hundreds of countries around the world! Check out my full post on cheap international phone use here.
No more need to worry if the water in your destination is drinkable or not! Just the straw is available for compact travel (protect it with a carrying case!) or get it integrated into a nice reusable water bottle.
3. Dual-Voltage Collapsible Electric Kettle
Make hot drinks and easy meals anywhere you have an outlet! (Goes great with #10, #23, & #25!)
4. DNA Test Kit
Discover your heritage, then go visit exactly where your ancestors came from!
5. Waterproof Socks
A total lifesaver! With waterproof socks, feet stay warm and dry in all weather conditions. I like to pair these with my sport sandals so I only need to pack one pair of shoes for 3-season travel.
6. Travel Sheets
Add some silky luxury to your travels! No worries about less than sanitary bedding in budget accommodations. Plus, these can add a much-needed layer of warmth to sleeping bags for colder weather camping.
7. Laird or Ladyship
Owning 1 square foot of land at Dunan’s Castle in Scotland entitles you to use the honorific “Laird” or “Lady”. Plus, you get a free guided tour if you visit your land – which I did a couple of years ago (yes, I am Lady Alexandra of Dunans :-P) and highly recommend! Click here to get your own piece of the castle grounds and title!
Plug a Firestick into the USB port on any TV in the world for instant access to your streaming content! Plus, you can use a web browser so no need to pack a laptop or tablet for casual surfing on a screen bigger than your phone. (Also works great with #29!)
9. Camera Car Mount
Awesome for road trips! Mount your camera on the car windshield, hood, door, etc. to get a unique perspective for photos and video without any glare or obstructions. Try a time-lapse video of the most scenic parts of your trip.
10. Mini Spork Keychain Multi-Tool
I carry this with me always. So useful! Fork, spoon & knife, plus bottle opener, can opener, hex wrench, & screwdriver. TSA friendly 🙂 (Goes great with #3 & #23!)
11. 1000 Places to See Before You Die
Bucket list: check them all off! An emphasis on specific sights and experiences around the world. Available in paperback or as an ebook that’s easier to take with you 😉
12. Spider Holders
Set up your phone or tablet anywhere! Use as a stand or to hang your phone/tablet from the airplane seatback, car vents, bicycle handlebars, trees, poles, cabinet pulls, anywhere you need one to read, watch, or photograph. These make great stocking stuffers 😉
13. Electronics Organizer
No more lost chargers or tangled cords. All your electronics gear will stay secure and organized in this cool, flat elastic band board. Plus, there’s a padded pocket in the back for your tablet or e-reader!
14. Pocket Phone Printer
These printers are about half the size of your phone so you can take one with you and print while you travel. Perfect to add physical photos to your journal or scrapbook as you go since the photos are actually stickers!
15. Snap Bracelet Sunglasses
These sunglasses fold up compactly and the arms are snap bracelets so you can wear them on your wrist or secure them to a bag strap, steering wheel, bike handle – wherever you want!
16. Hidden Pocket Clothing & Accessories
Stash your cash, cards, jewelry, even your passport in the hidden pockets of specially designed clothes & gear like these. 🙂
17. Umbrella Hat
Ok, so this might look a little silly but it will keep you dry and leave your hands free to carry bags, take pictures, do outdoor sports/activities, navigate, etc! Or use it to provide shade and keep from getting a sunburn on a hot day out in good weather.
18. Foldable Seat
Sit anywhere with a portable, collapsible seat. Great for camping, amusement parks, festivals, waiting in line, crowded airports & buses/trains, or wherever you need to take a load off!
19. House Sitting Website Subscription
Give the gift of free, private accommodation to animal-loving travelers! I tell you all about housesitting here. Help your traveler sign up with Trusted House Sitters, Mind My House, Nomador, House Carers, or any other site you like!
20. Collapsible Bluetooth Keyboard
For those who hate typing on a screen, this allows you to leave the bulky laptop at home and just travel with a phone or tablet but still have a (nearly) full-size keyboard!
21. Dry Bag Set
Keep your stuff totally dry and safe, even when submerged in water! Perfect for beach getaways, kayaking/canoeing/rafting, water parks, etc. Or even just rainy or snowy days. The large backpack will keep clothes and food dry, or put your valuables in the small waist bag to take them with you when you swim. You can even use your phone underwater through the clear phone case bag!
22. Couchsurfing Membership
A great way to meet locals when you travel, get insider tips, and a free place to stay! Check out my post on Couchsurfing for more details.
23. Collapsible Bowl (with Lid!)
Not just for camping, these are super handy for saving money by cooking your own food on the road, bringing a lunch/snack for the day, or storing leftovers in your hostel kitchen. Folds flat for packing. (Goes great with #3 & #10!)
24. Bag Bungee
Secure your smaller bag to the handle of your rolling bag for easy transport!
25. Portable French Press Coffee Maker
Make coffee on the go and skip shelling out for overpriced lattes from a cafe every morning. Coffee snobs can brew the good stuff – or try a local blend in your destination! Opt for just the press to save space or always have something to drink from by getting one built into a travel mug (Goes great with #3!)
26. Travel Hammock
Relax and hang out (literally!) in a park, beach, campground, etc. You could even set it up on a porch or balcony – wherever you have sturdy support. Save some money and sleep under the stars!
27. Cork Globe
Stick a pin where you’ve been! Show off your travels and/or what’s still on your list – plus it’s a fun piece of decor and a good map reference.
28. Head Case Luggage Cover
Make sure you (and everyone else!) know which bag is yours! Spot your luggage a mile away with this luggage cover personalized with a photo of your face 🙂 Click here for £5 (~US$6-7) OFF at Firebox and search “Head Case”.
29. Mini Projector
Get the cinematic experience anywhere for digital or streaming content. Or check out your travel photos big and bold on any flat, blank space. Full-sized entertainment in a portable package! Also great for business travelers. Price varies quite a bit, depending on your quality threshold 😛 (Some styles compatible with #8! No tripod necessary when paired with #12!)
30. ZzzBand Travel Pillow Alternative
A more compact alternative to a travel pillow specifically designed for sleeping in a seat (airplane, car, bus, train, etc). Strap your head in place to save neck strain and keep it from lolling about. Plus, it has a built-in eye mask, which I find makes such a huge difference in sleep quality!
The words you really need to know in a foreign language with fun, easy pronunciation visuals! Click here for £5 (~US$6-7) OFF at Firebox and search “Slanguage”. Available for French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, & Japanese. Or check out Amazon for paperback or Kindle versions in those languages plus Portuguese, Korean, Russian, Swedish, “More” French, Spanish, & Chinese, and “Travel Slanguage” for common phrases in ten tongues.
32. Photo Printing Gift Card
Get travel photos off your phone or memory card and into an album, scrapbook, or fun household accessories like pillows, mugs, wall prints, t-shirts, or phone cases! Click here to get personalized digital or plastic gift cards for tons of places, including Shutterfly.
33. Carry-On Friendly Toiletries
In order to pass the 3-1-1 rule for carry-on travel, liquid-free toiletries like shampoo bars, toiletries sheets, & toothpaste tablets are great!
34. Portable Hula Hoop
A great way to exercise on the go or make new friends by showing off your skills 😉 The hoop breaks down into pieces so you can pack it!
35. Universal Symbols T-Shirt
Eliminates the language barrier for common travel needs – just point at the symbol! Click here for many shirt styles, plus tote bags, hats, and phone cases. They also have some city-specific designs.
36. Travel Games
Great entertainment for road trips, long plane rides, or make new friends at hostels or campgrounds!
37. Adventure Journal
This really cool travel journal has 8 pull-out scratch maps to keep track of your trip and lists of over 300 must-do experiences and destinations around the world. Click here for £5 (~US$6-7) OFF at Firebox and search “Adventure Journal”.
38. Luggage Drink Holder
Keep your hands free and your water bottle or coffee/tea secure in this convenient drink holder. Designed to go between the poles of a rolling suitcase handle.
39. Travel Jacket/Sweatshirt/Vest
A layer of clothing with multiple and specific-use (eg. tablet, water bottle, sunglasses) pockets is so helpful on any trip! Stay organized, take weight out of your carry-on bag, and maybe even avoid carrying a daypack at all – plus some have RFID blocking pockets for added security and some extra travel-friendly features like eye-masks & neck pillows.
40. Toddler Luggage Seat
Ditch strollers and travel light with this collapsible seat that fits right onto your rolling suitcase! Or try one that’s built into the suitcase.
These shoes are lightweight and pack flat, but designed for activity and comfort. Great space saving, versatile shoes for travel!
42. Camera Sunglasses
What you see is what you shoot! Great for documenting adventure sports activities, amusement park rides, while driving, or other times when hands-free is necessary. Plus, they’re discreet so you don’t stand out as a tourist taking pictures. And they double as eye protection 😉
43. Solar Inflatable Light
An eco-friendly light you charge with the sun! These fold up small but put out plenty of light. Plus, they’re waterproof. Great for camping, pool/beach lighting, as a reading light wherever you might want one, and for emergencies or off-the-grid.
44. Airplane Comforts
Minimize discomfort on long plane rides with some cool, easy to pack accessories. No more fighting over armrests with an armrest divider/extender. Kids or short folks (like me!) will appreciate how much of a difference a footrest can make – be it hammock-style or inflatable! The inflatable kind also works great in cars, buses, trains, and at your accommodation.
45. Sand Free Beach Blanket
Enjoy a day at the beach without getting covered in sand. Compact and lightweight, this also works great for picnics, hiking, camping, festivals, and parks! Or, try a water resistant pocket version here 🙂
46. Scrubba Wash Bag
Pack less and do more laundry on the go! Saves you money on laundromats but gives a quality wash due to the “flexible washboard” nubs. Also doubles as a dry bag (see #21) to keep your stuff safe during water-based trips. You can even hang it and open the valve for a make-shift camping shower! Backpack version also available.
47. ABC Watch
This watch style includes an altimeter, barometer, and compass (hence, ABC). Plus, of course, telling the time, alarms, etc. Other features include a thermometer, calendar, world time zones, and waterproofing. Great for hikers, campers, and outdoor enthusiasts!
48. Entertainment Subscription/Gift Card
Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, Britbox, HBO, etc. for movies & TV, Kindle Unlimited, Audible, Comixology for books, or iTunes, Prime Music, Sirius Radio for your tunes. These give travelers the entertainment they need for long flights or bus/train/car rides!
49. Portable Bidet
I hesitated to include this because it’s kind of a personal item. But the right person will really appreciate it. No toilet paper in a public restroom? No problem! Call of nature while you’re out in nature? No need to wipe with a leaf 😛 Stay clean and hygienic on the go.
50. Language Learning Program
It’s always nice to learn some of the language of the place you are traveling to. For long-term travel especially, why not try to learn more than a few words? Language classes, self-teaching books, and audio programs can help you achieve your bilingual goals 🙂
I hope you find these items as fun, useful, and unique as I do! Perfect unusual gifts for the traveler in your life. Travelers – put your favorites on your wishlist or treat yourself 😉
- Best Multi-Functional & Inexpensive Travel Bags
- 5 Most Ingenious Travel Gadgets
- Best Sustainable Travel Gear
- 5 Goofy But Useful Travel Accessories
Want more from The Global Gadabout? Sign up for the newsletter and get access to exclusive printable freebies!
Pin this post for later!