We’re huge advocates of giving practical gifts. Not only does it guarantee use, but it also shows the receiver that you thought about their passions and want to support them. But it’s not always easy to find the best of what’s out there for every person on your list. So for those who are still looking for the perfect gift for a travel lover, we did the digging for you and came up with travel-themed gift ideas that are bound to please.
1. Timbuk2 backpack
Sometimes it’s difficult to mentally justify paying $100 for a backpack when a local retailer is selling them for less than $20. What separates Timbuk2 products from others on the market is a durability that you can see and feel – and a lifetime warranty to boot. Aside from the heavy-duty material and stitching, these bags are comfortable to wear and designed with the active consumer in mind, with tons of pockets, pouches and padding.
Timbuk2 sells messenger bags (the company was founded by a former bike messenger), backpacks, duffels, rolling luggage and more. After getting a Timbuk2 product ourselves, we feel like we’ll never need to buy another bag – and that’s why this awesome, durable gift tops our list this year.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, is a method for securing and encrypting the data you are sending and receiving while using an untrusted public network. Every time you log into a café or airport network, you are sending unsecured data. Your email, your credit card statement and even websites you are browsing are easy for hackers to view if you aren’t connected with a VPN. (For those who want the real nuts and bolts on how VPNs work, check out this article.) Beyond protecting your information, VPNs can be used to present your location as being in another region. Therefore, a VPN can help its user access websites or streaming videos that are blocked or not yet available in their current location.
If you want to give someone this very useful gift, we recommend Strong VPN. It served us well during our 14 months on the road and beyond. You can use it on desktop computers, laptops and most mobile devices (your smartphone is an easy target because it stores lots of sensitive information). Strong VPN costs $55 a year for an unlimited (non-throttled) plan, or they offer an array of packages.
3. Shutterfly gift card
One thing that every traveler holds dear is their collection of photos from adventures near and far. Digital cameras make it easy to take and store hundreds of images, but the best pictures don’t often make it out of one’s digital image library. That’s where Shutterfly comes in. This site offer tons of options for making your best images visible again – from prints to posters to calendars to photo books and more.
4. Bottle humidifier
The air in hotel and hostel rooms is notoriously dry. Hanging a damp towel over the air vent may help add a small amount of humidity, but the better solution to help keep your body from becoming parched is to use a humidifier. The majority are large and not travel-friendly, but this USB-powered portable humidifier is designed for travelers, so it runs off a USB connection and attaches to the top of a water bottle. Just place it by your bedside and say good by to a dry throat, dry eyes and dry skin. It could also be used on planes, buses or trains where the surrounding atmosphere may not be adjustable.
5. Lush shampoo and conditioner
If we could pick one thing that irks us about traveling, it’s airport security. You have to put your laptop in its own bin, nearly undress to go through the detector and separate your liquids from the rest of your luggage without exceeding a quart-sized zip-top plastic bag. And don’t forget that the individual containers within the quart-sized bag cannot exceed 100ml each (well, depending on how lax the agents are feeling that day). Either way, security is a pain. But you can maximize your liquids if you’re smart about what you travel with.
That’s where Lush comes in. They sell solid shampoos, conditioners and soaps so the travelaholic you know can save precious baggie space for eye drops, lotions, liquor and mouthwash. Lush also sells a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioning bar that will help save even more space!
6. RE camera
We tend to err on the side of durable workhorses that are small and inexpensive versus large, pricey cameras. Mike’s main video camera for the majority of our RTW cost around $125 and lasted 9 months of brutal conditions before finally flooding with saltwater off the coast of Malaysia. When we saw HTC’s RE, it got our attention for it’s waterproof body, lack of display (saving battery power), and ability to connect to a wireless device to save footage remotely – even while you’re shooting! The camera’s website has a variety of color options, but buying it on amazon will currently save you 25% on the white version.
Still need more ideas? Check out our last round of travel gift recommendations.
Disclosure: Opinions are 100% our own. This is not a sponsored post and we were not asked by these companies to promote their products. Some of the links provided are affiliate links, meaning that we receive a small percentage should you make a purchase. This in no way affects the price you pay. Proceeds support the operating costs of this site.