11 Gift Ideas for the Traveler on the Go

What do you give to someone who’s always on the go? A nomad who minimizes their belongings so he or she can take off whenever they want? A few months ago, I shared a collection of some of my favorite travel gifts from around the web, but for those who are always on the road, away from their home base, here are a few more of my favorite gift ideas.

Celebrating my 21st birthday in Mallorca. This view was gift enough for me, but for those who can't hop on over to the Mediterranean for their birthdays...

Celebrating my 21st birthday in Mallorca. This view was gift enough for me, but for those who can’t hop on over to the Mediterranean for their birthdays…

Portable hard drive

Many travelers’ worst nightmare is losing hundreds and hundreds of travel photos they’ve taken while touring the world. A stolen or broken camera, and suddenly all of your visual memories have vanished. Backing up your photos onto a portable hard drive, which these days are compact enough to easily fit in a backpack, can do the trick, especially if you keep it separate from your camera. This one also includes free cloud storage for the first two years to give yourself an extra layer of security and has the option to transfer photos and videos from a phone via an app.

Pura Vida Bracelets

Every traveler needs to spice up their wardrobe with some accessories, and I love how well Pura Vida Bracelets, as well as their other accessories – including water bottles, clutches, and beanies – compliment traveler style. I was sent a bundle of Pura Vida’s handmade bracelets, and I absolutely love how they look.

Pura Vida Bracelets, Sydney

Rocking my bracelets at Parsley Bay on my ultimate Sydney day out

But more than that, every purchase helps provide full-time jobs for local artisans in Costa Rica and they’ve got an amazing Charity Collection, which allows you to choose from a huge variety of causes, everything from AIDS/HIV awareness to saving sea turtles. On top of that, while I don’t normally follow a lot of commercial Instagram accounts, I’m kind of in love with theirs.


When you’re go, go, going, sometimes the only chance you have to get enough sleep is napping in transit. I’ve had my fair share of snoozes on planes, trains, buses, and even cold airport floors. Despite, this I’ve always been a bit skeptical of travel pillows – and it probably doesn’t help that the one time I gave them a try, my inflatable pillow was full of holes!

J-Pillow reversed my opinion on travel pillows, though. Instead of the standard half ring that can leave your neck aching, J-Pillow is specially designed for neck support and comfort. I tried one myself, and it’s a game changer. I anticipate a lot more naps on the go now!


Testing out my J-Pillow. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I have a future as a pillow model.

More photogenic pillow models demonstrating the various ways it can be used

More photogenic pillow models demonstrating the various ways it can be used


What better gift for travel devotees than experiences? Tinggly sells gift vouchers that allow recipients to exchange them for over 350 experiences in 80+ countries around the world. You may have read my list of international activities I’d love to experience or my recap of a fabulous jet boat ride around Sydney Harbour through Tinggly. A fantastic gift idea for any traveler.

Groupon gift card

Some of the best travel deals I’ve found, whether they be hotels, tours, or travel packages, have been through Groupon. Why not give your favorite traveler a gift card that they’ll surely be able to use wherever they go?

Kindle/Amazon gift card

As much as I love tangible books, my Kindle has been a godsend while traveling, as I no longer have to lug around a pile of books and scope out English-language bookstores in new cities. And I go through books like mad when I’m on the go! A gift card to Amazon’s Kindle store will go a long way with travelers.

As excited as I was to purchase (and then subsequently pose with, because duh) a paper copy of one of my favorite books, Foucault's Pendulum, in Venice in 2010, Kindles are a gazillion times easier.

As excited as I was to purchase (and then subsequently pose with, because duh) a paper copy of one of my favorite books, Foucault’s Pendulum, in its original language of Italian in Venice in 2010, Kindles are a gazillion times easier.

Portable chargers

It’s not always easy to find a place to charge your electronics when you’re on the move, and, even in hostels, power outlets can be scarce. Portable chargers can be incredibly useful travel accessories. Even if you try to disconnect from technology a bit while traveling, you don’t want to be caught with a dead phone battery! There are a lot of options for portable chargers, but this one charges fast, can charge a variety of phones and tablets, and can charge four devices at once.

Hidden pocket scarves

Scarves are one of the best ways to switch up your wardrobe when your suitcase space is limited and you’re traveling with limited clothing options. Even handier are scarves with hidden pockets to stash your valuables! Pick-pocketing is all too common when you’re on the road, and this is a great solution to that problem. There are tons of cute options available, but some of my favorites can be found in the Etsy stores Speakeasy Travel Supply and Wrapped Creations.

Scarf with hidden pocket, travel gift ideas

One of Speakeasy‘s scarves

4-in-1 adapter

Can the world’s countries just get together and agree on one electrical outlet already? It would make our lives a million times easier! Until then, rather than having to carry around a bulky bag of travel adapters for different countries, this 4-in-1 adapter covers 150 countries in a small, color-coded set accompanied by a map key. More space for the other essentials!


You’ve probably seen these around before, but it took me several years before I finally gave in and bought one for myself, and I haven’t looked back since! These bendy tripods allow you to stabilize your camera wherever you are – wrap it around a tree, find a steady spot on an angled surface, etc. Makes all the difference when taking night photos.

Playing with long exposures in Melbourne with the help of my Gorilla Pod

Playing with long exposures in Melbourne with the help of my GorillaPod

Fund their travel blog

For travelers like me who love to document their adventures, encourage them to share their stories on a blog! It’s a win-win for the giver and the recipient. Whether they’ve already launched a blog or are thinking of starting one, give them the gift of domain registration or web hosting through BlueHost or GoDaddy.

What’s on your travel gift wishlist?

Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links, and I received free samples from Pura Vida Bracelets and J-Pillow for review, but all opinions are my own, as always!

23 Responses

  1. Kelsey says:

    Umm.. Christmas is how many months away?? I’ll take one of each, please!

  2. Nana says:

    Wow! Great stuff! What terrific ideas! Now I have some gift ideas both for me and to give to my travelin’ friends. XOXO

  3. karla says:

    These are good lists to bring. I always have with me a J Pillow because I never know how long that bus ride would be,van, jeep, car, or train so it is best to have it to have some semblance of a comfortable sleep. I also love bringing scarves, it accents your attire in so many ways and it is also very functional. Terriffic list you have here.

  4. Suprio Bose says:

    This is a post I am going to circulate amongst all my friends. Hope they get a hint 😉

  5. Roma Small says:

    Some really good suggestions here. I think I need to share this with my family & friends. With birthday & Chrissy on the horizon the last thing I need is more weighted dust collectors! Practical gifts yes please! Perhaps a new lens for my DSLR from mum? *wink wink

  6. amanda says:

    Awesome tips! I would die without my travel adapter! And, I agree, why can’t everyone just use the same outlets! haha

  7. Mary says:

    I like the “funding the travel blog” part!!!

  8. Claire Wang says:

    I would absolutely love to have any and all of these! You really hit the nail on the head with this post.

  9. Pati says:

    Come on! I didn’t know about such a smart thing like TINGGLE! I’ll check it out right now 🙂 Thanks for sharing your gift ideas, I find it very useful 🙂

  10. Sara says:

    In love with the J-Pillow!! I always try to get the perfect pillow for plane trips but never find the one! I have to give J-Pillow a try.

  11. Wow cool, I learned about a lot of new products! I’m especially interested in the hidden pocket scarf – who knew?

  1. February 4, 2016

    […] gifts for you. After previously sharing my Christmas gift guide for adventurers and another for those on the go, I’ve narrowed down my newest picks: here are the latest and greatest travel gifts I’m […]

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