The perfect gifts for travellers, young and old; The perfect travel and travel-themed gifts for young and older, tech fans and the home, for men and women; great holiday gifts for travellers; Christmas is coming!
Travel,  Travel tips

Great Christmas gifts for travellers

We are a family that loves to travel. We love showing Miss M the world that we live in and different places and cultures. This year we have been to Brussels, Amsterdam, Munich, Berlin, Italy and soon Australia. At Christmas – or any time really – gifts for travellers and travelling are perfect!

Travel gifts basically fall into one of three categories:

  1. Gifts about travelling or new places
  2. Something useful for when you are travelling and
  3. Presents to remind the recipient of a trip they have taken.

Just a note: I am not a member of any affiliate programs, so I will receive no benefit from you purchasing any of these gifts. Some of these we have – 100% purchased with our own money and not for the purpose of writing a blog post. Some we would like and may get for ourselves soon.

Gifts for travellers – gifts for a young child

1. Books

There are so many books about travelling that are perfect gifts for small children. Looks for books about going on a boat or a plane, such as this one. Just before our trip to London, we got Miss M a pop-up book of sights to see in London. She loved using it to identify which things we saw. They have one for Paris and New York too.

Lonely Planet Kids "Pop-up London" by Andy Mansfield; the perfect stocking stuffer for a young child if you are planning a trip to London soon; check out the other cities in the series or some of the other London pop-up books available; Perfect gifts for little travel junkines

Mum Fox’s book “I’m Australian too” is great for introducing kids to other cultures. For younger kids, “Ten little fingers and ten little toes” is great and talks about differences but similarities. It is also the book that the Australian Government chose to give the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the birth of Prince George.

2. Chopsticks trainers

I know it is cliched, but whether you are planning a family trip to somewhere exotic in Asia or just want to go to a Chinese restaurant for Chinese New Year, you might want to get your kids some chopsticks trainers. There are a number of different models and colours available. Just look for “Chopsticks for kids” on amazon, for example. They are the perfect gift for little travellers who are adventurous with their food.

These chopsticks trainers are simple and fun and can be used by both left and right handed kids; perfect for those wanting to learn how to use chopsticks before going on a great adventure to somewhere in Asia or just the Chinese restaurant in town; Perfect gifts for little travellers

3. Coloured pencils

One of the things that we have found really useful to have when we are travelling is some pencils. I found these wonderful double-ended pencils: double the colours, not double the space. They make the perfect gift for little travellers. Miss M loves hers.

There are a number of brands available, such as these from Crayola.

Double-ended coloured pencils - double the colours in half the space, which makes them perfect for travelling and colouring in on long-haul flights;  Perfect gifts for travel junkies

Of course, you can’t gift coloured pencils without gifting a colouring book. Bonus points if you find one that is travel themed.

4. Kids camera

Shhh – don’t tell anyone, but Miss M is getting one of these this year for Nicholaus. She loves taking photos and is constantly asking to use our phones to take photos. Some of these work out very well (such as the ones she took in Amsterdam).

A digital camera designed specifically for children: intuitive and easy to use, shock resistant but still take a good photo; Perfect gifts for little travellers

We got one for a friend and found this one to be very intuitive. Miss M has already had a play with one and has been asking for her own. The timing will mean that we can take it with us to Australia. We are looking forward to seeing what photos Miss M will take with it.

5. Travel journal DIY

If you are planning a trip soon, make a DIY travel journal. It won’t take that long and you don’t need that much to make one.

A DIY travel journal, the perfect DIY gift for a little traveller to use on their next trip and record their memories

As your child fills it out the journal, drawing pictures and telling you what to write (if your child can’t read or write yet), you will get an insight into which parts of your trip they have enjoyed most. It is also a great keepsake for the years to come. Miss M is already quite proud of her travel journal.

6. A photo or wall art

Miss M has a photo of the three of us that we had taken at a zoo in a clear dinosaur-shaped frame. She loves it. If you have a photo taken of your family on a trip to somewhere special, get a print for your little ones. Find a fun frame to put it in. Alternatively, have it printed on a canvas.

There is also some lovely wall art around with a travel theme. This one, for example, would work well on a nursery wall. If you have a little girl who loves unicorns, this one would be great.

Don’t forget about maps as art or a wall mural.

Gifts for travellers – gifts for an older child

1. Colouring books

Colouring for mindfulness is a great pastime and helps kids (and adults) relax. There are numerous travel-themed colouring books, especially on Paris or New York. I like this European Vacation colouring book and might even get one for myself.

Colouring for mindfulness is a great way to learn to focus and relieve stress; a travel-themed colouring book could be the perfect gift for your tween; great gifts for teenage travellers; "European Vacation Landmarks Coloring Book" by Rachel Mintz

2. Travel guide, calendar or fun book

There are numerous travel books available that are directed at kids. If you have a trip planned, you can buy them a travel guide or an activity book for the area you will soon be seeing. For many countries, you will also be able to find a book (fiction) based in that country or city.

If your travel plans are not as concrete, try a colourful calendar with images from where you would like to go. You can even make one yourself with some photos.

3. Polaroid camera

We love our Instax camera – it is just so much fun! We enjoy using it, even though we have mobile phones. It is easy to operate and the results are instantaneous, which makes it easy to get kids enthused about taking photos. They come in different colours and styles and you can get various accessories too (e.g. bags, straps, filters) to personalise.

Pale blue polaroid Instax camera, the perfect camera for some  fun holiday pics; fun gifts for tween travellers

If your child is a fan of “Stranger Things”, there is even a Stranger Things Polaroid camera.

4. Journal and fun pens

Whether for everyday use or to reflect on trips or vacations, a journal is an easy but effective gift. You can buy a blank one or one with prompts, or even make your own. Bonus points if you include some fun pens with the gift.

5. Hand luggage

As your child enters double digits, they are probably getting to the stage that they should have some decent hand luggage and not just a little kids backpack.

Backpacks are still good if they will be doing a lot of overnight stays. A pull along trolley might be better if you anticipate doing some long weekend city trips in the near future (or if they just have more stuff).

Get something that is big enough to fit all their necessities in, but not that bit that it exceeds carry on allowances. Lightweight is essential. Make sure you get something distinctive so that you can easily identify it.

6. Toiletries

Toiletry sets make great stocking stuffers and small gifts for travellers and there is a large variety available. Make sure the bottles/containers comply with TSA or other security rules. If you can, get a set which includes a clear plastic toiletries bag that complies with the size rules.

7. Watch or Jewellery

Super cute and dainty ring; travel-themed jewellery and dual time watches as gifts; great gifts for tween travellers

For many years, I had a watch with dual time zones. This made it very easy to see what time it was where my parents were and it was especially easy when travelling. I’ve tried to find another one, but found that most of them are reasonably masculine or not available in Germany.

If you travel a lot or have family that lives in another time zone, a watch with dual time zones could be a great gift. It could be especially cool if you are the person who lives in the other time zone and the watch is to help keep track of where you are.

For girls, there is some cute travel-theme jewellery around. I love this airplane ring.

Gifts for travellers – gifts for the whole family and the home

1. Coffee table book

Are you looking for some inspiration for your next family holiday? Find a big coffee table book with lots of inspiring images to help work out where you will go on your next trip.

2. Travel necessities

There are a few small things that we pack in our luggage or hand luggage that have really made travelling easier.

  1. A bag for the dirty washing. We have this map bag.
  2. A travel lint brush. We have this one from OXO.
  3. For any family members that have a Kindle or e-reader, get a cover. This helps to protect the Kindle when travelling. There are numerous travel-themed covers available.
  4. Toiletry bags – especially for those for whom the onelitre restrictions are too restrictive. The bags that unfold and can hank on a hook or towel rail in the bathroom are particularly useful.
  5. If you are going on a long-haul flight, make sure each family member has a neck pillow. Miss M needs a new one – perhaps this one? We keep ours in our carry on suitcases, so that we can always find them easily.
Cute and colourful unicorn travel pillow, just one of many that are available; a cute and useful gift for any little traveller who is going on a long-haul flight soon; great gifts for travellers

3. Map pillows for the couch (or anywhere really)

A number of etsy stores offer personalized pillows, where you can choose what city or state or country appears on the pillow. Is there somewhere special from your honeymoon or favourite family vacation place?

If you are crafty, have a look on etsy or your favourite DIY site. There are some designs I am sure I could recreate. You probably could, too.

4. Vintage artwork

Remind yourself and the rest of your family of your favourite holiday with a vintage travel poster.

There are a number of free images available, such as on freeclassicimages.com. Download the file you like, and get it printed off in the size you need.

Some wrapping paper works wonderfully as wall art. At the moment, Papersource, for example, has flatwrap with maps of the world, London, Amsterdam and Georgia and vintage advertisements for Yellowstone.

Check out art websites, like junique, society6 or etsy – all of them have numerous travel-based prints available. I have been eyeing off this one of Düsseldorf for our hallway and entryway.

Vintage Düsseldorf artwork by Bo Lundberg; some artwork - particularly a great vintage print - can be a great reminder of a fantastic trip; great travel gifts for the home

Don’t forget about maps! There are a number of sites that will custom print a map of the city of your choice. I even found a map of my (small) home town.

Gifts for travellers – tech fun

1. USB hub

We bought a simple USB hub from IKEA for our guest room. It is super easy to set up and very much appreciated. We then discovered that it was very useful for travelling, too. You might want to go with a more high-tech hub, but you get the gist.

2. Camera goods

There are a number of photography-related gifts, depending on your camera options and budget.

  1. Camera filters for better photos. Throw in something like a fisheye lens for some fun shots. I have a photography ball like this one on my Christmas list.
  2. A tripod that works with your camera or phone. ake sure it folds up to a good size for travelling.
  3. A portable photo printer that prints photos straight from your mobile phone. I have my eye on an HP Sprocket, but I am waiting for a sale.
Damrak: some of the best panoramas in Amsterdam. Stop one on our 'best trip ever' walking tour of Amsterdam

3. A drone

For many people, the price will make this idea a little unrealistic, but if you are planning a trip to somewhere with fantastic scenery, you might want to consider getting a drone. If you do, make sure you know the local rules relating to flying a drone, especially in relation to airspace, privacy and registration of the drone.

4. A photography book or course

If your gift recipient already has all the gear, and you prefer to gift experiences, you might want to consider getting them a book or course on photography. In my books, a course on photo editing also counts.

Gifts for travellers – gifts for her

1. A travel wallet

I can’t count the number of times I have had to wait longer than necessary at passport controls for the person in front of me to remove their passport from their cover. Yes, covers look nice, but many electronic scanners that the border control authorities use cannot properly scan your passport if it is in a cover. Leave it at home! And please don’t gift one.

Instead, gift a travel wallet, that you can put your passport(s) and all travel documents in. Mine is about the size of a small clutch, with partitions and a couple of zipped pockets. Make sure it is long enough to fit of printed itineraries (folded of course).

I like this one. It’s fun and practical and you can personalise it and mark off where the gift recipient has been.

Rather than gifting a passport cover, gift a travel wallet; this fun one allows you to stitch where you have been or are going; great travel gifts for her

2. A scarf or pashmina

A wide scarf or pashmina is something you should not forget to pack in your luggage and they are the perfect gifts for travellers. They can help with warmth on a plane or train or with a dress in the evening. Many religious sites in particular also will not allow you to visit with bare arms or without a headscarf. If you have a scarf or pashmina with you, no problem.

If you are looking for one as a gift, look for something lightweight, striking and preferably natural fibres, such as a wool and silk blend. A bold colour or interesting pattern can help change up an outfit.

Also make sure that it is wide and long enough to serve its purpose.

3. Jewellery

Does your gift recipient have a favourite city or place that is special to them, such as where they got married, went on a honeymoon, went to university or were born?

I love the map pendants by designer Talia Sari. The rings aren’t bad either. At the moment, Talia has pendants for Paris, New York, London, Rome, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, San Francisco and Jerusalem.

You can also create a custom piece with a map of your choice. Can you imagine one with an excerpt of the neighbourhood where your gift recipient used to live, with their house slap bang in the middle? Yeah, I can too.

Modern map pendant by Talia Sari, various cities available and customizable too! A great moment of a recent trip or somewhere special; perfect gifts for travellers

Gifts for travellers – gifts for him

1. Travel socks

If you stop believing in Santa, you get socks as a gift.

Don’t just get any socks, get travel socks. Compression socks for a long-haul flight? Security socks, which have a zip pocket to conceal cash or even your passport? Socks with planes on them?

Better still, if your gift recipient just went to the Oktoberfest or is planning a trip, get them an Oktoberfest pack from Happy Socks. Berlin packs also available. Lion socks for an African safari. Beatles socks for Liverpool. Pink Panther or Eifel Tower socks for Paris. Get creative!

Get some travel socks for him! These fun Oktoberfest-themed socks are a great stocking stuffer for someone who has just been to the Oktoberfest or anywhere in Bavaria; great travel gifts for him

2. Nail set

I know this sounds a little odd, but we have gifted a nail set a few times. Of course, we make sure our sets are from Solingen!

We try and get one with at least one pair of scissors, a nail file and a set of tweezers in a leather case. The tweezers double for first aid and the scissors can also cut tags off anything new.

We’ve left ours home on a couple of trips and regret it every time!

3. Artwork

I love the simplicity of this travel-themed print:

Line drawing airplane print by AluraHomePrints on Etsy; great gift for the minimalist man in your life; great gifts for travellers

At the same time, I can see the image or one similar embroidered on canvas. A ‘skyline’ line of a special city would also look great. Find the instructions here.

Paper plane embroidered canvas artwork; a simple and effective DIY; Take any simple line image and turn it into an embroidered canvas; DIY Christmas gift; perfect gifts for travellers

4. Cufflinks

If the man you are buying for wears shirts regularly, why not get him some travel-themed cufflinks. Peter wears them regularly for work and he has some lovely Murano glass cufflinks we got in Venice. For our first anniversary, I got him some paper plane ones. He also has a lovely pair that look like car grills.

If you are taking a trip before Christmas, look to get some while you are there – it’s a lovely souvenir, too. Otherwise, look somewhere like etsy: just search for cufflinks and travel.

Gifts for travellers – gifts for anyone and everyone

1. Photo memories

There are so many apps and sites around at the moment which help you turn your photos into gifts for travellers.

Make a photo book with the best shots from your last trip. We made Miss M one last Christmas from all the zoos we had visited.

Make a calendar with some photos of places you’ve been and places you want to go. Use sites such as unsplash.com to find free photos of places you have not yet visited.

If you have a standout shot, try putting it on a mug, in a snow globe or even just in a frame.

Photos also make great advent calendars. We’ve used these the last few years as cover art and pictures behind the doors. Here you can order them online – advent calendars originated in Germany. If you can’t find a site online, and you’re handy with a knife, you could easily make one.

2. An experience

If you prefer minimalism, gift an experience!

There are so many different experiences you can give that you can find something to suit your budget, no matter what it is.

You can gift a trip, with transport and accommodation. This year, we are going to visit Kangaroo Island as a family for a couple of days after Christmas. Peter and I have decided that we are gifting the trip to each other.

Up close and personal with a young Australian sea lion at Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island; we hope for a repeat experience; give the gift of an experience this holiday season

If you already have a trip arranged, book tickets for something to do while you are there. Can you find a concert or show? Or get tickets online for an amusement park? Book a massage? Or reserve a table for dinner or afternoon tea and get a voucher for the meal? If you get actual tickets (and not e-tickets), make sure you don’t forget to pack them when you go.

We will be going to Dubai on the way home. We have decided that we will use Miss M’s Christmas money for her entry into the parks and activities that we decide to visit. Of course, this means that she will have a say in what we see, but we wanted her to help with the planning anyway.

The Burj al Arab, one of the sites we will see in Dubai; a family holiday in Dubai; gift the experience; top gifts for travellers

If you have a family member who lives somewhere else, you could gift one person a trip to visit them and the family member a voucher to go out to dinner when their visitor is there.

Of course, if plans are not yet concrete, you can get a voucher for an airline or hotel chain. If you know where you are going, but not when, you can change some money into the appropriate currency in preparation.

If your budget does not stretch that far, get a voucher to be a tourist in your own town. Go on a guided tour or visit one of the top tourists spots in your city. Or get (season’s) tickets to a local attraction, like a zoo, museum or amusement park.

So many gifts for travellers! What should I choose?

Fortunately for us, we already own many of these suggestions, so we don’t have to go out and buy everything on this list. Still, if you are looking for inspiration, the range of possible gifts for travellers, young and older, means you are bound to find something suitable for everyone.

We hope you have fun finding just the right gifts, and wish you all very happy holidays.

Enjoy sign-off blue
The perfect travel and travel-themed gifts for young and older, tech fans and the home, for men and women; great holiday gifts for travellers; Christmas is coming!

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