It can be difficult to think of gift ideas for travelers at the best of times. After all, their house is already filled with gorgeous souvenirs they’ve brought home from abroad. No matter how unique your gift is, it probably isn’t as unique as a chunk of rock from ruins in Athens.
Usually, we try to buy something thoughtful that would be useful and reflect the recipient’s passions. It would stand to reason that a present to accompany your wander-lusting loved one on their adventures would be a sensible gift.
But this poses difficulties too. Travelers have precious little space in their luggage and each cubic inch of space is jealously reserved. With lists at the ready often months beforehand for the more organised traveler, they have often gone out and already bought the items they need for their trip.
Which presents you with three major problems when it comes to gift ideas for your nomadic loved one, these being:
It ought to be something they wouldn’t immediately think to pack and therefore already own
It ought to be compact, so as not to take up much luggage real estate
It ought to be something they need enough to bring it with them on their travels.
For an anxious introvert who will soon be off on their epic adventure, ask these four questions to know whether your present idea addresses one of those problems.
Will it address a fear they have about travelling? For instance, are they worried about getting sick, staying safe, keeping their luggage secure, or flying? Does your gift in some way help to address this need?
Will it make them feel more comfortable/at home whilst abroad? Rescue Remedy, a portable projector, or a Kindle loaded with their favorite books will help them to find space to breathe easy no matter where they are.
Will it be practical? Will it make their lives easier? Reducing or minimizing the tiny challenges keeps them calm, helping them to have energy reserves to deal with bigger challenges.
Will it give them opportunities to expand their comfort zone, or alternatively, retreat for some alone time to recharge?
As an anxious introvert with an incurable case of wanderlust myself, I guarantee you that any of these holiday gift ideas for travelers are bound to become an indispensable part of their journeys. Whether you’re looking for secret Santa gifts, stocking stuffers, or something extra special for someone you love, there’s bound to be a gift in this guide to suit every occasion and budget.
Please note: Prices are in US dollars unless otherwise specified and are correct at the time of publishing.
Gifts under $20 USD
#1. Luggage tags: Luggage tags help a plain black suitcase stand out as a useful identifier, reducing stress at the baggage claim. I’m obsessed with this gorgeous vintage Disneyland tag, or establish your reign as King in the North with this Game of Thrones one.
Get it: $6.87 - $11.98 from Amazon.com
#2. Portable luggage scale: I once was faced with the dreadful situation of my carry on luggage being deemed too heavy at the airport. I got slugged with a massive checked luggage fee which spawned semi-anxiety attacks over my carry on luggage forever afterward. Weighing carry on beforehand saves a lot of stress. This portable luggage scale straps onto the suitcase and precisely weighs luggage, so your loved one can be sure it meets airline requirements.
Get it: $9.77 from Amazon.com
#3. Camera cleaning brush set: Travel and photography usually go hand in hand. Frequent travelers often invest in expensive cameras to take photos that do their memories justice. Those cameras and their lenses need regular cleaning as part of their upkeep. This mini kit comes with everything they need to keep their cameras clean and well maintained on the go.
Get it: $10.49 from Amazon.com
#4. Lavender oil roll on: Lavender oil helps to promote calm, reduce anxiety symptoms, and promote sleep. I love to take a little roll on lavender oil bottle with me to calm anxiety and to help me sleep properly wherever I am.
Get it: $12.30 from Amazon.com
#5. Amazon Prime: Give them the gift of unlimited entertainment wherever they go with an Amazon Prime membership. Your loved one can stream movies and TV shows, access thousands titles of books, and stream the latest music. Membership starts at USD$12.99 a month. Sign them up here directly, or alternatively preload a set amount onto a gift card so they can activate the membership when they travel. The Amazon gift card can be loaded up to $2,000 and the design can be changed to suit any occasion.
#6. Moleskine Voyageur: There are two things that soothe me as an anxious introvert: having all my important information and checklists organised and easily accessible, and journaling. This stylish, compact little travel journal from Moleskine does both of those things. It has packing lists, a budget planner, daily planning sheets and a lot of space to record a day of travelling.
Get it: $14.98 from Amazon.com
#7. Waterproof Electronics Organiser: Keeping track of one’s devices, chargers and power cords in today’s modern world can be stressful. This all in one organiser can fit an iPad and a phone, and contains several compartments to house battery packs, cords and device chargers. The organiser is heavily padded and is waterproof, so your loved one will feel assured that their devices are safe, and can access them easily without worrying that something has gotten lost.
Get it: $15.93 from Amazon.com
#8. Fluffy socks: Keep their tootsies toasty and their hearts warm with a pair of fluffy socks. These are great to wear on the plane or in cold hotel rooms. Anxiety can cause cold feet through hyperventilation, sweat, or heightened sensitivity to cold, so socks provide cosiness, comfort, and calmed nerves. I love these for women, and these ones for men.
Get them: $11.99 - $15.99 from Amazon.com
#9. Luggage cover: If they’re not the packing light type and definitely do need checked baggage, an anxious introvert’s worst nightmare is having to chase down someone who’s made off with their suitcase by mistake – or accidentally grabbing the wrong one themselves! I’ve been known to let my suitcase go around the carousel twice because I’m hemming and hawing over whether it’s actually my suitcase or not. If luggage covers were a thing back then it would have saved me a lot of anxiety. I love that you can infuse your suitcase with personality without having to commit to an entire new luggage set. I’m obsessing over these gorgeous Starry Night ones, but they come in a range of colours and designs.
Get it: $17.99 from Amazon.com
#10. Phone Tripod with Bluetooth Remote: Sometimes anxious travellers would love a photo of themselves at a particular landmark but feel uncomfortable asking passersby to take one for them. Not to mention that sometimes this doesn’t work – well meaning people can often cut off half the photo, or take a blurry shot. This little tripod contains bendy legs so it can be wrapped around a tree or pole at the right height to take the perfect shot. Your loved one won’t even have to anxiously dart into frame to beat the phone self timer as this phone tripod also comes with a Bluetooth remote, so they can get in place and discreetly snap the perfect selfie when ready.
Get it: $19.99 from Amazon.com
#11. Passport belt: Carrying cash and passports around on one’s person can be a nerve wracking experience. I remember being so worried about ours getting stolen. As a wedding gift, my sister in law bought us one of these passport belts to wear on our honeymoon. It keeps your cash, cards and passports hidden on your person underneath your shirt and tightly strapped to your body, so you feel more secure and protected against pickpockets. The belt has RFID blocking to prevent credit cards getting skimmed, for extra peace of mind.
Get it: $12.99 from Amazon.com
SHOP GIFTS UNDER $20 USD
Starry Night Luggage Cover
the most beautiful way to make your
luggage easy to find at the airport
Moleskine Voyageur Travel Organiser & Journal
keep organised & document your adventures in one journal
Portable Luggage Scale
never get slugged with hefty and unexpected excess baggage charges again
Gifts Under $50 USD
#12. Packing cubes: I have been known to have panic attacks because my stuff never fits back in my suitcase quite the same way as it first went in. I just can never pack it as efficiently as I did the first time and I’m usually in a rush. I can also feel anxious if I can’t find something in my suitcase. Packing cubes to the rescue! They help to keep everything organised and neat in your suitcase, so you’ll always know where to find it, and packing becomes a breeze. This 10 piece packing cube set comes with packing cubes in a variety of different sizes.
Get the set: $20.99 from Amazon.com
#13. Rescue Remedy: An indispensable resource for anyone with anxiety, Rescue Remedy provides instant ease and calm using flower essence therapy. It comes in a tiny dropper bottle form, or as pastilles. A few drops under the tongue can relieve panic symptoms, although I find the pastilles especially handy when travelling, as I can suck on one as the plane takes off to prevent my ears from popping. Plus, the less liquids the better.
Get it: $10.95 to $22.95 from Pharmacy Online
#14. Portable adult coloring case: Coloring is a fantastic activity for calming an anxious mind or for withdrawing inward to recharge after a busy day. This beautiful travel coloring case contains a holder for both coloring books and pencils. It’s made of PU leather and is an easy and convenient way to carry and store pencils and paper. Studies have shown that coloring can reduce anxiety and feed creativity, so it’s an amazing companion for an easily stressed traveller with big dreams. This one comes with a specially designed Mindfulness coloring book.
Get it: $23.99 from Amazon.com
#15. National Geographic’s Destinations of a Lifetime: I say, when you can’t travel the world, bring the world to you. This is a visually stunning coffee table book that will have them daydreaming of new adventures and reminiscing about past ones.
Get it: $24.92 from Amazon.com
#16. Violife Toothbrush Sanitiser: I can be a germophobe, especially when it comes to toothbrushes. I don’t want my toothbrush rattling around in my toiletries bag with makeup brushes and other items that may be harbouring God knows what. This amazing little toothbrush travel holder and sanitiser uses UV technology to kill 99% of germs, including swine flu.
Get it: $25.90 from Amazon.com
#17. International voltage converter and plug adapter: It wasn’t until we got to the USA that we realised that our device chargers weren’t compatible with US power points. Give your travelling loved one the comfort of being able to take their devices anywhere without having to worry about having the right charger with a voltage converter and plug adaptor. We like the BESTEK travel adapter converter combo. It has both plug adapters and an internal voltage converter for safe and easy use of appliances anywhere in the world.
Get it: $36.99 from Amazon.com
#18. VIM & VIGR compression socks: Believe me from unfortunate experience, a suspected blood clot will kill your travel buzz fast. Luckily for me it was nothing but I now take proper precautions anytime I fly. Compression socks help to promote circulation whilst sitting for long periods, which can reduce the likelihood of developing DVT and clots on long haul flights. They’re a must have for me after my frightening experience, but up until relatively recently, I’ve had to sacrifice style to wear them. These VIM & VIGR ones come in a variety of cute and fashionable styles and are extra comfortable – perfect to wear as part of a travelling outfit.
Get them: $32.95 from Amazon.com
#19. Travel pillow: Make sleeping comfortable anywhere with a travel pillow. Gone are the days where we were confined to the puffy U-shape design in just about every chemist and souvenir store at the airport. There are many options to suit a variety of sleeping styles, comfort levels, and luggage space restrictions. Many love the Turtl pillow because it’s so compact. We personally love the Infinity pillow, because it can be shaped and moulded to suit any sleeping position or situation. It is bacteria resistant, machine washable and breathable for extra comfort.
Get one: $35.99 from Amazon.com (these sell out fast)
#20. My Map Gold Scratch Off Map: Of everything on this list, this could possibly be my favourite. It’s not really an item to take with them, but rather a home decor item to remind them of their wonderful adventures. This beautiful world map wall poster is gold in colour: but as your loved one visits a country, they scratch the gold surface to reveal a beautiful colour underneath. The more places they travel, the more colours are revealed until the map is a beautiful rainbow travel memento. We love the My Map because it is made of durable quality paper, comes in a beautifully presented gift tube and would look stunning on any wall in the house.
Get it: $45.99 from Amazon.com
#21. Therapeutic infrared scarf: As well as being a stylish, chic and versatile travel item, this scarf is perfect for travellers with neck pain, or who are going to cold countries. Its ceramic-infused Welltex fabric reflects body heat for soothing infrared thermal warmth.
Get it: $44.95 from Amazon.com
#22. Silk eye mask: When the hotel room curtains don’t fully block out the street lights, or the guy in the plane seat next to you has his reading light on, but you really need some sleep: these silk eye masks will help them to block out visual and light distractions and fall asleep faster. Eye masks are also good for resetting circadian cycles, which can be disrupted by travel. Silk has temperature regulating properties, is gentle on the delicate skin around the eye area, is hypoallergenic and antibacterial, and doesn’t draw moisture away from the skin, so it keeps the eye area looking fresh and hydrated – no mean feat after a 13 hour flight. Your loved one will arrive at their destination looking and feeling as fresh as a daisy. This one is lavender scented, which further helps to promote sleep and relaxation.
Get it: $49.99 from Amazon.com
#23. Adrenaline voucher: Has your loved one got an Australia adventure planned? Encourage them outside their comfort zone with an Adrenaline.com.au voucher. Our friends at Adrenaline provide a variety of incredible experiences in Australia, from gourmet foodie delights to extreme watersports and motorsports. You can either pick out a specific experience for them, or let them choose their own adventure with a gift voucher to the value of your choice.
Get it at adrenaline.com.au
SHOP GIFTS UNDER $50
10 piece packing cube set
make packing a breeze
VIM & VIGR compression socks
finally - compression leggings that don’t compromise style
Portable Adult Coloring Case
take your relaxing adult coloring set anywhere
sleep like a baby anywhere - hurry,
these sell out fast!
National Geographic’s Destinations of a Lifetime
the ultimate coffee table book for travelers
MyMap Gold Scratch Off Map
a gorgeous way to chart your travels
Gifts Under $100 USD
#24. ENO DoubleNest Hammock: This hammock fits two people (up to 181 kg), is lightweight at only 539 grams and stuffs into a packing bag only 12 x 12 cm large, so it can even fit into carry on. It’s made of strong, durable fabric yet is breathable and comfortable. Whether your loved one loves camping, hiking, or even needs a comfy place to chill in their hotel, this is a great gift for relaxation anywhere.
Get it: $52.46 from Amazon.com
#25. Turkish towel: Anyone who has ever read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will tell you to never under any circumstances travel without a towel. Turkish towels are remarkably useful: you can, of course, use it as a towel, but it can also be used as a blanket to keep warm on the plane or in draughty hotel rooms, as a sarong on the beach, as a seat cover, to wrap wet clothes in, a picnic blanket, a tablecloth, as a makeshift umbrella, as a scarf, to wrap your baby in, or as a nursing cover. (Or, you know, avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal). It’s well worth the space in any traveller’s luggage.
Get it: $24.90 from Amazon.com
#26. Canon IVY Wireless Mobile Printer: It’s like Instax, except you can take the photo in high quality on your phone or camera and store on a memory card for enlarged printing later. But after a busy day of sightseeing, there is nothing more lovely for an introvert than to tuck up in their hotel room in comfy pyjamas and journal their trip. The Canon IVY Wireless Printer is travel sized and allows them to print photos of their day and write about it while it’s still fresh in their mind. It prints 2x3” photos with peel and stick backing and is able to print via Bluetooth and social media.
#27. Portable device charger: From experience I will readily tell you: there is nothing more frustrating than starting to snap photos from your phone when suddenly the battery goes flat. Your charger is back in the hotel and in any event, you’re miles from anything even remotely resembling electricity until dinnertime. This can be stressful for anxious travellers, who may worry that they will miss out on the perfect photo opportunity, or won’t have a connection to help if something goes wrong. The Anker Power Core provides high speed charging for phones, USB-C notebooks and tablets. It comes with adapter cables, a travel pouch, and an 18 month warranty.
Get it: $86.99 from Amazon.com
SHOP GIFTS UNDER $100
Gifts under $200 USD
#28. Handspresso Wild Hybrid: Wherever I am, whatever else my day involves: I simply cannot start it without a good cup of coffee. Travelling with one’s favourite coffee can provide the comforts of home to a traveller wherever they are. This handspresso just requires hot water and coffee beans to make an espresso coffee on the go, and is compact enough to fit into carryon.
Get it: $149.99 from Amazon.com
#29. Carry on luggage: We suggest packing all your important bits in your carry on (or just taking a carry on bag and nixing the check in luggage altogether). This way, you won’t have to deal with the stress of the baggage claim and those anxious moments before it comes around on the carousel where you worry it’s been lost. I love this one because it’s super light so you don’t have to worry too much about weight restrictions, it’s expandable and the wheels allow for 360 degree movement. Alternatively, try these super cool licensed ones from American Tourister, with designs like Mickey Mouse and Darth Vader.
Get it: $74.99 - $112 from Amazon.com
#30. Waterproof Portable Speaker: We have had our little Bluetooth speaker for more than three years and use it almost daily. We even use it to get better sound out of our laptop or projector when we’re watching a movie. The battery lasts us all day, the sound is incredible, and it doesn’t have to be right next to our devices to work. Your loved one can use it as the soundtrack for an outdoor hike, to play a guided meditation to fall off to sleep to at night, or as an instant sound system to accompany Netflix after a long day of sightseeing. The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM has a 100ft Bluetooth range, is waterproof, very lightweight, and has a 20 hour USB rechargeable battery.
Get it: $149.98 from Amazon.com
#31. GlocalMe Worldwide WiFi Hotspot: Your loved one can access WiFi and connect with you at home anytime they need. This hotspot device allows them to access the Internet anywhere without a SIM card or expensive roaming charges. Each device comes with 1 GB of free data. It also works with a SIM card and can run for 15 hours between charges.
Get it: $149.99 from Amazon.com
#32. Portable Projector: Your loved one can turn any white wall into an instant cinema with a portable projector – small enough to fit into the palm of their hand. With this amazing little device from Kodak, which takes up minimal room in an overnight bag, they can project their favourite movies and TV shows, or their travel photos from the day, onto the big screen. It’s compatible with USB sticks, has an HDMI port, a lightning port, or Chromecast.
Get it: $194.98 from Amazon.com
SHOP GIFTS UNDER $200
Handpresso Wild Hybrid Portable Espresso Maker
drink your favourite espresso coffee literally anywhere
Gifts Over $200 USD
#33. Crumpler duffel bag: Messenger bags are stylish, lightweight, and provide a safe on the go alternative to a handbag. They can be worn over the front with a strap across the body, so they are more theft resistant and secure than a handbag or backpack. The Chronicler by Australian company Crumpler combines chic style with practicality: they are weatherproof, have six separate storage compartments, hold 11.6 L of storage, are durable and comfortable with padded straps. Plus, if your loved one travels a lot for business or is a travel blogger, the Chronicler has an external laptop sleeve and mini office at the front.
Get it: AUD$229 from Crumpler
#34. Amazon Kindle Oasis: Wherever I go, I like to have at least one good book to read. This is true of most introverts. In days of yore, we either had to decide between packing all our favourite books instead of clothes, or instead choose a single book to tide us over our entire trip. Amazon changed the game forever with the Kindle, which allows you to electronically store hundreds of books in a feather light device. I have had my old Kindle for 10 years now and it still works like new. The new Oasis contains a large glare free 7” screen, is waterproof, has a massive 330 ppi resolution, turns with a touchscreen, plays audiobooks, contains an adaptive light sensor for reading in any light condition, and the battery lasts for weeks. Give your loved one the gift of being able to take an entire library wherever they go for years to come.
Get it: $269 from Amazon.com
#35. Noise cancelling headphones: Some people with plane anxiety can feel triggered by the sound of the plane engine. Introverts may feel drained by chatter or loud noises going on around them. Noise cancelling headphones will drown it all out and they can instead listen to a guided meditation, relaxation or white noise, an audiobook or watch a movie. Voted the best noise cancelling headphones in the world, the Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) don’t come cheap, but are state of the art in terms of noise cancellation, features, and Bluetooth connectivity. They also come with built in Amazon Alexa.
Get them: $310+ from Amazon.com
GIFTS OVER $200
So, there you have it. When you know what to look for, buying for an anxious or introverted traveler isn’t difficult at all. No matter your budget, or the occasion, there’s bound to be something on this list to become an indispensable part of their adventures.