Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Travel Lovers

If you're scratching your head at what to get the travel lover in your life, never fear. Build up their travel gear with a great Christmas gift this holiday season and they'll thank you all the way to Italy, Berlin, Africa, or wherever's next on their travel bucket list. Gifts you'll find here are both practical and for comfort, making sure that your travel lover will have the time of their life.

1. Travel Journal

Help them record their travels in a handmade, leatherbound beauty. Most have refillable page inserts so they never have to replace that gorgeous cover. See if you can get one with a design or quote that fits your traveler for an added personalization. You can find these anywhere, there are tons from but you can find pretty affordable ones through Amazon as well.

2. Scratch Map

This fun piece of decoration doesn't necessarily travel with you but it does help you show off all the places you've been on a giant, oversized canvas. Let your traveler scratch off the surface of each country they've visited until the entire earth is uncovered. Like the travel journal, you can find beautifully designed scratch maps at Etsy.

3. Compass

Now that pretty much everyone has a smart phone, a hand held compass isn't exactly necessary for travelers. However, it can be a really cool, trendy kind of gift. You can also make the compass into a piece of jewelry such as a necklace or bracelet for a hip and lovely statement piece.

4. Personalized Goodies

Have someone monogram a custom made luggage tag or passport holder for your worldly traveler. They'll have it forever (unless they change their name) and they'll think of you when they use it. Plus it's super handy when you can easily spot your luggage in the baggage line because of the colorful, monogrammed tag.

5. Travel Fund

If your traveler hasn't had the chance to travel yet but wants to, why not help them on their way? Get them an inexpensive giant Mason jar and label it with "TRAVEL FUND" and stuff a few dollars in there to get them started. They can put all of their change in it until they have enough to travel, and it's a pretty affordable gift on your part.

6. Decorative Prints

Over the years there have been thousands upon thousands of travel ads from PanAm to tourism posters encouraging people to visit the Empire State Building and everywhere else. These prints and posters make for really neat, in a kind of kitschy but cool sort of way, wall decor. You can pick one of your traveler's favorite spots (i.e. New York or the Eiffel Tower) and find its poster online. They're absolutely everywhere and pretty affordable. Get it framed, too, for added coolness factor.

7. Collectibles

Get something they can keep and treasure for years. Antique compasses, a vintage suitcase, start a collection of printed cups or bells, old postcards, rare travel guides, etc. P.S. This may sound obvious but you should probably get them collectibles that they'll enjoy seeing if not using. Many a gift giver has had hurt feelings that the seventeen year old didn't enjoy those pretty old plates they bought them.

8. Travel Kit

Build one yourself or buy a ready made travel kit full of the best essentials they'll need on their journey. Travel sized shampoos in their favorite brand, TSA regulation bottles, shaving cream, Q-tips, etc. You can even put in some fun things or customize the case with monogrammed lettering and such. Buy at places like Etsy and get travel sized versions of artisan soaps and homemade lotions for a really nice touch.

9. Travel Scarf

Lady travelers will like this handy and cute infinity scarf with hidden pockets to hide their passport and wallet. This is good for touring as well as traveling and cuts down on pick-pocketing. Speakeasy Travel Supply Co. has the original but you can find unofficial travel scarves at different sites too. There are also other versions, like travel pouches which are basically fanny packs that go under your shirt that can hold important documents and money. Those do, however, make it a little awkward to get into when you're in public.

10.  Travel Bag

These are a little more expensive, depending on where you buy and the quality, but good ones can last a lifetime. People can get really attached to a good bag, especially those really sturdy and beautiful leather weekend bags. Look around for good deals on well-made bags.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Books - If your traveler is a reader, get them some travel inspiring books to fuel their wanderlust.
  • Jewelry - This is already on the list in one form or another but jewelry is a personal statement not only of style but of spirit. Travelers, especially literary ones, might enjoy bracelets stamped with travel quotes. A popular one is J.R.R. Tolkien's "Not all those who wander are lost." Just search around for different examples of travel inspired jewelry to get an idea.
  • Globes - A gorgeous vintage or custom made globe is a beautiful statement piece in any living space. They also have 3D globe puzzles for those who like games.
  • Scrapbook/Photo Album - Everything is digital now, making photo albums kind of an old practice but it doesn't have to be. Putting a scrapbook or photo album of the other person's travels shows you put time and effort into their gift and they'll appreciate it greatly. This is also a pretty affordable option.