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The 34 best Christmas gifts for travellers

Two festive holiday gifts for travelers on a wooden table.

Ho ho ho-ly crap, it’s Christmas! What a year it’s been. The festive fun is just around the corner and boy are we excited to celebrate and get our gift-giving on. If there’s one area where we KNOW we can kill it, it’s with Christmas gifts for travellers. Why? Because we’re the experts, duh. 

What better way to fuel next year’s wanderlust and get ready for 2024 than with these awesome gift ideas fit for all your travel obsessed friends, as well as yourself. Here are our top 34 choices for THE best Christmas gifts for travellers from stocking stuffers to big ticket items!

1. Reusable water bottle

Reusable water bottles are a travel essential. Not only are they practical, they’re also better for the planet! As you may know, marine life is being devastated by single use plastics, so if someone you know hasn’t already, switch them over to a reusable water bottle ASAP! There are so many cute options out there.

2. Power bank

Want to feel super-duper loved this Christmas? Gift someone a power bank and they’ll love you forever. Power sockets can often be hard to come by on the road, so these babies are like life supports for frequent travellers who are literally dependent on phones or battery life.  You can even get solar powered versions if you fancy getting a little green.

3. A trip to anywhere / Contiki voucher

No surprise here, but the best Christmas gift for any traveller is the opportunity to travel. And boy are we craving that this year. Delight your beloved with their fave adventure to take into next year by purchasing a travel gift card. We can guarantee they’ll be brighter than all the baubles on the Christmas tree. 

We love Contiki adventures of course (how did you guess?). We may be biased but yeah, we kind of rock at the whole adventure travel thing.

Image source:Contiki

4. Bucket list scratch map

Everyone loves a map, and everyone loves a bucket list – put them together and what do you get? A great Christmas present idea, that’s what. Travellers can scratch off the destinations as they go, or seek out inspiration pre trip on those essential must do experiences.

5. Carry-on luggage

A good quality piece of carry-on luggage is something a seasoned world traveller will appreciate any time of year. For business travellers in particular, or those partial to short breaks, carry-on is crucial as often they won’t be checking in a big bag. When making your choice, consider the following:

6. Cosy socks

There’s nothing like a pair of fluffy socks to make you feel like you’re winning at life. From getting comfy on a long haul flight to snuggling up after a long day of adventure, fluffy socks are the little touch of home every traveller craves. And the best part? They take up minimal luggage space. One of the best (and cheapest) Christmas gifts for travellers! 

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7. Kindle

Don’t get us wrong. Nothing beats curling up with a good book and thumbing through the pages. But let’s be practical. Lugging around a bunch of these on your travels is inconvenient. Not only is the Kindle small and light, it can also hold more than 1000 books and last weeks without a charge. Plus, the cost of e-books is a fraction of the price comparative to a real book – essential for any money conscious traveller.

8. Luggage tags

Stuck for stocking filler ideas? Why not go for a personalised luggage tag? We recommend investing in a quality leather option that’ll last. You can even get them customised and/or embossed for the ultimate personal touch.

9. GoPro

Feeling flush? For real, there’s no better gift for a traveller than an action cam. Boasting professional video and photo quality, plus a range of other super cool features (think built in stabilisation and mounting) this is a killer gift for any would-be adventurer.

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10. Noise cancelling headphones

Gift your traveller friend the power to zone out on any plane, train or coach trip with a pair of noise cancelling headphones, and they’ll thank you forever.

11. Audiobook subscription

So your friend’s finished their trashy rom-com but there’s 6 hours left on the flight. What next? We reckon you can’t go wrong with gifting them an audio book subscription. They’ll be able to listen to the world’s finest storytelling without having to hold up a book for hours on end. Plus, some books are narrated by celebrities, and who doesn’t want Matthew McConaughey’s southern drawl in their ear?

12. Portable speakers

Want your gift recipient to be the #1 most popular person on any camping trip/boat excursion/car journey – or, well, any kind of travel type scenario? Then give them the gift of music, in the form of portable speakers. 

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13. Travel pillow

Give your globe-trotting loved one the gift of comfort this Christmas by offering them a travel pillow! These can take a lot of different forms: it could be a neck pillow for those that enjoy long haul excursions, or even a pillow to sit on when those economy seats become a little too much. Or, if they like to have a slice of home with them while abroad, gift them a pillow that can be easily packed and taken around the world.

14. Passport cover

Who doesn’t love to accessorise a little bit? A passport cover is a sure-fire way to make sure you stand out in the airport and become everyone’s airport crush (it’s a thing, don’t deny it). If you wanted to be really cute, you could even get a matching passport cover and luggage tag! 

15. Duolingo Subscription

A gift for those serious about travelling and absorbing the many cultures of the world, give them the gift of language and knowledge! There are lots of different plans available on Duolingo as well, so you don’t have to break the bank for this one.

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16. Translation dictionary

Or, if they’d prefer to learn on the go, get your travel buddy a translation dictionary that they can take with them! Maybe they’re hopping on Contiki’s Simply Italy and they want to pick up some cool Italian slang beforehand? This is your perfect option.

17. Portable fan

This might seem unnecessary as most modes of transportation like planes and trains have some form of air conditioning. But have you ever been waiting for a ferry in Thailand under the beating sun? It’s a struggle, and a portable fan is just the gadget your friend will need.

18. A new pair of sunnies

Fashion and holiday all wrapped into one neat prezzie, you can never go wrong with a cute pair of sunnies which can be used for their intended use or as an extra accessory for all those vacation fit pics.

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19. A cute beach towel

Continuing on with the ‘cute and practical’ trend, a beach towel is a must if your traveller enjoys beachy and poolside destinations. Plus, you’d be surprised how many people don’t have beach towels; you might just be saving them from a terrible vacation mishap!

20. Universal adapter

Similar to the power bank, this is for the travellers who are chronically in use of their electronics and need them charged all day, every day. Plus, it’s one easy adapter for every location in the world – they’ll never have to fiddle through the junk drawer to find the right one again.

21. A new backpack

We’ve all got that friend who embarks on lengthy adventures never to be seen again. They need a new backpack to hold their clothes, toiletries, towels, food, books, and all the other goodies they seem to be able to stuff in there.

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22. A coordinates frame

Do they have a favourite destination they’ve been to? Get them a map of the exact coordinates! Lots of small businesses on Etsy sell a version of these maps and you can make them fully customizable – different colour paper, shiny foils, personalised messages, etc. This is one of the best Christmas gifts for travellers because it’s thoughtful, and if you’re a travelling couple with a meaningful destination then this just doubles in sentimentality.

23. A travel diary

So much of travelling is about reflection, isn’t it? Or at least it is for some people, and if your loved one is the solo travelling sort then a travel diary where they can jot down all their thoughts and feelings on the go would be the perfect gift. 

24. Custom Toiletries

This is for those aspiring to the ‘clean’ aesthetic: we all have a pal who’s makeup bag is a mess. They’re in desperate need of a new one and lucky for you there are so many adorable ones on the market! Or, you could get them a set of reusable bottles to pour their various creams and liquids into for carry-on ease. The possibilities of custom toiletries are endless.

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25. Loungewear for a long flight

There’s nothing better than getting all wrapped up and cosy before a long flight, but there’s the issue of not wanting to look totally frazzled as you make your way through the airport. Loungewear sets have already thought of this problem, and brought to you an easy solution! It’s the best Christmas gift for any fashionable traveller.

26. Phone or Tablet holder

For those opting to download movies and shows to watch on their long trips, this is the best Christmas gift – with a phone or tablet holder they can free up their hands and avoid cramps in the fingers and wrists. 

27. Bum bag

Fan of freeing up your hands? Then let’s continue – bum bags are the perfect travel item to carry around small necessities without taking up loads of space. We love an adorable tote bag, but they aren’t always the most practical. Bum bags are the next best thing.

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28. Globe

Similar to the scratch map, but a little more classic, a globe can give your nomadic loved one some much needed inspiration for their next destination. Or, if they’ve already conquered half the world, they can look down at the globe and marvel at their success. Also a great gift for those in need of some home decoration! Two birds, one stone.

29. Loop earplugs

We’ve covered noise cancelling headphones, but some people might not like the feeling of their ears being totally covered. Loop earplugs, or others of their kind, are as small as AirPods and reduce noise around the wearer. Perfect for anyone needing to relax and drown out the hustle and bustle of busy cities and busy flights.

30. Hand sanitiser

In a post-Covid world, it’s a good idea to carry some hand sanitiser just in case. There are loads of options these days: gels, liquids, even sprays; and the packages they come in are endless and varied. You can even go the extra step and get something personalised! Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than a personalised bottle of hand sanitiser.

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31. Sheet masks and eye masks

Hate that post flight puffy look? Or the sleepless look you get after an overnight train ride? Sheet masks and eye patches are just what you need to soothe travel-tired skin.

32. Filter straw

For those travellers who are a little more adventurous and like to stray from the beaten path – a filter straw so they can drink from any water source is an essential and really thoughtful gift. It’s the kind of gift that says ‘I want to keep you alive’.

33. Packing cubes

Kings and Queens of organisation, gather around! You’ve heard of packing cubes, we all have, they’ve taken the travel game to new levels, and they’d make the perfect Christmas gift for your traveller. An organised suitcase = a blissful holiday – that’s girl math.

34. Portable board game

This is a great option which provides entertainment beyond the world of technology! Whether it’s a deck of cards, a magnetic chess board, or some novelty game, a portable board game is a MUST – and being the person to bring one on a Contiki is a great way to make friends fast.

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