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Gifts for friends going travelling

Updated on November 17th, 2020

We all have a friend who’s always travelling and then we have friends who are going on their first overseas trip. Either way, you want to buy something useful for these friends, something that they can take with them or be of value to their trip. Trust me, I know. While I love the thought behind a gift, as a long-term traveller if receive something impractical that doesn’t fit in my bag, I actually question the thoughtfulness of the gift. So instead of racking your brain for ideas that just aren’t right, find out below the best gifts for friends going travelling. If they’re also a blogger you might want to check out the best gifts for bloggers as well.

16 best gifts for friends going travelling

Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information on my disclaimer click here.

Practical gifts

1. Travel Laundry Bag

A travel laundry bag is a fantastic gift idea for the avid traveller. Instead of spending astronomical amounts of money for the hotel laundry service, these nifty bags allow you to wash your own clothes. Unlike washing your clothes in the sink, these bags have an inbuilt washboard which gives the clothes an effective clean. Pair with a liquid-free detergent and one of the biggest travel issues are solved.

These are especially great if you know your friend will be travelling to more remote places or won’t have access to laundry services.

travel laundry wash bag

2. Phone charging power bank

Seriously, this is the best present I ever bought myself! This high powered power bank will keep all your devices charged on the go. My phone was always dying on long bus trips meaning I ran out of entertainment or had to worry about getting directions to where I was staying at the other end.

Knowing I have additional power to use maps and make calls once I have arrived at my destination has been a life-saver. This particular model allows you to charge 2 devices at once and can charge an iPhone 8 almost 7 times!!

Anker portable phone charger power bank

3. Wireless earbuds

I have these exact earbuds in white and love them. There’s no more getting the cord caught on people or things and ripping out of your ears. These compact wireless earbuds by Dacom come with a built-in USB charger and easy connectivity to make listening to podcasts and music on the go a breeze.

In terms of battery, I’ve had mates complain about their earbuds dying after a couple of hours, whereas mine never die while I’m out.

dacom wireless earbuds

4. Packing cubes

Easily my number one packing hack. If you want to get the most practical and space-saving gifts for friends going travelling than this is it!

Packing cubes allow you to organise your clothes into smaller compartments which allow for less chaos when looking for items and also is a massive space saver. When I use my packing cubes I fit so much more into my bag than without.

They’re also really affordable. So you’re ticking all of the boxes – thoughtful, affordable and practical!

amazon basic packing cubes

Sustainable gifts

5. Collapsible travel cup

I have recently discovered these and think they are amazing. Your coffee-loving friends will love these. I have a glass keep cup, but it’s definitely not the most practical thing to take on long trips.

Help them look after the environment and keep their bag space to a minimum with these collapsible reusable travel cups. They come in a variety of sizes and colours.

If you want an extra add-on, buy them an AeroPress. It’s compact, they can make coffee wherever there is boiling water and they’ll saving $5 per cup of coffee.

collapsible travel coffee cup

6. Reusable water bottle

This LifeStraw reusable water bottle comes with its own filter and removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and  99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites.

This means you are safe to fill this water bottle up anywhere in the world including hiking or countries with unsafe drinking water. There’s nothing worse than being in places where you can’t drink the tap water and having to buy 2 plastic water bottles every day.

lifestraw reusable water bottle

7. Collapsible straw

I’m all about saving the environment, but paper straws just suck don’t they?

This nifty stainless steel straw is not only environmentally friendly its also telescopic. Which means it’s the perfect gifts for friends going travelling. It compresses down to less than 4 inches, comes with a handy keychain and even includes its own cleaning brush.

There seems to be a lot of reusable straws on the market, but weirdly not a lot of these telescopic ones. So much more of a practical gift for travellers.

telescopic reusable stainless steel straw

Fun gifts

8. Camera strap

These DSLR camera straps are the perfect gift for your photography loving travel friends. They come in a variety of colours and styles to suit absolutely everyone’s personal style and are just so fun!

I’ve been hinting at getting one of these for awhile now, I might have to gift it to myself this year instead.

fun dslr camera strap

9. Mini-polaroid printer

Gone are the days of having to carry around a large polaroid camera to get these cute printed photos. Buy your mates a mini Bluetooth polaroid printer this Christmas. You can add filters and frames on the linked app and print your best travel memories in 12 seconds. Perfect for making scrapbooks and adding in travel diaries.

These polaroid cameras are great for friends for travel in a van or take shorter trips.

Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone polaroid Printer

10. Passport case

No matter what, you know your friend will have a passport on them if going overseas. So why not get them a cute case to protect and make it look more stylish. This particular brand comes in 14 different colours and styles.

Not only will their passport look fun, it’ll also stay protected which is a biggie if your friend travels a lot.

Travel Passport Cover Case with Storage Pocket

11. Cute notebooks

I definitely recommend buying a travel journal as a gift.  Your friends will be able to write down all of their travel memories, important information they don’t want to forget and other tidbits. I go through a couple of notebooks and a year and always find things I would have forgotten about otherwise.

Notebook Trio with Three Coordinating Designs

12. World scratch map

These scratch off world maps are the coolest gifts for someone who loves travel to keep a record of all the countries they have visited. This detailed poster breaks down large countries into states of places like the US, Canada and Australia.

International Scratch The World Travel Map

Long-term traveller gifts

13. TEFL certificate course

Do you know someone going travelling who never wants to come home? Help them stay abroad by signing them up to do their teaching English as a foreign language certificate. This will allow them to enter the digital nomad world and work remotely by teaching English.

Related posts:

the tefl academy logo

14. Phone lens kit

This is a great gift for your friends who love to take photos but don’t always want to lug around a big bulky camera. This lens doubles as a wide-angle and macro lens and fits on various cell phones. This device is super compact and will make phone photos appear like they have been taken on a professional camera.

Phone Camera Lens for iPhone and Android, Wide Angle & Macro Lens

15. Worldpackers membership

Give the gift of free travel. One of my biggest budget travel tips is to use volunteer organisations like Worldpackers, Workaway and HelpX. These programs will allow your friend to exchange a few hours of work per day for free accommodation and food – all around the world!

With my discount code, a Worldpackers annual membership is super affordable at $29 for solo travellers and $39 for couples. This is $20 off the fee and just think how much money will be saved just by doing a couple of volunteer projects a year. Either click the link above or use the code CURIOUSLYERIN at checkout.

worldpackers logo

16. Aeropress

I know I already touched on this, but it deserves its own category. The Aeropress has saved me from coffee withdrawals on many occasions. This super handy set is the best gift for your friend about to go travelling on a budget trip. They’ll save money on having to buy coffee every day and won’t have the hassle of finding a decent cup.

I combine the below set with my reusable filter, a small pack of my favourite beans and it overall it takes up very little space in my bag. Especially considering I use it daily.

AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker gifts for friends going travelling

I hope this list has inspired you to find the best gifts for friends going travelling. Make sure to share this list with your friends, so they know what to get you also 😉

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Erin signature

Hello! My name is Erin, the lady behind Curiously Erin. After more than 10 years of travelling and working abroad, I wanted to create a platform where I could share my stories and travels. My goal is to help you live the life you desire and inspire you to travel more.

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