A Holiday Gift Guide for the Picky Traveler in Your Life

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Last Updated on: 9th August 2021, 11:16 pm

Serious travelers are funny creatures to buy for: they know exactly what they want to have with them when they travel, and, more annoyingly, exactly what they don’t. Some refuse to ever check luggage, some get very picky about the liters or kilos on them, and some don’t even have a home base to store a gift that’s not travel-ready. So if you are dead set against giving them cash or an Amazon card (which is probably what they want), here’s a guide to digital nomad friendly gifts.

Flying through Chicago O'Hare at Christmastime last year
Flying through Chicago O’Hare at Christmastime last year

#AskGaryVee Book

For the traveler who’s trying to turn it into a career, and thus is banking their future success on their ability to communicate through social media, this book is a life-changer (life-saver?) I think it makes a better audiobook than something to sit down and read, because I think reading nonfiction is boring. This is a great gift for any traveler in your life trying to build a business or personal brand. Gift it to them on Audible, Kindle, or (do these still exist) as a physical book. The only reason this book didn’t make my list of 10 Books that Made My Life Better Written in the Last Decade is because I didn’t buy it until two days after this list came out. But it’s already changed my life and is entry #1 for my next list.

#AskGaryVee on my Audible account
#AskGaryVee on my Audible account

Camera Accessories

Don’t go out and just buy something, because camera setups are VERY personal. But a great gift for a traveler is whatever thing they feel their photography setup is missing: a custom or unique camera strap, a new DSLR bag, a stack of SD cards, a Dropbox or Lightroom subscription, an external hardrive, filters, photography lessons, etc.

If your traveler loves photography, there's probably something they want for their kit.
If your traveler loves photography, there’s probably something they want for their kit.

Entertainment Subscriptions

Whether to HBO Now, Netflix, Kindle Unlimited, Hulu, Audible, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue, their local newspaper or public radio station, etc, there are many types of subscriptions you can get for your traveler that they can appreciate from the road (provided they travel with the technology to use it). You can gift them a couple of months or a full year, depending on your budget.

A Christmas Tree in Puerto Rico
A Christmas Tree in Puerto Rico

Event Tickets

A basketball game. The ballet. The museum special exhibit ticket that you know your traveler would never buy for themselves. A chance to see their favorite band. Get your traveler an experience instead of a thing. They don’t have to pack it, they’ll remember it forever, and there’s a high likelihood that this is more in keeping with their personality anyway.

Going to a OKC Thunder Game with my family at Christmastime last year
Going to a OKC Thunder Game with my family at Christmastime last year

Food & Drinks

Doesn’t necessarily have to be alcohol (although that’s typical). Provided they’ll have a decent chance to eat or drink your gift before they hop on the next plane, this can be a great, personal gift they can enjoy guilt free with no thoughts on how they’ll lug it to the next place.

Taste-testing wine at Stonehenge
Taste-testing wine at Stonehenge

Laptop Charger Backup

No, this is not n exciting gift. But if your traveler works on the road, a backup laptop charger might save their day, project, or even career. (And would have saved me from running around Cyprus for a day trying to figure out where to get one before a very important meeting…).

Does your traveler need constant access to the internet?
Does your traveler need constant access to the internet?

Luggage Scale

A luggage scale is especially helpful for the traveler who likes to stay right under the maximum allowable weight, or the traveler who bounces back and forth between big and budget airlines where the allowances can be different.

Packing Cubes

For this one, you may want to do some snooping and see if they already own some. But if they don’t, packing cubes can revolutionize a traveler’s life. They keep you organized, and they take up no room in your luggage, instead they actually create room. There are lots of different brands and styles to pick from (I have some from Rick Steves’ that were on sale and have lasted five years so far). And if your traveler actually does have some that are older, they may appreciate getting a fresh set or maybe some new colors that match their luggage.

These are packing cubes. These are not MY packing cubes.
These are packing cubes. These are not MY packing cubes.

Portable Power Bank

What can make a six-hour layover fly by? A fully charged cell phone with the knowledge you have three more full charges behind it. I use a power bank from Amazon Basics, but there are many styles and brands to pick from. Even if your traveler already has one, this is one item they’ll be glad to have a backup for.

Portable Power Banks are a Girl's Best Friend?
Portable Power Banks are a Girl’s Best Friend?

Postsnap Credit 

I LOVE writing postcards. I HATE going to post offices in foreign countries to deal with getting the postage. I have a stack that I couldn’t mail in Cyprus because I bought them in North Cyprus, got in a fight with a mail lady, couldn’t find/forgot about going to a post office in Greece, and now I’m sitting in Bulgaria with two-month-old postcards that I still need to send.

I just learned about Postsnap, and I’m definitely going to try it out this week. You use your own photos and write a note, and Postsnap prints and mails it for you. Pros: your card actually gets mailed and it’s your own photography instead of something generic. Cons: it gets mailed from the UK.

You can buy your beloved traveler pre-paid credit and help them decide if they want to transition to this kind of service for their postcards long-term (or guilt them into sending you postcards at all…).

I'm sorry I never mailed your postcard
I’m sorry I never mailed your postcard

Warm Socks

Because everyone, everywhere will find their feet cold one night, and they will be thrilled to pop on a pair on honest-to-goodness cozy, warm socks. This is luxury.

Final Thoughts

People who live (or practically live) out of suitcases can be super annoying to buy for. Hopefully something on this list sparked your interest, otherwise there’s still cash…

Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list? Post below!

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A Holiday Gift Guide for the Picky Traveler in Your Life
A Holiday Gift Guide for the Picky Traveler in Your Life


2 thoughts on “A Holiday Gift Guide for the Picky Traveler in Your Life”

    • Putting together a Christmas list is like getting to go shopping without spending any money! Plus I don’t have room for another thing in my suitcase or the zippers will pop. I’ll never be a carry-on only traveler, I’m afraid. =)


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