I love Buzzfeed. It’s full of fun articles, lists, videos and other visually pleasing ways to waste time. From time to time, the website publishes lists of gifts that are good for people who love to travel. As a person who considers myself in this camp and who constantly frustrates my mom with ideas of what to give me as gifts, I always read these articles excitedly but usually find a list of the same kitschy necklaces, expensive passport holders and a variety of maps. While I’m sure there are some travelers who will appreciate these gifts, I have compiled what I think is a more useful list of what to buy for your favorite globetrotter that doesn’t leave them with more plane-themed junk and instead facilitates their obsession.
You could also see if there is anything on my list of things I’ve purchased to travel that they would be interested in. Otherwise, read on for things I haven’t necessarily purchased but think would be good for someone more inclined to hop on a plane than dust off another knickknack on a shelf or look for a wall on which to hang a huge vintage map.
- TSA Pre-Check– $85 is a lot for a person to spend on themselves, but it’d be so nice to not have to worry about long TSA lines for five years. I think that gifts should be something a person wants but wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves, and this certainly falls into this classification. Is it a fun gift? Maybe not, but you’ll be the traveler’s favorite person as they sail through the line of shoe-less people .
- Local currency- I hate giving money as a gift because it feels so impersonal. I’d rather take the time to pick out an item to give to the person. However, the money changing game is so annoying to deal with. It’s always nice (and recommended!) to take some of the local currency of wherever you’re headed with you so that when you land you can do important things like buy food or take a taxi to your hotel. I’m sure your favorite traveler would appreciate being gifted that currency so that they don’t have to deal with it! You should be able to order some at your local bank quite easily, and that way you can help the traveler escape the scams that are money-changing offices at airports.
- Airbnb giftcard– Travelers have to stay somewhere! Airbnb is a popular replacement for hotels. I hate the constant money drain during traveling, and cooking at home is a good way to stem some of that financial bloodletting. Staying in an apartment allows you cook while a standard hotel does not, and lets you experience what it’s like to live in the city you’re visiting.
- Starbucks giftcards- Most everyone likes to have a coffee or tea, but that luxury can quickly add up. It’s nice to be gifted a few cups of coffee that can help you endure a long layover, recover from a red-eye or start a travel day early.
- Flight miles- If you’ve got flight miles accruing on airline credit cards or reward programs that are going to expire or you’re not planning on using, why not give them to your traveler friend or relative?
- Amazon Kindle– Like I mentioned on my previous post about books, I used to be against the e-reader movement, but now I appreciate the ease with which one can transport hundreds of books in one tiny box. While in Spain I’ve been regularly checking out books from the library and reading them on my Kindle on my commute.
- Amazon eGift Card– So that your reader can buy books for the Kindle! Or any of the other millions of products stocked by Amazon.
- Noise cancelling headphones- My dad swears by these for long flights. Airplanes can be noisy even without excess noise, and especially for red-eyes, travelers may appreciate the chance to turn off the noise of hundreds of other people.
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