77 Unique Gift Ideas For Someone Traveling Abroad (2023) 

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Looking for some unique gift ideas for someone in your life who will be traveling abroad soon? I’ve got you covered!

Whether they’re going for a week or a few months, these gifts can help to set their trip off on the right foot. Whenever possible, I’ve included gear and gifts that I actually own and love, or those that I have given to others as gifts. 

When making this list, I consulted my friends who love to travel and included some of their ideas along with my own. I think any gift on this list could be a great present for the right traveler! 

To find the best gift, I would recommend that you first figure out what kind of traveler they are and how long they’ll be abroad. This will help you to determine if they’ll need lightweight, sleek gifts or if they’ll have room for something bulky like a camera. 

Gifts For Someone Traveling Abroad 

Here are some of the best gifts for someone traveling abroad. From lightweight gear to high tech gifts to small travel essentials, there’s sure to be something for the world traveler in your life. 

This list is divided into a few categories: best overall travel gifts, high tech travel gifts, travel essentials, gifts under $50, gifts under $100, and gifts for people who will be studying abroad. 

Best Travel Gifts

Here are some of the best travel gifts for your loved one’s upcoming trip. From the gear they’ll need to survive the plane ride in style to great travel books to travel essentials that will make their trip just a little bit easier, this list has something for everyone. 

1. Bose QuietComfort Bluetooth Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

Most any traveler would appreciate a pair of nice, noise canceling headphones. Whether you’re trying to get a little sleep on a plane, taking work calls from a hotel lobby, or just watching a movie in a hostel, a pair of noise canceling headphones can make it a bit more pleasant. 

I have an older model of the Bose QuietComforts and love them. This is the newest model, which is also highly rated on Amazon.  

Bose QueitComfort Bluetooth Noise Canceling Headphones make a great gift for someone traveling abroad
My Bose QuietComfort Bluetooth Noise Canceling Headphones.

Traveler’s Choice: Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

2. Osprey Farpoint Bag

I’ve twice given Osprey Farpoint bags as gifts – each time to one of my younger sisters. These bags have two modes – duffel and backpack – so they’re very versatile travel bags for carry-on only trips. This bag is domestic carry-on sized, and it has comfortable, padded straps to make it easier to carry your gear while you’re on the road. 

Traveler’s Choice: Osprey Farpoint 40L 

3. Passport Holder 

A passport holder that is RFID blocking is a great gift for a new or serious traveler. Not only will it make your passport easier to find and keep track of, you can store important documents and cards safely in the inside pockets. 

Especially for a young or first time traveler, a passport holder can signify a vote of confidence in them. It’s a way of saying, “Of course you’ll need a case for your passport, you’re going to be using it a lot!”

Traveler’s Choice: Passport Holder Cover Wallet RFID Blocking Leather Card Case

4. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Wild is a memoir by Cheryl Strayed that has been turned into a major motion picture. Strayed tells her story of losing her mother, then herself in the wake of her grief. She sets out to find herself on the Pacific Crest Trail, a hiking trail that spans from the Mexican border in California to the Canadian border. 

It’s a story about being young and lost, but learning to trust yourself anyway. It’s one of the best travel books I’ve ever read. 

Traveler’s Choice: Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

5. Universal Travel Adapter Plug

Travelers who are visiting Europe will need a plug adapter to be able to charge their cell phones, laptops, and other devices. I own several of these Universal Travel Adapter Plugs and they’ve worked perfectly on all of my adventures. The bright green color is actually a bonus – I can easily find the converter in my bag with just a glance – but you could always opt for a more neutral color if you prefer. 

Traveler’s Choice: Universal Travel Adapter Plug

Converter plugged into the wall using the UK plug
Universal Travel Adapter Plug

High Tech Travel Gifts

Here are some travel ideas for the high tech person in your life. From power banks to cameras to cord organizers, this section covers all things tech and tech-adjacent. 

6. Power Bank

I never travel without a power bank, which I use to charge my phone at least once per day while I’m on the road. I particularly like the style with cords attached so that I don’t have to carry around an extra iPhone cord in my bag. I love the BLJIB Portable Charger because it has a digital display of the power bank’s battery instead of just an indicator light.  

A portable charging bank reads "28"
BLJIB Portable Charger

7.  Polaroid camera

One of the best travel tips I’ve ever heard is to take lots of photos of people. A memorable way to capture memories with friends is by bringing a retro Polaroid camera, the Polaroid Now 2nd Generation I-Type Instant Film Camera. The photos can be fun keepsakes in a world where we view most, if not all, of our photos on phones and computers. 

8.  A high quality camera 

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera with 14-42mm II R Lens was recommended by the NYT’s Wirecutter as one of the best cameras to take on vacation. This Olympus camera won the category for “when you don’t mind carrying a camera bag” because it offers far superior images to those you’d take on your smartphone. There are more compact cameras that offer the same quality in a more portable device, but this camera comes at a lower price point. 

9. Camera bag

The Peak Design Everyday Sling 6L is a well constructed and versatile camera bag. It can be adjusted to wear as a fanny pack or an over the shoulder sling, and it’s big enough to hold a camera and other essentials. The straps are a seatbelt-like material, which is comfortable and easy to use. 

For more serious photographers who carry extra lenses and need more space, consider the Peak Design Everyday Sling 10L. The larger version can fit a 13” Macbook Pro. 

Peak Design Everyday Sling is one of the best gifts for someone traveling abroad
Peak Design Everyday Sling 6L

10. AirTags

Never lose your luggage again by placing an AirTag in a discreet pocket. You can track an AirTag using the Find My app in your cell phone, and there’s even a built-in speaker that you can use to find your belongings, if needed. AirTags are also available in a four pack

11. Kindle

The reader in your life will love a Kindle Paperwhite. This Kindle features up to 10 weeks of battery life and a display that is made to read like paper, even in bright sunlight. The device is also water resistant and capable of handling accidental submersion in the pool or bathtub.  

A Kindle with an ad for Mr. Midshipman Hornblower
An older version of a Kindle.

12. Airpods 

Airpods are a classic travel essential because they’re small, offer great sound quality, and are cordless. The 3rd Generation Apple Airpods are sweat and water resistant, offer personalized spatial audio, and up to 30 hours of total listening time on a single case charge. I love that they’re one-size-fits-all because I have small ears, but you could also opt for the pro version if you want a customizable fit. 

Apply AirPods on a white marble countertop
Apple AirPods

13. Tripod

A tripod is a great gift for anyone with more than a casual interest in photography. The Joby JB01503 GorillaPod 1K Kit. Compact Tripod 1K Stand and Ballhead 1K is small and flexible, perfect for bringing on a trip abroad. What you lose in height you make up for in versatility and durability, as the legs can simply bend if you put them in an overstuffed suitcase. 

A Joby JB01503 GorillaPod 1K tripod on a railing outside
Joby JB01503 GorillaPod Tripod

14. Apple Watch 

An Apple Watch would make a great gift for someone traveling abroad. The newest addition has all of the features it’s well known for, like tracking your steps and displaying your text messages. 

Travelers will also love that you can use it to pay using their Apple Wallet. Additionally, it has built in crash detection in the event of a car or other accident so that you can get emergency help more quickly. 

My apple watch reads 7:35 and Sunday, July 9 in front of a photo of a cat scaling St Anne's Church in Cork, Ireland
My Apple Watch

15. Oura Ring

Travel can be stressful, and an Oura Ring can give some useful visibility into your health and wellness status. Like the Apple Watch, the Oura Ring tracks your fitness levels, but it offers a lot more information. Each day you’ll be greeted with a “readiness score” which tells you how hard you should push on a particular day based on factors like your sleep, heart rate, and activity levels. 

A man wearing a silver Oura ring
Oura Ring

16. Cord organizer

There’s almost nothing more frustrating than rummaging through your backpack looking for a cord or plug when you’re in a busy cafe and desperately need to charge your device. A travel cord organizer is a fabulous way to keep track of all of the cords for your electronics while you’re traveling. With little pockets for your cords and room for an extra charge, you can easily find the accessory you need when you need it. 

17. PopSocket and mount for your car

I love this little PopSocket mount for navigating while I’m driving. It easily attaches the vent of most any rental car, and you can easily set your phone on it (instead of having to pry apart the side grips, like some styles). The only trick is to remember to grab it when you drop your rental car, as it’s little and could easily be forgotten. 

In order to use the mount, you’ll also need a PopSocket attached to your phone. 

A phone is mounted to the car using a Popsocket mount and Popsocket.
PopSocket mount

18. Otterbox case

I always travel with an Otterbox case because I’m prone to dropping my phone at any second. I’ve found that the Otterbox Commuter Series (double check size before ordering!) is the right combination of coverage and sleek design for me.

When used in combination with a screen protector, my phone has survived some serious drops more or less unscathed. 

19. Privacy screen protector

The privacy conscious traveler in your life might appreciate a privacy screen protector. I have one for my phone and it blocks people from being able to read my emails or text messages from across the table or next to me on a plane. It’s not 100% protection, but it definitely makes a difference. 

I have the Ailun Privacy Screen Protector, which comes with a second protector for my phone’s camera lens. 

20. Laptop sleeve protector

If I’m taking a workation or generally traveling with my laptop, I always bring a sleeve protector. They protect my computer from small spills, drops, and pressure from a slightly overstuffed bag. This MOSISO Laptop Sleeve Bag has an extra pocket for a pen, notebook, or pair of headphones, so you don’t have to try to slip it into the main compartment with your computer. 

A grey MOSISO Laptop Sleeve Bag on a wooden table
MOSISO Laptop Sleeve Bag

Travel Essentials

I love giving travel essentials as gifts. This list includes some of my favorite gear, including items that I’ve given as gifts to the people in my life. From day packs to luggage organizers to shampoo bars, here are some ideas to cover travelers’ basic needs and provide a little extra comfort and/or convenience when they’re on the road. 

21.  Spacious Day pack 

I own and love an older version of the Deuter Speed Lite 30L – it’s the bag I carried for my 2.5 month trip through Latin America in 2018. It’s small enough to function as a day pack while you’re walking around, but large enough to carry everything you need for a lightweight trip. 

A photo of me from behind as I carry my backpack through the streets of Tallinn, Estonia
Deuter Speed Lite 30L

22. Toiletry bag

For those who like to travel with a number of toiletries, including makeup, skin care, and hair products, a toiletry bag could be a great gift. This BAGSMART Toiletry Bag Travel Bag is a top seller on Amazon and people love that it is well made and has a hanging hook. Once you hang it in your hotel bathroom, you can easily reach all of your toiletries without rooting around in your luggage. 

23. Shoe bags

I am a firm believer in containing shoes within my luggage. The idea of my shoes coming into direct contact with my clothes really grosses me out – they’re shoes! They’ve been all over the sidewalk! Shoe bags help keep them separate, and look a little nicer and more put together than Ziplock bags, their household alternative. 

24. Hydro Flask water bottle

I’ve been a huge fan of Hydro Flask water bottles for years. These insulated bottles hold 32 ounces and they’ll keep your water cold, even on blisteringly hot days. The lid is prone to spilling, so you can swap it for the style with a built in straw, if you prefer. 

Hydroflask on an outdoor planter
Hydro Flask water bottle

25. Luggage scale

I’ve spent most of my adult life traveling with a lot of luggage. Whether it’s a vacation where I want to bring back four bottles of artisan olive oil or a trip back to the US to stock up on essentials, I’m usually pushing the very limits of the airlines’ bag policies. 

Shuffling the contents of your bags around when you’re standing at the check-in counter is annoying and embarrassing, so a little handheld luggage scale can help you to prepare ahead of time. 

A portable luggage scale easily fits in my bag and helps to keep me from having to pay extra baggage fees at the check in counter. 

A blue digital luggage scale that I bought at an airport in Italy
A digital luggage scale

26. Rolling suitcase

Luggage is a great investment for any future world traveler, and it’s an area worth splurging for a nicer bag so that it will last for years. The Travelpro Crew Versapack is a well-constructed, solid suitcase with wheels that can be replaced when they wear out. It handles really well, is easy to use, and has a comfortable handle. 

27. Sunglasses

A great pair of sunglasses can be your best friend on the road. I love my Ray-bans, which hold up well even if I occasionally drop them or put them in my checked baggage. They have a ton of styles to choose from, but the Wayfarer is one of their most classic designs. 

A photo of me on a sandy beach smiling at the camera
Ray-Ban sunglasses

28. Travel towel

Anyone traveling in hostels will quickly learn that the fees to borrow hostel towels can add up. When I’m traveling on a budget, I like to carry a small microfiber towel that I can use after taking a shower and quickly dry on my hostel bed. The towel can be pretty small, you’ll use it to blot the water (instead of toweling off like you would with a cotton towel). 

29. Sleeping bag liner

If you’re shopping for someone who likes to stay in hostels or other budget accommodations, they’ll probably appreciate a sleeping bag liner. A sleeping bag liner lets you sleep in comfort, even if the sheets you were given to sleep with weren’t exactly sanitized. As a bonus, they add a little extra warmth, which can be great for those times when you can’t control the heating. 

30. Wool socks

If your loved one is traveling anywhere that might be chilly, like Ireland, a pair of wool socks might help them feel more comfortable. I love Smartwool socks, and I have a variety of styles and cuts. These light cushion hiking socks would make a great gift for the hiker in your life. 

I also like to bring a pair of thicker wool socks on my trips to keep my feet warm while I sleep, like these full cushion hiking socks.  

31. Great walking shoes

Most any trip abroad will probably involve a great deal of walking. A pair of supportive walking shoes can keep your loved one’s feet from getting overly tired or sore while they put on the miles on their trip. Allbirds are a great choice because they’re comfortable, have waterproof options, and come in a variety of colors and styles. 

A man wearing Allbirds sneakers

32. Money belt

I like to use money belts when I travel to places known for pickpocketing. These belts allow you to slip in your credit cards, passport, and cash, then discretely tuck them into your pants. They might not look cool, but I’ve never had anything stolen from inside my money belt. 

33. Shampoo and conditioner bars

Anyone traveling with an ultra light bag will probably appreciate some shampoo and conditioner bars. While travel size shampoos and conditioners might be more familiar, they’ll need to be replaced every week or so. When I’m going for long trips out of a backpack, I can’t beat bar shampoo because it a) can’t spill, and b) can easily go in a carry on. 

34. Hiking leggings

People who love to hike in leggings might appreciate a pair of hiking leggings. Like regular leggings, they’re tight fitting and stretchy, but with extra material in the places that commonly snag or rub. These Fjallraven Abisko Trekking Tights are well made and come in several color choices. 

35. Protective duffel bag

These lightweight duffel bags are my secret weapon, and I almost never travel without one. They’re essentially as large as a checked bag can be and weigh very little, so you can fill nearly every ounce of the airline-allowed weight with your belongings. Pro tip: two Osprey Farpoint bags fit almost perfectly inside of this Amazon duffel. 

*If you’re giving a gift to someone who is a carry-on only traveler, this is not the gift for them! These duffels are really only useful for travelers who like to check their bags, especially if they use a backpacking backpack or other less traditional luggage. 

Unique Lightweight Travel Gifts

These gifts are lightweight, unique items that easily fit in a carry on (with the possible exception of the tent). As someone who travels often and currently lives abroad, I’m constantly worried about the weight of my bags when I fly. So, a gift that can easily fit in my carry on without a lot of extra bulk or weight is great in my book. 

36. Compression socks

A pair of compression socks can offer a bit of relief from the swelling that people often experience while flying. These graduated compression socks from Dr. Scholl’s offer very gentle compression around the ankle to keep your feet feeling comfortable. 

37. Patagonia down jacket

A down jacket is definitely an investment, but it’s an incredibly lightweight and useful piece of gear for travel. Down jackets pack down incredibly small and are very warm for their size, provided you keep them completely dry.

Patagonia jackets certainly cost more than some others on the market, but they’re guaranteed by the company. I took my jacket in when it had small holes and they patched it for me. I even know people who have had entire jackets replaced when they ripped or were losing feathers. 

A foamy green Patagonia down jacket
A Patagonia down jacket.

38. Sarong

Sarong Swimsuit Cover-Ups are the perfect thing to tuck into your bag for a beach trip, especially if you’re a budget traveler. They can double as a privacy screen in hostels, a picnic blanket, a beach towel, and, of course, a swimsuit cover up. Sarongs come in plenty of colors and patterns to suit a variety of styles. 

39. Manta Sleep Mask

If you want to be dead to the world when you try to sleep, the Manta Sleep Mask is the perfect choice. It has extra space around your eyes so it’s very comfortable, and it blocks more light than traditional sleep masks. 

A Manta Slim Mask
Manta Slim Mask.

40.  Tilley Airflo Organic

My partner swears by Tilley hats for their durability, sun protection, and versatility. The Tilley Airflo Organic is perfect for warmer trips where you need heavy duty sun protection. As a bonus, these hats last for years and years, so they’re a great investment if they fit your personal style. 

41. trtl Travel Pillow

One of the worst parts of flying is getting a sore neck from sleeping in awkward positions in your seat. The trtl Travel Pillow offers gentle support for your neck during long flights, especially when tightly fastened. It’s soft and comfortable, and the velcro only sticks to itself so you won’t have to yank it off your other belongings. 

42. Sea to Summit Pour Over Coffee Maker

People who love specialty coffee will love this collapsible pour over coffee maker from Sea to Summit. It’s portable, easy to use, and can be disassembled to clean. You can use these coffee makers on the road or while camping, it’s perfect for both. 

Pro tip: it’s not absolutely necessary, but this coffee maker does work a little better (and is easier to clean) if you use it with coffee filters. 

The Sea to Summit pour over coffee maker in blue
Sea to Summit collapsible pour over coffee maker

43. Alps Mountaineering two person tent

My Alps Mountaineering tent is one of my favorite things I own. I have the Chaos 2 tent, which is being phased out, but people love its replacement, the ALPS Mountaineering Lynx 2-Person Tent. I love that it’s simple to set up and take down, and it’s light enough to take backpacking. 

Alps Mountaineering tent
An Alps Mountaineering tent (this is the Chaos 2; a newer version is available)

44. Dry bag

A dry bag is a great way to keep your belongings safe in wet conditions, be it Irish weather or a day at the beach. This Sea to Summit dry bag is well made and should last for years. These would be a great choice for anyone who will be kayaking, boating, swimming in the ocean, stand up paddleboarding, or generally in or around the water while they’re abroad.  

45. Airbnb Gift Card

With an Airbnb gift card, you can give the gift of a place to stay or an experience in their destination. These gift cards can be delivered right to their inbox so they can apply it right away with less risk of the funds going unused. 

An Airbnb gift card for 25-100 euros on a stand in a store
A physical Airbnb gift card. Digital versions are also available.

Travel Gifts Under $50

Here are some of the top budget-friendly travel gifts for people going abroad. This list is made up of some small yet thoughtful items that would be appreciated by many world travelers.  

46. Moleskine Notebook

I love to journal and keep notes while I travel, so I always bring a Moleskine notebook on my trips. I love the extra large style of notebook for everyday use, but when I’m traveling I usually take a more modest size. Moleskine notebooks are always high quality, and they come with little extras like stickers and a bookmark that I always appreciate. 

A Classic Collection ruled notebook from Moleskine
Moleskine ruled notebook.

47. Motion sickness bands

There’s nothing worse than feeling motion sick on a bus or boat while traveling. As someone who is prone to motion sickness, I rarely travel without my PSI Bands. I wear them in the car, on boats, on buses, and even sometimes on trains to help prevent motion sickness. 

They make a huge difference for me – but only if I put them on before I start to feel queasy. Unfortunately, they won’t help much once the motion sickness has started to set in. 

White PSI bands up close. These bands are one of the best gifts for someone traveling abroad.
PSI Bands

48. The Moth Presents: A Game of Storytelling

The Moth is a popular storytelling radio show and podcast, and The Moth storytelling game encourages people to share their stories. The cards are evocative, and there are several ways to play that you can adapt based on the group’s comfort level and attention span. 

One of my favorite cards is about summer camp – it asks you to tell a story that captures your experience of being at camp and all of the lessons it taught you about yourself. 

The Moth presents a Game of Storytelling is a great choice for a gift for someone traveling abroad
The Moth Presents: A Game of Storytelling

49.  The Hygge Game

Hygge is a conversation game based on the Danish concept of “hygge” that’s all about bringing people together and enjoying the good things in life. Some of the cards have questions that are light and breezy, while other cards contain questions about moral dilemmas. It’s the perfect game to play with old friends, new friends, or a group that you just met in a hostel. 

The Hygge Game: Cozy conversation in pleasant company
The Hygge Game

50. Portable door lock

I bought one of these portable door locks a few years ago and I love to travel with it. They work by creating an extra wedge in the door, so you can keep the door locked even if your sketchy Airbnb host has their own key. They’re easy to use, inexpensive, and lightweight, so I usually bring one if I’m traveling alone. 

A portable door lock in use
Portable door lock

51. Fjallraven fanny pack

Fanny packs (or hip packs, as they’re sometimes called) are making a big comeback. A Fjallraven High Coast Hip Pack is high quality, trendy, and would make a great gift for a world traveler. I love to use fanny packs to carry my passport and phone while I’m in the airport, or just for the little odds and ends that don’t fit in my pockets when I’m traveling. 

52. Luggage locks

A luggage lock is a good idea for most travelers, but you’ll need a lock if you’re planning to stay in hostels. For luggage, I like to use these locks from Forge – they’re basic but they’d deter most casual thieves. I like that I can thread the cable through the zippers of my bags, making it a little easier to use and line up than the style with a solid bar. 

Note that hostel lockers sometimes require a sturdier lock (one with steel instead of a cable), so you’ll want to also bring a padlock for those trips.  

53. Moisturizing face masks

Flying is stressful and can definitely leave your skin feeling extra dry and uncomfortable. A moisturizing face mask is a small gift that can easily fit in most any luggage and can help a tired traveler to feel more like themselves. These ORGAID sheet masks are organic and free from sulfate, alcohol, and paraben. 

54. Lifestraw

The Lifestraw is a great gift for the adventurous traveler in your life who might find themselves needing some clean water while out on the trail or even in a hostel. These devices can filter up 1,000 gallons of water and remove 99.99% of waterborne bacteria (including E. Coli and Salmonella), and 99.99% of waterborne parasites (including Giardia and Cryptosporidium).

55. Chili flakes

Maybe it’s just because I’m from Denver, but one of the foods I miss most when I’m traveling are hatch green chilis. The easiest way I’ve found to bring some hatch green chilis with me to Ireland is to buy chili flakes. This hatch green chili mix from Flatiron Pepper Co is amazing on eggs, pizza, bagels, and lots of other foods. 

I actually first received these chili flakes as a gift from a friend and now I always stock up when I have a chance to order from Amazon in the US. 

bottles of chili flakes in "dark and smoky" "four pepper blend" and "hatch valley green"
My favorite chili flakes from Flatiron Pepper Company

56. Compression bags for clothes

A compression bag can help you to better fit all of your clothes in your carry on while staying organized. These compression packing cubes have a double zipper design that allows you to compress your clothes without needing a vacuum.  

57. Travel first aid kit

You never know when you’re going to need a first aid kit, so it’s better to have one handy. I carried a first aid kit in my pack for years and never used it, only to be incredibly grateful I had it with me on a recent trip to Scotland. This Ultralight/Watertight Medical Kit contains essentials like moleskin, antiseptic wipes, and tweezers.  

Travel Gifts Under $100

These gifts are perfect for sending the world traveler in your life on their trip with the essentials they’ll need. From camping gear to experiences at their destination to cozy loungewear, these travel gifts under $100 will be a welcome addition to your loved one’s luggage. 

58. MSR TrailShot

I took my MSR TrailShot to filter water on the West Highland Way in Scotland and it worked perfectly. This little filter is about the size of a mug and allows you to either drink directly from the water source or fill a water bottle. You can filter up to 2,000 liters of water with the MSR Trailshot, after which point the cartridge is replaceable. 

MSR trailshot next to a pocket sized Kleenex for scale
MSR TrailShot

59. Travel yoga mat

The yogi in your life might appreciate a travel yoga mat, which is a thin, portable option for anyone who likes to practice in their hotel room. I love my Manduka eKO Lite yoga mat, and the Manduka eKO Superlite Yoga Mat is the perfect travel alternative. This mat is made with 100% natural tree rubber and doesn’t contain any foaming agents or PVC. 

Note: this mat is very thin, so it’s not a great choice for everyday use for most practitioners. 

60. Irish Sea Swim Map

If you’re looking for a unique Irish gift, this Irish Sea Swim Map could fit the bill. The Irish love to swim in the sea, and this map shows (almost) all of the places one could swim when in Ireland. The map is stylish and unique, and it’s available in several materials and frames to match the decor of the recipient’s home. 

Irish Sea Swim Map from Malin and Mizen.
The Irish Sea Swim Map from Malin and Mizen.

61. A tour in their destination 

Depending on the traveler, they might love to take a tour while they’re abroad! Whether it’s visiting a museum with a guide, a street art tour, or a food tasting, a tour can give insight into the culture or let them see places that they wouldn’t otherwise get to experience. Of course, always read the reviews carefully so you can gauge the quality of the tour.  

A tour guide smiles and points at a graffiti piece
A shot from a street art walking tour I took in Glasgow, Scotland.

62. A portable wash bag

If you’ve ever had to wash your clothes in the sink while traveling, you know what a pain it can be. A portable wash bag, like the Scrubba Portable Wash Bag, is a great way for travelers to clean their clothes more efficiently than just rubbing them together in the sink. When not in use, the Scrubba bag folds up to be pocket-sized.  

63. Dinner at a nice restaurant in their destination

When I can, I love to give experiences as gifts! A dinner at a nice restaurant is a great travel gift, provided it fits into their itinerary. I once gifted a family member dinner at Le Florimond, my favorite bistro in Paris when they visited for their honeymoon. 

Artfully plated salad at a restaurant in Paris
A course of my dinner at Le Florimond in Paris.

64. A professional photography session

For people who love getting the right Instagram shot or sharing trip photos, a professional photography session could be a great gift for their trip. You can find professional photographers in the “experiences” section on Airbnb or by searching for photographers in their destination on Google Maps. Airbnb might be the better of the two, if available, because you’ll be able to see reviews. 

Two people set up a camera shoot in a field
An outdoor photography session.

65. Vuori joggers

Vuori is a clothing brand that makes incredibly soft and comfortable athletic clothes. I own a pair of joggers from Vuori, and I think they may be the most comfortable pants I’ve ever worn. They’re perfect for lounging around a hostel, flying, and getting in some work (if you happen to be on a workation). 

Gifts For Someone Going Abroad To Study

If someone in your life is planning to study abroad, here are a few gifts they might love. 

Sometimes students studying abroad will live with a host family. I wrote a separate post about choosing a gift for your host family, and I also have a few posts about mentally preparing for study abroad

66. Light therapy lamp

If the student in your life is planning to study abroad in the winter somewhere with very short days (like Ireland), a light therapy lamp could be a great gift. These lamps help to boost your mood and make winter a little more bearable. 

I have two of these lamps in my home and, despite being different brands/price points, I haven’t noticed many differences in functionality or efficacy. I’m including a photo of one of my lamps, but unfortunately couldn’t find that particular brand for this post – the lamp I linked to is very similar to mine. 

A light therapy lamp on a bedside desk
Light therapy lamp.

67. Comfortable backpack

Most students studying abroad will have to carry their laptops across the city on a near daily basis. A comfortable, trendy, but not overly flashy backpack might be the perfect gift for the student in your life. This Herschel Classic X-Large backpack comes in several colors and is functional, well made, and has a timeless aesthetic. 

68. Planner

I love my Moleskine planner and use it to track my days, tasks, goals, and other important information. I find that it has the perfect amount of space for me to plan my days and stay on track with my goals. 

For 2023, I bought an Alice in Wonderland themed planner and I love it – I use it everyday and appreciate the little bit of extra whimsy. 

Moleskine planner opened to a day in September
Moleskine Weekly Planner

69. Steripen

Anyone studying abroad in a country where you can’t drink the tap water (like Mexico, Ecuador, or Colombia) would probably appreciate a Steripen. These little devices work by using a UV light to sterilize the water without adding any chemicals to it or changing the flavor. I used a Steripen when traveling through Latin America in 2018 and loved it. 

Full disclosure, I did have an issue with the pen I bought after about 6 weeks of daily use, but REI replaced it for free. If I were going to live in a country where I’d otherwise need to buy bottled water, I’d definitely use a Steripen. 

My Steripen
Steripen (I purchased this in 2018, the new design looks a little different)

70. A gratitude journal

I started a gratitude journal a few months ago and have been amazed at how well it has worked for me. I’ve started noticing how grateful I am for some of the big and little things in my life, and it’s helped me to cultivate a more positive outlook. A gratitude journal would be a great gift for someone studying abroad because it can be tough moving to a new country, making new friends, and navigating a new environment. 

71. Cozy slippers

I invested in Glerups Wool Slippers when I moved to Ireland and I fell in love with them. They’re sturdy, warm, and mold to my feet for maximum comfort. I have the bootie style at home, but the slip-on version would probably be more practical for someone studying abroad. 

These would be a particularly good gift for someone studying abroad in a chillier place, like Ireland or Scotland. 

Glerup wool slippers
Glerup wool slippers

72. Bag of their favorite candy/treats

Many, if not most, students experience homesickness part way through their study abroad semester. One comforting gift would be a box of their favorite treats – things they miss from home because they can’t find them in the new country. There’s no one-size-fits-all for items they’ll miss, so I’d recommend asking them.

This one would be even better if you shipped it to them so that it arrived a little over halfway through their semester. 

Gushers, fruit by the foot, and chocolates from the US
Treats from home are usually appreciated by students studying abroad.

73. The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho

Studying abroad can be a time when students feel most connected with a sense of expansiveness and possibility. The Alchemist is a story about finding and following your passions, and it would be the perfect read while studying in another country. 

74. Blundstone Classic Chelsea Boots

I have a pair of Blundstone BL550 Classic Chelsea Boots and I love to travel with them, especially in the winter. They’re well made, comfortable, warm without being hot, and easy to dress up or down, depending on the situation. I have worn them on walks in Ireland, strolled through the streets of Paris in them, and even took them with me to the Arctic Circle. 

Walking along the Giants Causeway in my Blundstone boots
Blundstone Chelsea boots

75. A 5 Year Memory Journal

I recently gave a 5 year memory journal as a gift to a friend. The concept is simple: this journal prompts you to write one sentence per day for five years, so you’ll have small snippets of your life to look back on. Just before studying abroad would be a particularly good time to start using this journal, when the student in your life will undoubtedly be flooded with emotions and new experiences. 

76. A spiral hair tie 

There’s nothing more annoying than having long hair and not being able to find the right hair tie while abroad. These spiral hair ties from Kitsch are wildly popular, comfortable, and you can apply heat to shrink them if they start to stretch out. The best part? They don’t leave a kink in your hair when you take them out. 

77. Cash

Studying abroad comes with a lot of incidentals, from taxis to nights out with new friends to new pants when your old ones wear a little too thin. Most any student could use a little cash, especially midway or towards the end of their study abroad program. 

$6 in cash
Cash is always appreciated by students studying abroad (but definitely give them more than $6! I live abroad and this is all of the US cash I had 😅).

Conclusion: Gifts For Someone Traveling Abroad

The best gifts for someone traveling abroad make their lives just a little bit easier on the road. Having a great pair of headphones, a versatile bag, and a passport holder will all help them to navigate their trip abroad with a little more ease and comfort. 

✅ Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones

The Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones are a great choice for travelers. Their noise canceling capabilities will block out the chatter of a cafe, a hostel, or an airport waiting area, making them a perfect gift for someone traveling abroad. 

Bose QuietComfort Headphones and case
Bose QuietComfort Headphones

✅ Osprey Farpoint Bag

Osprey Farpoint bags are the perfect choice for travelers who will be carrying their luggage onto the plane and/or walking a lot on uneven terrain in their destination. These bags are versatile, well made, and the straps zip away into duffel bags when needed. 

✅ Passport Holder Cover Wallet RFID Blocking Leather Card Case

A passport holder is a great gift for keeping all of your travel documents together in one place. Also, keeping your passport and travel credit cards in an RFID-blocking case can help to prevent theft.