Ultimate Traveler Gift Guide: Best Travel Gifts for 2020


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After over twelve years of traveling around the world we've learned a few things about travel gear – what works well and what really doesn't and gets left behind. To help you choose the best travel gifts (you know, the ones that will actually get used), we've put together some of our favorite and most practical travel gear in this Ultimate Traveler Gift Guide.

If you're looking to buy travel gifts for an outdoor, adventurous, green or curious traveler in your life (or perhaps you are gearing up yourself), look no further. Our goal with these travel gift recommendations is to equip you to travel well, as well as with organization and flexibility.

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Update: This post was originally published on November 30, 2016 and updated on November 10, 2019.

The Ultimate Traveler Gift Guide

Travel Gifts for Outdoor Adventurers

These gift ideas are for the outdoor adventurer who enjoys immersing him or herself into nature with long hikes or treks, but wants to be comfortable and have versatile gear. We've been using the items recommended below for years and have taken them on some pretty serious hikes and multi-day treks.

Sustainable Travel Gifts for Eco-Conscious and Green Travelers

Here are a few practical gift and gear ideas for eco-conscious and sustainable travelers who want to reduce their environmental footprint when they travel. Many of these gifts speak to trying to eliminate single-use plastic and other waste as much as possible.

Practical Travel Gifts and Luggage

Here's the gear that we've been using for years and years. In fact, some of these items have been with us for over ten years and we're still using them on every trip. They are that useful.

Travel Gifts of Tours and Experiences

Although we've shared lots of recommended gear and stuff to give to travelers above, often the best gift you can give someone is that of an experience. Studies show that experiences provide more satisfaction and happiness than stuff. Here are a few of the tours and travel service providers we recommend and use ourselves.

About Audrey Scott
Audrey Scott is a writer, storyteller, speaker and tourism development consultant. She aims to help turn people's fears into curiosity and connection. She harbors an obsession for artichokes and can bake a devastating pan of brownies. You can keep up with her adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And you can learn more about her on the About Page and on LinkedIn.

28 thoughts on “Ultimate Traveler Gift Guide: Best Travel Gifts for 2020”

  1. I’d love to head down under with this new backpack! Australia is at the top of my travel bucket list. A close second is the Galapagos Islands!

  2. I’ve been working on my family’s genealogy and I would love to use this on a trip to Germany to do some hands on research.

    • Great idea! Each time we visit family in NC I’m reminded of how much their is of the state that we have yet to explore. This is inspiration for next visit 🙂

  3. Wow thank you for all that useful tools and gifts for a winter mountain travel. I like the backpacks and the multi-tool swissknife like tool, and the headlamp will be useful too. I will definitely buy the tool and backpack.

      • Congratulations, Leah!! You are the winner! I’ve sent you an email connecting you to ECBC to coordinate delivery of the prize. Hope it comes in handy with your upcoming adventures in Africa.

  4. Ooh, the pants look great. I’ll need a new pair for my next Camino hike. (Following in your shoes on the Norte, I think.)

    • Great to hear that you’re thinking of the Norte for your next Camino! Still keep thinking about how wonderful that experience was and the beauty of the northern coastline. These Clothing Arts pants held up really well during the Camino, even without frequent washing. Good luck!

  5. Thanks for all these awesome gift tips! I always think about how long it takes to untangle my headphones so I just purchased LOOP! And that pack looks perfect for when I head to Southeast Asia for some island hopping in 2017!

  6. Haven;t had the chance to travel much, but I’m planning some trips with friends (Europe early next year! Other parts of Mexico!) I would love to take this daypack on!

  7. Would love to use this pack to explore South Korea or Japan. I always travel with a laptop because of work so I am always on the lookout for a good laptop bag.

  8. I try to travel to a new country every year, I wish I could go more often but I only get so much leave from work until I can find a less constraining job! I’d like to travel back to Sri Lanka, I used to live there 6y years ago and miss it like crazy! Also might go to Columbia for the International Institute for Conservation Biologists this summer, and Atlanta for a seminar, entitled “The New Frontiers of Global Public Health”

  9. Earplugs! Golden, I’ve been using earplugs for the last few weeks as a way to get away from the noise pollution of my current living situation. These silicon earplugs will be in my Amazon cart shortly. Thanks so much for this recommendation. The other gifts are great recommendations but still, the earplugs are the clear winner here!

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