Earlier this month, my family was like, “so now that you and Jeremy are done traveling long-term, what do you want for Christmas?” The question stumped us.
For the last year, we’d been traveling – which meant we couldn’t receive any physical gifts, although we consumed enough gluhwein and liege waffles to fill any gift-sized holes. Plus, for most of a year we could only carry what fit into a backpack (and a duffel bag, and a daybag – it was actually maybe too much stuff).
But now that our year-long honeymoon is over, we have a whole apartment in which we can put things and ship things to! Travel related things, of course. Like, what other things are there that we would want? Come on, now.
So this gift list for travelers is partially to help you shop for your friends, and partially just travel stuff I want other people to buy for me. Let’s just be honest: you’re gonna want all of this stuff for yourself too. No judgment, y’all – treat yo’self!
So here is our travel gift guide for every kind of traveler on your list, which is yourself, mostly, and maybe a couple other people, I guess (wink-wink). Get your wish list ready cuz you’re about to add a whole bunch of goodies to it!
Psst: looking for more gift inspiration? Check out our other gift guides for travel lovers:
- 25 Gifts for Hikers Under $25
- 30 Eco-Friendly Gifts for Sustainable Travelers
- 6 Super Practical Gifts for Coffee Snobs who Travel
- 28 Totally Ridiculous Travel Gifts (That You’ll Low-Key Want)
Gifts for Weekend Wanderlusters
Not all of us can be full-time travelers or permanent nomads. Most of us travel whenever we can, but unfortunately, that is somehow NEVER enough.
For those of us who are stuck at home instead of out exploring, we think about travel constantly. We’re always browsing for inspiration for our next trip, and we tend to surround ourselves with a little nest of travel-related things. Our home becomes kind of like a cocoon to cushion the blow of the fact that we can’t travel constantly.
If you’re my husband and I, that may mean covering your home with souvenirs from your trip, burning candles that smell like places you’ve been, cooking recipes for foods that you discovered abroad, and generally building forts out of travel-related stuff to hide in and soothe your wanderlust while you dream of your next trip. So these gifts are for those weekend wanderlust who breathe, sleep, and eat travel – but spend a lot of time at home between trips!
A work of art representing a destination is the perfect gift for the travel lover in your life who’s in love with a certain place, like their home town, a national park nearby, the place where they spent their honeymoon, or maybe just every city they’ve ever blogged about on their travel blog, for example. Browsing through these Etsy shops made my heart sing and I kept getting excited over places I’ve been to and fallen in love with!
- CityPrintArt shop: This shop is chock full of stunning artwork featuring skylines from cities all over the world! My favorite style by far is the colorful cityscapes and skylines, splashed with bright, dripping color. If you can’t quite afford to splurge on a full print, the shop also has beautiful coffee mugs adorned with the same city skyline designs.
- Lantern Press Artwork: This print shop makes retro-style art featuring pretty much every place you can think of! Their National Parks prints are stunning, as are the retro-style city and state designs. You can purchase a print as a piece of metal or giclee art, or as a jigsaw puzzle, deck of cards, coffee mug, or more – which means there are lots of price point options, too!
- Max and Oscar Prints: These bright, colorful pop-art style prints represent cities and countries through landmarks and familiar symbols associated with each place. They go deep too – the artwork for my hometown was chock full of local references and nods to beloved icons from home! There’s a wide variety, and you can purchase an art print as a magnet, tote, journal, postcard, etc – perfect for tight budgets.
Globe Decanter Set
This gorgeous Glass Globe Decanter Set from Etsy is the perfect gift for travel lovers who aspire to have a well-curated cocktail cart! The etched globe and glasses are perfect for serving whiskey – or in our case, bourbon.
The glass globe decanter sits on a wooden tray with four matching glasses etched with a world map – the perfect centerpiece for a bar, surrounded by bottles. (Confession: I definitely bought this for my husband this year!)
Globe Christmas Ornament
We wanderlust addicted folks LOVE stuff with maps on it. We could decorate our whole house with map-themed stuff and still want more!
One perfect gift that your travel-obsessed love one will come back to year after year is a handmade Christmas Ornament in the shape of a globe. TheWholeWorldOfLove shop on Etsy is full of drool-worthy globe gifts, but the Christmas ornaments are the perfect size (and price point) for a thoughtful gift that won’t break the bank. Your gift recipient will think of you each year as they decorate their tree!
Scratch off maps are a fantastic way to decorate your home and also document all of the baller places you’ve jetted off to. I have this one mounted above my desk and I actually never scratch the countries off because the gold foil is so pretty!
Your friend (slash you) can keep a visual record of the states and countries that you’ve visited – like a checklist, but in map form! Ooooh, I just love checklists. I’m such a nerd. Or, like me, just leave it unscratched in all of its shiny glory.
Some people collect souvenirs from their travels like shot glasses or spoons or magnets. Me? I collect postcards! They’re cheap, lightweight, and double as a great way to decorate my home to remind me of all the places we’ve been. What do you mean I’m supposed to mail them?! That’s like, a whole thing.
I display my postcards on a wall at home using sticky tack, but I have to do this whole Tetris thing to get them to actually line up evenly. A much easier way to display your postcards is to use a hanging postcard display like this one or this one!
I decorated my craft corner (because y’all know we can’t afford a whole room for that) and I love looking up at my gorgeous colorful wall full of the places we’ve traveled to inspire me!
You may have guessed by the fact that I have a craft corner that I’m also the type of person who saves scraps of tickets and hand-written receipts to cut up later and turn into a scrapbook. Well, in theory. The giant box of tickets and brochures sitting in my closet waiting for me to dig through it may say otherwise, though.
Scrapbooking is a fantastic way to re-live and preserve your travel memories – they’re much more fun to look through and share with friends than, say, the 13 brochures you picked up from every museum you visited.
Make your crafty friend’s day by buying them a beautiful travel scrapbook that is just BEGGING to be filled with memories, like this one or this one!
If you really want to be THE BEST, get them some travel themed scrapbooking supplies to go along with it (you guys I want this so bad omg), like these cute gold travel-themed stickers, this beautiful set of illustrated travel scrapbooking decorations, and this set of travel-themed scrapbook paper!
Your crafty friend will love you forever. And in case I’m not hinting hard enough, DEAR MY FRIENDS: PLEASE BUY THIS FOR ME THANK YOU
There is nothing that screams “I am a person who loves to travel” more than owning a globe. Back in the day, entire rooms were built around massive, wooden-mounted globes. Today, you’re lucky if you find one from the 80’s at a yard sale or thrift store. Trust me, I look every time.
But you’re about to make your friend’s entire house come together, because a globe is a room centerpiece. I don’t just mean a regular globe, though. I’m talking about beautiful, hand-painted, hand-customized, hand-lettered, gorgeous AF globes from WholeWorldOfLove on Etsy. I discovered these this month and I am full on obsessed.
Do I even need to explain why I’m full on in love with these?! I LOVE THEM SO MUCH. I WANT ONE SO BAD. Am I your friend that you’re buying things for? Could I be? Let’s be friends. Hint hint hint hint hint.
Candles that Smell like Places
You know that feeling when you’re longing to be somewhere other than where you are? Sometimes, it’s homesickness: a longing for a place you once called home. Sometimes it’s Fernweh, which is a German word for wanderlust, roughly translated to a longing for somewhere you’ve never been at all.
And sometimes it’s: Vacationweh: a word I definitely just made up, which is defined in no dictionary ever as “a longing for places you’ve been recently on like, a bomb vacation.”
Well, I have the solution for that aching wanderlust: candles that smell like places! Fill your home with the scent of somewhere else, close your eyes, and breathe deeply.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I literally have a bar of soap that smells like tobacco and bourbon in my bathroom in a ziploc bag that I take out and sniff every time I miss my hometown (Louisville, Kentucky). But burning candles is a LOT easier – and less creepy.
- State Candles: Transport yourself to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with a Colorado candle which smells of cinnamon and spruce needles or come to California with a Northern California candle or go south with the Southern California candle. Maybe you want to hit the snowy peaks of Montana with this Montana candle scented with peppermint and fresh snow, YUM! Browse the rest of these yummy candles on Homesick!
- US National Parks Candles: Paddywax, a Nashville-based candlemaker, creates National Parks-inspired candles poured in reusable ceramic containers (yass, eco-friendly gifts!). They also donate $25k annually to the National Parks Foundation! And their candles smell AMAZING. My favorite is Glacier National Park, scented with Christmassy notes of white pine and hemlock. Pick your gift recipient’s favorite National Park!
- City and Country Candles: Homesick Candles has a ton of place-themed candles available, like France, which smells like buttery croissants and coffee with faint touches of tobacco and lavender; or Nashville, which smells like old cedar planks and maple finished whiskey at the local honky tonk; or Washington D.C., which smells like cherry blossoms in full bloom, stone-faced buildings, and leather-bound books.
Travel Quote Pillow
In our new apartment, we own a couch, which is the thing we missed every single day of our year-long honeymoon. And on that couch, we have 2 generic, boring AF pillows that say nothing at all about who we are or how much we love to travel.
So instead, I’m buying a couple of these 18×18 pillows and a few of these gorgeous handmade travel-themed pillow covers:
- World Map Pillow: This pillow decorated with a world map makes me want to curl up on the couch with a good travel book and a mug of tea. So cozy!
- “To Travel is to Live” Pillow: I love this pillow adorned with a simple statement of fact on top of a world map.
- “Explore” Black & White Map Pillow: Black and white matches almost any decor choice – and a map with a giant “explore” is the perfect travel touch!
- “Wander” Forest Pillow: Invoke a misty mountain cabin with this dreamy pillow cover decorated with a forest of pine trees and the word WANDER. This Etsy shop has a wide selection of other beautiful nature/travel themed pillow covers too (and shower curtains, throw blankets, and mugs)!
No matter where we are in the world, one thing is constant: we drink a cup of coffee every single morning. It’s a ritual, and it brings us calm and peace and clarity to begin our day. Plus, we’re like, HUGE coffee snobs, so there’s that too.
Here at home, we sip our coffee from a collection of random mugs that sort of just appeared in our cupboards from thrift stores over the years.
But in our dream home, we sip our morning coffee from a collection of beautiful travel-inspired mugs sourced from artists on Etsy, like this one which says “Adventure Begins” my personal mantra. Or this one, that says “Let’s Take a Trip,” my other personal mantra.
Your friend who loves coffee (*cough*and yourself*cough*) will love a morning reminder that the world is out there just waiting to be explored!
Travel Stocking Stuffers
I know we’re technically too old for stockings, but I LOVE stockings! There’s something so exciting about taking a bunch of gifts out of a giant sock. So pick up a grown-up appropriate stocking (like this one which looks straight out of a cabin in Banff) and forget the gift wrap: it’s wasteful, anyway.
Instead, give your travel-loving friend a literal stocking stuffed with goodies and ensure that next year they’ll be scrambling to meet the bar that you just raised 😉
Tiny Travel Trinkets
I know, I’m going overboard with this alliteration thing BUT let’s face it, everyone loves a tiny travel trinket! Here are a couple of gorgeous handmade gifts that are teeny tiny and perfect for stocking stuffing.
- Tiny Map Necklace: These handmade state necklaces and country necklaces from Ivy by Design on Etsy are hella cute. My favorite by far is this beautiful world map necklace.
- Tiny “Wanderer” Pin: These gorgeous little enamel pins are the perfect low-key way to self-identify your wanderlust addiction to the world at large. Stick this little goodie on your purse, lapel, or backpack and tell the world YOU GUYS, I LOVE TRAVEL SO MUCH. Who knows what conversations about adventures and travel plans with friendly strangers that this pin might invite?! It’s like the whole world is your hostel!
Tiny Travel Tools
Tiny travel tools are totally terrific stocking stuffers (I almost made that entire sentence alliterative! So close). What do I mean by tiny travel tools? Well, here are some examples of teeny tiny little things I always take with me on a trip!
- Digital Suitcase Scale: Save your loved one hundreds of dollars in overweight baggage fees (or the hassle of lugging heavy suitcases to the bathroom scale) with this tiny little digital suitcase scale!
- Portable Battery: This tiny but powerful portable battery is the size of a tube of lipstick, but holds 2 full phone recharges!
- Dramamine: I don’t travel without a little backup supply of non-drowsy Dramamine for planes, buses, trains, taxis, boats, and everywhere else I’m constantly getting motion sick while traveling.
- Silk Eye Mask: Soft, luxurious, and budget-friendly: this eye mask actually blocks out all light and feels comfortable to wear for hours of sleep on a flight. This is the only eye mask I use – just say no to polyester, scratchy, too-small eye masks!
- Bra Pocket: Purses and traveling do not go together. Keep things hands-free and avoid theft with this bra pocket. Actually, if I’m being honest, I wear mine every day at home, too… it’s replaced my wallet!
- Travel Scissors: These foldable travel scissors come with me everywhere. They’re so handy, and they’re totally airplane friendly! Is this a sexy gift? No, not really. Is it practical AF? OH YES.
- Tiny Clothesline: Hanging a wet bathing suit up in the shower to dry never works. Instead, we rig this tiny travel clothesline up in front of a sunny window and use it to hang-dry everything (including sink-washed laundry … #budgettravellife)
- Travel Locks: To discourage theft while traveling abroad, we keep all of our bags locked with these little tiny combination locks. We actually avoid TSA-friendly locks, because they’re easily opened with a universal key!
Handmade Leather Luggage Tags
Nothing says “Why yes, I AM a frequent traveler” more than a beautiful luggage tag. A generic, mass-produced plastic one won’t do: your friend is unique and classy and socially conscientious and they need one of these gorgeous handmade leather luggage tags from Bramble and Beene on Etsy!
Like this “Seek Adventure” one. Or this “Let the Adventures Continue” one. Or this one for lifetime adventure partners (stop it I’m not crying YOU’RE CRYING).
Not only are they absolutely freaking gorgeous, but they will last forever, unlike the 86 cheap AF ones I’ve filled out and attached to my luggage that fell off mid-flight. This is actually a really good gift for your partner or a newlywed couple, so I’m legit not even being selfish about this one. Swear.
To go along with the fancy-schmancy leather luggage tag, buy your friend matching handmade passport holders from Bramble and Beene! This one and this one are both perfect for newlyweds. This one that says “just go” with a map is perfect for any traveler, and this one is perfect for your outdoorsy camping/hiking friend.
Or you can get one that represents a beloved place, like this Paris one or this Ireland one. There’s even a USA one.
But this one is our favorite because it has a redwood on it (we got married in the redwoods!) AND A LORD OF THE RINGS QUOTE TOO. Oh my god how perfect is this for us? Can we go back to our wedding and put this on our registry?!
Travel-Friendly Shampoo Bar
We’ve all been there: we reach into our bags only to discover that, to our horror, everything is sort of wet and soapy because your shampoo exploded. Ugh. So over it.
Avoid this fate by getting your friend a yummy smelling travel-friendly shampoo bar! Be sure to get a little metal travel tin for it, or just use a little Tupperware for max zero-waste points.
Also, huge giant bonus: shampoo bars are totally packaging free and zero waste, which means you’ll be saving a bunch of plastic bottles from the landfill AND conserving the energy necessary to produce plastic & then recycle it. Yay, earth-friendliness!
- Psst: Looking for more eco-friendly gifts for travelers? We’ve got a whole post full of ’em! Take a look.
For a travel lover, there’s nothing like a good book to help transport you to a faraway place. Whether you’re learning about the history of a destination on your bucket list, studying a guide book, or just enjoying some dreamy fiction in a gorgeous setting, travel books are always a good gift idea.
Case in point: we’ve literally got a bookcase in my office that’s dedicated entirely to travel books. Like, we have our regular bookcase, and then our travel bookcase. That’s how many travel books we have. Obsession? Maybe. Does it make me happy? Yes.
Here are a few of my favorites:
- How to Quit Your Job & Travel: If your gift recipient is dreaming of taking a round-the-world or long term trip, this is an essential gift. And ok, yes, I wrote this book so I am a bit biased, but hey – it’s also a #1 best-seller on Amazon, so it can’t just be me. The book is a practical, step-by-step guide to long term travel. It covers everything you need, from planning your trip to finances to returning to reality – and all the nitty-gritty logistics along the way. I also spill all the things nobody tells you about the reality of long term travel – and coming home again – with stories from my own disastrous year-long honeymoon.
- 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus: If your gift recipient frequently travels in North or South America and enjoys a well-written non-fiction book, this book is phenomenal. It’s all about the civilizations that existed in the Americas before Europeans arrived – including tons of fascinating things that they don’t teach you about in school.
- Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil: This true story of murder, voodoo, and drag queens set against the backdrop of quirky, mysterious Savannah, Georgia is one of my absolute favorites (especially if your recipient has plans to visit Savannah!) This book reads like a fiction book, because it’s almost TOO ridiculous to be true.
- Moon Travel Guides: Moon is our favorite travel guide publisher – their books are fantastic, and they have tons. No matter what trip you’re dreaming of, Moon probably has a very specific travel guide about it! Start with The Best Things to Do in Every State or the 50 Best Road Trips in the USA, both full of gorgeous pictures, practical tips, and tons of wanderlust inspiration. Or, get them a travel guide for whatever trip they’re currently dreaming off, or for their home region/state to inspire them to take some weekend getaways.
Want some more ideas? We keep this Amazon List updated with our favorite travel reads!
Carry On Cocktail Kit
What better way to tell your bestie that they’re kind of a lush (but in the best way) than a tiny Carry On Cocktail Kit?
Packaged in the cutest little tin, containing the most adorable tiny cocktail tools, all your friend will need is a teeny bottle of booze and she’ll be the classiest drunk on the flight! I say your friend … but we all know you’re getting one for yourself, too
Practical Travel Gifts for Frequent Travelers
Practical travel gifts may not be as sexy as stuff with maps on it or cute little stocking stuffers, but gosh darn are they useful. If your friend that definitely isn’t just you is a frequent traveler and doesn’t already have one of these, you’re about to up their travel game like crazy! These are our favorite travel essentials and must-haves for you/your friend/everyone you know who travels.
Travel Tech Case
Traveling today means carrying around a bunch of cords, a few extra memory cards, like 86 chargers and 15 of those USB cube thingies. There’s a lot of ~tech.
And if you’ve ever spent a frustrated 20 minutes wrestling with your 18 chargers trying to untangle the damn things so you can charge your 53 electronic devices, you know what you need: a well-organized tech case.
- This nifty waterproof tech case has little pockets and loops, and it’s even big enough to fit a Kindle or iPad. Plus, it has an outside pouch for your passport!
- This little travel pouch has the most pockets I have ever seen in this amount of space. Made from recycled nylon, this is the perfect gift for either a super-organized person, or a super disorganized person (there’s always hope).
Travel Toiletry Case
My favorite travel toiletry case comes with me on every trip and has a permanent place in my bathroom. It keeps all of my travel-sized toiletries perfectly organized and dry, hangs from a hook in every hotel room, and rolls up into one convenient cube!
Plus, the waterproof zippered pockets prevents any mid-flight spillage from affecting my clothing.
Gift this along with a set of travel toiletry containers for bonus points.
If you know a frequent traveler who ISN’T using packing cubes, get ready: you’re about to change their lives. Forget disorganized suitcases and backpacks. Forget hunting through all of your semi-folded clothes to find that ONE shirt.
Packing cubes do something truly magical: they turn you from a messy human into a super organized traveler!
Trust us – we’re insanely messy humans and we never ONCE struggled to find what we needed in our packs during our year-long honeymoon. Life changing!
If your loved one is still using old beat-up luggage they inherited from someone else, or in my case, a cheap polka-dotted suitcase from the kids section of Target that I used all through my 20’s, it’s time for an upgrade. Be their travel fairy godmother and surprise them with one of these!
- Away Suitcase: This is the travel gift to end all travel gifts. Sleek, luxurious, and always organized: that’s the kind of traveler you become when you own an Away suitcase. It’s as if the ability to compress your dirty laundry and keep your phone charged while in transit turns you into a less frantic, more grown-up version of yourself. Plus, they’re like, REALLY pretty!
- Level8 Suitcase: With a similar design and look to the Away luggage – minus a few of the expensive frills – a Level8 suitcase is a more budget-friendly gift for your friend who is constantly hopping on low-cost budget airlines. The 20″ suitcase is small enough to pass every carry-on size restriction but fits more than you’d expect! Plus, it’s lightweight and easy to roll – easy to carry through the airport and lift into overhead bins.
- Carry-On Backpack: Some destinations are more suited to a backpack than a suitcase – like say, when most roads are unpaved or cobblestone. For this trip, I pack everything into my favorite theft-proof carry-on backpack! It’s padded, framed and super comfortable to wear and it fits 5 medium-sized compressed packing cubes full of clothing – enough for a week’s worth of clothes or longer.
If your travel friend ever goes somewhere without drinkable tap water, a water purifier is a must-have!
- Steri-Pen Water Purifier: This handy little tool purifies water in 90 seconds, using a UV light to kill living bacteria and viruses in even the most untrustworthy tap water. We use ours with a reusable water bottle and it works like a charm. We received ours as a wedding gift, and while it may not be sexy or glamorous, but we were grateful for it every single day during our honeymoon!
- Lifestraw Water Bottle: This amazing water bottle features a built-in Lifestraw, capable of filtering even the grossest grime from a muddy puddle of water (we’ve tested). But we usually just use it for tap water while traveling. Give your loved one the gift of filling this reusable water bottle up for drinkable water no matter where they are in the world!
Waterproof Action Camera
Look, here’s facts: if you get your partner/best friend/whoever a GoPro, everyone can give up and go home because you just won at gift-giving. Yes, it’s a competition.
I bought a GoPro 4 for Jeremy for our anniversary way back when that was the new hotness, and we’re still getting a TON of use out of it even though now the world has moved onto the brand new GoPro.
If you aren’t quite baller enough to afford an actual GoPro, you can still give the gift of ridiculously hi-def adventure movies with this waterproof action camera, which is roughly 98% cheaper than an actual GoPro but just as good (so long as you’re not actually a professional photographer or extreme sports athlete).
Know what I love? Books. Especially books about places that I can then plan a trip to. When we were preparing for our trip to South America, we read through 100 Years of Solitude to get stoked on Colombia and 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus to get informed about the civilizations that existed before Europeans arrived.
Here’s what I don’t love about books: they’re super heavy – not exactly travel friendly. But that’s where our Kindle Fire comes in! Instead of lugging around or favorite books, we loaded up a library of books onto our Kindles before our travels!. We caught up on our reading all year long, on buses, in hostels, on trains, and on planes. Kindles are a book loving traveler’s best friend!
Travel Scarf with a Pocket
An infinity scarf … with a pocket in it?!! It seems so obvious: as a person who both wears a scarf every day of my life, and also a person who HATES PURSES SO MUCH, this solves so many problems in my life and I can’t even believe I didn’t already own one of these! I love this gorgeous plaid scarf on Etsy.
Travel Experience Gifts
Sometimes the best gift for a travel lover is the gift of …travel! But you can take it a step beyond a gift card to their favorite airline (although that’s honestly always appreciated). Here are our favorite ways to give the gift of experience:
Experience Gift Box
Tinggly is the one-stop shop for experiences all over the world! Each beautiful Tinggly experience gift box includes hundreds of incredible experiences in over 100 countries around the world.
Experiences can come in many different types, from bungee jumping, spa treatments, cooking classes, hot air balloon rides, and more – whatever your gift recipient chooses! Pick from a variety of personalized gift experience boxes, like a Romantic Couple’s Getaway box or Just Married box; Getaways in specific destinations like New York City – or even NYC for locals – or Europe; and even specific activities, like a gift box of the world’s best helicopter rides or food tours!
The vouchers never expire, so your recipient can use their gift anytime – or refund or exchange at no cost.
Best of all, your gift is planet-friendly: not only is the gift box made with recycled materials, but for each gift given, 11lbs of polluting plastics are removed from the planet’s oceans, rivers, and lakes and 200% of the carbon generated by each activity is sustainably offset. Read more about Tinggly’s sustainability commitment & partnerships.
(Virtual) International Cooking Class
If your loved one wants to recreate their favorite global dishes at home, the best way to learn is from a local! Give the gift of a cooking class and you’ll also benefit from your loved ones’ new cooking skills at future get-togethers. Win-Win!
Your gift recipient can even attend a cooking class from home, through AirBnB experiences! Join an international host for a cooking class that will transport your loved one to another country:
- Paella Cooking Class: Visit Barcelona for a night and drink Spanish wine as you learn to make a sizzling plate of Paella.
- Balinese Cooking Class: Learn to make Nasi Goreng and Gado-Gado from a tropical garden in Bali! This actually looks exactly like the class we took in-person during our trip to Bali, only minus the expensive plane ticket.
- Indian Cooking Class: Perfect the art of Indian cooking with this cooking class in New Delhi. Menus change seasonally depending on Indian festivals, so depending on the month you might learn to make Garlic Naan, Kheer, Paneer Tikka, or Baingan Bharta – and sometimes you’ll be treated to a little Bollywood dancing, too!
- Pasta Making with Nonnas: You might think you know how to make pasta, but unless a Nonna from Italy taught you, you probably have more to learn. Learn how to make fettuccini, ragu, gnocchi, pesto, and more, straight from Italy to your kitchen.
We’ve pulled a few more of our favorite Virtual Cooking Classes below, or browse them all on AirBnB.
Gifts for Foodies
Some of us travel mostly to eat and drink. Like, we schedule our Christmas holiday this year entirely so that we could visit as many Christmas Markets as possible – yep, just like last year – so we can eat and drink our way into a holiday stupor. If your friend (slash you) is anything like us, chances are once they’ve tried something abroad, they’re going to crave it for the rest of their lives! So help them out by enabling their foreign food love.
In addition to straight buying snacks from places we’ve traveled, we’re also obsessed with re-creating dishes we’ve fallen in love with. We’re forever collecting recipes for foods we’ve discovered abroad, and as soon as we get home to our kitchen you can find us hard at work trying to duplicate them.
Here’s a tip: if you fuel your foodie friends’ food love, they’ll probably reward you with delicious food too, so these gifts are really in YOUR best interest!
In addition to the cooking classes we suggested above, here are a few more gifts for your favorite foodies who travel.
Think you’ll have to go to Amsterdam to get your Stroopwafel fix? Wrong – you can find them at Costco and Trader Joe’s! Wish you could revisit bourbon balls from the Kentucky Bourbon Trail or whip up beignets from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans? You can!
Nothing takes you right back to a vacation memory as viscerally as the smell and taste of a food from that destination. Give the gift of that nostalgia-laden sense memory (and you might even get a taste, too!)
If you’re lucky enough to live near a World Market, there’s a whole section of the store filled with snacks and treats that are associated with specific destinations – and you can order them online to ship to your gift recipient, too, like the British Treats gift box for your favorite lover of London.
There’s always that one tantalizing, delicious dish from a trip abroad that was so hauntingly good, you can STILL taste it.
But googling stuff and searching on Pinterest only gets you so far with international cuisine. Most of the time you’re spelling the dish wrong, and half the time you don’t even know what it was called.
Well, friends, that’s why cookbooks exist. In this case, they’re like a portal to another country! Wrap one up along with a few hard-to-find ingredients from your loved ones’ favorite international cuisine.
- Global Cookbook: Give the gift of years of adventurous cooking with this around-the-world cookbook. Open a page at random and challenge your loved one to transport themselves (ahem: and you) to a new place each night!
- Street Food Recipes: This cookbook is filled with recipes for delicious street food from all over the world, like tacos al pastor straight from a mercado in Puebla, Mexico (excuse me, I just drooled). Your gift recipient will finally be able to figure out how to recreate delicious food from that random cart on the corner of the street that they’ve been dreaming about since their trip years ago.
Very Specific Kitchen Tools
The only thing more magical than eating something delicious and exotic abroad is being able recreate it at home and share it with your loved ones! But in order to do that, you need some Very Specific Kitchen Tools.
Here are a few of our top picks – get one that matches with your loved ones’ favorite travel destinations:
- From Amsterdam, a Stroopwafel Iron: Look, I’m not proud to admit this, but Jeremy and I have tried every Stroopwafel available in the US: World Market, Trader Joe’s, United Airlines.. None of them are the same as what we had in Amsterdam. If you want the real thing, you just have to make it yourself. And now you can (er, your friend can)! This Stroopwafel Iron solves all of our/your friend’s Stroopwafel woes. Just channel your inner Great British Baker (yep, they made Stroopwafel last season!) and get your stroop on. Oh, and here’s the recipe for making Stroopwafel. Feel free to thank us with a batch of homemade Stroopwafel
- From Germany, a Feuerzangenbowle Kit: This is one of our obsessions from our trip to Germany last Christmas. Feuerzangenbowle is gluhwein (mulled wine) plus a rum-soaked sugarloaf, like this, lit on fire and slowly dripped into the gluhwein. It tastes like Christmas and wine and smoky caramel and heaven. We’ll be recreating this ourselves soon, so wish us luck since we don’t have a kit like this one and are kinda just making it up as we go, whoops.
- From Mexico, a Mexican Molcajete: An authentic Mexican Molcajete is necessary for anyone attempting legit Mexican salsas (that’s the Spanish word for “sauce,” and does not refer solely to the kind you eat with chips). This heavy AF molcajete is made out of literal lava rock, and comes with instructions on seasoning it with garlic paste (omg my mouth is watering already).
- From Italy, a Pasta Machine: Ever been to Italy? Boxed pasta will never be good enough ever again. You need a pasta machine. Er, your friend. Your friend needs a pasta machine… to make you pasta. Just have your friend watch like, a LOT of competitive Food Network shows – they make it look SO easy!
Y’all, researching this post sure gave me a lot of inspiration for gifts to buy for other people and definitely not just for myself. I’m absolutely going to shop from this list for other people, and not just send it to my friends and family with a bunch of prayer hands emojis. Wink wink.
Psst: looking for more gift inspiration? Check out our other gift guides for travel lovers:
- 25 Gifts for Hikers Under $25
- 30 Eco-Friendly Gifts for Sustainable Travelers
- 6 Super Practical Gifts for Coffee Snobs who Travel
- 28 Totally Ridiculous Travel Gifts (That You’ll Low-Key Want)
Did you find a gift on our list for someone else (or yourself)? What’s on your wish list? Tell us below in the comments!
Did you find something you wanted on our list? Save it to reference later on Pinterest!
Our Top Travel Tips & Resources
- Booking Flights: To score flight deals, search on Google Flights or Kayak. Money-saving tips: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on only on a budget airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
- Accommodations: We usually stay in budget-friendly vacation rentals, boutique hotels or private rooms in hostels. We use Booking.com to book hotels (we love their flexible cancellation policy) and Hostelworld to book hostels (low deposit, easy change/cancellation, and excellent reviews). For vacation rentals, we prefer to book using VRBO because they've got lower fees and better support than Airbnb, and we're not fans of Airbnb's unethical track record. You can also book vacation rentals on Expedia and Hotels.com. We also use TrustedHousesitters as both hosts (for our home and our fur-child) and travelers!
- Travel Insurance: We always, always, ALWAYS buy travel insurance for international trips, and we STRONGLY suggest it - visit our Travel Insurance Guide to find out why. We recommend either World Nomads or SafetyWing for international travel insurance. SafetyWing is one of the few policies that covers Covid-19, and they have excellent monthly policies that are perfect for Digital Nomads and long term travelers!
- Travel Credit Card: We book all of our trips on our favorite travel credit card. Not only do we earn cash back that we can spend on more travel, but the card offers fantastic travel perks like travel insurance, trip delay and cancellation coverage, lost baggage reimbursement, and rental car coverage, which helps protect us on our travels. Learn more here.
- Vaccines & Meds: We use the travel guides on the CDC website to research recommended medications and vaccines for international trips. We always recommend getting every vaccine recommended by the CDC! You can get them at your primary care doctor's office or a walk-in pharmacy.
- Tours: We love booking guided tours, especially food tours and walking tours, to get a local's perspective and a history lesson while sight-seeing! We book our tours using Viator and GetYourGuide.
- Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to figure out how to get from place to place, and book local transportation online using Bookaway wherever we can. When we book a rental car, we use DiscoverCars to compare rental companies and find the best deal.
- Luggage Storage: Whenever we're checking out early or taking advantage of a long layover, we use LuggageHero to safely store our luggage while we're running around. Use the code PRACTICALW for 2 hours of free luggage storage on us.
- VPN Service: A VPN keeps your digital information (like website login details, bank info, etc) safe, even when you're connected to an unsecured network while traveling. Plus, it lets you use Netflix & other streaming sites abroad! We use NordVPN. Use the code WANDERLUSTPROMO when you sign up!
- What to Pack: Here are the travel essentials that we bring on every trip. We also have packing lists for hot weather, cold weather, and many more. Take a look at all of our packing guides!
I want literally all of them.
Lia Garcia says
Just wanted to let you know the link for the scarf is not working, can get to the company but scarf link is a 404
Thanks for some interesting stuff.
Lia Garcia says
Thanks for letting us know! We’ve fixed that link 🙂
This is such a great guide! Those mugs are so cute! And I think I have to add packing cubes to my list this year’
I’m not going to lie, I would get most of these things for myself in a heartbeat 😉 Thank you for the tips!
Check out Speakeasy scarves with pockets! I gave them as gifts this year and wore mine 3 weeks straight in Italy. Great for hiding emergency cash and credit cards. You could make your own for much cheaper but that’s a skill I’m sadly lacking.
Lia Garcia says
Oooh that’s a great tip, thanks Jennie! We’ll check them out. The more pockets, the better IMO!
I love this list and I want everything on it. Also love the reference to Harry Potter in your bio.
Lia Garcia says
Thank you for enabling my nerdiness, Shelly! 🙂
I love this list. Is it sad that I want everything on it? Well, I have some of it but I would always take duplicates . Thanks for sharing
Lia Garcia says
Not sad. I’m the same way 😛
Liliane Fawzy says
Ah globes! But also the pillows!!!! I’ve stopped buying souvenirs from my trips (my walls and bookshelves are full) so I like finding travel related things while at home!
This is such an awesome, very well-curated list! As a new transplant to the Netherlands, I am going to buy that stroopwafel iron for all my friends and family members! Also, I can totally attest that a passport holder is a great gift. I got a personalized one as a gift and it’s one of my favorite things.
I found so many things for myself. 🙂 You made very lovely collection of gifts.
Amy Poulton - Page Traveller says
Great list! I’m definitely intrigued by the postcard hanging thing. Thanks for sharing!
Yessss all of this!! I am a sucker for all things with maps on them and oh my god I need one of those globes!! I LOVE globes and I recently acquired a free one at work but it’s nowhere near as pretty as those! I’ll definitely be sharing this list with everyone who asks me what I want for Christmas this year.
Lia Garcia says
Ooooh I’m jealous that your work is handing out free globes 😛