What to Buy for Budding Travellers

Posted on April 11, 2017 By hazza Tags: travel, gifts 1 Comment

We left to go travelling just after Christmas and as such I had to buy Sinead, who was accompanying me on this adventure, as well as my sister, who was also heading off into the great unknown, gifts relevent to a traveller. I found it quite hard. As did my family trying to buy me gifts. So I thought I'd put together a short list of potential ideas.

For Couples

These gifts are suitable for those travelling in pairs.

  • Headphone splitter - these come in extremely handy when wanting to chill and watch a movie together, or share some music.
  • Extension chord - there are never enough plugs in our electricity hungry world so bring an extension chord! This could, to be honest, go in another section but as a couple you tend to fight for plugs quite a lot.
  • Travel chess - so your travelling couple can come back travelling singletons!

Cheap (or fairly at least) and Cheerful

  • Travel day bag - these bags fold into themselves and are great for chucking a few bits in for a day trip.
  • Waterproof bags- these are useful for chucking in all sorts of bits and bobs that might get screwed in a spot of bad weather. A passport for example.
  • Passport cover - don't want your passport getting buggered up, no siree.
  • Micro towel - these towels are awesome because they are light, wrap up small and dry fast. Enough said.
  • Travel pillow- everyone loves a travel pillow. There are variety of shapes and sizes, and none of them can really save a crap chair to be honest, but they help.
  • Picture book - this little book of helpful pictures will let you communicate in any language!


Gotta go high-tech round the world, this is 21st century travelling!

  • Headphones - people always need headphones.
  • Portable speakers - for sharing a bit of music with mates.
  • Portable battery charger - essential, period.
  • Gorilla pod- not exactly an electronic but if your traveller has a camera these are pretty cool. It is a flexible tripod that you can wrap around objects to get that perfect photo.
  • Head torch- everyone loves a head torch. For all travels where there may be darkness. So unless they are heading for the poles in the summer months, this will be invaluable. I was tempted to class this as a practical gift, which it is, but it is also awesome. Except when two of you have them and you blind each other whenever you look the others way...

Practical Pedants

These gifts are practical, but wont look particularly impressive after being unwrapped. For the protective older relatives out there.

  • Fabric wash leaves - these small sheafs are easy to carry and will get through airport security no problem. Drop them in water for washing clothes and they will make a world of difference. Also available from Blacks (where I originally bought mine).
  • Quick dry socks - cant stress how useful these are. Especially for a guy packing a bunch of sports socks. They take forever to dry after a wash but these will dry no problemo.
  • Sleeping sheet - handy for dodgy hostels or long bus rides. Versatile things sleeping sheets.
  • First aid kit + plasters - always useful and you can never, ever have enough plasters.
  • Ear plugs - you'll always be in a hostel with a bunch of snorers at some point, so might as well come prepared.
  • Water cooling bag - these little bags let you slot a water bottle in and will keep it cold just that little bit longer, which is sometimes all you need on a baking hot day.
  • Washing line- super lame, I know, but they can come in super handy!
  • Laundry bag - keep your stinky stuff separate from your 'clean' stuff


A short list of fun games that will easily go round the world.

  • Cards - we'll start with an easy one. Some people don't have a pack of cards o0
  • Sushi Go - awesome fun game for up to five players, fast-paced and easy to get going.
  • Monopoly cardgame - it's like a quick version of monopoly, with cards
  • Uno - everyone loves Uno

Fitness Freaks

For friends with a small exercise obsessions these are bound to be a hiit.

  • Skipping rope - cant go wrong with a good skipping rope.
  • Resistance bands - since they cant very well carry a barbell and plates around with them, this is the next best thing.
  • Protein bars, protein powder - any old crap with protein emblazoned on it will be a godsend to a poor gym rat suffering from too many beaches and too many carbs.

The Big Guns

For those splashing the cash on their traveller

  • Kindle - cant carry paper books around, it just aint possible.
  • Dollars - $$$ are always handy on the road, and every traveller needs money!
  • Portable storage - this one naturally depends on what electronic device the traveller is bringing but a place to back up photos is invaluable. You have two main options here, a portable hard drive or an SD card. If they are taking a camera, they will likely have SD cards but will always appreciate more. The caveat here is that different cameras require different cards, but it is probably safest to go for a quality Class 10 SD card if you're unsure. I also took a large portable hard drive (and that is large as in storage space, not physical size) to backup photos and videos. 
  • Spotify account - all the music, simply accessible with good offline access. Very handy.
  • Feel at Home with 3 - check out the list of countries and if the traveller is passing through a good number of them (europe, america etc.) this is invaluable.

Risky Options

These are great gifts but beware, someone else could have thought of it already.

  • Travel Diary - everyone travelling is going to write about it, a staple gift. 
  • Plug adapter- who doesn't think of this?! But on the other hand, you can never have enough. This one is great - it works for all countries and folds up nice and neat.
  • Money pouch - these are risky because many people just don't really want them but hiding your valuables under your clothes away from prying hands is no doubt a safe approach.

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1 Comment

  • Jack said Reply

    Speaking as a frequent business traveller, a good few of these are common, well chosen H. I'd add a couple of my own recommendations, like a belt without any metal in https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0065LS4HE/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    so you don't have to take it off going through airport security.
    If going somewhere notably bad for pickpockets, a wallet with a chain is comforting too, https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00RQB7E1O/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1