Last Minute Gift Ideas For The Travel Lover 2019

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Holidays are always a time of celebration. But with life’s increasingly hectic schedules, sometimes celebrations mean coming up with last-minute gifts ideas. I am notorious for waiting until the last possible second to come up with presents ideas. And being in the travel industry, I am almost always having to come up with last-minute gifts for travel lovers. Whether you are looking for travel gifts for Christmas, birthdays, weddings, or something else, I have put together some of my favorite gifts for travelers.  These travel gifts will knock items off of your to-do-list and light a spark in the eyes of your friends and loved ones.

No matter what holiday or special occasion you’re shopping for, choosing the best gifts for travel lovers means selecting items that are useful, light, convenient, and really make sense for those who are constantly on the go. Well, never fear! In my continued effort to maximize my own procrastination, instead of buying gifts myself, I’ll share my experience with you on what last-minute gift ideas to get for the travel lover in your life!

Best Travel Water Filter Waterfall

Why Trust Me To Help You Pick Gifts For Travelers?

Choosing the most amazing gifts for the travel lover in your life can tough. This goes double if you aren’t an avid traveler yourself. In this case, I’m happy to step in and offer my advice as a travel expert. I have been traveling for over 20-years. 18-years have been spent traveling with my incredible wife, and the past 9-years have been spent as a family traveler with my two amazing boys. You can read more about my family here.

Travel has become such an important part of my life that 4-years ago I started this family travel blog to shares stories, guides, and information with other travel lovers to help them experience the amazing world the same way that I and my family have. During my travels, I have had the most epic gear wins, and the most epic gear fails. I’ve learned first hand what the best gear for family travelers, couples, and solo travelers alike are. So without further ado, here is my guide to the best gifts for the travel lover in your life. In the past four years, I have worked on panels as a family travel expert, been interviewed on my experiences, and even shared some of my biggest mistakes.

Churchill Manitoba Guide Sea Kayaking with Beluga Whales

The Best Gifts For The Travel Lover In Your Life

All right, here we go. My list for the best gifts for the travel lover in your life. You will no doubt find an amazing travel gift here that you may have never even considered. One that even the most avid travelers may want or need.  These travel gifts are items I rarely leave home without and have become almost second nature to my travel packing routine.

Packing Cubes

If you had asked me two years ago whether I would consider packing cubes for my world travels, I probably would have laughed. But after I gave them a try I was instantly hooked. Travel cubes are one of those gifts for travel that make you ask “Where have you been all my life!?” They are now an essential part of every trip that I take.

Why Choose Travel Packing Cubes As A Gift For Travel Lovers?

Packing cubes are lightweight, compressible sacks that usually seal with a strong zipper. These are a great travel gift for two big reasons. They compress your clothes so that your gear can more easily fit into your luggage or backpack. And they help organize your gear so that you always know where to find it. Packing cubes are one of those gifts for travelers that I never leave home without. Packing cubes work doubly well for family travelers too. Because you can buy them in different colors, each member of our family can know exactly which is their clothes, and which aren’t. These are my absolute favorite packing cubes. But there are loads of them out there. You can check below to see some of the top brands of packing cubes for travel.

Portable Battery Chargers

Cameras, phones, kindles, headlights, tablets and more. It seems like everything we use these days needs a battery and these electronics need recharging. This recharge is often needed at the most inconvenient times.  Portable battery chargers are a light and inexpensive gift for travel lovers. And they give your loved ones a significant boost of juice to help when their battery runs dry. 

Why Choose a Portable Battery Charger As a Gift For Travelers?

Every trip we are all carrying more electronics. From iPads to phones and cameras to laptops. There is just no limit to the number of things we carry that require power. As a gift for travel lovers, you are giving them something that they can never have enough of. Juice to help record those memories that they can share with their loved ones. This is my all-time favorite portable charger for travel, but there is a battery backup for travel suited for every unique travel style.

Finder Tags

I lose things … a lot.  I forget my phone at lunch, I leave my keys pretty much everywhere. Even my kids have been known to wander off on occasion. Finder tags are one of those gifts for travelers that people don’t realize are important until the moment they need it. 

What Makes Finder Tags A Great Gift For Travelers?

Finder tags like this one connect to your phone and allow you to track the items that you’ve placed them on. As a gift for backpackers, these can be a lifesaver if a bag gets forgotten or snatched while traveling. Finder tags are also a great gift for the travel lover in your life since they can be used anywhere and everywhere. From bags and keys to packs and even children, finder tags let you keep track of the things that are most important. 

Foldable Polarized Sunglasses

If there is one thing that you can never get too many of, it’s sunglasses. No matter where we travel, sunglasses are one of those things that are always being left behind. So one of the best gifts for travel lovers is a great pair of sunglasses.

Why are foldable polarized sunglasses a great gift for travel lovers?

When traveling, weight and space are two of the most valuable things you can control. When you combine that with a travel gift that is easily lost or forgotten, having something convenient and packable becomes invaluable. Foldable polarized sunglasses help protect travelers’ eyes from the sun. And they are also very packable, and thus, far-less likely to be left behind by accident. My personal favorite foldable polarized sunglasses are these ones. But there are quite a few brands out there that make them now. Below you can see some of the most recommended brands. 

Scratch-Off Map

Not all of the best gifts for the travel lover need to be something for on-the-road. Everyone has downtime and it’s fun to be able to relive all of those incredible travel moments from the comfort of home. Beyond simply printing off photos from your travels, another fun and exciting way to remember travel experiences is with a scratch-off map. These have become all-the-rage in the travel industry, and it’s easy to see why.

Why Are Scratch-Off Maps A Great Gift For Travel Lovers?

If there is one thing that travel-lovers enjoy more than traveling, it’s sharing stories about where they’ve been. One great travel conversation-starter are these fun and exciting scratchable maps. Simply scratch off your destinations and they show through in brilliant color! These aren’t just for adults either. Scratch-off maps are a great gift for kids that travel too!

Digital Luggage Scale

Nothing sucks quite as bad as getting to the airport and finding out that your bag weighs 51 lbs instead of the accepted 50 lbs (damn you Swiss Chocolate!). Instead of shuffling packing items between their check-in and carry-on bags, help your loved ones get it right the first time with one of my favorite gifts for travelers.

Why Is A Digital Luggage Scale A Great Travel Gift?

A lightweight and accurate digital luggage scale can be easily packed and brought out to test your luggage and save that embarrassing check-in line re-shuffle. Help your wanderer keep the weight off with a digital luggage scale like this one that I love to travel with. Digital luggage scales are lightweight and easy to pack. This makes them an absolutely perfect last-minute travel gift.

A Tough, Durable, Waterproof Camera

One gift for travel lovers that keeps on giving is a tough, waterproof, digital camera. A shockproof camera can help travelers capture their favorite moments and greatest adventures!

Why Choose A Shockproof, Waterproof Camera As A Gift For Travel Lovers?

World travel can bring unexpected surprises. I’ve dropped cameras off of mountains, been swamped by waves while in a boat, and had countless times where my kids have run off with it to take their own photos. Make sure your loved one’s camera is as tough as they are by getting one that is waterproof and resistant to drops. Although this is my favorite tough camera, there are now quite a few models out there that can withstand a beating and keep on clicking.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

I’ve saved the best for last. Sometimes the best gifts for people who love to travel is just some peace, quiet, and alone time. Headphones are one of those gifts for travel lovers that just keep on giving.  Noise-canceling earphones let you shut out the drone of the plane or the loud chewer sitting next to you. 

Which Headphones Are The Best Gift For The Travel Lover In Your Life?

No matter what your audio style is, choosing the right noise-canceling headphones for travel is important. As a gift for travelers, I like to choose earbud-style headphones such as these. I find their small size and packability to be ideal for travelers. Others prefer an over-the-ear headphone style that looks fashionable and provides maximum noise reduction. I’ve laid out some of my best recommendations for travel headphones here.

Do you have a favorite gift for the travel lover in your life? Let me know in the comments below or swing by our facebook page and join the conversation so I can add it to the list!

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Best Family Travel Gear

About the Author

Kevin Wagar is a professional traveler and family travel expert living in the Greater Toronto Area. His beautiful wife Christina impressed on him her love of travel and they have made exploring the world an integral part of their life. With the birth of their two boys, Kevin and Christina have made it their mission to show others that traveling with children isn't as scary as it sounds and that kids can benefit from experiencing the world outside of their front door and beyond.

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  1. Great list. I’d never actually seen the scratchable maps, but what a great item. Also the packing cubes are new to me. What a great concept. The noise cancelling head phones are must! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks for your comments Lisa! I admit, I was hesitant when my wife first suggested the packing cubes. Now they are essential. They are light, fold down to almost nothing when empty and keep everything organized.

  2. Love the foldable sunglasses, never seen that before, and would maybe stop me breaking mine in my luggage! Not convinced about the selfie stick though, still yet to convert to that game 😉

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