26 Gear and Gift Ideas for Travelers

Whether they’re backpacking through Southeast Asia, or going on a cross-country roadtrip, make sure they travel in style.
Gauraa at SmartGift
July 7th 2021Jul 7, 2021

As COVID-19 restrictions ease, Americans are getting ready to leave the comforts of their homes for sunny vacations. According to Tripadvisor, over two-thirds of the U.S. population are planning a trip this summer, of which 74% will be taking a domestic trip—the rest are looking forward to international travel, with CDC’s Travel Advisory as their destination guide.

Whether your friend who loves to travel is heading on a solo trip to New York, or your family is planning to travel to Mexico with you, why not make sure they’re covered for all things travel-essential? Nothing says safe travels like a thoughtful gift!

One of the most underrated travel tips is packing the right footwear. Chances are the traveler in question will be spending a lot of time on their feet, so it’s important to prioritize comfort. Try opting for shoes that are lightweight and durable to match any and all levels of adventure.

Looking for both form and function? Add a splash of vibrant color to their running shoes.

Slide sandals are perfect for time spent on the beach, spa, or simply lounging around the hotel. Plus, their compact size makes them easy to pack into any bag.

Travel bags are, of course, a necessity. Maybe you're looking for travel bags for men? If your man is the hiking or backpacking sorts, opt for a travel backpack that can hold his necessary gear while keeping him comfortable with its fit. Bags with travel compartments are invaluable when packing light (think stowaway places for travel pillows and noise canceling headphones), and are sure to add a thoughtful touch to your gift.

Maybe your sister-in-law is spending the summer hiking in Joshua Tree National Park, and you want to show your support with a sturdy and sensible gift that’ll accommodate her travel gear. The best travel backpacks come with padded back straps for extra support — get her one of these for ultimate adventure and compact storage. Plus, if she’s a photographer, she could get additional use out of it as a camera backpack.

For those who travel by air, carry on backpacks with serious cargo space is the way to go. They’ll never plan a trip without it again.

Nothing says New York travel-chic like art etched by New Yorker Tom Clancy himself. The additional pockets can be easily transformed into a travel case for cameras or, perhaps, a snug compartment to tuck the latest issue of Conde Nast Traveler.

If your loved one is traveling for business, gift a backpack with a laptop compartment, or built-in laptop sleeve. They’ll appreciate the extra protection.

For your itinerant friend set on sight-seeing, a small stash pocket for travel size hand sanitizer and a face mask might just be all they need. Try a fanny pack, or a small, lightweight travel pack with an adjustable shoulder cord to keep things light.

Help them keep their metrocard, hotel keys, and ID safely in one place by gifting them a phone organizer. Whoever said practical couldn’t be stylish?

It’s one of the hottest years in recent history — the travelers in your life will appreciate these ultimate warm-weather selections, which fabric specifically designed to help regulate body temperature and manage moisture.

Sanibel, Florida, and other beachy and sunny destinations like Waikiki and Wailea, are among the top vacation destinations for US families this year. If your family is heading to the beach this summer (or simply looking at some California travel), gift them a gorgeous, sand-resistant beach towel that’ll keep them dry and clean as they sunbathe or catch up on their summer reading.

While masks may no longer be required in many places, CDC guidelines mandate them on planes, buses, and other forms of transportation into, within, or outside of the country. Why not gift a set of face masks that will at least look good in vacation photos?

Spending any amount of time under the summer sun calls for protection. Baseball hats and aviator sunglasses are forever classics, ideal for both travel and leisure.

Perhaps the trip that they’re going on is especially significant, and you want to give them something special and unforgettable to celebrate this moment in their lives. Durable and long-lasting, a watch or necklace is a perfect gift to elevate their day-to-day, at home or on vacation.

For techies, try a smartwatch that can display phone calls, appointments, emails, apps, music, text and social media messages.

Shopping for a high-fashion friend? Any experienced accessorizer is sure to appreciate a travel jewelry case they can take with them on their trip.

Pro tip: with those tiny compartments, jewelry pouches make for excellent cosmetic cases or travel makeup bags in a pinch.

Drawstring and tote bags make the perfect gift for compulsive organizers. They add a little flair to the suitcase while keeping contents neat and clutter-free.

Looking to commemorate a trip for those who have been itching to get away all year? Try these sterling silver travel charms for a special gift. Your recipient can wear them on their next adventure.

For more travel gifts, check out SmartGift’s full collection.