Good news–a week from tomorrow is Thanksgiving!

The bad news–the next day marks Black Friday, which means it’s officially time to crack down on all holiday shopping.

If your loved one is a travel fanatic like me (hint, hint) then you might not know exactly what to buy them for the holidays. You’re not going to drop hundreds of dollars on a plane ticket for them! And how should you know what hotels/hostels/homeless shelters they want to stay at?

Have I mentioned that holiday shopping really stresses me out?


That’s why I’ve put together a list of what I think are great gifts for anyone who loves to travel. Hopefully, this list can make your search a little easier.

Also, if you’re a traveler and don’t know what to put on your holiday wish list, this list can serve as an idea board!

I’ve split this holiday shopping list into two categories: Experiences and Things.

***Note: Post contains affiliate links. But I only recommend items I have used and/or trust!


The thing about travelers is … we’re not usually the most materialistic bunch. People give us sweaters, and although we’re grateful, we really would have loved to put that $40 into our fund for that Big Trip to Europe next summer.

That’s why shopping for travelers can be stressful. What do they really want?

However, there are a few gift ideas that can help people travel better. Or, even more importantly, travel more cheaply!

1. CityPASS

Maybe your beloved traveler is planning a trip to an amazing city in North America. Or maybe they’re just toying with that idea, and they need a little push.

With CityPASS, you can give them that little push.

CityPASS is a website that offers discounted passes to the main attractions in 12 popular North American cities.

Each pass to all the cities offers significant savings. In some of these cities, you can save over 50% of what you would have spent without CityPASS!

As a budget traveler, this company is kind of an answer to prayer.

Here are the 12 cities you can buy a pass to:

  1. Atlanta
  2. Boston
  3. Chicago
  4. Dallas
  5. Houston
  6. New York City (There are two different package options for NYC. You can either choose to see three attractions or six.)
  7. Philadelphia
  8. San Francisco
  9. Seattle
  10. Southern California
  11. Tampa Bay
  12. Toronto

Several of the city passes offer you options. Maybe your loved one doesn’t want to see the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle, but they do want to see the city’s zoo. That’s fine, they have a choice of one or the other!

One more time, here’s the link to CityPASS.


More posts related to budget travel:

My Passion for Budget Travel

6 Money Tips for Expats

5 Practical Ways I’ve Funded My Travels

2. Tickets to an Event in Another City

Two years ago, I took this route for my then-boyfriend’s (now-husband’s) holiday gift.

He desperately wanted to see his favorite band, City and Colour, in concert. We were also travel fanatics who lived in Georgia. For Christmas, I surprised him with tickets to see City and Colour in New Orleans! He was ecstatic, and the trip was amazing.

If your traveler has a favorite band, comedian, or podcast that records for live audiences, hop on over to StubHub and see if there are any performances in a fun city.

The best part of this gift is that it’s two-in-one. They get to see a new place and see a performance they’ll love!


Although experiences make great gifts for travelers, there might be things they need to make their travels better.

Browse through this list to see if any of these items would appeal to your favorite traveler.

outdoor gear holiday gift

1. Outdoor Gear

A lot of travelers are also suckers for the outdoors.

Maybe you’ve noticed this person’s hiking boots are starting to fall apart. Or maybe they’re always talking about starting a new outdoor hobby, but they don’t have the gear yet. Check out companies like Eddie Bauer or REI for quality gear and clothes.

Here are some ideas for outdoor gear gifts:

  • Hiking boots
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Kayak
  • Outdoor clothes
  • Climbing shoes, rope, or harness
  • Day pack
  • Hammock
  • Snowboard

OK, I’ll stop listing outdoor gear, because this is truly a never-ending list.

travel journal holiday gift

2. Travel Journal

Heads up–for numbers 2, 3, and 4 on this list, I really recommend shopping on Etsy. Because I truly think Etsy is where you’re going to get the best deals on the most creative items!

OK, now about travel journals.

Years ago, a friend returned from a trip to Europe, and we grabbed coffee right before I was about to spend the summer in France. I asked her for any travel advice. She told me, “Write everything down.”

I didn’t. And I regretted it.

Then, for Christmas, my brother gave me a gorgeous travel journal, with lined pages for writing and blank pages for photos. (I would provide you all with a link to buy this specific journal if I had any idea where to find it!)

I took this journal with me when I moved to New Zealand and wrote in it weekly. I also took it with me to South Korea and on my road trip around America. I freaking love having a travel journal, guys.

Travel journals provide nomads with stories and photos that will last a lifetime. I still keep that journal in my bedroom.

3. Travel Map

Your traveler might be one of those people who likes to mark on a map where they’ve been. Or where they want to go. Or maybe they just find having a map in their home really inspirational! (I feel that way.)

The reason I love shopping on Etsy for maps is … there’s just so many types!

Push pin maps. Scratch-off maps. National park maps. Couple’s edition maps.

The list goes on.

Travel maps are gorgeous decorations for travelers’ homes. Which brings me to the next and final item.

4. Travel Decor

Help your traveler pay tribute to their passion for wandering by giving them decorations!

On Etsy, the options are pretty much limitless.

Posters/framed photos of specific cities. (Can I get one of Wellington, New Zealand, please?) Framed travel quotes. City coaster sets. Travel-themed pillows.

I want it all.

5. Travel Books

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you might have read that I’m obsessed with travel books.

You can read my current list of favorites here, but my absolute fave is “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson.

Travel books are the perfect way to inspire your traveler for their next big adventure!