5 Great Gift Ideas for International Travelers

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International travelers seem to have it all—after all, what more could you want than to travel across the world? According to The Atlantic, international travel is on the rise—people under 34 are 23% more likely to travel abroad as much as they can. With so many people jetting off to foreign lands, you’re bound to have a friend or two struck with wanderlust. Here are five gift ideas that are sure to make them as happy as a plane ticket.

1. New Backpacks or Suitcases

Every international traveler needs something to keep their stuff in. If your friend is the more rustic type who prefers hiking and hostels, a backpack is the best option to carry their stuff. They won’t have to worry about trying to drag a suitcase on uneven ground, and a weatherproof backpack can withstand anything nature throws at them. Look for one made of a durable material with lots of pockets.

For the friend who likes a little bit of luxury, a high-end suitcase will be sure to please them. For carry-on suitcases, make sure it fits airline regulations. Look for suitcases with lifetime warranties or cool features like a built-in phone charger.

2. The Perfect Travel Pillow

International flights tend to be lengthy, and chances are, your friend will want to catch some Z’s while aboard. A good travel pillow is invaluable for plane rides. Find one that’s easy to clean and can easily attach to luggage so it won’t get lost.

Travel pillows have graduated up from their more basic days and now can come with added features. If your friend likes to listen to music while they fly, some pillows come with built-in headphones. For those seeking a little extra privacy, pick a pillow with an attached hood.

3. A Token from Their Home Away from Home

Does your friend constantly wax poetic about how much they miss a certain country they visited? Even at home, they’ll talk about how amazing the culture is in Italy or Japan or Brazil. Help ease their second-homesickness by giving them a gift that reminds them of their favorite country to visit.

There are two main routes to take: food or souvenirs. Many places stock all kinds of foreign snacks that your friend will love. Buy your friend their favorite biscuits from England or macarons from France. If your friend could use a more permanent reminder of the culture they miss, look for something fun.

An action figure or model that they can put on a shelf in their house will fill them with fond memories. For your Japanophile friend, pick from the plethora of Japanese toys and gifts, like the ones available from Plaza Japan. For your friend missing Germany, a beer stein or folk art can do just the trick.

4. A Portable Charger

As The New York Times notes, there are many options to keep your smartphone with you while you’re abroad. When you’re on the go, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your phone has enough charge or not. In a foreign country, phones are invaluable as maps, translators, and emergency communication.

Eliminate phone charging anxiety by gifting your friend a portable translator. They come in both phone case and external battery form, and they’re available in tons of style and patterns. Your friend will never be without a charged phone again!

5. Books, from Guidebooks to Pleasure Reading

There’s a book out there for everyone, especially a traveler. If you’re friend isn’t much for pleasure reading, pick out a guidebook for a country they’re planning to travel to. They’ll love knowing which places to hit up—guidebooks are a great tool for people who like to plan before they get there.

For the friend who loves to pass the in-between time on planes and trains with a book, you have endless options. In nonfiction, travel memoirs will inspire your friend and fill them with a sense of camaraderie to their kindred spirits. For a fiction choice, check out the bestsellers list at your favorite bookstore and find one you think your friend will love.

With any of these gifts, your friend will be itching to hop on the next plane out of the country. Gift them one last gift by suggesting some of the new, trendy places to travel—among them, Mexico, Thailand, and Iceland. And while they’re off exploring the world, their new gift will remind them of who’s waiting for them back home.

Author Bio:

Carolyn Clarke is a freelance writer from Los Angeles with over ten years of experience writing about travel and hospitality. When she’s not plotting her next adventure, she can be found hiking in the hills of Southern California.

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1 comment

  1. Great list! I'll keep in my mind for the next journey! Nevertheless, my friend like reading and writing essays so bad, and from my last trip to Europe I bought her Pocketbook with orignal books in it. It was a successful gift, because she started to learn some new languages, she wanted to read those books in oroginal.