The 51 Best Gifts For Travelers & Expats – 2018 Edition
If you’re planning to hit the road in 2018, then you’re in the right place. The holidays are rolling around and the gift giving season is in full swing. What does that mean? It’s time to check out the best gifts for travelers and expats in 2018.
Whether you’re looking to buy something for the road warrior in your life or you’re looking for ideas to send to the family, I’ve got you covered.
After spending over six months traveling around this year, I found some amazing gifts that make life on the road so much better. I’m talking about:
- Clothing that makes it possible to pack lighter while still looking.
- Luggage that allows you to bring everything you’d ever want while still being carry-on size.
- A surefire hangover remedy for when traveling gets the best of you.
- Simple solutions that make staying in shape on the road a breeze.
- Endless entertainment and electronics to improve time away from home.
- …And so much more!
The 51 Best Gifts For Travelers & Expats – 2018 Edition
While this is a long post, I want to keep things organized for you. So, I’ll break the gifts down by category, including the following. Just click where you want to go:
- Travel Clothing
- Travel Accessories
- Sleep, Health, & Fitness
- Photography & Vlogging
- More Electronics
- Entertainment & Education
- Actually Traveling!
So without further ado, let’s dive in. Here are the absolute best gifts for travelers and expats for the coming year. If you need ideas, start here:
If you’re headed on a big trip, getting the best luggage is imperative. After traveling around with a 45L Tortuga Outbreaker Backpack for over six months, I’m confident this is the best travel backpack available.
This backpack is HUGE, but still carry-on size. I can fit all my clothing, shoes, electronics, and more into this pack with ease.
The unique suitcase-opening system makes packing and unpacking almost too easy with the Tortuga Outbreaker.
Plus, the travel bag is waterproof and has safe storage for all electronic, including a laptop and Kindle. Read my full review here.
Traveling with dress clothes can be difficult. You pay for dry cleaning in one place, pack your clothes, and arrive with a wrinkled wardrobe.
You’re in a new city and want to explore the nightlife, but all your nice clothes look like trash. I’ve been there before. Luckily, I found a solution that ensures you don’t have to hit the club looking like a smelly backpacker.
Enter the ZEGUR Garment Bag. This unique piece of luggage can easily hold 1-2 suits and 3-4 shirts. Your clothing stays wrinkle-free and you arrive ready to party.
Plus, it’s carry-on size! Traveling light while looking great has never been easier.
Traveling with supplements is tough, especially if you want to bring liquids. I wrote about it here. Then I found the best solution humanly possible.
Enter a wine bottle limo. See, alcoholics have been traveling with the wine and booze for years. They’ve created pieces of luggage that can safely carry twelve (glass) wine bottles.
But bringing booze isn’t the only thing the Snapdragon Ideas Rolling Bottle Limo is good for. You can also bring all your supplements with you using this piece of luggage.
Now, you can easily travel with supplements like:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate
- Liquid Fish Oil
- …And So Much More!
This bag has enough space to hold 4-6 months of supplements – perfect for the long-term traveler without Amazon Prime access. All your liquids and pills will fit in here perfectly.
If you’ve been traveling long enough, you’ve heard of packing cubes. The benefits of packing cubes? They allow you to make the most of your luggage space while staying organized.
But that’s not the best part. Personally, I use packing cubes as a way to separate my dirty laundry from my cleaning clothing. Thus, you’ll arrive with your previously clean clothes still clean and smelling good.
Eagle Creek makes the best packing cubes I’ve found. If you’re in the market, I couldn’t recommend them enough.
On a trip to stunning Parque Tayrona on the coast of Colombia, I remember thinking a dry bag would be useful. The boat ride to the park entrance had me dripping wet after being splashed in the face for an hour straight by the giant waves.
None of my things were dry (thankfully the guide stored out valuables). My towel, change of clothing, and more was all drenched.
If I had the Sea to Summit Dry Bag, my things would have been 100% dry.
I love this dry bag because it’s super lightweight and easily fits into your other luggage when not in use. The Sea to Summit Dry Bag is 100% waterproof and in my opinion, a steal at the price point.
P.S: This travel clothing is generally geared towards men. As a male, I don’t feel like giving clothing and style advice to women. I saw a few other male bloggers did and they recommended things like menstrual cups…so I’m just going to avoid all that. Sorry, ladies!
I’ve raved about the Woolly Clothing Short Sleeve Henley T-Shirt before. In fact, I believe it to be the best travel shirt available. Seriously, it’s that good!
I have three of these and they look fantastic, a rarity for travel t-shirts. The Henley layers well and looks good alone, too.
Plus, the shirt isn’t too thick or too thin. It’s just right and you can wear it when it’s warm or cold.
If you want to travel light, but still look tight – this is the travel shirt for you. Excuse the lame rhyme.
If you want to travel in style, then these Outlier Slim Dungarees Travel Pants cannot be beaten. Seriously, I’ve gotten dozens of compliments on these pants.
The Outlier Slim Dungarees look way better than jeans, only need to be washed once every couple weeks, and are as comfortable as can be.
There’s been weeks that I’ve worn these travel pants every single day, all day. They didn’t smell at all or look grimy. If you’re striving to look good while traveling exceptionally light, you could get by with one or two of these pants.
The only issue? These are a little pricey. But in my opinion, they’re worth it!
I used to travel around with over a dozen pair of socks. I had gym socks, dress socks, and socks to wear during the day.
Now, I hit the road with 3-5 pairs depending on the length of the trip. How? Because all my socks are made of merino wool.
I can wear them 4-5 straight days without any smell or bacteria developing due to the unique properties of merino wool.
If you’re looking to save space in your luggage, merino wool socks are the easiest way to do just that.
Packing light is packing right. That’s why I added these boardshort to the best gifts for travelers list.
See, I used to hit the road with half-a-dozen pair of shorts in my luggage. Some basketball shorts for the gym, some swim trunks, and some cargo shorts.
Now, I just have a few pairs of O’Neill Loaded Hybrid Boardshort.
Why? Because these versatile shorts can be worn for everything. You can wear these to the gym, to the beach, to the coffee shop, and more.
And they look good in just about every situation! Suffice to say, I’m a huge fan. If you want to cut your active wear in half before hitting the road, just grab a few pairs of these and you’re set.
If you’re going to be spending a lot of time at the beach, these sandals are well worth the invest.
I’ve been wearing Reef Leather Fanning Sandals since I was 17 and I’ve yet to find a better pair of sandals.
These things are incredibly comfortable, stylish, and long-lasting. Each pair I’ve had usually last 8-12 months of consistent use before I need a new pair.
Plus, there’s a bottle opener on the bottom!
With weather rolling around, it’s important to stay warm. Enter the Woolly Clothing Merino Wool Hoodie.
As the only piece of cold weather clothing in my luggage, this stylish hoodie keeps me warm while looking great.
I often layer it with a regular t-shirt underneath. This combo tends to keep me warm until around 35-40F. Anything colder than that and you’ll need a jacket, but I try to avoid the cold.
So, the Woolly Clothing Merino Wool Hoodie is ideal for me.
One of the easiest ways to stay warm on the road is a beanie. This stylish one from LETHMIK is made out of a merino wool blend.
The unique combo adds warmth while keeping away any odor if your noggin starts to sweat.
Plus, the stylish “slouchy” design is sure to keep you looking good while traveling around. Highly recommended.
The Roost Laptop Stand may be the most popular digital nomad gift this year.
An incredibly useful and thus, popular device, The Roost Stand makes it easy to adjust the height of your laptop. This allows online workers to improve posture, stand while working, and more.
If you’re building businesses online, The Roost Laptop Stand is a MUST this holiday season. Plus, it’s compact and easily fits into your luggage without taking up too much space.
The Winner Outfitters Travel Hammock can hold up to 500 pounds while only weighing 1.4 pounds itself. The set up is crazy simple and the hammock is quite comfortable.
If you’re going to be camping, backpacking, or spending a lot of time on secluded beaches, this is a great buy.
If you enjoy a little wine while on the road, then bring your own wine bottle opener. Trust me. Enter the True Jetsetter TSA-Compliant Corkscrew, a travel wine opener for aficionados.
While the model is TSA-compliant, I’d recommend checking it if you’re checking luggage.
Some Airbnb apartments don’t provide towels. Few provide beach towels. Luckily, it’s easy to travel with the ECOdept Large Microfiber Travel Towel.
The full-sized towel is quick drying, antibacterial, and barely takes up any space in your bath.
Initially, I was skeptical about buying such a travel accessory, but I ended up using the towel much more than I ever expected. These microfiber travel towels are super useful!
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve unpacked my bag and spent half the time unwinding cords and cables. Headphones and chargers cables can cause quite a headache.
Enter the BAGSMART Travel Universal Cable Organizer. This small carry case helps keep any and all cords and cables separated and ready for use.
If you buy anything before hitting the road, get this. Organization while traveling is that important!
Staying in-shape while traveling is important. One great way to do just that? Add a little yoga to your workout routine.
Just throw this foldable, travel yoga mat into your bag. The Manduka eKO Superlite barely takes up any space in you luggage, works just as well as a normal mat, and feels great.
Check out my full review here. I couldn’t recommend this travel yoga mat enough.
Now that you have a travel yoga mat, all you need is a place to do yoga. Instead of paying inflated yoga studio prices with limiting schedules, just sign up for Gaia, an unlimited online yoga subscription.
Gaia has over 8,000 member-only videos with every type of yoga class imaginable. Whether you want a tough yoga workout or some light stretching, you can find it here.
The best part? All you need is a mat and your computer.
We all like to party while on the road. Being social is a part of traveling. However, no one likes to miss their tour because their too hungover too participate.
Luckily, I found the solution (I didn’t come up with it) that ensures you stay social without consequences. Enter N-A-C Sustain.
While I won’t get into the science behind why this detoxifying agent gets rid of hangovers before you wake up, I will say it works.
Just take three N-A-C Sustain an hour or so before you start boozing. Then give yourself ample time to sleep in. You should notice your hangovers almost completely gone.
Perfect for that alcoholic traveler in your life!
You never know what room the hotel will give you. You can’t always predict when you Airbnb apartment will be on a busy street filled with honking horns.
But you needn’t worry too much about it. Just grab a pack of Mack’s Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs. You’ll stay asleep without worry of morning noise waking you up.
While I’d say these aren’t necessary if you’re joining a gym, sometimes that’s easier said than done.
If putting on size in the chest without hitting the gym is what you want, the Perfect Pushups Elite will do the job – and then some.
Plus, they barely take up any of space in your bag with a unique foldable design. A true win-win for carry-on travelers looking to stay in-shape.
I stumbled across this portable pull up bar and dip station a few days back and was impressed. For those traveling around in a car or camping, this could be the best way to stay in shape.
The Pull Up Mate is a truly portable pull up bar and dip station. You can fold it up and bring it anywhere with ease. It comes with a small carrying case that’s incredibly portable.
I was reading some reviews and apparently the bar can hold up to 225 pounds. Plus, the portable design forces users to use perfect form, as any swinging could cause the contraption to sway.
This thing is really cool. Have you ever struggled to find a comfortable position to sleep on an airplane? Thought about putting your head on the person’s shoulder next to you because you could barely keep your eyes open?
If you answered yes, then the TRTL Travel Pillow is for you. The unique design allows the pillow to take up barely any space in your luggage, while still providing huge benefits and allowing you to sleep.
With over 5,000 positive reviews on Amazon, the TRTL Travel Pillow is incredibly popular among vagabonds.
The easiest way to keep your abs in-shape while traveling? Just pack The Ab Roller and you’re good to go.
The Ab Roller is a great workout for your core. Plus, it fits easily in your luggage due to the small size and collapsable design. If your knees hurt while rolling, just throw a pillow under them and get to work.
The absolute best natural sleep aid known to mankind. If you have trouble sleeping on the road, then bringing a bottle of tart cherry juice concentrate should be mandatory.
You’ll fall asleep quicker and sleep deeper when taking this incredible supplement. In fact, cherry juice may be my favorite natural supplement on the market. The stuff just works, and sleep isn’t the only benefit.
This one is a little weird on a list of best gifts for travelers, but I found a jet lag solution. No longer will jet lag and a lack of energy effects the first few days of an international trip. Why? Because of Modafinil.
Modafinil is a smart drug used to increase wakefulness. Many take Modafinil to keep them focused and productive for 12-15 hours straight.
But, you can use Modafinil to beat jet lag, too. Just take a Modafinil at 7 AM when in your new city. No matter how tired you are, you’ll stay awake for 14-16 hours after consuming the smart drug.
You’ll reset your natural clock and get back to a normal sleep schedule. The next day the jet lag will be gone!
P.S: I’m no doctor. The above is not advice, simply for entertainment purposes. Modafinil is a pharmaceutical drug. Make sure you speak with a medical professional before consuming.
Drones are really, really cool. I’m kind of obsessed with them lately. The ability to take stunning 4K video footage from angles nearly impossible to achieve just three years ago is insane.
4K drone footage takes your videos from good to beyond great in one simple move. And the best drone to travel with? The DJI Mavic Pro.
The Mavic Pro is compact, doesn’t take up much space in your luggage, and takes stunning 4K footage. Plus, the Mavic Pro is super easy to maneuver and setup.
Suffice to say, I know what’s the first thing I’ll buy when 2018 rolls in!
Now, selfies sticks aren’t anything new or cool. A regular, typical one would never make the list of best gifts for travelers.
But if you’re creating a lot of YouTube content or want to make it look like you have friends when you really don’t, this selfie stick / tri-pod combo from Lifestyle Designs is ideal.
The design is unique, efficient, and it works. Within 15 seconds, you can turn your selfie stick into a three-foot tall tri-pod for your iPhone or GoPro. The trip-pod is sturdy and offers great stabilization.
If you’re planning to create YouTube content while traveling, I couldn’t recommend this contraption enough.
The iPhone 6S, 7, 8, and X can all take video in 4K. If you plan to use your cell phone for vlogging, Instagram photos, and more – than investing in one of these smartphone models is a great idea.
The photo and video quality on newer iPhones is exceptional. Simply put – your photos and videos will look significantly better when take on a 6S-X than on almost any other phones.
While these iPhones can be pricey, you can get great deals on refurbished models on Amazon. I got a refurbished “A-Grade” iPhone 6S for $379 with free shipping on Amazon.
Some of the best photographers and vloggers recommend the Moment Superfish iPhone Lens.
If you’re truly looking to improve the quality of your iPhone photography and videography, then this lens is what you want to use.
The fisheye lens is truly a step above other models on Amazon. You’ll pay a little more for the Moment Superfish, but the investment is well-worth it – if you’re serious about photography.
If you plan to take videos and photos in nature, the GoPRO Hero 6 Black is still one of the best cameras on the market.
The camera takes stunning 4K videos, is completely waterproof, and offers new stabilization technology built-in. If you’re surfing, doing extreme sports, or vlogging – this is the camera you need.
Plus, the GoPRO Hero 6 comes complete with touchscreen display, rapid Wi-Fi phone or computer uploads, and so much more.
Keeping your expensive smartphone safe is key when traveling. Well, anytime really. However, it can be especially hard when headed to the beach or hiking to a waterfall.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution. The JOTO Cellphone Dry Bag ensures your smartphone stays 100% dry when you’re out exploring.
Whether on a boat trip to the islands or hiking in the rain, this case will ensure your phone stays dry and functional at all times. For active vagabonds, this is not only one of the best gifts for travelers – but a great stocking stuffer, too.
If you’re shooting a lot of video, then a memory card holder may come in handy. The Eco-Fused Memory Card Holder can hold up to 22 SD cards and keeps them completely protected and organized.
Life on the road spikes the endorphins like nothing else. Sometimes relaxing with a good book is all you want and need. The issue? Physical books take up too much space when traveling light and long-term.
As such, the Kindle Paperwhite is a must. The device allows your to carry thousands of books with you while traveling light. You’ll have a full library at your fingertips whenever you need to unwind.
If you’re going to get a Kindle for reading, make sure you get the “Paperwhite” model, as it’s easiest to read and best for your eyes.
Sometimes your Airbnb apartment doesn’t have the necessary outlets to charge your cellphone, camera, computer, and other devices in an efficient manner. By sometimes, I mean often.
Instead of charging your electronics in the bathroom or kitchen, just grab a NTONPOWER Mini Power Strip with USB. The power strip has two regular outlets and three USB openings.
Plus, it’s travel-sized and features a retractable cord for quick storage.
Honestly, I’m baffled the Roku Streaming Stick isn’t more popular with travelers. See, most hotel rooms and Airbnb rentals have flatscreen TVs these days. However, smart TVs are still rare in some countries.
With a Roku Streaming Stick, you can turn any flatscreen into a smart TV. And it works really well!
While I’m no fan of watching too much TV while traveling, a little Netflix never hurt anybody. Personally, I often use the Roku to turn on a YouTube playlist and pre-game a bit before heading out for a night on the town.
When living in hotels and renting apartments around the world, you’ll occasionally get stuck with bad WiFi. Maybe the host only has one router for the whole apartment building or the hotel skimped on their Internet plan this month.
Whatever the reason, you need to get better WiFi to your room or apartment ASAP. Enter the Netgear AC 1200 WiFi Extender.
This is one of the best WiFI extenders on the market with over 22,000 reviews on Amazon. Suffice to say, this thing works.
Just plus in the Netgear AC1200 in your room and turn it on. An instant increase in Internet speed and WiFi signal will be noticed. Instead of suffering with lagging WiFi, you’ll get back to using the web how you need to.
There’s 1,000s of options when looking for a portable external charger online. This one from Jackery seems to have the most positive reviews, with nearly 10,000 on Amazon.
What makes the Jackery Giant Portable External Charger so great? For starters, it’s incredibly powerful. With over 12,000 mAh power, the batter can charge an iPhone from 0% to 100% over five times on one battery life cycle.
That means everyone in the car can fully charge there phone with the Jackery Giant. Plus, the dual USB plugins allow you to charge multiple devices at once.
The king of travel computers couldn’t be left of this list of best gifts for travelers and expats! The Macbook Air 13″ is the premier travel laptop.
The unique, thin design means the laptop barely takes up any space in your backpack. It’s durable, lightweight, and great looking.
Plus, the newer models come fully loaded with great speed and memory. Some have even done 4K video editing on a Macbook Air – which I once thought was impossible, but is easy with the proper configuration these days.
The Soundworks Oontz Portable Bluetooh Speaker w/ More Bass is the best-selling portable Bluetooth speaker on Amazon that’s cheap. With over 22,000 positive reviews, the travel speaker does the job well.
What makes this Soundworks speaker so good? First, the sound is crystal clear, has solid bass, and is more than loud enough. Plus, it’s waterproof – making it ideal for taking to the beach.
But that’s not the best part…
The best thing about this Bluethooth speaker? It only cost $25 with free shipping! Talk about one of the best gifts for travelers on a budget.
Your only issue when traveling with the Soundworks Oontz Portable Bluetooh Speaker w/ More Bass? You’re neighbors might coming knocking on your door asking you to turn it down 🙂
If you want to learn Spanish, there’s no better way than signing up for BaseLang. The services offers unlimited online Spanish classes for one low price of $129 a month.
That means you could take 100s of hours of private Skype Spanish lessons with your own personal tutor for only $129 a month.
Plus, BaseLang has a unique curriculum that ensures what you learn in the classroom translates to conversations in your day-to-day life.
If budget is not issue, this may be the best way to learn Spanish before you hit the road.
Nothing gets the travel juices flowing like watching a riveting Netflix Original Series about a far off land. Narcos does just that, and so much more.
Based in Medellin, Colombia during the heyday of drug cartel kingpin, Pablo Escobar, the show offers unique insight and entertainment into the Colombian cocaine trade in the late 80s and early 90s.
I won’t spoil too much of the show for you. If you haven’t seen it, you need to, especially if traveling to Colombia! You can watch on Netflix if you have a subscription.
If you’re looking to learn Spanish quickly and on a budget, then Madrigal’s Magic Keys to Spanish is where you should start.
The book quickly details how to add thousands of words to your vocabulary with unique rules, while focusing on tenses, too.
If you study this book, you’ll learn Spanish faster than almost any other method. However, you must be a self-studying type of person, as Madrigal’s is just a paperback book.
If you want to get the imagination rolling or plan your next adventure, check out this guide. Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 is filled to the brim with exciting, unique, and impressive travel ideas for the upcoming year.
The book makes an amazing gift for travel lovers and is ideal for those dreaming of the day they hit the road.
There’s something romantic about traveling the world and jotting things down as you go. With so much communication taking place electronically, the process of physically writing offers vast benefits.
Make sure you have a leather travel journal to jot down notes, ideas, and inspiration as you live the vagabond lifestyle.
Not exactly something to bring on the road, but still one of the best gifts for travelers! This World Scratch Map Deluxe is absolutely gigantic. It allows travelers to hang the map on their wall and scratch off every country they’ve visited.
For vagabonds, that’s just cool!
While I’ll try not to spoil the book, if you’re looking for a crazy tale of drugs, addiction, and adventure – Mad Outta Me Head has everything you’re looking for and more! I’d reckon most nomads will really dig this book, especially if you have a debaucherous side.
Often, travelers ache for the days when hitting the road wasn’t so easy. When every nimrod couldn’t pack up his bags and head to far off lands at the drop of a hat.
Vodkaberg is a tale of such days. Times when hordes of gringos didn’t travel to nearly every country on earth, especially such a destitute place as Russia in the late 1990s.
If degeneracy mixed with a little travel is right up your alley, you’ll probably like Vodkaberg. It’s one of my favorite travel books.
If you don’t know what to get the traveler in your life, an Airbnb Gift Card could be ideal.
Airbnb Gift Cards never expire, allow your traveler to choose the locale of their choice, and are incredibly simple to use.
If that favorite traveler of yours prefers hotels over apartments, then a Hotels.com Gift Card should do the trick.
Hotels.com works with hundreds of thousands of hotels around the world. That special vagabond will surely be able to find the perfect accommodation with their wide selection.
Best Gifts For Travelers & Expats: Your Go-To Guide
That’s it! The 51 best gifts for travelers and expats on the market today. If you’re looking for a gift for that favorite vagabond in your life, this items above should do the trick – and then some!
Have some other ideas? Curious for more information about one of our best gifts for travelers? Just post a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP.