It can be tricky to find the perfect gifts for someone going travelling.
And with nearly 20% of employers now offering a sabbatical program, this is a situation that is going to happen more often in workplaces across the world.
As a veteran of three sabbaticals, I’ve left a few workplaces to head off travelling and have been presented with all manner of different gifts!
In this post, I aim to provide some inspiration for those of you searching for the perfect leaving present ideas and help my fellow sabbatical-takers to receive something that will actually be useful for their travels!
Here is a list of practical and fun travel gifts, which should make the perfect present for someone going travelling.
1. Filter Water Bottle
A filter water bottle is the perfect gift for someone travelling to somewhere where the water may be a little questionable!
Much better for the planet than buying bottled water and much safer than tap water in many parts of the world.
- Durable & BPA-free. The reusable Life Straw go water bottle holds 22 Oz (650 ml) of water – fill up from a stream or tap and take your water with you, Great for hiking, camping, travel and emergency…
- Long-lasting. Membrane micro filter lasts up to 1, 000 gallons (4, 000 L) and the activated carbon filter lasts up to 26 gallons (100 L) of water with proper use and maintenance
2. Bamboo Travel Cutlery Set
Lightweight, eco-friendly and durable, these are great little gifts for friends going travelling.
They might seem only useful for someone heading off hiking into the woods, but we used ours countless times in hotel rooms where we’d bought food from local shops to keep costs down.
- THE COMPLETE SET – Get everything you need in one bundle. Our bamboo travel pack consists of wooden eating utensils and toothbrush, bamboo straw and cleaning brush. All in 2 washable fabric bags.
- GUILT-FREE SIPPING – Enjoy your beverage without adding to the environment’s marine pollution problem. Our reusable straw and cleaner duo allows you to drink without the use of plastic straws.
3. Multi-Tool & Knife
My multi-tool has been with us on every trip (as long as we’re not on hand luggage only flights!).
It has come in handy more times than I can name. I particularly like this version as it includes scissors, which aren’t standard on all multi-tools but are probably my most used accessory.
- Features 33 functions to equip you for everyday adventures – including 2.45″ large blade, scissors, bottle opener with large screwdriver, pliers, and corkscrew (See product description for full list…
- Stainless steel construction encased in polished translucent ruby ABS scales provides sleek durability
4. Personalised Notebook
I took loads of handwritten notes when we went on sabbatical in an aim to decouple myself from my phone and create a record of all the amazing experiences we had.
This notebook takes things up a level by allowing you to add personalised text to the front, a lovely and one-of-a-kind going away gift.
- Free Engraving – Name or short quote will be permanently engraved on cover of journal
- Lined Pages – 112 lined pages for all your important thoughts and memories
5. Vagabonding: The Best Long-Term Travel Book Ever Written
This is the best book on long-term travel I have ever read.
From the practicalities of booking a trip to the realities of life on the road. It’s a fantastic companion present for someone going travelling.
- Potts, Rolf (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
6. Foldable Travel Yoga Mat
Trying to keep in shape while travelling is pretty tough.
Yoga is a great way to stay flexible and fit, but yoga mats are normally far too big to take travelling. Step in this travel yoga mat, which folds down into a small carrier which can easily slot into a backpack.
- 【NON-SLIP RUBBER BASE】Different with TPE and NBR mat, SNAKUGA’s Eco friendly yoga mat are made of 100% natural high density RUBBER base. Non slip and grasp the ground without moving.
- 【NO FEAR OF SWEATING】Microfiber vegan SUEDE surface will keep dry when you sweating. Suitable for hot yoga and other high intensity exercise. If your mat is slippery in the beginning before you…
7. Travel Hair Straighteners
Becca took these with her when we went on our three-month sabbatical around Southeast Asia. She spoke about them so much, we ended up lending them to one of her friends when she went travelling the following year.
They heat quickly, are compact but still have enough metal area to deal with a humidity perm! Oh, and they also can be used as a makeshift iron when you are desperate!
- [✔ Nano Titanium Mini Flat Iron & PTC Heating Tech]Ultra smooth anti-static titanium plates conduct high heat and resist corrosion,60s Fast Heating Up and transfer heat super quickly.with PTC Heater…
- [✔ Dual Voltage & Travel Size]Portable mini travel size,lightweight design,easy to handle.100-240V Dual voltage design mini flat iron for safe use for travel.Ready for the World!
8. Travel Games
My preferred game is backgammon, but you could also choose chess, or a personalised pack of cards or Uno or (say it quietly) Monopoly!
We love playing backgammon, so this little travel set was fantastic to pull out when we had no Wi-Fi and were facing the prospect of actually talking to one-another ????
- 3 in 1 Game Set – Play 3 classic games (backgammon, chess and checkers) in a game board. One side is for backgammon, and the opposite side is for chess and checkers.
- Portable Roll Up Set – Roll Up Size: 10.0 x 2.0 inches. This chess set can be easily rolled up to fit into backpacks or travel bags, and also features a zippered pouch for all pieces, bringing you a…
9. Solar Panel Charger
None of us wants to be tied to our tech whilst we travel but the reality is it’s so damn useful! Your phone replaces a hundred other items, a kindle is much lighter than carrying books and a digital camera is easier to back-up than a bag full of film.
With every device comes a charger and so if you’re looking for a leaving present for someone going travelling off the grid (hiking, climbing, mountaineering) then this solar-powered charger could be the perfect addition to their kit bag.
- 【30000mAh Large Capacity】Built-in industry-leading high-density lithium polymer cells without changing the volume and weight. The super battery life can support thousands of charge cycles.
- 【66W Fast-Charging Power bank】 The powerful configuration of QC3.0 fast charging 5V3.1A can quickly fill your device. Supports 66W fast charging, save your charging time.
10. Waterproof Clip Bluetooth Speaker
We both love music, but when you travel there aren’t many opportunities to crank the volume as you’re often in groups rather than in your own house or car.
This little speaker was perfect to carry around with us for when we did have a chance to take our headphones off and listen to music together.
It handily clips onto a backpack, is waterproof and also lasts over 10 hours on one charge. It’s also so small you barely notice it in your bag. A great idea for a going away present.
- 【TWS Double Stereo 】Updated 10W high stereo power sound via two bluetooth speakers connected together! Clear and loud even in a noisy environment.
- 【IPX6 Waterproof and Dustproof】 The Upgraded silicone cases and interface design ensure waterproof dustproof and shockproof, great for floating/rowing/swimming/kayaking and showering.
11. Solid Perfume…
This is such a handy gift for a traveller. It is perfume in stick form, meaning it won’t leak or getting taken away through customs.
12. …Or Solid Cologne
The man’s version!
- MEN’S SOLID COLOGNE BALM – Rub your fingers over the surface of the cologne. Apply to your pulse points (wrist, neck, beard, etc.). No need to mess around with smelly sprays.
- MADE IN AMERICA – Our Solid Cologne is small-batched handcrafted in Wisconsin. Our products are cruelty-free and have never been tested on animals. Made in the USA.
13. First Aid Kit
One of our friends bought us this exact kit before we went travelling through Southeast Asia.
It was the perfect gift and saved us lots of time trying to buy the bits individually. We unpacked the contents into a lightweight bag for easy packing but we took everything with us.
- DESIGNED BY DOCTORS, EMTs & CPR INSTRUCTORS – Universal first aid kit for home or travel use. Pouch-sized emergency kit or medical kit packed with premium first aid supplies. Take the first step to be…
- HSA/FSA Eligible & PORTABLE – Our compact small first aid kit (7.5″ x 5.2″ x 1.5″) & compact safety kit holds emergency essentials that can be refilled anytime! An ideal mini first aid kit for…
14. Tile Mate
A tile would make a great gift for someone heading off to travel. It’s unlikely they would have bought one themselves but they can be an absolute lifesaver. They attach to important pieces of kit and help you to locate them with Bluetooth range.
- FIND KEYS, BAGS & MORE — Directly attach Mate to everyday things like keys, bags and other stuff you need to keep track of regularly and use our free app on iOS or Android to find them.
- FIND NEARBY — Use the Tile app to ring your Mate when it’s within 200 ft. or ask your Smart Home device to find it for you. Tile works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Xfinity, and Siri.
15. Wrinkle Release Spray
This spray takes wrinkles out of clothes without the need for an iron. If the traveller in your workplace loves to dress up for a night out, this might be the perfect addition to their kit list.
- Available in fragrance-free, lemongrass, & Lavender options
- Fast acting Fabric wrinkle remover
16. Travel Adapter
You can never have too many travel adapters, so it is an easy leaving gift for someone going travelling.
This is the one we use as it is so convenient. From the three USB sockets to the pop-out plugs that allow it to be used in any country, it does the job better than any other version we’ve had.
- World-to-World Adapters Covers More Than 200 Countries-Upgraded Worldwide All in One Universal Travel Plug Adapter – This Travel Adapter has EVERYTHING You Need while traveling abroad, like…
- Quick Charge (80% faster than average plug charger)& 2000W High Power:This international Travel Plug Adapter has 4 USB-A and 1 USB-C, so it can charge 5 USB devices at once! The 5V 6.5A Smart current…
I first discovered Buffs when I was doing long-distance cycling and they are now a staple of my travel kit.
Whether used as a scarf, balaclava, headband, cap or even as a makeshift flannel they can be used for almost anything!
- MULTIFUNCTONAL NECKWEAR: Wear 12 different ways – from cap to balaclava, neck gaiter to headband – For your personalized style and a perfect fit
- UPF 50+ SUN PROTECTION: Built for Ultimate Sun Protection. Ultraviolet Protection Factor 50+, the highest possible rating, blocks 98% of the UV radiation
18. Door Stop Alarm
This is an unusual but incredibly handy gift! We were staying in a hotel in Vietnam when someone came knocking and shouting at the door at 3am. Thankfully they didn’t push their way in, but it was pretty scary.
This device sits behind the door like a standard doorstop but when the door makes contact it sets off an alarm. Really handy for those dodgy hostels we’ve all stayed in!
- EASY INSTALLATION – no wiring needed; battery-operated (requires 1x9V battery,not included),push the turn on button in the back of the door stop alarm into working status;place it under the door,the…
- DOOR STOPPER SECURITY ALARM – the door stopper alarm in “on” status,when door pressure is applied,the door alarm will be triggered while make extremely loud 120db alarm,helps wake/alert homeowner or…
19. Collapsible Water Bottle
We each took one of these travelling with us. A clever space-saving design that rolls up when not in use to save vital bag room.
- Vapur Collapsible and Flexible Water Bottle with Detachable Carabiner: Our anti-bottle stands when full and folds small when empty. Stores easily in pocket, purse, or backpack for portable hydration
- Spill-Proof Convenience: Vapur’s collapsible water bottle cap has a tough seal with rubber stopper for a leak proof closure and a flip open spout for quick and easy hydrating
20. Head Torch
You can never have too many head torches – well, I can’t anyway. I lost ours in the jungles of Thailand and had my dad bring us a replacement when we met in Cambodia!
With all phones now having torches built-in, you might wonder what the point is but a decent head torch is so much more useful as it frees up your hands. I’ve used one whilst cooking a braai in the dark (with hyenas watching from the other side of the fence) in South Africa, tied to the inside of a mosquito net as a makeshift bedside lamp in Thailand and replacing flat tyes by the roadside in more places than I care to mention!
- Emits up to 350 lumens on max setting
- PowerTap Technology allows instant transitioning between full and dimmed power
21. How To Shit Around The World
If you’re looking for a funny gift that is also helpful, this is it! Written to help you stay clean and illness free while travelling it includes hints from managing on long bus rides to how to choose food that will stop you getting ill.
- Wilson-Howarth, Dr. Jane (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
22. A Notebook
There are notebooks and then there are NOTEBOOKS. And this is a NOTEBOOK? With me? Well look, I love keeping a journal while I travel and don’t really want a fancy custom thingy so I just like a good old-fashioned decent notebook to scribble in. I used to use Moleskines but these are my new favourite as the paper seems to be slightly higher quality.
- The A5 MEDIUM notebooks are the perfect size with a wide range of colors making them ideal companions for all walks of life — this notebook series is perfect for midnight ramblings, daily entries,…
- Thread-bound to open flat which helps make reading the contents easy and adds efficiency to note-taking
23. Aeropress Travel Coffee Press
In some countries there just isn’t good coffee. I can’t survive without a decent cup to get me going in the morning! We got my dad one of these for Christmas a few years ago and he loves it. They aare remarkably compact when compared to a usual cafetiere so I am considering taking one with me next time I travel.
If you’re looking for a leaving gift a coffee lover this could be the perfect choice!
- An Amazing Cup, Now On The Go: Take the AeroPress Go with you and enjoy a truly delicious coffee wherever you go. The AeroPress Go is slightly smaller than the AeroPress Original, but can still…
- All About Taste & Practicality: The AeroPress Go travel coffee maker brews smooth, delicious coffee without bitterness or grit, unlike other methods like french press. There’s no experience necessary…
24. Microfibre Travel Towel
These pack down into a tiny bag and come in a range of funky colours. We used ours regularly while travelling when we went to the beach or out swimming. We still have ours and they regularly get used on day-trips.
- FAST DRYING – much comfortable for next use & convenient to pack. BEAUTIFUL COLOR – much suitable for multi use daily.
- SKIN FRIENDLY – remarkable soft suede like feel on your skin and face.SUPER ABSORBENT-will absorb water 5 times more than its’ weight but dry fast
25. Lonely Planet Guide
Simply the best guidebook you can buy. Not as many pictures as some but the information is detailed and accurate. I love my collection of these and make sure I buy one for every new country we visit. They make a perfect gift for someone leaving to go travelling, especially if you get the whole team to sign the inside cover.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Planet, Lonely (Author)
26. Silicon Travel Containers
More for short-haul flights than long-term travel but these are still a practical and unusual gift for a traveller, much better than the see-through plastic ones sold at pharmacists. Just be careful though, as the bag they come with isn’t clear enough to be accepted by airport security.
- ✈️Travel bottle set for Toiletries: A classical travel size toiletries set and you get 4 silicone travel bottles (2 *3oz + 2 *2oz) + 2 spray bottles (30ml) + 4 cream jars (20ml) + 2 Toothbrush…
- ✈️Silicone Travel Bottles: Made of BPA free and food grade silicone, soft, lightweight and comfortable, allowing these travel size bottles much easier to fill and squeeze out shampoo, sunscreen,…
27. How To Travel The World On $50 A Day
Written by the most famous travel-blogger of them all Nomadic Matt this book is packed full of useful tips for budget-conscious travellers. This (along with Vagabonding and The Four Hour Work Week) helped inspire us to take our first sabbatical.
- Kepnes, Matt (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
Another gadget that falls into the ‘you can’t have too many’ box. A double USB one is perfect for multiple charges on long trips. A smaller version is great for slipping in a pocket on a day’s adventure through a big city. I usually travel with one of each.
- Ultra-High Cell Capacity: The massive 20,000mAh cell capacity provides more than 5 charges for iPhone XS, almost 5 full charges for Samsung Galaxy S10, more than 4 charges for iPhone 11, and over 2…
- Advanced Charging Technology: Anker’s exclusive PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology combine to deliver an optimized charge to your devices, while the trickle-charging mode is the best way to charge…
29. Waterproof Phone Case
These were a lifesaver when we hit monsoon season in Vietnam. Even a normal day out risked ruining our expensive phones! We took these watertight cases with us and they saved us an insurance claim or two. We also found the lanyards useful for high pickpocket areas as we could wear them around our necks and under our clothes so they were out of sight.
- Transparent waterproof pouch or waterproof phone case for protecting mobile phones and accessories against water, sand, dust, and distress
- Universal size mobile phone case allows you to add all of the smartphones from Apple, Galaxy, OnePlus, Google Pixel, Oppo, Honor, Sony, Moto up to 6.8 inches
30. Cable Organiser
I’ve been using this bag for about three years now in my work bag, but we also took it travelling.
It might seem excessive, but when it’s late at night, and you find the right cable without having to turn out an entire bag, you’ll thank me. Maybe….
- Compatible Space: The electronics organizer bag keeps all gadgets in one place, 5 elastic loops(S) for slender cables, earphones, or pens, 2 elastic loops(L) for longer cables or computer mice, 1 mesh…
- Lightweight Travel Accessories: The size of the electronic organizer travel case is 9.4″ L x 6.7″ W x 1.4″ H, and its Weight: is 0.24 lb, Compact and space-saving size fits perfectly into a backpack,…
31. Packing Cubes
I saw so many people rave about packing cubes, but I didn’t truly understand until I got a set.
They are much more lightweight than they look and are used to keep your clothes separate, so you only take out what you need rather than rifling through your whole rucksack.
A great little gift, but worth checking they haven’t got a set already.
- ✈ ️EASY TRAVEL starts with the right travel packing cubes. This suitcase organizer bags set makes finding items super easy. Have extra space to pack travel souvenirs. Reduce luggage bulk by 30% as…
- ✈ ️ORGANIZED TRAVEL starts before your trip. Each packing cube is its own luggage organizer. Small, medium and large travel bags organizer for luggage ensures clothes and travel items can be…
32. Travel Clothes Line
When you’re on the road for a long time, much of your washing is done in hotel bathrooms and coin-operated washing machines.
Having somewhere to hang up the wet stuff is not always a given, so a travel washing line is a useful addition to the kit bag.
- [Creative Design]Portable Clothesline with 12 Colorful Clothespins，13 Anti-Skid Clips can windproof，Design with Positioning Bead，Can move smoothly from left to right，the black rope is stretchy…
- [Strong & Durable] heavy duty clothesline Easy to fasten by two strong stainless steel material hooks and easy removable,Our pegless Clothesline can be attached…
33. Travel Journal
If you weren’t convinced by buying a standard notebook as a gift then this Moleskine Travel Journal is a perfect alternative.
- MOLESKINE PASSION JOURNAL: Whatever your passion, plan your next steps & track your progress with a Moleskine Passion Journal, with notebook designs for cooking & recipes, books & reading, traveling,…
- DURABLE COVER & ELASTIC CLOSURE: From tracking your workout goals & plans, to a reading log, recording recipes, or planning out your perfect garden or wedding, the leather-like Moleskine cover & ivory…
34. Travel Neck Pillow (1)
This travel pillow one was recommended by Tim Ferriss on a podcast titled ‘Cool Tools For Travel‘. We managed to get one from our local TK Maxx outlet. It is incredibly comfortable but we found it a bit bulky for long-term travel.
- HEAD & CHIN SUPPORT: Designed to cushion vital points in the head and neck with high-grade 100% memory foam.
- TRAVEL IN COMFORT: Fall asleep in any seat or position. Front clasps and a unique design cradle your head and neck in any position for 360-degree comfort.
35. Travel Neck Pillow (2)
Having put aside the first pillow for journeys where we are staying in a single hotel, so space isn’t a worry, this Trtl neck pillow is now my choice for long-term travel where space is at a premium.
Machine washable, lightweight and comfortable, it makes a great present that the recipient is unlikely to own already.
- Scientifically Proven Neck Pillows For Travel: Thanks to our unique, patented design, you can easily adjust your Trtl travel neck pillow to achieve top-level comfort and experience ultimate neck…
- Enjoy a Real Sleeping Experience on Long Flights: Add our neck pillow to your long flight essentials’ list to experience a deep sleep during lengthy flights. The super soft fleece, plush cushioning,…
I’d say this is almost a ‘must-have’ piece of kit for any traveller. Keeps sand and water at bay at the beach, makes a perfect washing bag for trips to the launderette and lines a rucksack in monsoon rains.
Ours was especially useful when we went diving in Vietnam to keep all our kit dry on the boat.
- Durable and Compact: Made from ripstop tarpaulin with sturdy welded seam which is designed for years usage, tear, rip and puncture proof. Perfect for almost any extreme adventure you can imagine.
- Waterproof Guarantee: Solid roll-top closure system provides secure watertight seal. Keeps your gear dry in any wet situation where the bag is not fully submerged. Protects your valuables from water,…
37. Book A Tour
GetYourGuide does amazing tours with local guides right the way across the world. If you know their route, booking a tour could make the perfect surprise gift for a colleague when they reach their destination.
38. Mosquito Bands
Insect bites are horrible at the best of times (just ask my wife who reacts really badly to them) but if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time your legs and arms can be a feast! These bands last about seven days each and make a colourful and unexpected gift.
- Packaging May Vary – New Look, Same Great Product. You may receive either packaging during the transition
- DEET-Free & Powered By Essential Oils – Active ingredients derived from plants without registered pesticides
39. Great Headphones
Top of my list of favourite travel gifts would be a great set of headphones. Most people don’t have a really good set – especially one with noise cancelling ability, and that sound absolutely fantastic.
Forget Apple Earpods, for me it’s all about the Jabra range – I’ve had the Elite 3s for years, using them for everything from running to Zoom calls through my laptop. They are solid (believe me, they’ve been dropped a lot), sound amazing and have a long battery life.
- COMFORTABLE AND SECURE FIT — These durable, wireless earphones with a secure active fit and wing-free ergonomic design are specifically designed for an active lifestyle. IP57 water- and sweatproof.
- INNOVATIVE NOISE CONTROL — These noise cancelling earphones have four microphones for clear calls on-the-go. Hear your surroundings with adjustable HearThrough technology or activate ANC to suppress…
I’ve got two already, and I still wouldn’t be upset if someone bought me another Kindle as a leaving gift!
Reading is one of the biggest pastime of us travellers, and Kindles are the best way to carry multiple books with you on the road.
Bonus points if you get it engraved with a personal message!
- The lightest and most compact Kindle, now with a 300 ppi high-resolution display for sharp text and images.
- Read comfortably with a glare-free, paper-like display. The adjustable front light and dark mode make reading effortless, day and night.
Gifts for Someone Going Travelling FAQs
What is a great sentimental gift for someone going travelling?
A great sentimental gift for someone going travelling is a Moleskine travel journal which they can fill in while they travel. You could slide some photos in of memories you have together to make them smile while they’re away.
Another option is a Kindle, which you could then have engraved with a special message that turns this generic gift into a personal one.
What is a good gift for a boss who travels a lot?
A great gift for a boss who travels a lot is an Aeropress travel coffee maker, which will allow them to make great quality coffee on the move. If they’re not a coffee drinker, a high quality pair of noise-cancelling headphones or (in my opinion) the world’s best travel mouse may also do the trick.
What are some good gifts for people who travel?
We have over 40 items on our gift ideas for someone going travelling, but some of our favourites are some great quality quick-dry travel towels, pre-purchasing a tour for their destination or a travel games set for them to play on the move.
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