14 of the best travel gifts for people who’re always on the move

Posted by for Travel

What to get people who love travel more than anything else? From in-flight skincare to nifty gadgets, we’ve tracked down original gift ideas that travellers will actually use.

We all know someone who’s always on the move. Who impulse-books foreign holidays like you buy takeaway coffees, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the best places to visit in the UK, and considers a month without a weekend away a month wasted. They’re a very special kind of person – but their refusal to be pinned down can make them notoriously tricky to buy for.

Travellers are nomadic by nature, which makes many standard Christmas gift ideas (books, beauty products, clothes) surplus to requirements. At the same time, a seasoned explorer isn’t likely to need the usual travel necessities, having tried and tested their favourites over many trips. And while they might bring exotic homecoming presents back from their travels, we can’t scour the globe for gifts to give them in return.

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But equally, you probably don’t have time to trawl the furthest reaches of the internet for the perfect gift – especially during the festive season. So we’ve searched high and low for stylish and practical gifts that even the savviest globetrotter is unlikely to have come across on their travels.

From luggage to skincare, gadgets to stationery, find our edit of the best gifts for travellers below.

  • Horizn Studios Suitcase

    If your loved one is a regular flier, their go-to suitcase may be a bit battered. Upgrade them with Horizn Studios’ nu-gen luggage: this Vega Blue cabin suitcase comes with a smart charger so they won’t have to queue for the airport power stations.

    Shop H5 cabin luggage at Horizn Studios, £260

  • Aesop Travel Skincare Kit

    Everyone dreams of stepping off the plane looking like a sophisticated jet-setter. The reality? Dry lips, puffy eyes and a parched complexion. Aesop’s Departure kit contains seven travel-sized classics, including the cult Rosehip Seed Lip Cream and Blue Chamomile Hydrating Masque, to help skin survive long-haul trips.

    Shop Departure kit at Aesop, £45

  • Skinny Dip Portable Charger in Marble Wiggle

    Portable chargers can be lifesavers during long journeys, but they aren’t usually the prettiest of gadgets. Skinnydip’s Marble Wiggle charger is a lovely exception, and will definitely look the part in their next pre-holiday Instagram flatlay.

    Shop Marble Wiggle portable charger at Skinnydip London, £25

  • Ven Store Cashmere Eye Mask

    Cashmere is the ultimate travel luxury. But while everyone would love to be swaddled in blankets when they’re on the move, a pure cashmere eye mask is sometimes a more practical alternative. This chic, pocket-sized piece will help them maximise their in-transit nap in style.

    Shop cashmere eye mask at Ven Store, £30

  • Rex London World Map Glasses Case

    Glasses can easily get bashed up while travelling, so a hard-shell case is essential. This one by Rex London will keep specs in tip-top condition – plus the colourful vintage world map print is a great way to test their geography.

    Shop world map glasses case at Rex London, £4.95 

  • Stow Tech Travel Case

    They’ve remembered their phone, passport, keys, ID, chargers, cables and cash – at least they think they have, because it’s all jumbled up at the bottom of their rucksack. Give them the gift of panic-free travel with Stow’s mini tech case, which will keep all their essentials stylishly secure.

    Shop The Mini First Class tech case at Stow, £305 

  • Ren Sleep Pillow Spray Set

    With a deeply relaxing scent of lavender, hops and frankincense, Ren’s & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray is something of a beauty legend. This stocking filler set contains two travel-sized 10ml bottles that are perfect for stashing in carry-on luggage.

    Shop Ren Clean Skincare Silent Nights Stocking Filler at Cult Beauty, £12

  • Brit-Stitch Luggage Tag

    Who knew luggage tags could be a thing of beauty? Brit-Stitch’s lovely leather accessories come in a range of gorgeous colours to make their suitcase easier to spot on the baggage carousel. They’re all handmade in the UK, and you can even get your loved one’s initials engraved on the front.

    Shop luggage tag at Brit-Stitch, from £15 

  • Paul Smith Beach Towel in Artist Stripe

    Often overlooked, the humble beach towel is arguably the most important holiday accessory of them all – serving as pseudo-mattress, body-dryer and makeshift picnic blanket. Paul Smith’s muted striped towel is as comfy as it is stylish, thanks to the super-soft terry cotton.

    Shop Paul Smith cotton-terry beach towel at Matches Fashion, £65 

  • Lefrik Eco-Friendly Weekend Bag

    You might not think they need another travel bag – but Lefrik’s Weekend Convertible is something special. Made from recycled plastic bottles, it can be worn as a backpack, a shoulder bag and a briefcase. There’s also a separate padded pocket for a laptop – and a waterproof front pocket to keep tech and important items safe.

    Shop Weekend Convertible bag at Lefrik, £79

  • Khu Khu Fan

    You don’t have to be a frequent traveller to know a fan is essential when navigating public transport in hot weather (remember the Tube during the 2018 heatwave?). Khu Khu’s tasselled Indian-inspired fan features a pair of lounging leopards, for a very stylish swish and flick.

    Shop Cool Cats Lazy Leopards fan at Khu Khu, £36

  • Sophie Allport Cardholder

    Even the most seasoned adventurers sometimes long for a little piece of home, and Sophie Allport’s country living-inspired accessories are sure to remind them of the UK. With a sweet running hare motif, this textured gold cardholder will also solve all their bulky purse problems.

    Shop hare cardholder at Sophie Allport, £8

  • Doiy Design Travel Laundry Bag in Tropical Leaf

    Dirty laundry is a fact of life, but when you’re out of town, it’s a whole load of hassle. This tropical leaf laundry bag is a piece of paradise that your traveller friend never knew they needed: not only will it keep their suitcase clean and organised, they can also chuck it in the machine when they get a chance to do a wash.

    Shop tropical leaf laundry bag at Doiy Design, £10.50

  • Pantone Notebooks

    It’s the one thing you always forget, and the one thing you find yourself wanting when you’re away: a decent notebook for scribbling memories, recommendations and other important info. Pantone’s collection of covered notebooks are ideal for on-the-go scribbles – and the iconic colour chip design looks great as a set, too.

    Shop set of 10 Pantone notebooks at Black Bough, £17.99

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Main image: Getty. All other images courtesy of brands/retailers

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Christobel Hastings

Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.