Here are some fun gift ideas for a person who loves learning about the world but may not be able to travel or explore for whatever reason.
This might sound like a contradiction, but it isn’t! Plenty of people can’t actually travel all the time whether it’s for medical reasons or regular life. Many also don’t want to travel full-time either. I, for one, am perfectly content to nest for a few months and then go exploring.
However, I’m an absolute sucker for travel-themed things. You should have seen me filling and emptying my shopping cart when I finally stepped in a Marshalls for the first time in over a year. So many notebooks, cards, pictures, books…
Anyhow, I thought I’d put together a little gift guide for the homebody wanderluster in your life! These are going to range from DIY/budget-friendly to more luxury + expensive so you have plenty of thoughtful options to choose from!
10 Gift Ideas for the Homebody Wanderluster
1. A DIY Wanderlust Weekend
You can present this in a few different ways — as a voucher, a box, or more. Give it as a gift for the homebody to do alone or for you to do together. Think of what she/he enjoys about travel or the world and try to bring it to them. For example, if they love Italy, put together a movie marathon of fun Italian movies (both made in Italy and, of course, the travels-to-Italy-to-discover-herself movies) and order delicious Italian food or make a recipe together. You can always check one of those meal delivery services like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh to see if they have recipes for your weekend.
This is probably the most personal gift on the list, and I think it’d be so fun because it’s more of an experience than something physical! I mean can you imagine how fun it’d be to remember that weekend you got drunk off Italian wine while nursing lasagna food babies and trying to say Italian phrases at each other all night? Here are some movies to plan a weekend around:
- Before Sunrise
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s
- Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (pair it with the original; ignore the remake)
- Eat, Pray, Love
- Man from U.N.C.L.E.
- Marie Antoinette
- Me Before You
- The Darjeeling Limited
- The Grand Budapest Hotel
- The Motorcycle Diaries
- The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
- Under the Tuscan Sun
*DEFINITELY missing a ton, so let me know what you’d add
2. Collection of Postcards or Photos from Around the World
This might take some planning ahead depending on how intense you want to get. If you yourself are an avid traveler, this gift could easily be a year in the making! Basically, find a way to collect unique postcards around the world. You can ask in a big travel group, ask other friends, or pick them up yourself as you travel.
Another alternative if this is too labor intensive is to ask if people around the world wouldn’t mind just snapping a quick photo of themselves of a piece of paper saying, “Hello from…” You could print them out and make her a collage–really anything you think would go over well.
3. Teas from Around the World
Or coffee if that’s more her thing! I love the idea of collecting teas from around the world. Just think of all the different tea fields from Japan to India to Malaysia and then think of how each country makes it their own. My favorite is this brown rice green tea, though my friend, Elissa, has always loved the different O’Sulloc teas from Jeju.
4. Paintings or watercolors of their favorite places
If you have any small talent with a paintbrush, then try painting pictures of her favorite places! If not then browse Etsy to see what you can find. Rifle Paper Co also has a few city and country paintings that are adorable. When I got my sorority little, I actually looked up simple sketches of my favorite cities and made one for each day of Clue Week. Trust me, if I can manage to make something mildly pretty, you can too. I follow Youtube tutorials for 99% of anything creative I try to do.
5. Souvenirs unique to her favorite country
While some people have different places they’d love to visit, others have a very strong love for one city or country in particular. Sometimes it’s for no real reason at all, other times they visited once before or even studied there. Try to think of souvenirs unique to that country. Shop around on Etsy, ask for opinions in a Facebook group, and put together a little package. For example, if I knew a Korea-phile in the US, I’d probably do this:
- Buy a CD for her favorite Korean singer or put together a Spotify playlist of recommended Korean songs I think she’d like. If she’s a K-drama fan, look for the soundtrack!
- A coloring book on Korea or a specific part of Korea. This is the one I found in Bandi + Lundi’s at the bus terminal in Seoul.
- Postcards/stickers/stamps – If you’re in Seoul, bop around Insadong to see the different options. I’ve always found the cutest postcards near Bukchon Hanok Village personally. Stickers and stamps are a good idea if you know she keeps a bullet journal or likes to get crafty.
- The Little Book of Skincare by Charlotte Cho – It’s about the Korean skincare regime but also Cho’s life in Korea. There are also just really cute illustrations! Alternatively, if she’s interested in the culture or architecture, look up books in that theme. Start with Hanok: The Korean House.
- A small collection of K-beauty products— Both things I know she’d love + quirkier, trendier products. I’ve been an Innisfree fan since 2011, but I do love all of Etude House’s fun products.Some sort of clothing item with Hangul on it. This might take some hunting if you’re online, but I’d go to one of the Korean clothing stores in Jeonju or Gwangju and shop around.
- Fun Korean snacks like Pepero, Honey Butter Chips, or Shin Ramyun (really anything you can stock up from a GS25!)
6. Books with strong settings
You can buy her travel-themed book or memoirs, but I find I’m always more inspired by stories with strong settings. I love a good book that paints such a strong image of its background that I can imagine being there myself. Below are some recent reads that made me want to visit almost immediately.
7. Recipes or dinner nights for unique cuisine
Going back to #1, a good idea is to get her something related to the food of a country. If you’re in a big city, you can try to look for a cooking class in the area that specializes in a certain style of food. You could look up some recipes, collect the ingredients, and plan a night of cooking (separate from your wanderlust weekend).
If this is all too much, you can always either find her a great cookbook online OR collect recipes yourself and DIY a cute recipe book for her. The latter might be a good idea if she has food restrictions since you can make a book even more unique.
8. Travel-Themed Homeware
Shower curtains, giant map prints, pillowcases… If you know your friend well and know what she’d like having on display in her home, then look for travel-themed homeware. This can be as simple as a tea mug inspiring exploration! Emma Kate Co is always my favorite for the loveliest wanderlust and dreamer inspired products. I’m pretty sure I would have bought her whole shop if I owned my own place by now!
9. Travel-Themed Jewelry
There are so many options! Etsy really is a treasure trove. You can find everything from a simple plane necklace to having a custom made a bracelet with coordinates. One year I got a friend in Namwon her name in Hangul on a necklace to remember her year in Korea. Again customize it to your friend.
10. Travel Coloring Books
I wrote a quick little post on this a while ago, but I love travel coloring books! I just picked up two Korea-themed ones, and there are seriously so many options out there.
What would you add for the homebody wanderluster? Just remember for most people it’s the thought behind the gift not what it is or how much it costs.