Quite a while ago I cobbled together a fun guide on the best travel gifts for her. These were mostly things I wanted or bought for myself, and boy, has a LOT of that changed since then! I thought I’d do a proper update on some of the best gifts for female travelers to help you shop for the wanderluster in your life!
For me, the older I get and the more conscious I am of what I own, the less I want or find that I need. I definitely urge you to check in with your female traveler to see what’s actually on her list. It’s great if you buy her an Audible subscription for a year, but what if she’s already got one or no longer is trying to listen to audiobooks? Then it’s kind of a waste.
Anyway, check this travel gift guide first for some ideas, and then try to get an idea of what she might be interested in!
20 Best Travel Gifts for Her
1. A DIY Travel Entertainment Kit
I’m a big fan of DIY gifts as I think they show a lot more thought than just getting something expensive, plus it’s probably more wallet friendly! For my first DIY gift idea is to put together a DIY entertainment gift for your friend!
Think podcasts episodes, songs, ASMR playlists, books, Netflix suggestions… You could make it as simple as putting together a Spotify playlist the same length as their flight and pick all sorts of songs or podcasts you’d think she’d like. If you want to be creative, you could decorate little cards with lists and stickers and decorative fonts.
If you were really trying to be next level luxurious, get an iPad or something and download all the podcasts, songs, and shows that make you think of her and then slip it in her carry on when you say goodbye. Just give her a heads up it’s there for security!
2. DIY Travel Gift
I know, that label sounds super broad, but so is travel! And so are womens’ interests! What I’m saying is, whatever you put together should be related to her interests as well as travel. An easier example would be putting together a little travel gift based on a place she’s been wanting to visit. I have a whole gift guide for people who love Korea, for example. Get her a makgeolli kit and then plan a night, once it’s ready to drink, where you cook some sort of Korean dish together, try the makgeolli, and pop in a Korean movie or drama to watch. Top it off with a little donation to Liberty in North Korea under her name.
3. DIY Travel Beauty Bundle
This one is tricky because you truly need to know her beauty and skincare preferences before you go and make a kit like this. However, if you do, then this could be a really fun idea! I’d recommend buying some sort of compact but cute toiletry bag like this one or this one and then getting some sort of silicon travel bottles.
Then pick out her favorite products (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, etc) and decant then into the travel bottles. Bonus if she loves solid products like solid shampoo, conditioner, face wash, and more! I’d also tuck in some fancy face masks, like the gold Knesko ones or Dr. Jart. Maybe add in a nice face mist (I love Caudalie) and, if you’re feeling really fancy, a face roller!
4. DIY Mini Travel Emergency Kit
Again, check with your traveler, but this is such an underrated thing most of us forget! Or maybe it’s just me. But this is a tiny kit of all the random things you forget you need until the very moment you need them.
I’m talking nail clippers (which are TSA approved!), tweezers, motion sickness pills, medicine for headaches or stomachaches, bandaids for those blisters, extra strength lotion for dry skin, mini alcohol bottles to clean wounds… Heck throw in some scrunchies because we’re always forgetting hair ties! If she has glasses, add in a microfiber cloth because that’s one thing I never have on me.
Pack it all up in a cute cosmetic bag, like this simple one or this super cute one. You can even personalize it more, like finding quirky bandaids or putting the pills in little boxes like these macaron ones.
Intangible Gift Ideas
5. An experience or tour
This is more if you already know she’s got a trip or two planned in the near future! See if you can pry a bit and figure out what she’s doing and if there’s room to surprise her with a cool tour or experience while she’s there. I’m thinking something like a cooking class, a helicopter ride, or a day trip somewhere unique. This would obviously be MUCH easier if you were going with her on one of these trips!
6. Donation to a cause she loves
For example, have you guys traveled somewhere before and noticed organizations helping out? Like animal rescue/education groups, environmental groups, etc. If she’s passionate enough, see if you can make a special donation or something in her name!
Fun, Just Because Gifts
7. Anywhere Travel Guide (Card Set)
How fun is does this card set look?
8. Travel jewelry
I do always think a pretty travel necklace or bracelet is a fun gift to give someone. Just make sure you know if they’re a gold, rose gold, silver, etc kind of person! You can make it as simple as a little airplane necklace. Another good idea is getting the coordinates of a town or somewhere she loves/wants to go and putting it on a bracelet for her.
9. A Travel Coloring Book to De-Stress and Inspire
For long airplane rides or in between trips, a good coloring book helps keep the creativity alive, de-stress, and inspire her next travels! I’ve been neglecting my coloring books, but I often like coloring in them when I listen to a podcast or audiobook.
10. The Perfect Tea Mug to Inspire Wanderlust
This is a pretty classic gift idea! I’m a big tea drinker, so when I have my own house someday, I just imagine have a hodgepodge of fun tea mugs I’ve bought or picked up around the world. You can make the mug personal, like some place she wants to go or a culture she adores. Or you could just do a fun travel quote!
11. Books, Books, Books!
Long train, plane, and car rides are easy with a good book. If she’s a Kindle gal (more on that below), then see if you can get her a Kindle Unlimited subscription or gift her with books she’s got on her wishlist (my Goodreads one is forever expanding). If she likes a nice, solid book, go to a local book store and pick them up (or, you know, order them on Amazon or Booktopia heh).
I’ve only ever played around with the Mini 8 and the WIDE 300, so I was really pleasantly surprised when I got to play around with my friend’s Mini 90. The biggest win is that it doesn’t have automatic flash like the Mini 8, so all the photos we took didn’t wind up totally washed out!
Random, Practical Gifts
13. Cord Organizer
I mean, this is probably the most boring but most practical gift ever to buy someone lol. Maybe don’t just buy her this, but I will say my friend, Stacey, got me one as part of a little birthday set and I use it all the time. I actually accidentally left it with her, and I can’t wait to get it back.
14. A Weighted Sleep Mask
Nothing is worse than if your seat mate wants to keep the window open with the bright sun when all you want to do is pass out. Or if you’re staying in a hostel dorm and there’s that one person who needs to keep turning their light on and off at night… Sleep masks are saviors, and a weighted one is like next level. I’m not kidding, my mom got me a weighted sleep mask last Christmas and I will never not travel with one again.
15. A Reusable, Filtered Water Bottle
Nothing will come more in handy than a reusable, filtered water bottle. Save money and waste in buying plastic bottles and stay hydrated while exploring by foot! I have a Hydroflask and in Vietnam I got a tumblr from Crafthouse that comes with a little carrier that I take with me everywhere.
More Expensive Gifts
I will never not travel without my Kindle. I don’t even have a fancy one, which I wouldn’t want anyway. The paperwhite Kindle lasts forever battery-wise, and I can store so many books on it! Perfect for my book challenges and actually reading. Plus it doesn’t hurt my eyes like a screen does after a while.
17. Gorgeous Luggage Set
I mean, this is a real splurge, but if she’s someone close to you, this is always an option. There are such gorgeous and practical luggage sets out there. I splurged and got myself this Desley one, which I actually do kind of regret because that white obviously gets dirty easily and I didn’t buy a suitcase cover like I should have… I also have an Away carry-on at home, which I bought when they were first becoming a thing in like… 2017! I’m pretty disappointed by their internal issues, so I do hope they improve in the future as I do love my suitcase and they offer them in so many chic colors.
I mean, if you want to buy them the little apple pods, that could always be a good splurge. Or, which I prefer, something over the ears and noise cancelling, especially for a long flight. I’m telling you — download some ASMR playlists on Spotify. With good headphones, a weight sleep mask, and a good neck pillow, you might as well be in a spa than on an airplane!
Nothing is quite as annoying as lugging around a huge DSLR, but camera phone shots only go so far. Mirrorless cameras are the future for travelers, and the white Sony A6000 is one I’ve had on my radar for a while now.
For me it’s a black pair of wayfarers, but it could be whatever simple shape and neutral color you prefer. Not only do they protect your eyes, they help you look good in photos ;). Raybans are always a classic to invest in, but there are always more inexpensive pairs out there.
I kind of hate to admit it, but I’ve come to rely on listening to my books more than reading them of late. My eyes get tired really easily, especially with how often I’m on the computer for work, and I just want to close them while listening to a good story. I really like Audible because it’s only $15/month for a credit with the first month free. They usually have credit or 2 for 1 sales on popular books as well, so I’ve actually built up quite a collection to listen to!
23. Walkable Sandals
And, of course, good, comfortable shoes! I’m quite a big fan of Birkenstocks both for their arch support and ease of wear (I’m sorry I love the look of Chucks, but they’re too narrow for my feet sometimes, have no arch support, and are a pain to get on and off). I like the Birks with thinner straps rather than the super thick ones.
What would you add to this list of gifts for female travelers? I know I’m probably forgetting a ton!