Happy holidays, everyone! We’ve made it to the end of another year, and that means it’s time for the next edition of Full Life, Full Passport’s annual gift guide!
I love putting the gift guide together and spend the whole year stockpiling ideas for it. While many other gift guides are filled with sponsored items and paid additions, you can rest assured that everything on this list is something that I have personally used or absolutely love. There’s not a paid spot on the list!
I hope these ideas help you in your holiday shopping! Let me know in the comments which gifts you’d most like to see under your tree 🙂
Gifts at a Glance
Practical Gifts for Travelers
Great travel gear is one of the best gifts you can give to a world-traveling loved one. The gifts below will help make travel easier, more comfortable, and more fun!
Want a gift that’s useful but also has a mission? The GOT BAG might be the answer! GOT BAG’s backpacks and other products are made from plastic pulled from the ocean, helping reduce pollution while providing useful gear for travel. Their $99 daypack, for example, is made from 5.5 lbs of recycled ocean plastic.
GOT BAG has tons of options for gift-giving this season. There are backpacks, day packs, wallets, passport covers, water bottles, laptop sleeves and more.
Cost: $25 (wallet) to $149 (rolltop backpack)
Apple Airpods Pro
Whether they’re trying to sleep on a long-haul flight, video chatting with family back home, doing remote work in a cafe, or taking a jog through the city they’re visiting, the Apple Airpods Pro are a great choice for travelers. These babies are so small compared to standard noise cancelling headphones, and you can turn that particular feature on and off depending on your environment.
You can also gift the standard Apple Airpods, which don’t have the noise cancellation feature but are still small and incredibly useful. I love that the carrying case is so tiny and easy to pack!
Cost: $119 (Airpods), $200 Airpods Pro
We use our phones for so much while traveling – taking photos, getting directions, looking up restaurants, contactless payments, etc. – and the last thing you want is a dead battery when you need the phone most. Especially when my phones have been approaching the end of their lives, my portable charger has been an absolute lifesaver. It’s thin, easily packed, and gives me all the battery power I need to get through the day.
When you’re traveling, nothing beats the ability to converse with locals in their own language. It makes getting around a lot easier and allows you to have a deeper, more authentic experience. If you know your loved one is headed to a particular place, has a favorite vacation spot, or just wants to learn another language, a language course would be a very thoughtful gift.
There are tons of excellent courses, online programs, and apps available to learn a new language, or you can grab a trusty Rosetta Stone.
Cost: $10 – $100+
Tasty DIY Gifts
For something creative, personalized, and truly unique, create an international experience for your favorite foodie, coffee lover, or cocktail enthusiast.
International Coffee Basket
One of the fun parts about being a coffee lover is trying blends from all across the globe. There are so many great coffee growing regions! Treat your loved one’s palate with bags of coffee from around the world, including some fun new varieties he or she may not have tried before. You can either curate your own selection or keep it simple with a pre-made gift box.
Round out the gift by adding in a French press, a coffee grinder, or a fun travel-themed coffee mug! (I like this one with passport stamps, this one with a colorful world map, and this one with one of the most popular traveler mottoes.)
International Meal Kit
Does your loved one love to cook? Find a tasty recipe from his or her favorite international cuisine and create a basket full of ingredients to make the meal! This is a great opportunity to gift your loved one some spices or other ingredients he or she may not usually splurge on. You can also tuck in cash or a grocery store gift card to purchase the perishable ingredients when they’re ready to cook.
This is also a fun idea for couples because it can make for a great date night.
International Cocktail Kit
Another fun part of travel is trying different drinks and cocktails. From Peru’s pisco sour to bellinis in Italy to the Singapore Sling, there are lots of tasty options to choose from. Gift your loved one a recipe for a fun new cocktail or two and put together a basket with the necessary liquor(s), mixers, and other ingredients. You can also include a cocktail shaker, specialty glasses, a cocktail recipe book, and more.
Gifts for the Home
Help your loved one show off his or her passion for travel with these beautiful decor and jewelry gifts!
Framed Push Pin Map
I spotted An Adventure Awaits at a local craft market and completely fell in love with their beautiful push pin maps! The frames are lovely, and the colorful pins really stand out against the gray background. I love that these beauties take up less wall space that a traditional scratch-off map and have a more polished look. In addition to the world map, they also offer maps of the United States and US national parks as well as posters, greeting cards, and more!
Another, more visual way to showcase your travels is through these fun photo maps! I love that these maps allow you to showcase photos of the incredible places you’ve been in addition to crossing states, provinces, or countries off your list.
You can choose from the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, Asia, Africa, South America, or Puerto Rico, or you can gift a theme map for lovers of running, beer, golf, or road trips.
Cost: $29 – $59
Custom Cityscape Ring
Last year, my aunt Carole gave me an incredibly thoughtful gift: a silver ring of the Anchorage cityscape. She knows how much Alaska has embedded itself in my heart, and I love that I wear my love of Anchorage right on my finger.
If your loved one has a favorite travel destination, a hometown, or any other city that’s close to his or her heart, then a custom cityscape ring would be the perfect gift! Etsy artist CaitlynMinimalist offers rings of dozens of cities across the globe, or you can reach out about a custom design!
Travel-Themed Wine Charms
I received a set of lovely travel-themed wine charms as a Christmas gift from my mom a couple of years ago and loved them so much I bought my best friend Molly a set for her destination bachelorette party! Mine feature destinations from around the globe, ranging from the Eiffel Tower to Big Ben to the Sydney Opera House. When people come over, it’s fun to see what charm they choose and hear why!
I also love the ones pictured above because they’ve got a touch of color and are more generally travel-themed rather than showing specific destinations.
Cost: $9 – $12
Adventure Fund Bank
When it comes to funding travel, every penny counts! Help your loved one save toward their next vacation with one of these sweet adventure fund banks. It’s the perfect place to throw loose change and spare dollar bills. Plus, there’s a visual reminder that your next adventure is right around the corner!
Cost: $15 – $39
Books and Media
Classic gifts with a fun twist.
Subpar Parks Book and Gifts
One of my favorite follows on Instagram is Subpar Parks. There, artist Amber Share posts gorgeous depictions of national parks juxtaposed with one-star reviews from “their least impressed visitors.” (For example: “Too orange, too spiky” over the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon and “Save some money, boil water at home” over Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring.) Recently, she came out with a book sharing some of her greatest hits as well as some new material, and it would be a fantastic gift for someone who is a lover of national parks or just has a great sense of humor!
In addition to the book, the artist also offers postcard sets, prints, wall calendars, and more on her website. I personally think the calendar would be really fun!
Cost: $20 (book), $29 (calendar), other gifts $4 and up
The Atlas of Beauty: Women of the World in 500 Portraits
I am absolutely in love with photographer Mihaela Noroc’s stunning photos of women around the world. I have followed her website for years and am fascinated by how she beautifully captures women of all shapes, sizes, ages, and walks of life. A few years ago, she came out with a book, and it would be an excellent addition to any travel-lover’s coffee table.
Alongside each photograph, Noroc shares a little of the featured woman’s story. It truly shows the breadth and depth of the human experience, and I’ve laughed, cried, marveled, and wondered in turn. I know your loved one will, too.
Trekking the World Board Game
Confession time: to M’s great chagrin, I am not a big fan of board games. I hate having to learn all the rules, and my competitive side hates losing to people who have more experience and savvy than me.
That said, Trekking the World is really well done and a lot of fun for adults or the whole family. Your goal is to build a bucket list of destinations and be the first to visit them, collecting souvenirs along the way. It’s super educational for kids and perfect for fueling wanderlust between trips. Plus, if you like this game, they also make one for trekking the national parks!
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