Looking for gift ideas for a travel loving friend or family member in your life? Given the widespread travel restrictions all around the world this year, it is likely that they are itching to see new places again. Here are my top sustainable gift picks that any traveler will love and use, both at home and on the road.
National Park Pass
The pandemic has reminded us all just how important it is for our well being to be able to get outside and in nature. A pass to your local national/ state park is likely to be a much needed gift for anyone who has been stuck indoors for the last 9 months (which, let’s be honest, is most of us).
For anyone in the US, the America The Beautiful pass is an annual pass that allows you to visit any national park in the country, and pays for itself in just 3 trips!
Scratch off Map
For anyone who likes to keep track of all the different countries they have visited, a scratch off maps like this one acts both as a great conversation starter, and as inspiration to start planning their next trip.
This national park scratch off map also goes well with the pass mentioned above, in case you like your gifts to have a theme.
Airline / Hotel Gift Cards
Gift cards might seem impersonal to some, I think they are a perfect gift for the travel lover in your life. Contribute towards a weekend away, or a trip of a lifetime with gift cards. Bonus points if you choose their preferred airline/ hotel chain or the one they have status with.
Travel Coin Purse
I love looking at the currency from different countries. But having to separate the right coins from a jumbled mess of rupees, euros, pounds and rand in a foreign supermarket? Not what I call a fun experience. These lovely coin purses have the country flag on them, so there is no coin ambiguity at checkout.
Home and On the Go
Collapsible Reusable Straw
Along with working from home, coffees, teas and smoothies have also moved to home kitchens. This reusable collapsible straw will both save many plastic straws from going to the landfill in the next few months, as well as be easy to throw in a jacket pocket or purse when trips to favourite shops (and more exotic destinations!) are back on
Reusable ziplock bags
Reusable ziplock bags are better than their disposable counterparts in every single way. These bags are sustainable, save loads of money in the long run, are dishwasher and freezer safe, and can even be used to steam food in the microwave! They also come in a variety of sizes, with the larger ones being brilliant for saving leftovers and the smaller ones perfect for carrying snacks on trips.
With wireless technology becoming more and more popular, our days of being tethered to laptops and phones with wired headphones are now well behind us. Wireless headphones are a great gift to give anyone, gifting the ability to duck under the desk quickly to retrieve a dropped pen and not having to deal with wires in the confined space of an airline seat. If you go this route, I suggest a good quality pair (like this pair from Bose) that will last many years.
Reusable tote bag
A simple cotton tote bag has a multitude of uses, from holding groceries, laundry or in-flight essentials. Not only will it replace multiple single use plastic bags, totes are so much more durable, look way more stylish and can easily be thrown into the washer to clean and disinfect. You can never have too many! Pick a themed one like this for your travel loving friend (and maybe one for yourself too…).
Whether it is to keep warm on a road trip or on the sofa, a warm snuggly blanket is a must have for everyone. Pick one in a natural material like wool, or hemp (like this one) and help keep micro plastics out of our oceans.
Packable puffer jacket
One of the most annoying things about traveling between different climates is having to schlepp around a huge coat that you only wear part of the time. However, this packable jacket saves both space and weight in suitcases, as it packs into its own pocket and weighs only 284 grams/ 10 oz. The material is also water resistant, and so can handle light showers as well. As the icing on the cake, it also comes with lifetime warranty, so you can be assured that this gift will stand the test of time.
Timberland Hiking Boots
As someone who is usually slipping and sliding down trails, having good hiking boots has made a world of difference. Whether you are gifting these boots to a brand new hiker, or as a treat for a well seasoned one, these are sure to be well received.
Prana Briann Pants
As someone who tends to combine work and fun travel quite often, I spent years trying to find the perfect trousers that can take me from plane to conference to restaurants without missing a beat. I finally found them in the form of the Prana Briann Pant. To top it all, from sustainable materials to fair trade practices, Prana is an amazing brand to buy from.
Switching to a more sustainable toothbrush (like these bamboo ones) is one of the easiest swaps one can make to be more eco friendly. With over a billion plastic toothbrushes thrown away each year in the US alone, this little gift has a big impact!.
Ethique sampler sets
In a similar vein to toothbrushes, millions of plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles end up in landfills or pollute our oceans. Luckily, solid shampoo and conditioner bars are a super easy and effective swap to make. Since hair products can be very personal, these sampler sets from Ethique make amazing gifts, allowing them to try a few different products and see what works best for them.
For anyone interested in multi-tasking beauty products, a small bottle of facial oil is a must have. A little goes a long way, and can be used to moisturize your face, tame frizzy hair, soften cuticles and more. While there are plenty of options on the market to suit pretty much anyone, this oil contains blue tansy (great for easily irritated skin!), comes in a glass container, is shipped using 100% recycled material and your purchase will support a small business. What’s not to love?
Want more inspiration? Check out my previous gift guide here.