10 Best Travel Gifts 2015

Best Travel Gifts 2015

Collect memories, not things!

It’s the ultimate traveler Moto. And while it is true, it doesn’t mean that any traveler wouldn’t love you forever for getting them the hottest piece of travel gear on the market.

But what is the must have and best travel gifts 2015?

It can be tricky buying gifts for backpackers. We can’t carry much, it has to be able to make it through customs, and it has to be useful – otherwise it’ll probably get left behind in a dorm room for some lucky cleaner to find.

Never Fear! We are going to take some of the guess work out of buying gifts this year and let you know what 10 Best Gifts for travelers to buy that will make the traveler in your life wet their pants (just a little) with excitement. You’ll be a legend for life – trust us!

10 Best Travel Gifts 2015

10. Carry On Backpack

Best Travel Gifts 2015 - carry on backpack

2015 is the year of traveling carry on only. Lightweight backpacking is huge, not only because it save you carrying around too much excess crap, but because it saves you time and money at the airport. More and more airlines are charging for checked luggage – traveling carry on will save at least $15 bucks minimum, which can be used towards booze, uh I mean educational attractions (*wink wink)
Carry on backpacks we recommend:

9. Waterproof / Shockproof Camera

Best Travel Gifts 2015 - Waterproof camera

Backpacking can be pretty rough going, and sometimes it’s good to have some gear that we know can take a bashing. Especially when it comes to something like a camera. Having a camera that can be left in the sand and not be destroyed, can be taken on underwater adventures, can be dropped numerous times and still work, is a must have for any backpacker.

But remember when it comes to waterproof cameras – you get what you pay for. So here’s a few that a pretty awesome:

8. Portable Speakers

best gifts for travelers - bose portable speaker

These might seem like a useless thing to take backpacking, but it’s amazing how often some kickin tunes can improve an otherwise painfully boring trip. The actual ‘travel’ part of backpacking is often long, dull and uncomfortable. So quit playing eyespy and have a little dance party instead!

Some of the best portable speakers out there for backpackers are:

7. Portable battery charger

Best Travel Gifts 2015 - portable battery charger

Sometimes it can be hard to find a place up plug in and charge up – especially while traveling. That’s why having a bit of extra juice with you in your backpack can help you avoid those “I’m in the middle of nowhere and my phone just died” situations. This is one of the best gifts someone ever gave me, and I haven’t been caught out with a flat battery since!

Some of our favs include:

6. Travel Insurance

Best Travel Gifts 2015 - Travel Insurance

Most first time backpackers feel like they’re young and invincible, plus they’re usually way to excited about the places they will visit to even think about travel insurance. It also can be seen as an expensive “what if”. What if I pay all this money and nothing happens? I could have spent that money on a nicer hostel, more souvenirs, booze!

Don’t let your loved ones travel uncovered, one of the best gifts for travelers you can get is to buy them a travel insurance policy that will give both you and them peace of mind while they are overseas.

We personally use World Nomads as they offer cover for over 200 different adventure activities – including air guitar. Yep Air Guitar!

5. Sholdit Scarf with secret pocket to keep valuables in.

Best Travel Gifts 2015 - Sholdit

Image from www.sholdit.com

This one might be more for the ladies, but this scarf will mean you can travel and keep your most valuable possessions close by. Protect you passport, credit cards, spare cash, by keeping them secured away in this Sholdit Scarf. Probably not ideal for heavier items like your cell phone, but still a fantastic way to keep would be thives empty handed.

4. Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ with Built-in Light & Wi-Fi. Then load it up with Lonely Planet e-books (some are even FREE)

best gifts for travelers - Kindle Paperwhite

Books are too heavy to travel with! Especially if you are traveling carry on only. That is why having a device like a kindle is fantastic! You can download all the travel guides and information needed for the big trip, and also have space for some personal reading choices.

3. Packing Cubes

Best Travel Gifts 2015 - packing cubes

Whether it’s to keep dirties separate from cleans. Or because that little voice in your head says that everything MUST be neat and organised. Packing cubes are one of the best gifts for travelers. There is nothing more annoying then needing one item from your backpack – and having no idea where it is! So you have to pull apart your entire backpack (which you then need to repack) to find it. This will never happen with packing cubes. All your shirts in one cube, underwear in another – everything has its place.

2. Wreck This Journal

Best Travel Gifts 2015 : wreck this journal

It’s pretty hard keeping anything in mint condition while backpacking, so why not buy someone a journal that actively encourages the owner to destroy it? Destruction in the most creative of ways! Not only is Wreck This Journal a great stress outlet – but it’s something entertaining to do while travelling long distances.

1. A Decent Camera

Best Travel Gifts 2015

I’ve asked a lot of experienced travelers “if you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing about travel, what would it be?” And so often it’s the same answer – “I wish I had bought a good camera from the very beginning.” Honestly, visiting Angkor Wat or the Eiffel Tower is a once in a lifetime experience, you want more than some crappy iPhone pictures to remember your experiences by.

We understand that not everyone knows their way around a DSLR camera with interchangeable lenses. So, depending on each person’s photographic skills, here’s a breakdown of some of the best cameras out there for travelers.

Compact Cameras – Point & Shoot
Best Travel Gifts 2015

Bridge Compact Cameras
Best Travel Gifts 2015

DSLR – digital single-lens reflex
Best Travel Gifts 2015 - Nikon D7100 DSLR

Best TRavel Gifts 2015 - mirrorless camera

And for a bit of fun…

Best Travel Gifts 2015 - polaroid camera


A Drone!!! What traveler wouldn’t love this???



Best travel gift 2015


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What do you think are the best gifts for travelers? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, i’ll receive a small commission payout. Probably enough for a beer or two at the pub. All opinions remain our own.



  • Kelsey

    July 18, 2015

    YES! I agree with all of these! Definitely a great list. I think it would also be named “10 Must-Haves for the Beginning Backpacker.”

  • Great list suggestions! That Shold It scarf has been on my wish list for ages and I’m still waiting…. errrr…. and I swear by packing cubes!

  • Fiona Maclean

    July 18, 2015

    Great list – now I need to put that in front of my brothers!!!

  • Giulia Blocal

    July 18, 2015

    Nice list! I hope to get n.10 for my upcoming bday (I am going to email your post to my friends 😉 ), and I think n.3 is pure genius! 🙂

  • jen

    July 18, 2015

    You guys nailed this list! I either own, or now want, everything on the list!

  • Heather Widmer

    July 19, 2015

    Great list! I can vouch for the majority of the items on your list from personal experience. I’ve never heard of the Sholdit scarf, what an excellent idea. Adding to my wishlist!

  • Brianna

    July 19, 2015

    I can’t think of one thing I don’t want on this list!

  • Michael Orobona

    September 28, 2015

    The thing that came to mind for me is a universal plug conversion kit.

    • tjw101

      September 29, 2015

      Always a good choice! It’s always something we suggest on our packing lists, but only space for 10 things on this list 🙂

  • TakaTaka

    November 24, 2015

    Oh, maybe it’s time to have one of it for myself in this christmas. 🙂 thanks for the recommendation

  • Brad Bernard

    November 29, 2015

    Great list! I use World Nomads too…
    Their front end marketing is very sexy, but they just sell policies and pass you off into the typical insurance runaround. My 2 claims have taken hundreds of emails to resolve (and an AVERAGE of over 2 months- and then another month because they can only write physical checks)

    Good luck if you ever have a problem. They’ll leave you high and dry and blame the problem on the incompetence of their employees and insurance partner.

    • tjw101

      December 1, 2015

      Hey Brad, thanks for the comment. Sorry you have had such a runaround with your insurance claim. All of the people we know who have filed claims using the online claim system have found a swift resolution. One of our friends just had swine flu in Thailand. Put the claim in online, got confirmation and payment sent in about a month.
      All insurance companies have massive amounts of red tape to wade through. The reason we favour World Nomads is because you can file the claim before you get back home. You can start your insurance from anywhere, not just from your home country. A lot of other reasons too. They are the company we use for our personal travel insurance.
      Thanks for your experience, it can help people make an informed decision.

  • rainbow mountain peru

    April 2, 2018

    you man nailed this list! I either own, or now want, everything on the list!
    that’s amazing work…