We’ve all got that friend in our life who can’t seem to stay in one place for very long—whether they’re always jetting off to one of the most vacation-worthy countries, or they love to explore the coolest beaches, restaurants, and attractions right in your hometown.
What do you gift the person who’s always packing light?
It’s not like they’re home long enough to use the Magic Bullet you bought them last year, and they certainly aren’t schlepping a stack of physical books around the world (nope, not even the limited edition Harry Potter series you waited hours and hours for).
They need something sturdy, convenient, useful, and maybe a little indulgent—these are still gifts, after all.
#1 Camera to Capture Memories
Before you even think it, yes, cameras are an expensive gift.
Luckily, there are different types of cameras, and they span across a wide range of prices. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, consider the below options:
- Vintage film camera – Genuine vintage cameras can be hard to find at major retailers, but you could luck out at a secondhand store, online seller, or hey, maybe even somewhere in your parents’ or grandparents’ storage. Alternatively, some companies continue to produce new film cameras, although these are likely to be on the more expensive end.
- Polaroid camera – These are all the rage these days. They’re less expensive than lots of 35mm film cameras but your friend will still be able to enjoy the photographs they take instantly. You can find instant cameras by Polaroid, Instax, or other less popular brands.
- Rolls of film – For the traveler who already owns their own camera, help them restock their film supply before their next departure date (they will thank you endlessly). Make sure you’ve found the right type of film for their camera, whether it’s a Polaroid, 35mm, or something else. Your friend might be particular about the brand and ISO they use, so it could take a little detective work to find their favorite.
- Disposable camera – This gift is a cute gesture for any traveler on your shopping list. They’re relatively inexpensive but will help your pal make lasting memories no matter where they go.
#2 Sturdy but Stylish Travel Gear
Practical gifts aren’t always the most fun and exciting, but they can be. Companies are starting to create funky but functional items—give them something they need and something they’ll love:
- Osprey’s UltraLight Roll Organizer – This toiletry organizer comes with a small mirror and four zippered compartments to keep everything in its place. It’s also lightweight and waterproof for any mishaps that inevitably occur.
- Kammok’s Camping Hammocks – These lean more towards fun than function, but let’s face it—the reason we go on vacation is to have fun! These portable, convenient hammocks are made for singles, doubles, and even kids.
- Hydro Flask Water Bottle – Arguably the most popular water bottle on the market, Hydro Flask is known for keeping cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot, no matter where your friend adventures. Plus, you can choose between about a million (give or take) stylish colors to find the look that suits the traveler in your life.
#3 Travel Trackers & Maps
Even the most prolific traveler has to come home sometime. And when they do, they’ll probably spend most of the time talking about their amazing adventures, and then planning their next ones.
You can help them relive their luxurious jet-setting days with a scratch-off map that provides a visual of each country they’ve visited. It’s a fun keepsake that comes in beautiful designs, like pastels or metallics—double-duty as a wall decoration!
There are other similar travel trackers in different styles that might better suit your friend, too:
- Pushpin map – Instead of scratching off countries, they’ll place the country’s wooden piece up on the map—like building a puzzle of the world.
- Bulletin board map – This global map is printed onto a corkboard, which your friend can then decorate using mementos and photos from their trip (perfect use for their Polaroid or disposable camera pictures!).
Give the Gift That Goes the Extra Mile
Traveling is one of many ways to enhance your lifestyle. Maybe next year you’ll give the frequent traveler in your life the best gift of all: joining them on their big adventure.
At the very least, you can help your friend pack. That way, you can guarantee your ultra-thoughtful gift is in the “bring,” rather than the “leave,” pile.