Home General Best Gifts for Travel & Study Abroad in 2016

Best Gifts for Travel & Study Abroad in 2016

by AIFS Study Abroad
travel gift ideas study abroad travel pillow

It’s gift-giving season and if you’re having trouble buying for people on your list, consider these travel items. We went straight to the source and asked our Alumni Ambassadors: What do you wish you had packed? What are the best travel gifts?

So, if you know someone who is going abroad next year, planning a trip, loves travel, or could use a push to get that passport renewed, check out our 2015 best gifts for travelers:

1. A good travel pillow

Being able to sleep even just a little bit on a plane/train/automobile can make all the difference, and can be worth lugging around a mini pillow. There are many options aside from your standard airplane neck pillow. This one (Lewis N. Clark Belle Hop Travel Comfort Sethas a strap that hooks on to your suitcase, and an opening so you can stick in a few more items while you are in transit.

travel gift ideas study abroad travel pillow

2. International standard size carry on suitcase and Hard Shell Luggage

If you want to gift someone with a serious piece of luggage that will last their semester in Europe and beyond, look into some of the new options out there. We’ve been hearing about these carry-on suitcases from Away (below) which are practical and sleek, and also have modern amenities like a built in charger and a removable laundry bag.

travel gift ideas study abroad travel luggage suitcase carry on

3. Disposable Camera

These cameras are dying out, but a student in my program received a disposable camera and found that it was a lot of fun taking pictures, especially since you can’t edit them or even see them until all the pictures have been taken and you have developed the entire roll. It’s a cool gift and a great way to save memories and review them at the end of a trip.

travel gift ideas study abroad travel disposable camera

4. A good sturdy notebook

Travel diaries are the best keepsake. (Below, Etsy)

travel gift ideas study abroad travel journal notebook diary

5. Universal Plug Adapter

Get something with two outlets so you don’t have to choose between what you need to use/charge. Amazon sells a bunch of reasonably priced converter/adapter duos that will work in nearly every country you travel to.

6. A portable charger

My mom gave me a portable battery to charge my phone and anything else that uses a USB port (mine also had a flashlight) and it was a lifesaver! These are a godsend when you’re stranded in a strange place with only 2% battery left.

7. A Deck of Cards

Few things unite cultures like card games. A game of cards is a cheap and easy way to socialize and share different games and traditions across cultures. It’s also easy to pack and could serve as a gift for your host family if you buy one that has your town/state/school/etc. name on it.

travel gift ideas study abroad travel playing cards deck of cards

8. A simple and lightweight backpack

A bag that zips and is just big enough to carry the essentials: wallet, phone, keys, water bottle and maybe a notebook. (Below, Herschel Supply Co. backpacks)

travel gift ideas study abroad travel backpack bags

9. Selfie Stick

They may not be cool, but they can help you get that perfect shot! I wish I had a selfie stick during my semester abroad.

travel gift ideas study abroad travel selfie stick

10. A Cute Passport Cover

Protect those important documents in style. (Below, Etsy)

travel gift ideas study abroad travel passport cover case

11. A Reusable Tote Bag

Great for shopping at the local market or packing a picnic in the park!

12. Travel Size Toiletry Kit

My aunt gave me a fold-able toothbrush and life was never the same. For the jetsetter, pre-packed toiletries are super handy. A kit with the essentials (toothbrush, toothpaste and travel sized toiletry containers) that is ready to go will make life much easier. Check out the travel section at The Container Store for some great organizers and travel items.

13. A reliable watch

These days most people don’t wear a watch and instead rely on their electronic device for the time. But for the traveler, battery life is precious. A wrist watch is a great gift, no matter the time zone.

travel gift ideas study abroad travel watch

14. A Microfiber Towel

It’s compact so it’s great for travelling on weekends and it dries super quickly. Plus you don’t have to worry about buying/renting a towel if you stay at a hostel. (Below, Microfiber Towel By Rainleaf)

travel gift ideas study abroad travel towel

Thanks Elissa and Savannah for all of the pro tips! So start planning your 2016 travel if you haven’t already, and share your travel gift ideas with us in the comments!

Click here to learn more about studying abroad and seeing the world.

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