The Best Gifts for Travelers to Make the Journey as Memorable as the Destination

Couple looking out towards a beautiful lake reflecting the image of the forest and mountains around them
When you want to make the traveler in your life feel special, focus on making the journey as memorable as the destination. Here’s a guide to gifts that elevate the globe-trotter’s travel experience.

A traveler’s most treasured memories typically look like secluded tropical beaches, buzzing night markets, and daring treks to ancient ruins. Airport security checks and delayed flights rarely make the cut. When you want to make the traveler in your life feel special, focus on making the journey as memorable as the destination. Here’s a guide to gifts that elevate the globe-trotter’s travel experience.


Get them to the airport in style

If the travel lover in your life typically opts for an economical mode of airport transportation—long bus rides, multiple train transfers and the like—treat them to the faster, fancier way. Snoop around to find out their flight information and book a black-car service to take them to the airport and pick them up when they return home.


Show them the way to the lounge

Entry to premium airport lounges was once a luxury reserved for first and business class passengers. Not anymore. Besides airline-specific lounges, the doors to most lounges are now open to anyone willing to pay the admission fee. Pay that fee for your globe-trotting loved one and you’ll give them access to free food and drinks (including wine and beer), plentiful comfy seatingand free WiFi. Many lounges even have showers and sleeping zones. Use a platform like Lounge Pass or LoungeBuddy to prepay for a pass that your recipient can use before departure or during a long layover.


Spoil them with upgrades

The ultimate way to pamper a traveler? Upgrade their flight experience. For a special occasion, go all out and see about upgrading their economy seat to one in first or business class. When you know their flight information, call up the airline’s customer service department and see if they can help you work some magic. If an upgraded seat isn’t in the budget, look into other possible upgrades that will take their experience up a notch, such as seats with more legroom or an in-flight meal and cocktail.


Create a luxe in-flight self-care kit

Go beyond the complimentary earplugs and eye mask with a thoughtful self-care package to help your recipient get through their next long-haul flight. Depending on your gift budget and your loved one’s travel style, consider including the following: 

  • A cashmere wrap to beat the draft. 
  • Packable slippers. 
  • Roll-on essential oils (for falling sleep or boosting immunity). 
  • A rich hand moisturizer and lip balm. 
  • Noise-cancelling headphones. 
  • A small notebook and pen. 
  • Facial cleansing wipes. 
  • TSA-approved snacks (think a bag of nuts or chocolate bar). 

Trade in their carry-on

The best carry-on luggage is lightweight, polished, roomy, and sized to meet various airline luggage requirements. If your traveler is still shoving a worn duffel bag into the overhead compartment, spring for an improvement. For carry-on suitcases, it’s hard to beat Away. The Instagram-famous luggage features 360-degree spinner wheels that always feel smooth, an ejectable battery to charge your phone, and an interior compression system to maximum space, all packaged in a sleek, minimalist design. If your recipient is partial to backpacks, Osprey’s bags are tried and true. For giftees who prefer a more sophisticated look, opt for an innovative number from travel luggage startups like Minaal or Tortuga. And for the trendsetting jetsetter, check out travel startup Ametti’s eye-popping colourways.


Arrange a surprise on the other side

Imagine—after a frustrating, sweaty, exhausting day of travel, checking into your accommodation and discovering a heartfelt surprise arranged by a friend? Be that friend. This surprise could be a bottle of champagne chilling in a bucket of ice, an upgraded room with a view, a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers, or event tickets. All you need is a good idea, a credit cardand an accommodating hotel staff member to help you execute your plan (it’s easier than you’d think to make that special someone feel right at home).

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