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13+ Practical Gifts for Travelers

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Are you thinking about gift ideas to someone who’s a frequent traveler? Here’s a guide to help you decide which item to give, ranging from budget-friendly options starting at P300 to special ones you can buy for P1000 or above.

P.S. I had a good time writing this gift guide, as some of these I already own and the rest are on my wish list.

1. Powerbank

A powerbank is always a useful gift, regardless if your recipient already has one. Who wouldn’t say no to a back up charging source?

A 10,000 mAh capacity powerbank is good for casual use, while that with 20,000 mAh or higher is useful for staying days long in locations without stable electricity.

Now, there are mini-powerbanks with 20,000 mAh capacity but still fit in the palm, making them easy to carry. Just make sure to check the authenticity of the item, as some casual stores display incorrect charging capacity.

Price: P500 – 1500

2. Multi-port chargers

Personally, one of my most useful travel purchases is a multi-port charger with 4 slots and it’s one I recommend highly. It can be used to charge a mobile phone, power bank, mirrorless camera and action camera at the same time — or any other items you need to charge.

I can’t tell you how this saved my life a couple of times, especially during group trips wherein there are limited sockets available for anyone. It’s not only handy, a single unit is reasonably priced too.

Price: P600 – 1000

3. Microfiber beach towels

A microfiber beach towel is a great gift for backpackers, especially those who stay in low-budget hostels that do not provide towels in the room package.

Microfiber beach towels are lightweight and easy to pack. They are also highly absorbent and dry quickly.

Price: P400-500

4. Round beach towels

Round beach towels are perfect for your friends whose idea of traveling is synonymous to taking IG-worthy photos. There’s a lot of fun beach towels to choose from, ranging from donut and pizza designs to bohemian ones complete with tassels.

Price: P300 – 1000

5. Reusable straws

Sustainable is the new trend. Plastic straws are out, reusable straws are in. A single reusable straw can easily replace the use of a thousand plastic straws or more, so if you know someone is environment conscious or you would like to promote a more eco-friendly traveling lifestyle, this is a good option to consider.

Nowadays, it’s easy to buy sets of metal or bamboo straws complete with cleaning brushes in mall kiosks and online stores. Best of all, they’re super cheap!

Price: P100-150 per set

6. Reef-friendly sunblock

Another item for responsible tourists. Regular sunblocks may be harmful to corals and animals in the ocean. In fact, if you’ve visited a marine sanctuary it’s likely you know that visitors are asked not to apply a sunblock before jumping in the water.

Reef-friendly sunblocks are a safe choice for you and the environment. You can easily buy it in stores like Healthy Options or thru local brands such as Human Heart Nature.

Price: P500 – 800

7. Luggage scale

This nifty item is a useful gifts for frequent fliers. A luggage scale can be used to weigh luggages up to 50 kg. Just the thing you need so you don’t have to pay unexpected excess baggage at the airport!

Price: P150 – 300

8. Travel headlight

A travel headlight is a must-have for those who love backpacking and camping. It can be used for navigation at night or in times of emergencies.

Look for a headlight that is also waterproof. Another thing you might consider is whether to buy one with batteries or rechargeable USB slot.

Price: P300 – 1000

9. 2-in-1 Travel pillow and hammock

Speaking of innovation, there are hammocks that turn into a neck pillow when folded. These come in various designs, some with mosquito net feature for overnight use.

If you ask me, anything that’s multi-purpose and can save space in the backpack is a great gift for travelers.

Price: P1500 above

10. Lifestraw

This is the ultimate gift for someone who is into serious backpacking. A lifestraw can be used to safely drink water from streams and other unfiltered water sources, which comes in handy for people traveling in rural areas and off-beaten locations.

A lifestraw filters out bacteria, parasites and microplastics. A single lifestraw has a capacity of 4000 liters, so it can easily be used for years to come.

Price: P2000 above

11. Scratch map

Scratch maps may be a vanity item to some, while to others it’s a great way to keep track of provinces or countries they’d been to.

If your recipient is taking the 81 Provinces Challenge, giving him/her a Philippines scratch map will surely be appreciated. If they are world trotter, what’s a better gift than a large scratch map that they can display or hang to their walls?

A scratch map also makes a great gift for couples who love to travel!

Price: P300 – 600

12. Travel gift certificates

Sometimes, the best gift is not a physical item per se but an experience. As such, you might want to consider getting a gift certificate for a day-tour pass to a museum or other city attractions or a coupon which can be used in booking websites such as Airbnb. I know I’d like to receive one!

Price: Depends on the value of the pass/service

13. Action camera

It used to be that action cameras are solely marketed to adventure junkies, but today it’s used by almost everyone. It’s useful for capturing moments during activities such as snorkeling and diving, cycling, hiking and more or for simply getting that perfect IG-worthy shot.

There are cheap action cameras that start at P3000 such as Supremo or Yi, and there are more expensive brands for those who do not want to compromise the quality of their photos and videos such as GoPro.

Price: P3000 above

14. Reusable travel bottle

This one is an easy choice, since it can be used by virtually anyone. There are different reusable travel bottles you can choose from, including one for general purpose, one with insulation for taking out hot beverages such as coffee, or one with filter for venturing into places without 100% clean water system.

Price: P300 above

Do you have other gift ideas for travelers you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments section!

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