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10 Gifts for Your Travel-Loving Friends Who Can’t Travel This Year

‘Tis the season to make your friends feel better.

We’re all doing things a little differently this year, and travelers aren’t any different. Even if they are still moving around the world, it’s definitely not like it usually is, and chances are they’re feeling blue. That’s where you, A Good Friend, come in. For the holidays, swoop in and save the day by gifting one of your travel-loving friends with these gifts. We’ve got a gift for every archetype.

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For Your Friend With the Travel Blog: A Journal

Tell your blogging friend to keep their thoughts to themselves for just a little while, and write in the brand new journal you’ve bought them as a gift. Usually, they’re gallivanting around the globe and telling everyone about how worldly it has made them and how they live nowhere and the earth is their home, but right now they can’t necessarily do that and should probably just compile all of their thoughts in a journal–like this cute bullet journal or this travel one–until all of this blows over. Now is not the time—one day it will be, but now? No.

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Your Instagram Influencer Friend: A Photo Album

During a regular year, these social media f(r)iends are jet setting all over the world and documenting all of it for everyone to see online. They’re wearing beautiful clothes, posing in beautiful locales, and generally making a bunch of memories and—most importantly—looking super-hot doing it. Well, sorry, but this is 2020 and even if you’re still doing this (eesh, read the room, buddy), not as many people are going to want to see it. Sorry! Right now, you looking hot on a cliff is kind of just annoying. May we suggest putting these photos into a photo album or frame for your most beloved polaroids instead, so that you can remember the memories forever? You can still look super-hot and maybe post them as a throwback Thursday post or something!

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Your Foodie Friend: A Cookbook

Usually, they are trying new restaurants and cuisines in city after city, but right now they’re ordering Thai takeout and watching that Zac Efron show. Why not gift this person some inspiration in the form of a cookbook? It can be full of recipes from their favorite destination or perhaps from one they’re longing to go to. Regardless, they can bring their love of food from around the world right smack into their home (and make it themselves for a change). For your friend who is still in their quarantine baking-phase, there’s Claire Saffitz’s Dessert Person and (if that person is a kid) there’s Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar: Kids Only. And if they’re missing a favorite restaurant, why not grab them The L.A. Cookbook, which boasts 100 recipes from the best restaurants across Los Angeles and Malibu.

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Your Adventurer Friend: A Globe

I’ll bet you have that friend who loves adventure-travel and anything involving risks and adrenaline shooting out of their head—and unfortunately, they aren’t doing much adventuring right now. Well, we’re all doing a bit of pivoting at the moment, and giving them the gift of a large world map could help them plan a trip like a vintage adventurer who spins a globe and wherever their finger lands, is a place that they will go next. Perhaps tell them they can do this (a vintage globe will really set the scene and assist with the process) and just write down where their finger lands—by the time COVID ends, they’ll have a HUGE list of finger-picked places that they can travel!

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Your Adventurer Friend Who Doesn’t Want a Globe: VR

OK, so perhaps your adventuring friend thinks globes are stupid and likes to actually plan a visit to a place they want to go, and not one they pick impulsively by chance. Well, then, that’s…not very fun of them, but, hey, fine, whatever. Just give them some sort of VR thing, such as the popular Oculus set, where they can feel like they’re in a place, doing some adventuring. There. Happy?

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Your Aunt Who Likes to Live, Laugh, and Love: A Travel-Inspired Keychain

Perhaps your aunt is retired and has a lot of time on her hands so she likes to travel to far off places and post photos with inspirational, travel-related captions. We love her! Absolutely no shade whatsoever. Therefore get this woman something you KNOW she’ll love: something engraved with exactly one of those inspirational quotes she adores so much. Take this particular keychain, that reads, “Be brave, seek adventure, wander and explore from the highest peak to the furthest shore.” That’s so many things to do! You’ve really covered all the bases with this one.

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Your Metaphysical Friend Who Cannot Do Any Spiritual Journeys Outside: A Copy of “The Alchemist”

Anyone who travels for enlightenment purposes might be having to turn inward while inside. Give them a copy of The Alchemist as both a model and some relief, so that they might read about someone else’s journey and give themselves a break. This novel is short and sweet, and a good read for anyone who wishes their life’s path was currently one that took them places other than maybe to the grocery store once a week.

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Your Unorganized Friend Who Travels a Lot: Some Luggage Created Specifically to Help Them Out With This

Honestly? Just get them some luggage specifically structured to help them be better organized. Chances are, even if they’ve “gotten better over the years” about packing, they’re going to be super out of practice once they begin traveling again, and everything they learned on their past journeys will have flown right out the window (I am one of these people—sue me). Help them be best prepared for travel once more with some super organized luggage situation. This one, for example, has built-in shelves—your friend will need this.

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For the Travel-Lover Who Has Now Become the TV-lover: A Roku Streaming Stick+

Perhaps they once said things like, “I don’t even own a TV” because they were once constantly traveling and didn’t need one, but once lockdown hit they got a TV and fell head over heels in love with the art of TV watching. It is possible that there is a person who fits this description, and if they are your friend, you will want to give them this Roku streaming stick so that they can bring their new hobby with them on their travels. It consolidates many services—Netflix, AppleTV, etc—and never again will they say anything about how television is useless. They were always wrong and now they realize this. Happy travels to them.

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Your Friend Who Is Still Traveling Exactly Like They Do During a Normal Year: A Bucket of Hand Sanitizer

We all know this person. They are out there living their best lives and disregarding reality to the very best of their ability, every single day, FTW! Super not cool! However, they’re your friend, and you, for whatever reason, still care about them, so give them the gift of safety by wrapping up a giant container of hand sanitizer and making that their holiday gift. Or a box of masks. Maybe some gloves—anything to help them be safe and also kind of send a message as nicely as possible with or without also exclaiming, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, MAN?” at them.