When it comes to buying gifts for the traveler in your life, it’s always good to focus on what’s practical. There’s always plenty of new gear and gadgets to save time, pack more efficiently, and generally travel better. This year, though, we wanted to think outside the box in finding some holiday gifts that are inspired by the idea of travel and the wandering spirt. After all, non-essential items — the ones that a person would never buy for themselves — make the best presents, right?
For Scavenger Hunters: Make sightseeing an adventure with these scratch-off maps from Chronicle Books (pictured above). Adventurous types can uncover factoids about must-see attractions and insider tips. Choose from maps for Paris, New York, London, and San Francisco. $12.95 each.
For the Traveling Style Maven: Songa Designs International has a collection of accessories, which includes this Lindona necklace, that are beautiful but easily packable. It’s a gift you can feel good giving, too; the company employs artisan women in Rwanda to create the handmade goods, which use natural and local materials like banana leaf fiber and sisal plant. $48.
For Those Who Travel With a Group: Whether your traveling friends spend a lot of time hanging out in airports or just whiling away the hours in their vacation rental, this card game involving your mobile phones is a fun way to pass the time. The cleverly named Game of Phones deck of cards have directives like getting a text response from your parents or creating an emoji masterpiece. $20.
For the Frequent Long-Haul Flier: We’ve seen plenty of wacky airplane sleep solutions, but here’s one that promises to keep your head from drooping in your seat and block out those overhead lights in one fell swoop. The Travel Halo is essentially a headband with an eye mask in the front and two small cushions to stabilize your neck position at the back. $24.
For Those Constantly Instagram-ing Beautiful Buildings: From the company responsible for that iconic chart of beers, this Architecture of American Houses print features 121 styles from as far back as the year 1600. It’ll give your gram-happy friend all the proper terms to use in their photo captions. (Pop Chart Lab also has a slew of other travel-related goodies, including, like Wineries of Napa and Wondrous Water Towers of NYC.) $29.
For The Adventurous Baker: Who can say no to chocolate — especially when it’s molded into the shape of your favorite landmarks? New York-based Li-Lac Chocolates, which has been in operation for more than 90 years, has a fun specialty molds selection that includes famed city attractions like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Eiffel Tower. From $9.
For the Germaphobe: As some reviews point out, a travel-size pack of tissues would be a good compliment for this public toilet survival kit. But the compact tin contains a toilet seat cover, two antiseptic wipes, and a pair of disposable gloves — all you need to avoid contact with anything unsanitary. $6.66.
For the Shutterbug: Smartphone lens attachments for macro, wide angle, and fisheye shooting have been all the rage, and for good reason — cameras just keep improving, while travelers just keep packing lighter. Olloclip lenses range from $49.99 to $119.99, while Photojojo offers a lower starting price for individual lenses from $20, along with a slew of other accessories.