Gift-buying can be a challenge under any circumstance. When purchasing gifts for travelers, it becomes even more difficult as you consider space and weight restrictions. With a bit of background work and consideration of the recipient's style and needs, however, you can find the perfect gift for any traveler.
Travelers come in all types. Some people travel extensively for work. Others prefer luxury international travel. Still others travel on a budget to extends their itinerary and trip length. When choosing a gift for a person who travels, understand their style and preferences. The gifts you buy for a person who travels domestically may differ considerably from gifts for a person who backpacks around the world. If you are buying a gift for a person who will be in a new country for the first time, consider giving a guidebook or an audio tour CD. If your traveler tends to travel domestically, you might give items that will make trips more comfortable, such as a luxury neck pillow for airlines or an upgrade on the next flight.
When choosing gifts for friends or family who travel, consider the function of any item you choose. Because of weight limits and baggage restrictions, travelers generally appreciate items that serve many functions. For example, instead of purchasing a cell phone that will work internationally, consider purchasing a phone that also contains a camera, connects to the Internet and serves as an MP3 player.
Although many of the travel gadgets and gear are expensive and complex, you do not have to break the bank to get a great gift. Think about the small, simple necessities that travelers will need, and fill that need. You might give a package of travel-sized toiletries, for example, or a pack of communications necessities such as extra batteries, phone cards or an extra memory card.
As you purchase a gift for a person who travels, consider the item's weight and size. New airline restrictions, particularly those on budget airlines, force travelers to take less weight and less space. When in doubt, choose gifts that are small and/or light. You might even consider gifts that do not exist physically, such as an electronic gift certificate for flights, music downloads or a travel gear store. That way, the recipient can choose exactly what she wants.
Seasoned travelers often appreciate gifts that will increase their safety or peace of mind. For example, you might give a money belt and set of padlocks, or a PacSafe anti-theft device. If the gift recipient travels with a laptop computer, consider a laptop locking cable that will allow him to leave his computer unattended without worrying.