It can be tricky to find the perfect leaving present for someone going travelling.
And with nearly 20% of employers now offering a sabbatical program, this is a situation that is going to happen more often in workplaces across the world.
As a veteran of three sabbaticals, I’ve left a few workplaces to head off travelling and have been presented with all manner of different gifts!
In this post, I aim to provide some inspiration for those of you searching for the perfect traveller’s gift and help my fellow sabbatical-takers to receive something that will actually be useful for their travels!
Here is a list of practical and fun things that make a perfect leaving present for someone going travelling.
1. Filter Water Bottle
The perfect gift for someone travelling to somewhere where the water may be a little questionable! Much better for the planet than buying bottled water and much safer than tap water in many parts of the world.
- 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw –Stage 1: The activated carbon capsule reduces Chlorine, Bad odor and taste, Organic chemical matter. Stage 2: The hollow fiber membrane removes 99.99% bacteria and...
- Lightweight and Portable –The mountop water filter bottle weighs only 0.46lb. Lightweight ergonomic design fits in all hands. Equipped with a comfortable carry loop large enough for 2 fingers....
- Ultimate Travel Companion - Clean water wherever you travel. Say goodbye to single-use bottles. Drink water straight from the nearest stream, puddle, or pond. It's the fastest way to filter - never...
2. Bamboo Travel Cutlery Set
Lightweight, eco-friendly and durable these are a great little present for someone going travelling. They might seem only useful for someone heading off hiking into the woods, but we used ours countless times in hotel rooms where we’d bought food from local shops to keep costs down.
- ENVIRONMENTALLY MATERIALS: Solid bamboo texture,very meticulous and smooth, anti-corrosion. Natural environmental protection.
- EASY TO CARRY: Portable healthy and reusable bamboo cutlery set, the pouch keeps utensils sanitary, prefer for camping, travel, school, office or home.
- PERFECT SIZE: Ergonomically designed handle for a secure grip, provides good balance and anti-slip.
3. Multi-Tool & Knife
My Leatherman multi-tool has been with us on every trip (as long as we’re not on hand luggage only flights!). It has come in handy more times than I can name. I particularly like this version as it includes scissors, which aren’t standard on multi-tools but are probably my most used part.
4. Personalised Notebook
I took loads of handwritten notes when we went on sabbatical in an aim to decouple myself from my phone and create a record of all the amazing experiences we had. This notebook takes things up a level by allowing you to add personalised text to the front, a lovely and one-of-a-kind gift,
This is the best book on long-term travel I have ever read. From the practicalities of booking a trip to the realities of life on the road. It’s a fantastic companion present for someone going travelling.
- Rolf Potts (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 224 Pages - 01/01/2003 (Publication Date) - Villard Books (Publisher)
6. Foldable Travel Yoga Mat
Trying to keep in shape while travelling is pretty tough. Yoga is a great way to stay flexible and fit but yoga mats are normally far too big to take travelling. Step in the YOYI travelling yoga mat, which folds down into a small carrier which can easily slot into a backpack.
- FOLDABLE & LIGHTWEIGHT - This mat is foldable, 1/16 in thick yoga mat can easily folds up, making it the ideal travel yoga mat. Coming with convenient carrying bag. DIMENSION: 72"L x 26"W x 1/16"...
- PERFECT for TRAVELING - It comes with a small, yoga mat carrier to keep it from taking up extra room in your bag or shelves. The 1.5mm slim design lays flat in your suitcase or luggage to optimize...
- NON-TOXIC & ODORLESS - Suede material above, non-toxic natural rubber down, both sides are made by eco-friendly and quality material. Using our foldable travel yoga mat with confidence.
7. Travel Hair Straighteners
Becca took these with her when we went on our three-month sabbatical around Southeast Asia. She spoke about them so much we ended up lending them to one of her friends when she went travelling the following year. They heat quickly, are compact but still have enough metal area to deal with a humidity perm! Oh, and they also can be used as a makeshift iron when you are desperate!
- Small but impressive; with Storage Bag; Dual Voltage for Worldwide use 110v - 240v
8. Travel Backgammon
…or chess, or a personalised pack of cards or Uno or (say it quietly) Monopoly! We love playing backgammon, so this little travel set was fantastic to pull out when we had no WiFi and were facing the prospect of actually talking to one-another 😂
- Backgammon Sets Luxury | This set is Hand-stitched and uses Top Grade Genuine Leather. Roll Up Travel Backgammon Set.
- Travel Games | Perfect for taking on your travels with everything needed to play your backgammon game stored safely in your roll up backgammon.
- Dice Games | Traditional Backgammon game with luxury feel Genuine leather presented in a beautiful Jaques box making this the perfect gift.
9. Solar Panel Charger
None of us wants to be tied to our tech whilst we travel but the reality is it’s so damn useful! Your phone replaces a hundred other items, a kindle is much lighter than carrying books and a digital camera is easier to back-up than a bag full of film.
With every device comes a charger and so if you’re looking for a leaving present for someone going travelling off the grid (hiking, climbing, mountaineering) then this solar-powered charger could be the perfect addition to their kit bag.
- 25000mAh Ultra-large Capacity: With the capacity of 25000mAh, it can charge most smartphones for 8-10 times, tablets for 3-4 times.
- 4 Solar Panels: With 4 high-efficiency foldable solar panels, it's up to 1A input under the direct sunlight, which is 4- 6 times faster than the other solar chargers.
- Safety Protection: Dual USB outputs allow you to charge 2 devices simultaneously with 2.1A high charging speed. Auto-adjust the current of access device to pair the optimal output.
10. Waterproof Clip Bluetooth Speaker
We both love music but when you travel there aren’t many opportunities to crank the volume as you’re often in groups rather than in your own house or car. This little speaker was perfect to carry around with us for when we did have a chance to take our headphones off and listen to music together. It handily clips onto a backpack, is waterproof and also lasts over 10 hours on one charge. It’s also so small you barely notice it in your bag.
- Ready to go, where you go: incomparable to other speakers, JBL Clip 3 is extremely portable, so you can just clip and go / Signature JBL Sound with an ultra-rugged waterproof exterior
- Keeps going all day or night! Rechargeable battery lasts up to 10hrs on a single charge / Dual USB port charging hub / Features built-in noise-cancelling speakerphone function for crystal clear calls
- Sounds for the journey - IPX7 waterproof rating means living free from worry of rain or spills / Keep your party going all day at the pool, waterfall or beach - go ahead, dive in!
11. Solid Perfume…
This is such a handy gift for a traveller. It is perfume in stick form, meaning it won’t leak or getting taken away through customs.
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12. …Or Solid Cologne
The man’s version!
- Unique solid cologne
- Made with cocoa butter, jojoba wax, coconut oil which creates a soft wax and their own unique fragrance
- To apply, simply rub your finger gently into the wax, apply to pulse points as you would liquid cologne
13. First Aid Kit
One of our friends bought us this exact kit before we went travelling through Southeast Asia. It was the perfect gift and saved us lots of time trying to buy the bits individually. We unpacked the contents into a lightweight bag for easy packing but we took everything with us.
- Security and Reliability - All of our first aid kits carry ISO13485, CE and FDA approvals to ensure conformance to global standards wherever they are used.
- Contents - Packed with 170 useful and valuable hospital grade medical supplies - See the product images and the product description below for a full list of contents.
- Quality - You need outdoor gear that's as tough as you are, which is why we sell only the highest quality products that are built to last.Providing you with the best in the industry.
14. Tile Mate
A tile would make a great gift for someone heading off to travel. It’s unlikely they would have bought one themselves but they can be an absolute lifesaver. They attach to important pieces of kit and help you to locate them with Bluetooth range.
- FIND YOUR KEYS, BAGS AND MORE Mate is a useful tracker for a variety of items such as keys and bags. This easy-to-use tracker and free app work with iOS and Android.
- FIND NEARBY Use the app Tile to save your Tile Call Mate within 60 meters.
- FIND A REMOTE CONTROL If the Bluetooth range is too short, use the app Tile to view the last location, or go to the network Tile anonymously and securely.
15. Wrinkle Release Spray
This spray takes wrinkles out of clothes without the need for an iron. If the traveller in your workplace loves to dress up for a night out, this might be the perfect addition to their kit list.
- Available in fragrance-free, lemongrass, & Lavender options
- Fast acting Fabric wrinkle remover
- Quick drying formula
16. Travel Adapter
You can never have too many travel adapters, so it is an easy leaving gift for someone going travelling.
This is the one we use as it is so convenient. From the three USB sockets to the pop-out plugs that allow it to be used in any country, it does the job better than any other version we’ve had.
I first discovered Buffs when I was doing long-distance cycling and they are now a staple of my travel kit.
Whether used as a scarf, balaclava, headband, cap or even as a makeshift flannel the
- The new classic multifunctional: Recycled, more flexible, seamless and sun protection.
- Ultrastretch technology: 4-way stretch for best fit and top comfort.
- Enjoy multifunctionality: choose your wearing style!
18. Door Stop Alarm
This is an unusual but incredibly handy gift! We were staying in a hotel in Vietnam when someone came knocking and shouting at the door at 3am. Thankfully they didn’t push their way in, but it was pretty scary.
This device sits behind the door like a standard doorstop but when the door makes contact it sets off an alarm. Really handy for those dodgy hostels we’ve all stayed in!
- SLEEP SAFE & SOUND AGAIN: Find your peace of mind again and protect yourself and your beloved ones with an EpicTraveller door alarm stopper. No need to spend a small fortune on expensive security...
- VERSATILE DOOR ALARM KIT: This 2-in-1 handy little device is really multi-purpose. Use it as a security door alarm system and keep potential intruders away. Use it as a door stopper and prevent doors...
- NO INSTALLATION NEEDED: Forget about incomprehensible manuals. Forget about drilling holes. Forget about cleaning up all the mess. Just hold an EpicTraveller door stop alarm in your hands, choose...
19. Collapsible Water Bottle
We each took one of these travelling with us. A clever space-saving design that rolls up when not in use to save vital bag room.
- 💧【HEALTHY AND SAFETY】--This collapsible water bottle is made of medical grade (better than food grade) BPA-free silica gel and non-toxic, odorless material; approved by FDA in the U.S. Made...
- 💧【HIGH CAPACITY】--Large capacity silicone water bottle of 750 ml, and only 155 g in weight; allows you to hydrate your body at any time; enjoy the outstanding design and convenience of this...
- 💧【LEAKPROOF】--Wide-mouthed (63 mm) design makes it easy to clean the interior or add water and ice; the leak proof one-button switch opens the cap easily; the lock ring prevents the bottle from...
20. Head Torch
You can never have too many head torches – well, I can’t anyway. I lost ours in the jungles of Thailand and had my dad bring us a replacement when we met in Cambodia!
With all phones now having torches built-in, you might wonder what the point is but a decent head torch is so much more useful as it frees up your hands. I’ve used one whilst cooking a braai in the dark (with hyenas watching from the other side of the fence) in South Africa, tied to the inside of a mosquito net as a makeshift bedside lamp in Thailand and replacing flat tyes by the roadside in more places than I care to mention!
- 5 Operation Modes : High brightness white light, medium brightness white light, low brightness white light, SOS strobe and sensor mode. You can choose 5 different modes according to your needs.
- Scene: This head torch is an ideal for walking, jogging, running, camping, picnics, hiking, camping, cycling, rock climbing and other outdoor activities.
- USB Rechargeable: By USB cable to charge, rechargeable USB head torch require approximately 4-8 full charge time, you can use about 5-12 hours (depending on the mode you use), and its total battery...
21. How To Shit Around The World
If you’re looking for a funny gift that is also helpful, this is it! Written to help you stay clean and illness free while travelling it includes hints from managing on long bus rides to how to choose food that will stop you getting ill.
- Jane Wilson-Howarth (Author)
- 01/21/2006 (Publication Date) - Travelers' Tales (Publisher)
22. A Notebook
There are notebooks and then there are NOTEBOOKS. And this is a NOTEBOOK? With me? Well look, I love keeping a journal while I travel and don’t really want a fancy custom thingy so I just like a good old-fashioned decent notebook to scribble in. I used to use Moleskines but these are my new favourite as the paper seems to be slightly higher quality.
- 249 numbered pages
- Hard cover
- page marker
23. Aeropress A80 Coffee Maker
In some countries there just isn’t good coffee. I can’t survive without a decent cup to get me going in the morning! We got my dad one of these for Christmas a few years ago and he loves it. They aare remarkably compact when compared to a usual cafetiere so I am considering taking one with me next time I travel.
If you’re looking for a leaving gift a coffee lover this could be the perfect choice!
- Popular with coffee enthusiasts worldwide, the patented AeroPress is a new kind of coffee press that uses a rapid, total immersion brewing process to make smooth, delicious, full flavored coffee...
- Good-bye French Press! The rapid brewing AeroPress avoids the bitterness and high acidity created by the long steep time required by the French press. Plus, the AeroPress paper Microfilter eliminates...
- Makes 1 to 3 cups of American coffee per pressing in about a minute, and unlike a French press, it can also brew espresso style coffee for use in lattes, cappuccinos and other espresso based drinks.
24. Microfibre Travel Towel
These pack down into a tiny bag and come in a range of funky colours. We used ours regularly while travelling when we went to the beach or out swimming. We still have ours and they regularly get used on day-trips.
- ★ WHISKS WATER OFF YOUR BODY. This ultra absorbent microfibre fabric gets you bone dry in seconds. Hang it up with the snap loop and it dries up to 4 times faster than a regular towel. Fast...
- ★ NOW YOU CAN CARRY LESS. Dump your 'fluffies' and save space. Large bath size 132cm x 81cm - weighs just 230g! Packs into a small waterproof bag. FREE extra matching hand/face/hair towel: 61cm x...
- ★ LUXURIOUS SUPER SOFT AND LIGHTWEIGHT FABRIC – gentle on the skin. Available in 4 rich colours - green, blue, orange and grey.
25. Lonely Planet Guide
Simply the best guidebook you can buy. Not as many pictures as some but the information is detailed and accurate. I love my collection of these and make sure I buy one for every new country we visit. They make a perfect gift for someone leaving to go travelling, especially if you get the whole team to sign the inside cover.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Planet, Lonely (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
26. Silicon Travel Containers
More for short-haul flights than long-term travel but these are still a practical and unusual gift for a traveller, much better than the see-through plastic ones sold at pharmacists. Just be careful though, as the bag they come with isn’t clear enough to be accepted by airport security.
- 《TSA APPROVED》 Don't like the toiletry provided by hotel? Don't want to carry many big bottles when traveling? Worried that your shampoo is not allowed to carry onto a plane? ZOADLE Travel...
- 《TRIPLE LEAK PROOF》 3 anti-leak walls fitted on the cap of the travel bottles protect your luggage from dripping and spilling; the self-sealing valve in the lid keeps fluid from leaking out; The...
- 《EASY TO USE》 ZOADLE squeezable travel bottles features with soft silicone body and wide mouth design, easy to fill, easy to squeeze and then to clean and refill.
27. How To Travel The World On $50 A Day
Written by the most famous travel-blogger of them all Nomadic Matt this book is packed full of useful tips for budget-conscious travellers. This (along with Vagabonding and The Four Hour Work Week) helped inspire us to take our first sabbatical.
- Matt Kepnes (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 368 Pages - 01/06/2015 (Publication Date) - TarcherPerigee (Publisher)
READ MORE: My Sabbatical Story
Another gadget that falls into the ‘you can’t have too many’ box. A double USB one is perfect for multiple charges on long trips. A smaller version is great for slipping in a pocket on a day’s adventure through a big city. I usually travel with one of each.
- Ultra-High Capacity: The massive 20,000mAh capacity provides more than 5 charges for iPhone XS, almost 5 full charges for Samsung Galaxy S10, more than 3 and a half charges for Huawei P30, and over 2...
- Advanced Charging Technology: Anker's exclusive PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology combine to deliver an optimized charge to your devices, while the trickle-charging mode is the best way to charge...
- Simultaneous Charging: Twin USB ports allow you to charge two devices at the same time. The USB C port cannot charge other devices.
29. Waterproof Phone Case
These were a lifesaver when we hit monsoon season in Vietnam. Even a normal day out risked ruining our expensive phones! We took these watertight cases with us and they saved us an insurance claim or two. We also found the lanyards useful for high pickpocket areas as we could wear them around our necks and under our clothes so they were out of sight.
- IPX8 certified secure lock providing waterproof protection from water, sand and dust
- Touch screen function accessible with case on (Face ID not compatible in water)
- Adjustable and detachable neck strap included
30. Cable Organiser
GEEK ALERT! I’ve been using this bag for about three years now in my work bag but we also took it travelling. It might seem excessive but when it’s late at night and you find the right cable without having to turn out an entire bag, you’ll thank me. Maybe….
- Plenty of Storage Space - 7 sections with 12 elastic loops for storing cords, flash disk and etc, 2 zip pouches can fit portable external hard drives, 3 card slots for 4mm SIM, TF, and SD cards
- Tidy - versatile electronics accessories organizer to save you minutes of rummaging every day and make you feel a lot more organized, and keep your important devices in reach
- Secure - Made of durable and water repellent nylon molded case protects your item from scratches, dust, and accidental dropping
31. Packing Cubes
I saw so many people rave about packing cubes but I didn’t truly understand until I got a set. They are much more lightweight than they look and are used to keep your clothes separate so you only take out what you need rather than rifling through your whole rucksack. A great little gift but worth checking they haven’t got a set already.
- ✈ ️EASY TRAVEL starts with the right travel packing cubes. This suitcase organiser bags set makes finding items super easy. Have extra space to pack travel souvenirs. Reduce luggage bulk by 30% as...
- ✈ ️ORGANISED TRAVEL starts before your trip. Each packing cube is its own luggage organiser. Small, medium and large travel bags organiser for luggage ensures clothes and travel items can be...
- ✈ ️FUN KIDS TRAVEL starts with investing in packing cubes for kids. Help kids become the best organisers of their luggage and reduce the chance of travel items getting lost. The travel cubes are...
32. Travel Clothes Line
When you’re on the road for a long time so much washing is done in hotel bathrooms and coin-operated washing machines. Having somewhere to hang up the wet stuff is not always a given so a travel washing line is a useful addition to the kit bag.
- Material: Durable travel elastic clothes line with hook ends and strong suction cups
- Stretches Length: Stretches to 2.5 metres in length (simply tie a loop into line for shorter length)
- Advantage: High visibility dual black elastic for added safety when using travel washing line
33. Travel Journal
If you weren’t convinced by buying a standard notebook as a gift then this Moleskine Travel Journal is a perfect alternative.
- The Travel Journal allows you to collect memories of your travels, from weekends away to adventures which have shaped and revolutionised your life
- The Memories of Travel and Wish List sections allow you to collect all your dreams of past and future holidays In the introductory pages you will find practical suggestions and tools such as a...
- You can record 20 short trips and 6 long trips; you can write your travel plans before departure and easily organise yourself thanks to checklists, suggestions on places not to be missed and budgets....
34. Travel Neck Pillow (1)
This travel pillow one was recommended by Tim Ferriss on a podcast titled ‘Cool Tools For Travel‘. We managed to get one from our local TK Maxx outlet. It is incredibly comfortable but we found it a bit bulky for long-term travel.
- 360 CHIN/HEAD SUPPORT: Unlike other neck pillows, the award winning Evolution Classic travel pillow provides 360 degree comfort whether your head leans forward or to the side & is more comfortable...
- PREMIUM MEMORY FOAM: Made with high quality memory foam, the Evolution Classic is responsive to your adjustments and offers you the head, neck, and chin support you need to travel and rest better....
- WASHABLE COVER: Made out of premium soft velour, the Cabeau Evolution Classic Memory Foam Travel Neck Pillow includes a removable and washable cover that makes cleaning a breeze and eliminating germs...
35. Travel Neck Pillow (2)
Having put aside the first pillow for journeys where we are staying in a single hotel so space isn’t a worry, this Trtl neck pillow is now my choice for long-term travel where space is at a premium. Machine washable, lightweight and comfortable it makes a great that the recipient is unlikely to own already.
- The TRTL PILLOW is a SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN travel pillow to keep your head in a BETTER POSITION when sleeping upright by holding your head in an ergonomic position during rest. No more nodding heads!
- SUPER SOFT fleece combined with a unique hidden internal SUPPORT, plus some EXTRA COSY CUSHIONING creates a comfortable resting place for your head and neck. Available in RED, GREY, CORAL and BLACK so...
- Our UNIQUE PATENTED DESIGN is your ticket to an awesome night’s sleep, wherever you are. Designed to look like a SCARF, the Trtl Pillow can be easily adjusted to your comfort.
I’d say this is almost a ‘must-have’ piece of kit for any traveller. Keeps sand and water at bay at the beach, makes a perfect washing bag for trips to the laundrette and lines a rucksack in monsoon rains. Ours was especially useful when we went diving in Vietnam to keep all our kit dry on the boat.
- fold over top and clipped fully sealable and waterproof
- Waterproof inner bag for rucsac or as stand alone waterproof bag
- fold over top and clipped fully sealable and waterproof
37. Book A Tour
GetYourGuide does amazing tours with local guides right the way across the world. If you know their route, booking a tour could make the perfect surprise gift for a colleague when they reach their destination.
38. Mosquito Bands
Insect bites are horrible at the best of times (just ask my wife who reacts really badly to them) but if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time your legs and arms can be a feast! These bands last about seven days each and make a colourful and unexpected gift.
- No More Spraying - No harm to babies and pet. Simply wear the bracelet for maximum protection against mosquitoes. Enjoy added peace-of-mind knowing that the bands are non-toxic & DEET Free, made of...
- Last 300 Hours - Each insect repellent bracelet offers 300 hours of effective mosquito repellent action. When finished, just put your insect repellent bracelet back in its resealable bag to keep it...
- Multi-Colour & Adjustable Size - Fashionable and practical. Each day's mood is expressed in a different color. Flexible braided bands could be adjusted to fit children and adults.