Just like my travels that take me to unique places, I also love gifts that are unique. At this time of year I normally write articles about travel gear gifts, but this year I’ve chosen travel themed gifts for travel lovers. But these aren’t just any travel oriented gifts, they are unique gifts for travelers; many of them are one of a kind or can be customized.
Sometimes we just want things that remind us of travel or the joys of world culture. I have decorated my apartment with maps, photos, and pictures that remind me of my travels and other little decor that reminds me of how important travel is in my life. It makes me happy, and I’m pretty sure if you are looking for a gift for someone who has wanderlust like me, here’s a list of ideas for unique gifts for travelers!
Etsy for Unique and Creative Travel Gifts
The best place to find unique gifts for travelers is on Etsy. Etsy is a website that focuses on handmade or vintage items and craft supplies. It allows creators to have their own Etsy online stores to sell their goods. It’s like walking through a global marketplace full of special, extraordinary items, from unique handcrafted pieces to vintage treasures.
I came across Etsy when I was searching for a map that I could put on my wall above my desk. I was overwhelmed by all of the choices and the ability to customize some of the choices.
The market is full of artists and creators; it’s sort of like going to a small local art market or cool gift store. Etsy really attracts these types small business owners which is another reason why I wanted to focus on Etsy for finding unique gifts for travelers.
Support our Small Businesses and Creators
The pandemic has been brutal to small businesses and it breaks my heart. I get it, it’s often easier to just go online to one of the big retailers and get a big shipment sent to you. But I miss shopping in small shops and having a more personal experience. Now more than ever we need to support our small businesses and artists this holiday season. Plus it’s a way to get a unique travel gift you can’t find at big retailers or on Amazon.
Unique Gifts for Travelers from Etsy
Updated for 2022 Holiday
Maps to Track Your Travels and Provide Inspiration
All travelers love maps! It was the first thing I got for my walls when I moved into my apartment after years of being nomadic! It can track where you’ve been or where you want to go. Or it can simply be used as a reference. Maps are the perfect gift for any traveler and I bet you’ll be surprised at how many variations of map gifts there are!
Personalized Cork Board Map and Pins
I wanted a cork board map so I could put pins in where I’ve been, when I searched for this – I came across Etsy and Jessica Wilkeson’s Design Studio. She make all kinds of cool customized maps of wood, cork, and other materials. I was enthralled by all of the options and finally chose to customize one for my ‘office’!
State Map Embroidery for Walls, Hats, and More
This gift idea is near and dear to my heart – because it is created by my niece Bethany! During the pandemic she took up embroidery and started free-styling her own designs to put on hats, sweatshirts, pet collars, and walls. She focuses her designs on flowers typically, because she’s a plant lover. I love everything she does (because I’m a proud aunt), but when she started making state maps with state flowers, and iconic sites – I got really excited! I asked her to do a Colorado design for me and this is what she designed.
She created an Etsy shop and is now taking orders. You can tell her what you want/like, and she’ll put together a design for you – or you can look through the designs that are available in her shop. I hope you go check it out!
Show off your travel for travel in fashion with this fun map skirt! It would look perfect with a white tank top as you explore Paris…don’t you think?
Customized Map Ornament
It’s always fun to collect Christmas ornaments of your travels. That’s why this unique Etsy travel gift caught my eye. Plus – it can be personalized to your travels. Imagine your tree with these cute map ornaments of your favorite destinations you’ve been to. You can add to it every year – and maybe in 20 years you’ll have a complete travel tree!
Watercolor Scratch Off Map
I have a corkboard/pin map, but there are also a bunch of really cool scratch off maps that keep track of where you’ve been. I loved this watercolor one!
Fill Your Walls With Unique Travel Inspiration
If you are looking for a cool travel gift that is more decorative than a map, there are some really cool travel oriented gifts for your walls at Etsy! Here are some of my favorites.
Travel Art Prints
I know these are prints supposed to be for a nursery, but I loved them for a travel lover of any age. These are simply a digital download that you make a high quality print out of and then frame for your walls. It’s a cheap way to get some cool travel art. I love the images made from map backgrounds!
Mountain Heartbeat Wall Hanging
As you know, I love hiking all over the world and I love mountains. In fact, my love of the mountains is one of the reasons I moved to Denver! I thought this was a cool, unique way to express your love of mountains for any traveler – a mountain heartbeat!
Travel Letters Sign
Another fun take on a map oriented wall hanging. It would be fun to put up with travel photos!
Colorful digital prints of vintage travel posters of your favorite cities or countries. Choose which locations you want and order each individually.
Unusual Travel Gifts
The more unique gifts the better if you ask me. It shows that you’ve really put some thought and research into your gift buying. And it simply makes it that much more special.
Vintage Perpetual Calendar
While in quarantine, I saw this cool vintage world calendar on a friend’s Instagram. I immediately knew I wanted one. In this world of digital calendars and smart phones, I loved the idea of a calendar I had to change every day that was incredibly unique and reminded me of world travel! I searched for it on Etsy and found a few different sellers of vintage decor that had one and snapped up my own!
You turn the globe to change the number and below is a month and day of the week dial. It’s really fun at the end of the month!
I also loved this one that is a bit more mid-century modern – but it doesn’t include the day/month.
Note – these are not mass made items, they are vintage which means most of the etsy dealers only have one. So if the one I linked to is gone – just search for others under Vintage Perpetual Calendars here!
Travel Challenge Game
For when you do travel again – here’s a fun way to be spontaneous in your travels. The Travel Challenge Game gives you little challenges while traveling that will take you deeper into a culture and maybe even push you out of your comfort zone!
Personalized Yearly Travel Ornament
I’ve been traveling so long that I tend to forget when I went to a destination as it all blurs together these days. But this cool ornament can alleviate that problem and be totally cute on your Christmas tree! You can have it personalized with the countries/places you traveled that year so you’ll never forget!
Passport Holders for Avid Travelers
Travel has forever changed due to the pandemic – we are now not only required to carry our passport – but most countries require you to carry your vaccine card too. My first international trips had me constantly worried about my poor little paper vaccination card. I was afraid of it ripping or just simply falling out of my passport where I had placed it between pages. Here’s a great solution – it’ll hold your passport, vaccination card, a few credit cards, and you can have it personalized!
Or here is one that is a bit cheaper, and not personalized – but it’ll get the job done.
Travel Photography Gifts by Room
I also thought I’d include a some gift options from me too. I don’t talk about my photography much, but I’ve have an enormous photo library from my travels. I’ve decorated my own apartment with travel images I’ve taken. My kitchen wall is full of images of food and markets from around the world!
I’ve created a few galleries on my photography website that are specifically for homes that celebrate travel and different places in the world.
Etsy Tip – Put in Your Holiday Orders Early!
When you shop for unique gifts for travelers at Etsy small businesses or order customized gifts, remember to allow plenty of time for making/shipping.
I hope this gave you some great gift ideas for the traveler in your life that are full of travel inspiration and memories. However – if you are looking for gifts people can use as they travel, then check out my article about the best gifts for people going traveling.
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