Let’s face it, men can be a pain to shop for. Shopping for a guy who’s embraced the travel lifestyle can be even more challenging. Here are a few awesome gift ideas for men who travel, the kind he’ll not only love but will also probably add to his travel backpack.
Related: 10 Gifts Every Female Traveler Wants
1. Beard Trimmer with USB Charger
Shaving every day with a razor is not an easy task while traveling. A beard trimmer is a good way to keep his face clean-shaven (or his cool new travel beard nice and neat!). Unlike shaving with a razor, he won’t need hot water and shaving cream or even a traditional shaving location.
He can pull the trimmer out of his backpack and trim away while off-grid on a road trip in Patagonia, or while waiting for a cab outside a hostel, or in between flights in an airport bathroom. And if your man shaves his head as I do, it pulls double duty!
I highly recommend finding a beard trimmer with a USB charger. He can charge it using a phone charger, a portable USB charger, a laptop, or a USB charging station at the airport. He won’t need to lug around a separate cord that needs an adapter to plug in overseas. BOOM.
2. Sandals with Bottle Opener
Okay, maybe this gift idea seems a bit cheesy, but it’s actually pretty practical and most guys are going to love it. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been at a beach bar or a friendly get together and saved the day with the bottle opener on the bottom of my sandals.
I have a pair of Reef sandals and really like them. They are air-cushioned, which makes them extremely comfortable compared to other sandals I’ve owned. And though you might think that the bottle opener would get caught on something, it’s never been an issue for me.
Multifunctional items are really important to travelers. Embrace the versatility! Sandals with a bottle opener are quite handy and make an excellent gift.
3. Merino Wool Shirt
When people ask me for my best piece of travel advice, I always respond “replace all your shirts with merino wool.” It’s definitely my favorite travel hack. I’ve cut the number of shirts I pack in half. I adore this fabric so much that I wouldn’t even consider buying a shirt made from another fabric.
Why is merino wool so great? Merino wool is easy to care for, wearable in all climates, dries quickly, and resists smells. It is the closest thing to the perfect travel fabric you can get.
There is a great vlog out there that features a guy who wore his merino wool shirt for 46 days without washing it. In the end, the shirt still looked great and didn’t smell. Enough said.
Merino wool is a perfect addition to any man’s travel backpack.
Here are some favorite merino wool t-shirt brands:
4. Portable USB Charger
Looking down and seeing a phone with a 1% battery life remaining might cause a little panic attack while traveling. It is our lifeline to the rest of the world. While some guys might not admit this, most of us rely on our phones while traveling, for various reasons.
We use maps to keep from getting lost, our alarm to wake us up for an early flight, and a host of apps to get food, flights, or money. Not to mention, we use them to stay connected to friends and family while we travel. Adding a portable USB charger to a guy’s travel backpack can be a lifesaver.
You can find portable USB chargers in all different shapes and sizes. I recommend keeping it small and compact. Also, make sure it has both USB A & C inputs and is chargeable with a USB cord.
5. Neck Gaiter
The neck gaiter is one of my favorite items! It has so many useful purposes and takes up very little space in a backpack.
He can use it as a sleeping mask on a long plane ride or as a sweatband for running. It’ll keep sand out of his mouth in the hot desert and his neck and ears warm when it’s cold. He can also use it as a skull cap to keep the sun from burning his scalp, or even a full face cover for excessive exposure to the sun. There are so many uses for this brilliant little piece of fabric!
Get him a neck gaiter made from merino wool so it’s easy to care for, doesn’t smell, and is versatile for hot and cold climates.
Related: How to Survive a Long Flight
Bonus Idea – Books
Whether it’s to inspire his next travel adventure or just to pass some time on a long flight, nothing beats a good travel book. Here are a few book recommendations to get him in hardcopy, digitally, or in audiobook format.
Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac. The 1958 novel that some say started the vagabonding movement. This semi-fictional novel follows two Americans that travel in search of meaning and purpose.
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts. Potts’ shows you how to ditch “normal life” in order to explore the world and experience different cultures. Tim Ferris credits Potts’ book with inspiring the 4-Hour Work Week. Read our review here.
Ten Years a Nomad by Matthew Kepnes. A very personal look into famed travel blogger Nomadic Matt’s view on what it truly means to be a nomad. This book explores the highs and lows of long term travel and is filled with stories of Kepnes’ many travel adventures.
What do you think about these gift ideas for men who travel? What items would you add to this list? Do the men in your life have any of these? Which do you think they need? Share your thoughts in the comments!
By Kevin Martin