In years past, many people enjoyed traditions that included traveling to visit loved ones, experiencing holidays in new cities, or simply enjoying a variety of cultures. But alas, with a pandemic on our hands, that’s not possible for most people this year. Instead, we’re at home, scrolling through museum livestreams on our laptops and admiring pictures from journeys past.
If that’s you, or if you know someone in the same position, you may wonder what the best gift to give this year is. Gifting an experience, plane tickets, or surprise cruise trips is no longer a feasible go-to option. Instead, we have to get creative—we have to think of gifts for travelers who aren’t traveling right now. It may seem complicated, but there are actually a variety of directions to go in. Take a look below to learn more!
Food- & Drink-Related Gifts
This idea gives you so many options to run with. Simply think of some of their favorite places they’ve traveled (or want to travel) and then do some research on the area’s offerings. For example, if you and your loved one have always wanted to go to Germany and explore their wines, then get your partner some German wines from those specific regions.
Or use Hawaii as the inspiration for your next date night! Grab some recipes for authentic Hawaiian cuisine and cocktails, and make your home the best luau in town. More often than not, our memories rely on senses, so get their taste buds going and help them feel like they’re at their favorite destination!
Themed Glasses (& Other Items)
Maps are one of the easiest ways to please many travel lovers. In fact, this is one of the easiest gifts to get travelers who aren’t traveling right now. If they’re whiskey drinkers, get them some rocks glasses with etchings of maps to their favorite cities on the sides. If they’re obsessed with ancient Rome, try to find a wall-hanging that includes a map of that region and period.
You can find all kinds of map merchandise—just get creative!
Related Read: 17+ Best Father’s Day Gifts & Ideas for the Dad Who Loves to Travel
As we mentioned, our senses are one of the top memory triggers, so play up this travel gift with their nose. For example, if you know your friend would love to go back home and spend time with family for Christmas, but they’re unable, then send them a homesick candle. There are plenty of businesses out there that create scents based on different locations.
You could even get a variety of candles inspired by different National Parks. Even if they can’t take a trip, you can gift part of the experience with these candles.
A Custom “Viewmaster”
It’s like the less-expensive version of buying your loved one a VR headset. Instead, you compile different images from some of their favorite vacations and make a custom “Reel Viewer” that they can utilize if they’re feeling nostalgic.
If they haven’t had the opportunity to travel much, choose photographs of places they dream of visiting. It’s a sweet way to get them in the mindset of their favorite destinations.
Related Read: 20+ Best Mother’s Day Gifts & Ideas for the Travel-Loving Mom
Our last gift idea for those who can’t travel is travel-related books and games. Again, this is an option with many variations. There are tons of books on specific areas—ones that delve into the food, the culture, the museums, and more. Choose some books that target the area your giftee loves, and they’re sure to enjoy visiting the region in their mind! These are just a few of the many gift options. Get creative and see what you can compile!