Whether searching for a gift for the holidays or for a unique and useful birthday gift, our Traveler Gift Guide series will help you find the perfect one. We also have gift ideas for travelers who’ve just returned from abroad, someone who always seems to be traveling, or your favorite shutterbug.
Need some gift ideas for someone who’s studying abroad soon? Pick up one of these gifts for your future study abroad-er and you’ll be getting them something that they need and will definitely use while studying abroad and traveling.
*This post contains some affiliate links. This doesn’t affect the price you pay and is a little way to help support all of the free content we publish on The Abroad Guide.
1. Carry-on sized luggage
Study abroad-ers travel a ton during the semester so a good piece of luggage that is small enough to carry onto budget airline flights will definitely be appreciated. Try a colorful option or a subtle dark color like the suitcases shown above, or check out our post on choosing between suitcases and backpacks for more options.
2. Travel-sized refillable bottles
It can often be tough to find travel sizes of toiletries in foreign countries, so by having their own refillable travel-sized bottles, your traveler will be able to just fill them up as needed without getting their much-needed shampoo taken away at airport security check. Go Toobs (shown above) are a favorite of ours as they’re much easier to refill and use than other options.
3. Space Bags
Especially good for overpackers, Space Bags will help your future study abroader pack more in less space. This pack has an array of different sizes and doesn’t need a vacuum to use — just make sure you get the rollable travel ones.
4. Portable phone/tablet charger
The perfect gift for those long travel days when listening to their favorite music brings their phone battery to zero percent. This is also great for study abroaders who love to take videos on their phone— with a portable charger, they can do so without worrying about being phone-less at the end of the day. This charger option on Amazon is highly rated and a great value.
5. Kindle Paperwhite
If your traveler is a bookworm, then a Kindle Paperwhite is a must. It saves a ton of space in travel bags and is much lighter than carrying a book or two. Don’t forget to get them an Amazon Gift Card too so they can download some books before they go abroad.
6. Travel Journal
Even if your study abroad-er is planning on blogging while abroad, a journal will come in handy for remembering those little bits of pieces of their weekend away while they don’t have a computer with them. Journaling can also help pass the time— something that every traveler is thankful for! Go for a traditional one like these map journals shown above, or take it up a notch and give them this awesome and fun scratch travel map journal.
Also check out these 15 travel-themed prints that every travel lover should have– they make for great, inexpensive gifts.
7. Power Adapter
A must-have for anyone traveling. Pick up the universal one shown above and they’ll never be stuck without power. Travel adapters come in many different ways for specific countries, but more and more, they are compact and have all adaptors so you don’t have to worry. If you do want to just get one for where they’re going to study, make sure to research where they’ll be traveling as well so you know their adapter will be easy to use everywhere they go!
8. Travel neck pillow
Give them a travel pillow like this one. You can thank us (or, they will thank YOU) later.
9. A good camera
Every student going abroad wants and needs a camera. Memories fade, but pictures don’t, and you know that they’ll love uploading their travel photos onto Facebook even more when they’re taken on a swanky new cam like this Olympus PEN E-PL8. For more cameras that are great for study abroad, see our suggestions in our best cameras for study abroad post, which includes cameras with different price ranges and purposes.
10. Travel guide for their study abroad destination
Student travelers spend the most time in their study abroad destination, but they can sometimes find it hard to discover bits and pieces due to trying to balance schoolwork, traveling and a social life. Gift a travel guide for their city and it will help them take the guesswork out of exploring their new home. LonelyPlanet books or e-books are some of our favorites, or check out this post for more travel guides that we approve of.
11. Something sentimental
Don’t forget that sentimental gifts can go a long way. Give your traveler a photo collage of you together, or something that will remind them of home, like this state necklace. Just remember to keep it small and light as there’s only so much room in their suitcase!
For more gift ideas for study abroad students, take a look at our Pinterest board.