With the holiday season not too far away, you’re bound to be looking for unique and useful gift ideas for friends and family. Our Traveler Gift Guide series will help you find the perfect gift, whether its for a student who is about to study abroad, a family member who’s just returned from abroad, someone who always seems to be traveling, or your favorite shutterbug.
Are you on the hunt for a gift for your friend or family member who is currently suffering reverse culture shock? Help them acclimate to life back at home with these fun and useful gift ideas.
1. Travel Blog Book
Nowadays, travel blogs are all the rage. They are without doubt the best way to keep friends and family up-to-date on all of your crazy adventures while abroad and they’re a great thing to look back on later. A wonderful gift for someone battling reverse culture shock is a Blog2Print Blog Book, which is exactly what it sounds like: a blog made into a book. This allows travelers to share their memories even easier and is an essential part of any ex-study abroader’s home.
2. Scratch Map
We who study abroad do a lot of traveling, and there’s nothing we love more than showing off all the places we’ve been. This makes a scratch map pretty much the perfect gift for someone who just returned home. Travelers can show where they’re been by scratching off a top layer to reveal a map underneath. Not only is it great for showing past travels, but wanting to be able to scratch off all of it is great travel incentive.
3. Evelyn Henson Print
One of our favorite travel gifts here at The Abroad Guide are these awesome prints by Evelyn Henson. Combining hand-made art with maps and local landmarks, these prints are sure to become a unique focal point in any traveler’s home.
4. Travel Jewelry
Instead of getting your standard pair of earrings or other jewelry for your traveler, why not make it a tad more personal? Websites such as Etsy have great collections of hand-made jewelry with everything from these pretty gold map earrings to city-specific themes, such as this beautiful Paris necklace. Women can only receive so many diamonds before getting bored (or so we’ve heard), so try switching it up this holiday season.
5. Photo-Printing Gift Card
No one takes more pictures than those who study abroad. While putting them on Facebook and Instagram is great, it only makes for temporary viewing. Instead of just uploading and then forgetting about those thousands of stunning pictures, why not print them and make a scrapbook, collage, or just frame them? Printing pictures can get expensive, so a gift card to a photo-printing resource like Snapfish will always be appreciated.
6. Travel Pillow
A great way to add a splash of worldliness to any home, travel-themed pillows are super popular nowadays. We love this Skyline Pillow, which can be personalized to include the city your traveler lived in.
7. Travel Cookbook
If your traveler is a foodie (let’s be real, who isn’t a foodie?), he or she is sure to love The World’s Best Street Food book from Lonely Planet. Not only does this book direct food-lovers to the best inexpensive eats around the world, but it also tells readers how to make them. Does your traveler not stop talking about how Germany has “the best kebabs”? Do you wish your traveler would just never say the word “crepe” again? This book should help.
8. Shadow Box
Every student returning home from study abroad is sure to have a ton of ticket stubs, maps, trinkets, coasters, and other small mementos from their travels just sitting in the bottom of their bags. Instead of throwing out these small memories or letting them collect dust, why not show them off? Getting your traveler something like a shadow box is a perfect way to make a decoration without too much work, and it turns these little stubs and maps into conversation starters.
9. Enlarged/Framed Photo
What better way to make a traveler feel like they never left their host city than with a blown-up picture of that city? Thanks to companies like Staples, you can now get a huge, high resolution, and framed picture at a relatively low cost. Framed panoramic pictures of cities are absolutely stunning and the perfect way to decorate a long hallway, over a mantle, or above a bed. You can be sure your traveler is already dreaming about his or her host city, so a huge photo of it above the bed is sure to be appreciated.
10. Something Home-made
When in doubt, make something personal for your traveler. Print off some pictures of their host city from Google or Flickr and make a collage. Go to the international section of your local store and see if you can find anything from their host country to remind them of “home” (and no, this doesn’t mean go to Trader Joe’s and pick up a jar of inauthentic salsa). If you’re a good baker, find a recipe online of a dessert from their host country and make it for them. Reverse culture shock is the absolute worst, so anything you can do to make your traveler feel a bit better about being home will definitely go a long way.
11. A New Adventure
What’s the best way to take a traveler’s mind off an old adventure? Take him or her on a new trip, of course! While not everyone can afford plane tickets across an ocean, any traveler will appreciate even the smallest of adventures. Making new memories is the best gift anyone can give a traveler, so treat him or her to a special day (or weekend/week) of new places, food, and experiences. Not only will this distract your traveler from missing his/her host country, but it will stand as a good reminder that just because one adventure is over doesn’t mean there aren’t more waiting.
What gifts do you think are great to give someone who just returned from studying abroad? Let us know in the comments.