My two year gap year between high school and college was one of the best experiences of my life.
When I tell people I’ve traveled long-term for two whole years, I often hear responses like, I wish I could do that too, or I’m just waiting for the right time to travel. And honestly, I understand. It’s a common response because it’s not easy to just decide and go. A gap year or long-term trip is an experience that takes a long time to plan.
So if you’re lucky enough to know someone who’s at the stage where they’re about to embark on a gap year, whether they’re in between high school and college like I was, or are in between life situations, I’ve compiled a list so you can send them off with fun and practical gifts.
1. Gap Year Collection from Tinggly
A big thank you to Tinggly for sending me one of their boxes to add to this list.
I always say experiences are better than things. Experiences also create lasting memories that things can’t create. This gift aligns with this thought.
Here’s how this gift works.
Choose one of their many gift boxes. In this case, Tinggly’s Gap Year Collection gift box is perfect and easy to purchase.
When you purchase a box, you can send the traveler either a e-voucher or an actual box, which contains a code. This code is redeemable for an experience almost anywhere in the world. Experiences include things like food and wine tasting tours in France, balloon rides in Barcelona, whale watching in Iceland, or even paragliding in Switzerland.
More information and to get a box: Tinggly Gap Year Collection
2. Monologue Travel Book
Your gap year traveler may be updating the world with their whereabouts on social media or a blog, but they may also want to capture some memories in a personal notebook.
These notebooks are travel sized, have catered to several major cities and there’s a few pages in the front with colored maps.
Get one (or two!) here: Grandluxe Monologue Travel Book
3. Travel Guidebooks
If you know the gap year traveler is going to be spending extensive time in a particular country, get them a guidebook. Rough Guides has a list of the top destinations for gap year travelers, one happens to be a destination with a guidebook that I own.
Get a copy here: The Rough Guide to Cape Town
4. Self-Improvement/Motivational Books
If the gap year traveler is like me, we decided to take a gap year to ‘discover’ ourselves. For me, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, as most high school graduates can attest to.
One book that really helped me during my ‘discovery’ phase was this book by Cal Newport. I won’t go into details, but Newport really gave me a new perspective on how I view my career path and finding out what I should do.
Get a copy here: So Good They Can’t Ignore You
5. Digital Book Subscription
I like to have hard copies of certain books, like guidebooks and ones that I consider ‘second-read material’ or ones that provide actionable steps and ideas.
But, for the books that don’t fit into those categories, or for people who just don’t want to pack books because of the extra weight, there’s also digital book subscription services, like Kindle Unlimited, where you can get a variety of books in digital form.
6. Travel Jewelry
A special gift to get a gap year traveler is travel jewelry! This can be something just for fun, symbolic, or as a reminder of the person who gave it. Plus, it’s wearable so it’s easy to bring along.
I’m a huge fan of Pura Vida Bracelet’s jewelry collection, especially their rings. They’re not expensive, so losing it won’t be a huge issue. Plus, their designs include a compass, arrows and one of my favorites and most popular, a wave ring for beach fans, or in my case, I consider it a travel symbol.
Check out Pura Vida Bracelet’s jewelry collection here.
7. Airbnb Gift Card
Treat your gap year traveler to a cool accommodation experience.
During my gap year(s), I stayed in countless types of accommodations, and ones that were especially memorable were the places I stayed found on Airbnb.
From homes with amazing views (picture above shows the view from an Airbnb apartment I stayed at in Lisbon) to houseboats (I stayed in one in Amsterdam and in Brooklyn!) and artistic/we’re-pretty-sure-was-haunted apartments in Buenos Aires (long story), your gap year traveler has plenty of options to chose from.
Get a card here: Airbnb Gift Card
No matter how adventurous someone is, they’ll admit to sometimes missing things from home.
As much as I like to try different foods and teas, on long trips, I occasionally like to have a taste of home. I’m a tea drinker, so I can’t go without an essential English breakfast tea. Tea bags are light and can make a difference on a particularly home sick day.
Order a box of tea: Twinings English Breakfast tea bags
9. Bluetooth Earbuds
A gap year traveler will appreciate a pair of earbuds. I don’t travel anywhere without my wireless ones. I can walk around with them on without having wires in the way.
Get a pair here: Sudio Wireless Earbuds
If you know the gap year traveler is the adventurous type, this LifeStraw may come in handy. It’s a personal water filter that they can use when hiking or traveling through remote areas. This straw filter is lightweight and won’t even take up that much space in the traveler’s luggage.
Get a straw filter here: LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Though most of these gifts are physical products, sometimes experiences are most memorable.
Be sure to check out Tinggly to give the gift of an experience to create memories that last forever.