Skip to content

Perfect gifts for someone going on a sabbatical

Whether it’s for Christmas, their birthday, or a final going-away gift – thinking of a gift to give someone who is going to travel abroad soon can be challenging, for sure! But we’ve got you! Find inspiration on this list and pick the perfect gifts for someone going on a sabbatical so you can make sure they feel extra special!  

First, let’s get practical! If the recipient is about to go on a sabbatical, avoid giving gifts that won’t be useful to them while traveling.

Put yourself in their shoes, what might be a useful gift for a world traveler? A travel-inspired home decoration, or bigger more bulky items, might be a great idea for someone returning from a sabbatical and ready to settle back home, but probably won’t be ideal for someone who is about to leave. Keep in mind that when traveling for a long period of time, that person will most likely have to declutter their house and get rid of a lot of things. So let’s not make their job any harder. Make sure to gift them things they actually need and want to have during their trip.

Check out this list we’ve curated to help you create the perfect travel lover gift basket, great for someone going away for a longer period of time such as a sabbatical or gap year. We’ve also added links for each product to get you inspired!


PS: If you are the one going on a sabbatical soon, use this list as your wish list or gift guide to help your loved ones know what to get you before your big trip! 

 Travel Gift Checklist:

  • Will it be useful during their travel?
  • Does it take a lot of space?
  • Is it easily breakable?
  • Do they already have a similar item?
  • Will it make them feel special or cared for?
Perfect gift ideas for travel lovers


In Every Budget

Useful Travel Hack Gifts


Luggage-Related Gifts

  • Packing Cubes: to help keep everything organized in their luggage. 
  • Portable Luggage Scale: because it’s hard to find a scale away from home and it’s very frustrating to be the one holding up the line at the airline counter to repack everything (or having to pay extra!) 
  • Foldable Daypack: a backpack big enough to go trekking, but can also be made small enough to pack in their luggage. 
  • Dry/wet Bag: to keep electronics and clothes dry, even during monsoon.
  • Hanging Toiletries Bag: to keep everything in one place and organized (and off the floor)
  • Travel-Sized Containers: make sure all liquids are the right size and avoid having the security agent throw them away. If you want to travel a little more eco-friendly avoid plastic containers, and opt for silicone and/or bamboo materials.


before your sabbatical

Tech Gifts

  • Cable Organizer: a little pouch to keep all USB chargers, etc organized. Because there’s nothing worse than digging for a phone charger and finding headphones instead
  • Noise-Canceling Headphones: a must-have in our book! Great way to get some space and to reconnect back to yourself, even when surrounded by other people. There are a ton of brands and potential headphones out there. We love the idea of refurbished items, which we’ve linked, as it helps to lessen electric waste!
  • Travel Plug Adapter: because we don’t go far without technology these days. Luckily you can get one adapter that works for multiple countries and also works as a USD plug too! 
  • Portable Charger: for long rides without access to a cell phone charger. We love this one from Rugd which also functions as a camping light! Great for those who are extra adventurous. 
  • Portable Speaker: so they can bring the party wherever they go! If you want to be extra generous why not gift a waterproof speaker?
  • Headlamp: this will get used more often than you’d think! They’re not just for camping! 
useful gifts when traveling on a sabbatical

On The Go Gifts

  • Passport Cover: to both protect and style their most precious object. 
  • Eye Mask: for the airplane ride, but also for those nights when that street light just somehow ends up shining right in their eye. Check out these sustainable silk masks, perfect for the eco-conscious traveler. 
  • Ear Plugs: also for the airplane or any other rides, and to reduce street and party noise when trying to sleep (or just trying not to hear the person who’s talking right next to them – we’ve all been there). 
  • Reusable Water Bottle: to avoid plastic waste from plastic water bottles. Check out Ocean Bottles for a great sustainable, and stylish bottle that stops around 1000 bottles from entering our oceans.
  • Water Purifier: there is nothing more frustrating than arriving late at night in a country with non-potable water and needing to brush your teeth. Or for any adventure to make sure they stay hydrated. Better yet, kill two birds with one stone with a water bottle that has a built-in filter!
  • Microfiber towel: super useful and takes no space! For the conscious traveler, we highly recommend plastic-free towels such as these from Faces of Towel 
  • Sustainable travel cutlery set: this can be more useful than you think! When eating on the go it can be useful to have your own cutlery, plus it helps to reduce plastic usage when traveling!
  • Sunglasses: a must-have when traveling and having more than one pair never hurt anyone! With so many styles to choose from it can be hard to pick one for a loved one who’s off on sabbatical, why not consider a gift voucher to a store such as Sunglasses Hut
  • Comfortable Pants: when on sabbatical comfort quickly becomes a #1 priority. No more slacks, button-downs, or heels – hello comfortable yoga pants! There are some amazing sustainable brands out there, for her we recommend Girlfriend Collective and for him we recommend  Threads 4 Thought
  • Notebook: to remember all the crazy adventures they are having. 
perfect gifts for someone going on a sabbatical

Subscription & Gift Cards

  • Kindle or Kindle Voucher:  to read on the go. And you can pre-load it with one (or many) of your favorite books! There are so many amazing books out there to support someone while they’re away. Check out our recommended reading list here:

>> BOOKS TO READ BEFORE/DURING YOUR SABBATICAL, read the full blog here <<

  • Travel Gift Cards: because an Airbnb or an airline voucher can feel like the best gift when traveling on the other side of the world! 
  • Subscription to Duolingo or a language app: depending on where people are going knowing the basic language can make a huge difference! Apps like Duolingo can be a great way to learn the basics to help you get by in a new country!
travel gifts

Gifts from the heart

Traveling for an extended period of time is as exciting as terrifying. The person leaves their home, their friends, family, and their comfort behind to discover and explore a new part of the world. Feeling lonely while traveling is common. This is why making sure they feel loved and cared for might be the best gift you can give them.

Learn more about how to deal with feeling lonely while traveling here.

  • Small Box Filled With Love: ask their loved ones to write a loving message on a little piece of paper, put them all in a small box, and instruct them to read them one at a time when they miss home or are feeling a bit down
  • A journal full of writing prompts: journaling can be a great way to get your feelings and emotions onto paper and out of your head. Traveling can feel overwhelming at times and having some writing prompts to soothe the mind can be a great, heartfelt, gift idea.

We hope you’ve found something they will like! If you have any other genius gift ideas, let us know! We’d love to add them to our list!


“It’s not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving” – Mother Theresa 

You might also want to check this out!

The perfect gift for someone going on a sabbatical:

Like this article? Make sure to Pin It so you can go back to it later! 📌

perfect gifts for someone going on a sabbatical
perfect gifts for someone going on a sabbatical

Trending Articles

This blog post is provided for educational, general information, and illustration purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Middleton & Company, unless otherwise specifically cited. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and no representations are made by our firm as to another parties’ informational accuracy or completeness.
Nothing contained in the material constitutes financial or tax advice, a recommendation for purchase or sale of any security, or investment advisory services. We encourage you to consult a financial planner, accountant, and/or legal counsel for advice specific to your situation. Reproduction of this material is prohibited without written permission from Middleton & Company, and all rights are reserved.