Everyone knows that one friend or family member who spends their vacations volunteering around the world. They can be the hardest to shop for. After all, what gift do you get for someone who has dedicated their lives to giving?

Lucky for you, we’ve put together the ultimate gift guide for the humanitarian traveler in your life!

1. A Way to Capture Memories

A travel journal.
A travel journal is a great gift idea for travelers who want to jot down memories or reflect on experiences.

Some of life’s most memorable moments happen when we travel; we experience different cultures, make new friends, and see some pretty incredible sites. However, volunteers often venture to less opulent parts of the world and witness the heart-wrenching effects of poverty and corruption.

Writing down thoughts or feelings in a journal can help humanitarian travelers process the difficult (and wonderful) parts of their trip. It also doubles as an address book, so they can keep in contact with friends made along the way.

Another gift idea would be a disposable camera.  These are ideal for those who want to travel light and not worry about their phone or camera getting lost. Travelers can add the developed photos to their journal to create a life-long keepsake.

2. Inflatable Travel Pillows

Jet lag can put a damper on any service trip. That’s why it’s important to get plenty of rest during the flight and adjust to the time change as quickly as possible. Inflatable pillows take up less room and help travelers get the sleep they need to serve others well.

3. Clean Drinking Water

Give the gift of clean water this holiday season.
Give the gift of clean water this holiday season.

Humanitarian travelers may go hours or even days without a clean water source. Portable water filtration systems allow them to drink from streams, lakes, or containers without fear of water-born bacteria.

Collapsible water bottles are ideal for those who travel light. Most roll to the size of a fist and fit neatly into a carry-on.

4. Inflatable Solar Powered Lights

If you want to provide a meaningful gift to volunteers and the communities they’re serving, invest in an inflatable solar lamp. These lanterns use renewable energy to provide light 24-hours a day.

Your humanitarian traveler will love that they can use the solar powered lights while in country, then leave them behind for people in need.

5. A Scratch-Off Map

A map will encourage your globetrotter to continue serving the world!
These maps will encourage your globetrotter to continue serving the world!

When world-changers look at a map, they see two things: Opportunities for adventure and opportunities to make a difference. Scratch-off Maps remind travelers of the good they’ve done in addition to the work that has yet to be accomplished.

Every country etched off will bring a sense of fulfillment and encourage them to continue serving the world.

6. A Portable Laundry System

Portable laundry systems are ideal gifts for those traveling to remote areas for extended amounts of time. Most fit into a carry-on and double as a dry bag.

To wash clothes on the go, add a few cups of water, a little bit of soap, and laundry to the bag. Zip it up and use your hands to knead it like dough for a few minutes. Drain water from the bag and hang the clothes to dry.

This will allow your humanitarian traveler to pack light and save money by skipping the laundromat.

7. A Dual-Time Watch

Jet lag can get the best of even the most experienced traveler. Dual-time watches help keep track of time differences, so volunteers can return to a normal sleeping pattern or schedule a FaceTime with mom.

8. A Gift That Gives Back

There are countless organizations creating sustainable micro-businesses in impoverished communities around the world. Stuff your traveler’s stocking with a leather passport cover made by women saved from human trafficking, or sunglasses that provide eye care to those with vision conditions.

Each use will remind them of the worthy cause they’re supporting!

9. A Donation To Their Favorite Non-Profit

Volunteer serving in the Philippines.
Volunteer serving in the Philippines.

Nothing means more to service-oriented people than a donation to those in need. Ask about non-profits they’ve served with in the past or give to an organization that nourishes their passions.

Do they have a heart for animals or the environment? Are they passionate about a particular country? No matter the cause, they will be thankful for your contribution.

We wish you the best of luck on your shopping endeavors and hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

It’s a big world. Get out there.

Your FTI Team