Are you on the hunt for the perfect gift for that special foodie traveler in your life? Whether they’re jet-setting to exotic destinations? As a food travel blogger, I understand the importance of having the right tools and accessories to enhance the culinary journey. That’s why I’ve compiled this carefully curated list of essential gifts for foodie travel.
From compact kitchen gadgets that fit snugly in a backpack to thoughtful items that elevate the dining experience on the road, these gifts will not only delight their taste buds but also make their culinary adventures more memorable.
Let’s explore the must-have items that will turn any foodie traveler’s journey into a mouthwatering adventure.
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Essential Gifts While in Transit
Sometimes traveling requires you to bring food and drink along with you. Here are some ideas for gifts that make it simple.
A small cooler: If you’re planning to take a road trip or have a picnic, a small cooler can be a lifesaver. You can use it to pack your own food and drinks and keep them fresh while traveling.
Insulated food container: Bring a small insulated container to keep your food warm or cold. This can be especially useful for picnics or for transporting perishable items.
Wine Totes: Fly those precious bottles of wine back home with you. Protection choices range from pretty basic to nicer than the luggage for your clothing.
Practical Gifts for Foodie Travel
The need for things to run smoothly, or to save a few pennies, are everyday realities that follow us as we travel. Here are some practical options that make essential gifts.
Reusable Water Bottle: Bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and reduce waste. It will also save you money as you can fill up your bottle at water stations. Remember that when flying it must be empty to go through security. Many airports and tourist destinations are equipped with water dispensers.
Traveling to Italy I have filled my water bottle at the public fountains in major cities like Rome. In Iceland the water is so pure I never hesitated to fill up at any faucet I came across.
Portable Kitchen Tool Set: For the traveler who likes to cook while on the road, a portable kitchen tool set can be a useful and appreciated gift. Look for a set that includes a knife, a small can opener, and other essential tools, all packed in a compact and convenient case. Obviously, this is not a gift for a traveler who only ever takes carry on only when flying.
Travel-sized Cutting Board: Pack a lightweight and portable cutting board for slicing and dicing food. This one comes with a little bag to keep things clean while traveling. It can also be used for cheese and charcuterie plates. Just picture a romantic, impromptu picnic along the Seine in Paris.
Utensils: Pack a set of reusable utensils, including a fork, knife, spoon, and chopsticks. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy meals on the go and avoid using disposable utensils.
Gifts for Foodie Travel: Shopping Essentials
Once on a road trip through Virginia, I found a shopping tote in the local grocery store made to hold four bottles of wine. Yes, a shopping tote for wine. Genius. Of course, I had to buy four bottles with that find.
Watch with Apple Pay: Yes we all have to pay for our food and there is nothing more convenient and hands-free than paying with the tap of your watch. When traveling, less is more.
Think paperbacks, ebooks, or pocket size if you think it will be taken on the journey. If selected to use and read while at home then format may not be a consideration.
Food and travel magazine subscriptions
For the traveler who loves to learn about new and interesting food destinations, a subscription to a food and travel magazine can be a great gift. Digital subscriptions make this an easy gift they could carry in their pocket at all times. This will provide a regular dose of culinary inspiration and help them plan their next food-focused adventures.
Consider giving a cookbook that features recipes from the traveler’s destination, or one that focuses on a particular type of cuisine. This can be a fun way to inspire their culinary adventures and help them explore new flavors.
For the traveler who loves to enjoy food and drink together, a guide to food and wine pairing can be a great gift.
What a fun way to learn more about the best ways to pair different dishes and drinks.
Consider bringing a small notebook or journal to record your food experiences while traveling, including the names of dishes, where you ate them, and your thoughts on the flavor and experience.
A great option for those who like to travel light. A great way to look back on memories but also a detailed journal can be so useful if you plan to return.
Experiences as Gifts
Travelers love to travel for experiences, so this is the ultimate gift for foodie travel in my opinion.
Food tours are a fun way to discover local food and culture. It’s also a great way to get oriented to a new city, so I recommend booking at the beginning of your trip.
A bonus is that the guide usually gives recommendations for the best local cuisine and restaurants around.
I took this Flavors of Old San Juan Tour several years back during a quick port of call from a cruise. It was fabulous and it was one of the things that helped me fall in love with Puerto Rico and return on my own at a later date.
So yes, food tours are my favorite. Here is a tour I took this past February, learning how to eat tapas on the streets of Seville. It was so much fun that we returned to a few bars the following evening for more.
Here is the tour: Seville Tapas, Taverns, & History Tour
Hands-on participation while culled the knowledge of a seasoned chef is a bucket list experience for many foodies who travel.
Why not take this Make Your Own Pasta from Scratch Cooking Class while in Florence, Italy.
Send your traveler out to eat locally if they can’t get away. If Greece is their all-time favorite destination then find the most authentically Greek restaurant near you. Arrange for a night of traditional dishes and atmosphere and take them back, if only spirit.
If they are heading off somewhere soon, why not gift a bucket-list experience like this Private Wine Tasting with a Sommelier in Paris, France?
If you, or someone you know, love different food experiences check out this post about Supper Clubs, tapas, and dim sum.
Staying hydrated or caffeinated. Both are equally valuable in my book. Here are some essential gifts your foodie traveler would love to have.
A kettle for heating water is a useful travel gift on multiple levels. Boiled water on hand can be great for soups, pasta, and other types of instant meals you may sometimes need to prepare on the road.
For the traveler who loves can not start the day without their java (me!), a portable coffee maker can be a great gift.
Look for a compact and lightweight option that can easily be packed in a suitcase or backpack.
When I fear there will be no coffee available in the morning I will look for a takeaway cup the night before for easy reheating in the morning. A portable coffee maker sounds like a dream to me.
An item you do not want to leave home without. Imagine a beautiful bottle of wine with no way to open it. The thought sends chills down my spine. This item is best kept in a checked bag if you are flying.
If you know someone who travels to play golf then this little retro golfing flask would be perfect. Golfers get thirsty out on the green.
Taking food on the road is essential for car trips.
Bringing some familiar flavors along for the ride is comforting. When traveling internationally for the first time be sure to double-check the country’s restrictions on plants and agriculture as certain ingredients or items may be restricted.
Bring a small container of your favorite spices and seasonings to add flavor to your meals while on the road. For the foodie traveler who loves to cook, a spice or herb kit can be a great gift. Look for a set that includes a variety of flavors and that comes in a compact and portable container.
If you are that person who needs ketchup on everything then these condiment containers are great. Perfect for both wet and dry ingredients.
They can just as easily hold red pepper flakes as they can hot sauce. Excellent for road trips and additionally they are TSA approved for air travel.
Luxury Gift Basket
Perhaps you know a traveler who you wish to make feel extra special.
This is a list of non-essential gifts for the foodie traveler who has it all!
These items may not be accompanying them on their journey but are ones they will cherish. Dreaming and reflecting about traveling is what one does when at home.
With this guide in hand, you’ll find the perfect gift for the foodie traveler in your life. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness and be able to relax and enjoy delicious meals no matter where they decide to wander.