What Do I Want For My Birthday? 40+ Travel Gift Ideas

By Lara
Last update:
Garlands with Happy Birthday

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With your birthday coming up, the number one question going on in your head is probably: What do I want for my birthday? It’s always a tough question, and the worst thing is, it comes back every year. However, you won’t have to stress anymore. Because you finally found the perfect article to help you decide what to ask for your birthday!

Keep in mind that this list of things to ask for your birthday is specifically designed for travel lovers, so all gift ideas are somehow related to travel. Whether they’re useful on the road or make great travel-themed home decorations, I guarantee that you as a traveler will absolutely love these gift ideas!

Are you short on time? Check out the top three things I want for my birthday this year!

What do I want for my birthday – Pin it

Don’t forget to pin the “What do I want for my birthday” list to Pinterest!

What do I want for my birthday: The 40+ best gifts to ask for your birthday

What to ask for your birthday – large budgets

#1 World map

World map with flowers
Photo courtesy of Uncommon Goods

If you don’t have one yet, I would highly recommend asking for a beautiful world map to cheer up your bedroom, living room, or just about any room in your house.

I absolutely love this scratch map with national flowers, but check out my list of 25 world map designs if you want more inspiration.


#2 Travel-themed clock

Clock with a world map
Clock with a world map

It wouldn’t surprise me if you already have a world map. I mean which travel lover doesn’t have one?

So you may be wondering; what should I ask for for my birthday if I already have a map?

Well, in that case, a travel-themed clock is a cool option. You can find my 25 favorite travel wall clocks here or simply ask for this beautiful one with the world map.

For more home-themed things to ask for your birthday, check out #33.


#3 Fitbit

Fitbit versa 2
Fitbit versa 2

A Fitbit or smartwatch is one of those things to ask for your birthday that you wouldn’t usually buy for yourself. It’s great to keep track of how much you’ve exercised or walked during the day when you’re traveling. And the built-in music option plus text messages is what sets it apart from a regular activity tracker.


#4 Portable speakers

Music speaker
Photo courtesy of JBL

One of my travel essential items is my JBL portable speaker. It’s durable, waterproof, dustproof, and has great sound qualities. But most importantly, it’s small enough to fit in just about any suitcase or backpack.


#5 Comfy shoes

Sketcher shoes
Sketcher shoes

Traveling involves a lot of walking, so if you’re looking for practical things to ask for your birthday, comfy sneakers are perfect. My go-to brand is Sketchers, but I’m sure you have your favorite brand too.


#6 Wireless earbuds

Earbuds by Beats
Earbuds by Beats

I asked myself the same question this year; What do I want for my birthday? And one thing that made it to my list was these wireless earbuds by Beats. Not only are they incredibly small and lightweight (and thus perfect for me as a traveler). They also have a noise-canceling option!

Now obviously, noise-canceling with earbuds is not as great as with headphones, but they do a decent job of blocking background rumbling.


#7 Portable charger

Portable charger
Photo courtesy of Anker

I lost my power bank when I was traveling around Australia, so when I was wondering what should I ask for my birthday, this was one of the first things that came up. Anker is one of the best brands when it comes to portable chargers, so this is also the one that made it to my birthday wishlist.


#8 GoPro action camera

An action camera
Photo courtesy of GoPro

A GoPro is one of the coolest gifts you can ask for your birthday as a traveler. It allows you to take photos whenever and wherever. Whether that’s underwater, when you’re running, cycling, or climbing, a GoPro is designed to capture every action of your trip.


#9 Mobile hotspot

Mobile hotspot
Mobile hotspot

Are you a business traveler or a digital nomad? Then a portable wifi hotspot is another travel essential. If you don’t have one yet, I would recommend you add GlocalMe Mini Turbo to your wishlist.


#10 Rainjacket

Man wearing rain jacket
Man wearing rain jacket

When I think about the question; what do I want for my birthday, I usually think of items that are a bit pricy and that I wouldn’t normally buy for myself. One example of that is a good rain jacket, such as the ones by Mountain Hardwear.


#11 Anti-theft shoulder bag

Black shoulder bag
Black shoulder bag

One of the biggest risks for travelers is to fall victim to pickpocketers. But with this cute anti-theft shoulder bag, you will greatly minimize that risk. It has a slash-resistant body and strap, zippers that you can lock, and RFID-blocking pockets to prevent electronic theft.


#12 International set of coffee beans

Collection of coffee bean bags
Photo courtesy of Bean Box

Are you a coffee lover?

Then you don’t have to think long about what you should ask for your birthday. This set with 16 different coffee beans from around the world is exactly what you want and need.


#13 International kitchen tools

Tajine
Tajine

If I were a cooking lover, I know what I would want for my birthday. Especially if I loved Moroccan and Tunisian cuisine; a tajine so I could recreate those dishes at home!

But if you love a different cuisine, you could always go for a practical kitchen tool from that country.


#14 Portable espresso maker

Espresso maker
Espresso maker

Are you a coffee lover and are you looking for things to ask for your birthday?

Then this portable espresso maker is perfect for you!


#15 Travel-themed board games

Ticket to ride board game
Ticket to ride board game

I love board games, so if I’m not sure about what I want for my birthday, a board game is always a good option. Especially if it’s a travel-themed one, such as Ticket to Ride (my personal favorite).


#16 Floating sunglasses

Brown sunglasses
Brown sunglasses

If I were an aquaphile and I was wondering what should I ask for my birthday, it would probably be these sunglasses by Rheos.

Why?

Because they actually float on water and I wouldn’t have to worry about losing my sunnies when I’m in the water.


#17 Booze

Bottle of Jameson whiskey
Photo courtesy of Total Wine

You can never go wrong with a bottle of alcohol.

So whenever you’re unsure about what to ask for your birthday, simply go for a bottle of your favorite drink (preferably from your favorite country too).


#18 e-Reader

Kobo e-reader
e-reader

One of my favorite gadgets for travel is probably my e-reader. I read quite a lot, so with an e-reader, I have to opportunity to read as many books as I want, without the need to carry them around.

So if you are like me and you love to read, get yourself an e-reader!


What to ask for your birthday – mid budgets

#19 Cash

Cash
Money billets

If you are really not sure what to ask for your birthday and none of the physical gifts on this list seem appropriate to you, then there is always the option to ask for money. I know people don’t really enjoy gifting money.

But let’s face it.

Money is just one of the most practical gifts, especially as a traveler because you can use it for another amazing trip.


#20 Dry bag

Earth-pak dry bag
Earth-pak dry bag

Even though a dry bag may not be one of the most exciting things to ask for your birthday, it certainly is one of the most practical things, as it will keep your valuables safe and dry.


#21 Selfie stick tripod

Selfies stick tripod
Selfies stick tripod

Do you love taking photos when you’re traveling?

Then this selfie stick tripod is a must.

I know, a selfie stick feels a bit awkward, but you will actually take way better photos with it. And the fact you can also use it as a tripod makes it a super useful travel gadget!


#22 Scarf with hidden pockets

Scarf with hidden pockets
Scarf with hidden pockets

This scarf with two secret pockets is a great gift to ask for your birthday if you travel a lot by bus or train. You can easily sleep during long rides and not worry about your valuables because the are safely hidden in your scarf.


#23 Symbolically adopt an animal for charity

A tiger poster saying adop a big cat
Photo courtesy of Ethical Superstore

If you feel like you’ve already got everything you want, why not ask for a gift that gives back to society?

For example, by asking them to symbolically adopt an animal for you?

The money will be used to protect the animal, and you will get a cute poster and some information about your adopted animal.


#24 Travel document organizer

Brown leather travel document organizer
Travel document organizer

If you are as unorganized and clumsy as I am and you are not sure what to ask for your birthday, this is it; a travel document organizer.

Not only can you keep your passport, flight tickets, cards, cash, and other documents in one place, but it’s also a beautiful accessory.


#25 Water bottle with filter

LifeStraw water bottle
LifeStraw water bottle

A water bottle with a filter is one of the best things to ask for your birthday if you love wild camping and hiking, or if you often travel to places where tap water is not drinkable.

The filter allows you to drink water anywhere without getting sick. It filters out things like microplastics, chlorine, organic chemical matter, and dirt.


#26 Travel books

Sustainable Escapes book by Lonely Planet
Sustainable Escapes by Lonely Planet

If I’m really unsure about what I want for my birthday, books are always a safe option. I love to read and I love a room full of books. So even if I never end up reading them, I love the look of them. But this Sustainable Escapes by The Lonely Planet is one that I will certainly read.

In fact, I already have this one at home.


#27 Gift cards

Hotels.com gift card
Photo courtesy of Hotels.com

Besides cold hard cash, other very practical things to ask for your birthday are gift cards. Typically, people enjoy gifting gift cards more than cash, so you might be better off asking for gift cards anyways. Check out this list with 25 gift cards for travelers if you don’t know which one to ask for.


#28 Travel journal

Travel journal with pockets
Photo courtesy of Uncommon Goods

A travel journal will always come in handy and thus will always be a good option if you’re unsure what to ask for your birthday.


#29 World map jigsaw puzzle

Jigsaw puzzle with the world map
Jigsaw puzzle with the world map

Do you love laying jigsaw puzzles?

Then I know what you should get for your birthday!

This 1000-piece puzzle of the world map.


#30 Sleeping mask with headphones

Headphones sleeping mask
Headphones sleeping mask

Do you listen to music to fall asleep? Or do you hate the sound of people snoring?

Then you are going to love this sleeping mask. Not only does it give you complete darkness, but it’s also a very comfortable headphone that you can use to fall asleep.


#31 Jewelry

Compass pendant with text ENjoy the journey
Compass pendant

One can never have too much jewelry. So when thinking about what should I ask for for my birthday, jewelry is always a good idea. Especially if you pick beautiful travel-themed pieces such as this necklace with a compass.


What to ask for your birthday – small budgets

#32 Coin purse

Drink money coin purse
Drink money coin purse

If you are looking for small and funny things to ask for your birthday, this cute coin purse is perfect. I always find it quite practical to have my coins in an easy-to-access purse so I can get them out without getting all my cash and cards out.


#33 Mountain-themed table decor

Table decor
Table decor

Do you love the mountains and adventure? Then these wooden table decor items are perfect to ask for your birthday.


#34 Portable cutlery

Travel cutlery set
Travel cutlery set

Traveling with your own set of cutlery is a great way to reduce the amount of plastic waste you generate. No more plastic forks, spoons, and knives for you because you can use your own stainless steel set!


#35 Shampoo bar

Shampoo bar
Shampoo bar

If you are not sure what to ask for your birthday, go for something that’s good for the environment, such as a shampoo bar. That way you’re not only helping yourself but mother earth too.


#36 Travel-sized games

Spot it! game
Spot it! game

As a huge game lover, any travel-sized game will make me happy. But if I had to pick one, I would probably ask for Spot it! for my birthday.


#37 Travel-themed coloring book for adults

Lonely Planet's ultimate coloring book
Lonely Planet’s ultimate coloring book

Coloring books for adults have been proven to work stress-relieving. So if you are looking for a fun way to relax, this travel-themed coloring book is perfect.


#38 Waterproof phone pouch

Waterproof phone pouch
Waterproof phone pouch

If you are not sure what to ask for your birthday, then something to keep your phone safe and sound is always a good option. Besides that, this waterproof pouch also allows you to take photos underwater without ruining your phone.


#39 Laundry bag with world map

Laundry bag with world map
Laundry bag with world map

Are you looking for small things to ask for your birthday?

Then this cute laundry bag with the world map is a fun gift idea.


#40 Language lover puzzle book

Puzzle book for language lovers
Puzzle book for language lovers

Do you love learning new languages and making puzzles?

Then this riddle book with language-related puzzlesis a great gift to get for your birthday!


#41 Fanny pack

Pink fanny pack
Pink fanny pack

You either love them or hate them. But if you love a fanny pack and you love to travel, then I would say it’s one of the most practical things to ask for your birthday. You can find them in all sizes, colors, and prints on Amazon.


#42 Quick-drying towels

Set of towels
Set of towels

If you really don’t know what you should get for your birthday, you can always go for microfiber towels.

They may not be the most exciting gift, but every traveler needs a quick-drying towel, so they will always come in handy.


What do I want for my birthday – Pin it

What do I want for my birthday? Save this guide to Pinterest so you won’t have to waste time thinking about your wishlist next year!

Birthday gifts: More than 40 things you want to ask for your birthday if you are a travel lover

Final note on things to ask for your birthday

Alright, I hope that this list has helped you decide on what to ask for your birthday! And if you need some more inspiration, check out the three things I want for my birthday this year.

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