Post-Thanksgiving funk got you down? There’s one foolproof way to lift your spirits: start dreaming of the looming December holiday season! And of course, there’s no better way to do that than by contemplating the meaningful gifts you’ll be distributing this year. For us die-hard study abroad and travel fans, it’s especially fun to give gifts that celebrate the importance of going global. So, for the study abroad and travel enthusiasts among you, here are some of the best holiday gifts to give (and hopefully receive!):

1) Personalized travel pack. If you know that one of your loved ones will be taking a trip in the near future (or maybe you just want to give someone a little travel inspiration!), a personalized travel pack is a great gift. Fill up a cute basket with airplane essentials for a relative who’s taking a long trip, or create a Pinterest-esque idea basket for your best friend who’s been dying to go to Iceland. Get creative and personal!

2) Gift card to Shutterfly. For the photography-minded travelers among us, a gift card for a photo-sharing website like Shutterfly is a truly winning idea. Recipients will be able to create everything from personalized iPhone cases to photo books of their travels.


3) Custom vintage pushpin map. A pushpin map is essential for those hard-core travelers who appreciate a visual reminder of where they’ve been and where they’re going. For study abroad alumni, this gift is a particularly wonderful way to track their international journey and feed the inevitable nostalgia cravings. Check out Etsy for inspiration — it’s a veritable goldmine for all things vintage-y and map-related.


4) International charity donation. For the loved one who appreciates the art of giving (or perhaps for the person who has everything), why not research a good international charity to donate to? Some charities, such as Woman for Woman International, will send a personalized thank-you card to the person of your choosing that explains how your gift is beneficial. And your donation doesn’t have to be in the form of boring old cash, either — for instance, Heifer International offers a gift catalog that includes goats, cows, and even honeybees, all of which can be donated to an impoverished international community.

5) Travel journal or letter-writing kit. Most of us could definitely afford to document our globe-trotting more in the form of writing — a cool, customized journal is always an excellent way to encourage just that. Letter-writing is also a great way to encourage people to write about their travel experiences, especially for study abroad students (who may or may not have become accustomed to using Facebook as their only form of communication). Put together a kit that includes some neat stationary, stamps, an address book, and any other letter-writing utensils.


6) Framed bucket list with must-see travel destinations. In the slog of life, it can be easy to lose sight of all those places you want to travel to before it’s too late. A bucket list of dream destinations (complete with check boxes!) that can be hung on a bedroom wall is thus the perfect gift for all travel/study abroad enthusiasts.

7) Travel piggy bank. A starter travel piggy bank is an excellent gift for the financially-strapped among us. Gift a cash-deprived yet travel-minded friend with a custom piggy bank or jar dedicated to squirreling away spare change for that first trip to Paris. At the very least, it’ll help serve as an excellent reminder to always set aside a little cash for the all-important purpose of global travel.


*For more fun travel and study abroad-themed gifts, essentials, decor & more, check out SPI Study Abroad’s Pinterest boards!