Some people are impossible to shop for. If you can’t name a single thing someone likes (and doesn’t already have), try thinking about what they hate instead. Then buy something to make them hate it less. Here are the gifts that the haters—from nervous flyers to germaphobes—will love.
The Person Who Hates Flying
First, you’ll need to identify why your giftee hates flying. Are they afraid? If so, a weighted blanket has been shown to help with anxiety, and there are travel-friendly, portable ones available. Or, the book Flying Without Fear has rave reviews on Amazon from those who swear it’s helped them overcome a phobia of flying.
If they just hate being trapped in a tiny seat for hours, give them the gift of a distraction, with noise-canceling headphones or FlyTunes, a small gadget that allows someone to use their own Bluetooth headphones with in-flight entertainment.
The Person Who Hates Germs
The LifeStraw Home Pitcher is the perfect gift for people who hate germs, plastic, or both. This seven-cup glass pitcher filters out bacteria, parasites, micro-plastics, heavy metal, and more to improve the taste of your water and make it significantly safer.
Or, if you’re shopping for someone who claims to want to bathe in hand sanitizer after a particularly germy flight, grant their wishes with a case of travel-sized hand-sanitizer.
The Person Who Hates Hotels
You can’t magically make someone’s own bed appear across the world, but you can help make hotels better with the gift of a sleep mask and earplug set.
Willing to spend a bit more to help your hater? It’s a lot harder to hate a five-star luxury hotel than a motel, so you could also treat your traveler to a gift certificate that will allow them to upgrade.
The Person Who Hates Technology
For the Luddites on your list, an instant-print digital camera will stop their complaining about smartphone photos being trapped in the mysterious cloud.
If they reluctantly embrace technology in certain situations (like a Kindle for long trips), give them an e-reader cover that makes it look like a real book.
The Person Who Hates Chain Coffee
Too good for Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks coffee? Satisfy the coffee snob’s need for a fast (but good) cup with Mr. Coffee’s Single Cup Coffee Maker With Travel Mug and Grinder. This gadget takes less time than the drive-through and delivers a cheaper and better cup of coffee. With just one press of a button, the machine grinds coffee beans and brews a cup of coffee right into a travel mug.
Help them keep their to-go cup at the perfect temperature with Ember’s Temperature Control Travel Mug, which uses smart technology to keep the contents inside at the perfect temperature for up to two hours.
The Person Who Hates Checking a Bag
Give the gift of never having to be “gate lice” (you know, the people who hover competitively around the boarding gate, ready to charge onto the plane as soon as their group is called in an attempt to secure a precious piece of overhead bin real estate). Armed with a rolling suitcase that will fit underneath almost any airplane seat, your recipient can relax at the airport bar until final boarding is called, safe in the knowledge that their bag won’t be forcibly gate-checked.
The Person Who Hates Traffic
Help your favorite road-rager achieve Zen in traffic with the Moodo portable fragrance diffuser. This perfectly sized stocking stuffer fits in the cup holder of most cars and diffuses calming aromatherapy. The fragrances are produced in Grasse, France (the fragrance capital of the world), which boosts the luxe vibe of the gift by association.
Or, get them a subscription to audible, Amazon’s audiobook service, so they can at least do something productive while stuck in traffic.
The Person Who Hates Travel Clothing
If you know a frequent traveler who shuns traditional travel clothing (think: cargo pants and hiking sandals) gift her something from Bluffworks’ brand-new women’s line. Although it’s a travel-clothing company, Bluffworks prides itself on not looking like one, so you can get normal-looking shift dresses, tops, and pants all with the travel-features you need (like hidden pockets and wrinkle-resistance).
The Person Who Hates Being Out of Touch
Know someone whose smartphone is glued to their hands at all times? Give them the present of more power, with this ultra-slim, credit-card sized portable charger for smartphones. This little device lets you charge two gadgets simultaneously and quickly.
The Person Who Hates Wearing the Same Thing as Someone Else
Made in New England and designed by you, a custom PolarFleece allows even the pickiest fashionista to customize the perfect fleece, right down to the seams. These ultra-soft pullovers can be designed in thousands of different combinations, so you’ll never see someone else wearing your look. Choose the color for the body, sleeves, collar, snaps, and more; plus, decide for yourself that always controversial question: pocket or no pocket
More from SmarterTravel:
- 16 Treat-Yourself Gifts That Are Too Good to Give Anyone Else
- The Ultimate Holiday Travel Survival Guide
- 9 Affordable Travel Gift Ideas for Under $25
Caroline Morse Teel is a Senior Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @travelwithcaroline.
Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.