Practical, thoughtful, creative – these travel gifts and ideas are perfect for Christian missionaries, tourists, and overseas ministry workers. You’ll find the perfect gift in this list, whether this is your traveler’s first or final missionary trip.
The Travel Scarf With a Hidden Zippered Pocket is first on my list of travel gifts for Christian missionaries and travelers because I’m buying it for my next trip! It’s brilliant. This Waypoint Goods Travel Scarf is made from a soft yet durable fabric meticulously, stitched with a pocket large enough to fit an iPhone, passport, keys and some cash. This makes travel easier and safer for Christians – both males and females – overseas. The scarf looks and feels beautiful, and keeps valuable possessions safe, secure and inconspicuous. This travel gift is perfect for missionaries or Christian travelers in crowded marketplaces, busy buses or shared taxis, or jam-packed streets. The scarf eliminates the need for purses, wallets, or awkward backpacks, and frees up a tourist’s hands to greet people, take a once in a lifetime photo, or get hands-on with the locals. If you give your missionary or tourist the gift of a travel scarf, don’t buy one that’s too inexpensive. Good quality material and stitching will make it safer and softer.
Remember the financial cost of traveling and living as a missionary or Christian minister in a different country. Consider giving travel gifts that are usable or practical, not “just” inspiring or encouraging. A wooden handheld cross, for example, might be an inspirational gift idea for a Catholic missionary…but it won’t help her pay for the trip!
When you’re searching for gift ideas for a Christian tourist, remember her personality, passions, hobbies, interests and lifestyle. For example, a missionary may love reading but won’t want to pack or carry heavy books. A Kindle Gift Card from Amazon may be a good gift for her. It allows her to choose which books, Bibles, commentaries, etc to read and when to order them. The Kindle Gift Card will also let your missionary buy a Kindle if she doesn’t have one.
Good gifts for Christian missionaries or travelers are both inspirational and practical – like the throw blanket in the middle of this gift list. The best gifts take a Christian’s personality into account. I went on a short-term missions trip to Haiti a couple years ago and realized that my introverted writerly personality traits affected my energy level. A book on introversion would’ve been a great travel gift before my trip, so I could prepare myself for what was to come. This travel gift (a book on personality traits) might be a good idea for young, teenage, first-time missionaries who have no idea what they’re getting themselves into 🙂
Enough said! Here’s my list of travel gifts for missionaries and Christian tourists – whether they’re on their first or final missionary journey overseas.
Gifts and Ideas for Christian Travelers and Missionaries
To help you, I divided this list of Christian travel gifts into three categories:
- Practical Travel Gifts for Christians
- Comfort Travel Gifts for Missionaries and Ministers
- Miscellaneous Christian Gifts and Ideas for Tourists
If the Christian missionary on your list came home for a family funeral, you might find 20 Sympathy Gift Ideas for Someone Who Lost a Mom helpful.
1. Practical Travel Gifts for Christians
Just looking at the BAGSMART Travel Universal Cable Organizer shows you how handy it is! Missionaries and tourists need earbuds, headphones, electronic devices, adapters, converters and cords. This gift helps travelers keep their cords organized and safe in one place. The case is heavy-duty, durable and water repellent. This travel case holds devices, SD cards, thumb drives, earphones, USB cables and other accessories. It’ll stand up to unpredictable or even stormy weather, and will protect the electronic accessories from damage or destruction. This is an especially good gift for Christian missionaries or ministers who are traveling with a worship or speaking team.
Here’s smart additional perk to this travel gift: “The travel organizer can serve as a checklist,” say the BAGSMART creators on Amazon.com. “Before you leave a place, just open the case and check if everything is there. This prevents you from leaving things behind.” The last thing a tourist wants to do is forget an SD card or thumb drive at the mission, orphanage, school, church or other ministry setting! Cords and adapters are easier to replace…forgetting a thumb drive with photos or confidential information could be disastrous to a Christian missionary or traveler in a possibly dangerous country.
The HotHands Toe, Hand, & Body Warmer Variety Pack is a thoughtful travel gift idea for Christian missionaries who are journeying to cold parts of the globe. My husband and I were in Portugal a couple weeks ago – not on a missionary trip, though we are Christians 🙂 – and I would’ve loved a pack of hand, body, and foot warmers. It wasn’t freezing or snowing in Tomar, but it was soooo cold.
Come to think of it, this would be a great gift idea for Christians who sing carols door-to-door at Christmastime. I played the flute in an outdoor Christmas concert a few years ago, and froze. Next week my church is hosting an outdoor Christmas carol singing event, and having these HotHands warmers would be a brilliant way to stay warm while serving and celebrating Jesus here at home.
A Swiss Safe 2-in-1 First Aid Travel Kit is one of those travel gifts a Christian missionary or tourist never wants…but is always grateful to have. If your traveler is going on a mission trip with an organized group or with a Christian service ministry, she probably doesn’t have to think about taking her own first aid kit.
That said, however…it’s always smart to have your own supplies. Especially if you’re a long-term Christian missionary settling in an unfamiliar land, traveling with a new service or ministry organization, or uncertain about what type of supplies or resources are available. Hopefully your traveler will never need this gift, but it’s an idea worth considering.
The Travel Water Purification Bottle eliminates 99% of waterborne bacteria and parasites. This gift is a practical, perhaps even necessary item for Christian missionaries and travelers in countries that don’t have clean drinking water. This bottle greatly reduces the risk of contracting illnesses such as diarrhea, dysentery and Giardia. Water Well is reusable, cost effective and engineered to last.
This travel bottle also eliminates up dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of plastic bottles. It filters up to 1000 liters of water, which is the equivalent of 2000 disposable plastic drinking water bottles. Part of a Christian traveler or missionary’s “act of service” is to leave a country or community healthier and cleaner than before. This gift idea – practical and sensible – will help Christian tourists leave nothing but the gospel behind.
A related gift idea for travelers is the compact, lightweight, easy-to-pack SteriPen Ultra water purification device. It purifies large quantities of water faster, doesn’t require a traveler to carry a water bottle, and has an OLED display to show what’s in the water – and what has been eliminated.
2. Comfort Travel Gifts for Missionaries and Ministers
The Amazing Grace Throw Blanket is first on my “comfort travel gifts for Christian missionaries” not just because it displays the words of the hymn Amazing Grace (which is one of Christianity’s most famous songs). This gift blanket is also comforting, warm, and practical. If your Christian traveler is leaving home for the first time, she’ll love this symbol of trusting God throughout her trip. She’ll experience toils and troubles – even if she’s not a missionary in a land unfriendly to Christians. This throw blanket is a gift that will wrap her in faith, hope and peace no matter where God takes her. It’ll also remind her that Jesus is the organizer and overseer of all travel plans, missionary trips, and Christian ministry journeys in all countries.
A Microfiber Quick Dry Super Absorbent Lightweight Set of 3 Travel Towels isn’t the gift you’d give someone going on a resort vacation, but it’s an excellent idea for Christian travelers! I had to take my own towel and facecloth when I went on my short-term missions trip to Haiti – and I had no idea quick dry microfiber travel towels existed. I took a smallish bath towel, which took up a lot of room in my backpack.
Here’s why travel towels are good gifts for missionaries: they’re super absorbent, fast drying, and anti-bacterial. They don’t carry odors and they absorb three or four times their weight. They’re lighter and easier to pack than regular cotton or terrycloth towels, and they don’t need to be washed as often. Five minutes in the sun, and they’re ready to go. A light quick drying towel may not seem like a comfort travel gift for a Christian missionary, but I have a feeling Paul would’ve loved it on his journeys 🙂
The Kindle Paperwhite eReader – Now Waterproof is an excellent gift for Christians who travel and read widely. I kicked off this list of gift ideas with an encouragement to consider your missionary’s personality and lifestyle…and I have to repeat myself here. Not all Christians enjoy reading, and not all readers like reading books on digital devices. But Christian travelers who love to read print books would love this gift. I know, because I’m one of them!
Print books are my first choice – even when I travel. But I love the convenience and ease of carrying a wide variety of books and magazines on a Kindle or other digital device! If your Christian missionary loves to read while she’s traveling and serving overseas, ask what she thinks about an electronic reader. If you don’t want to ask her and ruin the surprise of this beautiful travel gift, ask her friends or family. This is one of those gifts that most tourists love having, even if they’re not big on eReaders.
The JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker is a perfect gift idea for Christian missionaries who lead worship teams. It’s small enough to easily fit in backpacks and luggage, yet big enough to make just the right amount of noise! This travel gift isn’t just good for musicians or Christians who love to listen to music while traveling – it can serve as a speaker for podcasts, sermons, YouTube videos, Facebook Live chats, etc.
This speaker can wirelessly connect up to two smartphones or tablets, and take turns playing impressive stereo sound. It’s waterproof, which means no more worrying about rain or spills. It can be even be submerged in water – and not many travel gifts can do that! So if your Christian missionary is traveling on Noah’s ark, she’s got the music locked down.
3. Miscellaneous Christian Gifts and Ideas for Tourists
The Infinity Cross Sterling Silver Necklace Gift Set is one of the few gifts on this list that isn’t oriented towards travel – but it is just beautiful, isn’t it? If your missionary or traveler isn’t going to a country that forbids or prohibits the Christian faith, this might be the gift that touches her heart, spirit, and soul. I love the idea of combining infinity with the cross of Jesus, and of wearing this symbol of faith, truth, and eternity. Again, since wearing a Christian cross can be a dangerous and life-threatening act of rebellion in certain countries, make sure your missionary is traveling somewhere safe before you give her this gift. This type of gift idea isn’t good for all Christian service trips overseas – and in fact could cause serious problems.
A list of travel gifts for missionaries would be incomplete without a gorgeous, sturdy Antique Handmade Leather “Tree of Life” Travel Journal! Doesn’t this writing notebook remind you of Paul’s missionary work in Turkey, Israel and other parts of the Middle East? We know Paul wrote letters to his fellow missionaries and church planters who were both traveling and rooted in their hometowns, but we don’t know for sure if he had a leather travel journal. I like to think he did take a journal on his missionary journeys, probably because I take a special travel diary on all my trips.
This travel gift is supple dark brown genuine Water Buffalo leather with a real leather scent; don’t buy it if your Christian traveler is vegan or vegetarian! The journal has a distressed vintage style, and each one is uniquely handcrafted, which means no two look exactly the same.
The PowerCore Portable Phone Charger is a luxury travel gift because it allows Christian missionaries and travelers to recharge their batteries when they don’t have power. Their iPhone and tablet batteries, that is, not their spiritual batteries! This is an Amazon top pick (but not in the “travel gifts for Christian missionaries” category). Anker’s exclusive PowerIQ and VoltageBoost combine to deliver the fastest possible charge for any device. This gift includes a PowerCore Lite 10000 portable charger, Micro USB cable, travel pouch, welcome guide, and a worry-free 18-month warranty. It’s also certified safe, which means Anker’s MultiProtect safety system ensures complete protection for your traveler and her devices.
The Faith Hope Love Christian T-Shirt is comfortable and durable – perfect for overseas missions’ trips in tropical climates in countries open to Christian faith. The gift t-shirt pictured is for women, featuring Faith Hope and Love. It’s a lovely reminder of home; she’ll remember you and your blessings every time she puts it on when she’s traveling the world for Jesus.
If your missionary is a man, check out the strong, bold “Armor of God” Christian T-Shirt for Men on Amazon.com. It encourages Christian men to never let their guard down – especially if they’re traveling overseas to do God’s work! Ephesians 6:11 calls us to be prepared for any spiritual battle that comes our way by putting on the full armor of God. This T-Shirt is a great visual reminder for men to share their faith wherever they go (unless they’re missionaries in countries that don’t allow the gospel faith to be shared. In that case, it’s better to keep our powerful Christian message under wraps).
No matter what gift you give your missionary or traveler, make sure you include a Biblical blessing from Scripture. Here’s a beautiful one: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26.
Related Reading: When You Feel Homesick on the Mission Field.
What do you think – what would you add to my list of travel gifts and ideas for Christian missionaries, tourists, and overseas ministers? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.