Great Gifts for the Music-Obsessed Traveler in Your Life

Because they can do better than those airplane headphones.

collage of portable speaker, synthesizer, karaoke machine, ear plugs
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist
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It’s easy enough to shop for music lovers and travelers, but what do you do when your loved one holds an equal affection for tunes and globe-trotting? Maybe they plan their trips around music festivals or regularly tour with their band. Possibly they’re known for saying, “Pass me the AUX,” on every road trip. Or perhaps they just really like to travel with their earbuds blaring. If any of the above sounds like someone you know, then we’ve got you covered with a sonically inspired setlist of gifts.

Those obsessed with music likely have all the equipment at home—record players, bookshelf speakers, etc.—so why not create a way for them to catch a good tune on-the-go? And we’re not talking about those junky complimentary plane headphones. From impressively compact audio devices to protective-yet-chic festival gear, here are the best items to gift your favorite music aficionado slash jet setter.

Hunter Original Tall Rain Boots
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

Sported by festival-going fashion icons like Alexa Chung and Kate Moss, these classic Hunter boots are a must-have for weathering the concert storm—and it’s practically a statement at this point to cover them in mud. The 100% waterproof boots are surely an investment piece, the kind of practical thing a person might not exactly be jumping to buy themselves. That makes them the perfect gift. Bonus: these wellies will also come in handy on a road trip through the Scottish Highlands, or a trek along Vancouver Island

AirFly Bluetooth Transmitter
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

We’ve all been there before: You’re ready to enjoy some in-flight entertainment, you pull out your fancy Bluetooth headphones, and you realize that the aircraft is, in fact, stuck in the past—there’s no way around that pesky headphone jack. Save your loved one from this annoyance with AirFly, a transmitter that plugs into any screen or armrest, allowing them to enjoy that film or music video in Bluetooth bliss. And the AirFly Pro adds the ability to stream music from an iPhone to a car’s AUX. 

Vintage Band T-Shirt

It can’t be denied that a slightly oversized T-shirt is one of the best things you can travel in. Make it vintage and you’ve got the ultimate comfy-yet-stylish airport look, perfect for layering underneath a sweater for that international red-eye. The band tee is a classic for a reason, and one your music loving friend will adore. Extra points if you snag a tour shirt—you know, to add to the travel theme. 

Smart Noise Cancelling Headphones 700
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

Noise canceling headphones are a no-brainer for any traveling melophile. The Bose 700s are notable for their adjustable noise canceling technology—your giftee can control how much or how little they’d like to hear of the outside world. There’s also a Spotify Tap playback feature, so all they have to do is tap and hold the right earcup to access the app. The ear cushions on these are particularly plush, too, and some reviewers have even reported that they’re comfortable enough to sleep in—perfect for drowning out the sound of that crying baby on a flight. 

Sony XB100 Compact Bluetooth Speaker
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

Small enough to toss in an overnight bag or place in a cup holder, this portable Bluetooth speaker delivers big sound without taking up too much space. It even comes with a cute strap for easy carrying. The bass on this one is fantastic, thanks to the passive radiator that works together with a full-range speaker, and the Sound Diffusion Processor effectively spreads the music around any space like a luxury candle. It’s also waterproof, so there’s no need to worry about damaging it while jamming out at the beach or by the pool. 

Clarity Convertible Belt Bag
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

Planning to attend a concert or music festival abroad is no easy feat, and it’s easy to forget that more and more venues are enforcing clear bag policies these days. Keep your friend in the clear (we had to) with a stylishly transparent convertible belt bag. The no-fuss, hands-free design is exactly the kind of thing your pal will want when dancing their days away. This one can be worn around the waist, as a crossbody, or strapless as a clutch. 

Lost Highway: Journeys and Arrivals of American Musicians
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

A good book is an essential for any travel journey, and this exploration of American roots music is sure to captivate any country, rockabilly, or blues devotee. Part music history, part travel documentary, Peter Guralnick’s novel reveals how musicians like Elvis Presley and Sleepy LaBeef shaped their careers on the road. Originally published in 1971, it features over 20 interviews with these legendary musicians, taking readers back to the height of American popular music. 

Loop Experience Equinox
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

If your loved one is in a band or attends concerts on a weekly basis, it’s likely they’re suffering from some hearing damage. Protect their precious ears with these next-level ear plugs by Loop. While most ear plugs muffle tones by blocking sound waves, these filter them instead, maintaining sound quality, but doing so at a reduced volume. And you don’t have to worry about fit—these come with four interchangeable ear tip sizes. 

BONAOK Mini Karaoke Machine

We all have that one friend who never fails to suggest ending the night with some karaoke. This mini bluetooth karaoke machine, which comes with two wireless microphones, can easily be transported to any hotel afterparty or weekend getaway. Reviewers note that despite the small size, it can get pretty loud. And as a bonus, it comes with two free months of the premium version of the Singa karaoke app, which allows singers to choose from a large category of songs, no matter where they are. 

Orba 2
Design by Maitane Romagosa for Thrillist

This tiny toy of a machine was designed for the music creator. It allows travelers to take any sounds from their travels—birds chirping in a park, planes taking off, waves crashing, etc.—and fuse it with drum, bass, chord, and lead modes to create their own distinct work of art. Your loved one will be able to loop songs in seconds, and thanks to a fancy quantize feature, automatically time their creation to a beat. It’s a graduated Bop It, if you will. 

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Jessica Sulima is a staff writer on the Travel team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram