Are you looking for some unique travel gifts or some practical ideas for what to buy your travel-loving friend? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here are a few of my best ideas for gifts for world travellers.
Can someone please tell me what has happened to this year and how it is that we are half the way through November already?! The realisation dawned on me the other day when I was making a booking for my friends and I to visit the cat cafe in town this Saturday.
As a result I spent almost all of last weekend looking for gift inspiration online. Of course, whenever I do this I also inadvertently end up finding things that I love. And so, my online wish lists get longer and my virtual shopping baskets get fuller. Because, whilst I’m not generally a fan of ‘things’ per sé, there are always travel guides I need and new innovations in the world of travel related products and tech.
I also have a full-time base here in the UK – a quirky little Victorian property – that I love to decorate with items that remind me of the parts of the world I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to travel to.
Most of the products in this traveller’s gift guide are available on Amazon, because I earn Amazon vouchers in exchange for the surveys I complete online (read more of my money-making tips here), which I save up over the year to help me pay for Christmas. I love supporting independent businesses as much as I can, but my bank balance unfortunately dictates that a large chunk of my Christmas shopping is done on Amazon.
So, without further ado, here are the travel-related products that I’m loving at the moment. Whether you have a budget of £10 or £100, you should be able to find something here that you can afford to buy the travel lover in your life.
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. All this means is that if you make a purchase through one of the links I have provided, I will earn a small commission as a result but the cost to you will remain exactly the same.
Gifts for World Travellers: Unique Travel Gifts and Practical Gift Ideas
1 | Giant World Map Mural
I’ve actually got one similar to this on the wall of my living room and I love it! I’m forever looking at it and it’s always a talking point when people come round.
2 | Metal World Map
Travellers love maps – in every shape and form – and I’ve currently got my eye on this abstract metal one to hang above my bed.
3 | Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2020
This publication always finds its way on to my Christmas list. When I’ve opened my presents, eaten too much Christmas dinner and watched the Muppet Christmas Carol on TV, my attention always turns to travel planning for the coming year.
The Lonely Planet Best in Travel guides are always a great source of inspiration, as they often feature under the radar destinations or places the writers believe to be hugely underrated. Reading a copy of the latest edition on Christmas Day evening is a perfect way to start my research as it encourages me to discover parts of the world that perhaps I hadn’t considered previously.
Good to know: From 28 November until 2 December Lonely Planet are offering 40% off everything in their online shop. Put the date in your calendar and click through using the link below to take advantage of this offer.
4 | Lonely Planet Calendar
This is another gift that I appreciate receiving every year (I know my mum’s got me one this year, just in case any of my friends are reading this!). The Lonely Planet calendar hangs on my wall in my kitchen and helps me to organise my travels and my social life.
5 | Mosi-Guard Natural Insect Repellent Stick
Every traveller needs mosquito repellent and this one is non-greasy and absorbs into skin easily, as well as being 100% natural, 100% deet-free, and in my experience 100% as effective as those with deet in them.
6 | Large capacity memory card for camera
Again, another gift that the traveller in your life can never have too many of. I swear by SanDisk memory cards, which are readily available on Amazon in various different storage capacities and shot/transfer speeds. Most cameras these days will take SD cards, but double-check with the person you’re buying for just to be sure!
7| CashStash Waterproof Emergency Cash Capsule
Unfortunate though it is, thieves are all too aware of money belts these days. I swear by my theft-proof shorts (which are designed to be worn under your clothing and have two discreet pockets with concealed zippers that are large enough to accommodate money, cards, and a passport) by Clever Travel Companion, but I also love the idea of this smart little cash-stash capsule that can be attached to a key ring.
It allows you to stash some emergency cash discreetly, but what’s even better is that the capsule is waterproof so you can go swimming with it.
8 | Bamboo Travel Cutlery Set
I always tend to carry a metal teaspoon with me anyway (which did come in useful in Helsinki earlier this year when I was served soup without any cutlery with which to eat it, and the restaurant was too busy to catch the sole waitress’ attention in order to rectify the issue), but really could do with investing in a complete cutlery set to take away with me (y’know, in case the salad I order next time turns up without a knife and fork to eat it with 😉 ).
On a serious note though, we can all do our bit to reduce the amount of plastic we use, and bringing our own reusable cutlery and straw (instead of using the plastic alternatives that takeaway food and drinks are often supplied with) is a great place to start. I love that this comes in a neat little lightweight pouch, which makes the set easy to carry and means that you’re less likely to lose or misplace the contents. The utensils are dishwasher safe and compostable.
9 | Booking.com Gift Card
I realise gift cards aren’t the most imaginative presents you can buy, but a booking.com gift card will go a long way towards helping your friend or family member afford that trip that they’ve been saving up for.
A €90 gift card would’ve covered ALL my accommodation costs on my seven night trip to Albania earlier this year. A €110 gift card would’ve paid for a whole TEN night’s accommodation in Georgia last year. I’m not suggesting that you spend that much, but you catch my drift?
Digital gift cards are available to order and send online in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom, in denominations of €5 up to €150.
10 | Get Your Guide Gift Card
While we’re on the subject of gift cards, how’s about buying your friend or family member an awesome experience to enjoy while they’re on their travels?
Get Your Guide offer over 35,000 incredible experiences to choose from in 162 different countries across the world. For those who are feeling adventurous there’s zip-lining, skydiving, canyoning, kayaking and abseiling (to name but a few); for culture vultures there are street art tours, skip the line tickets for art galleries and museums and private tours of historical monuments; for those who love to be active there are a multitude of hiking and cycling trips; foodies will love their market tours and cookery classes; and for those that like to take things easy, how’s about a spa or hammam experience? You can browse experiences by destination here.
Purchase gift cards for a custom amount of your choice and personalise them with a short message.
11 | Pacsafe RFID Blocking Tri-fold Wallet
I love Pacsafe products. I used their Venturesafe 25 as my daypack for many years before the shoulder straps finally gave way and I replaced it with an Osprey Tempest 20. I also bought their portable safe for my first solo trip around Southeast Asia back in 2006 and still have it now!
Not only is this wallet made from RFID blocking material (to help protect against identity and credit card hacker scanning), it also comes with a detachable security hook metal chain that can be secured to a belt loop or the inside of a bag in order to prevent pickpocketing.
12 | Sealskinz Waterproof Socks
You may think socks make a pretty boring gift? Well, think again! These aren’t just socks, they’re waterproof socks (and now I feel like I should be on an M&S advert…if you know the tagline, you’ll understand why!).
I bought a pair of Sealskinz waterproof socks for a 50-mile hike I attempted back in October, knowing that the forecast was torrential rain for pretty much the entire duration – which, incidentally, is the primary reason I didn’t finish said hike. Anyway, I assumed they may keep my feet a bit drier than ordinary socks, but I didn’t expect my feet to stay completely dry even when my hiking boots were full of water!
The waterproof socks were a complete game changer for me, because one thing that’s guaranteed to ruin an enjoyable hike is wet feet. So, if the traveller in your life is likely to be doing any hiking on their travels – potentially in wet weather – they will thank you for this gift, I promise you.
13 | Simon Reeve’s Autobiography ‘Step by Step’
As well as maps, us travellers love books, and one of the best ones I’ve read recently is Simon Reeve’s autobiography.
I loved his travel documentaries so much (I’ve recently been following his journey through the Americas on a Sunday evening) that I was intrigued to learn more about his travel experiences and about the man behind the camera.
It’s only the second autobiography I’ve ever bought (the other was Anthony Kiedis’ (of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ fame) but I’m so pleased I did – I literally had my head in it at every available opportunity! It’s a gripping, fascinating and inspiring read that I’m sure the traveller in your life will love as much as I did.
The paperback is just £3 on Amazon at the moment (November 2019), or you can get a hardback copy for £14.
14 | A Weekend Break
Last year I found this amazing deal to the Jurassic Coast in Devon on Travelzoo. It was for two nights in a 14th century thatched inn, in the village of Branscombe – “one of the most relaxing and picturesque villages on the Jurassic Coast,” according to visitsouthdevon.co.uk. The nightly price for the room we were upgraded to was £135, so what should have cost me £270 actually only cost me £99. A pretty good deal if you ask me!
I made the booking as a present for Stu, for his birthday in January, because, whilst he’s not really a fan of city breaks, he does love the coast. The UK may not be blessed with the warmest weather in January, but it doesn’t mean that the coastal walks are any less spectacular.
So, why not have a browse through Travelzoo’s list of short breaks and see whether you can find something that you can treat your partner, friend or family member to for Christmas?
15 | Compass Pendant
I absolutely adore silver jewellery! If I ever want to bring myself back a souvenir from my travels, I often root for a piece of jewellery as it takes up next to no room in my backpack and is a unique travel gift that will likely be unavailable to buy anywhere at home.
Rings are a bit of a difficult item of jewellery to buy for other people because you’re never quite sure of the right size, but pendants and earrings are usually a pretty safe bet, as long as your recipient has their ears pierced!
This beautiful compass pendant is made from sterling silver (so it’s good for those who have allergies to other metals; yup, that’s me!) and can be engraved with a personal message on the reverse.
16 | Lush Solid Shampoo and Face Wash
I’m a total advocate for Lush products (although I must admit that they’ve become quite a bit more expensive in recent years), and love and use both their solid face wash and solid shampoo on a regular basis – even when I’m at home.
My favourites are the ‘New’ shampoo bar (which contains cinnamon leaf, clove bud oils and peppermint) and ‘Coalface’ solid face wash (which is made from charcoal and helps to clear excess oils from the skin).
As well as making travelling with hand luggage a doddle (you don’t have to worry about the 100ml liquid limits when you don’t have any!), purchasing Lush products means you’re doing your bit for the environment too. Both of these products are sold without packaging and are made from natural ingredients which are 100% vegetarian and cruelty-free.
17 | Comfortable and effective ear plugs
As a regular traveller, I honestly would never travel without my ear plugs and sleep mask. Although I try to avoid dorm rooms nowadays, sometimes it’s inevitable when you want to trek to remote places and the only option for sleeping accommodation is a mountain refuge with 20+ other hikers.
Even when you do have a comfortable private room, you never know what the street noise will be like, how good the double-glazing will be (if there is double-glazing!) and whether the guests in the room next door enjoy partying until 4 a.m when you have a bus/train/flight to catch early the next morning.
Having ear plugs and a sleep mask means that I have the re-assurance that (providing I go to bed early enough!) I’ll always get a good night’s sleep.
I particularly love these as they come with their very own carry case that you can clip to your key ring or backpack.
And that’s all my ideas for this year exhausted, however if you need some more inspiration regarding gifts for world travellers, you can check out my previous gift guides here:
- 2018 Christmas Gift Guide for Travellers
- 10 of the Best Christmas Gifts for Travellers 2017
- 11 Gifts the Traveller in Your Life Would Never Be Without
What are you hoping Father Christmas will bring you this year? Let me know in the comments below!
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