Buying Christmas gifts can be a tricky business – especially when you’re thinking about what to get for your travel loving friend or family member who generally prefers trips to actual wrapped-up objects.
Still, there are some really great, thoughtful bits and bobs you can buy for travellers that will make them smile and have the added bonus of being extremely useful! Here are a few things I recommend (and which I would be oh so grateful to receive myself):
No one expects an actual flight ticket for a present (do they?!) but plenty of companies do gift vouchers these days that the recipient can use towards the cost of a future trip or experience. Both Ryanair (I know, but they’re cheap!) and Norwegian Airlines do vouchers for pressie purposes. As do lastminute.com. And if the person you’re buying for already has a trip booked, why not treat them to airport lounge vouchers? Then they can start their hols in style thanks to you and the season of goodwill. Bring on international airport wine time! Aspire lounges can be found in tons of airports – they offer a gift voucher service and from experience I can tell you that they are really rather lovely.
Price: As much as you want to spend.
Headphones are a necessity for any traveller, but many of us are still making do with our old ones complete with annoying always-in-a-knot wires. You can go all out with headphones and spend a fortune if you’re buying for a seriously significant other, or you can buy pretty decent ones for a super reasonable price if you do your research. I have these ones, and I must say that they are great quality for what they cost (less than 20 quid).
Price: The Sony headphones pictured below cost £330 from John Lewis, but you can spend a hell of a lot less.
Any regular reader will know I’m a packing cube obsessive. Honestly, they’ve changed the way I pack and I would happily show off the inside of my suitcase to the entire airport in a theatrical demonstration, such is the level of pride I take in my skills. They are also absolutely the key to fitting more in your case if you just can’t master travelling light.
Elemis (Or Other Fancy Brand of Choice) Travel Gift Set
Personally, now I’m on the downhill slope towards 40, I can no longer get away with shunning a skincare routine on my hols. I think it’s so lovely to have travel size versions of my favourite products when I go away these days, so sets filled with hand luggage friendly toiletries have got to be a quick win in the gift department for any seasoned city breaker. This sort of purchase can usually suit most budgets, too. Gift sets tend to range from cute stocking fillers with just a couple of products, to bank breaking vanity cases filled with fancy treats.
Travel Beach Towels
Anyone who loves their beach holidays will hate the amount of room that beach towels take up in their luggage. But a good microfibre type towel will take up little space. I bought two beach towels from Dock and Bay last year after the stripey designs caught my eye and I absolutely love them. They are huge, but fold to almost nothing. They don’t hold sand and they dry in no time at all. And along with being totally functional, they are also just so pretty! Next year, I might get a couple more (too many gorgeous bright colours to choose from), and I’ll definitely be getting a kids’ poncho version for Holiday Baby.
Price: Stripey towels start from £15.00
This can be either a warm, wintry style wrap that works as an actual scarf or cardi style layer (think draped over your shoulders as you dine out in a cozy brasserie in Paris…) or a lightweight summer scarf that also works as a sarong or cover up if you’re sightseeing in places such as religious buildings during the warmer months. Both winter and summer versions will also work as seasonal blankets when you take a nap on a flight, or they’ll fold into a bit of a cushion. On top of that, as someone who suffers with back pain, I often roll up my scarf and stick it behind me on long journeys for a bit of lumbar support. I will never be anything but grateful if all I receive for Christmas is a bunch of nice scarves. I love them.
Price: Scarves from Joules (my fave) tend to cost between £20-40.00
Most people who love travel also love to decorate their homes with stuff that reminds them of places they’ve been. I’m definitely a sucker for prints of vintage travel posters – you’ll find plenty in my house. But something that’s caught my eye recently, is the idea of customisable maps you can buy framed, ready to turn into wall art. This seems like a lovely way to design a really personal piece of art for someone, based on a special place. A perfect gift for a traveller.
Price: Designs made by you from Mapiful start at around €50.00
Would you fancy any of these gifts for Christmas? Or do you suggest any others? I’m still writing my list…