With Christmas just around the corner it’s time to start buying presents. It’s the hardest time of year for us as our families seek to load us with wonderful, fabulous, loved gifts that… don’t squeeze in our suitcase.
So here is an expertly-crafted list for my Mum, Dad, family and friends or perhaps your family and friends, that will help them give you the best gifts this Christmas. Ones that will be helpful in your suitcase or, at the very least, fit!
Our number one must-have travel accessory is the humble, yet handy, packing cube. We only discovered them this year (initially it was tricky getting them shipped from Amazon to Australia). They are handy for so many things: keeping all your clothes together, keeping your clothes separate from someone else’s, helping keep track of luggage weight or space, quickly grabbing items for those fast-paced trips and so much more. Believe me – these are a great gift.
Do not buy the traveller in your life a cheap $25 backpack from the gift store at your local mall, it won’t last more then a few trips (in fact they'll be lucky if it gets past 1 trip). I recently received this versatile backpack and it is incredibly sturdy, yet light, and ready to withstand the ups and downs of life I throw at it. The internal padded compartments make it perfect for protecting a DSLR camera, but they can be reconfigured to suit just about anything. On top of that it has a slimline zipped pocket that comes in handy for passports, wallets, headphones and more.
13) Skype Credit
When travelling abroad, give the gift of a phone call home. These days that doesn’t come with a hefty price tag of a phone card, instead offer them precious Skype credit so they can call your cell or home line at any time, not just when you are online. Or for something different, purchase a local number in your home country on Skype so friends and family can call you from their phones at the cost of a local call.
Price: from €10
The best gift a traveller can get in my opinion. The ability to have any book at any time at their fingerprints, without the excess baggage cost. I prefer the Paperwhite for old school reading, however our kids adore the Kindle Fire.
11) Amazon Gift Card
In line with the above what better then a weightless present that can bring the joy of reading. An Amazon gift card is not a thoughtless gift, it’s a loving gift that says I want you to choose what you want. Including several books that you’ll use all those times you are by the pool.
Price: $50 or any other amount
10) SD Card
A travelling grown up is sure to be taking lots of photos so you can’t go wrong with a large capacity SD card. Go for the 32 or 64GB size and a “Class 10” speed for fast performance, or better yet a Wi-Fi enabled SD card so you can see the pictures as soon as they’re taken.
If you are not ready to pro with your camera skills then this could be the perfect little buy. It’s light, compact and takes brilliant photos. Best of all because it uses the Android operating system, you can upload photos straight from the camera to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and more.
We have both, but you could just choose one. Fabulous for underwater photography, video and adventure travel. I highly recommend that at least you add the head strap when you gift these little beauties.
The bane of a traveller’s existence – being unable to charge. Save them the trouble and they’ll be pleasantly surprised with a universal converter. They can charge any device wherever they go.
Is your loved one travelling with a friend or family? Chances are they’ll have many more items that need to be charged when travelling so we highly recommend the universal power board. Electronics can now be bought in any country without worry and this compact little beauty enables up to 3 devices to be charged from a single power outlet.
I think you’re picking up on the trend here. When you have a phone and tablet that need charging and even perhaps a camera as well, your power board is going to get full quickly. To the rescue comes this 6-port rapid USB charger. It pumps out 50 Watts of juice so your devices charge faster (which is always important when travelling).
Turn those magical travel moments into something flat, durable and reusable… magnets! Sticking these to your fridge make any new house feel more like a home. It’s a wonderful way to mark milestones and slip into any suitcase without taking up any space.
3) Scratch Map
This list is all very boring, right? Well for something fun why not give your traveller a Scratch Map. Fabulous for the avid traveller who likes to keep track of where they have been and where they are going.
Price: from £15.95
Got some extra points lying around? Or perhaps you have heard of OptionTown on AirAsia? Most airlines have a bidding system to upgrade a ticket. If your loved one is heading somewhere why not give the airline a call and see if you can gift them a first class experience.
Price: starting from USD$50
Nothing beats the gift of an experience. If you know where they are going why not help out. Book them a helicopter ride, or a Disneyland entrance ticket, or a hot air balloon trip, or a ride on the London Eye. The memories from experiences last longer than any gift you will be able to give and is the one gift we always treasure.
BONUS) Travel Neck Pillow
Any experienced traveller will be a fan of comfy neck pillows, especially on long-haul flights. This particular neck pillow was designed by nomadic travellers so they know what they're doing.
I hope this list has given you a number of useful Christmas gift ideas for your partner, relative or friend (or yourself!). If you can recommend anything else, please go ahead and write a comment below. If you've got kids, check out more ideas here.
Or if you like some of these gift ideas, share this page with your family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. They need the subtle hint ;-)
Note: Prices accurate at time of publishing.