It’s true, I don’t normally do gift guides. But I’m really sick of seeing lists compiled by publishers of the most expensive crap no one has ever used more than once.
Like a compass. While the vintage ones are beautiful, I don’t think I’ve ever met a typical traveller (i.e. doesn’t sail or hike seriously) who knows how to use one. Last week while on a Hidden City scavenger hunt in Hyde Park, Tom and I were trying to figure out which way is east (anyone familiar with London knows that this is not a straightforward answer). He asked me whether it’s the red or the white part of the arrow that points north. I was flabbergasted, like, those colours mean things??
And journals. There’s always a journal on the list and it’s not a bad present. Writing with pen and paper is an act to be cherished but personally I am very particular about the kind of journals I like to write in and I imagine a lot of other people are too. #endrant
I think I’m pretty good at gifts so I’ve put together a list of Christmas gifts for travellers under £35 – which I think is a respectable amount of money to spend! But who am I kidding? For Tom’s family Christmas we have a £5 limit – a challenge I love because it pushes me to do more with less. I’ve made a few trips to Carnaby Street seeking inspiration but I continue my search. Anyhow:
This one’s for the traveller who…
…doesn’t know where they’ll be next.
Satechi Smart Travel Router, £18
The best investment I ever made was the plug adapter I bought at Best Buy for $20. It came in handy when visiting the UK and then travelling to France. I still have one so I can use all of my electronics from different countries. This one works in more than 150 countries, it has a USB charger and a Wi-Fi router for stealing your neighbours’ wired internet. Just kidding.
…has been everywhere.
This is the travel equivalent of the ‘person who has everything’ and shopping for them is the trickiest. You can’t get them anything too much, lest they hawk it to pay for a Ryanair flight. If they don’t already have it, it’s because they don’t want or need it. So my suggestion? Get them something personalized that reminds them that home is where the heart is.
In French they say A chaque oiseau le nid est beau – literally translated it says To every bird its nest is beautiful. What it means, however, is that there’s no place like home, so the bird is a nice touch on this one.
…is always looking for new ideas.
I got this for Christmas last year and it was a gift that continued giving through all of 2014. This magazine is one of the few sites of proper travel writing left with inspiring stories from around the world. There are also useful tips for different destinations and it’s certainly opened my eyes to places I had never thought of going. Order it for Christmas and you’ll get a free Travel Photo of the Year photo book worth £20.
…who’s a coffee snob – even on the road.
Some people just can’t stand the taste of instant coffee. While there are countries where amazing coffee is easy to find there are times you just want a little taste of home. There’s a reason Dale and Franca from AngloItalian Follow Us carry one when they travel: it’s compact, easy to clean, and makes a damn good cuppa.
…who loves the great outdoors.
Solar Powered Lamp, £20
I went surfing in Westward Ho! last month (yes, it was cold, and yes, that is the only place in England with an exclamation mark in its name) with a friend of mine who has a bad ass camper van. He has been known to camp in it overnight to catch some bad ass waves and I’ll bet that one thing he wishes he had out on remote beaches is free sunlight forever. Obviously I choose blue for its sexy mood-lighting effects.
…is a Millennial with an identity crisis.
Sometimes I think I’m supposed to be an adult. I think back to what I thought I would be like at 25 and I was thinking something more along the lines of Sex & the City and less… whatever this is now. This book helps with cognitive dissonance.
…has decided to settle (for now).
Grow your own cocktail garden, £13.50
Don’t go tempting them to leave with scratch-off world maps – it will only remind them of all the places they have been yet. It’s totally bad form to get them something that makes them reminisce about their travel days, like a photo collage. Get them something they couldn’t have on the road, something to make their house into a home. Personally, I want a funky wine decanter but imagine trying to lug that one back across the pond!
If there’s one piece of advice I can give you about presents, it’s don’t take anyone’s advice (including mine!). Think about what the person would like to have and go with that. These are just examples of fun and interesting things I would think about when shopping for different personalities of travellers.
How about you? Do you like getting guidebooks, journals, or compasses as gifts?
*No affiliate links in this one, folks. That means I just genuinely thought they were awesome!