If I’ve seen one ‘Christmas gifts for travellers’ blog posts I’ve seen about a hundred over the past week. And so many of them are exactly the same. I’m sorry but just because people like going places doesn’t mean they need a map of the world poster or a globe. Chances are they know where the countries they’d like to visit are. I’m no scruge I love Christmas, so I’ve tried to come up with some alternative travel gifts, as someone who likes to travel but doesn’t necessarily want to decorate my entire home with ‘I love the world’ map posters and cheesy quotes.
Here’s a few of the recurring ideas that I keep seeing, and for some might be exactly what you’re looking for:
- Guide Books. Do people still use these?
- Jewellery, aeroplane pendants and such like. Meh.
- Passport case. Pointless, you have to remove them anyway don’t you?
- Luggage labels.
- Discount codes or vouchers for photo printing sites. This one is on every single list I’ve read.
- Wall map or globe. I don’t want my house to look like a geography classroom if I’m honest.
- Rucksack. Chances are backpackers will have one, but again if it doesn’t have wheels and involves me carrying it, it’s not for me.
- Neck pillow. I’ve really tried with these on numerous long haul flights. They just don’t work for me at all.
- Travel sized toiletries. I never use them. Always take my own, and full sized because I hate changing what I use. Flights and travel causes enough havoc with my skin without adding anything else into the mixer.
Having said that if I had to choose one of the above I’d choose the passport case or luggage label accessories, because these ones are cute from Anthropologie.
I’m sure there are plenty people who would love to receive all of the above, but here’s some alternative travel gifts to think about:
1. Mr & Mrs Smith boutique hotels gift voucher. I was so shocked to receive one of these for my 30th and it’s such a good idea. They have unique boutique hotels worldwide and they all look incredible. They’re not an obvious chain I don’t think, but there are so many choices I’ve yet to decide where to use it. You’re obviously not limited to this chain either, a LOT of hotels offer gift vouchers and it’s a chance for people to stay somewhere they might not usually if they’re a bit more expensive and they find themselves with extra budget on Christmas morning!
2. Spa break vouchers. Similar to above but a bit more thought goes into it if you actually pick a spa rather than getting them through a deals website. Me and my sister got this for our mum last year, with the promise that we would go with her for mother/daughter bonding day. We booked up a spa experience at Headlam Hall in March so it was something to look forward to. She absolutely loved it. Win win for everyone! My friends and I also got vouchers for Rockliffe Hall as a wedding present for one of our friends, another great spa stay.
3. Experiences or restaurants. If you know someone that’s already booked up to go somewhere why not add to their plans and pre-pay for an activity, or give them vouchers if you aren’t sure of timings. The Shard in London, afternoon tea at the Ritz, Eiffel Tower tickets, a football match or sporting event for example. Most big football teams and stadiums have travel deals, and if you want to get your bloke onboard for a weekend away to Barcelona then a trip to the Nou Camp is likely to go down well!
4. While I’m not a fan of passport covers or luggage labels I do think this is a really good idea. I saw it in Anthropologie and it’s a wire tidy. So all those chargers, headphones and adaptors can be rolled up in one pouch to avoid tangling. It says they are no longer available online, but I’ve seen loads of them in the actual shops. Failing that these pretty portable chargers are fun too!
5. While we’re on about Anthropologie, these books are also pretty cool. Rather than the usual tourist guide books the 500 Hidden Secrets of series is going to give you a lot more detail and very specific suggestions. Books like this or even travel e-books by bloggers are likely to give you genuine reviews and photos.
6. If you’re travelling somewhere before Christmas and can bring something unique back with you that’s always nice isn’t it? I don’t mean shitty souvenirs that nobody ever uses once back to reality. But things like Belgian chocolates from Belgium, wine from France, cheese from Holland, short bread from Scotland, Yorkshire tea from Betty’s, that kind of thing. If you’re not travelling you could always cheat and buy these from an international Christmas market near you.
7. Budget depending an actual trip, or even just a deposit paid, or flights booked is always going to be the ultimate gift isn’t it? Jet 2 holidays or city breaks can be booked with a £60 deposit. Kieran got me a trip to Paris for my 30th this year and there is literally nothing I would have liked more. We go next week and I’m beyond excited. It doesn’t matter how big or small the trip, travel lovers will love it.
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