As a full-time traveller, I’ve spent quite a bit of time making sure I have everything I need to travel well. I don’t need much else, so I find it pretty hard to come up with a wishlist of what I want for Christmas. So, I sympathize with anyone who wants to find the perfect present for the traveller in their life — including my family and friends.
Over the years, though, I’ve been given some great presents — and I’ve discovered some that I’d have love to have received, too.
My #1 gift for a traveller can’t really be giftwrapped! Pick up a voucher for something the recipient would really enjoy doing. Perhaps a tour with Context or Urban Adventures in their next destination, or a special meal out.
We recently ate at Dans Le Noir, and it was amazing — and vouchers are available online; a colleague of our friend Janine once gave her cash to spend at a particular restaurant in Peru. This was great because it meant she could go somewhere else if reservations weren’t available on the night she was in the city… it was also great that she took me, Craig, and Ange along too! (Thanks Janine, and Janine’s ex-colleague.)
Other options could include a dolphin-watching day cruise like Craig’s parents took us on this year, a cooking class, language lessons, theatre performances. The possibilities are endless!
Speaking of buying things online — you could give your traveller the option to choose what it is they want to buy online. My mum often buys us iTunes vouchers, which we spend on movies and apps throughout the next year. You could also go with Amazon vouchers, or vouchers for a store in your recipient’s location.
This year, I’ve really been appreciating the various headphones we carry with us; I’m sure most travellers would appreciate a better pair than whatever they’re currently carrying.
Craig loves to listen to audiobooks as he falls asleep, and has ruined many many sets of headphones over the years by wearing them to bed. Sleepphones are the perfect solution, and the Bluetooth Sleepphones that came out recently are even better than the originals — no cables to get tangled in. They’re the ideal gift for someone who listens to audio in bed.
I don’t actually listen to very much music, but there are times when I really need the right headphones — like on a plane when a baby starts to cry, or in a bunkroom I’m sharing with a snorer. I want something that’s easy to carry but that blocks out the noise — and Sennheiser’s CXC 700 noise-cancelling in-ear headphones do the job for me admirably! Plus, they meet my other needs too — there’s a mike for making calls, and a case to stop them getting tangled and ruined in my bag. (Yes, that has happened before…)
If you’re looking for real top-of-the-line headphones for the traveller in your life, Sennheiser’s PXC 550 overear noise-cancelling headphones are an excellent choice — Craig loves his pair!
If you’d really prefer to pick up something tangible, socks aren’t as terrible an idea as it might first sound! Every traveller needs good socks — Smartwool are a favourite brand, or choose another wool-based technical sock.
You might notice that these socks are not at the low end of the sock-price index; if the recipient is a budget traveller they may not have wanted to fork out for really good quality socks — but they’ll love them when they try them. And if they aren’t travelling on a budget, another pair of socks always comes in handy. Maybe add a box of chocolates to the gift if you can!
In fact, food and drink can be a great gift for a traveller. If they’re away, send a box of all their favorite treats from home. If they happen to be at home, create a basket of treats from around the world to remind them of their travels. You may have to scout around to get a good selection — many supermarkets have international sections, or visit specialist shops in person or online. (Amazon could be a good place to start.) In my family, a bottle of wine is always well received!
6. Really nice travelling clothes
Craig’s parents love to buy him clothes, and since they have good taste this usually works out well! If you’re comfortable with buying clothes for the traveller in your life, go with a specialist travel clothing company like Bluffworks for trousers, or Outlier for a range of options. Craig pretty much only wears Bluffworks trousers, and loves the merino t-shirts from Outlier.
Sadly, travel clothes for women are a little harder to come by — if you find a company that makes lightweight, comfortable, crease-free women’s trousers, let me know!
Personally, I find my wrap-around silk skirt to be an essential part of my travel wardrobe, and I love scarves — so either of those could be a nice gift for the female traveller in your life.
Plus, accessories are always worth considering. Hats, gloves, watches, small bags or wallets, jewellery — we’ve received and loved them all, and your recipient probably will too.
There’s a great gift out there just waiting to be found for the traveller in your life. Best of luck in finding it!
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