The ultimate Christmas gift guide for travellers
It’s that time of year again! The decorations are going up, people are in a better mood than they have been all year, and the ability to resist mince pies and gingerbread is out of the window!
With this comes the mad panic - no matter how organised we actually are - that we haven’t got a hold on our Christmas shopping and that time is running out, despite the fact that we have another month to go.
Well I can’t stop you from eating all the pies and as much as I would love to, I also can’t hang baubles on your tree, but what I can do is help you find the best gifts for the well travelled people in your life!
I’ve picked out 30 useful, practical and, for the most part, sustainable gift ideas that I have personally tried and tested. Organised in price categories depending on how much you want to spend, there’s sure to be something in this Christmas gift guide that you can add to your basket!
£10 and under
This little red tube is a traveller’s best friend. Considering it’s just some squished up fruit, its list of healing abilities is staggering. Australia’s genius product, Lucas Papaw Ointment, will treat chapped lips, minor burns, sunburn, cuts, insect bites and nappy rash.
Memory foam travel pillow
This is my favourite style of travel pillow because it’s the most supportive and moulds to my head, neck and shoulders. This one in particular from Wuku Tree has a removable cover so you can wash it, it compresses down and it’s cheap! To read more and compare different types of travel pillows check out a post I wrote earlier this year, Travel pillows - who you should be sleeping with.
A change in water, weather and environment can sometimes make even the sleekest mane unmanageable, but Britain’s favourite hairbrush is here to save the day! These babies are compact so they save space, they battle knotted hair and they come in a variety of colours.
It takes up to 200 years for a plastic straw to decompose and yet we have gotten to a point where 1 billion of these monsters are used daily worldwide! I travel with bamboo straws because unlike plastic and steel, which require energy, time and cost to recycle, bamboo is completely natural and will simply decompose just as the plant itself would.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve used my Mountain Warehouse Knife, Fork and Spoon set! I’ve been able to save so much money on food because I can make food in my hotel room instead of eating out. Not to mention how many plastic utensils they’ve prevented me from using!
Much like the cutlery I’ve listed above, these bowls have also saved so much money. I now eat cereal for breakfast in my hotel room and salads for lunch and/or dinner. A really great gift for the environmentally conscious traveller who also loves to save money!
Travel-friendly toiletries always go down a treat, they’re practical and luxurious gifts, besides who can resist good smells with funny names! Anatomicals’ facemasks are particularly great gifts, they have a large selection, they smell great and they work wonders with your skin. Read more about Anatomicals in my blog post How to recover from jet lag with Anatomicals.
Lavender pillow spray
For the ultimate natural remedy to insomnia and jet lag, Norfolk Lavender’s Linen Spray will soothe those jet setting eyes and send them off into a relaxing deep sleep. It’s a truly thoughtful gift for anyone who needs help de-stressing at the end of the day.
Muji travel bottles
Without a doubt in my mind, Muji has the best travel bottles for decanting any of your larger toiletries into a more manageable size. They vary from pumps to squeeze bottles to flip caps, a good selection of sizes and they’re so cheap!
A dual functioning item, dry bags will either keep your items inside dry or they will prevent wet items from getting anything else wet. My cousin gave me my first dry bag (Karrimor 10 litres) as a present and honestly it’s one of the best presents you can give someone who travels often. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thrown a wet swimsuit in there and packed it because I didn’t have time to dry it before moving on to the next location. They’re particularly great for keeping your belongings dry on excursions out to sea.
Contrary to popular belief, getting socks isn’t the worst present in the world. Who really doesn’t find a new pair of socks useful? Why not fill their stocking with a few pairs of fun patterned hiking socks that will keep their feet warm all around the world.
Sephora Magic Makeup Remover Cloths
Sephora Black Magic Makeup Remover Cloths are the absolute best way to remove makeup. Their special knitted structure and fabric means that they only require water to gently break down your makeup. No extra removal product is needed which saves on a significant amount of toiletry weight. Not only this, they save the environment from daily wipes and cotton pads being thrown away and they are reusable, just thrown them in the washing machine.
A bamboo toothbrush is the perfect stocking filler for the one who wants to travel as responsibly as possible. It’s estimated that 3.5 billion toothbrushes are sold each year, can you imagine how much space they’re taking up in landfills, incapable of safely breaking down. Bamboo toothbrushes are the way forward! They are biodegradable plus The Humble Brush Co. has partnered with heaps of charities that are working to improve the dental hygiene of underprivileged children all around the world.
Toothbrush head covers
Whether they’re living the life of luxury in a 5 star hotel, or saving pennies for more adventures in a hostel, no surface can be trusted when it comes to a toothbrush. A toothbrush head cover is an undervalued gift that will prevent bacteria and general yuck from making a home in their toothbrush. They’re great stocking fillers!
The only towel a traveller should have is a microfibre one. Compared to the average fluffy towel they are drastically smaller and easier to pack plus they are mindblowingly absorbent. No trip to the beach or day out snorkelling should be done without one of these!
£10 - £50
Sip by S’well thermal water bottle
Of course any kind of reusable water bottles is better than a single use plastic one; they prevent waste, save money and reduce the health risk that comes from drinking out of plastic water bottles, but I highly recommend S’well bottles because I have been using them for about four years and they are amazing. They come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, colours and patterns, they’re more durable than plastic, they’re thermal which means they will keep a beverage cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 with absolutely no condensation. It might not sound very impressive but it means no more wet bottles in their bag and imagine their delight when they can sip on ice cold water no matter how hot it is outside.
Lonely Planet travel guides
Arguably the best travel guides of all time, a Lonely Planet book focused on any of their upcoming travels is a very touching gift. If you can’t pick a location, why not go for the whole world instead? We received the Lonely Planet world guide and it might actually be one of the most thoughtful gifts we were ever given, I’ve used it many times over the years.
For the ultimate organised packer, packing cubes will help to keep all their belongings in order. Plus it makes packing and unpacking super easy!
For the traveller who really sees the beauty in the world, who inspires you to do the same, why not gift them with a piece of jewellery from Mantra Band. Their little boosts of encouragement are sure to touch their heart.
Flat Lay makeup bag
I swear by my Flat Lay drawstring makeup bag. What started as a collaboration has turned into a full on, die-old-together kind of love. I’ve taken it on every trip I’ve made since receiving it, whether it’s a weekend away or a full on month trip to the other side of the world. It’s just the most practical way to not only travel with makeup but to put it on. No more digging, yay!
KeepCup reusable coffee cup
The gift that keeps on giving. Not only does a reusable coffee cup help save the environment but it will also save them money. Most coffee shops offer discounts on hot drinks if you present a reusable coffee cup. KeepCup comes in a bunch of cool colours and even better, they’re customisable so you can build the perfect colour scheme for your conscious traveller.
Universal travel adapter
For the real world traveller, a universal travel adapter is a must have. They save so much space because they will no longer need multiple adapters for all the countries they visit.
Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette
For the makeup lover who packs light (or needs to) these Charlotte Tilbury palettes have all the basics in one place, making cosmetic packing lighter and more refined. They have three eyeshadows which can be worn individually to brighten the eyes during the day time or combined to create a smokey look for the evening. There’s a bronzer which can be used to bronze or contour. Two tones of blush give you a rosey glow and finally the highlighter is so pigmented that it gives an incredible high shine across the cheekbones.
WACACO Nanopresso Portable Espresso Machine
We all know that one person who literally cannot function without coffee, right? The type of person who is so sweet they cause cavities, provided they get their coffee, because without their frequent caffeine fix they’re breathing fire and stroppier than a toddler who has been told to do, well pretty much anything? Well this gift will help protect the world from the wrath of coffee addicts suffering from withdrawal by providing them with their regular hit of coffee, wherever they go. I mean it, earlier this year I watched Michael, my partner, make himself an espresso on a canoe in the middle of Moraine Lake in Canada.
£50 - £100
Longchamp Le Pliage bags
Longchamp’s Le Pliage collection is made for the stylish overpacker, the kind of person who needs to save space for more outfit options than you can shake a stick at, or better, souvenirs that they are bringing home to you! Whether it’s a tote, backpack or weekend bag these gloriously coloured and Parisienne glam bags will NOT disappoint.
£100 and above
They are without a doubt the most iconic eyewear brand of all time, so if you’re in the business of spoiling someone this festive season get them a timeless pair of classic Ray Bans. Why not go the extra mile and get them personalised too?
Aspinal of London Travel Wallet
Shopping for the luxurious traveller who has the most organised carry on you’ve ever seen, not to mention stylish? A travel document wallet from none other than Aspinal of London is the way to go. Available in a variety of colours, this chic accessory will keep all of their travel documents, currency and passport in order.
Bose QuietComfort Noise Cancelling Headphones
Probably one of the best presents I have ever received were my silver Bose noise cancelling headphones. I can’t tell you how much better my sleep is whilst I’m up in the air now that I can no longer hear crying, sniffing, snoring or the general white noise of the aircraft. This present is the gift of sleep as well as a really decent way to listen to your music. There’s a bonus feature too, they come with an adapter for aeroplanes so they can use them to watch/listen to whatever in-flight media takes their fancy.
This is Ground
This is Ground is the epitome of leather organised travel accessories. With a range of products that will organise your necessities from technology to toiletries, you can definitely find a gift worth giving. To read more about the products I recommend check out This is Ground - leather goods for the organised traveller.
Away carry on
For the pièce de résistance, I’m talking the biggest present under the tree, knock their socks off with a carry on case from Away complete with the best portable charger I’ve ever used. Available in two sizes, Away’s carry on cases will turn everyone’s eyes green as they glide through the airport with their phone charging as they go.
I wish you the best of luck with your Christmas shopping this year and hope you find the perfect gift from one of the above.
Mele Kalikimaka, Gabriella
*Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases but please know that I recommend all of the products above from personal use which you can see throughout my blog posts.