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I’m a big fan of gift guides for shopping inspiration during the festive season. But I’ve noticed that a lot of bloggers seem to think the average person is going to shell out £$1000s on Macbooks and DSLRs for their loved ones when in most cases our gift budget allowance is much more modest.
With that in mind, I decided to share our top suggestions of gifts for travellers that won’t break the bank! Whatever your budget you should be able to find something in here for a loved one who enjoys exploring the world.
For the Reader
There are few greater pleasures in life than curling up under a blanket over the winter holidays and reading a great book. Below are some of my favourite travel tales and memoirs that will fire up the wanderlust for your loved ones.
1.The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World – Torre DeRoche
Torre’s hilarious and poignant memoir was one of my favourite reads of the year. After losing both her father and her 10-year relationship within a few months, Torre sets off to heal her soul the only way she knows how – exploring the world.
2. Wild – Cheryl Strayed
One of my all-time favourite books about adventure, hiking and travel. Cheryl hits absolute rock bottom; losing her Mum, her marriage and developing a drug problem. She decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail (all 2650 miles of it!) with absolutely no clue and a pack that weighs nearly as much as her.
3. A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson is one of the world’s most famous travel writers, but this book has a different feel to the others. Bill decided to hike the Appalachian Trail with an old friend of his. They couldn’t be more different and the highly funny tale of two middle-aged men attempting the 2000 mile hike is brilliant.
4. How Not to Travel the World – Lauren Juliff
Lauren starts out as the most accident-prone, anxious and clueless traveller you will ever meet. But she still gets out there determined to see the world. The book follows a number of her hilarious mishaps and how her adventures have changed her for the better.
5. The Yellow Envelope – Kim Dinan
Just before Kim and her husband Brian started their round the world adventure, a couple of friends handed them a yellow envelope containing $1000 and instructions to give the money away as they saw fit on their travels. The book follows the ups and downs of their journey and the fascinating people they meet while donating the money.
For the Traveller with a Homebase
Scratch Map of the World (£14/$17)
This is my go-to gift for any friend who loves to travel. They’re reasonably priced, easy to send anywhere in the world and make a really fun topic of conversation when hung up in your house. We have one framed and hanging in our living room.
We also have a scratch map of the United States (£16/$18) so we can scratch off each state we visit.
World Map Cushion (£11/$14)
I have one of these sitting on a comfy chair in my office. If you love to travel then no doubt your house will be filled with mementos of adventures, add this little reminder to a friend’s home.
Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2018 (£12/$12)
Everyone loves a coffee table book for inspiration and Lonely Planet is renowned for producing some of the most drool-worthy glossy travel books around.
Find out where the next hot destinations are for 2018 and give someone their holiday planning material.
For the Photographer
Personalised Camera Strap (£45/$58)
This is number 1 on my own Christmas list! Paul: hint, hint 😉 If you know someone who loves photography this is the perfect thoughtful gift.
Made from quality leather, you can get a name or logo engraved on the strap so it’s completely unique.
UV Lens Filter (£7/$7)
Ask any photographer what saves their bacon all the time and I promise you it will be a UV filter.
These inexpensive filter rings sit on the outside of your lens so that if you drop your camera with the lens facing down, the filter normally takes the brunt of the impact.
I’ve been through 3 in the last 12 months, when you travel a lot this little piece of kit can save the day. They come in different sizes so make sure to check before ordering.
I have both of these in my kit bag but you could probably get away with just one for travel. The GorillaPod is very durable and you can wrap it around pretty much anything to get a steady shot.
The UltraPod is perfect for when you just need a rock steady base but don’t want to lug around a heavy tripod. This is my go-to for sunset and night photography when we travel.
Gimbal Stabilizer for smartphone (£129/$139)
Paul’s new favourite toy this year! The gimbal basically turns your phone into an incredible piece of video equipment.
We take a lot of video on our travels and got sick of jerky shots handholding our iPhones. The gimbal is your very own steady cam without having to spend a huge amount of money and has been a gamechanger for us.
For the Gadget Lover
Skross World Adapter (£16/$42)
Hands down the best plug converter we’ve ever used.
They’re extremely durable, we are only just replacing Paul’s this year after 8 years. They work anywhere, and this model also comes with a detachable USB socket.
Electronics Organiser (£12/$11)
Since I’m always carrying a lot of electronic kit around I always struggle with the sheer amount of cables and batteries etc.
This great little organiser has made it onto my own Christmas list as it’s so small but appeals to my need to organise!
Point It: Travellers Language Kit (£6/$10)
I can’t believe I’ve only just discovered this great little passport-sized lifesaver! I could really have done with it in South America.
If you’re struggling to communicate in another language this book has over 1300 photos and maps that you can point to so someone can understand your meaning.
We own both of these and they tend to come on all of our adventures.
The Gerber is Paul’s and is an extremely durable multitool for its size. If you need to make any fixes on the road this is what you need.
Mine is the Swiss Army Knife and I’ve had it for over 10 years. I went for the Climber model which has a number of small blades, scissors, bottle opener and the all-important corkscrew!
Eagle Creek Wallaby Washbag (£29/$25)
We each bought this washbag for our round the world trip in 2012 and they are still going strong.
I can’t tell you how much I love this washbag, there is space for absolutely everything you could need and yet it folds up to a really compact size. There are pockets for days and even a mirror in there.
Eagle Creek Packing Cubes (£25/$27)
If you’re not already using packing cubes for travel you need to get on board! I promise you won’t look back. You will fit so much more in your luggage and it will all be organised so you don’t have to search around for things.
We use the original style pictured above, we bought them in 2012 and we still use the same ones.
But Eagle Creek has also released another style in the last couple of years which have more of a compression bag look. You can check them out here.
Troop London Go Anywhere Bag (£29/$37)
This is my day bag for travel and I absolutely love it! I’ve been using the same brand for over 10 years and just treated myself to a new one this year.
The Go Anywhere has a multitude of zipped compartments and pockets and is excellent for protecting your belongings from thieves. It’s around the size of a large paperback so perfect for your daily essentials.
Clothing & Accessories
Buff scarf and headband (£13/$19)
We’ve both been wearing Buffs for a number of years now, they are the perfect lightweight scarf and also make great headbands for hiking. I always have one in my bag as they can be used in so many different ways.
ExOfficio Sports Mesh Bikini Briefs (£16/$17)
Ok, so I feel a bit weird putting women’s underwear on this list but it’s because they are so good!
ExOfficio underwear are breathable, comfy and dry from handwashing within an hour or so – perfect for long-term travel. Yes, they’re pricey but they are completely worth it.
We wouldn’t recommend the men’s version as they don’t seem to wear as well but the women’s are the best I’ve come across.
(both are currently on sale for just £24.99)
I’ve been debating buying a Merino top for a few years but was put off by the price. We came across these beauties recently and absolutely love them.
Great for hiking or just general travel, Merino Wool can be worn a lot before it starts to smell, it’s breathable and is super soft.
I always have a little Moleskin notebook in my bag – you never know when inspiration will strike and it’s also what I use to track our budgets on trips (old school, I know!)
They are waterproof, well made and as a friend once told me, “If it’s good enough for Hemingway…”
If you want to get a writer something really special, check out these beautiful personalised leather journals. I would absolutely love my own monogrammed journal.
Give someone the gift of being able to spot their luggage in style!
The tag on the left comes in a number of different designs and you can personalise the back with a name or initials. The leather is gorgeous and will age beautifully.
I also really like the wooden style tags with large initial and address on the back. These are a little bit more feminine while retaining that lovely natural look.
Paracord Bracelet (£4/$5)
A great stocking filler for the adventurous person in your life! Paul loves his 🙂
For anyone that hikes or camps this is a nice little gift. The paracord can be used to secure equipment, your tent or even as a tourniquet in an emergency – this one also comes with a fire steel striker if you’re caught without matches.
We hope you enjoy the festive season and you’ve found some inspiration in these gift ideas.
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