Rule One of Gift Giving: Capitalise on hobbies.
Rule Two of Gift Giving: Capitalise on passions.
Rule Three of Gift Giving: Buy whatever and keep the receipt.
There are a lot of easy options for gifting your beloved traveler; passport cover for Paul, money organiser for Sally... But chances are that Paul and Sally are already sorted with what they feel comfortable traveling with, and do not really need or want new passport covers.
And as for gadgets? Everything a traveler really needs, including the handy app Toilet Finder, is probably already on their phone. When researching my carry-on only post, I bought a lot of things I thought would help me be more organised, but what I found was that each gadget and cool concept actually added to my luggage and most were of no help at all.
Skipping over packing cubes and toiletries kits (that travelers should just have, and not be gifted), I read through many websites and print articles and came up with a short list, included here, of products and ideas that I found different, affordable, cute and hopefully, very useful!
Minimergency kits from Pinch Provisions (pinchprovisions.co.uk) run about 16.00 GDP ($20) and contain personal care and style essentials in compact, easy to carry pouches. Pinch Provisions also have Minimergency kits especially designed for men.
Vim&Vigr (vimvigr.com) are charging the lead with cute, wearable-in-public compression socks. Not your basic black, these socks come in a variety of styles, retail for $32.95 (£26) and are available for men and women in cotton, nylon and nylon wicking.
For your healthy friend who can't go a day without yoga posing, Yofo yoga mats from Khataland.com come in two thickness and retail for $45.00 (£35). They fold, rather than roll and will fit nicely into most cases.
And speaking of fitness, I like to travel with a rubber band or two. This allows me to work out while lying in bed; perhaps the best possible workout ever. Resistance Loop Bands from Belus are my favourite, possibly because they are purple and pink. Also available in blue for men. A set of four runs just under £23.00 ($29) uk.belus.com
I am keen to go to the beach on my next holiday, but I always worry about how to keep my car keys safe. I have just bought a Keebunga waterproof key holder, £34.95 ($45), that I hope will make me look like a super-cool surfer when hitting the waves. Though it will take a: time machine, fat-removal robot, confidence building brain wipe and approximately 1000 hours of surfing lessons to make that happen. keebunga.com
You may think that giving money to your traveler is unimaginative and boring, even though money is exactly what EVERYBODY wants. Try giving a pre-paid debit card to your traveller for the holidays. These cards are recognised as debit cards and you can use them in most places and load them with up to 13 different currencies.
money.co.uk hellopockit.com postoffice.co.uk
I purchased the card from Royal Mail for my daughter's gap year. It worked perfectly fine and I did not have to worry about it being stolen or hacked, as I would her bank debit card. Please check all of the terms and conditions from all of the individual providers to make sure that you get the product that suits your needs best.
Flight Centre offers travel gift cards that can be used to purchase travel. The cards can be loaded with as little as £5 up to £1000 and can be used with Flight Centre to purchase travel or accommodation. Please look up the details on flightcentre.com
flightgiftcard.com offers a similar service and is accepted by every major airline.
For the vintage traveler, I have just discovered Red Bubble (redbubble.com). They offer loads of vintage travel-inspired merchandise from posters to hoodies to tote bags from current and very long out of business travel companies. I also love my printed canvas carry-on bag from Paravel (tourparavel.com). The bags are light and roomy, and can be printed with sassy sayings. And as all things French are chic and stylish, look to Airfrance.com/onlineshopping for bags and other items emblazoned with the Air France logo.
Speaking of French, a while back Santa Claus brought our daughter, who was about to leave on her gap summer, a collection of fragrances that were meant to recreate the scents of major cities around the world, and were cleverly displayed in bottles that looked like boarding passes. I have had trouble finding this company again, but there are others who are now doing similar things, such as Byredo Parfums (byredo.co.uk), also French, and Le Labo (French?) lelabofragrences.com.
Please consult alifeofmore.co.uk cntraveler.com and other websites and publications for even more gift ideas for the traveler in your life. And if all else fails, borrow your travelers phone for 5 minutes and download Toilet Finder! They will thank you forever!!!
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