I was asked the other day what I could recommend as a work leaving present for someone going travelling, as well as a present for a friend going travelling.
I’ve come up with the following useful gifts for travelers. They are useful travel gifts for men or women whether they are backpacking, cruising, sipping champers on a balcony overlooking the Amalfi coast, or riding buses in Southeast Asia.
I decided to focus on useful travel gifts as, for many travellers, space is tight and you want everything you have to work for you. Plus, sometimes these are the sorts of things you know you need – but you don’t want to spend your own money on!
1. Passport Amigo Travel Wallet
Of course, I’m going to recommend my own product first! A travel wallet that keeps you organised and means you don’t lose the little keepsakes from your trip of a lifetime.
Each wallet’s cover is an atlas-quality map that you can write on so you can plot your journey on the cover and make notes inside.
Every travel wallet comes in a keepsake tin so when you return you have a ready-made home for all your small travel memorabilia.
Definitely a useful, unique & memorable gift for a globetrotter. The video below shows the Southeast Asia & Philippines Travel wallet.
2. Travel Skin Care Box by MadeOn
If you’re looking for a gift for a traveller with dry skin who also needs to travel light this Travel Skin Care Box is just the ticket.
As well as a shampoo bar, goat soap and lip balm it also contains a travel-sized version of their signature lotion bar.
Made with just three ingredients (shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax) the solid 'lotion' bar is designed specifically to heal and protect hands and feet from cracked and extremely dry skin.
I used the bar on a recent safari in Tanzania (along with my East Africa Travel Wallet) and it was the perfect solution for keeping my feet in top condition when wearing sandals in a hot, dry environment.
Plus, as the shampoo and the lotion bar are solid they slip pass the liquid restriction in place for air travel. Bonus!
I’m not talking bulky cotton or polyester sateen here. urgh…static! No. I’m talking a 100% silk sleeping bag liner.
The best silk liner is incredibly light-weight, stuffs into a little sack and barely takes up any room. It also dries quickly if you’re hand washing it.
I use mine for a myriad of things. They are useful:
- when you’re staying in places that…shall we say…are a touch on the unsavoury side *cough* Budget Chinese Tourist Hotels *cough, cough*
- when it’s hot and even a cotton sheet is too much but you need some protection from one or more of the following: whirring fan, blasting air conditioner, buzzing mosquitos
- as a sarong.
My favourite sleeping bag liners are these by Soundly Sleeping Dragon.
They are handmade by the Tan Minh Single Mothers' Cooperative in Hanoi, Vietnam, have a slot for your pillow, are 100% silk and come in a gorgeous array of colours. Just look at them; I mean who wouldn’t want one?! Especially if it's a gift. Gorgeous.
4. Ultra-lightweight Nylon Dry Bag
I know. Boring; but oh so practical. I have the Exped Fold Dry Bag Ultralight and it gets used nearly every day I travel. It’s incredibly lightweight and packs up really small. It’s worth paying more for the ultralight dry bags. They are in a class of their own.
An ultralight dry sack was super useful during the monsoons in India as I could slip it over my Pacsafe crossbody bag and still have the bag crossed over me and was confident everything in it was protected from the rain.
Twice recently I’ve seen damage occur to iPads and computers when bottles of water have leaked into backpacks. So I always protect my tech gear in a zippered, padded laptop case, and then slip that into the roll top dry bag. Then it all just slips neatly into my daypack.
They come in lots of different sizes and colours. I’ve been really impressed by this bit of kit and have them in a range of sizes. Great for keeping sand out of cameras as well. And stuffing dirty laundry in them, wet swimming items and I’ve even used it for soaking really muddy items as pre-wash!
Definitely a useful gift for a traveler.
5. Pacsafe Travel Safe
I know. Another deeply unsexy gift idea but stay with me on this one. I have this Pacsafe Travelsafe 5L Anti-theft Portable Safe (what a mouthful!) and whilst it’s not a beautiful gift but trust me, it’s something that can be used every day and gives peace of mind and it’s a great road trip gift idea too.
In this 5L portable travel safe, I can fit my 11″ MacBook Air, passport, wallet, compact camera as well as other small bits like a watch, iPhone etc.
It has a splash-proof mesh lining and a tough steel cable you use to attach to items that don’t move. Many thieves are opportunistic and it’s about making your stuff that bit harder to steal in the time available.
I get into the habit of using it all the time. Even at home. Great when travelling on public transport too – especially overnight buses and trains. It is a perfect road trip gift idea as you can lash it under the seat of your vehicle. Its an ideal gift idea for cruise travelers too so you can safely store items in your cabin.
So, that's my roundup, I hope you can find something useful. And of course, it's ABSOLUTELY okay to buy gifts for yourself, useful or otherwise!
Happy travels and happy gift-giving to travelles!