The approach of the festive season means one thing – OK, so it means numerous things – but at GY HQ it means it’s time for another travel gift guide! While some travel gifts from last year’s list have made the cut for 2017, we’ve also made way for some new products, which are well worth considering when buying a gift for the traveller in your life.
Bound to be a hit with any traveller, packing cubes are a game-changer when it comes to keeping organised and maximising space inside your backpack. These handy packing cases allow you to easily roll up your clothes and organise them into different cubes, so you can fit more in your bag and find items quickly.
Everyone loves a scratch map, but the gift gurus at Luckies have taken it to the next level with their scratchable travel journal! This 64 page journal is compact enough to take travelling and includes 8 x mini scratch maps, as well as almost 300 bucket list experiences to inspire travellers.
The drinking water in many backpacking destinations is often unsuitable for drinking, meaning a method of water purification is necessary to ensure you don’t get ill during your trip. Of course, another option would be to buy bottled water everyday, but this isn’t particularly good for a backpacker’s budget or the environment. Our solution to safe drinking water is the Water-to-Go bottle, which removes 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and other contaminants found in water, making it safe to drink.
Travelling with a sleeping bag liner is recommended for most destinations, especially when staying in budget accommodation. While silk is the most expensive, it packs down smaller and weighs much less compared to cotton and polycotton options. Silk is also more breathable, wicks away perspiration and performs well in both warm and cool climates.
We’d recommend packing dry bags for most trips, they’re great for keeping stuff dry at the beach, on boat trips or when you’re travelling during monsoon season. They can also be used to store a wet bikini or swimming shorts, so you can keep them away from dry items in your bag. The Matador Droplet is a 3 litre dry bag, which packs inside a teeny silicone droplet shaped key ring, keeping it safe and easy to find when you need it.
You really can’t go wrong with the humble travel towel! Where do we start? They’re lightweight, quick-drying, pack down small and some even come with anti-bacterial protection to reduce odours (so you don’t need to worry if you’re unable to wash it for a while). We’d recommend choosing an XL or Giant size, that way it can also double as a beach towel.
A bugbear for many travellers is how they’ll hang their mosquito net when they get to their accommodation. Sometimes it’s a fairly simple affair, then there are occasions where you really have to improvise and it can be pretty tricky. The pop up mosquito net alleviates this common travel issue, as it simply pops up and requires minimal effort on your part! It can also be used outside, making it a great option for travellers who will be camping during their gap year.
While many travel guides can be on the bulky side, the Marco Polo pocket guide range is compact and travel-friendly. The guides are small enough to keep in your daypack during the day and also come with a pull out map. The range covers popular gap year destinations including; Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand, to name a few.
For destinations and accommodation where security is a concern, the travel door lock will help keep intruders out and will fit almost all internal doors. This handy travel gadget is easy to set up and release and is great when door locks aren’t available.
A worldwide adapter is a great gift idea for travellers visiting multiple countries. Most cover around 150 countries and feature the common European, USA and Australian configurations. Power surges can occur in some countries and damage your electric equipment, so choosing an adapter with surge protection is a great way to safeguard against this.
If you’re travelling in countries with a high crime rate or staying in accommodation without lockers, the Pacsafe travel safe offers the perfect solution to keeping your valuables and other important items safe. The travel safe features slashproof steel wire within its fabric to stop thieves cutting into it and stealing your stuff. It also includes Pacsafe’s patented 360° eXomesh locking system, allowing you to lock the safe to railings and hard to move objects…A great gadget for hostel dorms, sleeper trains and overnight bus journeys, where travellers can’t always keep any eye on their belongings.
If choosing a travel related gift is proving too difficult, you can remove the stress by buying them a travel gear voucher! Available in values of £10, £25 or £100, your travel-loving friend or relative can choose their own present from a range of travel equipment and accessories.
One way of saving valuable packing space is to pack less and wash your clothes more. This is easily achievable with the help of the travel clothes line, a twisted elastic washing line which can be attached to trees, hostel bunk beds, railings and other objects to help you dry your clothes when travelling…No pegs required, simply tuck your clothes into the elastic and you’re all set!
Colouring books took the world by storm a couple of years ago, but what about one for travellers? The Colorlogue allows you to colour in the countries you’ve visited and also includes maps, flags and guides to colour in…Perfect for keeping travellers entertained on long bus journeys and long-haul flights. It even includes a set of colouring pencils!
Every traveller needs a smaller backpack for day to day use, and this packable 16 litre option from Lifeventure is perfect for storing daily essentials. It packs down to a compact 15 x 16 x 4cm in size when not in use and features internal and external pockets once it’s opened out. The shoulder straps are also constructed from mesh material, making it more breathable and comfortable to wear in tropical climates.
Another packable travel accessory, the Platypus SoftBottle rolls up or packs flat when it’s empty to save space in your backpack. It’s also extremely lightweight compared to standard water bottles and comes with a clean taste guarantee, meaning no unpleasant plastic tastes.
A great gift for gadget lovers, campers and people travelling off the beaten track, the Scrubba Wash Bag provides a machine quality wash wherever you are in the world! The Scrubba is a dry bag with a flexible integrated washboard, which can be used to wash clothes when camping, trekking or travelling in remote areas. When it’s not in use, it packs down to just 16 x 10 x 3cm in size and weighs 145g, making it well suited to backpacking.
Money belts are an essential item, allowing travellers to discreetly store cash and valuables out of sight. Thieves are now able to scan contactless cards and biometric passports from a distance, allowing them to steal the data embedded in their RFID chips. Due to this development, many money belts now come with RFID-blocking fabric to block illegal scans of your cards and passport. While they’re not the coolest travel accessory, a money belt would make a good present for anyone travelling in South and Central America, Asia or Africa.
Getting changed at the beach has never been easier, thanks to this adult sized towel poncho! It opens out to the size of a beach towel (230 x 85cm) and is made from quick drying microfibre material to help you get dry after a shower or swim. It packs down small, too!
This mini sized travel wallet keeps your passport, documents, cards, currency and other essentials organised without taking up too much space. It also benefits from RFID-blocking & water-resistant fabric to ensure its contents are protected throughout your trip. For such a small travel organiser, the Lifeventure Mini RFID Travel Wallet offers a surprising amount of space and is ideal for travellers who think standard travel wallets are too bulky!
Another addition from the Luckies range, the stamp map in a compact passport size! This craft passport is supplied in a stylish presentation box and comes with interchangeable stamps to help you document where you’ve been or where you’re going next.
When you’re choosing a gift for someone who loves to travel, you really can’t go wrong with a power bank. This slim power bank is roughly the size of a credit card and is easy to pack in your daypack for power on the go. It’s also useful in hostels when you need to charge your phone and all the wall sockets are in use!
A popular gadget in the travel world, the Pacsafe backpack protector creates a slashproof steel net around your backpack to stop thieves cutting into your bag or running off with it. Simply pull the mesh protector over your bag and lock it to railings or hard to move objects to keep your backpack safe.
Like the Travel Safe, the Pacsafe backpack protector is a handy accessory for hostels, sleeper trains and overnight bus journeys. It’s available in three different sizes too, including; 25-55L, 55-85L & 75-120L, so there’s an option for all sizes of backpack.
This shampoo and body wash combo is one of our favourite products from the Incognito range. Incognito hair & body wash is made from 100% natural ingredients and acts as a foundation layer of insect protection (use in addition to mosquito repellent for the best results), you also won’t need to pack separate shampoo and body wash as it combines the two!
If you know a traveller who can’t be without their gadgets, a protective e-Case would make the ideal travel gift. Designed to organise gadgets such as cameras, memory cards, cables and adapters, tech cases offer protection for electrical items and make them easier to find inside your backpack. They also tend to come with a soft lining to help prevent scratches and damage to equipment.
Rachel has worked for the company for 9 years and as one of our buying team, has a wide knowledge of travel gear. She has travelled in Europe and Southeast Asia, but her dream destination would be South America to experience Carnival in Rio, unleash her inner Attenborough in the Galapagos and sip on Colombian coffee in colonial Cartagena.