*Disclaimer* – This is our 2015 travel gift guide, you can view our 2016 gift guide here.
We like to think we have some pretty amazing and useful gadgets in our online travel store, and since our last travel gift guide we’ve had some great new additions to our range. So we thought we’d share our top 10 travel gifts for 2015 to help give you some inspiration when buying a gift for that friend or relative about to embark on a gap year.
1) LifeStraw Water Filter
More and more water purification products are making their way onto the market and the LifeStraw remains one of our favourites. This lightweight and easily transportable water filter can be used to drink directly from a range of water sources, including streams, rivers and puddles! It removes 99.9% of waterborne bacteria & protozoa, helping to reduce the risk of waterborne disease. Also, for each LifeStraw product you buy, a child in a developing country will receive safe drinking water for an entire school year…So you’re doing your bit to help others, too!
If you want a cool travel gadget for female travellers, the Eagle Creek Bra Stash is a great option! Made from washable natural silk material for a soft and comfortable feel, this under clothes wallet can be clipped onto your bra and filled with cash & cards to keep them safe and out of sight.
Get a machine quality wash when travelling, without having to trek to a laundrette! The Scrubba Wash Bag combines a dry sack with an integrated washboard, allowing you to give your clothes a good scrub, whether you’re trekking through the mountains, camping in Europe or don’t fancy washing your clothes in the hostel sinks. It folds up nice and compact and weighs just 145g.
Now a wallet may seem like a pretty dull present, but this currency wallet from Lifeventure is extremely handy for travellers. Not only does it come with an RFID blocking layer to protect your bank cards from illegal scans, but it comes with multiple pockets for separating and organising different types of currency during your trip.
It’s not feasible to carry a large backpack around with you on a day to day basis, so we always recommend also having a daypack for your gap year. Many travel backpacks come with a detachable daypack for day to day use, but if your backpack doesn’t come with one, buying a packaway daypack is a wise move! The Vango Pac 15 has a 15 litre capacity and packs into its own pocket, giving it a compact pack size of 16 x 14 x 4cm and weight of 200g.
You never know when you’re going to need to make an emergency clothing repair when travelling (and it will possibly happen at least once during a long trip!), so having a compact travel sewing kit to hand can be pretty useful. This travel sewing kit comes in a plastic storage case and contains folding scissors, buttons, thread and needles.
Another backpacking essential is the travel towel! Travel towels are a fraction of the size of normal towels we use at home, dry much quicker and are much more lightweight. This travel towel from Trespass has a soft feel and is made from natural bamboo fibres (pretty cool, huh!) and is also anti-bacterial to reduce the growth of bacteria and prevent unpleasant odours.
Head torches aren’t just for outdoor adventurers, and if the traveller you’re buying a present for is heading off to a remote area, a head torch will come in very handy! This one is nice and lightweight and can also be removed from the head strap and clipped to other items such as a hat or even a backpack. Torches are also a great accessory for anyone staying in hostel dorms during their gap year, as you can use them to light the way at night, so you don’t have to turn the dorm light on and wake your room mates.
Bed bugs & mosquitoes are definitely one of the downsides of travelling, but this cotton sleeping liner from Lifeventure provides anti-mosquito and anti-bed bug protection! It’s also anti-bacterial to keep it fresher for longer in between washes…Which isn’t always easy when travelling. You can use the liner alone in tropical climates or add it to your sleeping bag for extra warmth in cooler conditions. It even includes a pillow sleeve, so you don’t have to put your head on hostel pillows.
Cable locks are a useful travel gadget, allowing you to easily lock your luggage zips as well as secure your bags and other equipment to static or hard to move objects to help prevent theft and deter would be thieves. The Pacsafe Retractasafe Cable Lock comes with an extending 73cm cable shackle and has a 3 digit combination, so you don’t have to worry about losing your key!
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.