It’s that time of year again! Yes, we know we do one of these posts every year, but more travel gadgets and great travel gifts have sprung up in the last 12 months! Whether you’re buying a travel-related Christmas present for a friend or relative or need a gift for a traveller departing at a different time of the year, our top 20 travel gift ideas will give you some inspiration. So without further ado, here are some of our top gift ideas for the jet-setter in your life…
There’s no need to pack multiple adapters when you’re equipped with a universal travel adapter. The Mini Global works in over 150 countries and combines 3 plug types in 1, making it perfect for multi-destination trips. It’ll work in many popular gap year destinations such as Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan, as well as most countries in Europe…To name a few. The Mini Global adapter is also great for use in South America where plug sockets can vary from region to region.
You don’t have to be a teenage girl or the brooding sensitive type in order to keep a journal. Travel journals are the perfect way to record your experiences when travelling, make note of contact details for new found friends and store keepsakes from your trip. The My Way Journal range from Marco Polo even comes with emoticon and themed stickers and a keepsake pocket at the back. The journal is divided into three sections “before the journey”, “on the journey” and “after the journey”, so is great for planning your trip, as well as documenting your experiences as you travel. When you return from travelling you’ll have a great little keepsake/mini scrapbook of your trip to treasure forever!
Security is always a concern for travellers, and this handy gadget offers so much more than a standard padlock. The mini cable lock has a 3 digit combination and comes with an extending flexible coated steel shackle, which will fit through pretty much any backpack zip or lockable zip. It can also be used to lock your hostel locker or to lock your backpack and other equipment to railings and other fixed/hard to move objects. If you’re travelling with a friend, you can also use it to lock your backpacks together on trains and buses, making them harder to steal.
Missing out on once in a lifetime photo opportunities because of a dead battery can be avoided, thanks to the trusty power bank! Charge it up and carry it in your daypack when you’re out and about for instant charging of your mobile phone on the move. It can also come in handy when all the wall sockets are in use back at the hostel. This slim power bank is the size of a credit card, so you don’t have to worry about packing bulky chargers.
For travellers visiting countries where the water is likely to be unsuitable for drinking, there really is no better option than the Water-to-Go Bottle. Not only does it save you money compared to buying bottled water every day, but you’re also doing your bit for the environment by not creating more waste plastic! The Water-to-Go bottle has a built-in purification filter which removes 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and other contaminants found in water. No need for chemical treatments and it’s so much easier.
Who hasn’t heard of the scratch map?! This clever little world map come scratch card makes the perfect gift for travellers, and Luckies have even made a travel-sized version so you can take it with you on your travels! If you’re not familiar with the concept, the scratch map comes with a removable top foil layer, allowing you to scratch off the countries you’ve visited. A great keepsake for any traveller, and a unique way to document your trip.
Even with heaps of travel gift ideas at your feet, you may still want to play it safe and go for the trusty gift voucher. Gap Year Travel Store vouchers come in £10, £25 & £50 options and allow travellers to choose their own gift from our huge selection of travel accessories and equipment.
The travel towel is possibly the number one travel accessory, but with so many options available it can be hard to know which one to buy as a gift for your backpacker friend or relative. This world map option from Lifeventure ticks all the boxes with a compact pack size, anti-bacterial protection, giant size (great for the beach) and world map pattern. Oh and it’s quick drying too!
Her’s one for the gadget lovers! The Matador Pocket Blanket is a puncture resistant blanket with weighted corners, water repellent base and a pocket sized storage pouch. Great for the beach, remote areas and adventures in the wilderness, it provides enough space for 2 people to lay down or for 4 people to sit. Don’t let its teeny pack size fool you though; it opens out to 160 x 110cm in size!
We’d have to say one of our top travel tips is to pack fewer clothes and wash the ones you do take more often. With this in mind, a travel clothes line makes a great and quirky travel gift. There’s no need for pegs, simply tuck your clothes in between the twisted elastic to hold them in place and hook it to hostel bunk beds, trees and anything else it’ll attach to for easy drying of your clothes.
Perhaps not the coolest of travel gifts, but an essential for many destinations around the world. A travel money belt is the ideal gift, particularly for travellers visiting South and Central America, Asia and Africa where petty theft can be common in some areas.
Here’s a great gift idea for female travellers! The bra stash clips to your bra and is big enough to store a couple of bank notes and credit cards. A discreet and safe way to store cash and valuables when travelling, and it’s made from 100% silk for added comfort.
A travel guide for a traveller’s destination is always a safe bet when it comes to buying a travel-related gift. Marco Polo’s pocket travel guide range covers a range of popular gap year and travel destinations such as; Thailand, Vietnam, India, Australia and New Zealand. These guides are much more compact compared to other travel guides on the market, so you can take them with you without taking up valuable packing space. Each one comes with a pull out country map at the back!
Packing multiple bottles of toiletries will only weigh you down, so we always recommend ditching the bag full of toiletries in favour of a multi-purpose travel soap. Designed to wash your body, hair and clothes (amongst other things, depending on the brand you choose), multi-purpose soap allows you to pack one bottle instead of several and is concentrated to make it last longer. A must have for any traveller!
For travellers visiting countries or areas with a high crime rate, or just for travellers who want added peace of mind, a travel door lock makes the perfect gift. In accommodation where security may be an issue or where door locks aren’t present, this little gadget can be used to stop intruders and unwanted guests getting in.
This travel gadget made our top 10 gifts last year, and it still has a place for 2016. Essentially a dry bag with an integrated wash board, the Scrubba wash bag allows you to get a machine quality wash whether you’re in a hostel, camping or trekking up a mountain. It packs down to a small size and is ideal for travellers on longer trips, as it saves money on launderettes and is also a better option compared to hand washing.
Dry bags are on many travel packing lists, especially if you’re travelling during the rainy season or are hitting the beach often. The Matador Droplet is a 3 litre dry bag stored in a compact silicone droplet storage case, complete with a key chain attachment. It can be used to keep contents dry or to store wet items like swimwear.
A travel towel with a difference! Opening out into a whopping 230 x 85cm beach sized towel, the travel towel poncho can be used to get changed down at the beach, then opened out and used as a normal travel towel for drying off after a swim or shower. Its large size also makes it ideal for sunbathing.
A what?! Yes, a sink plug for travelling. It may seem odd, but you’d be surprised at just how useful one of these can be when travelling. When it comes to hand washing your clothes in a hostel sink, you may find sink plugs are nowhere to be seen, so having your own to hand is wise. A fun gift for travellers and bound to be a hit with anyone who loves a gadget or something a bit different!
Sleeping bag liners are one of our top recommended items of kit for travel. This all singing, all dancing sleeping bag liner is made from 100% cotton and repels mosquitoes, insects and bed bugs with its triple layer protection. It’s also anti-bacterial to keep it fresher for longer, great when you’re unable to clean it for a while. Sleeping bag liners are a great alternative to sleeping bags if you’re travelling to countries with a tropical climate and sleeping indoors.
Now you’re suitably inspired (we hope!) you can check out our entire travel gift range for even more gift ideas, and to hunt down some of the items from our top 20!
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.