Have a friend or relative who is lucky enough to be heading off on a gap year? If the answer to this question is yes, then you are most likely planning on buying them a gift for their trip…but what is the best present to buy a traveller? We’ve put together a list of useful items, as well as some fun travel products that make perfect gifts for loved ones who are embarking on their gap year.
A guide book for their destination is a great travel gift, enabling them to swat up on their destination before and during their trip. Guide books are filled with information on local customs, attractions and places to eat and are a great place to turn to when you’re trying to think of an activity for the day or a restaurant/café to try out.
When travelling it is wise to try and learn a little of the language of the country that you are visiting, so a phrase book can come in useful. Locals really appreciate it when travellers attempt to speak their language and it also helps you to immerse yourself in the culture. If you decide to buy a travel guide or phrase book as a present, try and opt for a guide book that is as lightweight as possible or even pocket sized, or you could get a digital version, if the traveller in question has an e-reader.
Now a towel may not seem like an exciting gift, but travel towels are an absolute must have for any traveller and they come in a range of sizes, styles and patterns. Lifeventure have a great choice of giant sized towels in world map designs, which also come with permanent anti-bacterial protection to keep mould and unpleasant odours at bay.
Another great option, especially if you’re on a budget, are the Sunset, Ocean and Zebra print microfibre towels in our range, which retail at £9.99 and come in their own storage case. Not only do travel towels come in handy for drying off after hitting the showers, but they can be used as beach towels for sunbathing or as a trusty sarong when you need to cover up on the beach!
We all love a good gadget and the Water-to-Go bottle is a clever little invention, guaranteed to be a hit with the environment-conscious traveller. The bottle has a 750ml capacity and can be filled up from almost any water source (except sea water), it then uses a special built in filter inside the lid to filter out 99.9% of contaminants that cause water-borne disease and illness. The built in filter will treat up to 200 litres of water before it needs replacing and Water-to-go replacement filters are also available.
This item can come in handy in a range of environments, from the beach or hostel to jungles and remote villages. The collapsible mug is made from flexible silicone material, so it can be folded flat when you’re not using it. Not only is this product extremely funky and novel, but it will also save space inside backpacks and luggage.
Another travel product that backpackers find a bit of a novelty, is the Female urinal! This device is designed to allow women to urinate while standing, so they don’t have to squat in bushes on treks or hover over unpleasant looking toilet seats. They’re a handy accessory for women, especially when toilet facilities are nowhere to be seen. The She Pee or Whiz Freedom are perfect options if you decide to buy one of these as a gift and they come in girly colours, too.
We also have travel urinals suitable for both male and female travellers. These contain a powder that turns into an odourless gel and can be used when there are no toilets around, or if you’re camping and don’t want to leave the comfort of your tent on a night to use the toilet!
This one is bound to score you some brownie points, as it’s an absolute godsend for outdoor enthusiasts, adventure travellers and backpackers heading for remote villages, where keeping clean can prove difficult. The waterless wash kit contains shampoo and body wash which can be used without water. They all come in liquid form and can be massaged into your skin or hair to leave it feeling clean and fresh, without leaving a sticky residue behind.
It also includes a pack of expanding cleaning wipes, which can be used with water or the no water body wash, as well as a disposable toothbrush, which has built in toothpaste. All supplied in a small canvas pouch to keep it all together.
Rather than taking a sleeping bag, some travellers will choose to simply take a sleeping bag liner, especially if they’re travelling to tropical climates. This handy cotton sleeping bag liner from Lifeventure comes with special EX3 protection, which helps to repel mosquitoes and other insects, as well as bed bugs (common in many hostels & budget accommodation) and also reduces the build up of the bacteria that causes mould and unpleasant odours!
There are a number of essential items we recommend packing for your gap year, which we have packed into tailor-made travel kits to suit specific destinations. If your friend or relative is travelling to Thailand for instance, we’ve created a Thailand travel kit which includes a selection of travel products, which would be useful for travel to Thailand. This kit includes a travel adapter, money belt, mosquito repellent, mosquito bite relief, travel towel, glow sticks (for full moon parties!), hand gel and sunscreen wipes. We also stock a travel essentials kit, containing a travel towel, world plug set, travel clothes line, money belt, torch, mosquito repellents & hand gel.
This one’s great for anyone travelling to a country with a high crime rate, that may be deemed as ‘unsafe’. The travel door lock is a handy gadget that basically adds some extra security to your bedroom door. It’s perfect for travellers staying in hostels and other budget accommodation, where security may not be the best. The lock slots into the door catch and is secured from inside the room, stopping possible intruders from barging in unannounced.
Many travellers will find themselves wishing they’d packed a portable charger, so give them a helping hand and get them one as a travel gift! Some chargers on the market, such as the SolarMonkey, use solar power, making them a great choice for the eco-friendly traveller, but these can carry a pretty hefty price tag. If you want a cheaper option, a portable USB charger is the way to go. These chargers allow you to charge USB powered appliances while you’re out and about or staying somewhere without mains power for a couple of nights and are compact enough to fit inside a daypack.
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.