I love Christmas. There’s a lot of sadness that goes alongside it for me, but it’s a also a time that brings joy. There are a lot of children in my family, so spending time with them always makes the holidays a treat – along with all the mulled wine, minced pies and fairy lights.
Yesterday I sent an email to all of you who have signed up to the Bridges and Balloons newsletter, saying I’d love to send one of you a gift. Lots of people have already replied and I’ll be picking a winner by the end of the week. If you haven’t already signed up to the newsletter, but do so before Friday, you’ll still have time to enter. I wish I could send one to everyone!
Thinking about gifts made me realise I’ve never posted a Christmas gift guide, so I’ve decided to share one now. I know Christmas gift giving gets a lot of bad rap for all the commercialism that runs alongside it, and while I can see that perspective, I also think the basic gesture of giving a gift is really something wonderful. So here are some ideas for the travel lovers in your life. They cover all kinds of travellers – from the armchair traveller to the digital nomad to someone like me who is setting up home, but still has travel in their heart.
Nearly all of these suggestions are things that I own, aside from a few that I just really, really want 🙂
Let me know if you have any other great ideas to add to the list.
For travel lovers at home
Green Kitchen Stories cookbooks
Green Kitchen Stories’ cookbooks are two of my favourite veggie recipe books, and Green Kitchen Travels would make an ideal gift for a travel lover. It’s packed with recipes from around the world, from Mexican paletas to Sri Lankan vegetable curry. And the photography is stunning.
Price: £19.99 on Amazon
Illustrated maps book
This gorgeous book of illustrated maps is a perfect coffee table book for travel lovers. It’s filled with artists’s renditions of maps, from the accurate to the whimsical. All of them are beautiful.
Price: £33 on Amazon
I’ma fiend for independent magazines and our new home is filled with them. Some of the best independent travel-related magazines I can can recommend are: Another Escape, Ernest Journal, Cereal, Sidetracked and Drift. That’s one of my magazine shelves in the photo above 🙂
Price: from £10 (follow links for individual magazines above)
I have this little globe in my living room. You can write or draw whatever you fancy on it, making it a fun and stylish gift. I have the one on the left from Anthropology, but it appears to be sold out right now. An alternative is the one on the left.
Price: £19.50 on Amazon
We used this map for the seating plan at our wedding as all the tables were named after places we’d been together. Now it’s up in our kitchen, brightening up the walls. It’s fun to be able to scratch off a country after you’ve returned from somewhere new.
Price: £16.95 on Amazon
Another map option is this little pin board map. I haven’t quite got round to it yet, but I’m going to put in on the wall in our hallway, surrounded by photos from our travels. You could also use it as a simple noticeboard.
Price: £18.40 on Amazon
I’m in love with these map prints by Maptrail. We have the blue London one hanging in our living room, and the black and white ones are also stunning. You can get one personalised with a map of two different countries, which would make a good gift for an international couple.
Price: £60 0n Maptrail
Hand drawn food maps
Now we have out own home, I have finally been able to order one of these beautiful maps that I’ve been coveting since Jodi released the first one a couple of years ago. We went for the Mexico one, but all of them are lovely. You can also get them printed on tote bags and t-shirts.
Price: from $24 (£19) on the Legal Nomads shop
There’s loads of great travel-related jewellery on Etsy, but this necklace is one of my favourite pieces. I think it’d make an ideal gift.
Price: £19 on Etsy
For travellers on the road
Speakeasy travel scarf
Fellow bloggers Randy and Bethany make these beautiful scarves that have a handy hidden pocket, perfect for storing your passport. You could also use it to hold some cash and keys when you don’t fancy bringing a bag out with you. They come in loads of great styles, suitable for men and women.
Although I’m a huge fan of paperbacks and read them in favour of ebooks at home, the Kindle Paperwhite is most definitely one of the most brilliant traveller gifts. Gone are the days when you had to rely on the hostel’s book swap, and now you can have every book at your whim. Any traveller will thank you for it. You could also add a few travel-related e-books. One that’s very useful is The Carry-On Traveller by our friend Erin at Never Ending Voyage
Price: £79.99 on Amazon
I know many travellers like to be 100% digital, but sometimes it’s nice to use a pen and paper. You can’t fault the classic moleskin. Or for something a little smaller, Steve loves these tiny passport-shaped notebooks from Muji.
Aeropress and coffee grinder
Oh my, this is the ultimate hipster travel luxury – the ability to make a perfect cup of coffee while on the move. It’s not too heavy and is really easy to use, rivalling anything you could buy in a shop. Add a hand-held grinder, and your favourite traveller will be able to grind their own beans wherever they are in the world.
Price: £23.95 on Amazon
Packing cubes are the secret to stress-free packing and unpacking. They allow you to compartmentalise your backpack/suitcase into easy to organise cubes. I use one double-sided one for my clothes, and a smaller one for underwear and socks. These things may not look glamorous but they’ll be much appreciated!
I use these ones from Eagle Creek, but there are plenty more available.
Price: From £9.50 on Amazon
For a simple, practical gift, you can’t go wrong with a headlamp. Useful for everything from jungle walks to reading in the dark. I’ve owned the same one – the Petzl Tikka – for over 10 years, and it’s still going strong.
Price: £13 on Amazon
I was sent this bag earlier this year with no obligation to review it, and it’s turned out to be one of my favourite things. It has lots of handy compartments, including one for a laptop, and another for shoes. And it’s works really well as an overnight bag or as an additional carry-on. Best of all, it has a little zip up compartment on the back that you can hook over your suitcase handle, which makes it super easy to carry.
Price: £220 from Lo & Sons
Samsonite Spark suitcase
I did a ton of research when trying to choose the best bag for short trips, and I ended up landing on the Samsonite Spark. It’s nice and light, has a built-in lock, and expands to fit more inside. I haven’t found fault with it yet.
Price: £92 from Amazon
I love these tags by Maria Allen on Etsy. My luggage is pretty popular so there’s always loads of them on the baggage carousel at the airport; tags like this are perfect for making it stand out. This passport cover is also pretty awesome.
Price: £24 on Etsy
Steve and I love playing games while travelling. They’re a great way to meet new people or pass time while waiting for buses and whatnot. Some of our favourites are Jungle Speed, Bananagrams and Backpacker.
Any other ideas?
And that’s it from me. Let me know if you have any to add to the list 🙂
P.S. Some of these links are affiliate links, which means I get a little bit of money when you buy something, but at no extra cost to you. I hope you don’t mind, but a girl has to earn some cash sometimes 🙂 They’re all genuine recommendations, of course.