No doubt if you are reading this, you are an avid traveler and familiar with the ins and outs of life on the go as well as the latest expedition gear! But what about the other travelers, or aspiring travelers, in your life? Perhaps the best holiday gift for them this year would be something travel related! I personally have been on a mission to put together the perfect travel pack gift set for a friend who is heading to Southeast Asia for a classic budget backpacking adventure. I thought I’d share a spiffed up and expanded list of some ideas I had drawn up, to perhaps help you find the perfect travel-themed gift advance so you can avoid the Christmas Eve trek of shame to the dreaded Local Mall:
Simple & Classic
Possibly the most timeless and classic travel gift to give is a journal, an abundance of blank pages to be filled. You can even make one of these and with that comes the flexibility to create something that can be both journal and scrapbook - using blank insertable pages, keepsake pockets and so forth. A more modern nod to the travel journal would of course be to go all out on a micro laptop or tablet computer. Or you could bestow a waterproof and shock absorbent laptop or tablet cover instead, and these come in a multitude of patterns and materials for that all important personalization factor.
A practical spin would be to consider a high quality travel wallet for documents, passport, money, receipts. Look for ones that offer security protection against illicit scanners. I for one am obsessed with organizers of all sorts and I receive a particular satisfaction from packing a super organized and functional bag. A good travel wallet is invaluable in keeping important items secure, and would be appreciated by most every kind of traveler.
For the hikers and trekkers in your life, (those who perhaps are dreaming about a future polar expedition), a lightweight collapsible Travel Staff or Hiking Poles could be just the thing.
And for those spending some time in the air or on the seas perhaps a compact Travel Games 4 in 1 (the kind that have a few games bundled together) to help make friends and while away the hours. Yes, games on your devices are great- but there are times when not being dependent on electricity or a charge is either a nice choice or a necessity.
Gadgets & Gear
There's no denying that modern travel boasts some serious technological advances that truly enhance the travel experience. As a gifter you have a host of choices. Most wildlife enthusiasts have a set of fancy binoculars, but what about a low costing set of waterproof binoculars that they can take out swimming, kayaking or snorkeling? Or how about a waterproof casing for an existing camera, or if you really like your giftee- maybe even a waterproof point and shoot. You may be subjected on social media to albums and galleries of fish and coral, but don’t say I didn’t warn you!
As far as low tech gadgets go, you might want not want to overlook a good travel alarm clock. In this age of mobiles and smartphones, you might think that these are going the way of free checked baggage but in fact I would attest that I have learned the hard way that there is value in not relying on prone to fail mobile hardware and iffy cellular networks!
Another useful and practical item for the travel trinket aficionados on your list could be a high tech currency calculator that will help them use real time exchange rate data as well as convert many kinds of currencies. Even simpler could be a small keychain calculator, one that could be affixed to a daypack for those quick mathematical currency calculations you really don’t want to get wrong, lest you wind up taking $400 out of an Oslo ATM instead of $40. Not that I personally know anything about that. (Ahem!)
For your ultimate gadget fans, you could of course spend the big bucks on portable DVD players, mp3 players and e-readers and such, but what about powering all those items? Sure, you could throw in a good quality Universal converter or a set of different converters and adaptors… but what about keeping everything up and running? Help your loved ones stay powered up with a solar charger for all their essential electronic gear.
And for the serious mountaineer or adventure sport enthusiast, a multifunction watch that can not only keep time and draw power from the sun, but also act as a compass, altimeter and weatherman all in one!
And last on my simple and practical gear section of the list here would be a travel utility knife - because what serious traveler hasn’t needed to open that bottle of wine or eat the delicious treat on a beach, forest trail, mountainside, city garden or hotel room? Or cut off that annoying strap on a daypack? Or open up that can of beans while backpacking?
Stocking Stuffers or Gift Sets
Or how about going the ultra thoughtful route and creating small gift sets such as:
Security Pack: Combination lock, waterproof passport holder, wire lock for bags, cut proof shoulder day pack, money belt, mini-flashlight, first aid kit
Washing kit: stopper, travel lightweight pins, line, biodegradable powder soap and stain stick, quick dry micro-towel, travel mini bottle set
Airline comfort kit: neck pillow, mini-blanket, ear plugs, eye-mask & collapsible water bottle
And for small stocking stuffers, these would be great for any traveler:
Quick dry clothing
Mittens with pointer finger release (for your shutterbugs)
Travel Shop gift certificate, destination guide books or DVDs (inspiration)
Donation to a Wildlife Conservation society.
The Ideal Gift
However, the ideal gift of course for those travelers in your life is, of course- travel! And of course if you book with us your gift goes further- we gift a portion of our proceeds directly to organizations and initiatives seeking to solve the world’s environmental and social challenges. As January begins, travel operators begin to offer some great deals meant to entice folks into sorting out their upcoming travel plans for the year, so be on the look out for some excellent special offers in 2016.