What to get people who love travel more than anything else? From in-flight skincare to nifty gadgets, we’ve tracked down original gift ideas that travellers will actually use.
We all know someone who’s always on the move. Who impulse-books foreign holidays like you buy takeaway coffees, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the best places to visit in the UK, and considers a month without a weekend away a month wasted. They’re a very special kind of person – but their refusal to be pinned down can make them notoriously tricky to buy for.
Travellers are nomadic by nature, which makes many standard Christmas gift ideas (books, beauty products, clothes) surplus to requirements. At the same time, a seasoned explorer isn’t likely to need the usual travel necessities, having tried and tested their favourites over many trips. And while they might bring exotic homecoming presents back from their travels, we can’t scour the globe for gifts to give them in return.
But equally, you probably don’t have time to trawl the furthest reaches of the internet for the perfect gift – especially during the festive season. So we’ve searched high and low for stylish and practical gifts that even the savviest globetrotter is unlikely to have come across on their travels.
Horizn Studios Suitcase
If your loved one is a regular flier, their go-to suitcase may be a bit battered. Upgrade them with Horizn Studios’ nu-gen luggage: this Vega Blue cabin suitcase comes with a smart charger so they won’t have to queue for the airport power stations.
Aesop Travel Skincare Kit
Everyone dreams of stepping off the plane looking like a sophisticated jet-setter. The reality? Dry lips, puffy eyes and a parched complexion. Aesop’s Departure kit contains seven travel-sized classics, including the cult Rosehip Seed Lip Cream and Blue Chamomile Hydrating Masque, to help skin survive long-haul trips.
Skinny Dip Portable Charger in Marble Wiggle
Portable chargers can be lifesavers during long journeys, but they aren’t usually the prettiest of gadgets. Skinnydip’s Marble Wiggle charger is a lovely exception, and will definitely look the part in their next pre-holiday Instagram flatlay.
Ven Store Cashmere Eye Mask
Cashmere is the ultimate travel luxury. But while everyone would love to be swaddled in blankets when they’re on the move, a pure cashmere eye mask is sometimes a more practical alternative. This chic, pocket-sized piece will help them maximise their in-transit nap in style.
Rex London World Map Glasses Case
Glasses can easily get bashed up while travelling, so a hard-shell case is essential. This one by Rex London will keep specs in tip-top condition – plus the colourful vintage world map print is a great way to test their geography.
Stow Tech Travel Case
They’ve remembered their phone, passport, keys, ID, chargers, cables and cash – at least they think they have, because it’s all jumbled up at the bottom of their rucksack. Give them the gift of panic-free travel with Stow’s mini tech case, which will keep all their essentials stylishly secure.
Ren Sleep Pillow Spray Set
With a deeply relaxing scent of lavender, hops and frankincense, Ren’s & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray is something of a beauty legend. This stocking filler set contains two travel-sized 10ml bottles that are perfect for stashing in carry-on luggage.
Brit-Stitch Luggage Tag
Who knew luggage tags could be a thing of beauty? Brit-Stitch’s lovely leather accessories come in a range of gorgeous colours to make their suitcase easier to spot on the baggage carousel. They’re all handmade in the UK, and you can even get your loved one’s initials engraved on the front.
Paul Smith Beach Towel in Artist Stripe
Often overlooked, the humble beach towel is arguably the most important holiday accessory of them all – serving as pseudo-mattress, body-dryer and makeshift picnic blanket. Paul Smith’s muted striped towel is as comfy as it is stylish, thanks to the super-soft terry cotton.
Lefrik Eco-Friendly Weekend Bag
You might not think they need another travel bag – but Lefrik’s Weekend Convertible is something special. Made from recycled plastic bottles, it can be worn as a backpack, a shoulder bag and a briefcase. There’s also a separate padded pocket for a laptop – and a waterproof front pocket to keep tech and important items safe.
Khu Khu Fan
You don’t have to be a frequent traveller to know a fan is essential when navigating public transport in hot weather (remember the Tube during the 2018 heatwave?). Khu Khu’s tasselled Indian-inspired fan features a pair of lounging leopards, for a very stylish swish and flick.
Sophie Allport Cardholder
Even the most seasoned adventurers sometimes long for a little piece of home, and Sophie Allport’s country living-inspired accessories are sure to remind them of the UK. With a sweet running hare motif, this textured gold cardholder will also solve all their bulky purse problems.
Doiy Design Travel Laundry Bag in Tropical Leaf
Dirty laundry is a fact of life, but when you’re out of town, it’s a whole load of hassle. This tropical leaf laundry bag is a piece of paradise that your traveller friend never knew they needed: not only will it keep their suitcase clean and organised, they can also chuck it in the machine when they get a chance to do a wash.
It’s the one thing you always forget, and the one thing you find yourself wanting when you’re away: a decent notebook for scribbling memories, recommendations and other important info. Pantone’s collection of covered notebooks are ideal for on-the-go scribbles – and the iconic colour chip design looks great as a set, too.
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Main image: Getty. All other images courtesy of brands/retailers
Christobel Hastings is a London-based journalist covering pop culture, feminism, LGBTQ and lore.