All I want for Christmas: Great Travel Gifts

First of all I want to say that I know that this list is a little late. A good travel blogger would put out a list of great gift suggestions for travelers before Christmas, I know, but I guess I’m not as diligent as the average travel blogger so my list is going out after the big day. But now that Christmas is over I finally have some time on my hands so I’ve been able to put together a few ideas for great gifts for the traveler in your life.

I’ve seen a lot of travel related gift lists over the years. Some are great, some are a little less practical and some seem to have been made up by people who have never actually left their own home town. A travel yoga mat? Really? And no, I don’t think I’ll be needing an overnight bag that costs more than my plane ticket cost, no matter how chic or stylish it might be.

So here is my highly biased and totally opinionated list of things that I would like to give the travelers on my list, and what I would love to receive myself.

1) Books

I love books of all kinds, but it’s even better when I get reading material that’s related to my travels. I usually have several trips planned out in advance, so my family will often get me guide books for one of my future destinations. Another favourite gift is those nice, glossy coffee table books of dream destinations and trips of a lifetime. Cookbooks from favourite destinations are also fun to receive. And if you don’t know someone’s favourite spots, there are many excellent collections of travel writing such as the annual edition of The Best American Travel Writing.


2) Movies

Another fun idea if you know someone’s favourite travel destinations or the place where they will be traveling next is to find movies set in that place. For example, someone who is going to Rome might enjoy watching the classic Roman Holiday, or a person who loves Paris would enjoy the depiction of postwar Paris in Julie and Julia. King Kong for New York, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service for Switzerland, the possibilities are endless.


3) Maps

There are a few neat map ideas for travelers in your life. One great option is a personalized world map that lets the traveler mark their own travels. A fancy framed version will run you about $150, or you can opt for a simpler scratch off world map for about $20.


4) Universal Converter

We seem to be bringing more and more electronics with us every time we travel. The last time we went overseas we brought along a great little converter set that had several plugs that worked in both Europe and Africa and fit together in a handy little set. We liked it so much we bought one for a relative who was planning to travel to Asia and Australia in the new year.


5) Nice travel sized toiletries

Like most people who travel, I have bins of hotel shampoos and lotions in my bathroom, but not a lot of stuff I actually want to use. What I love to get in my stocking is small containers of good quality products that are better quality than your average hotel room offerings. A nice squeezable bottle with a flip top lid is also appreciated by anyone who’s tried to squish shampoo out of a hard bottle while trying not to lose a tiny, slippery lid in a hotel shower. Just remember to make sure it’s under the 100 ml limit.



So that’s my own little travel gift wish list. I’m sure there will always be a market for travel yoga mats or $45 leather luggage tags, but I’d rather keep things simple and save my money for important things, like more travel!


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