9 gifts for travellers that they’ll actually want | A couple of travel makers
The top 9 things to gift the traveller in your life this year – based on one travel couple's wishlist.
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A friend reminded us today that there are less than two months till Christmas.
Two months. That's 53 days to be exact.
That's all we have to scout out the perfect presents for our nearest and dearest, purchase them and get them delivered.
Not to brag or anything but I (Stef) am pretty damn good at getting people presents. Call it a gift (pun intended). And while we can't give you all the answers, if there's a travel addict on your Christmas gift list, these gifts are sure to hit the spot.
How can we be so sure? Because they're on our Christmas wishlist, too.
We're Stef and D, a pair of married jet setters. Together, we've visited 55 countries and we're determined to see even more – all while working full-time and paying off a mortgage. We count our dollars at home and while we're away, and we're here to share our tips on how you can travel on a budget.
1. A holiday
Super obvious but also super true. If you've got the travel bug, getting out and travelling is the number one thing on your list.
Way back in 2019 (what a great year), Stef organised a birthday trip to Melbourne for D, complete with a surprise dinner with his mates and tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Needless to say, it went down a treat.
A gift like this is ideal for your other half, your parents or friends or family that deserve a big break.
If you have a specific destination or type of holiday in mind, packaged holidays make this super easy. Otherwise, a travel gift card or voucher gives your giftee the flexibility to choose where and when they'd like to go.
2. An authentic dinner
One of the joys of travelling is the food. It could be the idea of exploring new and different flavours. It could be forming a deeper connection with the country's culture. Or it could be that your favourite dish is just so much more authentic when you're eating it in its country of origin.
Hunt out their favourite cuisine/food item in its most authentic form at a restaurant near you and book them in for a meal – either with yourself or with their other half.
They'll be transported to said country via their tastebuds and you'll be winning the gift game.
3. An international food hamper
More than just a gift that businesses give to their clients, food hampers are the dark horse of gifting. Do them right and they can grant you the title of "the person who knows me best".
Skip the pre-packaged hamper for a more personalised – and likely more cost-effective – rendition by hitting the shops yourself.
Hone in on a cuisine that they're particularly fond of. For a step in the right direction, stalk their social media for the types of restaurants that they love or the destinations that they return to time and time again.
Then, visit a local market dedicated to their fave cuisine and snag a bunch of non-perishables for snacking. Alternatively, you can purchase ingredients for them to cook up a storm. This option works a treat for couples, as you'll be giving them a fun date night idea as well.
Wine connoisseur? Beer lover? Build a hamper of wines from their favourite region or beers from their favourite country.
4. New luggage
Now this one only really works if you know that your giftee is in need of new luggage.
Perhaps you know that they have a tendency to borrow their suitcases from someone else (Stef did this for years from her parents), or that they've complained about their luggage wheels being damaged in transit (Stef again).
If you've heard the signs, then new luggage will be much appreciated.
5. Camera gear
Travellers and photographers go hand-in-hand. While some of us prefer to simply use our phones (Stef) others are camera geeks (D).
Those that belong to the latter are constantly looking for new gear. Buy them new lenses for the ultimate blow-out present, or look for camera bags, tripods or even a subscription to photo editing software for something more affordable.
6. An experience
Does your giftee already have a trip booked? Surprise them with an experience at their destination or even at the airport.
While this one is a little finicky, it most definitely can be done. You just need to be clued in on what their itinerary is. Then, you can book an experience in the city/town or airport that they'll be in.
For destination-based experiences, lunches and dinners are your easiest option, as everybody needs to eat. Otherwise, more elaborate gifts could include a hot air balloon ride, skydiving or a twilight sailing experience.
As for the airport? You can get them into an airport lounge by either buying them a single pass through LoungeBuddy or Plaza Premium, or an annual membership with Qantas Club or Priority Pass.
7. Travel-related homewares, jewellery and other knick-knacks
On a budget? Don't know your giftee like the back of your hand? Little trinkets with a travel spin can save your bacon.
We're talking decorative accessories for the home or to spice up their look, by the way, NOT travel accessories to use on the plane or on holiday.
Think cushions with maps on them and airplane earrings, rather than neck pillows and passport holders. Believe us, they don't need that stuff. They've already got that sorted.
You don't want to know how many passport holders, luggage tags, travel journals and cardholders are sitting in drawers at our home collecting dust. The only exception to this rule is if they've explicitly mentioned that they need these items.
8. In-flight beauty
This one's definitely for a certain type of traveller – but if they have a dedicated beauty regime, then it's a surefire sign they'll love a beauty travel pack.
To personalise your present, DIY a kit with their favourite products and brands.
For those with a little less knowledge in the beauty space, there are stacks of pre-packaged travel kits that you can pick up from popular health and beauty websites.
9. Travel books
Whether it's a good read for the plane or a travel guide, books are always a great go-to gift.
When buying them, though, one thing to consider is their size and weight. Hardcovers and thick tomes are not your friends, as they take up precious luggage space and weight. Kindle or ebook fans might prefer a digital copy to lighten their load.
Need more inspiration? Christmas is right around the corner and this Christmas gift guide for travellers can help you sort out your presents in flash.
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