The Christmas gift guide for the traveller in your life

If you’ve not yet done your Christmas shopping (and fairplay, this year you can hide behind “I was waiting to see if the world really did end”), then you’re probably feeling

If you’ve not yet done your Christmas shopping (and fairplay, this year you can hide behind “I was waiting to see if the world really did end”), then you’re probably feeling the pressure by now. If you can’t quite stretch to that round-the-world plane ticket for your nearest and dearest travel lovers, here are a few gift ideas to keep them happy this Christmas.

Luckies travel maps have been a big thing in 2012, and to be honest, I’m amazed nobody invented one sooner. The principle is simple- basically a scratchcard in the form of a map, which allows travellers to scratch off countries once they have visited them, gradually building up a picture of their globetrotting antics. Variations on the worldwide version include a UK version, for the tamer traveller, a US version, and a Europe version- great if you know someone who’s off interrailing around the continent in 2013.

For the cultured traveller, this Penguin “On the Road” passport cover will see them off on their travels with an air of refinement. If their passport is already pimped to the max, try this luggage tag instead – that way they’ll think of you whenever they land in some exotic location. On the flip side, they’ll also think of you when they land in a freezing cold Heathrow terminal at 4am after a 12 hour delay and are jostling to get close to the baggage carousel before someone makes off with their worldy goods.

For the desk traveller

If they like to think of themselves as a big traveller, but rarely stray beyond the next town, allow them the pleasure of experiencing the world whilst remaining firmly in their comfort zone. Furnish their desk with these Liberty London Sticky notes and Liberty London Around The World Desk Calendar, perfect for exam period procrastination.


The obvious book to buy a traveller is a guide to their next destination.  However, you can go one better than arming them with knowledge, by providing them with inspiration. Although there are countless books out there claiming to have compiled a list of the best travel experience, “Make the most of your time on Earth” by Rough Guides particularly stands out, as it’s perfect both for those who get out and do it, and those who sit at home and dream. Plus, it’s sold by Urban Outfitters which, by definition, makes it hip.

Entertain them

As much fun as it is sweeping through Swiss mountains on a luxury train, taking in stunning snow-topped views as you hurtle towards your next destination, even the most seasoned of travellers need entertaining sometimes. Keeping with the travel theme, this Where’s Wally Travel Collection will keep even the most mature of travellers entertained for hours, although may come with a side effect of sea (/plane/train) sickness.

All of the usual games- Scrabble, Connect 4, even Twister- come in mini versions. However, this 3-in-3 Travel Games makes a great gift and, crucially, looks more expensive than it actually is. Alternatively, rewrap the mini pack of playing cards you got in your Christmas cracker and give it to them on Boxing Day. Just remember to wipe the gravy and cranberry sauce off first.

For the budding travel writer

Many, many years ago, before you kids were born, people used to use a pen and paper to write with. Take them back to the old days with an actual notebook, made of actual paper (yeah, remember them?) such as this set of vintage map notebooks, perfect for writing about their latest travels in the way that God intended (even if they do type it all up onto their online blog the second they set foot back on home turf).

For the more intrepid traveller (climbing mountains, shark cage diving, braving monsoons…you know the sort), this waterproof notebook will let them write anywhere. All we need now is for someone to invent a wetsuit with pockets, and a whole new generation of submarine writers will be born.