It’s time to treat the traveller in your life to an inspiring and thoughtful travel related Christmas gift. Whatever your budget, there’s a present out there to suit all tastes;
Guidebook with a difference
Match a hobby or status with a suitable guidebook to ignite their passion, so if they’re interested in fine wine and world foods get them a guidebook that covers inspirational destinations. If they are a single traveller or maybe fancy trying a volunteer trip, get them a practical book with useful tips and advice. Spread the local travel bug and get them a book that details walks/pubs/castles (or a great combo of all 3) in their own region.
Handy travel apps
For a great stocking filler or gift on a budget, buy an app or maybe a series of appropriate apps, again tailored to their favourite hobbies and interests. If they love skiing, get them an app that charts snowfall across the ski resorts in the world. If they love curry, get them an app that showcases the best countries for curry in the world.
An adventure every day
For a little slice of daily inspiration, buy a page-a-day-calendar which is both practical and interesting. I have one on my desk and learn a little something about a worldwide destination every day!
Glossy travel bible for the coffee table
There are some great big and beautiful glossy travel bibles out there that look really impressive on the coffee table and feature absolutely stunning photography. Just flicking through the countries brings the destinations to life in a way that an e-reader just can’t do. I have 2 mainstream books that transport me to another place for a few minutes; try the World Travel Book that covers most of the countries in the world with around 900 photos.
For the frequent traveller, solar chargers are a lifesaver. One universal charger device can charge up cell phones, MP3 players, GPS devices, digital cameras and so much more. And for the avid backpacker buy a rucksack with inbuilt solar charging facilities, so you can charge as you travel; ingenious!
There are so many inspiring travellers out there that have been featured on TV shows and the BBC has a great range of DVDs to relive the adventures over and over. Try Full Circle With Michael Palin who sets out to travel the world via Russia, Japan, China, Vietnam, Borneo, Australia, New Zealand and so many more places. And if you like this check out Palin’s other great ad0envtures; Pole to Pole, Himalaya and Around the World in 80 Days. Then there’s Joanna Lumley’s Greek Odyssey, Alan Whicker's Journey of a Lifetime and for real foodies check out Rick Stein’s gastronomic adventures around Spain, the Mediterranean and his French Odyssey. And of course for wildlife enthusiasts nobody can beat the inimitable Richard Attenborough series such as Frozen Planet, Planet Earth and Life series. And if you’ve got a 3D TV (it’s on my Christmas list!) there are some great travel and wildlife DVDs out there in full 3D technicolour!
Get back to nature
For the budding Bear Grylls in the family, get a gift that will see them through a wild outdoors trip such as a Swiss army knife (will never go out of fashion), a storm kettle or the latest compass or sat nav system.
Sometimes the easiest things are the best and you can’t beat a handy carry-on pouch containing popular travel games. Just about every game has been recreated in tiny form such as travel scrabble, travel connect 4, travel rummikub etc. You can play on the beach, on flights and in airports. Go old school and discover the joy of traditional gaming.
If you simply don’t have a clue what to get that certain fussy someone, you can always opt for a gift voucher for an outdoors or sports specialist store. Boring yes, but rather that than appear empty handed! Also a good option if you’ve left your shopping until 5pm Christmas Eve, just as the stores are closing!