We’ve all been there: you’re looking for a great travel-themed gift for your BFF for Christmas, their birthday or your friendaversary (I’m pretty sure that’s a thing). You’ve already bought them the scratch-off map, three passport covers and even one of those crumple-up maps (which turned out to be utterly useless). And now you need a fresh and exciting present for your travel-loving friend – hopefully one they will actually use.
Well you’ve come to the right place.
As a frequent receiver of said gifts (including those bought by me for me), let me give you a run-down of some great and original wanderlust-y and map-themed gift ideas for friends and family.
Disclaimer: I have not been asked to include any of the below items, I’m simply just a big fan.
Map-themed gift ideas
It will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me to see this at number one on the list. I am a huge unabashed total map nerd and this game is perfect for anyone who fits that description. The concept of the game is simple: dominoes – but with maps. Players have to simply play countries that share a border next to each other, attempting to use skill to keep hold of strategic cars like Russia or Germany.
And better yet: there are several ‘expansion’ packs. More continents equals more fun, amirite?
Order your favourite edition here.
Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin: coasters with maps on them. Ideal for Secret Santa or great as little stocking fillers.
Pick up a set here.
Present ideas for photographers
Lenses for camera phones are genuinely such a good idea, I’ve literally no idea why these weren’t the big craze instead of Selfie Sticks. I got a basic set for Christmas last year and they really made a huge difference – the fishbowl lens is great for group shots.
Be sure to get a set that come in a handy little portable bag – perfect for on the road snapping.
Photos are a pretty safe gift for any occasion, but why not spruce it up a bit with Cheerz. The photo-printing service does a huge range of gifts, ranging from scrapbooks to fridge magnets to photo albums.
The range of products varies over the course of the year (mostly according to the gift-giving season) so it’s always worth checking back to see what they are offering. The wedding decoration box is particularly sweet.
Take a look at their full range of products here.
Travel gifts for frequent flyers
Trtl Sleep Scarf
Now I don’t own this personally, but a friend of mine absolutely swears by it. Think of it as the next generation in neck cushions. It’s basically a fairly fashionable scarf that has a reinforced section to keep your head in place as you kip. It looks a little bit like a neckbrace, but it’s definitely a lot more stylish than an inflatable pillow from WH Smiths. It’s pretty comfortable too!
Check it out here.
If you live your life in airports, you’d bound to get a little defensive about your favourite. Or perhaps you’re living away from home and what a travel-related momento to remind you of your home city?
Enter Airportag. The online shop specialises in gifts (t-shirts, cushion covers, phone covers, bed covers, cloth bags and posters) – all featuring your home airport code. The designs are really nice and they actually have a whole host of different ones available.
See the designs for Manchester airport here.
(Thanks to Adventurous Kate for introducing me to them here.)
Of course, what’s a better travel gift than the actual gift of travel? One of the easiest ways to gift your beloved traveller a great gift is simply to get them a voucher for an airline they use regularly – that way they’ll think of you as they whisk themselves away…
But if you’re really adventurous, why not book a surprise trip…? Simply pick your budget, your dates, show up to the airport and then: destination unknown.
Find out more here.
Disclaimer (once more): I have not been asked to include any of the above items, I’m simply just a big fan.