12 Essential Travel Gifts for Travellers

Travelled by Dan Roberts on 10 December 2008 | 3 Comments

Travelled By

Dan Roberts Dan Roberts

Dan Roberts is founder and Managing Editor at Travel Generation.Dan has spent the last 20 years working in the backpacking industry and travelling throughout the world including UK, France, Switzerland, Portugal, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. ...Find out more!

12 Essential Travel Gifts for Travellers
12 Essential Travel Gifts for Travellers

Yup it’s Christmas time, and this post is for you to send home to Mum and Dad in case they were wondering what to send to the other side of the world (while you slave away in deepest dark London, work the ski slopes in Canada or Colorado, or party your toosh off on Bondi Beach) or for those just about to head out on the big overseas experience.  It’s the official list of the 12 essential Christmas gifts for any traveller.

  1. Plug converter

    Plug converter

    Universal plug converters: Unfortunately plugs are not the same in the UK, Europe, North America, Asia or Australasia - for those on a big trip one of those plugs that can easily be adjusted to work on multiple countries are ideal.  Also check out multi-plug packs that come in convenient travel bags.

  2. Travel Hournal by Kate Black on Etsy

    Travel Journal by Kate Black on Etsy

    Notebook / journal: While we think that travel blogs are one of the best way to keep in touch with friends and family as well as recording your trip for eternity there is nothing as romantic or frankly as convenient as your own personal notebook or travel journal.  Sitting on that train station or in a bus stop provides the ideal opportunity to scribble a few thoughts, doodle an image or share a mood - something a travel blog just can’t match.  If you are looking for something really cool check out the handmade journals on Etsy.

  3. A Photo Site Pro Account: But then again having somewhere secure online to upload and store the endless stream of photos taken while travelling is invaluable.  In my opinion either Flickr or Picassa provide the best and easiest ways to to store photos while travelling.  These accounts are free to around 2GB so the pro accounts allow you to upload even more - an essential gift for any traveller.
  4. Travel Alarm Clock: Dreaded as it sounds its an unfortunate necessity of travel - there are those day trips, adventure tours and just plain buses and planes the depart before the respectable travel hour (in my book that would be 11am and an espresso).  A small alarm clock with a long life battery and easy to push light so you can see it in the dark in a hostel dorm room is a great christmas gift.
  5. A Eurail pass: I thought I would throw this one in as it was the parting gift my Mum and Dad gave me before my second trip to Europe.  There is a big price tag on this one - but a Eurail pass is the best way to travel Europe and a great Mum and Dad present for any starting out traveller.
  6. A good quality jacket

    A good quality jacket

    A Waterproof Raincoat: Nearly everyone I have travelled with always wants a better, more waterproof, lighter jacket.  These jackets are not cheap but if you are looking for something that will be massively appreciated then a top quality Gortex jacket will be met with great smiles.

  7. Combo Lock: Either locking your bag or locking your bag in a train station or hostel locker your need your own lock and carrying a set of keys just does not cut it.  They are just one more thing to worry about while swimming on the beach, sightseeing, or partying the night away - no way!  The best solution is a good quality combination lock.  Something to think about is that when travelling weight is important so it’s a case of something not too heavy but equally not too flimsy that it is easily cut or broken by those bad guys.
  8. Set of Cards or Travel Backgammon: On those longer train trips or on the back of the Greyhound bus or hanging in the hostel everyone is friends with the person with the set of cards.  A set cards can while away hours and make some great friends along the way.  For some more intellectual stimulation one on one I like backgammon too.
  9. First Aid Kit: Regardless of how long you are travelling there are a few basic first aid things that you just can’t do without: second skin for blisters, good cloth plasters for unforeseen cuts, Imodium pills for diahorea, some heavy duty painkillers like Nurofen or Panadol extra strength (not just for hangovers!), and a needle and cotton for sewing back buttons or patching holes.  The best first aid kits are not those bought off the shelf but rather made by Mum and slipped in your backpack.
  10. Swiss Army Knife

    Swiss Army Knife

    A Swiss Army Knife (swarmy) or Leatherman: There are a number of things every traveller needs: scissors, tweezers, a wine opener, a can opener and a knife and the best way to carry all these is in one trusty swarmy or Leatherman.  But remember again weight is important while travelling so you just don’t need the tool with hundreds of useless weapons of destruction - keep it simple and the swarmy becomes your best friend.

  11. iPod Touch

    iPod Touch

    An Unlocked Mobile Phone: Wow how things have changed over the years - as I said I got a Eurail pass now the order of the day is an iPhone jail-broken for use on any network if you buy a pay as you go sim card.  If the iPhone is too much then perhaps settling for the mega cool iPod touch will suffice for carrying all that media, maps, games and cool travel apps.

  12. Travel Essentials: And finally at the risk of this list growing out of control there are a number of affordable travel essentials that can’t be overlooked such as: the sleep sheet for those grubby beds; ear plugs for noisy hostels and train sleeping; flip flops are essential in any shower; a travel towel; and stuff sacks or similar for sorting clothes into dirty, not so dirty and only slightly dirty.


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