There’s no time like December to spark the feeling of wanderlust. Sure, with Christmas just around the corner, many of us are looking forward to spending the holidays with our family and friends…but we can all dream of being somewhere a little warmer, right? Check out our list of travel-themed gift ideas to get yourself in the ‘holiday’ spirit – from handy items to take with away with you, to travel-themed home decor, you can either pop these on your own wish-list, or give them away as gifts to your loved ones!
Where better to dream up your travel plans than in your own bed? Drift away beneath these gorgeous map-themed sheets (available in various sizes), or pick up this pillowcase if your taste in decor is a little more laid-back.
Whether as a keepsake for your well-traveled loved ones, or to offer a bit of inspiration to those keen to get away, travel-themed jewellery is always a great idea around Christmastime. Check out this great value plane-themed necklace and bracelet set, or you may even enjoy this beautiful globe-and-binocular charm necklace.
No adventurer's home is complete without a globe to admire! Click here for a stylish globe in black and silver, or for a touch of luxury, take a look at this antique-style globe, stunningly crafted to make it interesting to the touch.
Everybody needs a little reading material, right? A Kindle is a great choice for travellers on the go - you can fit as many books as you'd ever possibly need into one handy tablet. You'd do well to pick up a Kindle cover, too - we love this classic world-map style protector, though there are tonnes of different styles available!
Prefer to kick it old-school when kicking back with a good book? No worries! The Lonely Planet series always goes down well at Christmas - their Best in Travel guides are a must for those wanting to get ahead of 2018's travel trends or, if you'd prefer, a book such as Humans of New York could provide a fascinating insight to the day-in-the-life of city-dwellers, their stories told in the form of photography.
Lonely Planet are back at it again with the awesome gift ideas: just take a look at this inspirational travel calendar, giving you tonnes of places to pop onto your bucket list! If you'd rather come up with your own itinerary, however, a planner or journal such as this one could be ideal - and will also match back to some of the items above!
Wow, as these gifts add up, we bet you're really looking forward to getting away, right? Keep hold of all the memories you collect during your adventures by buying (or gifting!) this adorable Instax mini camera: kind of like a Polaroid, the Mini 8 will print out pictures on the go, and you can get yours in an array of different colours, alongside credit-card size 'shot' sheets. Alternatively, Instax also sell these fantastic printers, which wirelessly connect to your phone and allow you to print off even higher quality photos. Our very own Leanne got one of these for Christmas a couple of years back and absolutely loves it!
Before embarking on your big adventure, you'll probably want to pick up something that will both inspire you and track your trek around the globe. These scratch maps are incredibly popular, as well as being rather stylish - so spruce up your home by pinning one of these to your wall, and simply scratch off the countries as you go!
A world travel adaptor is one small gift which will make a big impact on any globe-trotter. Gone are the days of basic wall plug-ins: these days, you can pick up travel adaptors that will suit any destination, as well as providing multiple ways to charge your gadgets from your hotel room/hostel/the airport, and so forth. We love this particular adapter, which not only converts between a multitude of different sockets suitable to countless destinations, but also features some nifty USB ports – perfect for charging your phone if the main socket is in use!
Now, this is a gift which will vary from person to person, as we all have different phones (in the office alone, there’s at least 4 very different models of phones in use by the team!) That said, a battery pack is such an important asset to have on any adventure: our phones are used frequently as cameras, as maps, and as a form of communication (let alone being used as boredom busters!), and as such their batteries are sure to be drained. This one by Apple could give you an extra 24 hours’ worth of added battery life, while Huawei's own equivalent for the Honor 8 is outstanding value for money, as well as being a life-saver when on the road: fully charged within just a few hours, comfortable in the palm of your hand, and clever enough to keep you informed of how much juice you have left (LED lights will signify full battery, and so forth), this cheap case is one thing that should not be left behind. Are neither of these phones your model? No worries! There’s tonnes to check out on Amazon!
This little camera is small, but oh so mighty. GoPro is one of the most famous names in modern technology, and is super well-loved by adventure travellers especially. With tonnes of accessories available (such as head and chest straps, extension poles, and even handgrips that float!), there are boundless opportunities to behold with this impressive gadget. We particularly love the HERO Session model: the cheapest model of the bunch, it also offers some awesome features, such as being entirely waterproof up to 33 feet without a case, and is also Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible – meaning you can stay connected to other gadgets and gizmos galore.
Not interested in the GoPro? Fear not, as there are cool cameras to be found at every turn…you might even have one in your pocket right now!
Okay, so such a comment may come across as sacrilege to professional photographers, but clip-on lenses are something of a blessing to those who just want to take some high-quality pictures without parting with some serious $$$. Fortunately, there are plenty – and I mean plenty – of affordable options out there for novice photographers, and one of the best of them is this universal 3-in-one lensSuitable for iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Huawei and just about all phones/tablets imaginable, this little gadget would make for the perfect stocking filler.
If there’s one ‘luxury’ item that we’d recommend taking on any trip (‘luxury’ in this sense meaning anything that isn’t an absolute necessity such as your passport, of course!), we would strongly suggest packing a good pair of headphones. Portable and multi-purpose, the ideal pair of headphones would serve as both entertainment on long journeys (where seat-back television screens will not suffice/are not available), and as a way to shut out noise when you’re trying desperate for a bit of shut-eye. That’s where Urbanista’s headphones come in. Available in an array of stunning colours and at varying price-points, Urbanista are one of the best little-known brands out there. Coupling style with comfort and quality, their Seattle edition gives bigger, more expensive brands a serious run for their money – something which I myself (Leanne) am keen to vouch for, owning not just one but two of these cushty, foldable, wireless headsets (in case you’re wondering: I have them in rose gold and blue petroleum, alternating depending on my outfit of the day!)
Of course, you can’t go far without a good-quality, trusty backpack, and we’d recommend getting one that is not only comfortable to carry with you for longer periods of time, but one that can fit a good amount of stuff inside while still being able to fit in the overhead cabins, too. We love this collection by KAUKKO: with over 30 different styles available, you’re bound to find one that suits you, both in terms of fashion and practicality There’s plenty of pockets inside and outside of the bags, room on each side for a water bottle or similar, and padded separators inside to safely store your gadgets. It’s also water-resistant, has padded shoulder pads, and the fabric is also very breathable. In short: this great-value bag is one of the best purchases you could make!
We mentioned earlier on that you can up your photography game with some clip-on phone camera lenses or an Instax camera - other than maybe adding a selfie stick to your artillery, you’re probably pretty set when it comes to travel photography. But how do you plan to look back on your adventures?
Sure, the cloud exists – you can store countless pictures and videos there – but how often do you actually look back and reminisce? Consider putting together a travel scrapbook for yourself or for a loved-one: speaking from experience, I can tell you that a gift like this will be seriously well-loved and appreciated (I cried my eyes out when my boyfriend put one together for me!) There’s tonnes of scrapbooks to choose from, but the photos and notes that go inside are obviously the most important. If you’re looking for some more inspiration, I can tell you that this exact scrapbook is the one my boyfriend bought for me, and I love it dearly. The slightly aged-looking faux-leather cover is just lovely, and I adore the retro travel feel: the compass imprint, the wrap-around straps, and the classy black paper inside are all to die for, and I’m willing to bet any recipient of this great gift would feel the same.
You're almost there! The last thing you really need before heading away on holiday is a passport holder. These come in tonnes of different colours and styles, but we recommend picking up a passport holder that can carry other important items, like credit cards. Either way, a wallet to contain your passport is always a great idea to put on your Christmas list - and makes for a relatively inexpensive gift, at that!
The Great Projects are proud to offer over 35 volunteer trips around the world, and a gift card would be the perfect present to give this holiday season. There's no limit to what you can put on our gift cards - £10, £20, or even a full £195 deposit to pay towards any trip, the choice is yours! Alternatively, you could just head on over to our project page to take your pick of any trip...! Remember: a conservation donation from your placement will help to support the staff and animals at the project site, meaning your holiday will go some way to improving the quality of life for all involved. What better feeling is there to have around Christmastime?
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Come face to face with one of the world’s most misunderstood predators whilst aiding great white shark conservation. As a volunteer, not only will you get the incredible opportunity to dive with sharks, but you will also assist the team in raising awareness of the great white as you work alongside tourists and local school children to provide them with knowledge of the local environment and the importance of living in harmony with South Africa’s marine life.
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