Every year, rather unsurprisingly, as December dawns upon us, everywhere from glossy magazines to independent blogs start to feature lists of ideal gifts for various genres: gifts for the man in your life, gifts for the girl who has everything and in the rather more conical travel blogosphere that I follow, gifts for those of us who live, breathe, sleep and dream travel.
I never imagined a list of this nature would emerge on my little blog though, not because I don’t enjoy perusing them but rather because I am not known in my circles for being much of shopper and if I don’t know what’s out there, how on earth can I tell you what to buy the travel addict in your life?
As it turns out, there are others in my life who love nothing more than to shop till they drop, sniffing out the most ingenious gift ideas on the market and over the years, I have been a lucky recipient of the fruits of their labour.
7 Original and Stylish Gifts for Travellers
These incredibly thoughtful travel themed gifts sit proudly in my home (except the macarons of course, which sat proudly in my belly very shortly after they came my way) so if you have a travel fanatic in your life (or if you yourself are the travel fanatic,) let’s hope your gift dilemmas end here!
Photo Marshmallows and Macarons
Last year on Christmas Eve, this box of macarons from Pumpkin added an extra sprinkling of almond-flavoured cheer to kick off a festive family Christmas. Aside from the naughty sugariness that comes with so many seasonal sweets, this particular box was accompanied by memories of the travel highlights from our year, such as blending in with the rainbow-coloured Selaron steps in Rio de Janeiro.
Perfect for uploading photos from the year gone by, Boomf allow you to select your marshmallow or macarons photos from Instagram or Facebook too (perfect for us travel bloggers) and can deliver to destinations all over the world. We even sent a box of these marshmallows to friends in Ko Lanta, Thailand and they reached safe, sound and intact.
Travel-themed Landmark Cookie Cutters
Many of my fellow London dwellers will sympathise with the fact that we often end up serving a 6 month notice period before we finally get a free weekend but on the rare occasion that I do, I find myself either planning my travels, writing about my travels – or baking!
That was why I was so delighted when my sister stumbled upon these travel-themed cookie cutters from Paperchase with a little Eiffel Tower, a Big Ben and a representative from my favourite ever city outside of London – New York City, a destination I happen to be in at this very moment!
If you read my previous post about why I love NYC so much, you will understand why the Statue of Liberty has featured in my life on a few occasions. I am yet to actually attempt baking the travel-themed cookies (still waiting for one of those elusive free weekends to come up :D) but I wait with bated breath to see if my baked Lady Liberty ends up bearing any resemblance to the real one.
A Personalised Blog-Inspired Book
I don’t know about you but some of the people I find it hardest to buy for are those I have known the longest. Yes, we know their tastes (hopefully) but for me, it’s that persistent, annoyance of déjà vu, knowing I have previously purchased the same item on at least four occasions and wondering what I can select that’s actually new or original?
My best friend though seems immune to this issue and year upon year, she surprises me with her sense of originality with presents. This year was no different, when she proved just how deeply her thoughtful streak cuts by handing me over a book inspired by my blog.
The front cover was a crisp and glossy, tangible version of my home page and as I flicked through the pages, it was strangely comforting to see excerpts and posts from my blog in print, knowing how much effort she must have gone to in putting this together. A perfect keepsake for travel bloggers (or any bloggers) and if you really cannot bear elbowing your way through Saturday crowds for Christmas shopping, this individual and unique gift option, rather like the Boomf gifts, can be ordered from the comfort of your own home. Let’s face it, the more cosy pyjama time you get at home in the winter months, the better.
Aspinal of London Passport Covers
In my lifetime, I have lost at least a dozen umbrellas and have a collection of about eight single gloves, divorced from their other halves thanks to my disorganisation but to this day (and I feel a sense of famous last words coming on as I say this), I am yet to lose a passport.
I think that was why it was considered a safe bet for my family to give me this sleek, metallic pink, leather passport holder from Aspinal of London. If only there was such a thing as a glove holder!
Christmas Pudding Woolly Hat
Okay, so woolly hats are not just for travellers and certainly those of us living in the UK ought to have a warm, winter hat in one form or another as part of our winter wardrobe staples. But travel fanatics choose to put themselves in frosty climates.
They brave the unrelenting Scandinavian temperatures to chase the elusive Aurora Borealis; they snuggle by log fires in Swiss chalets on ski trips; they glare in awe at pristine glaciers and they redefine thermals by lining their stomachs with mugs of mulled wine or hot chocolate at the European Christmas Markets (as I did recently in Bruges.) Of course, you could buy them a classic, plain black beanie that would work with every outfit and cause little controversy but now where’s the fun in that?!
Instead, why not give them a sexy little Christmas pudding number?! After all, who doesn’t want to look like a pudding when they’re on holiday? I certainly wore mine with pride in Bruges and aside from spreading the festive cheer, I can confirm it kept the chilly winds well away from my sensitive ears.
Ever bought a gift for a loved one, which you secretly wanted for yourself? Worry not, I will be the last person to judge since I have been guilty of this on more than one occasion, most recently when I purchased Pumpkin this stylish Anthropologie chalkboard globe. I first spotted this over on Taylor Hearts Travel and for me, it wasn’t a question of whether we needed one in our home, it was just a question of turquoise or black. Having snorkelled together in the turquoise waters of Seychelles, Maldives and Zanzibar, the turquoise globe felt like a fitting addition to our living room.
I left Pumpkin to work his magic with the illustrations and aside from the mini Statue of Liberty and cruise picture, reflecting our current trip, it was his scribbled, hand in hand illustration of the two of us (in the first photo of this post) that I found most endearing, a gentle if inadvertent reminder that his Scrooge-esque exterior is but a façade.
A quick glimpse at the website has me realising I got in just in time, as it seems that this particular globe is no longer available but if the concept appeals, these alternatives from Debenhams and Etsy may work instead.
Flip Flop Necklace
I will make a confession with this final item when I tell you that this was not a gift. Well, if we’re getting technical – it was but it was purchased by myself, for myself. Ahem…
You see, whilst it is true that I rarely shop for such things, when I stumbled upon this pretty, uber feminine, flip flop charm necklace encrusted with sparkling Swarovski stones and floral motifs, I fell a little in love with it. We were in an small, independent boutique store called Powder Cashmere in Stow on the Wold in the Cotswolds, where we headed for a mini break together in February and when I saw this pendant dangling elegantly, I envisioned it being the perfect accessory for a beach getaway. I only wish I had bought a few more to give to my fellow travel girls.
Have any of these gifts caught your eye and have you got any other great gift ideas that you’re willing to share with us?