It’s that time of year again, when geese are a laying, lords are a leaping, when all our troubles are out of sight and shoppers start beating the crap out of each other up in supermarkets to get the best deals… it’s Black Friday and the run up to Christmas!
I hate shopping but love getting a bargain, so to avoid the crowds, I like to shop from the comfort (and safety – no getting beat up by bargain hunting grannies) of my home, so I’ve put together a few little gift ideas to help you do the same, for the travel lover in your life of course.
This is basically a list of gift ideas that I think a traveller would love! Actually, it’s a list of things I have and love, things I find really useful when I travel and think you will love or things I would love to receive (hint hint Santa)!
So here’s my 12 Days of Christmas Gifts for Travellers. I hope it gives you some ideas!
Feel free to sing along…
On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… loads of books in one!
I’ve always resisted buying a Kindle, I love real books. I love the smell and the feel of a real book. I collect books and like having them on my book shelves at home.
But when I’m moving around a lot, carrying loads of books just isn’t practical, and I’ve had to leave so many good books behind. So a Kindle it has to be.
Why carry one book when I can carry hundreds or even thousands in a tiny tablet?
On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me… the best game in the world!
My friend Ruth introduced me to this awesome game on one of our many trips to Devon and I’ve been a fan ever since. It’s a small round tin, slips into a small bag so it is perfect for travelling and there’s a number of ways you can play it!
It’s one of those universal games that is super easy to understand, like ‘Snap’ but better and both kids and adults will love it. If you’ve read about my night under the stars in the Sahara Desert, you’ll know that we bonded with our guide Mubarak (who didn’t speak a word of English) whilst playing this game! He loved it so much, I gave him the game and I often think of him playing Dobble in the desert!
It also makes a very good drinking game and is a great icebreaker in hostels (drink responsibly kids).
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me… a camera to document the fun!
This is my current camera and I love it. It’s a mirrorless micro four thirds camera which means that it is smaller than a DSLR but I can get a similar quality. I also love the look of it as it’s a bit retro! The only downside to this one, is that it’s quite heavy for a small camera. But, I love the quality of photos I get from it and very rarely need to edit my pictures.
I’d also love to try some vlogging next year, so I’m looking to get myself a slightly lighter camera, maybe with a flip screen (although I’m not sure whether being able to see myself would be a good thing). The ones I’m looking at currently are a Sony A6000, Sony A7, Canon S120, Panasonic Lumix GF6 or an Olympus pen E-PL7.
Lonely Planet The World: A Traveller’s Guide to the Planet
On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me… the whole world in a book!
When I first travelled years ago, there weren’t as many blogs around, and I spent hours looking through my Lonely Planet ‘The Travel Book’ as well as their guides to Africa and Southeast Asia.
Nowadays I turn to my favourite blogs for inspiration most of the time but there will still always be a place in my heart for Lonely Planet! Plus, they make excellent coffee table books so you can show off to all your friends about where you’ve been! Maybe bookmark a few pages or write some notes in the margin too…
Travel Skin Care
On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me… essential skin save-errrrrrrs!
I love the beach, I love the sun, I love the sand, I love to surf and climb mountains. Unfortunately my English Rose skin does not.
I’m usually that girl in the photo reflecting the white light, the one sat under the beach umbrella, covered in a towel, the one with the huge mosquito bites and the one who had to get out the water because her skin was burning and eyes were stinging so bad she could hardly see!
My skin has always been the bane of my life. As an acne prone teenager, I was taking all kinds of medication that thinned and burned my skin off. My skin is now clear but it’s become dry and sensitive so I have to really look after it, protecting it from the elements any way I can.
On the plus side, people now always tell me how nice my skin is and I’ve managed to reach the age of 35 and still be wrinkle free, so I must be doing something right!
So here are the products that have kept my skin protected on all my adventures over the years (and a little recommendation for the fellas too)!
KitSound Mini Buddy Speaker
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me… a teeny tiny travel speaker!
I actually bought two of these little speakers last Christmas and they make great stocking fillers. They’re super cute and they come in loads of varieties! I have a pink owl and a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, but you can also get a unicorn (pictured left), a frog, a shark, a cat, a bumble bee, a pug, a penguin, a Fox and many more!
They’re great for travel, I use mine when I’m camping, round the pool or just listening to music in my hotel room. They’re really loud, super small, rechargeable and have a keyring, so you can easily attach them to your keys or bag so you don’t lose it!
Tangle Teezer Hairbrush
On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me... a tiny brush that actually works!!
The first time I went backpacking round the world, I took a paddle brush. A PADDLE BRUSH! Do you know how much space one of those takes up in a backpack? I took that because they were the only brushes that really got through my hair.
Until I discovered Tangle Teezers! These brushes are compact, sooo good and they get through my dusty Africa hair or post surf dreadlocks!
Rainbow Unicorn v Robot Dinosaur Leggings
I got so many compliments and people literally stopped me everywhere to tell me just how cool my pants were. They were a real conversation starter. I love them. You will too. And they make great yoga pants!
But if you’re not into unicorns or robot dinosaurs (what?) then there’s tons of other crazy designs to choose from – like The Little Mermaid or Skeleton legs!
The only thing I would say, is that they are a size UK size 8 – 12, but I’d say they would best fit a UK size 10/US size 6.
On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me… a notepad for all my awesome thoughts!
I literally have a little notebook with me all the time when I travel, and I just jot down my thoughts, useful phrases, where I’ve been, how I felt, as well as stuff like directions or booking references!
If I hadn’t carried notebooks, there would be so many things I’d have forgotten and then I wouldn’t be able to tell you guys would I? They’re especially useful for writing down prices for my budget guides, which would be quite hard to find out in retrospect!
I love looking through my notes from past travels and re-living all the memories!
An African Love Story: Love, Life and Elephants
On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me… Helen’s favourite Africa book!
I read this book on my last trip to Tanzania and Kenya and it very quickly became one on my favourite books of all time, helping me to get through some arduous bus journeys. It’s the extraordinary story of the life of Dame Daphne Sheldrick and her husband David, a warden of Tsavo National Park in Kenya. Together they were a formidable pair, soul mates, protecting Kenya’s wildlife.
The way she describes Africa is simply breathtaking but be warned, this book had me in tears. Very embarrassing during a very crowded (and bumpy) bus journey between Dar es Salaam and Arusha.
As soon as I get my Kindle, I’ll be downloading it and reading it again!
GoPro Hero4 Silver Edition
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me… a Helen proof adventure camera!
GoPro’s are amazing, as they’re super durable, built for adventure sports and very practical as you can attach them to your body! On my recent trip to Wales, two of the boys had their GoPro cameras with them and they got some amazing pictures and videos when we were mountain biking and zip lining. I really need to get one in my life! The picture up at the top would have been sooo much easier with a GoPro!
I like the GoPro Hero4 Silver Edition as it has a screen so you can see what you’re filming. There are a few different ones, from entry level cameras (Hero, Hero+ and Hero LCD) to more advanced ones like the GoPro Session and the GoPro Hero4 Black. Prices range from £94 – £500.
If you’re going to buy one, Black Friday is the time to do it as there are some super sales on the internet! If I haven’t convinced you yet, take a look at some of the best GoPro videos around!
An Amazing Adventure
The thing that us travellers love the most? Travelling of course!!!! So if you really want excellent boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/husband/wife points – take us somewhere!
We live for adventure and new experiences, it’s what keeps us going and it takes away the January blues if we have something amazing to look forward to!
It doesn’t have to be anything outrageous, it could just be a trip to a new restaurant or an activity. Or you could go all out and organise a weekend away or even the trip of a lifetime (I recommend Africa)!
What’s on your Christmas wish list?
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