19 Essential Christmas Gifts for Travellers

Christmas is just around the corner – but what do you buy the traveller with only a backpack to store their goodies? Below are a selection of goodies that would be the perfect Christmas gift for the travel-aholic in your life – and you could also splash that little bit more, and give the gift of travel itself, with an STA Travel gift cards.

Here’s our list of the 19 top buys to make Christmas shine with the magic of travel (or something).

19 Perfect Christmas Gifts Travellers

1. Re-hydration Salts

This may seem like a frivolous entry but the power of re-hydration salts simply cannot be overstated. The traveller’s Berocca (also a good option) they’re perfect for a quick pick me up after a sweaty rainforest hike, the morning after the long night before and, of course, the inevitable stomach sickness. Most travellers seem to run out of these by week one, so be sure to get a decent stack.

2. Journal

The only thing that comes close to travelling is re-living it after. Of course, photos are brilliant for this, but the memories that come flooding back from journal entry are amazing – and sometimes amusing. Your gift-ee not much of a writer? A scrap book or stub holder is another great option.

3. E-reader

The days of using half your baggage weight limit on massive books is coming to an end. E-readers can be filled with classic travel literature, relevant chapters from guide books, city maps and much more. Don’t discount the joy of discovering the hostel book exchange though – a couple of paperbacks are still a must.

4. Hard Shampoo

We’ve all been there. You open your carefully packed bag to discover a soapy mess coating your smalls – inevitably on the first day of a month long washing machine drought. Avoid this common hell by investing a couple of quid in some bars of hard shampoo – works just as well as the regular leaky stuff but keeps your bag free of suds.

5. First aid kit

From help for cuts and scrapes to the traveller’s best first aid friend – medicinal alcohol, this could be the best (well, most useful anyway) gift they get this year.

6. Collapsible wine/pint glasses

Your travel buddies won’t be able to hide how impressed (and jealous) they are when one of these is produced on a beach/jetty/mountain/jungle. How civilised.

7. Portable speakers

Used well, portable speakers will make any traveller the centre of a dorm room party, the most popular person on the train and the recipient of many a song request and local beer, a great way to make friends.

Place in the wrong hands however and tales of questionable playlists will precede them from hostel to hostel… you have been warned.

8. Cashcard

Use a Prepaid STA Travel Mastercard Cashcard worldwide for free transactions over the counter, an online account to manage your money (you can even set yourself a weekly spending limit) and, if you’re lucky enough to be a student, 1000s of discounts worldwide too! It’s not linked to a bank account, can be cancelled easily if stolen and, best of all, can be topped up from home. Simple!

9. Universal adapter + Portable charger

Charge everything everywhere = no excuse for not staying in touch!

10. Mini camcorder

Got a budding filmmaker on your hands? A mini camcorder (eg GoPro) is great for capturing the atmosphere when a photo just won’t cut it. Need some inspiration? Check out STA AU’s Move. Eat. Learn. Videos

11. Day trip/mini adventure

Know someone heading to Sydney? Why not treat them to a Harbour Bridge climb or an Opera House tour? The USA more their style? How about a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon or a sightseeing tour of San Francisco? Whether it’s a Favela trip in Rio or the ultimate Amsterdam pub crawl, there’s something for every pocket and every continent! If you’re not sure when they’ll be there it’s no matter – many of these experiences can be booked open-dated.

12. Bug-proof socks

These exist (yes really).

13. Lounge access

What do you buy the glam-packer lamenting the loss of their hair straighteners or aftershave (or both)? How about an airport lounge passes for a bit of luxury as they hop the continents? Sure beats sleeping on the cold, hard floor at the airport.

14. Luggage scale

Airlines, buses, trains, boats, you name it there’s often a weight limit for your bags. A little luggage scale can save the heavy handed traveller a small fortune in excess baggage fees. You could even say it’s worth its weight in gold.

15. A (bus) pass to adventure

Keeping things flexible is one of the joys of travel… but knowing you can actually get from one place to another is nice too! We have Hop-on hop-off bus passes in Asia, Oz, NZ, North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe – you name it we can help you hop around it!

Only got a few quid? Check out these stocking fillers:

16. Door stops – Use on the inside of the room and you have the ultimate low-budget door securer.

17. Zip-lock bags – THE most useful packing item in the world. Ever. Full stop.

18. Duct tape – repair bags, shoes, sunglasses, fashion an ad-hoc washing line, this ultimate packing essential has any number of uses.

19. Pocket calculator – Great for working out puzzling exchange rates, typing out prices for haggling store holders, or just writing out the number 5318008 and turning it upside down for a giggle on long bus journeys. Don’t give us that look, we’ve all been there.

If none of these gift ideas have hit the spot, what could be better than the gift of travel itself?! Check out our STA Travel gift cards and help your loved ones off on their own adventure.