It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, Lonely planet Books in every store…every book store that is
Oh yes, the Michael Buble Christmas album is on, the Spiced Cider candle is lit, and the wrapping paper has been bought, and bought again – just in case. It’ that time of year again, and a regular question that gets thrown your way, sometimes in a panic stricken cry, is ‘What do you want for Christmas?!’ if any of you are like me, the response will be a stuttered ‘Erm, I don’t know, really’. However, after having a really good think whilst on a very long shift at work (a lovely bit of xmas overtime) I compiled a list of what a traveler can reply when this inevitable question arises.
Money towards funding that No.1 trip
Okay, so this has got to be one of the most boring Christmas request, but sadly it’s one that I have asked for before. As soon as a traveler gets a trip in their head, their lives are consumed with blogs, wikipedia and Pinterest. So, when a traveler asks for money, don’t scoff and ask them for something else, or if you don’t feel like you can ask for money, just remember that it’ll be the only thing to bring a smile to your face. A £20 note may not bring you an ecstatic smile actually on Christmas day, but when you’re looking over Peru from Machu Picchu then that £20 donation will be the best gift you could have ever received. Giving money as a gift doesn’t have to be boring either, you can put it in a candle, dvd case or maybe even a travel guide book, that way you have something to bulk out the Christmas tree floor plan and to unwrap on the day.
Speaking of sneaking money in to a travel guide, these make great present requests as well, I’ve even asked for Lonely Planet’s Australia Guide this year from my sister! Although I’m not a great fan of the adverb overload style of writing from Lonely Planet, you can’t deny they have some great information in them, and if you’ve read my How I like to Plan a Trip blog post, you know nothing gets me more excited about a trip than some good ol’ research! If you’re the same, or you just want to learn a bit more about a new country then add one of these on to your Christmas list, and, if you’re not sure what specific country you’d like to read about, why not ask for a subscription to a travel magazine for the year such as Lonely Planet, Wanderlust or Conde Nast.
There are all sorts of travelers, those who like to use the opportunity to escape realism, those who prefer to live the frugal life and those who like to keep the world jealous- sorry, I mean updated – on their travels. If you like to stay connected to the world on your travels, or you’ve watched too many horror film and don’t want your phone to run out of charge in the middle of a night in the jungle, then it might be worth asking for a portable phone charger for Christmas. There are plenty all over the internet, but this one had great reviews on amazon and looks – dare I say, at the risk of sound too much like a girl – cute. Simply charge it up before you leave your hotel room, or for your trip, and you’ll be able to charge your phone or tablet without needing any plug sockets! I wish I had known these existed before I went to Glastonbury! Other great Gadgets are underwater cameras, I have this one from Kodak which I plan to take to Iceland with me when I visit the Blue Lagoon.
This one is a bit vague but travel accessories are basically gifts that you can get for under £20, so if your boyfriend or girflriend’s Mum has asked what you would like, then this may be a good option. Personally, I love a good travel journal and if you’re a blogger, or you just like to retain as many memories from your holidays as possible then this is a great present. Other gifts under this umbrella could be suitcase tags, a ticket holder/organiser, a passport cover, a photo album or maybe even a nice carry on hand luggage. You could even ask for a sleeping bag if you’re planning on going camping next year, I got my partner one last year for his 7 week trip across America.
If a trip abroad is nothing without your camera, then look towards your friends Canon and Nikon for some inspiration. I was lucky enough to get a Canon 600D at a crazy cheap price last year for Christmas as I bought it off my Sister’s partner and I love it! If you too are really into your photography, or would like to be, then maybe dropping the hint for your family to chip in for a DSLR could be an idea. If you’re already on the amateur photographer band wagon then how about asking for a new lens? I’ve got my fingers crossed for a 50mm this Christmas!
Clothing may not be one of the greatest presents to get – trust me, I work in a shoe shop! – as a lot relies on size and personal preference, but if you’re very specific, and through the magic of ‘sending links’ on facebook then this could be an idea. I have a trip to Iceland coming up and have demanded for a abundance of fluffy socks and thermals, but other gifts could be winter coats and/or gloves, or maybe even a bikini if you’re going somewhere hot this Winter.
Travel skin care sets and palettes
As much as I am traveled obsessed, I am, as shallow as it sounds, also make up and skin care obsessed and there are some great mini gift sets and sample sizes on sale at the moment, perfect to put into your hand luggage. I’ve never had the funds for Aesop but I have drooled all over their store in Covent garden, and their Christmas gift set, The London Travel Case, had me weeping at my laptop. Benefit also have great make up sets coming out this year, and their ‘How to Look The Best At Everything’ set has to be my favourite, everything you need to look presentable in your holiday photos.
If you’ve enjoyed a trip of a life time this year, and you’re struggling with coming to terms that this time last year you were still planning it, then a photo calendar could be a great present to help to reminisce all year round. A fond favourite in my family, my brother and sister made a photo calender for me for 2012 filled with photos from my three weeks travelling across America with Trekamerica. I really enjoyed the calender and was really touched by the effort my siblings had come to. They’re really simple to make and if you sign up to the newsletters you’re more than likely to get a discount code, Snapfish and Photobox are my two go-to websites.