Updated on June 22nd, 2023
With travel becoming part of our lives again, now is the time to indulge that special travelling someone with presents they will love. Here, I have compiled a list of unique travel gifts that anyone with an adventurous spirit will adore. It’s a combination of inspiration, memories, celebration of our reignited freedom and those practical things that I can’t travel without. There are companies I believe in, items I would love to receive and hope you will too. I have even managed to secure some discounts especially for you! So, why not have a look, select your favourites & send it to those who love you to help them out this season ;)?”
Covered in wrapping paper…wherever in the world you’re celebrating!
While we couldn’t travel, many of us were hunting for ways we could bring our passion for adventure back to life…somehow. For me, it was to seek out products that represent why I love exploring & where I have been so far. But I also had a focus on ethical, small family or female-owned businesses & felt a renewed eagerness to give them my custom.
With the season of giving just around the corner, I decided to share some of my best finds as the perfect gifts for travel lovers. I have included companies whose ethos I love, a few ideas for travel inspiration & some of the key products I cannot do without. I would have loved to have found these in my Christmas stocking & I hope you would too! I reached out to some of my favourites & they have generously offered DISCOUNTS for you as a Sue Where Why What reader. So, what are you waiting for?
Don’t forget to share & make sure they are on your list for Santa this year. And then check out my other post on the best gifts for travel lovers for 2022.
This post may contain affiliate links. By using these, Sue Where Why What may receive a small commission. You will not pay any extra charges for this. My opinions, reviews & recommendations remain my own. For more information see my disclosure.
Unique Travel Gifts – 20 Plus Perfect Gift Ideas for Travellers
Trouvaille for avid country counters
I became aware of Trouvaille when I answered the Solo Female Travel Survey back at the end of 2020. There were prizes on offer as an incentive to participate (not that I needed one, as you know I am an advocate!) & I was lucky to win one of their tote bags. Then, I liked their products so much that I also bought myself & my friend one of their mugs as the perfect gift for travel lovers.
The company was formed by a couple, Candelaria & Greg, inspired by their travels:
Our passion for travel has always inspired us. We believe that travel really does make you richer, kinder, more open-minded and aware of our impact on the planet. We therefore knew this had to be at the core of what we did. So, we started thinking about innovative travel-related products that would inspire people to explore the world.”
Their travel-themed gifts are fun (who doesn’t love colouring a map to represent all the places you have been?), sustainable (plastic-free packaging) & socially conscious. They donate part of the profits to a UK-based environmental charity.
The product line has recently grown to include some beautiful hand-painted candles. Each candle sold protects 40m2 of threatened habitat through their partnership with World Land Trust. Every design has been hand-painted by an artist, directly on the glass to avoid plastic or paper stickers.
If, like me, you love the idea of colouring your conquests so far, then there are also mugs (choose from UK, Europe, USA or World), bags & books, as well as a stunning journal made entirely of recycled paper.
Bushbells for colourful African-inspired clothing
Anyone who has read much of my blog will know about my love affair with Africa. From my first epic 3-month overland safari to my time volunteering & exploring Namibia, to conquering its highest peak in Kilimanjaro, it has had me mesmerized. So, when I first read about Bushbells, I was already intrigued. Look no further for practical, colourful & unique travel gifts.
Before companies with a social & environmental conscience became “fashionable”, there was Bushbells. The company was created by Mama Anna & Jax, a 3rd generation East African mother & daughter team. They were compelled to help the community they loved in Watamu, Kenya. When their friend Sammy was widowed with 3 children to support, they decided to harness his expertise as a tailor. Their products took inspiration from the colours of Kenya & they produced kikoy clothing to sell to friends & family back in the UK. As demand increased, Bushbells was born.
The company’s ethos is close to my heart.
We care about people, not profits. That’s why our collection is as good for you as it is for the community where it’s made. Your purchase gives secure, ongoing employment to our team of four fabulous tailors, & provides the necessary revenue for us to continue building our schools, support educational projects & breakfast club. We are on a mission to get people to buy less & buy better, & to consider what a product represents in terms of its social & environmental price.”
What’s not to love about that?
And what’s not to love about their beautiful & colourful collection of kikoys, soft cotton clothing & accessories? I recently bought a couple of their kikoys (one regular, one towelling backed & perfect for the beach). They are the ideal travel accessory as they are light, dry quickly & can be used as a sarong, scarf, towel & whatever else you may find them essential for. Who doesn’t want a piece of colour from the gorgeous Kenyan coast to open at Christmas?
Enjoy The Wood is a family-owned brand of wooden accessories, made in the Ukraine. I first discovered them when I was looking for something to put on the wall in my spare room. Obviously, I love to travel & am an advocate of going large…in most things. When I discovered Enjoy The Wood it was a match made in heaven! After all, what traveller doesn’t love a beautiful, 3D wooden wall map of the world that you can put pins in to mark everywhere you’ve been?
There are lots of choices, all are eco-friendly, packaged ready to gift & personalizable. In addition, they are fun & easy to install. They said it would take 1 hour for mine, I had gin & it took 5 but I loved the process & the memories it evoked along the journey!”
You can choose 3D wood, cork, coloured or even luminous & as small or as large as you wish. You can add details & pins or choose not to do either. They also have city maps & funky globes in their collection. Check it all out on the website HERE or even as my video background above! I hope you love yours as much as I do.
Angel Rocks for jewellery that speaks to your adventurous heart
I discovered Angel Rocks this year & fell in love with the edgy, rock & roll feel of their jewellery. The message behind a couple of their pieces really resonated with me. As a result, I bought two necklaces as a birthday present to myself & wear them every day. That’s why I decided to include them in my list of unique travel gifts.
You may be familiar with St Christopher, maybe less so the (now decapitated & wingless) condor I bought from the witches’ market in Bolivia. Both are good luck charms for travellers. But in Angel Rocks, I found a couple of pieces that spoke to me.
The Guardian collection comes with a description
Wear our signature angel wings as a reminder that you are greatly blessed, deeply loved & not alone. Your guardian will guide you & be with you on your journey.”
If you’ve followed my personal journey of love & loss, you will recognise why this resonated strongly.
Mine was FREEDOM.
It’s not that hard to work out now but when I was in an all-consuming sales management role, it felt a little harder to grasp! Hence why I love my new feather necklace:
Our intricate & beautiful feathers are often worn as symbols of flight & freedom & represent a connection to spirit & the universe. A feather that falls to earth is a gift from the sky.”
I know…I’m a marketer’s dream! 🙂
Alternatively, have you considered a magazine subscription? Us travellers are always looking for inspiration & what better way to get it than landing on our doormat every month? My go-to magazine (Sunday Times Travel) unfortunately met its end during lockdown so I am on the hunt for another favourite to fill its place (recommendations gratefully received). In the meantime, I’m checking out Wanderlust, Conde Nast Traveller & National Geographic to see which fits me best.
Gift books for all the inspiration you need
And if it’s the inspiration you are looking for, I have a whole cabinet full of Lonely Planet guides. However, my favourite ones to flick through are the gift books. How about Where to Go When which I use all the time? Or The Travel Book – A Journey Through Every Country in the World, or its sister, The Cities Book? Then there is one I hope to check out further on Wine Trails (they also have them for Australia & New Zealand, North America & Europe specifically). And, if you don’t believe my guide to saving money on travel is enough for you, they have a whole book dedicated to the subject (The Best Things in Life are Free!)
Wanderful for connecting with like-minded travel junkies
Wanderful is a network of female travellers who share travel stories, local tips & advice on planning. Once a member you can also meet up with local travel enthusiasts at home or connect to members of the community while overseas.
Wanderful embraces women across the ages (their oldest member is over 90) with all levels of travel experience. It encompasses women from the well-worn nomads among us to those just embarking on their journey.”
Since joining I have found the group an excellent resource. It is welcoming, supportive & inclusive. So why not buy a membership as a gift card for your favourite travel lover?
Empowerful for feeling safer on the journey
Alternatively, what about a unique travel gift that will actually help them to feel safe? Empowerful (via the Solo Female Travel portal) is an “always-on” female festival of all things safety, wellness & sexual well-being. During the biggest-ever solo female travel survey, they identified safety as the number one concern amongst women who travel alone. As a result, they put together Empowerful as a one-stop-shop of resources for all things female, safety & travel related. On the site are over 30 sessions, involving 35 experts, across 50 hours of content. So, what better way to make your loved ones feel you are supporting their travel dreams?
So, beyond these what about something a bit more practical? Also make sure you check out my Top 12 Essentials Things to Pack for Travelling, with plenty of basic stocking fillers for dedicated travellers everywhere.
For any level of travel that you do, my go-to brand for luggage is Osprey. I have their Fairview backpack, their Farpoint backpack on wheels (it’s an age thing!) & am now in the market for a day pack. I find their products are always practical & hard wearing. Me & my bags have had a lot of fantastic adventures together!
One of my favourite recent travel purchases is my portable Bluetooth speaker. It’s fantastic for listening to my music or getting a taste of the world back home on the radio while I’m away exploring. If you would like to bring a little joy to the traveller in your life, then why not treat them to one yourself?
GoPro for capturing the moment…in full action!
For that very special someone in your life, then how about the ultimate travel accessory to allow them to film everything as they go? If you’ve watched any of my YouTube videos, I film them all on my faithful GoPro. I love the cameras so much (size, weight & quality of the video) that I’m now on my 3rd. I think it’s fair to say, they get a lot of use! If you have a budding travel vlogger in your midst, or just want to sit through hours of footage with them when they return, then why not treat them?
I hope you have been inspired by my ideas for unique travel gifts. Next, all you need to do is send this list to all those people who love you & keep your fingers crossed for your big day! Good luck & I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
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