travel gifts

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Post-COVID travel: Christmas gift ideas for the traveller with the itchy feet

Flight tickets or getaways won’t exactly be on Santa’s shopping list this year, but why not spoil your jet-setting bud or globe-trekking aunt with a travel-inspired gift that could leave them eagerly anticipating the new year and its promise of returned travel.

travel gifts

Image: Adobe Stock

There’s no point pretending that this festive season isn’t a bit different than previous years. And, travellers, who usually use this time of year to explore a new chunk of the globe, will be feeling especially gloomy.

While we’re no longer in strict lockdown and local travel isn’t prohibited anymore, for those braving the increased red-tape, a sizeable health risk remains.

So, flight tickets or getaways won’t exactly be on Santa’s shopping list this year — like they may have been in previous years–but all’s not lost. If you’re baffled about what to gift your jet-setting bud or globe-trekking aunt, there are still a number of travel-inspired gifts that could leave them eagerly anticipating the new year and its promise of returned travel.

Have a look at our list of travel-inspired gift ideas:



Most travel and tour operators, assured that things will eventually embrace a new normal (especially with vaccines pending approval and one already being administered in the UK), have launched extensive voucher purchase options.

Look up your local travel agency or Google your favourite tour and flight operator to see if they have such offers and what exactly the voucher purchase may entail.

Usually, as a means to attract buyers in a now troubled market, the vouchers are discounted, have an aspect of flexibility as to the exact dates of bookings and, with some companies, can be extended past the expiry date if not used in time.

Options may range from cash vouchers, which your lucky recipient can use to off-set against their future travel costs, or actual tours and stays that can be used at an undetermined later date. Depending on how luxurious you really want to get, the cost and nature of this gift is really all up to you.


scratch map
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Scratch maps/ posters are the latest craze amongst travellers, and it’s easy to see why. These roll-up portable maps, that come in a variety of sizes, and colours, are basically a giant scratch-card in the shape of a world map.

Travellers can scratch off the area within countries they’ve been to, so that the scratched area then reveals a different colour and a name of country. Their map  will then show clearly which places they’ve been to, and which are left.

Besides being a catchy artwork, these posters serve as a reminder of the places you’ve been and serve up day-dreams on those places yet to have been visited.



travel journal
Image: Adobe Stock

For those who love the comfort of recounting tales after a blissful day out or find the need to return to the finer details of their adventures and explorations in future, a travel journal is a perfect gift.

With a large variety on the market, ranging from practical notebooks to hefty, embossed journals, it would be hard not to find one that specially suits the person you’re shopping for.

Travel sketchbooks — which resemble normal sketchbooks but allocate empty spaces to jot down times, places and sometimes offer prompts — are also a unique choice for artsy travellers. 


polaroid travel gifts
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If your travelling bud spends their time off the road compiling scrapbooks, perusing through old photo albums, or plastering their wall with a collage of memories, their go-to Christmas gift this year should, no doubt, be a Polaroid camera (if they don’t already have one).

While printing bulk photos after returning from vacation is the usual option, certain occasions, places, and memories call for something more: for that moment to be printed right at the time of its capture, so that the photo itself becomes a souvenir.

And Polaroid cameras offer us just that possibility. With a return to travel on the horizon for 2021, it’s safe to say photos from our next getaway will be more appreciated and valued than ever before.


covid travel
Image: Adobe Stock

Increasingly, the world moves towards an attitude of minimalism and a tug away from pretty — albeit, useless and clutter-inducing — knick-knacks.

If you know gifting a poster or a camera may raise some eyebrows from your pragmatic friend or family member who swears to only need that which is entirely useful, here’s a list of travel-inspired gifts that would inevitably come in handy:

  • Luggage; 
  • Luggage tags;
  • Toiletry travel packs; 
  • COVID travel kits (These usually contain travel-sized hand sanitiser, a few masks, wet wipes and tissues.);
  • Passport covers; and
  • Travel insurance.

Happy Shopping and Merry Christmas!