The best travel gifts for every budget
With borders opening up and more people making travel plans, there seems to be no better Christmas gift to give your travel-obsessed loved one than something to use on their next getaway. The best travel gifts are those that can do anything from make a long haul flight seem shorter or a hotel room feel a bit more like home.
If your loved one already has a slick leather passport holder and personalised luggage tags, fear not: we’ve rounded up a list of practical gifts that all kinds of travellers - from camping enthusiasts to long haul flyers - will enjoy.
Gifts for campers
With a stainless steel-insulated interior to keep drinks hot for up to 3 hours and a slip-resistant base for stability on all kinds of surfaces, the Fressko Reusable Coffee Cup will be handy for campers to keep their drinks warm as they relax around the fire.
It’s BPA-free, has a scratch-proof body, and at $39.95 for a 12oz cup, won’t break the bank. It also comes in a wide variety of colours, from canary yellow to sage green, so you’re bound to find one that suits your traveller’s style.
The Oztrail Outback Comfort Queen Sleeping Bag fits over a queen camping mattress, and lets you take the comfort of home to the campsite. A flannel cotton lining helps ensure even heat distribution, while secure full-length zips help with easy access.
It retails for around $150, and won’t just make a special gift for your loved one, but their partner, who will also be thanking you when they wake up free of back pain in the morning.
Gifts for hikers
Pictured: The P7R Signature Rechargeable Torch.
Anyone braving the outdoors should have a good quality torch handy, both for safety and convenience reasons. Reviewers on ProductReview.com.au have loved how bright and compact the torches in the LedLenser P-Series have been.
Torches in the range are protected from water and dust, with some even being able to be used underwater for a short time. For an added special touch, you can also choose to have the torch engraved when you buy it.
Expect to pay between $29.95 to $79.95 for battery-operated torches, or between $119.95 to $499.95 for rechargeable models.
Suitable for everything from backpacking trips to beach days and music festivals, the Helinox Chair One is the epitome of versatility. It’s compact, packing down to a length of 35cm and a weight of 960g.
Reviewers have praised how light, comfortable, and easy to carry this chair is, which is why we recommend it for hikers who camp, although it’d be just as great a gift for car campers too.
You can grab this chair in most colours for $149.99, or you can fork out a bit more for a funky pattern.
Pictured: The Garmin eTrex 20x, $299.
The Garmin eTrex Handheld GPS can help hiking and geocaching enthusiasts explore the great outdoors - and know where they are. Depending on the model you buy, the device also comes with built-in maps, ABC sensors, and a 3-axis compass.
Reviewers have said that products in the range were easy to use and didn’t have a problem staying connected to the GPS. It can give both you and your gift recipient some peace of mind while they’re out adventuring.
Gifts for long haul flyers
Getting a water bottle for your travel-hungry friend will help them avoid spending money on plastic bottles at each of their stops, which is great for their wallet and the planet. Plus, they won’t have to spend their flight awkwardly trying to catch the flight attendant’s attention to ask for more water.
The Contigo Autoseal Swish Water Bottle is 100% leak and spill-proof, is made from 100% BPA-free materials, and has a 500ml capacity, so it’s still relatively compact. It generally retails for around $30, and comes in a range of fun colours.
Whether you’re a light reader or an avid bibliophile, there’s no denying that an e-reader is a lot more convenient (and lighter) than paper books to have while you’re on the move. You can store thousands of titles on the Kindle Paperwhite, and it also has an adjustable warm light so that you can choose a background colour that’s easier on the eyes.
The 2021 edition has 8gb of storage and is $239, or you could go for the Signature Edition, which has 32gb of storage, wireless charging and is priced at $289.
Audio Technica is pretty renowned for the exceptional sound clarity in their products, and according to reviews, these headphones are no exception. They’re also noise-cancelling, and what better gift to give a traveller than something that lets them have some peace and quiet when they’re trying to catch an airport or mid-flight snooze?
At $279, they’re a bit of a splurge, but it’s difficult to find a decent pair of noise-cancelling over-ear headphones at this low of a price. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative and noise cancellation isn’t as important to you, then you might want to consider the also highly-rated JBL Tune 450BT, which goes for $69.95.
Gifts for hotel hoppers
Perfect for weekend getaways or overnight business trips, the Caribee Sky Master 40L can carry all you need for shorter trips. It’s lightweight and is an airline carry-on approved size, letting you jump long airport queues and head straight for the boarding gate.
It’s $139, and has been described by reviewers as being comfortable to wear, having plenty of packing options, and being easy to keep compact with internal and external tie down straps. It even has an additional strap that lets you wear it over your shoulder instead of on your back.
This travel pillow was a ProductReview.com.au Award Winner in both 2017 and 2020, and has been praised by reviewers for its comfort and portability. It’s been described as slightly firmer than regular pillows, giving you the support you need, wherever you are.
While it isn’t a travel pillow that wraps around your neck, it can still also make long haul flights (as well as bus, train, and camping trips) a little more comfortable, and so would be suited to all kinds of travellers. At $59, it’s quite the steal.
Or, gift them an experience
If you’re unsure about whether the travel lover in your life already has all that they need for their holiday, then consider gifting them an experience. After all, what’s more memorable than the gift of travel itself?
Group buying sites like Scoopon and Groupon sell experience vouchers for all major Australian cities as well as more regional and remote areas, so if your friend is planning a getaway, then you can gift them anything from a parasailing adventure to a meal at one of the best joints in town.
In a similar vein, you can also buy gift cards to a range of camping shops - such as Snowys Outdoors, Tentworld, or Paddy Pallin - for your more outdoorsy friend. You can also find travel gift cards on a range of websites if you want to help pay for your loved one’s flights or accomodation.
The bottom line
There are endless gift options for the person in your life who’s about to set off on an adventure. Don’t be afraid to ask them if there’s something particular they need for their trip; you’re better off spending your time and money on a gift that will actually be used and appreciated.