30 Perfect Gift Ideas for the Passionate Traveller on Your List
Christmas is just weeks away and if you're having difficulty selecting a gift for your favourite traveller (or yourself), have no fear – we've done the legwork for you. We've picked 20 items that globetrotters will love. Many of the items on our list are quite affordable, but we've included a couple of more expensive ideas that are sure to please. Prices quoted were in effect as of December 1, 2014.
A hidden zippered compartment in the Sholdit Scarf helps conceal small valuables like smartphones and wallets from thieves – letting you leave your purse at home.
The scarf is sold in different sizes at prices ranging from US$30-69. You can order direct from Sholdit.com.
ReVIVE Solar ReStore Battery Charger
A solar battery back-up unit makes a great gift. With it, you can go off-grid with your mobile devices and never worry about running out of juice. There's a huge selection on the market, but we like the ReVIVE Solar ReStore Battery Charger. It charges in direct sunlight in 13 hours (4 hours via USB) and provides on-demand portable power. It also has a built-in LED flashlight.
$39.99 at Future Shop.
TOMS Canvas Classics
One of the hardest things about packing is trying to fit a variety of footwear into your suitcase. That brings us to TOMS and the three reasons we absolutely love these shoes for travelling. 1.) They're collapsible so they take up next to no room in your suitcase. 2.) They're versatile so you can dress them up for a fancy night out or dress them down for a lazy day at the beach. 3.) They give back! For every pair purchased, TOMS gives a pair of new shoes to a child in need.
$55 at toms.ca
Silva Polaris Hi-Vis Compass
In this age of smartphones and GPS units, you might think that a compass is little more than a throwback to another time. Not so. It provides a good back-up if you're out in the boonies and it doesn't need power to work. But make sure you know how to use it before setting out.
$15 at MEC.
Washing clothes can be a pain if you're living out of a backpack. But the Scubba Washbag takes care of that. Simply put your dirty clothes in the bag, add water and detergent and seal it up. Now scrub you clothes against the internal washboard for a few minutes. Remove clothes, rinse and hang them to dry. That's all there is to it.
$59 at MEC.
Hybridge Lite Jacket
Nowadays, weird weather is the norm and it's better to err on the side of caution and overpack than to find yourself in another country without proper clothes. That's why we love this down jacket by Canada Goose. Not only is it light (weighs less than half a pound!), it's also fitted and has flexible fabric along its sides so travellers will have no trouble getting around.
Cocoon Grid-It Organizer Case
The Cocoon Grid-It Organizer Case helps keep all your gadgets and small items together using a simple rubberized retention system. There are several sizes available including the small version pictured here.
$14.72 at Staples.
Silk Eye Pillow
This luxury eye pillow is covered in 100% Dupioni Silk (inner part is made out of flax seeds and unbleached cotton). The pillow boasts a lavender scent, but unscented versions are available too. This product is handmade in Vancouver, Canada.
$18.00 at Halfmoon
Pacsafe Camera Strap
Most DSLR cameras come with a strap that screams STEAL ME! When travelling abroad, the last thing you want to do is advertise your expensive camera. The Pacsafe camera strap is an understated strap that can't be cut thanks to an internal steel wire. It's comfortable, too.
$29.99 at Jet Setter.
The Original Authentic Ostrich Pillow
It might look odd at first glance but when you're travelling and looking to get comfy on the go, you probably won't care. The uniquely-designed Ostrich Pillow boasts a super-soft interior and allows you to create a private space within a public one, so you can unwind wherever you are.
Approximately $116.00 on ostrichpillow.com
Scratch World Map
Having a hard time keeping track of the countries you've visited? The Scratch World Map will help you remember your big trips at a glance. Simply scratch off your destination to reveal a beautiful map underneath. The challenge is to scratch off the entire map!
About $30 at Not On The High Street.com.
Carry-On Luggage: HEYS Portal SmartLuggage
Hate checking in your bag at the airport? SmartLuggage is the perfect carry-on that uses a new and innovative design to make packing and travelling more convenient. It's also super light and fits easily in any overhead bin.
Don't be deceived by its size — this luggage offers tons of space for a quick getaway and even includes a foam-padded laptop pocket.
$549.99 on HEYS.
Mid-Sized Luggage: BRX by Briggs & Riley
Heading on a four-day trip? This is your bag! At less than 8lbs, it's virtually weightless and yet it can hold a lot. We couldn't believe all of the compartments this small piece of luggage contained, including specific ones for toiletries, dirty laundry and a laptop.
US$320 at Briggs & Riley.
Large-Sized Luggage: B-Lite r by Samsonite
Samsonite's best-selling line of luggage is back and better than ever before. Not only is each piece super sleek, it's also unbelievably light, extremely durable and easy to transport, thanks to the four multi-directional spinner wheels on its bottom. Chic luggage that's also functional? Sign us up!
$199 on Amazon.
Moleskine Voyageur Travellers Notebook
Measuring 10cm x 18cm, the Moleskine Voyageur Travellers Notebook makes a fine gift. The tough clothbound journal is designed to store itineraries and maps along with notes from the road.
$30 at Chapters-Indigo.
Air Canada Travel Organizer Cube
Once you start using luggage organizers to hold your toiletries, cosmetics, jewellery and electronics when travelling, you'll wonder what you ever did without them. They keep your belongings safe and secure when you're up in the air, so you don't have to worry about spills or anything breaking. A practical must-have for any frequent traveller!
$20.97 at Walmart.
These Beats Tour earphones are great for travelling. The wingtip feature ensures they'll stay in your ear during those dreaded long flights.
$159.95 at Beats by Dre
Bose Soundlink Colour Bluetooth Speaker
Small but mighty, the Bose Soundlink Colour Bluetooth Speaker is a lightweight solution to bringing your music with you. It connects to your iPod, tablet, computer or smartphone via Bluetooth or a cable. It has an internal battery that provides music for up to eight hours between charges. It comes in five colours (hence the name). Oh, and it sounds fantastic.
$139.99 at Future Shop.
Map of Europe Silk Scarf
This soft silk scarf is the ultimate accessory for the world traveller. Measuring 106cm x 200cm it'll give any outfit a splash of colour (and help you find your way).
$70 at Not On The High Street.com.
Voltaic Converter Solar Backpack
If you're hiking off-grid, the Voltaic Converter Solar Backpack makes it easy to keep your electronic devices powered with a minimum of fuss. The backpack's solar panels provide enough juice to charge most items. If you need more power, Voltaic has larger packs capable of charging bigger items like laptops.
$99.99 at Modern Outpost.
VW Camper Van Toiletry Bag
The world's coolest toiletry bag looks like a VW camper van. It has a waterproof lining, comes in three colours and contains two elastic pockets and one zip pocket.
$35 at Tinder and Tide.
CRKT Onion Survival Para-Saw Bracelet
The CRKT Onion Survival Para-Saw Bracelet is made from several feet of paracord and holds a wire saw. The bracelet is for one-time emergency use and gives you the tools you need to cut wood, build a lean-to or a make a snare. Wear on your wrist or toss in your pack, so that you're always prepared.
$17.75 at MEC.
Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Classic
Never underestimate the usefulness of a Swiss Army Knife. There is an endless variety of models featuring flip-out tools ranging from corkscrews to scissors. The Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Classic is a simple and affordable option. It includes a large blade, file, screwdriver, scissors, toothpick and tweezers.
$19.99 at Canadian Tire.
Travel Yoga Mat
Yogi's on the go will truly love this lightweight and portable mat. This mat can actually be folded to fit in your suitcase!
$27.00 at Halfmoon
Fitterfirst Travel Roller
Bouncing around the developing world on a shuttle or bus can take a toll on your body. The Fitterfirst Travel Roller massages tired muscles and helps increase blood flow – just what the doctor ordered after a long day on the road.
$42 at MEC.
InReach SE 2-Way Satellite Communicator
The Delorme InReach SE keeps you in touch when you're way, way off the beaten path. The small device lets the user send and receive text messages anywhere in the world via the Iridium satellite network. If there's an emergency you can send an SOS and your coordinates. The communicator also pairs with mobile devices to access topographic maps.
$299 on Amazon.
MEC Gate-Away Document Holder
MEC's document holder is just that: it holds documents, cash and cards. It contains two accordion-style pockets, one with six credit card pockets and the other with a pocket for documents. There's also a zippered coin pocket.
$18 at MEC.
The Kindle Pouch is an easy way to keep Kindle e-book readers safe from the environment. The waterproof pouch offers protection to a depth of one metre and keeps dust at bay while letting you use the device normally.
$17.98 at Future Shop.
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a tool for protecting your privacy online. It works by encrypting data between your computer and websites. It's essential for travellers who use online banking websites over public networks. A VPN can also give you an IP address in Canada, allowing you to access Canadian geo-blocked websites even when out of the country. VPNs are pretty easy to set up and most providers offer step-by-step instructions.
One of the highest rated VPN providers is Private Internet Access. Rates start at US$3.33/mo.
Caffeinated Shaving Cream
Tired of razor rash? Slap on some of Pacific Shaving Company's Caffeinated Shaving Cream. According to the company, the body can absorb caffeine through the skin – but instead of getting a jolt, the caffeine will help reduce redness from razor rash. There's also a Caffeinated After Shave.
$20 at retailers across Canada.