Top gifts for travel enthusiasts

Here at the British Guild of Travel Writers we’ve scoured the Internet for some top gift suggestions for travel professionals and their families to both gift and receive. We hope it will also be inspirational for anyone looking for travel-related gift-ideas. Members can log-in to access special discount codes for some products. Want to become a member? Find out how to here

Gift your own images

One thing travel professionals aren’t short of is stunning imagery. Motif Photos is a new photo printing app that automatically syncs with your photos and existing albums to make creating personalised photo books, calendars and cards easier than ever.

If you are using a Mac it automatically syncs with your photos and determines the best images to use, as well as providing intuitive editing tools, and easy-to-use personalisation.

20% off (with free standard shipping) with the BGTW member code

A camera that lets you give your subject a keepsake

Some of the best travel photographs include portraits of locals, but it can sometimes be awkward to ask for permission. With the Kodak Smile – and other similar instant cameras – you can take their picture and instantly give them a copy to take away. This Smile camera from Kodak prints sticky-backed Zink prints that can be instantly put on the wall. You’ll probably want to shoot the actual photograph with your professional kit, but this is a handy thank-you to your subject. And if you do take a killer shot, then it stores it on an SD memory card so you also have a copy to take home.

A versatile Travel Wrap

The Travel Wrap comes in a stylish gift box

This Travel Wrap is such a multi-purpose travel item. A blanket on a plane, a night-time shawl, something to sit on on the beach – it can even be used as a sheet over suspicious-looking bedding in a hostel. Made of 100% Scottish cashmere it is incredibly lightweight and yet toasty warm when you need it to be. Lots of different colours available for both men and women. Members get 10% off until December

A novelty spinning globe

This “magic” spinning globe from Stanfords can sit on your desk and distract you from your work as it turns on its own (OK, with the help of an AA battery). Or it can be used by family members to find out where you are in your absence.

And don’t forget BGTW members can obtain a 10% discount by producing a valid membership card when paying for goods in their Covent Garden and Bristol stores, or online at with a code.

Gin, of course

In 1999, long before gin became fashionable, the eccentric Martin Miller (whose hotels many Guild members stayed at) set about creating a premium gin. Using pure Icelandic water and twice distilled botanicals (once with the juniper and earthier botanicals and a second time with the citrus notes) his gin has won more awards than any other in the past 10 years. Gift it in this beautiful gift box with an image of the Aurora Borealis taken by the iconic night sky photographer, Babak Tafreshi, which features the Kirkjufell mountain and waterfalls on Iceland’s rugged western coastline, during the most intense display in more than a decade. Available in Waitrose, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s or online at Ocado.

Or one from Scotland’s most northerly distillery

How about a bottle of Arcturus? produced by Scotland’s northernmost distillery Dunnet Bay, for The Torridon Resort in the Highlands. The award-winning gin was named after the fourth brightest star in the sky. Available through the Arcturus website and in The Torridon’s classical Whisky & Gin Bar, the original expression is distilled with Scots lovage, kelp seaweed, rowanberries and bilberries, and blended with pure Scottish loch water. However, you might want to try the new Arcturus Scots Pine, which brings together the flavours of ancient pine, lemon verbena, juniper and rosemary.

Or a non-alcoholic alternative ….

The new non-alcoholic Dry London Spirit from Lyre’s lets you enjoy all the flavour of a classic gin and tonic without the hangover the next day. Great for cutting down on your alcohol consumption or as a gift for sober friends. This spirit has aromatic, floral flavours of juniper and citrus, while notes of pepperberry adds warmth and delivers a generous, dry finish. Enjoy as a classic G&T with a wedge of lime or mint to garnish.

Keep your tech in check

This nifty STM Dapper Wrapper is a clever canvas pouch that keeps any cables and tech accessories or bits and bobs neatly organised in one place. Say goodbye to scrabbling around in the bottom of your bag for the all important charging cable. Featuring multiple pockets and storage compartments, it is water and dirt repellant thanks to the C6DWR coating applied to the environmentally friendly fabric. Chose between granite black, blue or wine colour

Ethical Christmas coffee

Pact is a leading speciality coffee service that provides bespoke and flexible plans for coffee lovers. Sign up and you can get coffee that is roasted, ground, packed and delivered fresh to your door within seven days. And the good news is they pay at least 25%-125% above Fairtrade price to secure their farmers’ livelihoods. You don’t need to sign-up though to give or receive their coffee this Christmas. Their Coffee Newbie gift set includes two packs of their special Christmas blend, which has notes of Christmas pudding and a classic V60 dripper to make it on either a mug or a jug. And 50p from each sale goes to Bowel Cancer UK.

Get a free V60 when you sign up to a plan with the code for BGTW members.

A luxury passport holder

Let’s face it, we all spend a lot of the year with our passports in our hands, so how about asking for this stylish leather passport holder this Christmas? Part of Maxwell-Scott’s travel accessories, it comes in a range of rich colours and includes a transparent sleeve for your ID and additional card slots for credit cards or boarding passes. Sleek in design and handmade in Italy using the finest full-grain Italian leather, this is a versatile and useful leather passport holder designed to withstand many years of global adventures.

A durable weekend bag

Our luggage has to stand a lot wear, so this SoFo Weekender bag is worth considering. It is designed with a water-resistant waxed canvas to withstand all sorts of weather conditions and is the ideal size for a short trip. We like the hidden internal pockets, to keep your valuables safe and dry and the small back pocket, which has been designed to conveniently slip on the telescopic handle of your luggage, keeping it secure while on the go. It comes in either black, sand or taupe.

A water bottle that could save your life

There are not many gifts that can claim to save your life, but the Lifesaver Liberty bottle is one of them. The ultimate water bottle for those who are eco and health conscious, the LifeSaver Liberty helps reduce your use of single-use plastics by allowing you to turn even the dirtiest water into clean, safe drinking water on demand. Especially useful when travelling abroad, LifeSaver’s advanced filter technology removes a minimum of 99.99% of bacteria, cysts and viruses from dodgy water, and can purify 2,000 litres before the filter needs replacing. A unique 2-in-1 design allows you to pump purified water into other clean containers, so groups or couples only need to carry one LifeSaver Liberty with them on their travels.

An economical camping cook set

Upgrade your campaing stove to the Campingaz 400-S Series stove, which has a high-performance burner that brings a litre of water to the boil in just 10 minutes. The WindBlock pan support halves gas consumption in higher wind speeds compared with standard burners as well as halving boil time. Pair it with the lightweight Kampa Gobble Cookset, which comes complete with kettle, three saucepans and a frying pan for under £20.

Balms to help you relax on the road

Aromatherapy is making a come-back and this handy travel pack of five balms can help you stay centred, focused and relaxed on the road – or at least smelling nice! The pack of Mindful Aromatherapy Minis contains five of Scentered’s best-selling 100% natural balms – SLEEP WELL, DE-STRESS, HAPPY, FOCUS and ESCAPE – you can use them individually to target a specific need or together, as a personal mood and lifestyle support ‘tool kit’.

Fill your stocking with better sleep

A novel idea for a stocking filler, b.’s sleep shots features their popular CBD tincture in a handy travel size vial. Sold in packs of 4, b’s sleep shots are single-use CBD “shots” that are adequately dosed and measured into a vial to ensure that you relax and get the sleep that you need while on the road. Unlike traditional sleep aids, these sleep shots will just improve your quality of sleep rather than make you feel groggy if you don’t have enough sleep. Along with the CBD, the tincture is infused with multivitamins, minerals and adaptogens such as lavender, turmeric, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, zinc and MCT oil derived from coconuts. Members can use a discount code to get 20% off anything from the website (

A wreath of chocolates

Who needs leaves and holly when you could have a Hotel Chocolat chocolate-filled Christmas wreath? Brimming with 40 filled recipes, two snowflakes and one festive wreath, there’s enough here to share the goodwill with everyone. Think winter puddings reimagined in chocolate – such as carrot cake, Christmas mess and award-winning treacle tart – alongside the likes of Champagne, burnt caramel praline, winter sidecar and more. Ribbon-tied and ready to tuck under the tree or grace your post-Christmas-dinner table.

10 trees planted for one pair of Christmas socks

If you are going to gift socks this Christmas, then make them a pair of Ten Trees socks. For every pair of socks purchased they will plant 10 trees on your behalf. Perhaps this will go some way to offsetting all those flights we take each year …

A backpack that helps Nepalese children

This Sherpa Yatra Pack is not only a stylish backpack with a padded laptop compartment, each purchase supports the education of Nepalese schoolchildren with the donation of one book for every bag bought. The back pack features brass buckle fastenings and pockets for your essentials. Yatra means ‘journey’ in Nepali.

The ultimate picnic kit

Shun single-use packaging by travelling with these fun and practical items. The S’nack by S’well box keeps food hot or cold for at least half a day so perfect for taking on your travels, either filing up at home or from your favourite food outlet without creating more rubbish. Vacuum insulated and with a leak-free lid, it comes in a range of fun and colourful designs. Match it with a S’ip by S’well TravelMug and a water bottle. Both keep liquid hot for 12 hours and cold for 24.

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Link to travel mug:

Link to water bottle:

A waterproof memory-foam travel pillow

This memory foam travel pillow from Hippy Chick rolls up into a little fabric pouch, which means you can take a comfortable night’s sleep with you wherever you go. Also great for those with lower back pain to make airline, train and bus seats more comfortable.

An ultra-fast flash drive

Keep all your files, games and films while travelling with this ultra-fast Extreme Go USB from SanDisk. You can password-protect it and it encrypts your files for maximum security. It can transfer a full-length 4K movie in less than 40 seconds or 1000 photos in less than 60 seconds. Available in 64GB capacity. 

A hammock the size of your fist

Enjoy a relaxing swing in a hammock wherever you go with this Mini Hammock from Stanfords. It rolls into a fist-sized ball when not in use, but expands to a full 20ft long, 6ft wide hammock that can be secured to just one overhead support if only one is available (the other side can be stretched out onto the ground).

And don’t forget BGTW members can obtain a 10% discount by producing a valid membership card when paying for goods in their Covent Garden and Bristol stores, or online at with a special BGTW code for our members.

Compartmentalise your luggage

If you haven’t yet discovered packing cubes then these affordable Triple Packing Cubes are a good place to start. Designed for effortless, organised packing, they have breathable front covers so you can identify what’s inside with a quick glance as well as grab handles for removing them one at a time. The multi-size cubes fit together in a cabin-sized suitcase and you can use them to separate clean clothes from dirty ones on the road, or just to keep like-items together.

Antonia Windsor

Author: Antonia Windsor