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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. And we’ve sourced some great discounts especially for BGTW members. Just log-in to access the special discount codes for some products. Want to become a member? Find out how to here

A luxury refillable journal

Members get a generous 20% off these beautiful hand-crafted refillable journals from luxury stationery company, Bark & Rock. They combine nature and craftsmanship to create some of the most luxurious journals, notebooks, and photo albums on the market. The handmade journals take over four days to create and last a lifetime. The refillable journal covers are made from luxury wood veneer chosen from across the world and made in the Surrey workshop.

A taste of Spain

Add a touch of Iberia to your Christmas table with this authentic 100% jamón ibérico from the historic family business Cinco Jotas. Made with true craftsmanship, Spain’s national treasure – Cinco Jotas’ acorn-fed 100% jamón ibérico – is favoured by some of the world’s top chefs and restaurants. It was served to Hollywood’s VIPs at the 2019 Oscars by Chef Wolfgang Puck, it is José Pizarro’s ibérico ham of choice, featuring in all his acclaimed London restaurants and cookbooks, it graces the menu at Nieves Barragan’s Michelin-starred Sabor as well as 47 other Michelin-starred restaurants around the world. Members get 10% off their online order until December 11.

A much needed Tonic

Tonic is a brand new drink and travel magazine. Its founders pooled their passion – and life savings – to send award-winning writers from The Guardian and The Spectator to Haiti, North Korea and the final frontiers of booze. The result is a 144-page journal packed with long-form travel-drink-adventure tales. Tonic’s highly collectable first issue will leave you thirsty for more. A special 10% discount is offered to members on any annual subscription purchased.

Gift your own images

One thing travel professionals aren’t short of is stunning imagery. Motif Photos is a photo printing app that automatically syncs with your photos and existing albums to make creating personalised photo books, calendars and cards easier than ever.f 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. 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. Members get 20% off (with free standard shipping).

A straw to turn any water into drinking water

This is the perfect companion for walks in the UK or abroad when you don’t want to carry gallons of water: stick it in the water source and suck. Hydrated. The ultimate survival tool, the LifeStraw Personal removes bacteria, parasites and microplastics from all  fresh water sources. Durable and ultralight, the long-lasting filter has no shelf life and will filter 4,000  litres of drinking water – enough to last an individual for over five years of use. The LifeStraw Personal  is easy to clean and store. For every LifeStraw product purchased, a child in a developing country receives clean, fresh drinking water for an entire school year.

Take your own food on the plane

A good food jar should be easy to open, convenient to eat from, keep ice cream cold and pasta hot and it should travel without leaking or breaking. Hydro Flask’s new insulated food jar ticks all those boxes. TempShield double wall vacuum insulation keeps what’s inside hot or cold for hours. It’s leakproof, no matter how you pack it, and the design is durable thanks to a stainless-steel construction that won’t retain or transfer flavour. The jar-like shape is easy to open and convenient to eat from all while looking great.

Glasses no thicker than a credit card

No more squinting at price tags, food labels and menus because you’ve left your glasses at home again. At only 4mm thick, ThinOptics are the world’s thinnest, lightest, and most portable reading glasses that can fit on or in phones, keys, wallets, or anything else that’s always with you.

Ultra-slim, sleek and flexible, these handy little reading glasses slip into a special pod that can be kept easily in your wallet, pocket or stuck onto your mobile phone  so that they’re right where you need them. Members get a massive 25% off throughout the site www.the-body-doctor.com.

A mask for tired eyes

For travellers who suffer with allergies or dry eye disease which can be worsened in dry climates, and air conditioned environments such as hotel rooms, the new Eye Doctor Click and Go eye mask has its own heat activation system to produce a soothing, warm eye compress to rejuvenate sore, tired, itchy eyes. The Eye Doctor Click & GO® is activated by simply clicking the disk inside the compress to generate the heat required for an effective treatment staying warm for over 20 minutes. Following activation and treatment the mask will be required to be reset to its previous state by placing in boiling water. Members get 25% off across www.the-body-doctor.com.  

A commuter scooter

A folding scooter makes light work of city sightseeing, and is a great companion to take on the Eurostar to Europe. The Frenzy 205mm dual brake folding commuter scooter is the most popular scooter on the www.skates.co.uk website. It is the latest 205mm wheel model, which features a dual hand and foot braking system, warning bell, front cushion suspension and our new easy fold system for compact storage and transportation. All of this is in addition to our new hard wearing premium anodised finish, available in both champagne and titanium colours, adds up to a sleek and stylish ride. £107 www.Skates.co.uk Members get 10% off.

A lunchbox made of rice husk

This nifty lunchbox from Huski Home is completely sustainable, heat resistant and durable. By using rice husk, a natural biproduct from the mass production of rice, the company saves thousands of tons of  natural waste from going to landfill, while creating practical, beautiful, reusable products, which can help eliminate the need for single-use plastics. Members get 10% off.

A bottle that funds plastic collection

The Ocean Bottle an innovative eco alternative to single-use plastic bottles. The plastic used on the outside of the bottle is made from recycled plastic saved from our oceans. For every bottle purchased, Ocean Bottle funds the collection of 11.4kg/25lbs of plastics (or 1000 plastic bottles).  The bottle is great for hot and cold drinks and has a small opening for drinking and a large opening for cleaning. It also includes a cup, easy carry loop, anti-leak lid, fully insulated bottle and the ocean plastic base to stop banging on hard surfaces. There is even a smart chip in the base of the bottle so every time you visit a participating refill station (coffee shops etc) a donation is made to fund ocan plastic retrieval. 

No-spill travel mug

The Contigo West Loop travel mug perfectly combines functionality, technology and style. Ice cold or piping hot – Thermalock double-wall vacuum insulation keeps temperatures locked in for hour, keeping your drinks hot up to 5 hours and cold up to 12 hours. And no risk of spillage as the autoseal technology automatically seals between sips to prevent leaks and spills. This travel mug is durable and comes in 11 colours to ensure there’s an option for everyone.

Secure your valuables with a portable safe

Master Lock’s Portable Safe is a great gadget to bring on camping trips or other outdoor activities when you go travelling. This portable safe allows you to safely store your valuables on your adventures. It comes with an integrated cable to secure the lock box to a ground object to make sure your valuables are safe. It is constructed to be water-resistant, with shock absorbing foam lines on the interior and also includes an access port to listen to music or charge devices while they are stored safely.

Sip cocktails in style

Tired of chewed paper straws in your over-priced gin and tonic? Well, slip a glass straw into your bag and you can sip in style. VASO’s range of premium glass straws offer consumers a reusable, sustainable and recyclable product (and packaging) that delivers a 100% pure taste as they are free from plastics, toxins, mineral oils and BPA. They also have a range of bamboo travel cases that have been specifically designed for their straws. Further details are available on their web site: https://glassstraw.co.uk Members get 10% off.

Sturdy storage for tech

The Kelty Cache Boxes keep all your kit clean, dry and safe while you are on the road. They come in different sizes and are ideal to store, organise and protect your belongings – being in the car, home or outdoors, the boxes have clever pockets and dividers and are made of tough exterior.

A notebook that won’t get wet

With the Waterproof Notebook (RRP £3.95) you can write your notes in any weather conditions, even if it’s raining, using any pen or pencil. The interior pages have both lines and grids and on the inside of the back cover is a useful conversion chart for lengths, weights and temperatures – making it a great addition to anyone’s pack. Available in olive or orange colourways, it is 10 x 15cm.

Proper coffee on the go

If you are tired of hotel sachets of instant coffee, then you need this clever portable coffee maker that will give you a proper cup of coffee, no matter what tent or hotel room you are in. The AeroPress Go from The Gentlemen Baristas make simply superb coffee on the go. Its smart design makes it easy to use and to clean. It’s also compact, lightweight and durable so perfect for everything from camping to commuting. It includes the mug and lid, filter cap and holder, a stirrer and a coffee scoop as well as 350 filters and 250g of coffee.

Stylish ear protection

If you are trying to work from home with the neighbour’s kids (or your own) having a water fight outside, or trying to work from the plane while your fellow traveller chats up the steward, then these Isolate® 2 ear protectors will block distracting sound and enable you to concentrate on your workload. 

Forget tatty old earplugs of the past, Flare’s are made from aluminium or titanium with super comfy foam tips, and its latest model comes in a range of stunning colours. Each set includes four different sizes of Earfoams® for the perfect fit and a Flare carry pouch. The company also creates some comfortable and affordable sleep earplugs. Members get 15% off your entire order.

Turn your favourite pic into a blanket

There are plenty of companies offering to put your pictures on mugs and cushions, canvases and blankets. Asda Photo has a good range of products at affordable prices and it’s super simple to upload your images. Make the most of those stunning high-res travel pictures by turning one into a travel blanket. Guild members will get 10% off a blanket (or multiple blankets) if ordered before December 15.

BBC Earth diary and calander

The BBC has produced some amazingly beautiful, and award-winning, documentaries about the natural world over the years, fronted by the remarkable Sir David Attenborough, and Danilo brings that stunning imagery to your home or office throughout 2021. The official licensed BBC Earth Landscapes calendar and diary are new additions to the Danilo portfolio, and bring some of the worlds most  dramatic scenery to you every day.  Members get 10% off The BBC Earth calendars and diaries at https://danilo.com until December 31.

Enjoy cocktails on the go

Bring expertly crafted cocktails with you wherever you go thanks to NIO’s Cocktail Kit Travel Bag. Uniquely packed inside a temperature-controlled backpack, the kit includes 2 thermal cool bags (one big and one small for ice) to keep cocktails and ice at optimum temperature. You’ll also find four branded tumblers in this kit and an ice ball mould that has been specially designed to create spherical ice that slowly cools your drink without diluting it. Then simply add a box of 3, 6 or 9 delicious NIO Cocktails (which come in 100ml packs so you could sneak one or two in your hand-luggage) for the complete cocktail bar to-go while leaving room for nibbles to be stored inside too.

Neat wireless headphones

The true wireless X3 earbuds feature the latest Bluetooth v5.0 and Qualcomm chipset, delivering a faster, more stable signal transmission for minimal interruptions while listening. Ideally suited to travelling, these compact buds use a lower power consumption to hold 6 hours of playback time, with an extra 18 hours available using the neat charging case before requiring mains power. Both earbuds are installed with a CVC v8.0 noise cancelling isolation microphone for clearer calls whilst on the move, and they have an IPX5 rating for sweat and water resistance. One step pairing and touch controls make the earbuds really user friendly.  

Pair two wireless headphones to one device

The perfect gift for any frequent flyer, the Twelve South AirFly Pro is a Bluetooth adaptor that allows AirPods or other wireless headphones to be used in situations where only wired headphone jacks are available, such as on the plane. Having incompatible wireless headphones and earbuds is now a thing of the past with Twelve South AirFly Pro allowing up-to two users to easily connect their wireless headphones via Bluetooth, to the media system while flying. You can also use Twelve South AirFly Pro where there is no Bluetooth available to allow items such as wired speakers/sound bars, rental cars, and boat sound systems to wirelessly receive audio from gaming devices, phones or tablets.

Mac travel plug with USB ports

Perfect for the world traveller, Twelve South PlugBug Duo keeps USB-powered devices charged in more than 150 countries. It also adds two USB ports to a MacBook Power adapter so users can charge three devices at once. With Twelve South PlugBug Duo, users can keep all their devices charged, wherever they may roam. 

A pocket translator

Pocketalk S is the perfect travel gadget, translating 75 languages bidirectionally at the touch of a button. Not only can it translate voice conversations, it has a text-to-translate camera which instantly recognises and translates text, the written word and signs – ideal if you need help reading menus or are trying to explore new cities. 

By utilising the best translation engines from around the world, Pocketalk S provides consistently accurate translation and creates the best experience by picking up localised dialects and slang. It also comes with a complementary 2-year mobile data plan that provides coverage in over 130 countries/regions so you don’t need to rely on Wi-Fi. 

CBD on the go

CBD can relieve the anxiety of travel and help you to sleep when jumping timezones. &CHILL CBD pouches are the newest way to enjoy the uplifting benefits of CBD. Each product includes 15 pouches that each contain 20mg of CBD. Simply pop the pouch between your cheek and gum and begin to feel the effects. Choose between Citrus, Berry, Mint and Natura flavours. Guild members get 15% off.

A taste of Thailand on table

A handy stocking filler, this Thai Collection “Tube To Go” Pack from Cherry Tree brings some Thai flavour to your table. It includes spicy garlic and wasabi chutney, Thai garlic and lime chutney, chilli and pineapple chutney and spring onion and ginger chutney.

What is a really nice touch is for those who won’t be able to see all their friends or loved ones over the Christmas period, The Cherry Tree will include a handmade card (made by the founder’s wife) with a message of your choice, meaning you can buy the gift online and have it sent with a personalised message. All of their products are hand-cooked in small batches and blend traditional methods with contemporary flavours. There are plenty of other giftable products and members get 20% off any order more than £20.

Packed maps

You might need to get your reading glasses out for these Marvellous Maps, that are packed with information. I particularly like the Map of the Funnest Things to do in Britain, which has 1,000 of the funnest things to do and places to go as well as great games to play, tick boxes and notes sections to fill in, and even a huge colouring-in map on the back.

You can also buy a Food and Drink map with loads of foodie places to visit and one that outlines film and music places, among others. Guild members will get 25% off any purchases.

Put your face to sleep

The face oil and spray in this Puressentiel Beauty Sleep set make good travel companions, particularly on overnight flights. The Beautiful Skin Elixir Face Care Oil combines four special, essential oils (Immortelle, Geranium, True Lavender and Ylang Ylang) and four plant oils (Rose hip, Borage, Evening Primrose, Sesame) to leave the face feeling instantly refreshed, replenished and revitalised.

The Puressentiel Rest & Relax Air Spray combines 12 essential oils including lavender and roman camomile – known for their relaxation properties and ensuring a good night’s sleep. Price: £20 (a saving of £32 compared to buying the products individually).

A sleeping bag that heats up

The Vango Radiate Sleeping Bag has a built-in electric thermal heater with four different heat settings that you can use by simply plugging it into a power bank for a toasty camping experience. It also has a built-in headrest and a two-way zip with auto-lock functionality to prevent the bag from unzipping during the night. This 3-4 season sleeping bag is suitable for a wide range of temperatures: -1-20c. Ideal for people who love adventure at any time fo year. Pair with the Vango self-inflating mattress for a truly insulated night’s sleep in the wild. Members get 5% off across the www.outdoorworlddirect.co.uk.

Gift a Bradt book

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a new Bradt book in your stocking. Extra Brownie points for buying one written by a Guild member.

Some to consider include John Carter’s Gullible’s Travels, Jini Reddy’s Wild Times and Hilary Bradt’s and Janice Booth’s new guide book to Socotra, the largest island of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Socotra Archipelago in the Arabian Sea. For extra Christmas cheer Bradt are offering members 20% off everything.

Create a landscape book

The landscape photobook from Cewe is perfect size for any occasion and all sorts of stories, it’s easy to see why this photo book is a best seller.

With enough room for all of your best pictures, this large photo book would make the perfect gift to travel memories or as a family photo album.

A scratch map of the British outdoors

The new Scratch Off Great British Outdoors Map is a treat for those who love to explore the natural wonders of beautiful Blighty. From hikers and walkers to families and landscape lovers, this detailed map is the very first of its kind to consolidate Britain’s most scenic spots – showcasing the best our homeland has to offer in one inspired print.

Locate the hills, parks, walks and areas you’ve visited and scratch them off before scouring the map to source your next great British adventure. Colour coded by category, the map highlights over 100 amazing natural experiences including 15 National Parks, 54 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and 40 National Scenic Areas. From the Loch’s of Scotland, Welsh hills and waterfalls to beautiful coastal walks and national nature reserves – you’ll be spoilt for choice for days out and short breaks away. Members get 10% off this new map and the Scratch Off Map of the World until January 15.

A chocolate hamper

Not many of us will have been able to make it to Hotel Chocolat in St Lucia this year. But it doesn’t mean you can’t have some of their chocolate on your Christmas table. This year as well as their popular Christmas Wreath, they have put together some Christmas hampers, including this family-sized one, which contains plenty to share out among the three households that are allowed to come and visit you this Christmas.

A weather-proof bluetooth speaker

Take your favourite music with you anywhere. The No Bounds bluetooth speaker is House of Marley’s most rugged and resilient speaker, crafted with sustainable cork to be as natural as its intended environment.

The 4-colour speaker series is water and dust-proof, and each No Bounds boasts a 10-hour battery life with wireless dual-speaker pairing capability. Quick charge it with the provided cable for speakerphone functionality.

Get crafty with a cutter

If you like to craft, then why not brand all your travel accessories with your own logo using this clever Cricut Joy cutting machine. Use the app to create your logo or design and then the Cricut Joy will do all the intricate cutting for you.

You can use 50 different materials, including sticky vinyl and iron-on transfers. If you want to write something in flawless handwriting or draw better than your ability, you can use compatible pens that will write or draw your custom design.

Gift access to multiple magazines and newspapers

Taking reading material on trips has always added weight to our cases. The Kindle has put paid to carting fiction and guidebooks around and now Cafeyn does the same for magazines and newspapers. The app/online service hosts a range of different titles, everything from home decoration and renovation, gardening, cars and motorcycles titles to fitness and health – there’s a magazine for everyone. Cafeyn also offers a range of daily newspapers to read from The Guardian to the Evening Standard. A one-month trial is 99p and after it’s just £7.99 a month.

Antonia Windsor
By: Antonia Windsor Freelance Journalist