Christmas gift guide for people who love travel

christmas xmas gifts for travellers for aviation geeks travel addicts

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If you have another keen traveller in your life or perhaps want to get some suggestions for your own Christmas wish list, here are some of my favourite presents around this year for travellers.

Noise-cancelling headphones

For me, the most essential piece of equipment for long-haul travel is a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Not only is the sound normally better than the ones supplied on the plane but they are way more comfortable too

Nearly all the very frequent travellers I know, as well as myself, use the Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Bluetooth headphones. They aren’t cheap at around £329  but being wireless as well as offering fantastic sound quality and great noise reduction, they are worth the splurge. I have the older version but version II is even better with Alexa compatibility and three levels of noise cancellation. However, Paul has switched to Sony WH1000XM3. which experts agree are superior and around the same price. You can read his review of the headphones here. 

Mini perfume or aftershave atomiser

As I have not yet mastered the art of packing light, this next product is incredibly useful for lightening the load when travelling. Most perfumes and aftershaves come in big bulky bottles which weigh a ton and are fragile too. There are a number of similar products on the market but the Travalo Milano gift set is one of the nicest in terms of giving to someone else. You get one spray holder and then three interchangeable sprays to put in the holder. They are very simple to fill – simply take the spray top off your perfume or aftershave bottle and with a couple of pumps into the Travalo you have a ready-made mini spray to travel with. They are available in a range of colours so if you want to take a few away with you, you will be able to tell them apart.  This would be nice extra gift if you are buying someone some perfume or aftershave this year.

If you want something that is more of a stocking filler they also do a single Travalo in various colours.
Another solution would be solid perfume such as this selection set by Victoria’s Secret.


Luggage or anything tracker!

As I often do flights with a number of connecting flights I have invested in a luggage tracker. I am currently trialling the credit card sized GEGO by Lugloc which is actually designed to track lots of things, even your child!  You can set safe zones and get alerts via text message or through Alexa and you will know when your child leaves or enters school. You could even use it to locate your car if you keep forgetting where you parked!  Simply attach or place GEGO in the item you would like to track. Then by tapping the app on your smartphone (Android or iOS), GEGO’s location will be displayed instantly on the app’s map.

GEGO has worldwide 3G Coverage (198 Countries) and uses 3 simultaneous systems: GSM 3G, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth. To use the 3G element you to need to pay a subscription but plans start at $6.33/Month when billed annually. The GEGO is also airline regulation compliant (TSA, FAA and IATA).


For those that love to be organised

Both Roving Reporter and I swear by packing cubes. Not only do they keep your stuff organised but they also allow you to cram more into your case by compressing the contents. They are perfect for trips where you move around a lot as you can simply put the cases straight into a drawer without having to unpack properly. The Ebags packing cubes set is a good starting point but I also have a couple of the smaller bags as they fill gaps nicely and are a great size for underwear.

I have just tried a new set of packing cubes that are more focused on compression. The Gonex set look like a regular packing cube initially and then you can zip them down further until they are almost flat to compress the contents. If you like to cram a lot in your case, these may be a better choice! They come in a wide choice of colours and come as a pack of three of four. You can see all the colour choices and packs here. 

A classy gift choice is a travel leather jewellery box like this one from Ted Baker. It looks stylish but I find them a practical solution to finding your jewellery quickly and keeping it tidy. 


For those that love their sleep

One of the best things you can invest in for a good nights sleep on a plane is a sleep mask and some good earplugs. Again, you will probably get handed an amenity kit with these in but they are rarely great quality even in first class. The best eye masks for sleeping are those that are contoured so that they don’t press down on your eyes. They are also useful for hotels where the curtains don’t quite meet! My suggested ones for a gift is the Bedtime Bliss Luxury Contoured Sleep Mask as it comes with a carrying pouch and some earplugs, so makes a nice gift set at £8.90.


For gadget geeks

If like me, you end with a jumble of wires from various leads, earphones and chargers, the BAGSMART organisers could be the answer. They do a range of sizes from the BAGSMART extra large double layer (£26.99) which can hold up to an iPad Pro plus cables, earphones, adapters etc to the more compact BAGSMART Cable Organiser (£13.99), there is one to fit every requirement. I find mine really useful for keeping everything tidy and easily accessible. Both Paul, Roving Reporter and I all use these. 

If you want to splash out on a more upmarket version then there is a Briggs and Riley leather model that can be monogrammed. This would match Paul’s Briggs & Riley suitcase perfectly!

To go with that gift you may want to get a smart leather headphone and cable organiser set.


My latest two gadget accessories are a power bank and a multi-country USB and USB-C plug with interchangeable heads. I rarely have anything to charge now which is not either USB or USB-C so this small INATEK charger is perfect for most trips. Unlike some of the bulky all in one chargers, it doesn’t half hang out of the socket due to the weight of it and its compact design makes it ideal for your hand luggage. It comes with plugs for the EU, UK and US which simply slip on and off. 


If you get fed up with all the wires and your devices are wireless charging compatible then a large charge pad is perfect for travelling and keeping all your gadget in handy reach together. This one by JoyGeek can charge three devices at a time including Apple watch. 


The AIDEAZ power bank is very portable being lighter than a can of soup and the compact size makes it easy to fit into computer bags, backpacks or handbags. It takes around 6 hours to charge fully but once charge it can charge an iPhone 6 times. The bank has two USB-C ports and one normal USB. It has enough power to charge a laptop via USB-C rapidly. It even supports wireless charging for all Qi enabled devices.

If you want something smaller that would make a stocking filler, these Anker lipstick chargers are small enough for pocket and provide enough for a full phone charge for most models. 


For the keen travel photographer

Last Christmas Paul invested in a new drone to bring a new dimension to our TLFL photography. In the past drones were too heavy and bulky to really take travelling but the newer models are much more portable. He bought DJI Spark Drone Fly More which features Quick launch with Face Aware so that it lifts off from your hand by recognizing your face!  It takes off and hovers in place within seconds of powering on and uses just hand gestures, without a remote controller or mobile device to control your drone. Intelligent Flight Modes and intuitive controls help you create cinematic aerial videos with just a few taps. The latest model of the drone is the Mavic Mini Ultralight. 


If you want to get someone who loves taking photos something a bit different, why not try a 360° camera? I recently bought a Ricoh Theta SC camera and have absolutely loved taking 360° photos. You can post them on social media as well as viewing them online or on your device. Photos can also be taken remotely too via an app if you don’t want to get yourself in a shot. The beige colour of the Ricoh Theta is currently on offer at £139.99.

Paul’s latest gadget is the Insta 360 go camera.

This is supposed to be the world’s smallest stabilised camera. Weighing in at a tiny 20g, this water resistant, stabilised camera enables you to attach the unit to almost any surface type and clothing for completely hands-free shooting. There’s even a magnetic pendant allowing you to wear the Insta360 Go around your neck. Transferring footage couldn’t be easier with this camera – Simply put the unit into the charge case and plug into your phone and voila!


For those that like to look their best…

If you are trying to pack toiletries or make-up keeping it all organised is often beyond most toiletry bags. I like these drawstring bags that come in a variety of colours. You basically open it out so all your toiletries are there and then just gather it back up again with all the toiletries when you have finished.


If you are travelling hand baggage only and don’t like the idea of face wipes, these special make-up remover cloths remove all your make-up without the need for cleaner. You just wet the cloth and away you go. They can easily be thrown in the washing machine afterwards.


There is also a pad version if you prefer something smaller. 

I also have a battery-operated sonic toothbrush for travel rather than take my bulky home one with the charger too. 

And finally the novelty gifts or stocking filler…….

If you want something a little bit different you could try a scratch-off world poster map. The difference with this is that as the recipient travels they can scratch off the countries they visit as a nice memento of all their travels.
If you aren’t keen on the cheap onboard fizz, then why not pop a mini bottle of fizz topper in your liquids bag to make a cocktail on board?


What’s your favourite travel item that would make a great gift? Let us know in the comment below or on social media. Happy shopping…… and the best part is that you can do it all online!

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22 Comments on "Christmas gift guide for people who love travel"

  1. Brilliant article. I have 4 of the items and they are as you say the bees knees! I shall be buying two more of the suggested pressies one of which I have known about already but had not had time to investigate. Good old Amazon!! Just back from Bahrain and starting to get organised for HKG for Xmas!
    OT……I think your description of the T5 Sofitel being a “bit tired” was a little harsh. In our opinion (humbled of course) it remains streets ahead of anything else at / near LHR except for perhaps Great Fosters. We ALWAYS stay at the Sofitel these days irrespective of which terminal we are departing from – or when the flight is. We were there a week ago and it was every bit as clean, friendly and professional as it was the day it opened. Big strides at Belle Epoque too as it is now under the attending guidance of Mark Lawton ex of the Ritz and Ramsay’s Hospital branch. The meal was even more spectacular than before! Cant wait til 21st to sample it again!!

    • Hi Nigel. In terms of the Sofitel I really meant the rooms which have not been updated since it opened and are a looking a bit worn. I find the hotel comfortable and I agree that there is nothing else that is at the same level near Heathrow but a lot of the new hotels or newly renovated ones have nicer bedrooms although the overall experience isn’t as good. I’ll be trying the new Crowne Plaza at T4 shortly so it will be interesting to see what that is like.

  2. Great read! Just about to share your link on FaceBook to prompt my friends and family to give them inspiration for my gift! ?

  3. Fantastic post with some excellent ideas, thanks!

    This might seem slightly mad but I’m thinking of giving my other half the gift of IHG Ambassador status! It’s around $200ish and I think it’s worth trying it.

    I’d also personally love to be given a big chunk of Avios as a gift, but that’s just me. ? (If only one could purchase/gift tier points as well!)

    • Thanks Melanie! That is a really good idea about being able to buy Avios for someone else as the only way to do it now is to transfer yours as otherwise you would have to buy them and transfer which would cost double.

  4. I had a set of Bose noise cancelling headphones for Chrimbo a couple of years ago. They’re good but being corded they’re not much use on a flight as they won’t plug into the the IFE and I don’t listen to music much otherwise on my iPhone or iPad so they’re rarely used these days. I see the Bluetooth version you suggest can be bought with plug adapters to use with the IFE which would make them much more useful. However arent they just another piece of clutter to carry on board? I envy those folks that get on board clutching nothing much more than a newspaper and don’t have to spend 15 minutes at the end of every flight searching and accounting for all the stuff they’ve brought! I like the idea of electronic bag tags but I’m too tight fisted to pay a monthly subscription fee! I find my power bank essential for longer flights and for daily use at home
    I’ve a slimline version that slips into my pocket and does three charges for the iPhone.

  5. Hi, Michele. Some great ideas here!

    Just or info, the Bose headphones have been superseded by – lower price (£289) and with Alexa!

  6. Some great ideas and three are about to be ordered for family gifts!

  7. I completely agree about the Sony headphones, I had the Bose ones before and never really got along with them very well. I bought the Sony ones on Black Friday and they are fantastic.

  8. Fantastic article Michele, just bought three items from your list!

  9. Hi Michelle
    What a lovely post – some great ideas and inspiration there. Thank you.
    I am 100 % in agreement about noise-cancelliing headphones. When I bought mine, I’m sorry to say that my ears weren’t good enough to detect the difference between the Bose and Sony products. However when trying them both it was clear that for me the Bose were much more comfortable to wear. So I’d add ‘try before you buy’ to your good advice. And of course you don’t have to buy them where you try them …
    Kind regards

  10. I’ve never understood packing cubes, they don’t fit your case, so they leave gaps. What’s the difference between stuffing a cube and stuffing your case, they seem like unnecessary weight?

    • They fit fine in mine. For me I often move hotels every day or two and it keeps everything organised. I do find you can get more in using them as you get more compression and it’s better to compress prior to shutting your case rather than risk busting the case zip as I have done before after some serious shopping!! ?

  11. If you want a drone get the DJI Mavic mini. All drones over 250g now have to be registered by law and this one weighs 249g -it’s also £350!
    Just don’t do what I did and crash it into the roof of the villa I was staying in Bali.
    Currently in a qsuite btw on WiFi !

  12. ClaytonTheCruton | 10 December 2019 at 3:30 am | Reply

    A great shopping list as ever Michele. Mrs Clam now hates you as i’ve just added several items to my Santa list but i’m sure all will be forgiven when several others on the list turn up for her on christmas day.

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