Christmas gift guide: Gifts for the traveller in your life


There are some people who just thrive under pressure. You probably know a few of them. Give them a task and have them complete it weeks before a deadline and they’ll give you a worse result than if you allowed them to complete it just a few days before deadline. I hate to say I’m a bit like that. I need the presence of a deadline looming in the near distance like the sword of Damocles to light up my brain’s creative center. Which is how I have found myself still not close to completing my gift shopping, despite Christmas being less than a week away. If If you like myself were counting on this weekend to begin putting a dent in your Christmas gift shopping, here are a few suggestions.

1. Aerophobia Courses: There’s nothing a traveller likes than travel – that’s a given. But what if they love the destination but hate – perhaps even dread – the journey? Easyjet’s Fearless Flyer Course proposes a solution to just that: Having helped more than 1,500 people overcome their fear of flying since launching in Autumn 2012, they’re now run nationwide and will be at Gatwick, Liverpool, Belfast, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Stansted and Luton between February and June next year (dates are available at www.fearlessflyer.easyjet.com – with more to be announced for the autumn at a later date). The course has two parts to it: a ground course where top phobia expert Lawrence Leyton and a senior easyJet pilot dispel the misconceptions that phobics have about air travel and give them proven mind techniques to use onboard and ahead of a flight, and a dedicated 40-50 minute flight the following day where participants will put what they’ve learnt to the test. It’s suitable for all levels of flying phobia, from completely petrified phobics who are unable to board an aircraft, to those who don’t enjoy flying and experience slight anxiety. Courses cost £189 per person, and participants can also invite a friend or family member with them on the flight if they wish for £79.

2. Hotel Gift cards: Gift cards are usually a last resort for those who do not know what to get their loved ones. Luckily, travellers LOVE gift cards because it allows them to use their money on even more adventures. Having been to afternoon tea at The Bulgari Hotel here in London this winter, I wholeheartedly recommend the Bulgari Hotel & Residences London Gift Card, which will gift your traveller with one or more of five unique experiences: a luxurious treatment or spa day in Bulgari Spa; afternoon tea in the lounge; lunch or dinner in Rivea; an overnight stay or the ultimate movie experience in the hotel’s state of the art private cinema. Alternatively let the recipient decide and load the card with a value to spend as they wish. To order a Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London Gift Card, please contact the hotel on + 44 (0)20 7151 1010.

 

 3.Suitcases: Faithful readers to the blog will know that not a year has passed since I first started blogging where I haven’t recommended this particular brand of luggage. I am especially partial to their Firelite collection, of which I have several sizes to suit every travel duration.
This collection will always get a yes from me because of how elegantly it marries lightness and durability. Prices start at £249
Nike-Aeroloft-Tech-Fleece-Womens-Parka-615165_021_A_PREM
4.Clothing: I was first drawn to Nike’s Tech Fleece Aeroloft Parka because of it’s dramatic shape. It wasn’t until it proved to be the perfect transitional jacket from the winter cold of London to the tropical heat of St. Kitts and Nevis that I truly appreciated its functionability. Perfect for protecting the traveller in your life from the chilly drafts of railway stations (here’s looking at you Gare de Lille Europe) and aeroplanes. £220
 Face Cream SPF30

5. Skincare: There’s one skincare product that travellers will always need, and that is sunscreen. A good sunscreen can make or break a holiday so you can be sure the traveller in your life will thank you if you find them one that will make it into their holy grail of travel skincare products. This year I finally met the sunscreen of my dreams in Clinique’s Face Cream SPF30 – which also has the honour of being the only sunscreen I have found to not whitify my brown face. It’s chaperoned me unscathed through snow glare in the Austrian alps, intense sunshine in the Cinque Terre mountains and most recently on the beaches of St. Kitts and Nevis. £18.00 50ml

6. Fragrance: 2014 was the year I finally got tired of mass-produced designer brands, opting instead for those from smaller, niche perfume houses. I can’t say my search is over but I have at least scratched the surface with the English Penhaligon’s Ladies’ Fragrance Collection, which introduced me to 4 of the brand’s signature ladies’ perfumes. Travellers will love this gift because of how small and portable the bottles are, allowing them the freedom to travel with all of them. £30

7. Mobile phones: When I first received a sample of the Blackberry Passport to review, I felt completely lost and out of touch with its interface. It has been approximately four years since I last owned one so I felt like I had to unlearn everything my trusted Samsung Galaxy had taught me and get reacquainted with Blackberry all over again. The Blackberry Passport – so named because it is the same size as a standard international passport – is for those who like to stay in the loop with regards to their work while they travel. Its very large screen (the largest in the market at the moment) makes it great for reading, navigating Word documents and Excel spreadsheets and ploughing through email. It’s amazing battery life, which if we are being honest, is better than many of the current crop of smartphones, makes it even more compatible with the traveller. Prices vary depending on carrier.
Nespresso M400 Maestria Magimix 11330

8. Coffee machines: This is not strictly a traveller gift but I have fallen so in love with Magimix’s Maestria in the past month that I couldn’t resist recommending it. It’s not so much the quality of coffee it allows you to make in the comfort of your own home – which, by the way, is excellent; For me, it’s the sleek, sophisticated exterior that bowls me over everytime. Those on the move will appreciate the ability to make your own barista-quality coffee before leaving the house. £314.99

 
9. Computers: There was a time when small light notebooks were all the rage. I dove headfirst into this trend, appreciating how easy it was to travel with them but ended up really missing the comfort of a large keyboard and the familiarity of a large screen while doing some heavy duty work. Thankfully, the past two years has seen a rise in laptops that are both large, super light and therefore ultraportable. HP’s Envy15x360 is one such computer. Travellers will especially appreciate the flexibility of switching between computer and tablet mode, the BeatsAudio™ and dual speakers that are optimized for use in any position, and the access to unlimited listening of radio playlists for 12 months.  £599
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10. Edible gifts: This gift idea is not only for those who resent the commercial claptrap that Christmas has become but want to give the traveller in their lives a customised, one-of-a-kind gift. I can assure you – if you don’t mess up the recipe considerably – that us travellers who like our food like the comfort of having something to eat in our backpacks, just in case the food served on the plane/train/boat wasn’t up to scratch.

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