It’s starting to look a lot like—well, you know. This is the season for many fun holiday traditions. And one of the most traditional of all (not really) is our annual Holiday Gift Guide, now in its second year (check out last year’s guide here. So the scramble is on to find the right last-minute gift for your favorite round-the-world traveller and as you prowl bricks-and-mortar stores, browse brochures and scour the web for ideas, keep this in mind—the last thing you want to do is buy something that is cumbersome or so offbeat that what you think is perfect will be stuffed into a drawer or closet on Boxing Day. To ease your nerves, we’ve done some searching for you. Here’s what we’ve come up with—things that will earn you a hug and a sincere thank you note from the traveller in your life. Here are the gifts that made our list!
Packing cubes make organizing your luggage a lot simpler and are a simple to save space when packing and become a more efficient traveller. They are, simply, lightweight fabric cubes (although most are rectangular) which hold your clothes and allow you to sort and separate different items. The great thing about using packing cubes—it’s so easy to unpack and repack clothes. When you arrive at your destination, its simply a matter of taking out the cube thats needed. No more rummaging through a bag! Packing cubes are essential for round-the-world travellers. Amazon’s got ‘em.
Rolf Potts’ Vagabonding is about taking time off from your normal life—from six weeks to four months to two years—to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Veteran shoestring traveler Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel. He provides the necessary information on: financing your travel time, determining your destination, adjusting to life on the road, working and volunteering overseas, handling travel adversity and re-assimilating back into ordinary life. Not just a plan of action, Vagabonding is an outlook on life that emphasizes creativity, discovery, and the growth of the spirit. Click here to purchase Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel from Amazon.
The Altec Lansing Orbit MP3 Lite offers incredible volume and clarity from a speaker compact enough to fit in your pocket. This portable speaker uses a standard headphone jack to connect to your music device, allowing you to effortlessly amplify your favorite tunes from virtually any iPhone, iPod, MP3 player, music-enabled mobile phone, or laptop. With balanced components delivering clear, distortion-free sound, the Orbit MP3 Lite is an ideal solution for broadcasting music on the go. Of course it lacks any real bass element or depth, but then that’s not really the point. It is all about giving you volume and the chance to share your music in your guesthouse or dorm rather than being a replacement for your home PC stereo system. Amazon’s got ‘em.
Unless you’re willing to over-pack, or spend valuable time in laundromats, you’ll want to wash some items in your hotel room sink. But, how to dry? It’s so easy to wash out a few clothes in the basin and hang them up to dry overnight when you’re travelling. If you’re like most travellers we know, you’ve given up on those laundry lines with suction cups because they never seem to stay up. The Flexo-line, designed in 1945, was the brainchild of an American inventor who also developed the first electric stove and flexible ice cube tray, It holds up to 12 lb of wet clothes, thanks to its surgical-quality, natural latex rubber tubing which is woven in three braids—not the usual two. Just loop its ends around a doorknob, hook, shower head, or rod (it stretches to seven feet), then poke a corner of your wet garment in the tight braid to dry. No clothespins needed. It’s so compact and lightweight, it will barely take up any room in your bag! Amazon’s got ‘em.
A must-have item for anyone who wants to protect important papers or electronic gadgets with ease. Check out this set of four waterproof, flexible, strong yet lightweight LOKSAK storage bags. Stow your wallet, medication, passports, documents, cell phones, maps, PDAs, books, film, food, batteries, GPS, jewelry, clothing, cash and much more. These resealable element-proof storage bags are hermetically sealed with a slide and squeeze of the finger and thumb. That means absolutely no water, air, dust or humidity can get into the bag. Sort of like a Ziploc, but much better. Amazon’s got ‘em.
The most versatile outdoor eating utensil, the spoon-fork-knife combo makes eating–and cleaning up–on the go a breeze. Designed by Scandinavian designer Joachim Nordwall, the spork is perfect for your backpack, boat, picnic basket, lunchbox, purse or briefcase. This spork is made of titanium, one of the toughest alloys on the planet, widely used in aircraft construction because of its lightness, extreme strength and long-lasting durability. Its high biocompatibility means that it is also safe and non-toxic. And guess what? Amazon’s got ‘em!
A simple but excellent travel adaptor that we’ve tried and tested on countless trips for many years. A good travel adapter will last a lifetime. This simple device will replace your current socket set in a neat, compact body and with the USB charger you’ll no longer need to carry all the particularly heavy mobile phone, camera and mp3 chargers. Perfect for the globetrotter with gadgets, this compact world travel adapter works in more than 150 countries, allowing you to plug in wherever you are. The elegant compact and safe way to plug in your portable appliances worldwide.
If like a lot of people, you’re tired of giving commercial gifts no matter how neat they may be, consider doing something charitable for your favourite RTW travellers. A donation made in their name to Planeterra makes a great gift—and provides travellers and their friends and families a way to contribute to investment in sustainable community development that focuses on different destinations around the world. The organization supports a steady cycle of giving and investment, via a global network of travel industry partners, in the social and environmental needs of people and places in the destinations we serve worldwide. A donation makes the perfect gift for the traveller in your life!
You’d also do well to consider, Kiva—the world’s first online lending platform connecting online lenders to entrepreneurs. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.
Still stuck? Check out these great gift ideas from last year’s gift guide—there’s something for everyone from kids to grown-up adventurers!
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