Buying Christmas presents for travellers can be a mine field: from how they will actually receive your gift to what they really want, it can be a nightmare. And, with Christmas right around the corner, time to make the purchase is running out! So, what gift should you give to your nomad friend this season? Here’s my part 1 guide to the perfect Christmas present for a wanderlust-filled friend.
For the Travelling Photographer
Chances are, your photographer friend already has a wealth of travel gear, spare memory cards and a gorilla pod. So, what would a travelling photo lover like?
Whilst your friend almost certainly has a strap already, it’s probably the brand strap that came with the camera. Give them something to make their camera more unique, like this personalised leather strap from Magpie Accessories. Order from notonthehighstreet.com and they’ll gift wrap it for you, too.
For something similar, but a little more affordable, rigu.co.uk have a huge range of leather straps. I like this thin leather strap, and they have some more funky designs that are cool.
Etsy seller CameraStraps4You have loads of home made straps with great designs. If your travelling friend loves flowers, stars or animals there’s sure to be something they’ll like.
E-books are a great Christmas gift for a traveller, and not just for a photographer. They’re weightless, take no physical space in a backpack, affordable and you don’t need an address to send it to. An e-book is basically the perfect present for any traveller.
Here’s a list of some of the best for photography inspiration and tips.
Whilst taking pictures on the road it is only too common to find yourself in a cave or temple with low lighting. This is an actual nightmare. Mitchell Kanashkevich has a great range of e-books, Seeing The Light will help your friend learn how to get the most from the light available to them.
Christopher O’Donnell has a collection of 4 e-books bursting with tips and inspiration. And the collection is on special, thanks to the holidays.
If your travelling friend is really creative try this Trick Photography & Special Effects e-book. This is so jam-packed with exciting projects, they might forget to travel for a while!
Almost all travellers love to take pictures, but not all of us carry a DSLR, or even a small digi cam. Help make pictures taken on a camera phone more exciting with one of these add on lenses, or buy them an app!
This universal lens set is packed with features, including wide angle and fish eye capabilities – your friend will have bags of fun! For a cheaper bundle, try VicTsing’s lenses. Both options will work with any smart phone.
Apps fall into the same category as e-books, they are a perfect way to give a traveller a gift that they’ll love without adding any weight or putting anything in the post. Here are some of the best.
PicLab HD (available on iOS and Android) will allow your budding photographer friend to create beautiful and inspiring pictures… and then share them with you, making you incredibly jealous!
Camera+ (iPhone) gives iPhone users much more creative power over their snaps than the original camera on the phone.
Retromatic (iPhone) is a 50’s inspired app your friend can use to give a retro feel to their pics.
Photoshop Touch (iPhone and android) is Photoshop’s tablet version. It offers many of the desktop version’s best features and is sure to make you green with envy when your friend shares some of their favourite pictures with you.
3DSteroidPro (android) allows users to create stereoscopic 3D images, who wouldn’t want that?!
Any of these are the perfect way to edit and share pictures of their Christmas day.
For the Techie Traveller
Ah, the techie, sat by the pool creating something awesome on their laptop. Graham falls firmly into this Christmas present category, so here are some of my top tips.
Online solutions are important for any traveller that has important documents on their laptop, smart phone or tablet. Whether it’s a new chapter for their book, a week’s worth of photos or the aftermath of a mega coding session, chances are they’d cry if they lost it! Maybe create an account for them with DropBox pro, GoogleDrive or ZipCloud for online storage space. For online backup solutions, give ZenFolio, Backblaze Or IDrive (mobile backup) a try. Should they find their bag missing after a 18 hour bus journey, and all their electronics along with it, they’ll be thanking you for paying the subscription fee when they couldn’t afford it.
If your techie friend is anything like Graham, they’ll have a mild panic attack at the thought of a mammoth journey without a socket to plug their laptop into. This portable power and leather case set is a great way to avoid this meltdown. The case can be used on non-travel days as a wallet or passport holder, too. Or give this brightly coloured option from Kastar a try.
For the Writing Traveller
Professional and amateur writers alike seek new experiences for inspiration, and what better way to do that then travelling? They might be a blogger, an avid journal writer or working towards completing a book, whatever it is, almost every traveller I meet is a writer of some kind. Here are some great options for a traveller that would like to keep track of their journey in writing.
The note pad
I have 2 note pads, and neither of them are particularly beautiful. Give your pal one of these to keep their notes and thoughts in a pad that is as interesting as they are. There are loads of pads decorated with maps available. PaperChase has a great selection (I love this feather journal), or opt for something that focuses more on collecting pieces of a trip, like this travel stub diary.
So much more than your usual biro, there are heaps of pens any writer would love. Try this scroll pen, by Jac Zagoory, which has a scroll of paper inside. For something a little more high-tech, and pricey, take a look at Livescribe’s website. They have a few different options available, and seem to get great reviews across the web. This is perfect for a traveller that is trying to stick to a small bag, after all, how much space can a pen take up?
Help your friend get social on the road with travel friendly word games, because let’s be honest, there’s only so long anyone can spend playing cards. Bananagram offers a fun and compact answer to scrabble, all wrapped up in a cute banana case!
This was originally planned to be a 2 part post: this is part 1, and a DIY present guide to gifts for your travel companions part 2. Instead, I’m going to split it in 3. Next time I’ll share Christmas present ideas for The Active Traveller, The Not-Currently-Travelling Traveller, The Traveller That’s Getting Ready To Go and The Traveller That Doesn’t Know They’re a Traveller Yet. I hope you’ve found part 1 useful!