When it comes to travel, most of us return home with either a good time or a good story. We reckon if you're well equipped for the journey, it's possible to come back with both. While you can't stop cancelled flights, flat air beds or bad weather, sending your loved ones off with a thoughtful travel gift is one way to ensure they have a blast on their adventure. Cosier writer Elese has travelled across Australia and abroad, scaling the lengths of the world wide web to bring you our guide to gifts for travelers.
40 silky winks
Travelling away from home can play havoc with their sleep. Give them the gift of a good night's sleep, wherever they are, with this Silk Eye Mask from Calming Blanket. Made of 100% natural mulberry silk, it provides instant darkness in a hotel room, plane, train or pretty much anywhere. The elastic silk band keeps it snug on their head, with no annoying velcro. Calming Blanket has doubled up on the filler over the delicate eye area so it'll keep them comfy all night long.
We reckon these Samsonite Evoa Spinner 55cm Front Pocket Suitcases make ideal gifts for travel lovers. At 55cm, they're just small enough to squeeze through as carry-on on most airlines, with a built-in TSA lock, durable brushed polycarbonate hard-case shell, and extendable trolley handle to help them jet through the airport speedily. It even has a front pocket for laptops, reading materials, and other bits and bobs, reducing customs hassle.
Memories and musings
Every voyager needs a diary to keep track of all the action, and when it comes to travel gifts, you can't go past a classic Moleskine Travel Journal. This purpose-designed notebook has a hard cover and rounded corners to withstand rough and tumble on the go. The acid-free paper will help to preserve their musings for longer too, so they can treasure those travel memories for years to come.
Goodbye, oversize baggage
The best travel gifts are small, lightweight, and practical, and this Fosman Digital Luggage Scale ticks all three boxes. But don't be fooled by its size - this scale holds up to around 50kg with an easy-to-read backlit digital display. It even has a built-in indicator to tell you when your bag is over the limit. At under $20, it's also one of the cheapest travel gift ideas on our list, making it a total win-win.
If you're on the hunt for travel gifts for men, a handmade leather duffle is a safe bet. We rate this 22-inch overnight bag from Sydney locals EBB & FLOW for beautiful craftsmanship, with heaps of handy internal pockets to stop smaller items from wandering. This robust yet stylish bag is made from genuine cowhide leather, and EBB & FLOW will even gift wrap and add a personal message if you're gifting from afar.
Recharge but make it stylish
There's nothing worse than having your phone die when you're far from home, but we reckon we've found the solution. Lily C Wireless Phone Charging Purses make excellent travel gifts for women, with classic designs in vegan leather, plenty of storage space, and ingenious wireless charging. All you have to do is double-tap the LED indicator and pop your phone on top. These purses also come with a cable for older phone models. Lily C is Queensland-owned, so you'll be supporting local with this present.
A sound pressie
If you're looking for small travel gifts that won't take up room in their carry-on, you'll be hard-pressed to find anything more compact than these Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones. Cosier writer Elese (that's me!) bought a pair after a friend said hers had been going strong for a few years. We can safely say they live up to the hype. These teeny Bluetooth headphones come with 3 different-sized pairs of silicone cuffs to suit any ear shape, and they're sweat resistant, with excellent sound quality to boot.
Keep track of essentials
These Tile Essentials 2020 4 Packs make great gifts for those friends who seem to constantly lose their phones or wallets. They're also ideal travel gifts for couples, because lost hotel keys or passports are a problem for both parties. To find their stuff, they can ring their Tile via the phone app, then follow the noise. And it goes both ways - double-pressing a Tile makes your phone ring (even on silent). This 4 pack includes a Tile Slim for sliding into wallets, a Tile Mate for keys and backpacks, and Tile Stickers for tacking onto earbuds or suitcases.
Ready for anything
If your bestie, sister, daughter or mum has a big hike or camping trip coming up, she'll appreciate practical travel gifts for her trip into the wilderness. When they come from a close fellow period-haver, period undies like these ModiBodi Hi-Waist Bikinis are a thoughtful, sustainable present that are also kind to Mother Nature. They take the stress out of periods or little leaks so you can hit the trails ready for action. ModiBodi is Aussie-owned, and their underwear designs are slim, breathable and absorbent for long treks.
While Rome, New York and Paris might not be on everyone's list of travel plans right now, there are thousands of incredible travel destinations here in Aus. We rate this true blue Travel Scratch Map Poster so your fave intrepid Aussie traveler can keep track of where they've been. This gift is small and lightweight, so backpacking pals will have no trouble rolling it up into their luggage. It'll also look tip top on their wall when they get home.
For loved ones who like to travel in style, we love these gorgeous personalized travel jewelry boxes by Sydney-based Etsy seller My Bebe Cadum. They're made of vegan leather with a soft, velvety interior to keep valuables safe while on the move. Your loved one's name can be printed on the top of the box in rose gold, white or black text. They're also super compact at 10 x 10cm.
Safe and sustainable
These days, every traveler needs a face mask, and we rate these Pink Galah beauties for a stylish, eco-friendly gift that'll keep your loved ones safe on the go. Double-stitched with 3 layers of quality cotton with a cotton flannel middle, this mask also means they won't have to keep buying new filters. We also love that they're made in Queensland, so you can support local with this pragmatic pressie.
Book some time out
Bookworms and candle lovers alike will be on cloud nine with this Byrne & Love Hemingway travel candle. The French leather and cedarwood fragrance is inspired by Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, and smells of warming vanilla, dark amber, and musk. They'll love curling up in the AirBnB with a good book, or enjoying a relaxing soak after their journey.
Know a yogi who loves to travel? This machine-washable Mikkoa Travel Yoga Mat means they can downward dog anywhere they darn well please. It's impossibly slim at only 1mm, and 10cm longer than your average yoga mat at just over 180cm. This mat has a vegan microfiber suede top and a natural rubber bottom, and is sweat absorbent while being free from nasty chemicals. We also love that Aussie-owned company Mikkoa plants one tree for every purchase. Noice.
Sure, you can’t guarantee a plane is going to be on time, but at least you can fill waiting time with a fiendishly good game. Meet Exploding Kittens. Suitable for kids, teens and families, everyone can enjoy this fast-paced card game which is a kitty take on Russian roulette. Avoid the exploding kitten card and you’ll be crowned top cat. Ideal for on the go, there’s no board - just 56 cards, a travel-friendly box and some murderous cats.
Not your usual beach read
Is there anything more meta than reading about being on holiday while being on holiday? We think not. If you want to elevate your traveler’s reading game from the usual trashy holiday read, consider The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton. This bestselling book uses musings from famous writers, artists and thinkers to explore why us humans are drawn to traveling and suggests how we can be happier on our journeys.