Just in time for the seasonal shopping season, we Cheapflighters have compiled a list of our favourite travel products – perfect gifts to give this Christmas. From new gadgets for the unstuffed stocking to luggage that’ll keep the kids occupied at the departure gate, we’ve narrowed down the best travel accessories in the world to just ten. For the traveller in your life (and yes, you have our permission to treat yourself!), consider our travel gift ideas:
For the junior traveller – Trunki
This is the one that the cash-rich investors in Dragon’s Den let get away. Flying during the peak Christmas travel season pretty much guarantees long lines and frazzled families at the airport. A relief for parents is the Trunki, a baggage-scooter hybrid that has changed the way kids navigate airports. The four-wheeled suitcase offers tots a chance to pack their favourite Peppa Pig pyjamas and then ride around the airport and their destination. New this year is SnooziHedz, a three-in-one blanket, pillow and travel buddy – perfect for the colder cabin environment.
For the reader – Kindle Wi-Fi
A worthy consideration for the bookworm in your life – and an Austerity-Britain alternative to the iPad – the new Kindle Wi-Fi is available for about £90. Its selling price is quite a bit cheaper than the lowest-priced iPad. With built-in Wi-Fi, allowing you to get books in just 60 seconds, and faster page-turn speeds, we consider it a great travel companion.
For the aspiring bilingual – My French/Spanish Coach
UBI, makers of the popular Just Dance games for Wii devices, has created a game for Nintendo DS that combines fun with language learning for players of all ages. My French Coach – also available in Spanish – claims that dedicated linguists who practice just 20 minutes each day can become fluent in whatever language they’re learning, simply by playing the mini-games and tracking their progress. Want to get beyond the “dos cervezas, por favor” standard of Spanish? Now’s your chance.
For the photographer – Canon point-and-shoot
DSLR cameras are gaining popularity among travellers, but they come with a hefty price tag. Luckily, Canon is making user-friendly point-and-shoots that capture exquisite photographs at a fraction of the cost. The new PowerShot ELPH features a 28mm wide-angle lens, 8x optical zoom and an optical image stabiliser – all within a super slim frame. The hardest part: choosing from the ultra-hip color options like electric blue and hot pink.
For the environmentalist – Sustainable Cork Sleeve
As personal electronics become more and more sophisticated, so should their protective covers. Taking a laptop or tablet on holiday is risky business, especially for those whose price tags are high. Enter Ryan Frank, an eco-friendly furniture designer from South Africa, to the rescue. The sustainably minded craftsman has created Sustainable Cork Sleeves to protect cameras, iPods and e-readers – you name it – in naturally harvested, biodegradable cork leather. The result: wonderful carriers for your favourite nomad’s most expensive travel gadgets.
For the nature lover – Trek Light Hammock
Relaxation is the supreme goal for many holidaymakers, whether it’s after a morning of no-frills hiking or an afternoon of Daiquiri-laced sunbathing. Trek Light has pulled the right strings in developing its line of hammocks, 1b-portable loungers that expand to hold up to 400lbs. Made out of parachute nylon, the hammocks are mildew resistant and easy to set up – no knot tying required. The Double Hammock fits two adults comfortably, guaranteeing it a thoughtful gift for a lover of the outdoors.
For the jet setter – Tumi Scale
Passengers are all too familiar with rising baggage fees as airlines continue to struggle to offset rising fuel costs. And even worse than paying to check luggage are additional fees for overweight bags. Tumi’s new Scale is a handy solution, and a sophisticated gadget for your nearest and dearest jet setter this festive season. The handheld device tells travellers in one grab – before heading to the airport – exactly what a bag weighs. Disclaimer: It utterly spoils the fun of repacking at the check-in counter or investing in a second suitcase at Duty-Free.
For the social traveller – iPhone 4s
Apple’s latest mobile device, the iPhone 4s, offers travellers much more than Angry Birds to pass the time. The pocket-sized work of genius is supporting new travel apps, too, that keep on-the-go folks in the know and in touch. Bring your special someone good tidings by introducing them to social travel apps – such as jetzet (formerly bumped.in) and gtrot – and welcoming them into the travel planning conversation. Want more downloadable ideas?
For the philanthropist – Oxfam Unwrapped
As voluntourism rises in popularity, so does the urge among travellers to give back to a community, even after the suitcases are unpacked. Give the gift that gives back through organisations such as Oxfam. Buy a goat, a greenhouse or even some safe water for poorer communities around the world. £8 will buy three buckets, £9 will provide safe water for ten people, £25 will buy a hardy goat.
For everyone – Airline gift cards
Typically, gift cards are considered to be an impersonal type of present. They’re fine for acquaintances and those who are hard to buy for, but it’s an entirely different story when that card gives the gift of flights. Most airlines such as British Airways, Ryanair, Flybe, easyJet and Airberlin offer vouchers at this time of year and they are a guaranteed hit. An extra tip: make sure you pick an airline that flies out of your recipient’s local airport.