From eco-friendly drinking bottles and ingenious travel wallets to ultra cool Christmas themed jackets, Contributing editor Phoebe Smith, our resident gear guru, has made her list and checked it twice...
Avoid getting presents you don’t want this year. Instead, send your loved one a link to this gift guide, for some handy hints on what a traveller really wants to unwrap this Christmas.
From Swarovski's finest binoculars for hardcore wildlife watching and birding, to easy-to-wrap, cheap-to-buy gifts like reusable water bottles and handy wash bags, we've got it covered.
These handy, light and foldable specimens from optic experts Swarovski have 119m field of view.
Their robust aluminium housing, meaning you can chuck them in your bag. The twistable eyecups are suitable even for people who wear glasses and, though they are small, the quality of the lens has in no way been compromised.
We all know we must use less single-use plastic bottles, but imagine if we could do that and help those without clean, safe water at the same time.
Well, now we can. 100% of the profits from this double- walled bottle (which keeps water cool for 24 hours and hot for 12) goes to projects in India and Africa and is made from sustainable harvested bamboo (lid) and food grade steel.
Is it a smart shoe or a slipper? Actually both.
The soft wool lining gives comfort and excellent temperature regulation, the foam footbed is uber comfy and the hybrid sole means you can wear these seamlessly from plane to pavement – they even have a neoprene fold-down heel so you can change them to slip-ons.
Having a padded bag with all you need toiletries-wise is necessary, but having one that also compresses using rucksack inspired straps and takes up less room is genius.
Plus the reflective graphic and grab handle make it easy to find – even at the bottom of your bag.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a special jumper, but rather than a cheap hand-knit job, this technical wool and synthetic blended fleece is breathable, warm and durable.
Plus – let’s be honest – it looks pretty snazzy too.
Give a nod to the explorers of yesteryear with this rather fetching canvas satchel. Made of heavy-duty fabric, the bag also has a water-resistant wax finish so it doesn’t matter if it rains or shines.
There’s multiple interior and exterior pockets, and a padded compartment for your laptop.
A vegetable-tanned leather organiser, ideal for solo travellers, this XS model can hold a Kindle, headphones, sunglasses, smartphone, pen, passport and boarding pass, and has a zipped section to keep any cash safe.
Carry this in your hand at the airport and never faff at the checkout in duty-free again.
For hard-sided luggage that also boasts pockets, this new range of lightweight but durable wheelies is perfect.
The lockable, hinged outside compartment is great for easy access to tablets and laptops, and a removable external USB port means you can also keep things charged while on the go.
Travelling with your laptop is often necessary but keeping it safe can be a worry.
This smart looking pack not only is subtle about its contents but is also made from cut and tear proof resistant fabric which itself is fashioned from recycled plastic bottles. It also has a USB charging port to boot. Genius.
Give (or receive) the gift of sleep on a plane this year with this special set made by mattress maker Simba.
It includes a superlight and comfy sculptured design eye mask that warms your eyes with three heat settings, a rollaway cell foam pillow for excellent airflow and neck support plus some specially made Sleep Spray to help you drift off more easily. Zzzzz.
This travel hoodie, from a Constellation Collection by eco-conscious brand Tentree, is made from recycled polyester (drink bottles) and soft organic cotton, and the phosphorescent print (which glows in the dark) is also printed using natural, certified sustainable ink.
For each one sold, 10 trees will be planted across South America, India, Nepal and Africa. And, as a bonus, the hood is drawcord adjustable for a closer fit.
Own a pair of these and you’ll never have to wear the cheap, single-use, in-ear headphones on flights again.
Collapsible (so easy to squash in your bag), these have a 30+ hour battery life – even when used wirelessly – and a spare socket, so you can share your sounds with a friend.
P.S. You can get them for £49.99 on Amazon as of November 2019.
If you’re headed to Asia, don’t contribute to landfill when eating your ramen and rice.
Ditch the disposable-use-once chopsticks and instead take your own stainless steel models (with elegant bamboo tips), which collapse for easy portage, are easy-to-clean and can travel with you anywhere.
Eschew the usual festive decorations and opt for these hand-painted globes instead.
Not only do they proudly shout your travel credentials, but you can also plot your next trip while admiring your tree and, if you like, leave them up year-round.
Socks are ubiquitous when it comes to Christmas – but rather than get the standard four-pack, ask instead for these technical offerings that are inbuilt with anti-biting insect treatment – NosiLife – meaning you get warm feet and bite-free footsies for all your travels in 2020.
While we’d all like to find a travel ticket in our stocking with unlimited destinations promised, it’s unlikely we will. However, you can get the next best thing – a bundle of travel inspiration for a whole 12 months with a subscription (worth £118.49) to Wanderlust.
OK, so we're a little bit biased on this one. But with a magazine this beautiful... can you really blame us?
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