All I want for Christmas is… to be able to travel again (and an end to this virus!) But as I wait for Santa to grant that wish, I’ve found some more ideas for gifts for women who love travel – especially ones with a 2021 twist for women who wish they could travel.
contains affiliate links*
Some will come in handy once travel opens up more again, some will help plan those trips (realistic or fantasy), others are designed to transport you away… at least for a short while.
There are some practical ideas, as well as options if you’re moving towards more responsible travel, but this year, I’ve got a big focus on something indulgent. Because while you can share this gift guide for women who love travel with your nearest and dearest, who doesn’t like a bit of self-gifting too… I think we all need a treat after the past year or so!
Stocking fillers (under £20)
Eye mask & homewares
I’ve been conscious of trying to support some of my favourite family attractions which have been hit by lockdowns, restrictions and reduced visitors recently – even if I haven’t been able to visit, there’s often something tempting in their online shop.
In the case of London Zoo, I’d happily take most of their shop home – not least this cute sloth eye mask. Also handy for plane travel in the future.
If you’re not a fan of sloths, how about another animal – try this penguin mug (also available in giraffe, tiger, flamingo, meerkat and elephant) or zebra notebook to use to write travel wishlists, or keep a journal once you do escape.
What better souvenir of your holiday than a bracelet which reminds you of all your favourite places, every day – El Camino bracelets are perfect for avid travellers, as you can personalise them to your own globetrotting history.
Once you’ve got the bracelet to start, each circular bead or ‘step’ slides on to create an individual piece of travel jewellery.
And as well as stainless steel country steps, costing £10.99, you can choose cities and regions, plus your own custom options, oceans, seas, animals and adventure themed options such as waves, planes and mountains.
There are also spacers, using sustainably sourced woods and coconut, priced £6.99 for a pack of four.
Admittedly I’m cheating slightly here as a stocking filler, because the original bracelet costs from £26.99, but once you’ve started a collection, it’s easy to add new steps each year, or there are gift vouchers available too.
I never travel without at least one scarf, and it’s often my souvenir of choice too – you can wear it at home for now, but if you buy a lightweight one, it can eventually double as sarong, mini blanket and even a towel on holiday, at a push.
Hush always has gorgeous prints – there’s a fun colourful twist on a leopard-print scarf among the range at the moment.
The Lina & Lily range also has some really quirky prints and colours, for something a bit different (elephants or hedgehogs, anyone?).
It’s an old favourite but you can never have too many luggage tags – mine always seem to vanish between trips, plus it’s a good way to make your case stand out on the carousel.
I also love a map print, especially a vintage or retro one, so this Sass & Belle world map luggage tag is perfect.
And if you really want to make others think twice before they accidentally pick up your suitcase, it’s hard to beat these fun eye-catching options from Rubywoo & Chilli.
Virtual travel gifts
If you can’t travel, you can still dream and plan – and how better than by losing yourself in travel stories from around the world (if you fancy whisking yourself to the deserts of Oman and the mangroves of Cambodia for free, you can also do that here)
A coffee table book
There’s nothing like a gorgeous glossy travel book for a bit of wanderlust – The Travel Book from Lonely Planet is always one of my favourites, with fabulous photos, quirky facts and details about every country in the world.
Or Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel List 2 picks out the 500 best places on the planet to visit. Perfect for some armchair travel planning.
If you’re trying to work out what needs to be on your bucket list after this (mostly) travel-free year, The Bucket List has ideas for 1,000 different adventures to try, some of which you could even attempt in the middle of a lockdown.
Or there’s Destinations of Lifetime from National Geographic, with 225 of the world’s most amazing places, as well as Unforgettable Journeys, with glorious photos of 200 inspirational trips around the globe.
If it’s diving and the earth’s underwater landscapes that you miss, Blue Planet II is still unbeatable.
And I love the Atlas of Beauty – combining some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes with portraits of 500 women from around the world: a reminder of the many cultures yet to discover, as well as the fact that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.
The scent of a holiday
There’s nothing that transports you across space and time quite as fast as fragrance – a sudden whiff of aftersun, tropical fruit, even the perfume you wore that one memorable holiday.
A few drops of oil in the water is all you need, so it’s easy to experiment and find your perfect blend. This essential oil set contains 10 different fragrances, including coconut, mango, passionfruit and watermelon (practically a Caribbean cocktail).
A travel print
The walls of my home are covered with travel prints and maps (in fact, if anything sits still long enough I try to find a map print cover or some kind of travel theme to it). So I think a print for the walls is something you can never have enough of.
Check out Mapiful, which lets you create some gorgeous personalised maps – choosing a specific destination that’s special to you, or your home city for example, as well as different styles, colours, frames and more.
There are also star maps and some cool text art – how about your favourite photo created in the words ‘I love travel’? Check out the full Mapiful range here, plus there’s 10% off with code MAPIQ4.
Or you can find a huge range of vintage travel prints – some genuine retro poster designs, others done in that style, which I find very tempting.
You can find plenty in similar styles if you have a particular location in mind: everything from great Cornwall prints including Padstow to this dramatic print of Berlin or a fantastic retro shot of Sydney.
I love looking through old photos, but most of them find themselves gathering dust in my computer’s hard drive rather than added to an album – someone creating a photo album for me would be a real gift to treasure.
A gift voucher to encourage me to make my own is a good second best.
Gifts for 2022 travel
Travel document holder
These might still sound more practical than pampering, but if you’re forever scrabbling round looking for boarding passes and worrying about lost passports, having a travel document holder makes you feel stylish (even with jetlag) and is hugely useful.
Especially given the extra paperwork you need to travel these days, from passenger locator forms to proof of vaccination and test!
Not on the High Street has a fabulous range including these bright recycled leather travel wallets, vegan leather wallets that you can personalise with your own wording, or this gorgeous stylish leather wallet with your own initials and room for all the travel documents you might need.
If you love an eye-catching print, this Sara Miller orchard wallet has space for passport, currency, boarding pass and a handy zip pocket.
Hand luggage bag
You can never have too many bags – and my favourites double as a shoulder bag at home as well as away.
A hammam towel
Far better than any travel towel I’ve tried, hammam towels come in gorgeous colours, fold up small, get every softer the more you use them… no surprise that my collection is constantly growing.
The yellow and turquoise combination of this hammam towel makes me think of sun and sea, but you can pick from almost every colour combination – I love this tempting sea green, blue and turquoise version too.
A tech organiser
Like a travel documents wallet, it’s something which doesn’t immediately seem exciting but would get a lot of use.
Between portable chargers, wires galore, earphones and more rattling around in hand luggage, it’s handy to have one piece of kit to organise the lot.
To make it more exciting to unwrap, find one that’s not purely functional – and ideally not basic black either: this Native Union Stow Organiser comes in a pale sage green as well, or the similarly sleek Thetag organiser has orange piping.
If it’s for someone who always travels with big headphones, this Thule organiser is another good option.
Voucher for travel
If you’re looking for a gift for someone who loves travel, the best gift has to be travel itself. Or a contribution towards their future travels, at least.
How about a gift voucher for a site like Get Your Guide with a whole string of tours and experiences?
Responsible travel gifts
There’s more to responsible travel than a reusable water bottle – although a Larq self-cleaning purifying water bottle is always a good option.
The question of how to travel more responsibly and sustainably has been growing ever more important for many regular travellers – and the pandemic has brought home just how travel impacts the world for both good and bad.
For anyone who wait to get travelling again but is worried about the carbon footprint, sites like Ecologi have gift options to benefit eco-friendly programmes, including tree planting.
If you’re looking to support communities who’ve been badly affected by the loss of tourism, I’m a big fan of Lendwithcare which helps people work their way out of poverty through loans.
A relatively small amount can make a huge difference, and you can choose particular countries or to lend to female entrepreneurs.
PIN FOR LATER: THE BEST GIFTS FOR WOMEN WHO LOVE TRAVEL
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links – any purchases you make are unaffected but I may receive a small commission
Images: main image/magazines/gift voucher courtesy of Depositphotos, product images courtesy the retailer, all others copyright MummyTravelsLIKED THIS? SIGN UP FOR MY EMAIL NEWSLETTER