Christmas gift ideas for travellers

By Rachel Wagner

December 13, 2020 | 5 minute read

Image: Glenn Ferguson
Image: Glenn Ferguson

Your friends and family deserve the world this year. And you can give it to them (or Australia, at least) with these travel inspired gifts. 

There'll be no plane tickets under the tree this year but these gift ideas are even better. From a bottle of wine to cultural tours, road trips and travel inspired art, there’s something in here for every budget and every kind of traveller. Experiences are truly the best gifts and the memories you’ll make will last so much longer than knick knacks.

Plan a mystery road trip

If you love to plan and squirrel out the best hidden spots and local gems to visit on your holidays, this is a really fun gift to give. (Plus, it can also be a pressie for you, so win-win!) Crafting the perfect itinerary is a huge job that your giftee will adore you for. Take the hard yards out of planning a trip by doing all the research and making all the bookings. Remember, many places right now require bookings even just to go in for a drink, so planning ahead is key. 

Give them some pointers on what to pack, for instance, bathers, hiking gear, something a little fancy if you’ve got a nice dinner booked. The rest? Well they’ll just have to jump in the passenger seat and see what happens! 

Need some inspiration? You could tour the East Coast of Tasmania, eat your way around the best country bakeries in Victoria’s high country and crown your perfect pie or grab your four-legged family member and hit every dog friendly beach on the Fleurieu Peninsula. It doesn’t even have to be a road trip, why not take a rail trip, visiting one of the gorgeous towns just outside Sydney?

A thoughtful voucher

Remember when vouchers used to be considered a bit of a naff and thoughtless gift, like you didn’t really know the person? Well, that’s all out the window now and a voucher can be a truly meaningful present, if you choose the right business to spend with. 

Maybe you buy your mum a gift voucher to that gorgeous little gift store you spent hours browsing on your weekend in Berry. Or shout your partner another meal at that seriously good restaurant where you celebrated your anniversary dinner in McLaren Vale. Not only will it remind them of those good times but you’ll have another trip to look forward to. 

Supporting small local businesses is even more important than ever this year and it will make the owners do a little happy dance! 

Few and Far in Berry
Few and Far in Berry

Give the gift of an adventure

Tickets to an experience or tour is one of the best ways to show you really know someone, or alternatively, to get that someone way out of their comfort zone! 

If they’re of the thrill-seeking ilk, get them a voucher to throw themselves out of a plane and skydive over the Great Ocean Road. Or book them into a PADI course so they can learn to scuba dive and explore the underwater world around Lord Howe Island. 

Foodies will be rapt with tickets to Tasting Australia in South Australia or you could buy them a spot on a food tour like this one in Tassie which takes in the state's tastiest haunts like Bruny Island for cheese, oysters and berries galore.  

The curious and engaged traveller will enjoy an Indigenous-led tour through Wiradjuri country around the rivers of Bathurst, while creative folk might prefer a weekend in Mount Martha attending a perfume making workshop.

Nakie Hammocks
Nakie Hammocks

A travel inspired gift

Okay, okay. We’ll give you a few *things* on this list that you can physically buy. But for the record, we still believe experiences are better!

Why not wrap up some wine or produce from their favourite region? With just one sip of that rich cab sav, they’ll be instantly transported to the red earth of Coonawarra. Food and wine has that sort of power, which makes it a beautiful gift for any traveller but especially for the foodies among us. Visit the Victorian Country Market to stock up on cheeses, honey and craft beer from provedores across the state. 

On that delicious food note, how about a cookbook from their favourite regional restaurant? Somekind Press is creating books to keep hospitality businesses afloat throughout the COVID crisis. Each book puts the spotlight on one business, telling their story and sharing recipes. Transport your friend to Pipit in the coastal town of Pottsville in NSW’s Northern Rivers region or the sustainable kitchen of Tulip in Geelong. 

If they love spending time in the sun, a Nakie Hammock can be enjoyed in the backyard for a mini blissful escape from reality, as well as on their outdoor adventures. All they need is a couple of trees to wrap it around. Each hammock is made from 37 recycled bottles and for every one sold, Nakie will plant four trees. 

You could also give something that reminds your loved one of their all time favourite travel destination. Seascape Travel Prints create artworks for your home with colourful imagery of just about every beach in Australia from Wineglass Bay to Coffs Harbour. This gift will evoke the memories of childhood holidays and long, sandy summers every time they glance at their wall. 

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The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers. We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with, any of the entities listed in or referred to in this article.