Festive Gifts for Every Type of Frustrated Traveller
Sun cream, guide books, luggage tags? With travel plans on hold, those tried-and-tested gifts simply won’t do. For stay-at-home spa addicts and shackled city-breakers, we’ve pulled together a list of affordable presents that will appeal to each and every type of homebound traveller.
Usually,when Christmas rolls around, well-seasoned travellers
have their forthcoming trips lined up. For the gift-averse, it's a
blessing. Guide books, insect repellent, designer sun cream,
luggage tags and all manner of bitty travel paraphernalia can be
easily tied in ribbon and passed off as thoughtful presents - "a
little something to take with you on your trip".
Needless to say, things are a little different this year. With
travel plans put on hold, those tried-and-tested gifts simply won't
pass muster. Consequently, we've pulled together a list of
nailed-it (but affordable) items that will appeal to each and every
type of traveller, whether you're buying for that spa-addicted
friend who hasn't felt the comforting touch of a masseuse in months
or a pent-up city-breaker crying out for some at-home
Expect to find lush tidbits from some of our favourite
independent shops, high-gloss magazines from our archive and a
bunch of eco-friendly gifts from SUITCASE Loves. You're welcome.
The Stay-at-Home Spa Addict
Few things relieve stress like slipping into a towelling robe,
steaming mug of herbal tea in one hand and inspirational magazine
(cough cough) in the other. For serial spa fanatics,
it's been a testing year. With practitioners out of action, help
the wellness warrior in your life rebalance their chakras with one
of these calming gifts.
Chim Chim Scent Diffuser
Anyone with an eye for design will melt at the sight of the HAY
logo peeping out from opaque tissue paper. This simple diffuser
will not only smell deeply soothing once loaded up with a splash of
essential oil but will effortlessly blend into any interior like
butter on warm toast. It comes in three subdued shades of blue,
terracotta and light beige.
Give them something to smile about. Spa hotels might be closed
but an overnight wash bag is always a good gift - especially when
plastered with the work of one of the UK's most beloved portrait
photographers. At 22x14 cm, this little poppet is a perfectly
travel-sized companion. Stick a sheet mask in there, write a card
and you're good to go.
We're complete suckers for scented candles. Each of Earl of
East's soy-wax concoctions are inspired by travels past and have
been made to transport you to a happier time and place. You can't
go wrong with its Greenhouse scent, an herbaceous, olfactory ode to
rural Greece that is guaranteed to evoke a sense of calm, whether
reclining in a bathtub or hustling hard in the home office.
These made-in-Margate bath salts are jam-packed with locally
plucked seaweed, buckthorn and all manner of other natural goodies,
proven to soothe stressed-out skin. Haeckels has long been at the
vanguard of sustainability in the beauty industry, making it a
solid go-to for guilt-free gifting. And breathe…
Why stop at one perfume? Travel the world (in miniature) with
this cluster of eight spritzers, each one inspired by different
destinations around the world, from Jaipur to Morocco. We suggest
sprinkling these glassy vials through jacket pockets and handbags
for little sparks of joy on the go.
We all know that person: the self-professed foodie. For them, a
trip isn't complete without a spot of foraging, a day spent
shamelessly hoarding samples at aromatic food markets and countless
hours spent haplessly scrolling into the backend of Tripadvisor in
desperate pursuit of hyper-local restaurants. Here's what we
suggest giving them this year.
The Taste Issue
This year's been all about armchair travel: tucking yourself
into a cosy nook with a mug of coffee and losing yourself in the
pages of a glossy magazine. If the epicurean in your life is
feeling a little devoid of travel inspiration, send them a copy of
The Taste Issue. Inside, they'll find lip-smacking stories from the
fertile soils of Sicily to the tropical sands of Mauritius. Bon
Those living in London or within a four-hour drive of the
restaurant (by our calculations, that means those in the home
counties are in luck) can order a slap-up meal from this Soho
institution. In keeping with the restaurant's inimitable dining
room, the four-course meal arrives in powder-pink boxes tied with
ribbon. Cocktails in wax-sealed glass decanters can be ordered as
If you can't splash out (pardon the pun) at Christmas, when can
you? Upgrade your loved one's drinks trolley by giving them a
bottle of this sweet, honeyed nectar - made using juicy sugar cane
harvested on the island of Negros Occidental in the Philippines.
Sorry to be blunt, but a glass of this rum is about as close as any
of us are going to get to the tropics this year. Drink up.
While we're all for travelling through our stomach, this year's
not provided much food for thought, so to speak. This
mouth-watering compendium of traditional Syrian baked treats has
been composed by refugees, chefs and bakers based across the world.
The best bit? All proceeds raised are donated to Unicef UK's appeal
for the children of Syria. How's that for a palate-cleanser?
What better gift could there be for the champagne lover in your
life, than a bumper collection of bubbles? This holy trilogy of the
region's most esteemed bottles - that's Moët & Chandon Brut
Impérial, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and Ruinart Blancs de Blancs
- also comes with Louis Vuitton's latest guide to Reims, so
aficionados can explore the terroir from their stoop at home.
Real foodies know that a good meal is only as good as the
conversation that accompanies it. This pack of prompt cards is
guaranteed to get creative juices flowing. Each card is themed -
ambitions, confessions, friendship and the like - so dinner party
hosts can tailor the conversation to their guests. Quit the small
With few trains to catch, bars to explore or museums to
patronise, 2020 has been a real drag (we're putting it politely)
for those used to hopping from one metropolitan bubble to another.
Wild weekenders might be off the cards for now, but we've pulled
together a handful of gifts that will sate the appetites of
shackled city breakers.
With itchy feet forcibly stopped in their tracks, now is the
perfect time to get one's shoe-drobe in order. We're turning to
Grenson, whose range of shoe-cleaning supplies is second to none.
Give the style-conscious city breaker in your life a wodge of these
wipe-clean cloths, perfect for tidying up white leather trainers as
well as more traditional kickers. Feeling generous? Chuck in
Grenson's all-in-one cleaning kit for good measure.
We're sure you can get high-quality portable speakers for less,
but would they look as delectably 70s as this little number from
Swiss audio pioneers, Geneva? This device has 20 hours of battery
life, an audio jack to attach Bluetooth-incompatible devices and
it's an AM/FM radio too - handy if, like us, your phone is
constantly running low on battery.
A solid, reusable flask is an essential component in any
city-lover's knapsack. At SUITCASE, we love Halo. Compact,
lightweight and stylish, this bottle has powerful vacuum insulation
to ensure ice-cold or piping-hot drinks whether you're setting up
camp in a remote co-working space, sweating it out at the hotel gym
or window-shopping at pace.
A bit on the nose, eh? This issue is sure to excite those
effervescent city breakers who are begrudgingly slumped on the sofa
at home. Zip from Istanbul to Uzbekistan to Chicago and back as we
unpick exactly what makes city life so compelling, stopping to
catch-up with local creatives, thought leaders and budding
entrepreneurs as we go.
There have only been sporadic windows of opportunity to visit
museums, galleries and cultural institutions over the past year.
Why not reorientate your friend's cultural compass with this memory
game? It's like an elevated game of snap, featuring iconic
buildings, artworks and concepts from different cultures across the
Compiled by THESP founder and former SUITCASE editor, Gilly
Hopper, this pair of books features writing from some of the UK's
most renowned actors and directors, on what happens when the stage
falls silent - be that mid-speech, during an interval, or a
pandemic (how novel). Packed with essays, stories, poems and more,
it's a feel-good celebration of British theatre that will leave
readers inspired and hopeful for the future. Better still, all
proceeds from sales will go towards Acting for Others, which
provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in
times of need.
Give the modern dandy in your life this portable fabric shaver
from Steamery. Simply whizz it against the grain of pilled knitwear
to remove those bobbles. This battery-powered gadget comes in pink,
blue and black. It's a cost-effective way to update one's wardrobe
and a must-have for any finely dressed, 21st-century flâneur.
The pandemic has actually proven fairly light work for outdoorsy
types. Generally speaking, this genre of globetrotter is happily
occupied by secluded countryside rambles. From sustainably made
water-resistant jackets to beyond-chic, kitchen-to-campfire
enamelware crockery, these are the bits we're buying them this
Nebulas Insulated Jacket
Designed with fabrics and fill made from 100-per-cent recycled
polyester and finished with a fluorocarbon-free water-repellent
finish, this is possibly the most goodie-two-shoes jacket we've
ever met. Fans of Finisterre know that the brand does
sustainability properly - even its packaging is water-soluble.
Nature-loving outdoorsy types will swoon.
Prepare the grown-up water baby in your life for wild-swimming
jaunts yet to come with this fast-drying microfiber towel from Dock
& Bay. Not only is this towel proven to dry three times quicker
than its cotton counterpart, but five per cent of the profits from
each sale go to nature conservation charities such as One Tree
Planted and the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Trust.
At some point over the past few years, humble enamelware
crockery - a stalwart of old-school camping trips - became a
stylish kitchen essential. Bornn's collection is lightweight,
sturdy, dishwasher safe and achingly chic. This tumbler is both a
modish kitchen accessory and, when the time calls, a chic addition
to one's camping bag too.
No modern-day picnicker or truly eco-conscious traveller would
be seen with a set of single-use, plastic cutlery. Perish the
thought. Instead, pick up this bamboo set, which comes in a helpful
little pouch. Why bamboo, you ask? It's quick to grow, requires
little water, is lightweight and biodegradable, making these prongs
an essential for any modern-day camper.
2020 was most definitely the year of the micro-kitchen garden;
we called it first. Almost everyone tried their
hand at growing something, be it a measly patch of parsley or a
full-on clump of potatoes. This little kit is a brilliant starter
pack for any nature-lover that's late to the party. Simply pick
your seeds, fill it with water, plug it in and harvest your