Christmas 2019: Gifts for someone going travelling

A photo of full Lonely Planet guides - Provence and the Cote D'Azur, Italy, Andalusia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and Romania and Bulgaria.

Christmas is coming!  And with less than 25 sleeps to go, you’re likely to be thinking about what you’re going to buy the loved ones in your life.  

But what gifts do you get for someone going travelling?  What things are there that are small enough to take away in your luggage, but don’t cost a fortune? 

Read on for my ideas for small gifts and stocking fillers for the 2019 festive season.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that I earn a small amount of commission for every purchase you make – at no extra cost to yourself. However, I have received no payment for the products I have chosen to cover here – my selection is based solely on my own opinion


The range of guidebooks on the market is vast.  But if, like me, you’re a fan of short trips and city breaks, you’ll find the Lonely Planet pocket guidebooks perfect.  

They’re small and slim (a perfect size to fit into a handbag) and successfully condense the top things to see and do in a place.  They also come at a reasonable price.  

Click here for the range of these pocket guidebooks and that you might want to include amongst your gifts for someone going travelling.

A picture of some Lonely Planet pocket guidebooks with a Christmas bauble in front.  There is Tokyo, Athens, Porto and New Orleans.  These would be great gifts for someone going travelling for the weekend or a short break

The Berlitz pocket guides are also similarly convenient for short trips and again, come at decent prices. I often opt for these when I’m planning a short trip away.

A selection of my Berlitz pocket guides - these would be ideal gifts for someone going travelling as they are small and slim

Alternatively, you may prefer more comprehensive and in-depth guidebooks.

These generally cover things in more detail and include more of the history of the places you’re visiting.  If so, my top go-to brand would be the Lonely Planet.

A photo of full Lonely Planet guides - Provence and the Cote D'Azur, Italy, Andalusia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and Romania and Bulgaria.

Travel journals

Someone going travelling may want to document their travels.  We might all be digital these days, but giving someone an actual journal is a really thoughtful gift.

In these, they can note down their reflections on their experiences, something which they may particularly cherish if they’re on the trip of a lifetime. I think they’re lovely stocking fillers.

I have recently been using two specific travel journals.

The Hunky Dory A5 “adventure journal” is a nicely lined journal with a map of the world on its hardback cover. A good way to record your thoughts and experiences and check out where you want to go next!

The Hunky Dory adventure journal - a great gift for someone going travel and who wants to document their experiences

As I specialise in short trips, I particularly like the Peter Pauper Press journal. This is smaller with passport stamps as the cover design.

The pocket at the back is a great place to store any tickets or receipts from your travels that you want to keep. The magnetic clasp also means that anything you carry within the book is safe and secure.

The Peter Pauper Press journal - a nice sleek and small journal someone going travelling

I also love the stationery from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.  Their hardback notepads are stylish and contain enough pages to justify their price.  

You don’t have to be in the country, or visit the museum to buy these though: they can be bought online here.

Examples of journals from the Victoria and Albert Museum

Portable phone chargers

Someone going travelling for just a short trip is more likely to be using their phone as a camera.  And if they’re a bit snap happy like me, by the afternoon they may be running low on battery charge.

I now carry a portable charger which is a great way to top up your charge when you’re on the go.  I use the DULLA portable battery charger for my iPhone.

It’s sleek and no bigger than my phone. It also has built in cables so that once it’s charged you don’t have to remember to take any out with you. I was constantly forgetting with my old brand, so this is something I really like.

The DULLA portable battery charger - a great gift for someone going travelling

For more brands at a range of prices, click here.

Travel books

There are loads of travel books that you can choose from. These range from people’s travel memoirs, to top tips for travelling, to books and digests about various destinations.

I find these types of books really inspirational and educational. They’re a way of reminding myself to make the most of my free time in life and they give me ideas for new places to visit. They are also great gifts for someone going travelling. Click here for ideas.

This year I have The Travel Book produced by the Lonely Planet (as you can tell I am a fan of Lonely Planet products!).

The Lonely Planet travel guide - a great gift for someone going travelling or as a coffee table book

I have to admit this is not a stocking filler or something someone would actually take travelling. It’s far too big that for that. But it would be great for anyone planning a trip or as a coffee table book.

The information is presented alphabetically country by country. There is a double page spread of tops things to do and see in each country, and the best time to visit.

There’s also a random fact about every country. For example – in the words of the book itself – did you know that “Finns are renowned for being quiet – there’s an old joke that they invented text messaging so they wouldn’t have to speak to each other”?

Or that the bikini is named after the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands? This was where, in 1946, the first peacetime atomic bomb was detonated.

An open page in the Lonely Planet The Travel Book.  This would be a great gift for someone going travelling or as a coffee table book

Books to take travelling

I always have a book with me when I’m away. When I’m not sightseeing, I want to switch off, be that in a lovely old town café, by the beach or pool or laying on my hotel bed.  They’re also invaluable when you’re travelling alone.

I’m still wedded to a good old book and haven’t yet been converted to devices such as Kindles. Although I do acknowledge how useful these are someone going travelling.

Small, light and with the ability to hold hundreds of book, they’re particularly good for long trips. Click here for products.

For me, one of my favourite books this year has been Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

This is a funny, quirky and endearing book that I’d definitely recommend.  And although it’s not travel related, its so good that I had to include it here.

Those who know me won’t be surprised by this recommendation. I’ve been banging the drum for this book all year.

The Eleanor Oliphant book by Gail Honeyman

I also got introduced to the Donna Leon books this year.  She’s written a series of crime stories set in Italy and which are solved by Commissario Guido Brunetti.

The first book – Death at La Fenice is set in Venice and involves the death of a famous conductor at the city’s opera house. The description in the book is a great reminder of just how unique this city is with its networks of canals and small windy streets.

Click here to explore the range of Donna Leon books.

I also love Victoria Hislop’s books, especially The Island which tells the tale of a leper colony off the coast of the Greek island of Crete.  The story is beautifully told, but be warned: it’s a real tear jerker at times.  

It will, however, make you want to book a trip to Greece (not a bad thing in my opinion!). I’m sure that the number of vistors to the island of Spinalonga have shot up after reading this book.

I’ve also read one of her collections of short stories: The Last Dance and Other Stories. These stories are also set in Greece.  They were great when I was on a short trip with little time to get into a big tome of a book.

Click here to explore the range of Victoria Hislop books.

A selection of Victoria Hislop books that someone going travelling might enjoy reading while away

Travel vouchers

If you’re still struggling with what to buy, you may prefer to buy a voucher. This means that someone going travelling can choose for themselves what they want or do.

You can buy vouchers for Red Letter Days. These can be redeemed for things that include day trips, spa breaks and short trips.

You can also choose a Buyagift voucher that entitles a person to a one night trip away.

This company also has a range of other things on offer in all price ranges. You could treat someone to an Italian meal, a pamper day out or afternoon tea. Click here for ideas.

And finally for the pet in your life…

As a cat lover, I couldn’t end this post without pointing out the array of Christmas gifts for pets.

My lovely moggy is a bit too contrary to allow me to take a photo of her modelling any of these. But if you did want to browse a few products, click here.

My black cat, Mia, sitting by the Christmas presents

I hope this post has given you some ideas for gifts for someone going travelling.  And if you need some ideas for short trips or city breaks, click here to explore my website.

Good luck, Merry Christmas and happy travelling in 2020!

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Reply

Sign up to get future travel ideas straight to your inbox