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Ho No!

Yes it’s that time of year again, the jolly fat man in the red suit is about to pay us a visit. Do you have a serial traveller in your life that you need to buy for but fear time is running out? Well there is no need to worry and furrow that pretty little brow – we are here to help with our 12 days of Christmas gift guide.

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me …. A Steripen. Ideal if your traveller is one that likes to get off the beaten track or simply wants to avoid Bali belly (don’t we all). It’s practical, portable and user friendly. This little beauty will kill 99.9% of waterborne nasties in less than a minute. And it doesn’t change the flavour. So hike that glacier, drink some of that crystal clear water and be safe in the knowledge that you will not need that spare roll of toilet paper in your backpack any time soon. Readily available in Australia at Mountain Designs from $70 (on sale at the moment).

On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me … A Kindle. Or a Sony e-reader. Or some other electronic reader. Ouch, my ears, I can hear the howls of protest from the purists from here! Look, no one loves a good book more than me. It took me a long time to come around to the idea, but come on, what is not to love? Yes, I know you don’t get the smell and feel of a real book. What you do get though are at least 1000 books (some devices as many as 4500) for the weight of less than one real book. And for most of the time at a fraction of the price. I admit there are times when you need the real deal, but travelling is not one of them. Not when there are weight restrictions and your space is limited. Embrace change, I dare you! Available from all good retailers from less than $100.

On the third day – oh you get the idea. A worldwide travel adaptor. A somewhat obvious choice for the traveller in your life maybe, but absolutely necessary. Universal travel adaptors have evolved over the years, and these days they will work in over 150 countries and come with USB ports. Multi-tasking at its finest. So many brands to choose from you will be spoilt for choice, and starting from as low as $20.

Moola baby, moola. You can’t beat it. Wherever your traveller is going, they will need cash in the local currency. A must- have on arrival, whether you need to tip a taxi driver, pay a ‘fine’ to a customs official (hello Dar es Salaam) or find a bus fare. Useful too when Don Juan the cabana boy brings you that second cocktail and you need to tip him. As you recline on your sun lounger. Reading your Kindle.

Day number 5 sees us unwrapping the world’s smallest washing machine and stopping the pong. The Scrubba. A clever take on an Aussie slang term, the Scrubba was invented by surprise surprise, a couple of Australians. Whilst originally designed with backpackers in mind, the Scrubba is also ideal for students, campers, and anyone else heading to the great outdoors or off on a long trip. Whether you want to avoid hotel laundry costs, avoid searching for laundromats, use less water or simply have the freedom to wash clothes wherever you want, there is an aspect of the Scrubba wash bag that will appeal to all travellers. Available from $65.

Day number 6 is a slightly different take on day number 4. A prepaid currency card. You will be able to pick one up at most banks, airlines and travel agencies including STA travel. They are variations on a theme with different pros and cons, so it is worth doing your research and deciding which card is the best one for you. The STA card for example has the following benefits: No overseas ATM fees Free overseas transactions Use in over 200 countries and millions of ATMs It’s easy to top up if needed (thanks mum and dad) No credit checks needed and available to all Australian residents over 18 Free supplementary card 24/7 global assistance

Really want to spoil your traveller for Christmas? Then the seventh day is the day for you! Who would not want a GoPro Hero5 to take away – perfect for all the young and old adrenaline nuts and water babies in your life. This is the most advanced GoPro ever, but at a cool $550 it does not come cheap. If you don’t love your traveller that much, then consider a less expensive version, they are just as impressive. Even GoPro accessories will bring you squeals of delight.

Noise cancelling headphones. I will admit that they are bulkier to pack, but that is the only con. They block out most sounds and this means your music does not have to be turned up to an eardrum shattering level in order to hear it. Unless of course that is how you prefer to take your music. Pop these babies on and Mr Have a Chat seated next to you gets the message loud and clear. For other benefits please see my previous post on fear of flying, ‘Champagne and Valium’. Again these can get up there in price, but you will spend less on the valium.

Day number 9 and it’s Zoomlite time. Prevent identity theft and protect credit cards and passports with RFID blocking travel goods. Zoomlite has a whole range of stylish leather gear to choose from, from card holders to travel wallets. Priced from $70.

Is your traveller a folder? Or a roller? Or maybe even a scruncher? You guessed it, I am talking about packing! I used to be a roller, am now more of a folder, and by the end of the trip am definitely a scruncher. Packing cubes seem to be all the rage at the moment, and it doesn’t matter how you pack, you can still use them. They come in a range of shapes, sizes and colours. So many advantages to these – they keep your clothes ordered; simply place a cube into a drawer at your hotel; perfect for travelling with kids; keep a change of clothes in your hand luggage or even use for shoes or electrical cables. Ebags now ship to Australia, Kathmandu stock a range and Ikea have a cheaper option.

The eleventh day is all about versatility. Every traveller needs a towel. Not a bulky beach type towel, but a light Turkish towel or a microfibre towel. Either will do. They fold up neatly, perfect for suitcases, carry-on bags, backpacks, and hand bags. They may be thin, but they are super absorbent and dry quickly. Not only can they be used instead of ‘seen better days’ hotel towels, they can also be used as beach towels, picnic blankets or sarongs.

And on the twelfth day of Christmas – have I saved the best for last? This one is sure to make you feel all warm and fuzzy, if not a little bit TINGGLY. This is such a great idea! Buy a Tinggly gift box for your traveller. This gives them over 356 experiences to choose from anywhere in the world. And they have 2 years to use it. Prices range from USD79 to USD279. Experiences they can choose from include night diving in Dubrovnik; white water rafting in Nepal; balloon ride in Estonia; vintage biplane flight in Romania; walking with lions in Zimbabwe and a camel ride in Morocco. Honestly the list goes on and on. One of these gift boxes will keep you on their Christmas card list forever!

Hate tackling the shops this time of year? I hear you sister! The internet will be your saviour. Most of these items can be found online. This list is not just a gift guide as most of these are also essentials – yes, even the GoPro: a camera is a must. So whether you are buying for your traveller or for yourself, get your jingle bells on and get your list sorted!

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