Unique gift ideas for travel lovers in 2021

Christmas gift guide for travel lovers

Disclosure: I may earn a small commission from the companies or products mentioned in this post.

Last Updated on February 12, 2021 by London City Calling

2020 was a pretty difficult year for pretty much everyone – that’s a given – with COVID wreaking havoc across the planet. And while I don’t want to overshadow the more serious issues this year has brought, a lack of travel over the last 9 or so months has certainly been the cherry on top for many people.

Whether it’s been local lockdowns, closed international borders or personal health concerns, trips and holidays have been cancelled left, right and centre this year, leaving travel lovers sulking around at home wistfully browsing online booking sites and scrolling through old holiday photos, waiting for the day they can jet off for new adventures once again.

And while there’s still a long road ahead of us before things are completely back to normal, I think it’s safe to say that the news of a vaccine has most of us heading into the new year with a glimpse of hope and a future trip somewhere in sight for 2021.

But in the meantime, and heading into the holiday season, here are 10 fun gift ideas for travel lovers who can’t travel quite yet…


El Camino Travel Bracelet

El Camino Bracelet, gifts for travel lovers

My own El Camino Bracelet with ‘London’, ‘Italy’, ‘Lockdown 2020’ and ‘Mediterranean Sea’ steps to represent 2020

El Camino is a UK-based company selling custom handmade travel bracelets – the ideal gift for travel lovers who love to keep little memories of their adventures around the world.

The bracelets are fully customisable with individual stainless steel ‘steps’ engraved with countries, cities or custom events (and even personal messages) which you can choose yourself based on your loved ones favourite places and memories. You can also add colourful region and ocean steps or special adventure steps to mix things up a little.

There’s even an exclusive ‘Lockdown 2020’ step out now to remind your giftee that even though they might not have travelled as much as they liked this year, they made it through and there are plenty more adventures still to come in 2021!

Plus, 20% of each COVID-step sale goes to NHS charities so you’re doing a good deed too 🙂

Customise your El Camino travel bracelet here.


The Rainbow Atlas Travel Book

Okay, I may be a little biased here as I’m friends with the author, but The Rainbow Atlas really is a fantastic gift idea for travel lovers planning their upcoming adventures in a post-COVID world.

Taylor’s book takes readers on an exciting journey around 500 of the planet’s most colourful places, from the brightly coloured fishermen’s houses of Burano in Italy to the pink lakes of Western Australia and plenty more exciting destinations guaranteed to brighten up 2021.

Not only is The Rainbow Atlas ideal for inspiring future travel plans but it also makes for a lovely coffee table book too, with so many beautiful photos that would spark anyone’s wanderlust.

Purchase your copy of The Rainbow Atlas here.


Travel Prints

If your loved one can’t head to their favourite destination quite yet then why not bring their special place to them with a gorgeous travel print to liven up their home?

The Travel Print Store Co offers beautiful photo prints from destinations all across the world by two of my favourite travel bloggers Chloe and Macca. I’m also a huge fan of their typography prints with inspiring travel quotes which would make a great addition to any travel lovers walls.

Or for those who love Italy as much as I do, travel bloggers Emily and Andrew from Along Dusty Roads have just realised their utterly stunning Our Late Italian Summer’ print series10% of the profit of each print order from their collection goes to ‘Friends of Inti Wara Yassi’, a small charity engaged in protecting wildlife rescued from illegal trafficking and the conservation of ecosystems in Bolivia.


Portable Power Bank

While it doesn’t seem like the most glamorous gift in the world, nothing comes in handier for a regular traveller than a high-quality portable charger.

Trust me, this is coming from someone who has been left with a dead phone on more than one less-than-ideal occasion while travelling.

There’s absolutely nothing worse than your battery hitting 0% on a long train journey, when you’re in the middle of using Google maps to locate your hotel in a new destination or when trying to load your online boarding pass at the airport.

Ideal of Sweden‘s power banks are my personal favourite.

Not only are they extremely resilient, not too large and store a couple of full phone charges, but they’re also super stylish (you can even get matching phone cases – like mine above) so make for a lovely gift or gift set for your travel-loving friend.

Ideal of Sweden also sell pretty passport covers and other travel-friendly accessories too.

Plus, you can use my code ‘londoncitycalling15‘ for 15% off and free shipping until 28th Feb.

Check out portable chargers here or buy a gift voucher here.


Experience gift ideas for travel lovers in 2021:

Gift ideas for travel lovers who prefer receiving experiences over stuff

Get Your Guide Gift Voucher

If you’ve read many of my travel articles before, you’d have noticed by now that I’m a big fan of Get Your Guide – the online marketplace for booking tours and activities all around the world. 

Well, recently I discovered that Get Your Guide offer gift vouchers which can be purchased online in any amount you pick and printed with a personalised message.

More thoughtful than the classic cash inside a card, a GYG gift voucher will give your recipient the opportunity to choose from a whole variety of exciting tours, attraction tickets, cooking classes and fun activities on their next trip.

Plus, Get Your Guide gift cards are valid up to 3 years from the date of purchase, meaning there’s plenty of time for your loved one to put it to use when they feel ready to start travelling again.

Buy a GYG gift voucher here.


Airbnb Online Travel Experience

Airbnb Online Experience Gift Idea

For those still isolating, in lockdown or just not ready to travel again quite yet, Airbnb Online Experiences allows you to gift a loved one with a unique travel experience without them having to leave the house.

Airbnb Online Experiences come in all shapes and sizes, from singalongs with Broadway stars and online concerts to virtual city tours, international cooking classes, wine tastings, cocktail masterclasses, dance lessons and more, all from the comfort on your (or your giftees) own home.

For experiences such as cooking classes, tastings and masterclasses, you’ll also find the list of ingredients and equipment required online, so you could even put together a nice hamper or gift box to go with the experience, making a thoughtful present idea for travel lovers stuck at home.

A fun and creative way to gift a unique travel experience in 2020.

Search all Airbnb online experiences here.


UK Short Break Gift Box

Red Letter Days Gifts

Even after things start to get back to normal over the coming months, not everyone will feel comfortable jumping on a plane halfway around the world straight away. Fortunately, you can still gift your loved ones with a short stay in the UK or Europe to help ease them back into travel gradually.

Red Letter Days offer fantastic gift boxes which include vouchers for spa breaks, overnight stays, gourmet getaways and minibreaks. All you need to do is send the themed box of your choosing and your giftee can pick the exact date and location of their trip themselves.

All Red Letter Days gift box vouchers are valid for 24 months after purchase.

Purchase your Red Letter Days short break gift box here.


Travel Experience Gift Box

Tinggly Gift Box Travel

Similar to Red Letter Days, Tinggly offers experience gift boxes which come in a range of prices and are themed for different occasions including valentines, Christmas, birthdays, weddings, graduations and more.

With no expiration date, Tinggly gift boxes allow your recipient to choose from hundreds of experiences or getaways from their collection which features awesome adventures, romantic escapes, food and drink experiences and genuine one-of-a-kind activities in over 100 countries around the world.

And the best things about Tinggly? For every gift box purchased, the company also removes 5kg of polluting plastics from the oceans and 200% of CO2 that was created during the chosen experience. Perfect for your sustainability-conscious travel-loving friend or relative.

Purchase your Tinggly gift box here.


Prosecco Tasting Trip Gift Voucher

We all deserve a glass of bubbles or six when the nightmare that has been 2020 finally comes to an end, and where better to do that than right in the heart of the action among the beautiful Italian vineyards.

Italy’s Prosecco Region is located in the northern Veneto region, just an hour away from Venice, and is where the highest denomination of Prosecco is produced.

You don’t have to be a wine aficionado to enjoy a day or two in the Prosecco Hills; wandering through the vineyards taking in the breathtaking scenery, touring the family-run wineries and sampling many – and I mean many – glasses of Prosecco paired with locals cheeses and other delicious treats.

The best way to truly experience Italy’s Prosecco wineries is on a tour with an experienced Prosecco driver who will pick you up from the station and take you around some of the best wineries and other stops in the region (read more about my tasting trip to the Prosecco region with a driver here).

Sound like the perfect post-COVID getaway for that special someone? Well, you can now purchase a Prosecco tour gift voucher which is valid for 2 years after the date of purchase so you can get planning your dream wine-fuelled Italian holiday together.

Buy your Prosecco Tour Gift Voucher here.


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London City Calling

Emily is a born and raised London girl, starting life in the north of the capital then moving down to Fulham in the southwest. She has a master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from University College London and now works full-time running this blog and as a freelance travel writer, splitting her life between London and travelling the world as a digital nomad.

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