Tuesday’s Travel Essentials: Buying Gifts for Family and Friends – 5 Ideas

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Shopping in Iraq: Some cool travel gifts to buy

As a long term traveller, I have to admit that I don’t like everything in the daily grind of life. Most of the time, I’m glad that I’m a traveller as there are a few things in particular I despise:
– Shopping (pet hate)
– Bills (sorry what are they?)
– Shopping (pet hate)
– Deposits (hate them with a passion as you might have read before)
– Shopping (pet hate)

busy shopping street in Guangzhou

Not another day of this?!

I’ll talk about shopping today, obviously. Firstly, most girls love it, but I hate it. It’s just so boring and banal. So guess what? I don’t do it. I don’t do shopping unless
(a) I’m with my girlfriend or
(b) I’m in a new country where I feel I need to buy something or
(c) It’s shopping for something related to travel or football.
In those instances (a) and (b), I dread the thought of hours walking through shops and supermarkets. What a waste of time. But life doesn’t have to be like that anymore in the digital age and I do my shopping online now 😉

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Skip the 5 floors of madness, shop online!

Birthdays, Christmases – all that razmatazz, it’s just needless commercial events where you spend money you don’t have or need to spend on someone else just because society has told you to act that way. Do things in your own style and time, shop online. I do buy gifts for friends and family, and here are five cool items to get for them when you’re away travelling. Bear in mind that they may not all be into travel themselves so the gift doesn’t need to be travel related – a common mistake I used to make, although I do get my Mum a fridge magnet from every new place I visit.

Monday's Money Saving Tips: Communal eating from supermarkets

I hate shopping so much, I even take a trolley home

1. 2015 Birth Year Box
As a long term traveller, I’m not always there for the birth of my friends kids. This cool gift is the year you were born in a box, personalised! Designed Kerrie Lee, the box comes complete with a small envelope for putting in your babies lock of hair, along with space to write your baby’s name and birth date and store photos and gifts from the year they were born. Most of my friends are having babies now – perfect and easy gift, plus easy to buy online.

Gift Box

Gift Box – the year you were born

2. Water Filter Bottle
This is a seriously perfect gift for any of your friends or family that are planning to go travelling, or even just running/hiking or going to work. It’s a bottle of water that has a built in filter in the nozzle to filter out all the crap. You could put water from a waterfall in it and feel confident it’s fresh and clean. While it’s not 100% full proof, I’ve used in myself on my journeys, here’s more information on it. You can use the same bottle and nozzle around 300 times.

travel water filter bottle

My water filter bottle – can be used over and over again

3. Ticket Stub Diary
Women, for me are always the hardest to buy presents for. You never quite know what they want and you never seem to get it right or genuinely make them happy no matter how much time and effort you spend on it. Because of this, I find that spending less time and effort on it works best – i.e. Go to a website, have a quick look and the first thing that shoots out at you, go for it! You can buy the ticket stub diary through this site which also has some quirky gifts for females. The ticket Stub diary allows you to store all your plane tickets, concert tickets etc. in one easy to hold diary. A nice permanent memory of your events or journeys.

Ticket Stub Diary

Ticket Stub Diary

4. Mindshift Gear Backpack
My current backpack (for hand luggage size) is the best one I’ve ever had. It’s the MindShift Gear 180 – which is safe and secure and means when I’m walking, I can swivel all of my important items round to my front in the click and un-click of a button. I wrote a review of my backpack here and I love it.

My New Backpack: The Mindshift Rotation180° Travel Away

My New Backpack: The Mindshift Rotation 180° Travel Away

5. Football Shirts
I come from a football loving family, so my Dad and brothers are easy to buy for. I can get them football shirts or even just t-shirts from various countries and it saves us all time and hassle. Imagine how easy that is – got my Dad a Gibraltar and Uruguay shirt from my adventures and my brothers some Dubai and UAE tops. If the guys in your family are not into football, there are more ideas here to keep them happy.

My Dad and his UAE football shirt, fresh from Dubai

My Dad and his UAE football shirt, fresh from Dubai

A bit of food for thought for you there – it’s important to know that although we love travel, our families may not – so get them something that suits them, but yes you can relate it to your own journey too.

It’s my girlfriend’s birthday this week, just reminding myself! Safe travels and happy shopping!

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