Travel Gifts No One Wants

Warning: this is the Biggest Bah Humbug™️ you’ll read this season.

We all know someone who always seems to be travelling, and when they’re not, they’re planning their next adventure. With the holiday season in full swing, what can you get that one person who can never seem to sit still?

If you’ve Googled it, you’ll find hundreds of results for “Top Gifts for Travel Addicts” and “The 30 Presents You Need To Get A Traveller For Christmas”. We’ve fallen into the trap ourselves and created one of these lists last year.

We have seen the error of our ways.


Don’t Buy Scratch Maps

These are maps of the world where each country is covered in foil. The idea is that when you visit that country, you use a coin to scratch the foil off, revealing a colour underneath. It’s exhilarating. The time it takes to scratch off Spain from your holiday to Marbella is the same amount of time that passes before it stops being fun.

Scratch maps costs around £20-25, which is perfect for keeping within the secret Santa budget or to give to that friend who you don’t well enough to get something personal but still feel obliged to buy a gift for.

A quick search will you show you that the flights on our site are often listed at the same price as four scratch maps. A trip away sounds a lot more appealing than scratched-off foil to us.


Don’t Buy Smart Backpacks

Many backpacks which claim to be the latest thing in travel tech are embarrassing. We’re not going to call any particular brands out because that’s rude and it’s Christmas, but we want to highlight some of our ‘favourite’ elements.

  • Built-in phone chargers and power banks as a feature of a backpack are pointless to pay extra for when you are able to buy portable chargers which you can take out of your bag.
  • An LED light and speaker. We can’t imagine that if you’re sat on an overnight train during an interrailing trip of a lifetime, an LED light on your backpack and the tinny sound of your Spotify playlist is going to be enjoyable for anyone. Maybe you’re out camping or in a hostel room, in which case we say stick to portable Bluetooth speakers and the torch on your phone.
  • Anti-theft is a fairly loose term when it comes to tech backpacks. You expect to get something with reinforced steel handles to stop it getting cut off your body and GPS trackers in case it does end up being stolen. Yet, some manufacturers consider hidden pockets anti-theft. Seriously.

Buy them a normal backpack and the tech to go with it, if they don’t have it already. Or you could buy them the backpacking trip itself...


man wearing black backpack


Don’t Buy Travel Journals

There are lots of journals specifically for travel out there, with pockets for tickets and sections where you list your favourite foods, your bucket list and stick in pictures from your trip. Does anyone really print off all their vacation photographs anymore? We have our phones to document our lives now, whether we decide to post on Instagram or just create an album in our camera roll. Plus, you’re not going to pack a bulging scrapbook when you’re sightseeing or try to make room for it in your hand luggage instead of an extra pair of jeans.

Even if you do start it, you’re more likely to leave it half-finished with a few museum receipts and a page about the hotel you stayed at, than have a complete book of your travels.

Travel journals can cost anywhere upwards of £20 each. What if you could buy them a train ticket they will actually use?


Don’t Buy An Instant Camera

You know those cute pastel instant cameras which have become popular again? We wouldn’t bother getting this for the traveller in your life. They’re bulky to carry around in your bag, particularly if you’re trying to travel light. On top of that, you can’t even capture very many pictures as the film is so expensive.

It’s £80 for a camera and just 20 shots worth of film, which need to be replaced for another £16.99 every time. On, you can buy a flight from Edinburgh to Athens for less than that.


Polaroids scattered across open map


Don’t Buy On-The-Road Cocktail Kits

Who honestly stops in the middle of a journey and wishes they could make themselves a mojito? By the time they’ve bought the ingredients and made the drink, they could have found a bar and be working their way through the cocktail menu. Or even better, you could really treat them and send them to a beautiful holiday resort in the Caribbean!


Don’t Buy “Funny” Slogan T-shirts

keep calm tshirt


They’re not funny.


Don’t Buy Guide Books

Those thick manuals are a thing of the past for a lot of seasoned travellers. As a result of the blog boom (that’s what we’re calling it anyway), you can find a myriad of people giving honest advice and telling their stories online for free and with very little effort. We’ve always been an advocate for bloggers and vloggers as you can’t beat information from people who are there in the moment, experiencing things as they write from all kinds of perspectives.

Although you might feel like a genius for buying your niece or nephew a book about India in anticipation of their gap year, in reality, it’ll probably be left at home as they scroll through their phone for inspiration from Instagram and digital influencers.


“So what you’re telling me is that I should buy my friend who loves to travel a flight ticket? But they’re so expensive!”


Au contraire! If you just click onto our travel marketplace, you will find a huge selection of flights, hotels, cruises, festivals and other travel tickets which don’t break the bank. The people listing on our site are real people who can’t use their travel plans anymore due to unfortunate personal circumstances. They researched and planned their trip before booking so you can treat each listing as a personal recommendation, plus it saves a lot of hassle for you. In addition to that, you’ll be helping someone out by making sure they get some of their money back rather than losing all they spent on their reservation. The holiday season is all about giving so why not extend that to your travel bookings?

This is fantastic news for you because it looks like you put a lot of time and effort into thinking of the perfect gift for them when in reality, it was easy!

Start searching in the world’s number one travel marketplace for the perfect last-minute gift now for the people you love in your life!


  • Christmas
  • Winter Breaks
Posted 4 December 2018

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