Christmas gift ideas 2014: 12 gifts for travelers

Rhea Claire Madarang
Christmas gift ideas 2014: 12 gifts for travelers
A scratch map, a selfie stick, an anti-theft travel bag, and more gift ideas for travelers

Buying travelers gifts they can actually use can be daunting, especially on a budget. But with a little research and creativity, you can pick a gift that will make your traveler friends happy.

Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing a gift for travelers:

1. What’s their travel style? This is easier to answer if you have traveled with them – you might have seen how they move, what items they bring, and what they might still need. Perhaps If you have not traveled with them, a little social media sleuthing can also help. You can also ask their travel buddies.

2. Go for useful or inspiring. Buy something they can actually use or something that will inspire them to keep traveling or to aim for their dream destination.

3. Don’t limit your options to malls. There are online shops selling great products, too – and, sometimes cheaper. And don’t forget tiangges (flea markets)!

Below is a list of gift suggestions which covers all budgets:

1. The Headware

Photos from

The Headware is a nifty and versatile accessory that can be used as a bandanna, head band, sweat band, dust mask, eye mask, scarf, and even a tube top – perfect for both men and women. 

Watch how to wear the different styles of Headware here.

Price: P395 for regular designs, P455 for limited edition designs with longer cloth 

Get this at: See Headware’s partner retailers here. You may also buy online. 

2. Travel container set 

FOR THE PRACTICAL PACKER. A travel set like this (P95) perfectly keeps and organizes liquids for a short trip. Photo from

This is a classic and practical gift for light packers, and also takes into consideration the 100 ml limit for handcarried liquids on flights. Buy a set travel kit with containers for liquids and creams, or buy containers separately and put them together in a travel kit.

Price: P95 for the travel set, individual containers P20 onwards

Get this at: Beabi branches in malls like SM and Ayala malls. Beabi has a wide range of travel-sized bottles and other containers.

3. Packing cubes

LIGHTWEIGHT. This packing cube set has a lighter fabric. Available at Paccube (P450). Photo from

Help your traveler friends easily organize and separate different clothes through packing cubes. With their clothes organized in cubes, they won’t need to take everything – or many things – out of their bag just to find one item. Packing cubes can also be used to separate clean and dirty clothes.

Price: Regular packing cube sets start at P450. Individual packing cubes as low as P110.

Get this at: Paccube online store 

4. Luggage scale

OVERWEIGHT CHECK. This analog weighing scale is available at Quirks, Novelties & Curiosities (P695). Photo from

This is especially useful when they are going home and need to check if their souvenirs and pasalubong do not go beyond the baggage limit, or when they want to check if their luggage is within the handcarry weight limit. 

Price: Can go as low as P300 online, and can go higher than P1,000 especially for established brands at travel stores

Get this at: SM Department Stores, The Travel Club, Quirks Novelties & Curiosities, other travel shops, and online stores like Lazada 

5. Anti-theft travel bag

SAFETY FIRST. These anti-theft travel bags are perfect for exploring cities. (Left) Venturesafe™ 150 GII cross body pack at P3,790 (Right) Citysafe™ 100 GII petite handbag at P2,990. Photos from

With a slash-proof body and straps, zipper pullers that prevent thieves from digging into the bag, and even RFID-blocking pockets that protect against identity theft so that passport and credit card details are not easily stolen, Pacsafe bags are great for travelers keen on security.

Price: Anti-theft travel bags start at P2,990. Cross-body bags are at P3,790 and P3,990. Backpacks over P5,000

Get this at: Pacsafe partner retailers like Bratpack, The Travel Club, ROX, and SM Department Stores

6. External hard drive

FOR TRAVEL PHOTOS. External hard drives effecttively store and back up files like photos. This 500 GB Seagate external hard drive bought at SM Cyberzone is now valued at P2,750

For frequent travelers especially, photos can easily take up space in memory cards and laptps, which easily makes an external hard drive a very useful gift – after all, as long as travelers keep traveling, more photos will be added to their data banks. 

Price: May be as low as P2,500 for 500 GB storage, P3,500 for 1 TB storage, and over P6,000 for 2 TB storage 

Get this at: Computer and electronic shops like SM Cyberzone and shops at Gilmore, Quezon City

7. Monopod (selfie stick)

SELFIE HELP. Monopods are widely available. The black unbranded one here was bought for P700 at Starmall Mandaluyong, and the pink (also unbranded) one for P150 at a tiangge in Alabang. Photo by Jun Baris

With two of the Philippines’ cities recognized as the selfie capitals of the world, this monopod a.k.a selfie stick just has to make this list. 

Help your traveler friends easily take photos of themselves during solo travel, or take group photos without having to ask others to do it. 

Price: Usually as low as P300 in gadget stores in malls, and even as low as P150 in tiangges (flea markets)

Get this at: Gadget stores in malls (e.g. SM Cyberzone), tiangges, and online shops

8. Philippines scratch map 

WORLD TRAVEL. Scratch out destinations around the world, too! Photo courtesy of Quirks Novelties & Curiosities

This unique map is for travelers to scratch at each time they visit a new place in the Philippines. As their scratching reveals the color of each province, they will be inspired to visit more places in our country. 

There is also a world map version of the scratch map, which will be available on the week of Christmas Day. 

Price: P1350

Get this at: Quirks, Novelties & Curiosities branches at Power Plant Mall, SM Megamall, SM Aura Premier, and Shangri-La Plaza Mall, and partner retailers like Bratpack. See complete list here. 

9. Travel-themed notebooks and planners

Photo by Manman Dejeto/Rappler

Look carefully at some mall’s department stores and you will find notebooks with inspiring words, as well as photos or illustrations of destinations. Travelers will be happily reminded to keep traveling or planning their dream destinations whenever they write on these notebooks. 

Or, you can get not just a notebook but a travel-inspired planner. The NAVI planner has colorful illustrations and nice reminders to “travel curious” and “have a worthwhile journey.” READ: 26 Beautiful (and useful) planners, journals and diaries for 2015 

Price: Notebooks start at P24.75. NAVI planner is P598.

Get this at: Landmark and SM Department Stores for the notebooks, and National Bookstore, Powerbooks and Fully Booked for the NAVI planner. Click here for the complete list of branches where the NAVI planner is available.

10. Travel-inspired wall and desk decor 

FOR THE TRAVELER’S DESK. Let travel quotes inspire them. Available at Papemelroti (P198). Photo from

Give traveler friends a constant reminder about the beauty of travel in their rooms or offices through wall and desk decor with words inspiring adventure. 

Price: Small wall decor starts at P89, while the small desk decor with easel starts at P149.

Get this at: Papemelroti branches. Click here for the complete list. 

11. Books or e-books filled with tales of travel

TRAVEL TALES. This collection of travel stories is available at Amazon for $11.99, and by special order at Powerbooks and Fully Booked

Let your traveler friends be awed and inspired by other people’s great adventures. Lonely Planet’s collected travel stories like Better Than Fiction: True Travel Tales From Great Fiction Writers and A Fork In The Road (on travel cuisine) are usually crowd pleasers, but you can also buy novels like On The Road by Jack Kerouac and Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. See this list for some of the greatest travel books recommended by travel site Matador. Just make sure the book you buy fits your friends’ taste.

Price: Depends on book, but usually travel e-books on Amazon are $10 or up 

Get this at: Bookstores like Powerbooks, Fully Booked and National Bookstore for the physical copies, and online book sellers like and Kobo Books for e-books.

Tip: Many current travel books like the Lonely Planet one are not readily available in Philippine bookstores – they have limited stocks or are by special order. For hard-to-find book titles, an e-book gift may be your best choice. Amazon, for example, offers an option to buy books as gifts, whether you or the one receiving your gift has a Kindle device or not. 

12. Gadget wire and plug organizer 

NO TANGLES. With this organizer, packing wires and plugs of different gadgets becomes easier. This bag available at Beabi for P215. Photo from

If your friends carry different gadgets like a phone, camera, and power bank while on their trips, packing and keeping wires and plugs organized can be a challenge. With a gadget organizer, the task might not be such an ordeal.   

Price: Bag with four compartments at P215, bag with six compartments at P265 

Get this at: Beabi branches in malls like SM and Ayala malls.


Vintage travel background from Shutterstock

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