If the travel bug has bitten your friend, family member or a loved one, and there’s no cure to their affliction, your best bet would be to gift them something travel-friendly. There are some obvious options in the market—even run-of-the-mill, I’d say—but put a little bit of thought into it, and certain variants and alternatives worth considering pop up. The giftee too, will go, “oh, you’ve put so much effort here!” And, yet, all you did was go through the options below. We would still call it a smart move:
Backpacks: We’re not asking you to purchase the next satchel you see at Big Bazaar, but, instead, the very practical ‘trekking bag’ and rucksack. I recommend water-resistant ones. And their capacity should be at least 40L-45L in order to easily fit clothes, food and other travel necessities.
Powerbanks: What would happen to us without our smartphones? Pretty much nothing, if you ask our ancestors, but since now human beings are so dependent on the device, a powerbank has become a necessity when on the trot. It’s not just that: a smartphone enables access to GPS and calling, it allows you to capture scenic photographs, and it is equipped with apps that will only make your travel experience smoother. And even the best smartphones need juice, so go ahead and gift a powebank (10,000MaH should suffice; it can charge most phones at least thrice).
Books: As Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is no friend as loyal as a book”. So gift your friend a nice travel companion, perhaps something vivid and descriptive, to help fuel their imagination while exploring new destinations. I prefer romantic novels, but I’ll leave you with a mixture of a few genres here: The Secret History by Donna Tartt, The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed.
Even better for a traveller is the Amazon Kindle. A host of books bundled into a single device with e-ink technology that makes the text appear like a real book: this is gift gold.
Maps: As much as we’re thankful for Google Maps, it helps to keep a physical map handy just in case the smartphone decides to bite the dust. But nobody in their right mind gifts a map…unless we’re talking about a scratch-able one (where you scratch the coating to highlight a region). Your friend can pin it up at home and scratch off the places they’ve visited. It is much better than a figurative bucket list. It is also a reasonable buy, but the giftee doesn’t need to know that.
Camera: The camera is a traveller’s best friend. Consider it their electronic eye, shooting and making videos along the way. There are better cameras to recommend, but one that I’ll stress upon is the GoPro Hero 7, which guarantees high quality photography and ease of operation. Smartphoners can go for a telescope lens kit, which is, again, quite reasonable and great to get more out of your phone’s camera.
A romantic gift is the Polaroid camera. The Fujifilm Instax Mini looks pretty, it doesn’t cost more than a few thousand rupees, and it does the job quite well. You can always use it to capture the smile on the face of the giftee once they receive it—instantaneously.