Christmas Gifts Guide for Travellers

Stuck for last minute gifts? Try these clever little inventions to make exploring the settings of your favourite TV shows a breeze…

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Aqua Pure Traveller – £27.95

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It may seem a lot for a water bottle, but this is no normal drinking container. It turns any non-salty water source in to safe drinking water. Use this once on a jungle trek, river kayaking adventure or hike up a mountain and you’ll want to go and buy all you can afford, pack them in a suitcase and send them to Africa. We can’t believe incredible technology like this exists. A top product for all off the beaten track travellers. www.outdoorgb.com


 Pure Digital Radio – £79.99

The great thing about this digital wireless is not only that you can pick up all sorts of random digital stations anywhere you go (minus that irritating fuzz from analog radios), but that it’s rechargeable. The heavy duty metal outer shell means it’s a hardy gadget to take travelling, and if you run out of juice you can just plug it in when you get to an electricity point. www.go-electrical.co.uk


ICE Travellers Cashcard – £1-£5000

Pre-paid cash cards are changing the way we spend abroad. The idea is: you charge it with cash (various currencies possible) before you go away, and then use it in restaurants, museums, shops and at the ATM. There are no hidden charges when you spend abroad, you can only spend what you charge and if it gets nicked you don’t have to worry about identity theft or fraud on your bank account. Top one up and give it as a Christmas gift (registration is necessary). www.iceplc.com/prepaid-currency-card


Globalstar GSP-1700 satellite phone – £300

The sailors, trekkers and explorers among us shouldn’t set off without one of these. If you find yourself in a spot of bother with no mobile phone signal, this tiny little device will allow you to call for back up, or simply a chat. It’s got a battery pack that allows for four hours of talk time and 36 hours standby.  Plus, Globalstar have just brought out a pay as you go version (just make sure you top the thing up before you set off). www.amazon.co.uk


Overboard Pro Sports Waterproof Backpack – £49.99

Whether you want to sit around on the beach all day, are going on a river cruise down the Amazon or you’re a watersports addict – this dry bag should become part of your essential kit. It’s 100 per cent waterproof, floats if dropped in the juice, and keeps sand, dust and mud out. Plus, it has nifty reflectors on the side so you can see it bobbing along in the dark. www.over-board.co.uk


Kathmandu solar charger – £14.99

Those jetting off to remote regions should pack one of these portable chargers. Not only will it charge your phone and other devices via the rays around you, but you can also plug it in (in rainy, cold England) before you go and it will store power from USB mains sockets too. It takes 15 hours of sunlight to fully charge this bad boy and three hours via USB. Strap it to your backpack and take it skiing with you and you’ll never be caught short with no phone battery at the top of the mountain. www.kathmandu.co.uk


TaskOne case – £79.99

There’s an app for everything these days, but now your iPhone can even physically open a can of drink or saw some wood. All you need is this multi-functional Swiss Army Knife-style case. Made from a polymer-lined aircraft grade aluminium and polycarbonate exoskeleton, it features 22 hardened stainless steel tools. It has a wood saw, Phillips screwdriver, flathead, pliers, bottle opener, wire stripper and wrench as well. Just don’t pack it in your hand luggage before a flight. www.firebox.com


Pointless Travel game – £7.99

Based on the hit BBC quiz show, players have to give the most obscure answer to get the fewest points. Luckily for us the powers that be have made this highly entertaining game in miniature size, so you can be point-less all over the globe. Hours of entertainment that will liven up any long journey. www.johnlewis.com


Sol Republic Tracks – £99.95

The problem with decent headphones when travelling is that they’re clunky and take up too much room. Yes you can take in-ear headphones, but you’ll lose out on sound quality. The good thing about this inventive set is that you can dismantle them to fit in your bag, without compromising on that all-important deep bass and vocal clarity. You can also change the headband to match you outfit choice. www.store.apple.com



Nikon CoolPix aw100 waterproof digital camera – £189.99

It’s waterproof to 10 metres so you can take it snorkelling, freeze proof so you can take pictures up a mountain and shockproof so you can chuck your luggage around without worrying. Plus, this 16 megapixel, 5x optical zoom compact has GPS, WiFi and an HD movie movie setting. Nikon has got it so right this time. As with all adventure cameras, it is not indestructible and you have treat it with respect (rinse after saltwater use, don’t open compartments under water or it will break, don’t test its shockproof claims by driving over it in a Jeep etc.), but this is a great all-rounder for a reasonable price. www.amazon.co.uk


OPUS Aroma Diffuser – £69.95

Take this portable globe away on holiday with you and it will do four things – light up your room, help you wake up in the morning, add some moisture into the air and make your room smell delightful. Say goodbye to stinky beach huts, hostels and guest houses. www.madebyzen.com


Olloclip – £59.99

The best way to take professional-looking pictures on your iPhone is to get a new lens. The Olloclip offers four very decent-quality lenses  in one small, portable design. One gets you 10x closer, one gets you 15x closer, one gives you a skater-style fish-eye lens and one gives you a wide angle shot – perfect for landscape shots while travelling. www.olloclip.com


NosiLife Convertible Trousers – from £20

Ever been on safari, fishing or in the forest and been attacked by mosquitoes? Yep. Do you hate putting all that chemical gunk all over your body to stop you getting bitten? Well, some clever bod has invented insect-repellent clothing. Amazing. These practical, quick drying and light weight garments come in various shapes and sizes. We were particularly impressed with the camo pants. www.uttings.co.uk


Scrubba – £49.99

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If you’ve ever needed to wash your clothes on the go (at a festival, campsite, in a hotel room), you’ll know that it can be irritating and messy. This little device claims to be the first pocket-sized washing machine. It has a scourer on the inside, which you push back and fourth to get all the stains out of your clothes and is fully water tight, so you could wash stuff on a bus if you had to, without getting water everywhere. www.thescrubba.com