The travel bug bit. Duly noted is the increase in the number of people seeking out adventure as seen on our socials, at least. It is encouraging to see people set out for this path which is quite liberating and rewarding.
While a surprise vacation or a staycation at one of your loved one’s favourite destinations is always great, another receptive tradition is giving one sentimental and useful gifts for their travels. Travellers are a hard group of people to gift because our interests and demands keep changing as much as our gifts are easy to come by.
Since no two travellers are the same, as On The Go Explorers, we are here to represent the different types of travellers and our gift ideas to inspire your friends’, partners’ or family members’ travel adventures. In all ranks of life, the human heart yearns for something beautiful. As we share in our ideas, do let us know in the comment section other thoughtful gifts you may give to a loved one!
I represent the solo travellers league. While travelling alone is the single best gift I can give myself, receiving substantial gifts also lightens me up. I tend to believe its truly simple to make me glow up through gifting. So let’s see some, ready? Let’s go!👣👣
Travel can leave a big carbon footprint. I always try to opt for green and earth-friendly products when possible. Using eco-friendly travel products can make a huge difference in the environmental impact of travellers and help to reduce waste.
Fight the war on plastic with one of these recyclable bamboo toothbrushes. They are kinder to the environment and with their charcoal activated bristles they are also kind on your teeth and come with charcoal powder to help gently whiten your nashers whilst you brush. It’s the perfect gift for those wanting pearly whites!
Stainless-steel folding drinking straws designed to last, these straws are easy to clean and take up little space in your luggage when slipped into their hygienic travel case. I love the one in gold! They also make awesome stocking stuffer gifts!
Cut down on single-use plastic water bottles. These green thing bottles are perfect for hot or cold beverages and are made of stainless steel that is toxin-free.
Replace wasteful makeup wipes for good. These reusable makeup remover pads are made from bamboo velvet and can be reused hundreds of times, saving money ( I care for your coins🤩) and reducing waste. Note the packaging is also plastic-free and can be recycled? Whoop whoop!
While travelling, your cleanser and moisturizer are the most important products to keep your skin in balance and maintain its health. Your cleanser will ensure that you thoroughly remove impurities and makeup. Your facial moisturiser will replenish your skin with the needed skin barrier elements to avoid dehydration or irritation from environmental factors.
Garnier products are amazing for keeping your skin hydrated, specifically if you use air travel. You are exposed to crazy – dry recirculated air. Use special water sprays and drink water. Don’t forget your sunscreen while on the plane, you are closer to the sun and at a higher risk of a burn than on the ground. These masks work wonders! Do try them.
Decathlon (I so love this brand!) are dedicated to making sports accessible to many people as possible, and their incredible range of great value outdoors and sporting goods cover much everything active. As someone looking to do hiking, camping, snorkelling, snowboarding and kayaking more frequently, this is one place where I can get everything under one roof and I’m here for it. I have used their shoes for two years forthwith, they have amazing grip and come in stunning bright colours. If you are Valentine’s shopping for me, I am a size kids section. Haha!
4. Security Door Stop Alarm.
As a female solo traveller, I’ll have to admit that I am more cautious than men while on the road. It’s awful, but we are more physically vulnerable than our male counterparts. A doorstopper alarm comes in handy especially for fellows like me who use Couchsurfing and stay in hotels and hostels alone. This alarm comes in handy when you push the bottom of it under the door from the inside. If anyone tries to open the door while you are in the room, a loud alarm will sound. The wedge-shaped stopper will also jam the door preventing the intruder from opening it.
We travel for romance, we travel for architecture, and we travel to be lost – Ray Bradbury. Mutua Matheka, a travel and architectural photographer does amazing prints of some of his work. This not only reminds me of my Construction career life but also how stunning buildings can have an imprint on your escapades and such tees are worthwhile recollections. I must say Nairobae Neon stole my heart.♥ Insert Mayonde’s lyrics of the beautiful song – Nairobi!
I resonate much with this quote given that my primary love language is quality time. However this does not mean that I do not appreciate the other 4 love languages. Boo, I still need those affirmations and chocolates. Ha!
Good gifting is associated with delving deep into the pockets. However much this is not far from the truth, I believe that the thought and effort especially in knowing the likings of whoever you have in mind is what counts, at least for me. So, what are my gift ideas?
- Glamping (SIEKU GLAMPING)
Nothing would slap better than deepening my connection with my partner through an escapade that will spark up intimacy and experiencing exquisite sunrises/sunsets in isolated spaces away from the buzz of the city. Sieku glamping is this and much more. Activities at Sieku glamping include nature walks, mountain biking, game viewing, swimming, breathtaking picnics and sundowner experiences. Space offers everything that “my quality time” love language would want! Besides enjoying the quality time, time spent at Sieku ensures you appreciate nature and all its greatness.
2. Games (Games Night 254)
Games are great ice breakers among strangers in hostels or on a group trip. Games have a way of bringing out personalities and strengths. Getting involved in board games is one of my favourite social/ pass-time activities especially when indoors or during group travels, over a glass of my favourite drink. UNO, Jenga, Monopoly, Speak out and 50-50 Kenyan Board games are among my favourite games.
3. Boguk Hats (Boguk)
Creative, elegant, unique and classy are the four words that describe the Boguk hats. Boguk is a young label from Nairobi, based in Kibera which works with the local tailors and craftsmen to produce their items. Nothing would authentically complete a look like rocking a locally made brand, especially when in a foreign country. The hat retails at only Ksh, 3000.
A good travel bag is a must-have for any traveller. More importantly, it is more fulfilling when it makes a statement. Gone are days when I would put little effort into purchasing my luggage bags. Travelling is made so much easier with the perfect kind of bags for different kinds of trips. The chosen bag should be durable, comfortable and affordable. Some of the brands that retail such quality bags are Vintara Collections, Yallo Leather and American Tourister.
5. Wrist watch (Sued)
Keeping time is essential in travel. You will need to catch a train, flight or bus at scheduled times. Gifting a loved one a wristwatch that brings them closer home is a thoughtful act. This Kenyan brand does that and so much more. Sued watches offer a statement and trust me, you wouldn’t dare miss out on time with this. If you are not staring down at it, then another person would be and at one point you would have to peep at the time. The watches are embedded with different coloured beads giving you an array of options to select from.
The watch retails at Ksh5500.
6. Bluetooth Speakers (PaceAfrica)
Music is food to the soul. They say. Music is a great unifying factor among strangers. Also the most natural icebreaker among strangers. Music is always a great factor in helping me get by my adventures in a group.
There are great brands for Bluetooth speakers. My go-to brand is Pace Africa, who strive to provide sound tech products affordably. The pace power box doubles up as a power bank, which is also an essential gadget for travellers. It is water-resistant and retails at Ksh.4500.
The Pace Air provides rich bass and crisp audio with a built-in rechargeable Li-on battery of 18650/2600Ma/7.4V. Its playtime is up to 10hours. It retails at Ksh.6000.
Not only can you share in listening to music together, but also think about enjoying a movie from your laptop together in your hostels or shared accommodation!
7. NIKON D5300
As a traveller, I have always wanted to own my camera to capture my memories to my liking. I do not know how I am getting by without this! Nikon D5300 is a nice place to start, being a beginner in the photography world, not only in terms of affordability but in terms of its hyper-portability, sharp image quality, great battery life, and fast performance. At a point in travel, whether you like photography or not, a traveller will be inclined to capturing their precious moments in pictures. It may be a moment of themselves, landscapes or architecture. Different features inspire different travellers.
8. BOOKS/NOVELS (My First Time)
A book is a gift you can open over and over again. Summer reading is a thing! Notably, ardent travellers are also great readers. This is because like travel, books take us through a variety of motions and tackle different themes. When we are not up and about, a good read suffices. At the moment My first-time stories, authored by Janet Mbugua is a great read to grab. 50 different voices narrate their first time encounters with Menstrual periods, in a bid to influence policy change and most importantly curb period shame. The book retails at Ksh.1750.
I am an intrepid traveller who enjoys watersports and hiking. To be gifted and to gift as a traveller is finding the best fits to making my travel journey easier and memorable in the leastways possible. It is a smile on your recipient’s face that counts.
Go pro camera: To capture underwater activities like snorkelling, deep sea and scuba diving activities. Most importantly, to showcase the beauty and different species of life underwater. In so doing, be a champion or ambassador of marine conservation. Being an adrenaline junkie, days ahead of me will see me taking up activities like skydiving, paragliding, ziplining and skywalks, name them and a GoPro camera is the best gadget and a must-have to have to document such experiences.
Hairdryer: An essential tool for travel lovers like myself whose major weakness is water. I see a waterfall, a lake, an ocean, a swimming pool and I instantly want to take a dive. The aftermath of this is usually messy and dripping hair. As a budget traveller, you are most likely to put up in a hostel or camps without facilities like hair dryers. Having a small portable one a lifesaver.
Headlamp: Many are the times I have done hikes and treks that had me descending to the starting point in the dark. While the torches in hand are handy, it is at times hectic when you need to light your path and still support yourself through some of thickets or rocks. A headlamp is easy to pack and offers flexibility for instance during hikes, going through dark tunnels, at a campsite, just to name but a few. A headlamp is an essential asset for a loved one who loves outdoor activities like hikes and camping in the woods for navigation.
Headphones: Sometimes we travel to escape the hustles and bustles of our environment. But before we get to our ideal isolated destinations, we encounter discomforting noises. The endless cries of irritant babies in the train, loud stories and laughs from fellow passengers, the hooting of cars, name them. Noise cancellation headphones come in handy. Get your peace and quiet in chaotic moments
Universal adapter: I understand that not all countries adopt the same charging systems. I cannot imagine how tedious it can be to check into a hotel or hostel only to realize they have a different type of charging outlet. A universal adapter is a great hack for your loved one who is aspiring to venture into international travels. This is one of the things that would totally skip your mind, especially if you are a first-time traveller.
Let me know of other essential gadgets in your travels, or what you would grab for your travelling buddy, family member or lover!
2. A Hammock
A hammock is an easy item which you can throw into your backpack. Find a beautiful spot in nature, hang and relax. Let alone the one pictured, there are super compact, lightweight and portable hammocks, made from comfy and durable parachute nylon that makes a great travel accessory. Picture yourself in your ideal nature spot strung up as you enjoy your idea of magnificent views. For me, it would be on an island or picture-perfect beach, as I watch the sunset over the water.
Fun fact: A hammock could be an alternative accommodation option. Travelling with one does not necessarily mean that you are sacrificing your comfort. On the contrary, it is a spice to the adventure.
3. A wellness package (Crimson Candles)
As much as travelling is fulfilling, it can be tedious. After a long journey or a tiresome excursion, you are likely to yearn for a calming effect. Might be a quick massage or a long hot bath. The crimson wellness package is a go-to brand for me. They are a one-stop-shop for all your scented candles, bath and body treatments and oils and fragrances. There is magic in scents and they contribute so much to our wellness and rejuvenation. Try them out! Contact- (+254) 0775910756.
4. Travel inspired glasses.
A set of travel-inspired glasses speaks volumes when gifted. Personally, I would not mind having them as a theme on my dining set. These are thoughtful gifts and would light up dining times for passionate globetrotters like myself!
5. Travel Journal
Everyone needs to write more during their travels so that you have more to look back on other than your pictures. A journal is important for every traveller in order to note down information like directions, contact information and new words learnt from foreign languages. Document memories clearly, and especially for a writer like me, take note of important information to provide when piecing together an article. When you put entries into a journal, you are likely to capture your emotions at the moment, that when you get to look back at will be of help in travelling back in time.
In case you have been seeking for the perfect gifts for the avid adventurers in your lives we hope these hints go a long away! Share with us your great ideas for gifts and some of the brands that you love!