Christmas gifts for travellers

The top 10 Christmas gifts for travellers

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By Rebecca Hallett
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This competition is now closed. Congratulations to our three winners: Hannah Woodier, Ollie Kemsley and Maria Whitehead.

It’s getting to that time of year again and we’re starting to think about Christmas presents. There’s always one that’s impossible to buy for, but don’t fret, we’ve come to the rescue with the top 10 Christmas gifts for travellers and we’re giving away this bundle of great gifts to THREE lucky winners. All you have to do to enter is sign up or log in to the Rough Guides Community, and answer the following question: “Where would you rather be this Christmas?” posted here.

GreenZero Charger

We’re becoming increasingly conscious of our environmental impact while travelling these days, so you wouldn’t take an hour-long shower or run the AC with the windows open, but a lot of people still charge their smartphone or iPod all night-long – it is more convenient, after all. Avoid using up unnecessary amounts of electricity, and help extend your device’s battery life, with the GreenZero Charger: just plug in, press the button, and when it’s full the GreenZero will stop it charging. Simples!

JBL Charge Wireless Speaker

At about the size of a beer can, this portable speaker packs a surprising punch. With clear, rounded sound and excellent bass you won’t be compromising on quality for this speaker’s portability. It works via cable or Bluetooth, has a ten-hour plus battery life, and can even be used to charge other devices while playing. So whether you’re in a waterlogged tent in Cornwall or on a rooftop terrace in Istanbul, you can still subject the world to that Bublé Christmas album…

Scrubba Washbag

While you can’t drag a washing machine around with you, living in dirty clothes is an experience most of us would like to avoid. Enter the Scrubba wash bag, in which a modern version of the old-fashioned washboard is integrated inside: chuck in clothes, water and soap, scrub for a minute or two, rinse, and hang your clothes up! Bound to become part of every traveller’s kit, this portable bag makes washing your clothes on the go easy and means you won’t have to invest in that “ethnic poncho” to avoid the stench of your shirt.

Vango pocket cutlery set

“Don’t get caught short without a fork” isn’t exactly a well known traveller’s motto, and you might wonder: “who wants to give up valuable bag space to cutlery?” But we’re convinced that this simple Vango set – just a foldable knife, fork and spoon in its fabric case – is so small you can put it in your pocket (just don’t forget about it at airport security), making it easy to find and freeing up extra room in your backpack for more important stuff.

Solarmonkey portable charger

Tested by their “most extreme brand ambassadors”, the SolarMonkey portable charger has got the seal of approval from mountaineers, ultra-marathoners and even the German armed forces. So far so macho, and it comes with some very useful accessories: mobile device adaptors, a USB cable, carabiner and a protective case. If you find yourself up a mountain with low charge and a desperate need to play Angry Birds, this charger is invaluable.

Deuter Futura 24 SL backpack

A lightweight backpack for heavyweight trips, the Deuter Futura (supplied by HolidayHypermarket) comes packed (pun intended) with excellent features. The Air Contact back system keeps you cool and dry in hot conditions, while sturdy padded straps are secure and comfortable. There are ties to carry ice picks, a stretchy outer pocket – plus one for wet items and one for valuables – and a roomy bottom compartment ideal for camping gear. This is an excellent backpack for longer trips, but also light enough for just a really extreme sleepover…

Vango 1W Red Eye Headtorch

It’s 5am, and you need to pack up your last few things and head for the airport, but you’re in a communal dorm. To avoid feeling the concentrated hatred of all your roommates as you sheepishly turn on the light, a head torch like this is essential. Of course it’s invaluable for climbing, hiking and caving too, but never underestimate the wrath of the interrupted sleeper in a cramped dorm room…

Ethnotek Vietnam Messenger Bag

Socially responsible, attractive and practical? This bag has it all. Perfectly sized to fit a 13–15’’ laptop plus accessories, a guidebook (you know which one) and lunch, you’re as likely to use this bag for your commute as your travels. The front flap (and the lining) is made by Ethnotek’s partnering villages in Vietnam, and is a beautiful artisanal product, but if you somehow get bored of it and need a change, you can switch it for one of several other interchangeable front panel designs – known as “threads” – from their website.

SteriPEN Ultra

In many parts of the world, clean drinking water is hard to come by, and if you want to avoid Delhi-belly or a serious waterborne virus, you need to make sure your liquid is safe. The SteriPEN Ultra comes with the Water Quality Association’s Gold Seal, and also happens to be portable, practical and user-friendly: just filter visible debris from your water, stick in the SteriPEN, and its LED display will tell you how long to stir while its UV lamp zaps those nasty bugs away. This could, quite literally, be a lifesaver.

Joby GorillaPod Original

We’ve all been there: you see the perfect shot, but your hand is too shaky to get it, and when you try to use your tripod, there’s not a suitable surface for it to stand on. The solution? The well-known and reliable GorillaPod: a flexible-legged friend that grips onto just about anything. It’s a funny-looking bit of kit, but its ball-and-socket jointed legs are sturdy and stable, and will make the most precariously angled shots easy to get.

Runners up

In true festive style, we wouldn’t want to leave you all out, so we’re also giving away ten of these incredibly useful Journey Latin America metal water bottles in cases – be sure to refill them to save water on your travels. Follow Journey Latin America on Facebook here.

Competition closes 23:59 GMT on 22nd December 2013. See the full Terms & Conditions here.

Enter the competition here.