Travel gifts: Upgrade your Christmas list
Globetrotting friends? Sophie Lam has the perfect presents
Room at the inn
Mr and Mrs Smith's books are loaded with stylish stays, which can make the selection process tricky. However, you could let the recipient of a Mr and Mrs Smith gift card take their pick (and hope that they choose you as a guest). The sleek black cards are redeemable against any of the collection's hotels, which start at £70 per night.
For something a little more rustic, though no less indulgent (luxury camping, cosy log cabins, romantic barges and roulottes), Canopy and Stars also offers gift cards.
From £50; mrandmrssmith.com; and canopyandstars.co.uk/gift-cards
Yes pleats/no pleats
The Pleats bag is one item that you won't mind creasing up in your luggage. It comes in a range of tropical colours and can be stuffed in a pocket yet will still come out looking as good as new. Ideal for beach or market trips.
If crumples aren't on the agenda, the Shirt Shuttle offers a possible solution. The ergonomic bag transports an ironed shirt in its rigid A4-sized confines, ensuring that it stays crisp and wrinkle-free until it's unpacked – a great gift for business travellers.
Pleats bag £39; Shirt Shuttle £30; conranshop.co.uk
This new skincare creation is a natural cream that claims to use unrefined steam to deliver maximum moisture to dry hands, face or body. SteamCream's compact 75ml size makes it ideal for travelling and the colourful, Japanese-designed range of tins means that it will make for a highly covetable Christmas present or stocking-filler, too.
£10.50; available from Boots and boots.com
Elemental, my dear
Ideal for a weekend break, Elemental Herbology's Holiday Travel Essentials set brings together four of the brand's natural beauty products in carry-on friendly 50ml tubes. Botanicals and plant oils form the base of the body wash, moisturiser, shampoo and conditioner, which come in a zip bag.
Mauritius is a seductive but extravagant prospect. If you can't make the 6,000-mile journey, then let Miller Harris's new Cardamom Sucre candle take you there, if not in body then at least in soul. Created for the island's Le Touessrok resort, its scent was inspired by local spices.
Take a peek
The perfect present for anyone with an interest in wildlife. Binoculars can enhance anything from a day out looking at birds in the countryside, to a safari spotting elusive big cats in the wildlife reserves of Africa, and Magnaloux has a range of 20 to choose from. The LC2 Compact 8x25 is a good introduction and is both robust and waterproof.
From £79.99; magnaloux.co.uk
From the makers of the successful children's suitcase range Trunki, comes SnooziHedz. The bright pink or blue plush animal unzips to reveal a pouch with an inflatable pillow and a cosy blanket with a pocket to tuck teddies in at bedtime.
Evoking the golden age of travel, Aspinal of London's handmade Revival Roller Cabin Bag will inject a big dose of glamour into a mini break. The technical bit: the roll-along bag conforms to most airlines' cabin-baggage dimensions. The covetable bit: it's made from soft, pebble-textured cream leather with contrasting tan leather straps and a silk lining. There is also a handy exterior pocket for last-minute purchases.
Full of beans
Granted that it's not exactly camping weather at the moment, but once the days start getting longer, this could warm up a happy camper in the morning. The Grower's Cup makes a good stocking-filler and promises hot filter coffee on the go. Up to three cups of organic coffee can be enjoyed by filling the pouch with hot water, which filters through the ground beans. It also stops brewing after the first cup, ensuring a decent drink.
In the bag
Otis Batterbee's waxed Grand Tour wash bags deliver on understated, sophisticated style and heritage kudos. The canvas is produced by a British mill founded in 1880 and is waterproof-lined and finished with robust brass hardware. The bags come in two sizes and a range of sleek colourways; unwaxed cotton options are also available.
From £45; otisbatterbee.com
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