5 planet-friendly unique Christmas gifts for travelers

Travelers are a pretty savvy bunch when it comes to judging the health of the planet. After all, a healthy, beautiful planet is what keeps most travelers on the road in search of the earth’s natural masterpieces.

That’s why they’re a difficult group of people to choose really great gifts for. They have all the excuses: too much of a carbon footprint, too plastic, too insensitive to the local communities, etc. etc. The list goes on.

That’s why we’ve compiled 5 eco-friendly products and ideas that might just help you make the right choice when it comes to gifting for the travel-addict in your life. Unique Christmas presents that are fun, novel, and super stocking stuffers.


A Tinggly travel experience gift

Experiential travel is growing in popularity, day by day. People with a passion for travel, and for the health of the planet, want real life-enhancing experiences, not just stuff that clutters their lives and the world’s landfill sites.

Tinggly is an experience gift company that’s leading the change in how we give gifts right through the year, not just as Christmas gift ideas.

Every Tinggly gift box – which comes in a range of prices – contains hundreds of amazing worldwide experiences. Experiences like a horseback lava-tour in Iceland, a wine tour in Australia, an amazing sunset dinner cruise in Hawaii, or a luxurious spa-treatment in Paris. With over 2,000 experiences on offer, there’s bound to be something for every travel aficionado.

And here’s the real bonus. For every gift-experience redeemed, Tinggly promise to remove 33lbs (15kg, or approx. 660 plastic bottles) of harmful plastics from the environment. Along with that, Tinggly also offset any experiences carbon footprint by a huge 200%.

And if that’s not enough, Tinggly has even installed trash-traps in the rivers of Bali to prevent plastics and other trash entering the oceans.

All in all, any Tinggly experience gift is an amazing deal for any travel lover, and for the planet. As their slogan says, ‘Give stories, not stuff’.


Make a donation to an animal shelter

Giving a gift to an animal rescue center is always appreciated. And what’s more, there are so many to choose from; local, national, or international, depending on the preferences of the person you’re gifting for.

Dog and cat shelters, donkey and horse sanctuaries, marine wildlife organizations, bird conservancies, and even rewilding programs, there are probably tens of thousands to choose from. No matter which one you choose your contribution is the perfect gift for every animal lover.

One great example is the Kenyan ‘Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’, a long-standing voluntary project engaged in the care and rerelease of orphaned elephants – and other animals – right across Kenya and East Africa. With the Sheldrick Trust, you buy gifts that actively benefit a wide variety of their viable and wildlife-saving projects. These include their orphan elephant project, an anti-poaching unit, an aerial surveillance program, teams of mobile vets, protecting and saving wildlife habitats, and a community outreach program connecting with, and educating local communities.

Whatever organization you choose to support, every traveler (or anyone else for that matter) will be overjoyed to know that their Christmas gift is going a long way towards doing a good job for our fellow animals.


Offsetting a travel carbon footprint

Love to travel but hate Carbon footprints? So do most frequent travelers.

Thankfully, you now have to opportunity to give a holiday gift that makes the act of traveling an altogether cleaner, greener experience. By purchasing carbon offset credits travelers no longer have to feel so guilty about taking that plane, train, car, or ferry journey.

Carbon offsets are a fantastic way to address climate change and promote the use of renewable energy. Carbon offsets let you minimize your carbon footprint while advocating a more viable future for all of us who share the planet.

Buying carbon offset vouchers can also help promote employment in impoverished communities through tree-planting, plastic-recycling, water pollution projects, and other eco-friendly growth programs.

It’s possible to easily calculate the carbon footprint associated with a particular journey on most of the carbon offset websites. Once you’ve gifted this great gift to a family member, friend, or colleague you’re offering them peace of mind that their travels are making a minimal impact on the environment.


Giving language as a gift

Maybe you know someone planning the travel adventure of a lifetime?

A year in South America. A journey around the world. Or even someone moving long-term to live or study in another country. You can be sure that language will prove to be a barrier at some stage in their adventure.

That’s why a voucher to learn another language is always a great gift for people who love to travel, or even have to travel for a living.

There are thousands of language schools to choose from, offering in-house or online classes. Plus, many tutors are now specialists in teaching languages via Skype or an alternative online application. This option doesn’t restrict the recipient from having to stay at home until they master the language but can supplement their learning experience in the field, and with some qualified assistance.

Do some research and shop around for the most competitive and flexible programs to suit the recipient. Babbel and Udemy might just be good places to start, with the latter not just offering courses in languages but in hundreds of other subjects (which might also make for a great gift).


Ditch the stuff

Rucksacks aren’t very big, but yet they need to hold everything a traveler needs, or may need on their adventures. That’s why seasoned travelers are well aware that every spare inch is so important, and how that space is filled is vital for successful travels.

Travelers know best how they want to fill their rucksacks, so if you decide to buy some random piece of stuff that YOU might like to take on your travels, think again.

Most travelers already have almost every physical thing they need, hiking boots (worn in), laptops, chargers, clothing, notebooks, toiletries, – they know what’s stuff, and what’s not.

At the risk of gifting the wrong things, try to think environmentally friendly, and even better still, try to think of nothing at all. Vouchers, of all kinds, take up no space and usually don’t have any harmful effects on the environment. Vouchers for hostels and hotels, entrance to national parks, adventure experiences that are mindful of the damage they have on the planet, online lessons, and e-books. By using a little imagination and a lot of sound judgment, the list is pretty huge.

What most travelers don’t need is anything that takes precious space in their luggage or stuff that can damage the environment. Gift wisely, and make two people happy.

Start planning and booking your trip

For booking your hotel and guesthouse, look on Booking.com

For booking a hostel, always check on Hostelworld

For travel insurance, I recommend:

1 – World Nomads – Best insurance for adventurous destinations

2 – True Traveller – Best backpacking insurance (only Europeans)

3 – IATI Insurance (5% discount) – Cheapest travel insurance and for travelers above 70

For all your travel gear (trekking equipment, books, etc), check on Amazon

If you want to know all the companies I use to plan my trips, check my travel resources page

Disclosure: As a traveler, I use all the companies I recommend and you should know that, if you buy any service through any of these links, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. These small earnings help me to improve and create more content for Against the Compass. I really appreciate your support :)

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