The 11 best travel gifts for the jet-setter in your life

From a Swiss adventure to a spa getaway and must-have travel gadgets, here are 11 ideas that will enthuse any globetrotter

From booking a special trip to investing in the latest travel-approved technology, these 11 ideas are worth adding to your gifting list. Picture by ConvertKit on Unsplash

There’s no greater gift than the gift of travel. But the logistics of actually giving someone a trip to go on are complicated. How do you gift a vacation when the particulars can be so incredibly personal?

The answers to that question vary. You can absolutely book a surprise trip for someone after sneaking a look at their calendar and passport number – assuming that falls within the approved boundaries of your relationship. But such a move comes with a lot of pressure to get it right.

Gifting a trip can also be a conversation, presented as a sort of voucher that gets redeemed by its recipient when they’re ready to get packing. Or it can be a commitment for the future, to be hatched together.

Whichever direction you go in, presenting the idea with an inspiring physical object – something you’ll use on the road, for instance, or a trinket from your planned destination – can be a perfect gesture.

Here are 11 Christmas gifting ideas for how to create travel magic for someone. They’re fit for life partners, children, and good friends alike – be they travel buddies or plain-old travel lovers.

An epic treasure hunt in Indonesia

Playing pirate has never been as glamorous as with Pelorus Yachting’s new nine-day treasure hunt across Indonesia. Guests can explore remote islands on any of the company’s Phinisi sailing yachts – many come with a massage therapist and kayaks; off-ship thrills include spelunking and diving.

Each activity reveals clues that point towards an eventual treasure chest, filled with a customised trove of rewards – one option includes an extravagance of fine jewellery – all revealed with a beach party under the stars. Our suggestion: gift the first clue, along with dates and a packing list. From €310,595 for up to ten guests.

A weekender with personality

Few luggage brands beat Arlo Skye when it comes to blending practicality with design smarts, and this new weekender created in partnership with the womenswear and home design brand Dusen Dusen is no exception.

The Arlo Skye x Dunsen Dunsen luggage collaboration will add a punch on fun to your travel ensemble

Its colourful, water-tight exterior adds a punch of fun to a spacious bag that’s outfitted with just the right number of multi-use pockets. Slide it over the handle of your carry-on suitcase to balance as much stuff as you’d fit in a large checked bag. €371,95,

Influencer-approved photography gear

Last year, the Fujifilm X100V, beloved by influencers and creatives for its retro styling and its ability to emulate film, was in such high demand, it spawned a new resale market.

Now it’s back in stock and easy to procure. And it’s not just for analogue-lovers; the X100V has a whole range of digital filters and effects, plus an unrivalled ability to focus in low light, that make it the perfect choice for street scenes in any city. From €1,599

The tablet made for travel

Even for people who leave tablets to gather dust around the house, glued instead to their smaller phone screens, the latest Google Pixel Tablet makes a compelling argument.

It comes with a speaker dock that transforms it into more of a family hub, good for accessing music or recipes or simply using as a chic clock.

Where the Pixel shines most is on a plane; its proprietary case has a slim, oval loop made of polished metal on its backside that works as a stand, but also swivels upwards 180 degrees.

That allows you to hang the tablet from the hook closure for your seatback tray table –turning it into a TV screen (or your kids’ favourite movies) for the many airplanes that lack them. From €719

A Swiss adventure on skis and rail

Let the holiday magic roll into the new year by planning a trip to Switzerland, where some of the world’s biggest names in luxury are working on one-upping themselves.

Start in Zurich, where the Mandarin Oriental Savoy – the grandmother of luxury hotels, dating to 1838— is reopening on December 20 after a top-to-bottom restoration.

Grace St. Moritz is a rare newcomer to the Swiss town and features 47 luxurious guestrooms

Then escape to the Alps: The 47-room Grace St. Moritz is a rare newcomer to the ritzy destination, in a location surrounded by several other grand dames (and their excellent restaurants) at the foot of the slopes.

It has a complimentary kids club where you can drop the little ones off while you swish around the pistes; pick a suite in the Grace wing for one of a surprisingly contemporary aesthetic that contrasts the area’s penchant for old-world elegance.

Want to keep the trip chugging along? The new-ish Excellence Class service on the Glacier Express trains offers panoramic views from fancy, partially-glass-topped cars that zip through mountain passes all the way to Zermatt. Prices vary

A spa getaway, near or far

Who would turn down a pampering spa getaway? Depending on your taste for adventure, book it somewhere far-flung or somewhere convenient. New and noteworthy options abound.

The Escape at Banyan Tree Buahan in Bali

There’s the Escape at Banyan Tree Buahan in Bali, where the villas (or ‘bales’) are kept open to the elements. At Ambiente in Sedona, Arizona, you can create your own signature blend of spa oils before any treatment.

And the 180-acre Hacienda Altagracia in Costa Rica, with spa provider The Well has resulted in stunningly comprehensive facilities that range from a series of relaxation pools and thatched-roof yoga pavilions scattered around a mountainous jungle. Prices vary

Tickets to the Olympics

There are many ways to procure tickets to next year’s Olympics in Paris, including as part of extravagant VIP packages with the sporting events company On Location Experiences.

But the simplest way – buying them through the official Paris 2024 website – is still effective, even with only a few months left before the games.

You can still get tickets to plenty of medal qualifying events, from gymnastics to beach volleyball, both in Paris and in other French destinations where the Games are being held.

And if you’re not picky, you can find seats so reasonably priced that you’ll have extra to spend on accommodations at a Palace hotel. From €24

Inspiration for globetrotters-to-be

When minting little travellers, there’s no better place to start than with a spark of inspiration.

Bon Voyage: ‘This Is’ children's travel series book set

This fetching series of travel books for kids by Juniper books will ignite the wanderlust in little ones who’ve yet to locate Hong Kong or Venice on a map – not with kid-forward narratives but with images, descriptions, and painterly illustrations of each city’s cultural draws. Full set for €235,30,

Culinary training with Italy’s best

If you’ve ever looked for culinary classes along your travels, you’ll likely know the options tend to fall into two camps: cooking for dummies and professional crash courses.

At Castello di Ugento in Puglia, Italy, you can find options that suit any level of ambition or commitment, from private one-off workshops to multi-day group courses that cover anything from pastry-making to pasta and cheese production.

You can even set aside a chunk of each day to work in a professional kitchen, while leaving plenty of time to laze by the pool or explore the tiny villages around Salento and Lecce.

And all of it is run by the legendary chef Odette Fada, who is as happy to take guests to farmers markets as she is to run through the technical steps required to produce her signature dish, Ouvo in Raviolo, in which a giant ravioli is stuffed with still-runny egg yolk and topped with truffles. Prices vary

The world’s best hotel bathrobe

If you can’t make it to the best hotel in the world – which this year was Passalacqua in Lake Como, according to the inaugural World’s 50 Best Hotels list – at least you can ship a piece of it home.

Passalacqua bathrobes are embroidered with the hotel’s very chic logo, which consists of three lake fish

Its bathrobes are embroidered with the hotel’s very chic logo, which consists of three lake fish, and have gold piped trim; the subtle branding is very if-you-know-you-know. €145,

A martini master class

Sit at an iconic hotel bar like Bemelmans at New York’s Carlyle Hotel and you’ll wish the walls could talk – though what’s even better is spending time with the bartenders who really can share the best stories.

During the holidays, the Carlyle is selling precisely that kind of access, albeit disguised as a master class in martini making. Learn to shake up the stiff drinks, and you might just get them served with tales of old (and new) Hollywood glamour. €460 per couple,