Unique Holiday Gifts for Travel Lovers

Any avid traveller will love these gifts (to give or receive) that are both worldly and give back.


This season think about giving gifts in a different way. Rather than filling up the travelers stocking with gadgets, Lonely Planet books and travel journals, give them a gift that will remind them of their travels that year.

Adopt an Elephant

Who doesn’t love an adorable baby elephant? For $50 (USD) you can sponsor an orphaned baby elephant at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust centre in Nairobi for one year. Most orphaned elephants come to the centre after their parents had been killed for the increasingly growing ivory poaching problem in Eastern Africa. Sponsoring an orphaned elephant gives them a second chance. You’ll get photos emails and update on how your elephant is doing and the progress they are making at rehabilitating the elephant into the wild again. With such a huge amount do orphaned elephants and with their numbers dwindling, it’s a gift that will make you feel just as good to give it.

Give the Gift of Hope

One thing many travellers get to experience is seeing how other cultures live and in a lot of cases, how little so many people in the world have. You can help make a difference by giving a gift that helps support the communities in need. Plan Canada is an organization that aides developing countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas by providing tools to help communities grow and prosper. A few examples? A goat (for $75) will give a family milk, protein and eventually the sale of offspring that will provide an income for the family. A fruit tree (such as a mango tree) will provide not only nourishment for the family, but also much needed shade from the sun. Plus, what better way to give back to all the place you have been or wish to go?

Gift Nature

The world is full of some pretty incredible natural wonders — from the vast wilderness of the Rockies to the pristine coral reefs of the Bahamas. The scary truth is that these beautiful destinations have the potential to be threatened if we don’t work to preserve and maintain them. One direct way to give back to Mother Earth is with the Nature Conservancy, a non-profit organization that preserves scenic and ecologically important land all over the globe. Some gifts suggestions include adopting an acre in the Rockies for $50 or helping to protect oyster reefs for $100. The health of our planet is everyone’s responsibility, so we can’t think of a better way to keep things beautiful for generations to come with a gift that endures.

Give Clean and Safe Drinking Water

Most of us take for granted the clean drinking water that comes right from our taps. The reality is many people in developing countries don’t have easy access to fresh water — in Africa alone 40 billion hours a year is spent walking for water and the nearest source is often unprotected and likely contaminated. Charity: water is a non-profit organization that uses 100% of their public donations, yes you read that correctly, to fund clean water projects. Currently working in 20 countries around the world, including Tanzania, Bolivia and Cambodia, as little as $20 can provide clean water to one person.

Style That Gives Back to Women

It’s not difficult to accumulate unique souvenirs during your travels, but what if you could purchase a hand-made gift that gave back to the woman who created it? Global Goods Partners works with artisans all over the globe (in almost 20 countries), helping them to sell hand-crafted, fair trade products with a goal of helping to improve the economic status of women in marginalized countries. Gifts you’ll find include a chic silk scarf ($120) woven from an artist in Cambodia, a bold decorative vase ($150) all the way from Swaziland or a cozy knit alpaca cap ($55) from Bolivia.

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