A look at my travel-related Christmas gifts!

Image credit: Kris Mouser-Brown/Flickr

Image credit: Kris Mouser-Brown/Flickr

Unfortunately Christmas – let’s face it, the best time of the year – has officially come to an end. Though while there are festivities left to enjoy, there is also the small matter or revelling in gifts received and Christmas money to spend.

And while many of us will have been the recipients of selection boxes and Lynx gift sets (I’m looking at every male in the UK), there will probably have been a few useful bits and pieces thrown in amongst the trove.

Some of you may remember the post I did a month ago, suggesting ten ‘stocking fillers’ for travellers this Christmas, and even I, myself, was hoping to find some of those things delivered to me by Father Christmas on Christmas Day.

One of them indeed was, but I also got some other things to help with my travels, and was also able to put towards some of the money and gift vouchers I’d received towards travel goods, too.

Here are the highlights.

Money belt

An Eagle Creek money belt, fitted with an inside zipper to store monetary notes in.

An Eagle Creek money belt, fitted with an inside zipper to store monetary notes in.

The first thing on my ten stocking fillers list was one thing that was actually found in my Christmas stocking. Maybe my parents didn’t scroll any further than number one, maybe they thought it was the best of the bunch.

Although not a practical device, because it wouldn’t be convenient or appropriate to have to look like you’re disrobing every time you need some cash, it is a safe way of keeping money on your person, making it extremely difficult for pickpockets to get access.

Where you can get it: Cotswold Outdoor

Price: £11

Dollars

Image credit: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

Image credit: Thomas Hawk/Flickr

One of my Christmas cards this year, off my brother, contained a crisp $10 note. That may seem like a strange gift, but he turns 18 next year, and for his birthday our Dad is paying for us to go to New York City for a week, and so it will come in handy down the line.

But more to come on that in a few weeks.

Where you can get it: Travelex

Price: N/A

Travel hair mousse

It's even difficult to find online, surprisingly.

It's even difficult to find online, surprisingly.

This was quite possibly the best thing to come about because of Christmas this year. Yes, I use hair mousse, hair gel and hairspray to groom my hair spray, but getting these things travel sized – that’s 100ml or less – isn’t easy.

Hairspray isn’t too bad and is pretty easily available, but finding the right hair gel could be simpler. It seems to be that you, illogically, pay more for less, and the range is, by far, less varied.

While travel mousse is, or rather was, a lot more difficult to find. Very few websites offer hair mousse in cans as small as 100ml, and those that do look quite dodgy. I’ve even struggles finding it in big stores in Manchester.

So I was surprised to stumble across some when I nipped into Bodycare the other day to find cans of 75ml hair mousse for sale at an amazing 49 pence each. Suffice to say I was both surprised and excited, so I bought three to create a personal supply.

Christmas money well spent.

Where you can get it: Bodycare (In-store only)

Price: £0.49

HP Pavillion Laptop

The HP Pavilion x360 has touchscreen capability, and 360-degree hinges to allow it to convert into a tablet. Image credit: Currys/Fair use

The HP Pavilion x360 has touchscreen capability, and 360-degree hinges to allow it to convert into a tablet. Image credit: Currys/Fair use

I’ve been looking at getting a new laptop for a while now. That’s not because my main one is at the ripe-old age of four, but because I wanted something more portable to take with me on my travels.

I came across the versatile HP Pavillion x360 for £249 on Currys’ website – about £100 cheaper than most other websites were charging, and £30 less than what it is currently.

It can be used as either a laptop or tablet, though I’ll probably get more use out of it as the former, and is only 11.6-inches, which means that it will slip right into my hand luggage without putting me in danger of overstepping any airline regulations.

Where you can get it: Currys

Price: £280

Scratch map

Image credit: Luckies/Fair use

Image credit: Luckies/Fair use

I know at least two other people who received these for Christmas, and having only recently finding out about them, I love the idea.

A scratch map is a different kind of checklist, and the idea is to scratch off the gold foil of countries you visit after each trip away, in a similar fashion to how you would remove panels on a scratchcard.

I’m excited to get mine started, but I’m saving it until I return from Oslo in a couple of weeks to begin finding out what’s underneath.

Where you can get it: Luckies 

Price: £11

Canon PowerShot Camera

It may not be the S110 or the S120, but the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS seemed like a great alternative.

It may not be the S110 or the S120, but the Canon PowerShot SX610 HS seemed like a great alternative.

I’ve wanted to get a camera to accompany me for a while now. I’ve heard the expression before that ‘the best camera is the one you have on you,’ but I want to maximise the quality content on my website, and taking better pictures will help with that.

So far, my iPhone’s camera has 8.0 megapixels. And whilst that’s a decent enough camera to capture things on holiday, I wanted an improvement, and the 20.2 megapixel Canon PowerShot SX610 HS is one way to help with that.

I was considering the Canon PowerShot S110 and S120, but unfortunately I could find not find sellers for brand new types of those cameras.

But not to worry, as the SX610 seemed like a good alternative, and also shoots 1080p high definition video, which gives me the flexibility to record as well as snap.

I also see a DSLR in my future, but for now the SX610 will do me just fine.

Where you can get it: Tesco

Price: £128

Magazines

The free calendar, which has already been marked with Oslo, Eindhoven and Belfast for my travels in January, came with January 2016's Lonely Planet magazine.

The free calendar, which has already been marked with Oslo, Eindhoven and Belfast for my travels in January, came with January 2016's Lonely Planet magazine.

I love getting some reading material for whenever I’m going home from university and in transit, or have a few minutes to spare throughout the day, so I was able to use one of the give vouchers I was given to purchase a couple of magazines.

I’m a fan of Lonely Planet Magazine, and this month they were giving away a free calendar alongside the publication itself. I also thought I’d try Wanderlust Magazine, too, as I enjoy their online content and wanted to see how well it translated to magazine.

Where you can get it: WHSmith

Price: £4

 

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