On the hunt for last-minute gifts for travellers?
You’re in the right place!
I’ve curated a list of my favourite South African brands creating gorgeous gifts for globetrotters.
Think of this post as a sneak peek into travel lovers wish list (without the expensive plane tickets to Europe and Fiji).
So if you’re a wait-to-the-last-minute stress ball shopper like, take a deep breath and add one of these affordable travel-themed gift ideas to your basket!
FYI: I have included one or two international brands with shops in the country.
Psst…Want more gift guide inspiration? Check out these other posts:
- The Best Gifts for Hikers: The Ultimate List for Every Budget
- Gifts for Travel Photographers: The Ultimate Photographer Gift Guide
- 20 Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Travellers
Table of Contents
- Wanderlust Inspired Gifts
- Practical Travel Gifts
- Wanderlust Clothing
- Tech & Travel Gear Gifts
- Experiential Travel Gifts
Wanderlust Inspired Gifts
Necklaces and earrings are travel-themed accessories to flaunt your love affair with the world.
Stoked has a gorgeous selection to choose from including one of my favourite pieces: An African continent pendant.
Check them out here.
There is something deeply satisfying about scratchable world maps.
Scratch away at all the countries you’ve explored and show off your wanderlust to all your visitors.
It’s the perfect gift for chronic travellers who need a global pandemic to stay in the same country for longer than three months.
But a gift like this comes with great responsibility. You might become get talked into an impromptu trip to Russia – the largest scratchable area on the map.
Passport holders are one of the best (and uber affordable) gifts you can buy a traveller.
The only reason my passport is in such good condition and isn’t stuck together with sellotape, superglue and hope is because my boyfriend bought me one a few years ago.
Oddly enough, it’s a travel essential I never thought to get myself.
Grab one from:
A luggage tag is proof that awesome travel gifts don’t need you to take out a second mortgage.
Frequent travellers use their luggage constantly, and a luggage tag can help them quickly identify their bag.
The Joinery (a sustainable South African brand) has a stylish luggage tag made from recycled plastic bottle felt.
Or you can get a personalised, handcrafted one from Cape Town brand Journey.
Many avid travellers are hardcore hoarders (myself included) whether it’s collecting passports, boarding passes or knick-knacks from far-flung destinations.
That’s why you can’t go wrong with a travel journal.
Bestow it upon the traveller in your life and help them document their global adventures.
Practical Travel Gifts
Looking for some serious brownie points? Gift your wanderluster with a nifty, yet aesthetically pleasing travel bag.
There are plenty to choose from, but only two leading contenders in my books.
Your first option is Rowdy. Their rucksacks are not only practical and durable but look great in photos around the globe.
And if you’re looking to seriously spoil someone this festive season, splurge on Rowdy’s duffel bag.
It’s one of my favourite travel companions!
Coming in second is Thandana Bags.
The proudly South African brand creates beautiful cosmetic bags with all the zips and compartments to keep any globetrotter organised.
Eco-Friendly Travel Toiletries
An under-rated travel gift? Toiletries.
It’s something we all need, but few of us stop to think about the environmental impact of all those tiny plastic travel-sized bottles.
You’ll give the gift of travel-sized hygiene while also helping the Earth at the same time. It’s a win-win.
I’m all about packing light and avoiding pesky checked luggage fees which makes a carry-on suitcase the ultimate practical gift.
Not sure which one to pick? I always recommend Escape Society’s range.
Mine has been all around the world with me, and it has not let me down.
P.S. If you’re buying a gift for a business traveller or a digital nomad, get the carry-on with the front-loading laptop pocket. You’ll be their favourite person forever.
Reusable Coffee Travel Cup
From road trips to running around foreign cities, a reusable travel cup is an incredibly useful and affordable travel gift.
Be the hero this holiday season and get one for the coffee addict who can’t stop catching flights.
Some travellers are super Type A and pedantic.
Then you have travellers like me who are messy, disorganised and almost miss flights.
A travel wallet is a useful gift for making sure nothing gets lost. Well, at least less often than usual.
There is no ‘tin’ taste, and it’s the perfect serving amount. Plus, you can fit it in your bag and not have to worry about broken glass and the extra weight.
Gift your wine lover a case of wine in a can for their 2021 adventures!
Personally, I’m always looking for an excuse to show off my travel addiction.
I could happily wear a t-shirt or hoodie declaring “physically I’m here, mentally I’m on a beach in Bali” for the rest of my life.
Adventure Baby is a local brand created by my friend Melissa Brown. Browse her collection of hoodies, hats and t-shirts. Just don’t forget to order the right size. 😉
Not the perfect fit?
If your traveller spends ALOT of time chasing sunsets, waterfalls and storms, gift them a raincoat from Forecast.
The colours pop in photographs, and it’s a gift any outdoor lover needs.
Drool-Worthy Head Gear
You know what a traveller always needs? A trusty hat.
Not only do they look fabulous in photos, but you can keep skin cancer and sunburns at bay.
My favourite “Instagram” that I bring on all my safari trips is the “Morgan” from SunHats.
So much so, I’ve bought the same hat twice. The first one met an untimely demise at the Valley of Desolation (fitting, I know).
But if your traveller prefers casual caps to epic hats, head on over to Stoked and pick up the mustard Shaka hat. I bring mine on all my hiking adventures, and the colour looks incredible in photos.
Environmentally-Friendly Designer Swimwear
Searching for the perfect gift for someone who is always in the water or likes to sit near water? *cough* me *cough*
Gabrielle Swimwear is the answer to your prayers.
Not only are the designs drop-dead gorgeous, but the suits are made from plastic bottles!
The Protea one-piece is my fav, and it’s currently on sale!
Ridiculously Good-Looking Adventure Jackets
Calling all hikers and landscape photographers who run around in the wilderness in the wee hours of the morning!
This ombre down jacket from Cape Union is:
- Ridiculously good looking
- Uber lightweight and compressible
- Insulated the house
- 100% windproof and vapour-permeable
In short, it’s the ultimate gift for travellers who are always climbing mountains.
Tech & Travel Gear Gifts
Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones
I don’t put a foot near a plane, train or bus without my wireless headphones.
It’s an absolute lifesaver for your sanity as well as an excuse to avoid getting into conversations with strange men.
The only downside? It’s one of the few travel gifts which come with a hefty price tag but are so, so worth it.
A travel hammock is a perfect gift for the outdoorsy type.
It’s ideal for hikes, missions into forests, and beach days.
With a versatile gift like this under the tree, you’ll win the festive season without breaking the bank.
Experiential Travel Gifts
Gift a Travel Experience
If there’s one thing I value more than gadgets and delicious pizza from Naples, it experiences.
After all, that’s why we travel.
We don’t sit on planes for 8-hours for stuff, but for all the wonderful new things we get to add to our memory banks.
While international travel is a bit iffy at the moment, you can still gift a local experience around South Africa.
Does your traveller love hiking? Gift them a spot on a Tugela Falls overnight hike!
Do they ooze all things luxury and high-end? Buy a gift card for a luxury lodge in Kruger National Park. Kruger Shalati – The Train on the Bridge is the park’s newest offering and is the definition of an opulent safari getaway.
I hope you got some ideas from this roundup of the best gifts for travellers from South African brands! If I left out any good ones, let me know in the comments. I’m always on the lookout for new local brands to support!
🎵If you like it then you should put a pin on it🎵