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Christmas present ideas for frustrated travellers

Find inspiration for adventures in 2021 with this selection of gifts, says Sarah Marshall


Amsterdam, one of the destinations sold by Make My Day.

Amsterdam, one of the destinations sold by Make My Day.

Press Association Images

Amsterdam, one of the destinations sold by Make My Day.

In a year when travel has been reduced to a trot no further than the local supermarket, the lust for long-haul adventures has reached boiling point. But even if holidays may still be on a distant horizon, there's still a very real possibility some normality will resume in 2021, and now is the time to start planning ahead.

Christmas is an ideal opportunity to spark inspiration, with gifts ranging from safari-styled jewellery, to donations made to charitable causes. Below are some ideas for presents to please pent-up globetrotters yearning to explore once again.

A bag for all seasons

The quest for the ultimate travel bag is endless - whether it's a suitcase for long-haul adventures or a backpack for walks in the countryside. Based in the Lake District, outdoor specialists Millican have come up with a collection of sustainable rucksacks designed for mindful travellers, including items made from recycled plastic bottles and recycled waterproof polyester.

Fraser the Rucksack is suitable for tough weather conditions, but attractive enough for urban escapes. It's named after Rob Fraser, a Lake District-based photographer and adventure guide. Available in 18L (£125) and 32L (£155).

Visit homeofmillican.com.

Plan a top secret escape

The thought of escaping on a European city break has never been more tempting, and there's no better way to explore these fabled destinations than with a Mystery Day experience with independent travel company MakeMyDay. Tailored perfectly to your likes and interests - and all Covid-safe, of course - your wax-sealed top secret dossier will detail the day's itinerary with each experience a complete surprise until you meet your guide at the rendezvous point.

You may find yourself learning the bagpipes in Edinburgh, touring London's East End with real-life gangsters or driving around Rome in a vintage Fiat. Gift vouchers available for Christmas.

Visit makemyday.travel.

Give back to those in need

Go back to the true message of Christmas, and it's all about giving. This year has been immensely difficult for so many charities depending on tourism, meaning donations are valued even more than ever.

To help raise funds for essential causes in Latin America, the LATA Foundation has created a collection of Christmas gift certificates: £5 will cover a pair of ballet shoes for a child attending Projeto Vidancar, a dance school for underprivileged children from one of Brazil's favelas; for bigger budgets, £100 will cover one month's worth of PPE equipment for five Mayan midwives operating in remote areas of Guatemala.

Visit latafoundation.org.

Fund conservation through fine crafts

Zimbabwean jewellery designer Patrick Mavros is famous for his beautiful collections of wildlife-inspired pieces, all designed by members of his family. To celebrate the opening of new Botswana property Xigera Safari Lodge - one of the biggest launches for 2021 - he's launched an exclusive Pangolin collection in collaboration with the Red Carnation property set in the heart of the Okavango Delta.

Mimicking the scales of the most trafficked animal in the world, a Haka ring costs from £350 in silver, while a pair of earrings starts at £180. To support the pangolin's continued preservation, 10% of proceeds will be donated to pangolin conservation and rehabilitation.

Visit patrickmavros.com.

Sniff out adventure

While it's not currently possible to travel to Australia, there's still a chance to connect with the great land Down Under through a variety of destination-related scents. Fragrance company Peppermint Grove have a selection of candles, diffusers and bath products designed to conjure up images of Queensland's sunshine coast. Lemongrass & Lime is reminiscent of the Daintree Rainforest, while Oceania invites thoughts of the wonderful Whitsundays. All are sustainably sourced. Prices start from £12.95 for a small candle.

Visit peppermintgroveaustralia.co.uk.

Belfast Telegraph