Left it to the last minute? Again? Ha, yeah I hear you. It’s especially hard to find gifts for ethical travellers.

If the thought of going Christmas shopping has you feeling full of fear and dread – join the club. I loathe nothing more than aimlessly dawdling through malls, markets and marketed shop fronts looking for that ‘perfect‘ gift.

It usually ends with me panicking, over-spending, buying impulsively and feeling exhausted. I’m ashamed to admit, like most, I usually come home with more gifts for myself than for others. And on Christmas day, when the receiver open’s their gift, I never feel like I’ve quite nailed it.

But this year, I’m quietly confident. Read on for the perfect gifts for ethical travellers.

The ‘One Who Has Everything’ Gift

You know what traveler’s love? Travel!

Book a tour, hotel or an experience like a yoga or surf retreat. Wondering where to book ethically? Start here.

G Adventures now have a ‘Ripple Score’,  where you can see exactly how your trip can help change lives of the local people you’ll be visiting.

Intrepid tours are also committed to sustainable tourism, they’re B Corp certified and they carbon offset all trips.

Separately, I discovered Unyolked & similarly in2thewild. If you’ve never heard of them – you need to. A home away from home just 2 hours (or beyond if you need) from Sydney with minimal impact to the environment. Think of these as the ultimate “off the grid” experiences *warning Unyolked weekend bookings sell out quick! Don’t delay. Additionally Unyolked can provide provisions, which look tasty AF, they also service Melbourne.

Lastly, find out if your buddies favourite band or musical are playing in a city they’re about to visit? Get them tickets!

Are they traveling internationally? What about gifting them some money in the local currency of where they’re going and tell them it’s for their first meal on the road? Is there EVEN a better gift then the gift of food? I’ll wait.

A cabin in the middle of nowhere = Yes!

The Thoughtful Gift for ethical travellers

Sometimes the simplest of gifts can mean the most, the problem is that I’ll usually think of the perfect gift two months before or three months after Christmas and then I invariably forget about it. The best part about a thoughtful gift is that it doesn’t have to be super expensive – despite what all the ads on my social media feed will tell me. I’m also well aware that my ‘thoughtful’ is another person’s lame so I guess these might not land for everyone, so here goes:

Why not buy your friend a subscription to an online newspaper like The Australian or Sydney Morning Herald. Better yet, buy their Netflix subscription or upgrade them to Spotify premium.

I recently discovered seed & sprout, perfect for your friend who needs a little kick up their single-use derrière. They sell everything from stainless steel straws, adorable lunch boxes and reusable shopping bags. Plus they’re gorgeous!

Lush cosmetics are an excellent stocking filler, perfect for any ethical traveler. I love their shampoo and conditioner bars.

“Donate a Plate” – Donate a plate to feed a homeless person (or persons) via the Wayside Chapel. 

Or find out what cafe they get their morning coffee from – buy them a month’s worth of coffees.

Also, I’m obsessed with these sustainable & ethical clothing brands, perfect gift for any ethical traveller.

Veja sneakers

Good Studios hard wearing and luxurious basics from natural fibres

Original Weekend the perfect tee for him

Kowtow ‘building block’ basics

Salt Gypsy swim and surf-wear

Pre-paid coffee for a month = DREAM!

The Practical Gift 

You know the things you don’t want to fork out precious dollars for but you actually really need. I put Icebreaker hiking socks and underwear in these categories. They’re annoying to buy because we’d generally rather buy something more exciting. (Full disclosure: I absolutely love buying good quality essentials like socks and undies.)

Why not buy those practical items for your friend. Hiking accessories like a reusable water bottle from Frank Green, hiking poles, hat or a sunglasses strap are always appreciated. I would always recommend Patagonia as a good place to start. If it’s not too awkward to buy your friend underwear, you CANNOT go past ModiBodi or Hannah Pad.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash
Good socks never SUCK

The Sentimental Gift for ethical travellers

Had an epic year of travel with your best buddy? Not sure what to do with all those photo’s and video’s on your phone? Why not create a video for them, app’s like imovie are SO easy to use, albeit a little time consuming. What better gift than the gift of perfectly curated memories. Plus – it’s free!

Know someone who needs a digi-detox? Why not get them a journal? I absolutely love hand writing my adventures, there is nothing more cathartic than pen to paper.

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash
Write, doodle, scribble = The cure to an over-active mind.

The DIY gift 

Work Kris Kringle set their limit to $10 again? The worst. The only gift you can buy for $10 is a contribution to landfill.

Why not make something? Bliss balls, home-made body scrubs, home-made infused body oils or dry shampoo. All of these are great for traveling too!

Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash
Ever made your own body oil? I like a hemp and rosehip blend.

Lastly, the subject of wrapping. This year I’m completely re-using everything I have. I’ve been collecting ribbon, paper, gift bags and cards over the years and I’ll be putting them all to good use. I’m also super smug to be using Who Gives A Crap toilet paper wrappers as my Christmas wrapping paper… you’re welcome family!

who gives a crap
WE gives a crap!

Do you have any gifts for ethical travellers recommendations?

Until next time xo

Originally posted December 2018. Images via Unsplash


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