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Yes folks, it’s February! You know what that means? Valentines Day!
This year, locked down and in the house with your other half all day long...
... you really WON’T have an excuse for forgetting!
SKIP TO THE LIST!
Note from the Ed: We understand that Valentines can be a hard time for some.
People have lost loved ones, and loneliness can feel magnified when others are celebrating their relationships. If you are feeling low on this holiday, please reach out for help from professional services that are waiting to hear from you. Samaritans: Call 116 123 for FREE (UK) Cruse Grief Helpline: Call 0808 808 1677
Normally, my ‘significant other’ and I don’t do Valentines. However this year more than ever, it feels not just necessary but NEEDED! Everyone needs a little pick-me-up as we close in on nearly 365 days of Covid. It does us the world of good to be reminded that we SURVIVED this year, and furthermore, someone is happy that you’re still in the world. More of us will be grieving the loss of loved ones this year, and looking to show our affection to those who have made it through. We have also had to sacrifice some of our greatest pleasures in 2020. Travel abroad is nigh on impossible. Live music and concerts have had a death-blow, and a lot of us are missing quality time spent connecting with others in person.
So I’ve compiled a few lists of Valentines gifts - one for each of the blog focus points.
Valentines Gifts for the Travel-Lover in your Life.
Lockdown is absolute torture to the Footloose and Fancy-Free type. Everyone has been missing their holidays, but travel-lovers need new destinations like they need air. Consider this Gift Guide the Romantic CPR that will keep their heart beating until they can get a new stamp in the passport… For The Taste-Bud Traveller.
In the coming weeks, I’ll blogging about ‘How to Travel When You Can’t Leave Home’, and a big part of that is giving your senses new experiences. Subscription boxes or sampler selections are a great way to discover destinations through cuisine. If you’re going to give chocolates on Valentines Day, why not a WORLD of chocolate, with the Valrhona Grand Cru - Chocolate from 8 different Single Origins. If you lean towards caffeine rather than cocoa, Whittard of Chelsea’s Coffees of The World Gift Set is a treat for your eyes as well as your tastebuds. Thinking of something a bit stronger? Display your drink proudly in this Mixology Decanter Globe from I Want One Of Those (and it's 50% off right now!). Eat.Art allows you to send a Spice Sampler Tribute to one specific county, while the Modern Gourmet Foods Around The World Hot Sauce Sampler gives you 30 flavour adventures! Try to refrain from calling your partner ‘Hot Stuff’ in their Valentines Card!
Valrhona Grand Cru Chocolate Assortment: https://amzn.to/2LgOsKp
Whittard of Chelsea - Coffees of The World Gift Set: https://amzn.to/2NToPQL
Mixology Whiskey Globe from IWOOT (50% off!): https://tidd.ly/2YKP9yL
For Practical Pathfinders.
Let's face it. Travellers often have to be quite practical. If you're buying Valentines gifts for someone who prefers real-world over romance, these should do the trick.
A Travel MultiTool is always a good idea. I've gone for natural materials and this is the second time Rosewood has featured in the Valentines Gift Lists (see also Gifts for Music Lovers). Alternatively, there's a lovely heritage to an Original Swiss Army-Knife, and now you can get those in lovely natural wood too!
Other practical parts of travel include saving the pennies. A Glass Front Travel Fund Money Box lets them see how they're progressing and keeps their mind frugally focussed on the prize. If you're a really lovely partner, you could include their first pound coin or note.
The Solar Power Bank is a great addition to a traveller's packing list - particularly those who are heavy on the electronics (think photos, travel reading and music - allll in our smartphones these days). I have chosen this one because it is brimming with features and benefits. Dustproof, Shockproof, Waterproof - this bank was made rugged. You can charge the bank by power cable, and the solar panels provide on-the-go back-up. There are multiple ports and it will even charge wirelessly for devices that are able! This model also has a built in torch. It's a little belter!
Just because you are practical, doesn't mean you can't enjoy a little travel romance! A Kindle Paperwhite is easy on the eyes in both senses, and allows you to carry a library of beach reading, and destination guides in a slim, light volume. If your Valentine has a tablet - think about discussing this gift beforehand. They may be just as happy with the Kindle App, which frees up cash for an Audible Subscription, Amazon Kindle Unlimited E-Book Subscription, or an Amazon Music Subscription (All of which have 30 day FREE TRIALS!).
Rosewood Multitool UK Legal Blade: https://amzn.to/2YMR7P3
Victorinox Swiss Army Knife Multitool, Wood: https://amzn.to/2LiA04z
Deep Box Frame Travel Fund Money Box: https://amzn.to/3oKxS3r
Solar Power Bank, Wireless, Waterproof, Dustproof Shock Proof: https://amzn.to/3jhFHfL
Kindle Paperwhite | Waterproof, 6" High-Resolution Display, 8GB: https://amzn.to/2MZ2WyU
Audible: 30 Day FREE Trial
Amazon Kindle Unlimited E-Books: 30 Day FREE Trial
Amazon Music Subscription: 30 Day FREE Trial
For The Journalling JourneyMan (or Woman!)
Most travel fans like to memorialise their adventure in one way or another. Scratch Maps are 'having a bit of a moment' right now (I must admit to owning one). However, I like the idea of the Cork Globe, or Cork Wall World Cut-Out Map. These two have the benefit of allowing pins for marking out destination aspirations. You can't un-scratch the Scratch Map. Maybe you could have a cork piece for future planning and the Scratch Map for recording countries visited (she said looking at the ground, guilty of owning both). I've even linked in a few nice choices of Wood, Metal and Flag Shaped Pins! Don't say I nevah giv' ya nuffin' nice! It might be a bit close to the wire for Valentines now, but I was AMAZED by the speed with which CEWE PhotoWorld turned around my PhotoBook at Christmas. The quality is great too, and the interface for designing your book is user-friendly without being limiting. It might even be nicer to gift a photo book as a promise! That way you can spend time together designing the book and re-living your favourite couple travel memories - awwwwww!
I'm trying my hardest to go digital and pack light when it comes to books abroad, hence recommending a Kindle (or even an iPad with the Kindle App!) earlier in the post. That being said, I know a lot of people who wouldn't swap their physical travel journal for the world... well... maybe for a round-the-world trip, but... ... ahem! If your partner loves the romance of scratching their memoirs with ink and paper, this Personalised Leather Bound Notebook with pen is a sensory delight.
14cm Natural Cork Globe: https://amzn.to/3awJsdj
Cork World Map Wall Art from IWOOT: https://tidd.ly/2MqS7pL
Wooden Push Pins: https://amzn.to/36ItqMj
Metal Ball-Top Push Pins: https://amzn.to/39Od1bd
Flag Push Pins: https://amzn.to/2MSQMIb
Scratch the World Travel Map: https://amzn.to/2YY0Rq5
Create Your Own Photobook: at CEWE PhotoWorld
Personalised Leather Travel Journal Notebook A6: https://amzn.to/3pRae6q
For that Special Somewhere Someone.
If there's a special place, that you share a special memory of, with a special someone...
... well, firstly, congratulations, that's a LOT of special!! Secondly, if it's THAT special, why not celebrate it with some gorgeous personalised map-art. Verbatim Art produce all sorts of variations on the theme in print. You can customise the location, messages, colours and frame choices. Meanwhile, if you prefer things a bit more 3D, Lasaris make laser sharp Wood-Cut City Street Maps . Lastly, it doesn't all have to be so large as to take up wall space. These Wood-Cut City Street Map Coasters are small and subtle. Choose a couple of countries from the drop down menu to flesh out your coaster collection.
Verbatim Art Customised Map Hearts In Frame: https://amzn.to/2MxiBpm
Verbatim Art Customise Single Location Map (No Frame): https://amzn.to/3oOYfVQ
Verbatim Art Range: https://amzn.to/36HsgAM
Lasaris Wood-Cut Street Map Range: https://amzn.to/3oPqqE0
Wood-Cut City Map Coasters: https://amzn.to/2MTwBK0
Wearables for your Wanderlust Love.
Jewellery is a great gift for travellers - it's small and portable - 'nuff said.
The Coordinates Wrap Ring and Coordinates Bar Necklace can both be personalised to a special spot on the Earth. The Carrie Clover Couples Coordinates Coin Bracelet Set is even more perfect for those keeping the flame burning over a great distance - you can have a set of personalised coordinates EACH.
I personally collect charms for my bracelets that represent life events and destinations ticked off my bucket list. Thomas Sabo are a firm favourite with me, and make several Specific Destination Charms, like the Eiffel Tower one featured below. Or you could go for a more generalised Travel Charm, such as the Compass, Passport or Vintage Globe Charms below.
Handmade Personalised Silver Coordinates Wrap Ring: https://amzn.to/3azSvtV
Personalised Silver Coordinates Necklace Bar: https://amzn.to/3tu0JMM
Carrie Clover Couples Coordinates Coin Bracelets (2): https://amzn.to/39OI8TM
Thomas Sabo Eiffel Tower Charm: https://amzn.to/39QtknM
Thomas Sabo Silver Compass Charm: https://amzn.to/3pVIs9e
Thomas Sabo Silver Passport Charm: https://amzn.to/2YMYG8o
Thomas Sabo Vintage Globe Charm: https://amzn.to/2YLz3Fi
Have Love, GIVE Travel
Possibly the best news I can give you right now is that it's still possible to gift someone ACTUAL TRAVEL. Red Letter Days are still booking Flight Experiences, (I've always fancied a Hot Air Balloon Flight (hint hint). They also provide Short Breaks in the UK and Europe. Both products come with a 20 month period of usage, giving you plenty of time to get on top of Covid, Brexit and whatever else tries to put spanners in our travel plans!
We will NOT be defeated! If you prefer to stay in the UK, go and be a tourist in your own country when Lockdown eases. MalMaison Hotels are super lush and refund on cancellations right up to 24 hrs in advance! Big-time schecksy Mr & Mrs Smith vibes here!
Red Letter Days Hot Air Ballon Trips & Other Flight Experiences (Good for 20 months): VIEW THE FULL RANGE AT RED LETTER DAYS
Short Breaks (UK & Europe) from Red Letter Days (Good for 20 months):
Tell me in the comments below - are you celebrating Valentines this year? Which of these gifts is on your wish list? What are you giving this year?