7 last-minute Christmas gift ideas for tragic travellers

We all know at least one tragic traveller who loves nothing more than exploring exotic countries and bragging about it. But it can be hard to know what to give someone who “values experiences more than material possessions.”

Don’t worry – The Tragic Traveller is here to help. Check out these eight Christmas gift ideas for that travel addict who’s impossible to buy for.

A funky passport cover

There’s nothing more crucial to a seasoned traveller than making sure their passport looks cool. You can put a smile on your friend’s face by spending $25 on a cute passport cover that says “Oh, the places you’ll go.” After all, when they’re lost in the Gobi desert with no food or water, they’ll thank you for protecting their passport against the elements.

A compass

If your friend enjoys solo travel, they’re probably exactly the kind of wanker who’d love an old-school compass. Nothing says “I’m an authentic explorer” like navigating the streets of Barcelona with a paper map and a compass, even though you’ve got a smartphone in your pocket.

We get it, you don’t have an iPhone …

A pocket knife

Whether they’re repairing a hole in their jeans, removing a splinter, or fending off a hoard of drug-crazed muggers, your friend will appreciate having a pocket knife while they travel. 

A harmonica

With this affordable, pocket-sized Christmas gift, you can turn your friend into a terrible musician. Give them a harmonica, and before you know it they’ll be annoying hostel guests all over the world.

An artsy notebook

Your friend wants to appear as Bohemian as possible when they’re on the road. What better way to do that than by keeping a diary in their handmade, recycled, fair-trade notebook? Look for the perfect notebook at overpriced craft markets; the more battered it looks, the better. 

Cool story, bro.

Class-A narcotics

Good drugs are almost impossible to find in a lot of countries, especially in Southeast Asia and Africa. If your friend is partial to some party pills, make sure you stock them up before their trip. You can add to the surprise by stashing the gear in their bag and not telling them about it.


Admit it – all these other gifts suck compared to cold hard cash. So, if you haven’t found any inspiration in this article, just give your friend a $20 note and see them on their way. If they’re a decent traveller, they should be able to turn that into a week’s worth of living on the road. 

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