17 days to Christmas: 5 gift ideas for travel junkies

Kara Santos

Posted at Dec 08 2016 09:00 AM

MANILA -- We all have friends in our lives who just can’t seem to stay put. You know those people bitten by a serious case of wanderlust, who always seem to be chasing waterfalls, hiking up the mountains and heading to the beaches during weekends.

This Christmas, there’s probably nothing more they’d want than a monetary contribution to their travel fund. But if you do want to give them a physical gift, make it something useful.

Here are a few unique gift ideas for the travel junkie in your life.

Akaba backpacks

If there’s one item that travelers appreciate, it’s a backpack that’s both functional and Instagram-worthy. But what’s even better is a backpack that tells a story.

Akaba is an urban lifestyle brand that produces modern knapsacks, backpacks and travel bags that incorporate handwoven textiles from various weaving communities all over the country. This social enterprise by young entrepreneurs Alexander Fong, Daniel Lumain, Kristine Ongtengco and Emmanuel Mariano aims to showcase the rich loom-weaving industry of the Philippines.

Some backpacks feature Sinaluan, woven by ethnic Yakans from Basilan, while others use Ramit from Oriental Mindoro, handwoven in Hanuno Mangyan tradition. Showcasing craftsmanship, modern design and Philippine culture, the bags exemplify Pinoy Pride and are a perfect accessory for culture vultures and jetsetters.

Cost: P3,500 - P4,200 per bag
Where to buy it: Order online from http://www.akaba.co/shop/products or purchase directly from retail partners Board Room, Roots Katipunan, Felipe & Sons and Mabuhay Restop.

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Travel Pillow + Hammock by Hammock Republic

For your beach bummer friends who are always going on long road trips, this 2-in-1 gift is something they’ll surely appreciate. The Duo-yan by Hammock Republic is a travel pillow that transforms into a cocoon-type hammock!

Designed by travel blogger and budget backpacker James Betia of www.journeyingjames.com, this nifty travel essential serves a double purpose. You can use it as a neck pillow during long bus or plane rides. Then, simply unzip the case and remove the hammock inside when you’re ready to hang it up for an afternoon siesta or for your makeshift room for the night. The hammock comes with a heavy duty rope that can hold up to 150 kgs. Some designs even come with a built-in mosquito net and waterproof hammock tarp attachments (sold separately).

Every sale helps provide livelihood to mothers, the home-based sewers in Laguna while 10% of all their profits directly goes to charity.

Cost: P1,100 with free shipping anywhere in the Philippines
Where to buy it: Order online from https://www.facebook.com/hammockrepublic

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Footwear by Lakhambini

The use of native textiles in products is a great way to support local artisans and weavers. There are many products and travel accessories including passport holders, wallets and luggage tags that make use of these in their design. For female travelers, well-designed clothes and footwear are a practical choice.

Lakhambini is a line of footwear by traveler and entrepreneur Mai Flores, who got inspired by the beauty of Philippine indigenous textiles during her travels around the country.

Her footwear designs include ballet flats, sandals, thongs, wedges and heels, that make use of native textile woven by women from Benguet, Mt. Province, and Apayao in the Cordillera Adminsitrative Region. The flats and sandals are comfortable for walking around while looking great for those OOTD snaps.

Cost: P999 – P1800 depending on the style and design
Where to buy it: Order online from http://lakhambini.tictail.com/

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Hull & Stern Adventure Dry Bag

The biggest nightmare for travelers is ending up with a wet phone or camera and losing all their photos from a trip. For those who like action-packed activities like island-hopping, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking and hiking, having a bag which seals in a watertight manner is essential for protecting gadgets.

While there are many options available in sports stores, Hull & Stern Adventure Dry Bags, which started out as a crowdfunded project by adventurer Rose Chua, offers a stylish alternative. The bags are made of strong IPx5 tarpaulin material that is made to resist and repel water and other harsh elements, folds flat so you can take it anywhere. It can be used to store essentials during an adventure and to store wet clothes on the way back from a trip.

The bags come in four color options: Sail Away Blue, Sea Foam Green, Sea Salt Pink, or North Star White. Initial project backers also have the option of ordering customized dry bags with their name of favorite travel quote printed on it.

Cost: P750 each, with delivery charges of P60 for Metro Manila and P100 for other provinces in the Philippines.
Where to buy it: Order online from https://www.hullstern.com/shop or get it in Stoked stores.

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Travel planner

Every year, different establishments release their own brand of travel planners right before Christmas. It’s just a matter of choosing a design that suits your recipient’s personality.

Best for travelers and adventurers, the Navi Life Planner is always a good choice every year, as it celebrates maps, panoramic illustrations, and all things wanderlust. The 2017 Navi planner theme is Surreal Destinations, inspiring users with must-see destinations for the year and handy worksheets, such as Backyard Excursions, Goals and Bucket Lists, Pre-Trip Checklist and Travel Guides.

Meanwhile, the 2017 Wrangler Travel Planner promises to inspire true wanderers to hit the road and find their true passion while embarking on new adventures. Produced by reputable planner/journal maker Belle de Jour, the planner is functional, classy and lightweight with removable quarterly sections contained within a durable leather cover. At the end of the year, you can reuse the cover for other notebooks, making it a practical choice.

Cost: The Navi 2017 Planner costs P598; The Wrangler Travel Planner comes free with every Php 4,000 single-receipt purchase of Wrangler regular-priced items.
Where to buy it: Bookstores; all Wrangler boutiques nationwide.