Christmas gift guide: TPG’s 11 travel-friendly picks for 2020

Nov 30, 2020

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The Christmas season officially kicks off this week and many of us are now drafting those Christmas gift lists and trying to figure out what to give. If you’re looking for some fun — and travel-friendly — gifts for the jet setter on your list, look no further.

Here are TPG’s 2020 Christmas gift picks!

Apple iPhone 12

(Photo courtesy of Apple)

Over the past few years, Apple’s smartphone series has become the go-to for most travellers I know. Personally, I’ve used the Pro as my primary smartphone and camera, but this time around, the standard model offers an almost identical list of features. Notable Pro-level upgrades include a telephoto cam, bringing the rear camera array to three, plus more base storage (128GB vs. 64GB) and a stainless steel finish (vs. aluminium for the base model), but if you can get by without that zoom cam, you’re good to go with the standard iPhone 12. Buy: Amazon, £799

Lonely Planet: Ultimate Travel List 2

(Photo courtesy of Amazon)

While a lot of the world remains off-limits, that won’t always be the case. It’s time to dream about where we want to go, even if this isn’t the right time to visit. Lonely Planet’s latest roundup of the “500 best places to visit on the planet” features highlights near top destinations all around the world, from Albania to Zimbabwe. If you fancy a trip to the States, there are plenty of U.S. gems to discover, too, including national parks like Denali and Acadia, and other must-visit attractions, such as Disney World and the French Quarter in New Orleans. Buy: Amazon, £13.79

Google Pixel 5

(Photo courtesy of Amazon)

I’ve always toyed with the idea of moving to Android, but as a MacBook user and iPad owner, I’m too tied into Apple’s iCloud ecosystem for that to be a sensical move. If you do have more flexibility, though, the Pixel 5 is a fantastic option, offering high-end features at a mid-range price. It sports exceptional photo quality in low-light scenarios and stellar astrophotography mode. Buy: Amazon, £529

The Disney Monorail: Imagineering a Highway in the Sky

(Photo courtesy of Amazon)

There was a lot to love about my first childhood trip to Disney World, but there’s only one element of that adventure that I remember so clearly it could have been months ago, rather than decades: my first ride on the monorail. This hardcover book brings the monorail’s development to life, celebrating the park’s unique transportation concept through its 1959 launch. It’s a must-have for any theme park or transportation enthusiast. Buy: Amazon, £23.42

DJI Mini 2

(Photo courtesy of Amazon)

I’ve been a loyal DJI customer for the last few years, and while older drones certainly do the trick, I’m always impressed by how quickly the company rolls out new innovations, packing so many features into such a tiny package. This latest model, the Mini 2, weighs 249 grams — just shy of the FAA’s 250-gram limit, so you can fly it without registering with the government. Despite the small size, you still get 3-axis stabilization, 4K video, 31 minutes of flight time and up to a 10km range for video transmission. This is one incredible, compact drone! Buy: Amazon, £419

Nest Wi-Fi

(Photo courtesy of Amazon)

At many hotels, you can move your laptop or smartphone between the lobby, pool and your guest room without losing your Wi-Fi connection. That’s thanks to something called a “mesh” network, where multiple access points work together as one. Google’s Nest Wi-Fi brings that same technology to your home, enabling seamless connectivity across multiple floors and rooms. Setup is easy, and it’s backwards compatible with older Google Wi-Fi access points, too, making it the perfect gift for that friend or family member who can’t quite seem to figure their network out. Buy: Amazon, £104

Rimowa iPhone cases

(Photo courtesy of Rimowa)

Rimowa luggage doesn’t come cheap, but it can easily be worth the investment, lasting its owner for many years. While this doesn’t seem like the ideal time to recommend gifting a suitcase, Rimowa’s new iPhone cases are a solid fit, bringing that familiar luggage aesthetic to your smartphone’s backside. Cases are available in a handful of colours, with polycarbonate versions running £65 and aluminium and leather options bumping the price to £84 a pop. Buy: Rimowa, £65

Solar Power Bank

(Photo courtesy of Amazon)

Do you really need a gadget that charges your devices using nothing but the awesome power of the sun? Who knows — you might! Because 2020. I’m especially excited about the Qi charging support, letting you fuel up your smartphone without a cord. And, if all else fails, this model even includes a built-in compass, and a pair of integrated flashlights, too. Buy: Amazon, £29.99

Fire TV Stick 4K

(Photo courtesy of Amazon)

Often available for roughly half the usual price, Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is still a steal at under 30 quid. It brings most of your favourite streaming services to any TV with an HDMI port — I’ve even plugged it into my portable projector, for big-screen family flicks. It’s become my go-to entertainment gadget both at home and on the road, since it’s compatible with many newer hotel TVs, too. Buy: Amazon, £29.99

Instant Pot Duo

(Photo courtesy of Amazon)

We may not be leaving home, but somehow we’re still very busy, leaving less time to make dinner than anyone planned. This handy kitchen gadget is the ideal solution — pressure cookers get your dishes done in a fraction of the time, and since this one’s electronic and self-contained, it’s pretty hard to mess things up. Your loved one can use all that time they’ll save to get more adventurous in the kitchen, learning to cook a new travel-focused dish. Buy: Amazon, £89.99

Apple iPad Air

(Photo courtesy of Apple)

I’ve always gravitated towards Apple’s “pro” series of products, even if I don’t have a single professional use for that particular gadget. My iPad Pro addiction is evidence of that, but now that the Air model does everything I need, I’m happy to move the pro version to the “nice to have” column. This year’s iPad Air looks and feels like its Pro sibling while offering a speedier processor, improved speakers and support for higher-end accessories, including Apple’s slick Magic Keyboard (£99) and the latest Apple Pencil (£119). It’s sure to bring joy to any iPad aficionado on your list. Buy: Apple, £579

Prices accurate as of publication date. Check out more TPG gift guides here.

Featured image by The Points Guy

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