Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year… especially for travellers. After the family time is over, it’s a chance to jet off somewhere new, to enjoy those business class trimmings, and embrace all the joy – the food, the scenery, and adventure – that comes with it.
With the holiday season swiftly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about the perfect gift for the frequent traveller in your life (and perhaps get some inspiration for yourself too).
These are some of our favourites:
- Bennett Winch Weekender bag
- Villeggiatura: Italian Summer Vacation
- Hobart Whisky Christmas Cask Pack
- Withings ScanWatch Horizon
- Autel Robotics EVO Lite+
- Amouage Taurus Ultimate Discovery Set
- Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque 13 Limited Edition Bottle
- Antler ‘Clifton’ Luggage Range
- Montblanc Extreme 3.0 Backpack
- Archie Rose Tailored Spirits
- Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless
- Aesop ‘Poetry of Place’ gift set
- Victorinox Victoria Signature Tote
- Porsche PTS Multiwheel Ultralight Edition 2.0
- Theragun Mini
- Celebrity Eclipse Cruise to NZ
- Tesalate Towel
- GoPro Hero 11 Black
- JW Marriott Gold Coast ‘Wine & Dine’ Package
- Beauty and the Bees plastic-free toiletries
- Icebreaker ZoneKnit summer season
- The British Cook Book
- Tom Ford Grain Leather Wash Bag
Bennett Winch Weekender bag
Whether it’s a regional getaway or an inner city escape, weekends away deserve a quality bag to carry all the essentials. The kind you can just pick up, pop in the car and feel proud to carry around. Handmade in England, the Bennett Winch Weekender is a fine example.
Besides being great to look at, made of canvas with leather trim and brass zips, it’s functional too. Big enough for a week’s worth of clothes, it also has a padded laptop sleeve and two separate compartments – ideal for shoes or anything else.
$1,350 from Bennett Winch.
Villeggiatura: Italian Summer Vacation
From Venice to Taormina, Portofino to Florence, Italy is without a doubt one of the world’s most intoxicating travel destinations – natural beauty, history and romance at every turn. And the food? We could talk about that for hours, preferably with a glass of Saperavi in hand.
Belmond, the name behind iconic rail experiences including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and Andean Explorer, has captured the feeling of an Italian sojourn in its coffee table book collaboration with publisher Assouline.
Showcasing several of its glamorous hotels and villas, including the five star Cipriani, across the lagoon from St Mark’s Square in Venice and Splendido Mare on the Italian Riviera, it’s almost guaranteed to have travellers hopping on the next plane to Rome.
US$95 (AU$146) from Assouline.
Hobart Whisky Christmas Cask Pack
Lovers of fine whisky will be in their element to find a limited edition Hobart Whisky Christmas Cask featuring two exceptional bottles under the tree this festive season – a special single malt and a barrel-aged christmas liqueur. Both are closely intertwined.
Based on Hobart Whisky’s classic single malt, the Christmas liqueur was first barrel aged over 12 months in fortified and bourbon casks to add a subtle oakiness to the flavours of dark fruit, vanilla, cinnamon and spice. It’s delicious straight, on ice or drizzled over cake.
Next, the Christmas Cask single malt was created from a carefully selected marriage of fortified and bourbon matured whisky, and then finished in the casks from the Christmas liqueur. The result is rich and sweet with notes of fruit, toasted oak and toffee.
$299, from The Whisky List.
Withings ScanWatch Horizon
Smart watches are not a new invention, yet they are increasingly commonplace in our digitally connected world. And while there are plenty of futuristic-looking models out there, scarce few blend technical savvy with the elegance and class of an analogue watch.
Enter the Withings ScanWatch Horizon, a French-made smart watch that delivers the look of a traditional timepiece, complemented by a suite of high-tech features from notifications and activity tracking to in-depth health monitoring (ECG, oxygen levels and sleep cycles).
It also comes with a handy companion app, allowing you to dive deeper into its reporting, along with two interchangeable bands out of the box. It even boasts a 30-day battery life.
$699, exclusively at JB Hi-Fi.
Autel Robotics EVO Lite+
Drones are a perennial favourite for travellers. Slim, lightweight drones that deliver high quality imagery and video are never far from reach on the road. Although DJI’s Mavic range is better known, there is another worthy contender to consider too: the EVO Lite+.
Capable of shooting crisp and clear 4K footage, the latest EVO Lite+ also takes 50MP stills, has an impressive battery life up to 40 minutes (30% more than rivals), and transmission range of nearly 12kms, along with features like obstacle avoidance and subject tracking.
A premium bundle is also available with a storage case, additional batteries, blades and more.
Starting at US$1,189 (AUD$1,800) from Autel Robotics.
Amouage Taurus Ultimate Discovery Set
Omani fragrance brand Amouage is well known for its rich and evocative scents – the ones that instantly transport you to another place, unleashing a flood of memories from global travels.
The limited-edition Taurus Ultimate Discovery Set featuring a collection of 45 x 2ml perfume samples – 15 for men, 15 for women, and 15 universal – is a brilliant overview and introduction to Amouage. As a special treat, it also includes four yet to be released scents.
$549, from Libertine Parfumerie.
Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque 13 Limited Edition Bottle
Founded in 1811, Perrier-Jouët is one of France’s most prestigious Champagne houses, with its Brut the perfect embodiment of its elegance and style. As you can imagine, they know a thing or two about celebrating special occasions.
Marking 120 years since its distinctive Art Nouveau anemone floral design was created by artist Emile Gallé, the house’s iconic Belle Époque 2013 is being released in a limited edition bottle – of which just 100 are available in Australia, exclusively through Emperor Champagne.
Released December 7, with pre-registration from late November.
$379.99, from Emperor Champagne.
Antler ‘Clifton’ Luggage Range
Luggage looking a bit worn around the edges? Christmas is an ideal excuse to upgrade, saying ‘out with the old’ and in with a well-made, functional and durable case that doesn’t tip the scales in its own right. Like Antler’s brilliant Clifton hard-shell range, for example.
Available in cabin, medium or large sizes, with accessories including a matching mini and vanity case, the light and nimble range also comes in two new colours – slate and ochre – and has a ten year warranty too. Read our review of the cabin bag here.
Starting at $299, from Antler.
Montblanc Extreme 3.0 Backpack
Backpacks have come a long way from the utilitarian designs of old, with sleeker and more sophisticated offerings now a frequent sight everywhere from boardrooms to beachfront bures. Montblanc’s Extreme 3.0 stands out from the pack.
Versatile and functional, the embossed leather backpack features a padded 13” laptop pocket, black metal fittings and two adjustable shoulder straps.
$1,680, from Montblanc.
Archie Rose Tailored Spirits
One of Australia’s best known distilleries, Archie Rose is synonymous with native botanical gins, whiskies and vodka. Although its off-the-shelf tipples are delicious, a bottle tailored to your giftee’s palette could get you some serious Christmas goodwill.
From gin to whisky, vodka and bottled cocktails, simply pick the preferred botanicals, choose the strength, and write a personalised message for the front and slide label – you also choose the design – and your creation will be shipped direct to you within 3-5 business days.
$99, from Archie Rose.
Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless
On the ground or in the air, the Sennheiser MOMENTUM 4 Wireless headphones will always be music to your ears. Boasting exceptional sound quality and comfort, not to mention a phenomenal 60 hours listening time, they’re also very stylish too.
Under the hood, or inside the cups as the case may be, they boast adaptive noise cancellation and a transparency mode for when you want to hear the sounds around you (particularly useful on a flight), plus a host of intuitive personalisation options, accessible via an app.
$549.95 from Sennheiser.
Aesop ‘Poetry of Place’ gift set
Luxury skin care brand Aesop requires little introduction. Australian made, its products are a regular sight (and smell) in top hotels around the country. So, what better way to give someone that feeling of being on holiday than a gift box featuring some of the best in the range?
Aesop’s newly-released Poetry of Place range includes four distinct gift sets: Congruous, Igneous, Industrious, and Precipitous. Each comes in a 100% recycled box and is stocked with items such as geranium leaf body cleanser or a parsley seed facial cleanser.
Starting at $55, from Aesop.
Victorinox Victoria Signature Tote
Style and functionality come together with the new Victoria Signature Tote from Victorinox, an elegant shoulder bag taking you from the boardroom to the beach, with room for a 16” laptop and 10” tablet and multiple removable pouches, including one which doubles as a clutch.
Boasting a stylish travel-ready design, it comes with cushioned leather handles, a hidden pocket for valuables and convenient rear strap, allowing you to pop it over the handles of a wheeled carry-on.
$439, from Victorinox.
Porsche PTS Multiwheel Ultralight Edition 2.0
Porsche’s collaboration with luggage brand Rimowa is a perfect fusion of German style and precision. It’s borne striking fruit in both the 911-inspired Pepita carry case and PTS Multiwheel Ultralight Edition 2.0 trolley. The latter is a must for serious Porsche fans.
A statement piece in Guards Red, the case is based on the Rimowa Essential Cabin bag, with some bespoke flourishes, including an aluminium handle that makes it easier to lay into the vehicle luggage compartment. It fits all current Porsche models.
Even if the recipient doesn’t own a matching Porsche, there’s still a lot to love: a sturdy polycarbonate shell, living woven with the Prancing Pony logo, and whisper-quiet wheels that’ll have them weaving through the terminal like a pro racing driver.
$1,507 from Porsche.
The Theragun percussive massager has fast become an essential bit of kit for the avid athlete. However, the original version is a little bulky to bring along when you’re out on the road. With that in mind, the compact yet powerful Theragun Mini could be a better option.
A lifesaver when you can stretch out on a long flight, or perhaps after a full day exploring some beautiful city or national park on foot, the Mini can help work out cramps, knots, and tension with three speed settings and a 2.5-hour battery life.
$199, from Therabody.
Celebrity Eclipse Cruise to NZ
A holiday to the ‘land of the long white cloud’ is always a good idea. With cruise ships back in our southern waters once again, it’s a perfect excuse to duck back across the ditch with minimum stress, maximum relaxation and Michelin-quality dishes for every meal.
Departing March 26, 2023, the 11 night Celebrity Eclipse cruise from Sydney to Milford Sound, Wellington and more ticks off many of the country’s top destinations, with ample opportunity to enjoy onboard features from spa treatments to croquet and a degustation dinner designed by Michelin Chef Daniel Boulud.
As an added bonus, Celebrity is offering $800 onboard credit per stateroom, with up to 75% off the second guests.
Starting at $1,939 per person, from Celebrity Cruises.
Bathed in the summer sunshine, the Aussie Christmas is ideal for spending time at the beach or by the pool. With that in mind, a sand-free Tesalate beach towel could be a welcome gift beneath the branches of your tree.
In addition to being ultra-absorbent and drying in half the time of a regular beach towel, they also look fantastic too, with more than 50 colourful designs to choose from. Bora Bora is the most popular.
Starting from $79, from Tesalate.
GoPro Hero 11 Black
Good things often come in threes. Case in point is GoPro’s newly-released trio of cameras – the flagship Hero 11 Black, petite-yet-powerful Black Mini, and Hero11 Black Creator Edition, which features a bevy of additional accessories for the avid videographer.
Capable of capturing over a billion colours thanks to its enhanced sensor, resulting in colours that are “truer to how your eyes perceive them in the real world”, the new models also boast 360-degree stabilisation and GoPro’s tallest field of view yet.
Sporting a go-anywhere design and a bevy of attachments and mounts – dive housings, chest mounts, and tripods – the cameras are tailor-made for recording trips in rich, vibrant detail.
Starting at $399.98, from GoPRo.
JW Marriott Gold Coast ‘Wine & Dine’ Package
Everyone needs an escape now and then to recharge their batteries. Up on the Gold Coast, the JW Marriott Resort and Spa is arguably among the city’s finest five star properties, with elegant suites, a saltwater lagoon filled with fish, and several fabulous dining options.
The hotel is currently offering a ‘Wine & Dine’ package inclusive of two nights accommodation, daily breakfast for two adults at Citrique restaurant, a bottle of wine and $100 food and beverage credit from just $1,128 – valid for stays until March 31, 2023.
Starting at $1,128, from JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa. Use code ZJ9 to book online or call 07 5592 9800.
Beauty and the Bees plastic-free toiletries
Almost every frequent traveller has a stockpile of hotel toiletries at home. The bottles you collect and think ‘I’ll use that later’ but inevitably shove into a drawer never to be seen again… until one day they spill out onto the floor and you realise it’s time for a cull.
Rather than collecting those single-use plastic bottles each time you travel, Beauty and the Bees – established in 1993 – offers a natural, zero-waste alternative. They smell divine too.
Handmade in Tasmania, the Luxury Skin & Hair Sampler offers a good overview of the range. Each bar is equal to 20 or more hotel amenity bottles – enough for about a month away.
$16.50, from Beauty and the Bees.
Icebreaker ZoneKnit summer season
Merino wool is often thought of as a purely winter thread, used in the likes of thermals and base layers. Icebreaker’s latest collection turns that idea on its head, with a light-weight, breathable and odour-less range – great in summer – that’s perfect for a run, hike or ride.
With everything from t-shirts to shorts, socks and underwear, the New Zealand-born brand has plenty of options to fill that Christmas stocking.
Starting at $69.99, from Icebreaker.
The British Cook Book
Bangers and mash, fish and chips, beef Wellington, and scones served with a dollop of jam and cream; British cuisine may get a bad wrap at times, yet there’s no denying it’s brimming with classic comfort foods and dishes guaranteed to warm the cockles of your heart.
The British Cook Book by Ben Mervis is a perfect re-introduction. Part cookbook, part cultural history, it features 550 recipes – dishes from across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland – and reveals a cuisine as diverse as the landscape from which it originates.
$74.95, from Phaidon.
Tom Ford Grain Leather Wash Bag
The name ‘Tom Ford’ is synonymous with quality, be it fashion, fragrances and so much in between. If you’re looking for Christmas travel gifts guaranteed to be put to good use, you can’t go wrong with a classic toiletry bag. This Tom Ford Grain Leather Wash Bag is the one.
Made to an exacting standard in Italy, the bag is big enough to store most essentials needed on the road, from toothbrushes and shaving needs to a bottle of Tom Ford Noir Extreme parfum.
$690, from Tom Ford.