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This year’s best Christmas travel gifts

Only 9 days to go until Christmas. Yikes. How did that happen? If, like me, you’ve still not done all your pressie shopping, here are a few ideas for anyone who likes travelling – and that’s all of us, right?

For those who love the great outdoors
My past experience with microfibre towels – the sort you take camping or backpacking – has not been good – a little like patting yourself dry with a rather stiff chamois leather.
Enter Dock & Bay who saw a gap in the market (you may have seen them getting signed up by Deborah Meaden on Dragon’s Den). They sell microfibre towels in three sizes and in a rainbow of colours, plus cute ponchos for kids. So they’re not quite as soft as terry towelling, but they are a definite step up from what’s been available in the past, are super fast drying and light as a feather- great for holidays, the gym, even for the dog. They’re eco friendly too – made from 30% recycled plastic bottles. Prices range from £12-£18. Visit www.dockandbay.com/uk/

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For those who love to spa
Everyone deserves a bit of spa pampering now and then. Spa Breaks vouchers can be used at hundreds of venues across the UK. Buy either a package featuring specific experiences or a voucher for your chosen amount, which the recipient can they use towards a treatment of their choice. Voucher prices start from £25, spa days from £59.95 – and if you hurry there’s a 48 hour sale on at the moment where you can get £10 off for every £25 spent on vouchers. Left it until the very last moment? Then they’ll even send an e-voucher on your behalf! Visit www.spabreaks.com

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For those who lose everything
My brother loses keys, wallets and phones on a regular basis. So I’m thinking the Tile Pro should definitely be in his stocking this Christmas. This Bluetooth tracking devices attach to any of the above and an app is downloaded onto your phone – call the Tile and it will beep, alerting you to its location from up to 200 feet away. Ingeniously it also works in reverse so, if you lose your phone you can press the button on your Tile and your phone will ring, even if it’s on silent.

The Tile Pro comes in a dark grey (Tile Pro Sport) and white edged with gold (Tile Style) and costs £30 for one, £50 for a pack of two, £90 for four or £170 for eight. Visit www.thetileapp.com to buy. Stockists also include Amazon, John Lewis and Currys PC World.

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For those who want to get fit
Learn Nordic Walking – courtesy of Mr Gallivant (shameless plug!)- in the beautiful Kent countryside. This increasingly popular activity offers safe exercise without pressure on joints. It builds strength and endurance and burns 30-40% more calories than ordinary walking. Learn to Nordic Walk three hour courses (2 x 1.5 hour group sessions) start at £32, after which you can join regular classes around Bedgebury Forest, Sissinghurst and more, or just do your own thang. Private sessions also available. Mr Gallivant will even produce a nifty little voucher should anyone want to hand something over to the recipient. For more information visit www.nordicwalkingkent.co.uk. And, if you want somewhere to stay while you are learning, how about our beautiful holiday let? (another shameless plug but it’s Christmas –  indulge me). See my write up about it here.

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For the bucket lister
A great present for kids and adults alike is a scratch map of the world. Rub with a coin on each country visited as a cool way to remind them of their travels and to inspire them to visit new places. Scratchables have lots to choose from, starting from £19.95  but there are also ones that focus on the UK, on Europe, on oceans or on adventures. Visit www.scratchmap.co.uk for the full range.

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