If you’re someone who loves to travel, you’ll no doubt agree that the fun and excitement of meeting new people and seeing and doing new things comes to an end all too soon. However, there is one thing about returning home that we can all look forward to – and that’s handing out a suitcase full of interesting and unusual gifts. 

Specially selected trinkets are the ideal way to show somebody special that they were in your thoughts while you were away. However, there are only so many fridge magnets and shot glasses you can give to your nearest and dearest before you start to look a little unimaginative. That’s why we’ve put together a list of fantastic holiday gift ideas, perfect for anyone heading out into the world who wants to come home with ‘conversation starter’ style gifts, rather than handing out another selection of same old bits and bobs. Ready? OK. Read on, get inspired, and enjoy your holiday gift giving once more…Holiday gift ideas for friends and family

Turn one of your holiday snaps into a canvas print

Firms like hellocanvas can easily turn a carefully selected action snap into a beautiful canvas print. This is a fantastic and unusual gift idea that could turn a well-chosen holiday photo into something that’s sure to bring joy to those who know and love you. How? Just think of the possibilities. Immortalize the moment you leapt from the bungee platform, or perhaps create a stunning canvas print of that selfie you took with a camel, or maybe you snapped a picturesque panoramic sunset from the plane at takeoff, with an island you visited in the foreground. The wide-ranging versatility of this idea is that you probably have many photos that you know different friends and family would enjoy receiving as a canvas – giving you huge options. 

Other ways to use your photos as gifts

There are lots of fantastic things you can do with your holiday snaps. Modern print firms can print them out onto all sorts of things. If your loved one has recently bought a new phone, laptop or tablet, for example, why not investigate your options in terms of printed covers. 

A little less popular these days are digital photo frames – once hugely popular, but now lingering on coffee tables and mantelpieces, clinging on to their pride of place because they were bought as gifts. Breathe new life into a friend’s or family member’s digital photo frame with a USB drive full of candid handpicked holiday snaps (we’re thinking this would make a particularly good gift for a grandparent or other elderly relative).

Throw a themed get together based on your holiday

Hosting a party on your return is a quick, simple, and effective means of getting back up to speed with everyone that not only may have been missing you, but that you’ve also missed dearly (especially if you’ve been on a ‘find myself’ style travelling adventure that’s taken months rather than a couple of weeks). A party is a great way to cover many bases at once in terms of seeing lots of people all at one time. Where does gift giving come into throwing a party? Simple. Theming your party or dinner to fit in with your holiday experience allows you to give everyone the ‘gift’ of seeing and hearing all about your trip. 

If you are planning to go through with this super fun show-and-tell party idea, be sure to plan ahead. What do we mean? While travelling, and with your party in mind, why not pick up some local delicacies for everyone to enjoy at your party. And, of course, for added fun, make sure you pick only the most uncommon and unusual foods that will raise eyebrows and really get the party going. After all, who doesn’t love being faced with an insect entombed within a lollipop or a piece of fruit that smells like something truly awful? The weirder the better.

Keep your purchases local

borough market

Find a local market to shop at.

Remember, you don’t have to go all out crazy with your gift buying. Not everyone will appreciate something completely out of left field (for example, your Great Auntie may experience difficulty in finding somewhere to put the hand carved canoe you lovingly brought back from your trip). Whatever you decide to pick up for the special people in your life, always focus on the local aspect of the goods. This not only helps the local economy, but adds a layer of charm to the appeal of your gift. 

For example, don’t just buy a mass-produced wallet that could be bought anywhere. The same thing goes for purses, sunglasses, hats, and other apparel. This isn’t a fashion show. The recipients of your gifts don’t expect you to return home with a suitcase full of designer gear. They want something with meaning. Something with a story that they can show to their friends. Something cheesy. 

Keep a note – write down your thoughts as you travelTravel Journal

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a world class blogger for this one to work. The mere mention of a loved one’s name in a piece of writing is enough to make this gift something truly special. Whether you choose to keep a digital travel diary or whether you choose to pen your thoughts in a pad using your neatest writing, be sure to add a description of the event you just witnessed and follow it up with a mention of somebody important who you thought would have enjoyed to witness the event too, had they been there. This is a sort of ‘wish you were here’ love letter, which the proud recipient will keep safe for years.

Bear in mind the person you are buying for

Hopefully, one of the above ideas will work for you. However, before you actually buy or create your gift just take a few minutes to think about the person you are buying for. Ask yourself if they will really like it or use it. If you are in any doubt, it is best to carry on your search.