The festive season is upon us yet again! Hot dog, that snuck up quick. I love how Christmas gives people unspoken permission to relax, indulge and enjoy themselves a little more than usual. But, what I don’t love about Christmas is the pressure we can sometimes feel to buy the perfect gift, ‘outdo’ last years gift or spend more than we want or can afford, in order to impress someone.

So, I thought I’d put together a gift guide with a difference. I’ve compiled gifts that are ideal for people who love to travel, have a passion for adventure, are free spirits, live intuitively and follow their heart. It’s a gift guide based on things that have great meaning but don’t cost the earth. After all, Christmas isn’t about the price of a present, it’s about sharing the love with those you love.

Here is my affordable Christmas gift guide for travel lovers and free spirits! There are also some great last-minute gift ideas in there too, perfect for anyone who has left their Christmas shopping to the very last minute, as well as a lot of money-saving ideas and free gifts you can give.

1. Selfie stick 

Woah, hold on, don’t let the possible negative connotations of a selfie get in your mind! I have a selfie stick and use it for my GoPro when I’m travelling. It makes it possible for me to capture incredible moments that I couldn’t capture without it. It allows me to take amazing photos from great angles, to capture the stunning scenery around me. This is a great gift for adventurers and given they can cost as little as AUD$12.99, won’t break the budget.

2. Do something special 

Rather than giving someone a ‘thing’ for Christmas, give them an experience to remember. Organise to see them, but don’t tell them what you’re doing, then take them somewhere beautiful, memorable or magical. Pick them up before sunrise, pack fresh muffins and juice, drive to the beach or top of a mountain and watch the sunrise together. Go to your favourite beach and spend the morning swimming. Head to your favourite park and have a picnic lunch or jump in the car and drive to that one place you’ve been promising to go to, but never do. Whatever you choose, make sure it comes from the heart.

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3. Scratch off world map 

I saw these and instantly loved them! Perfect for the travel-obsessed person in your life who needs a way of tracking where they’ve been and where they want to go! Basically, it works like an instant scratch and win ticket, where you use a coin to scratch off the countries you’ve visited, revealing a bright colour. It’s a super cool way of charting how much of the world you’ve seen and how much you have left to go! Shop scratch-off maps here.

4. Plants 

Plants are fantastic for grounding your energy and make a great gift! Head to a vintage or thrift shop and find a weird, quirky or cool pot, glass, jar or something else similar. Fill that baby up with potting mix and soil then put a plant in it. You can also make your very own succulent rockery quite easily too and succulents can be bought cheaply from a local market, even for as little as $2 each! View succulent pot garden inspiration here.

Succulent garden

5. Photos 

We spend so much time looking at photographs online now, especially on social media channels, so treat someone to a good old-fashioned print! Get a photo of the two of you, a photo that stimulates a memory of a time or place, a photograph you took that your friend loves or just a photo you love and have it printed and put it in a frame. If you’re really on a budget, try picking up a vintage frame from a thrift shop and upcycling it. Shop affordable photo frames here.

6. Oracle cards 

For anyone wishing to develop their intuition, oracle cards are a great present. I use mine regularly to help me tap into my intuition and seek guidance, they were a great starting point for me when it came time to start trusting my heart. Oracle cards are available from my good friends at The Little Sage for AUD$50 plus shipping.

“These cards can help you to manifest change, inspire the tone for your day, meditation or journaling practice, answer important questions, provide guidance on life decisions or just give you the positive affirmation you need to hear on a particular day.”

The Little Sage
Little Sage Oracle Cards

7. Food 

Don’t ever underestimate the power of a really good cake. Make your friends or family their favourite cake, slice, brownie or any other yummy treat. Place your delicious gift in a simple paper bags, tie closed with wool or yarn then hand them out and watch the smiles on people’s faces as they realise they’re in for a real tasty treat this Christmas!

8. Crystals 

Crystals have long been used and collected by people for their healing, energising, grounding and protective qualities. I have a number of crystals on my desk and carry them with me when I travel. Visit a new age store or market stall and personally select crystals for friends based on their properties and what you want to give your friend, for instance, you may want to help them with clarity, strength, intuition or creativity. Individual crystals can cost as little as $1 each and go up in price depending on size and availability.

Crystal necklace

9. Encourage creativity 

Some people are creative, but too shy to share it or don’t see the value in buying the things they need to express their creativity. Take a trip to a discount art supply store, office-supply shop or a chain like Kmart and treat them to some of the things they need to get creative! This can be as simple as a pack of oil pastels, watercolour paints, coloured pencils or even felt-tip pens and an art journal. There are loads of other cool things you can pick up at art supply shops too, like pre-made kits for modelling, sewing, knitting etc. Shop art supplies here.

10. Mandala 

Mandalas are intricate circle artworks which represent the Universe in Buddhism and Hinduism. They are used in many spiritual traditions to help focus attention, as a spiritual guidance tool and for establishing a sacred space. Different mandalas represent different things, depending on the shapes within them, for example, they can aid with communication, creativity and confidence. A mandala can take the form of an artwork or print, necklace, ring or other pieces of jewellery or even a tapestry or towel! Shop mandala gifts here and shop mandala prints from a local artisan here.

Inspiring artwork doesn’t have to cost a fortune to make someone very happy. Buy a print with a meaningful travel-related or inspiring quote on it and put it in a frame. It’ll take pride of place in their house and make them smile every time they see it. This artwork on Etsy is $7.62 and instantly downloadable – perfect for last-minute gift ideas!

12. Eco-friendly gifts 

Christmas is a time when eco-friendly can sometimes get thrown out the window! Think of all the wrapping paper alone that gets thrown out, let alone the vast number of gifts that aren’t environmentally friendly in their creation or use. Treat a friend or loved one to an eco-friendly gift this year instead. These can be everything from beauty and skincare products, BPA and PVC water bottles and lunch boxes, organic bed linen and composting and seed kits! The possibilities are endless and you’ll feel great giving the gift while your free-spirited, earth-loving friend will feel great receiving it too! For bonus points: buy from a local business or artisan. Shop eco-friendly gifts here.

13. Share something personal 

Give them one or more of your favourite things and share part of yourself with someone else. Buy them a copy of your favourite book and highlight your favourite passages in it, so when they get to it they know this part means something to you and you can talk about it over coffee later. Buy them a copy of your favourite movie and watch it with them. Take them to your favourite food or coffee spot and treat them to something delicious. Take them to your favourite beach, park or outdoor area and enjoy it with them as you usually would. Share what makes you happy, with someone else.

14. A beautiful card 

Never underestimate the power of something simple, those are often the most meaningful moments. If you’re really strapped for cash, don’t try to live outside your means. Instead, choose or make beautiful cards for those you love and take the time to write to them, telling them why you love them. Gifts come and go, by next year they may very well have been forgotten, but the loving, kind words you shared opening your heart to your friends, family and loved ones, will go a mile. One of my best friends drew a beautiful card for my 27th birthday this year with a simple, heartfelt message inside. It’s one of the very few cards I remember receiving because it was so special.

Best travel resources for your trip!

If you found this post useful, please use the affiliate links below. I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Rest assured, these are the products and services I love and use. Read the disclaimer for more information. Thanks for your support! – Matt.

Agoda – hotels – hotels
Cover-More – insurance
DiDi – rideshare
Motorhome Republic – RVs
Discover Cars – rentals
Simify – SIM cards
Skyscanner – flights
Surfshark – VPN
TourRadar – tours
Welcome Pickups – transfers

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