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10 affordable travel gifts for mum

Whether it’s for Mother’s Day, her birthday or just because your mum is off on a trip, here are some cool, practical and affordable gifts that she’ll thank you for:

1  Document wallet
Make sure it can fit a folded A4 piece of paper. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to zip it closed because it’s undersized!

2  Slippers
I always take slippers in my cabin luggage so I can whip off my shoes when I sit down and make myself comfortable – and not wander into the loo in my socks. Eww!

3  Head cushion
I like ones that have a dome in the front so they don’t slip down your neck or fall off. I also like to spin mine around when my seat is upright and lean my chin into the cushion and have a flat back.

4  Eye mask
Don’t laugh, but I use mine on all long haul flights! Get a cute comfy one, preferably with adjustable elastic and tell her she won’t look like a crazy lady wearing it!

5  Pashmina
Sooo handy! Wear it on the plane for extra warmth or roll into a ball to make a window/seat nook, but she can also throw it about herself when she’s out and about and it’s so easy to carry just in a handbag.

Travel gifts

My little photo shoot of fun and practical gift ideas for the traveling mum!

6  Sunhat and sunglasses
I like a nice brimmed hat and I pack it in my suitcase upside down stuffed with underwear and wedge other clothes under the brim to keep it from collapsing. I’m also a big fan of TOMS sunglasses as I love their business model: buy one/give one. For every pair you buy, the gift of sight will be provided to someone in need by way of surgery, prescription glasses or medical treatment, in the countries they have projects in. And they look very cool too! (My Toms glasses are in the above pic with my reflection standing on a chair!)

7  Jewellery bag
It’s always tricky packing your jewels carefully, but you can get those little bags that have compartments and fold up or even roll up, which are very handy as you can also see where everything is.

8  Toilet bag
I like those ones that you can hang in a bathroom with the two sides clear and open to view. I usually take waaay too much stuff, but I’m a bit paranoid about getting sick on my travels so I have a veritable chemist in there and it probably weighs about 2kg alone!

9  Download smartphone apps
If your mum has a smartphone, be a good kid and download some apps that she will find handy on her travels. Facebook for one so you can message and she can post pics. Snapchat for crazy selfies with a view. Skype and/or Viber so she can phone you for free whenever she’s in a Wifi spot. Uber particularly if she’s heading to the US as this is way cheaper than taxis. for currency conversions. Oh and make sure she has completed her medical/emergency ID which can be accessed even if her phone is locked.

10  Travel notebook and a thin pen
Always handy to carry a little notebook to look busy in a restaurant on your own, to write down your hotel details, and who knows, maybe to even write some some blog posts! I say a thin pen too, as this handy to slide into the spine of said notebook or have it in the document wallet at item #1.

If your mum loves travelling but isn’t off anywhere soon, there are 5 more travelly gifts she might like:

  • Cool cityscape teatowels
  • Globe ornaments which can be thrown into a bowl
  • Coffee table photo books of her favourite place
  • Escape into a novel set in a far off land
  • Subscription to Let’s Travel Magazine – where you might find the occasional article written by yours truly

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Hi, I'm Megan Singleton and I'm the word slinger of this travel blog as well as on radio in NZ every Sunday. Former Travel Editor at Yahoo NZ and current freelance writer for a few newspapers and mags from time to time, I set off on this travel writing journey 20 years ago and I've pretty much always got a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!) I'd love you to join me on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for my newsletters if you want loads of travel tips, advice and deals!