How to Christmas Shop While on the Road

Shopping for Christmas presents doesn't have to be a stress-fest. A little thinking, taking advantage and planning ahead can go a long way to making it enjoyable, unique, and appreciated.


  1. Image titled Christmas Shop While on the Road Step 1
    Take advantage of you being on the road. If you're travelling, be it on holiday or for work, or you're just nomadic, take advantage of this. You could find something unusual that isn't available in the location the person/people you're shopping for can get. If you're going somewhere iconic or with an interesting history/culture, get something special, made in the town/city/country that you're in. Don't just buy an average 'quick-fix' present or a souvenir made in China- while you're wandering around, see if you can luck out at the local markets or shops. Is your friend or really a food lover? Find a local yummy that you can only get there. Little sample jars of preserves/jams/marmalades make a cute, interesting and unique present.
  2. Image titled Christmas Shop While on the Road Step 2
    Think ahead. When you're travelling, it can be hard remembering to find presents. Let alone remembering you might need to post them in time to reach your loved ones. So think ahead- make a list of the people you're intending to give gifts to. Jot down a couple of ideas or maybe just things they always like (i.e. Joyce loves crafty things and jam, Henry loves sci-fi stuff and little Jess adores animals, while John's been looking for some new tunes). Just like most people prefer picture postcards while you're away to a flood of photos when you're back, your loved ones will probably appreciate that little bit of thought more than an average, get-it-anywhere present. Knowing the type of things you want to keep an eye out for means you can see if your next location has some awesome markets you'll be there for, or is renowned for its food/wine/chocolate/teddy bears/fossils.
  3. Image titled Christmas Shop While on the Road Step 3
    Remember! You might need to post your pressies to have them arrive in time. Or, you may need (or choose) to carry them back with you. If this is the case, and you'll be flying, remember to make sure you're not buying anything that's prohibited on the planes. You also need to ensure you're not buying anything that's prohibited through customs, if you're on the road overseas. Otherwise, don't leave shopping until the last minute- gander around, but remember your postal due dates (check average postal times- the local PO will be able to help). Don't forget- if you're posting, pack well! There's nothing more disappointing than sending an awesome treat to have it pulverised in the mail and unrecognisable on arrival.


  • Think about who and how many you're buying for- a little list goes a long way in not forgetting someone til the last hour.
  • Make sure to check customs/postal/plane prohibited items (especially food and animal/plant material things). Don't find something awesome, try to cart it home and find it houses the worst weevil in existence, and is banned.
  • When posting, pack well. Bubble wrap, snug fitting boxes/satchels.
  • If you're posting to your family, and several of them live together/in the same town, post gifts together (in a box or satchel) and let them distribute them. Cheaper for you, can be more exciting for them. You can wrap your pressies or not.
  • Think practical- if John's been looking for a nice leather belt, and you're stopping in a town/region with a good craftsmen, where they make belts and it has stamped on the underside "Made in xxxx", it's a souvenir, a practical item and a present- and probably greatly appreciated. This sort of thing has been very appreciated by my loved ones in the past- it show you've thought about them while you're away.
  • If you're away, and don't have money/time to send people presents, you could always find a place that prints digital photos- take a favourite shot of the place/places you've been, have it printed. Whack a stamp on the blank side, address it and write a message/greeting to your loved one and post it. It's your very own unique postcard- could be something like "saw this sculpture and thought you'd like it- you'd love the art here! Merry Christmas!"


  • Be careful not to buy things that are prohibited in the next state/your hometown/country. It's sad if you buy something wonderful to find out you can't have it/take it/post it after all. Check the prohibited lists, and take caution over carelessness. It saves money, time and heartbreak.
  • Don't leave it to the last minute!! If you can, while you're wandering the countryside, keep in the back of your mind your shopping list of who's, gather your gifts, and leave time for posting (or shopping before you go home).
  • Don't stress! You don't have to get everything all at once.
  • If you're taking it with you, make sure you have room in your baggage to do so.

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Categories: Christmas | Shopping