8 Free Christmas Gifts All Travellers Cherish

11 December 2015
Read Time: 2.1 mins

When Christmas rolls around one of the first lists to be made includes all the gifts we need to buy. If you've got a traveller in the family who's returning home for the holidays, you can forget about buying them anything big.

Those who have been away for one or more Christmases will know how good that first Christmas back feels. Just being home is an incredible gift, but here are some others we also cherish.

1. That First Hug

 And they never get the size wrong (Image: Getty)

It's better than the first sip of coke and the first dip in the ocean. Whether it's from Mum, Dad or someone equally as special, that first embrace is a heart-warming and sometimes tearful moment.

We hold on that little bit longer, because we all know there are few hugs that will ever feel as good.

2. Home Cooking

 Home-cooked food just has what most other meals are missing (Image: Getty)

No amount of exotic cuisine, 5-star dinners and street stall sweets can ever replace the food we've grown up loving.

Whether it's as simple as spaghetti Bolognese or an extravagant 3-course turkey roast, we'll take anything cooked in the home kitchen after months without that secret ingredient.

3. Our Own Bed

 We missed you old friend (Image: Getty)

It doesn't take long to become tired of cramped hostel bunks, but we really don't know what we're missing until we crawl back under the sheets of our own bed.

At this point we'd reject the offer of a 6-star hotel just to spend a few more hours curled up on our long-lost mattress.

4. Seeing Old Friends

 It's like time never passed (Image: Getty)

Even with today's level of world-wide communication it can be tough to stay in touch with everyone when caught up in the new experiences, people and sights overseas.

True friendship is seeing each other after months or even years of separation and being able to pick up right where you left off, trading stories and rekindling the relationship.

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5. The Weather

 Yeah we're spoilt here in Aus (Image: Getty)

Many Australians get sick of the sweltering heat over Christmas, but for those who have spent years in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is better than anything we could unwrap.

Instead of too many layers and a ice-covered streets, we get to enjoy days at the beach and the possibility of getting a tan.

6. Sharing Our World

 We've got plenty here for foreigners to get excited about (Image: Getty)

After an extended period overseas we might bring a special someone home to meet the family. Before now they have probably only heard stories, seen pictures and talked on Skype.

Being able to show them our world and giving them that wonder of travel is a one-of-a-kind gift for all involved.

7. The Foods We Miss

 Get in my belly now! (Image: Getty)

Vegemite, barbeque shapes, tim tams and nutella: sometimes our most missed possessions can only be found on the shelves of an Aussie supermarket.

To be fair, these don't come free, but when it's been a while between meals they are so much more valuable than the sticker price.

8. Christmas Day Traditions

 Nothing beats family on Christmas (Image: Getty)

Try as hard as we might, it's impossible to recreate Christmas Day at home, especially when you've got a big family that always gets amongst the festivities.

The games, cooking, friendly ribbing and even the drama is given a rose tint all over during that first one back. Sit back, take it all in and remember to enjoy all the ones that come after just as much.

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Ben Stower

I love the kind of travelling that is one part strategic planning and two parts spontaneous adventure. Whether I'm exploring my local city or a small town in the middle of nowhere, I'm always hoping to find something no one else has discovered.