Why do keen travellers always receive rubbish birthday and Christmas presents? Are they just impossible to buy for? In this column for The Telegraph I discuss some of the tat I’ve received over the years…
Last year I received an utterly useless “travel knife-torch” that lights up at one end and has a series of blunt blades, bottle openers and screwdrivers at the other – meaning that you have to alternate between first seeing your chosen object, before then jabbing your chosen tool at it blindly. Travel mugs, travel pillows, travel water bottles, travel chopsticks, travel air purifiers – you name it, I’ve probably got one in a draw somewhere.
Who comes up with this utter tat? Are these products the result of extensive ideas showers and blue-sky thinking? In my mind’s eye I can see David Brent, Alan Partridge and Del Boy plucking these concepts out of thin air while pound signs bulge from their eyeballs.
Many of these products are accompanied by nonsensical spiel, boasting of a cultural or ergonomic breakthrough of some kind. Backpacks with “the space-saving traveller in mind” or extortionately priced travel umbrellas with “rubberised handles and durable ripstop canopies,” designed to combat all that particularly wet foreign rain, I imagine.
You can read the full column here.
July 25, 2019