With Christmas just around the corner we went on a present hunting mission – so if you’re stumped for gift ideas for the transport nerd in your life, then look no further! Whether they’re a train buff, sustainable mobility aficionado, or just someone who appreciates a good carpool singalong, we’ve got you covered with a collection of unique and thoughtful gifts that will bring a smile to the face of any transport enthusiast. So let that holiday cheer begin, as you check out our transport-themed gifts for this Christmas season!
1) Book: Understanding Mobility as a Service (MaaS) – Past, Present and Future
By David Hensher, Corinne Mulley, Chin Ho, Yale Wong, Goran Smith, John Nelson
The transport sector has undergone major disruption thanks to smartphone technology and new mobility services. In this book, published in 2020, some of the world’s most influential thought leaders provide an in-depth analysis of MaaS. Understanding Mobility as a Service (MaaS) not only discusses what MaaS is, but also covers topics such as governance and contracts, societal objectives and more. It also looks at MaaS case studies worldwide, providing real-life examples from a global perspective.
2) Transport-related games
If you’re getting together with family and friends this Christmas, why not treat them to a transport-related game? There are quite a few out there to choose from. Here are a couple we liked:
Ticket to Ride: a great strategic game for all the family where you build train routes to earn points. There are a variety of different versions including Europe, London, New York and more. Expansion packs and maps extend the main game for even more fun. A great way for the kids to learn about geography too.
The London Board Game: race against your opponents to be the first to commute from your chosen mainline station to six destinations and back again. Beware of hazards along the way and station closures which might impede your progress! The game is great fun for everyone.
3) Road cycling helmets
For all the cycling fans out there this could be a great choice. There are many good brands on the market such as Kask, Giro, Bern, Lazer and more. Safety is a key feature; a good quality helmet could be a lifesaver and in some countries (such as Australia) it’s mandatory to have one. Cycling Weekly and Bicycling.com have put together helpful lists.
4) Mobility-related experiences
This can be a great option for people who love experiences rather than physical gifts. There are providers across the globe such as Thrills Experiences (Australia) or Red Letter Days (UK) that offer everything from cycling and mountain bike training to train and electric bike experiences. Check locations first to make sure that the gift is easily accessible for the recipient(s).
5) Transport museums and activities
Alternative experiences include transport museums and activities with options worldwide. Trains, trams you name it; chances are you’ll find something in a region near you. You could try the DB Museum (Germany), the National Museum’s transport collection (Australia) or the London Transport Museum (UK). This list of European transport museums may provide further inspiration.
Activities such as the Futurium Lab with its Interactive Future Mobility Simulator (Berlin, Germany) may also be just the ticket. It’s based on the models used in real city planning! Create city layouts, add interventions and then analyse the result for mobility, pollution and more. It’s like a real-life version of SimCity with a focus on sustainability!
6) Book: Movement – How to take back our streets and transform our lives
By Thalia Verkade, Marco te Brömmelstroet
Come along for the ride with Thalia Verkade (journalist) and Marco te Brömmelstroet (urban mobility expert) as they challenge their own beliefs and ask the reader to reconsider placing people at the heart of urban design. Why? To change the way we view our streets and their purpose in our lives. Movement gets us to start by asking the right questions in order to make ‘communities safer, cleaner, and greener’ and to think about how we design cities for all users – not just motorists. Just the book for that person who enjoys challenging the status quo.
7) Sustainable mobility gift cards
Look out for sustainable mobility providers offering gift cards for bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters, such as Beryl in the UK. These are currently only available in a few areas including Bournemouth, Watford and Cornwall. Hopefully, other providers will follow suit so it’s worth checking. If not, you could always buy a carbon-offsetting gift card. Go Climate and Selecta are two examples. While not a substitute for reducing actual CO2 emissions, it’s a great way to raise awareness and support environmental projects.
8) Donation to a transport-related cause
For someone who has everything, you could always make a donation on their behalf to a transport-related cause. Two examples are Transaid (supporting transport in sub-Saharan Africa) and Transport For All (supporting the rights of disabled and older people). Is there a particularly not-for-profit that resonates with your recipient? They might just appreciate this gift. This has a great feel-good factor but most importantly it helps others when it comes to accessing mobility.
With so much choice available there’s something to excite every kind of transport enthusiast. When it comes to finding the perfect gift, it’s all about understanding what someone loves and tailoring your gift to them. So get creative this season and bring the joy of transport alive. That way, you can be sure that your gift will be appreciated and remembered for years to come.
Title photo by Kristina Paukshtite via Pexels