Y’all. I love Christmas. I’ve been accumulating gifts for people for months now because gifting is kind of my thing. I take a lot of pride in finding the right gift for the right person. So, I figured I would put together a little gift guide to help you find something for the traveler (or aspiring traveler) in your life!
Gifts for Frequent Flyers
I’m not the first person to recommend these, and I won’t be the last. But all the hype is for a reason — these are absolute game-changers on a flight. I prefer the over-ear version, but they have ear buds as well if you have a larger budget.
Scott’s Cheap Flights is a service that sends you alerts when there are crazy flight deals happening. For example, I booked roundtrip flights from DC to Portugal for under $600 after receiving an email from Scott’s Cheap Flights. You set your home airport (and other airports you wouldn’t mind traveling to), and then the deals come right to your inbox. They usually include how long they think the flight deal will last, what travel dates the deal is good for, and a sample search link to take you straight to the best deal.
This set of travel-sized goodies has some of my favorite products in it, and some awesome on-the-go makeup minis. I swear by the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting spray, especially in more humid climates. The Brazilian Bum Bum Cream also smells like what I’m fairly certain heaven smells like.
I take a journal with me everywhere I go. I love to sit down with it during a quiet moment and recount the people, places, and things I’ve experienced each day. This particular journal is really cool because it has a ton of unusual prompts to help you remember often overlooked parts of your adventure.
Gifts for Traveling from the Comfort of Home
I have a giant scratch-off map mounted over my bed, and the joy I get from hopping up on my mattress after hitting a new destination and scratching away with my little coin is damn near inappropriate. For me, a scratch map has been both a blessing and a curse — a blessing in that I derive great satisfaction from uncovering the brightly colored outlines of places I’ve been; a curse in that the world is huge and you realize just how much more traveling there is to do. Although I suppose that’s not a curse to anything but my wallet.
When I tell you these smell SO GOOD, please trust me. They’re perfect for a friend or family member who loves exploring the US, or maybe the person that can’t travel as much as they’d like anymore and could use a burst of scented nostalgia.
I purchased one of these Yoho Co Pennants while I was out in Jackson Hole. I have it hanging in my office as a little reminder of the places I’ve been when I’m not stuck at my desk. One of my friends picked up a pennant for her son’s bedroom, which has a very cool National Park theme. They’re on the pricier side, but they are handmade and beautiful.
The photos in this book alone are enough to inspire you to travel. I recommend opening it to a random page and making it your goal to see that sight on and on in perpetuity until you see ALL THE PLACES.
These puzzles are not only gorgeous, but they allow you to take a “tabletop trip to a favorite metropolis.” Travel in the COVID era is complicated, and some people aren’t comfortable boarding a plane just get. Maybe the beautiful Paris puzzle will help tide over your Francophile friend until they’re able to get back there.
This little gem makes your travel day SO much easier. Designed to fit in the seatback pocket of most aircrafts, this handy-dandy organizer allows you to keep all the items you may need in flight organized, which means no more reaching into the depths of the pocket to search for your missing earbuds, and no struggling to pull your backpack out from the seat in front of you to grab a pencil for your crossword puzzle.
This backpack was on my wish list for the better part of this year, and I finally received it as a birthday present. It is perfect for an overnight or weekend trip, and even fits the “personal item” requirements of the most *Spirited* airline. There is a cozy spot to put your laptop or tablet, and the front pocket is spacious enough for snacks. I can’t say enough good things about it.
I am the type of traveler who prides myself on fitting everything into my carry-on, even if that means my carry-on is 45 pounds and the zipper is looking at me hatefully from the amount of stress its enduring. I am able to achieve these incredible feats of physics largely thanks to my packing cubes. Not only do they help me shove in more stuff, but they are essential in keeping your items organized.
A cosmetic bag has so many potential uses for travelers outside of just carrying makeup. I like to contain all of my chargers/cords/adaptors in a bag so that they don’t get lost in the chaos of my carryon or suitcase. You could also use it for items you want on a long flight, like a pair of fuzzy socks, an eye mask, a sheet mask, etc.
Gifts for Aspiring Travelers
If you’re like me, babies are popping up all over the place in your life. One of my go-to baby shower gifts is the board book set to help teach all the little nuggets that there is a big, giant world out there to be discovered.
If you have kiddos in your life that are elementary school age, I highly recommend a subscription to Atlas Crate. It’s a monthly subscription service that delivers a box right to your door with globally-inspired projects that kids can complete on their own. For example, in the Peru crate, kids get to craft their own fluffy alpaca and try their hand at weaving traditional textiles. There’s usually also a recipe to make a tasty treat from each country, and you should have learned by now that I believe food is intrinsic to travel.
Baby Kate would have LOVED to have something like this. This camera comes in 3 different colors and has a waterproof case up to 100 feet. Whether you’re going to the beach, going on a cruise, or just staying in a hotel with a pool, the possible photo ops are endless. Kids these days will never know the disappointment of buying a waterproof, disposable camera, taking some photos in murky water, and waiting 2 weeks for those photos to get developed only to be able to see literally nothing.
I really like the dual function of this Passport and Vaccine car holder. Plus, there are a number of various color options. It’s a great practical option for someone who travels out of the country with some regularity.
I will not travel without and eye mask and earplugs. You never know what the sleeping situation is going to be, and I take sleep seriously. The eye masks linked above are on the pricier side, but they are silky, cozy, and will not contribute to the scourge of burgeoning crows feet. There are eye mask options everywhere though, so you can easily find options that are weighted or scented or anything in between.
I know it is tempting to take off your shoes on a long flight and walk around in your socks. However, I have it on good authority from a flight attendant that airplane aisles and especially bathrooms are, unsurprisingly, cess pools of germs. These machine washable gripper slipper socks are a good compromise. They pack down flat in their own little bag (so dirty slippers stay separate from your clean items), are very cozy, and they’re cute as a bonus.
Luggage tags add some personality to your standard issue luggage. Plus, these brightly colored options make your bag easier to spot on the baggage carousel, which means less likelihood you have 7 other people jockeying to grab your bag thinking it’s theirs.
Happy shopping everyone! I hope this list was helpful in finding a gift for the traveler on your list! Leave a comment below with which gift idea was your favorite.
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