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Saturday, November 23, 2013

What a Traveler Wants - Holiday Gift List

O.M.G. Thanksgiving is almost here, which means the madness of Black Friday will be upon us before we know it. Apparently, it's now Black Thursday, Black Wednesday and Black All of November. I love the holidays as much as everyone else, but can we just take each holiday as it comes instead of making Christmas start in June? Also, is it really that important to get 10% off something at the store that you have to go wait outside the stores before people have even gone to bed? I like to use something called the internet to do 90% of the shopping that I don't do on vacation. For those of you who also like to shop online instead of being trampled by strangers trying to get half-price socks I have put together this fun gift list for the traveler on your list. Of course, there's still some time to get your own wish lists out to family before Black Nightmare begins, too.

We love these! Eric tested these out and found them to be so awesome that we actually bought a second pair and took them on our vacation. They are crazy durable, resist wrinkles and stains, look great for casual or dressy occasions and are quick drying. Wanting to improve on their already fantastic design, Bluff Works will have a new cut of pant rolling out early December - just in time for Christmas! This new design will feature two security pockets (keep your passport safe), a slightly different slash pocket that won't gap and a hidden loop in the front pocket for your keys. In the coming weeks we'll be reviewing the new pants and also running a giveaway. You're going to balk at the cost of the pants, but I guarantee you that they are worth the price, because they are going to LAST. Cost per wear is going to be incredibly low. Did I also mention that they pack well and take up minimal space? A male traveler is going to love these. 

Since most American electronic devices are now dual-watt, it's not necessary to purchase a power converter anymore, but if you're traveling outside of the US an adapter is a necessity. I purchased this bare bones one a while ago and it changes configurations for the different outlets in different countries (which saves space!) and works amazingly well. It's also super affordable and if you buy this pack of tow, you can keep one for yourself. It's definitely an easy stocking stuffer. Need more than one outlet, use it with this next item like I did.

We loved the one we had for travel so much that we bought one of these for our house, too. This compact little gadget is perfect for traveling, because you can make one free outlet into five! We plugged it into our adapter and were able to charge our laptop, cell phones and iPad mini at the same time. Pretty awesome, right? Yeah, I thought so. Belkin is a great brand and you can turn the plug 360 degrees, which means if you have a tight space, it will always fit. Double score! 

Travelon Boarding Bag
I reviewed this awesome bag and I think it's one of the best day bags to have in your travel arsenal. Not only does it hold a ton, it's unisex and keeps all your stuffs organized. It's a big step up from the old boarding bag, but is still compact, even though I was able to get two bottled sodas in it, my camera, makeup and a sweater in it. The strap is wide and comfortable and everything you need is right at your fingertips. It's especially great as, well, a boarding bag on the plane. I've use it as such and lent it to my mom for a flight, too. She liked that she could fit the necessary things from her purse in it, along with a paperback book and battery back-up for her phone.

For the hard-to-please lady traveler on your list, take a look at the luxe line of travel clothing by Anatomie. Choose a staple piece for their jetsetter lifestyle or go for a totally unique piece. You can't really go wrong. The prices aren't cheap, but they are well made, flattering and they'll get a ton of wear out of them, which makes it worth the price. Anatomie makes pants, tops, outerwear and dresses. Not only are they comfortable, but they don't look anything like travel clothes. They just wear like them. Perfect for the lady who likes to blend in.

Skyroll Spinner Carry-On
Maybe you have someone looking for a new travel bag. One that fits in the overhead, yet holds enough for a week's worth of clothes and necessities, is easy to maneuver and will keep your fancy clothes from wrinkling? The Skyroll Spinner has all those features and more, like that it holds your giant laptop, too! We rolled it all over London and Paris and had absolutely no problems with it. You can see how I packed it and this week you can see my second mini-review on it from our last trip, in case you aren't convinced of it's usefulness to travelers of all kinds. 

GoLite Travel Tote
It can be hard to find a multipurpose bag that is lightweight and good looking and is still durable. I had the opportunity to review the GoLite Travel Tote not too long ago and I have been using it ever since, primarily for my many trips to the farmers market. On our most recent trip, I planned to take it with me to the markets - and I did - but it also turned into my carry-on bag that held all my snacks, games and other in-flight necessities. I'll also be writing a mini review of this bag this week that shows how useful it was on our trip. It comes in great colors and seriously will hold my 30 lb market vegetable hauls.

I have one of these packed all the time for trips, so I can just add a few things and throw it in my carry-on. It holds everything I need, even once I get to my destination and unload my 3-1-1 bag(s) into it. A lot of bathrooms are lacking sufficient counter space, so beyond being able to have my toothbrush and toothpaste within reach, I always need to find a spot to put the rest of my stuff. the bag takes the inconvenience out of that by having an adjustable loop you can hang on the doorknob or towel rod or anywhere else you'd like to put it. This is a definite must-have for all travelers. If you feel like this one isn't quite big enough, I can also tell you the regular Hanging Toiletry Kit and the Pack-Flat Toiletry Kit are both spectacular choices too.

Knopf Travel Guides
Is there a destination on someone's travel list? Pick them up a one or two Knopf travel guides. They have fantastic pop-out maps and suggestions for all the fun and cool things to do in each neighborhood. They will be more excited than ever to plan their trip and will have a nice list of affordable things to do, see and places to eat. I took these guides with me to London and Paris (both times I traveled) and they were invaluable for finding attractions and underground stations.

While this is not a complete list of all the things I find to be great ideas for jetsetters, it's a good start and definitely full of things I would want to receive as a traveler. For more ideas, check out my previous list here. There will be more reviews and gift guides before the holidays get here, so keep reading the blog for ideas or sign up for my email subscription to be alerted to new posts right away.


  1. I use my Belkin mini surge protector (that I learned about from one of your posts a couple of years ago) at home too! My laptop is plugged into it right now :)

  2. I need a nice travel bag! Something that's not too bulky, yet can keep lots of stuff.

    1. If you are looking for a day bag, the Travelon Boarding Bag is def a winner. They also have the Urban Tour Bag that I love, and my husband uses as a personal item on the plane.


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