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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Holiday Travel Gift List 2019

Can you believe it's already Thanksgiving-time? I can't. These last few months have snuck up on me and I'm nowhere near ready for the holidays. Luckily, we don't do big dinner at our house and we go out, and Eric and I do things instead of buying things, so I really only have to worry about others. I know you probably have travelers to buy for, or need to give your list to others, so I've got a whole (mostly) new list for you, no matter your budget.

Stocking Stuffers - Budget Items - $50 or Less

1. FaceCradle

There are so many travel pillows to choose from, but one of the best I've tried is the FaceCradle. Not only is it perfect for the ever-diminishing airplane space, but it's great for tall people, and for using on trains and in cars as well. It has a bunch of different ways to use it. We have the regular version and the lite version, and we sleep like babies on the plane. You can see my review here$49.99 on Amazon
2. Airplane Pockets
So, I hate the airplane seat pocket. It's never big enough, it already has stuff in it that isn't mine, and usually there's trash in there from the previous flyer. When I saw these on Kickstarter, I immediately wanted them. We ordered enough for our family traveling from Portland to Scotland and I love them. Airplane Pockets fit over your tray table, making it antibacterial, and give you four pockets - one large one and three smaller ones - to fit everything you need for a flight. After you land, slip it off, fold it up, and toss it in your bag. $23.90 on Amazon
3. Travel Anywhere (and Avoid Being a Tourist)
If you have a newer traveler on your list, then this is a great book for them. They can learn about how to blend in anywhere they go and avoid looking and feeling like a tourist. Because you know, I always suggest trying to be a better traveler, so maybe you'll want this for your own list. It's on mine.
"The travel editors at Fathom have spent years gathering a treasure trove of recommendations and stories from a network of interesting people who travel well (chefs, novelists, designers, innkeepers, musicians) in places both well-known and off the beaten path. " 
$13.38 on Amazon
4. Q2 Power Travel Adapter
Anyone who travels outside of the country needs an adapter for their electronics. Most US electronics are dual voltage, so you don't have to worry about a converter. This adapter from Bracketron can be used in a bunch of countries, and has a built-in USB outlet for your phone. This was my favorite adapter on my last trip. It charges your phone quickly, and I was able to plug my laptop into the main outlet. It worked perfectly. I only wished I had a second one. $19.95 on Amazon
5. Lewis N Clark Compression Packing Cubes
Sometimes you want to pack more, but in the same small bag. I love a good packing cube, and these expandable ones from Lewis N Clark are fantastic for cramming more in that carry-on. Pack them expanded, then compress them to give yourself more space. I love these for the added room in my bag, but also because they help keep your bag organized, which is nice if you pack just for you or you share a bag like we do. $23.99 for a 2-pc set on Amazon
6. Bracketron Roadtripper
The Roadtripper is a multifunctional travel tool. It is a phone stand, but you can unfold it to also hold your tablet and your phone for viewing videos on the tray table latch, so it's at eye level. If you're on the road and need to use your phone as a GPS, this also works for that...and it's certainly not flimsy like a lot of those other phone holders you buy elsewhere. The roadtripper folds up small and unfolds in different ways for what you need to use it for. $50 on Bracketron, but it is on sale now for $29.99. You can also find it at Best Buy and other stores.
7. Happyluxe Wayfarer Travel Wrap 
I love this oversized wrap. It's so soft and comfortable, I can wear it as a shawl or a blanket or a big scarf, or it can be used as a picnic blanket. It packs up small, so I can stuff it in my purse with my snacks. Everyone needs one, in my opinion. $34+ on Amazon.
8. Travelon Convertible Crossbody Duffel
I always travel with a back-up bag, which can be annoying when you need that extra space to begin with. This back-up duffel is both a crossbody purse that converts into a duffel when you head home. I love this bag. It has a removable, adjustable strap, and two sturdy handles. I've used it several times on trips and it's the perfect take-along for your carry-on. $20 on Amazon or $28 on Travelon (get 20% off with code SHEREENTRAVELS20%)
9. Don't Go There
The next best thing to travel is reading about travel. I love reading about people's cool travel stories, and I like weird destinations, so this book is on my own gift list. Adam Fletcher seems to be my type of human:
 "I'm particularly interested in:

1. The weird things humans do to each other when they think no-one else is looking.
2. Travelling places everyone is trying to get away from.
3. Technology and how it's changing everything (mostly too quickly, I feel).
4. Googling myself."
This is book one of two. $10.55 on Amazon, book 2 called Don't Come Back is $9.99 on Amazon

10. Hydaway Collapsible Water Bottle
It's always important to stay hydrated (or bring along your favorite wine to the picnic). Get your mom something she can really use that also won't weigh her down. This amazing bottle is collapsible when empty, and can slip right in your bag or pocket. Not only is this bottle cool, but it's also BPA-free, can go in the dishwasher, is leak-proof, can go in the freezer, and can hold alcohol. It fits in your car cupholders, too! $21.95 on Amazon.

Moderate Items - $50-100

1. Travelon's new Heritage Weekender
This bag is so beautiful and unisex and user-friendly. It unzips on top and has a phenomenal wide mouth opening, because they know what we all want and need in our bags! It can easily hold a week's worth of clothing with spare shoes and toiletries. The Heritage collection is lovely and wears so we'll. The longer you use it, the more worn and fantastic the fabric looks. $105 on Travelon (get 20% off if you use code SHEREENTRAVELS20%)
2. Uber gift cards 
Sometimes renting a car isn't worth the money and sometimes public transportation isn't an option (like late at night). Make sure they get there safely and easily with gift cards they can add to their Uber account for a cheaper trip. You can buy these at Target or other big box stores. Any denomination on Uber website 
3. The Barrier Method Winged Travel Mask
Okay, I feel like travel is one of those things that can be simultaneously awesome and awful. You get to go to cool new places and you can also get some disgusting sicknesses from all the germs everywhere, especially on the plane. This anti-bacterial mask is both healthy and pretty and can be used to stay well, reduce your allergens, keep your neck warm, among other things. Gift your traveler with gift of health and wellness with one of these. $60 from The Barrier Method (you can read my review here.)
4. Airbnb gift cards
Accommodations can get spendy, so give them something they can really use no matter where they go. Let them choose where to go and where to stay to make them happy whenever they travel. You can purchase any denomination either at a local store that sells gift cards or Amazon
5. Walter + Ray TAB
Getting on the plane and then having to contort your body uncomfortably to get items you want to use in-flight out of the bag under the seat in front of you is crazy! Walter + Ray invented the TAB in response to allow you to pack everything you need for your flight in a slim pocket that has a tab that slides into the seat pocket or a strap that fits over the tray table, even closed, so you always have access to all your goodies and you don't have to hurry to shove them all in the seat pocket and then realize you've forgotten something after you've deplaned. $65 on Walter + Ray's website
6. Benjilock
Regular TSA-accepted locks usually suck, and are easy to forget the combination to, especially if you only travel a few times a year. If that's a problem your recipient has too, so he just doesn't use a lock on her luggage, a Benjilock might just be what he needs. Instead of a combination or a key, it opens with a fingerprint. And if he's traveling with several people who are using the same carry-on/suitcase, it can hold up to 10 fingerprints. $70 on Amazon, but can also be found at The Home Depot and QVC and Ace Hardware.
7. Timbuk2 Swig Backpack
I go on at least one trip alone each year, or a short getaway, where I don't take a lot. I have this bag, which perfectly fits my giant laptop, a few changes of clothes and my toiletries. It's got a very slim profile, so it sits against your body very comfortably. I hate bringing more than I need, but I also like to use this as a personal item on longer trips, so I can keep my necessities under the seat in front of me. $64 on Amazon
8. Herschel Winslow Garment Bag
If a more streamlined garment bag is something they're looking for, look no further than the Winslow Garment Bag that looks like a funky softside briefcase. It comes in cool colors and patterns and has mesh zippered pockets inside for all their accessories. It even has a trolley sleeve to slip it over your rolling bag, but can also be used as a pocket when you don't need that feature. $119, but on sale for $47.99 right now on Herschel website
9. Tropicfeel shoes
I backed these as a kickstarter, because they sounded amazing. They are pretty much Spring and Summer shoes (though if the fall isn't cold, you could wear them then too). We travel to Vegas a lot and do a ton of theme parks, which have plenty of water activities. These shoes are like your best sneakers and water shoes in one. I backed them hoping they would be as good as they sounded, and they were. We both have a pair and they are super lightweight, can be worn with or without socks, and look fantastic. They are perfect for all the walking your giftee will do on their travels. $78 on TropicFeel 
10. Cashmere travel blanket
Sure, you could buy them any number of other travel blankets, but add a bit of luxe to their travels, especially those college kids staying in super cheap accommodations, and to make their economy seat a little less awful. I like this one that's a wool/cashmere blend, making it a bit more affordable for your wallet, too. $81 on Amazon

Splurge Items - $100 or More

1. Priority Pass
Hanging out in the airport can be fun, but after a while, you wish it could be better. Buy them access to all the airport lounges, so they can get some peace and quiet, free snacks and maybe get some work done or catch a shower. You can purchase them a standard pass for $99/year, or upgrade him to the plus for $299, which includes 10 free visits (generally member visits are $32). 
2. Arcopedico L8 Booties
I love these. While they aren't waterproof, they are water resistant, look great with everything, have an open toe box, so you aren't squashed into them, even with fat socks on. These booties are a bit stretchy and have dual arch support, giving your body the stance it needs to keep your feet, legs and back from hurting, even if you're walking all day long. Find them on Amazon for $122+.
3. A Great Hardside Carry-On 
Everyone needs a great carry-on, and if overpacking is an issue, a hardside is just what is called for. I have several go-to bags for different trips. I love my Lojel Nimbus, but I also have another Lojel bag I like. Check out the Alto Small. Ebags also makes awesome bags, including the Fortis Pro. It even has a USB port, so you can charge while traveling. Fortis Pro $179 on Amazon
4. iPad Mini
I take my iPad Mini everywhere I go. It does everything and I love reading on it, since it's so lightweight. If you know someone who needs a tablet, this is a great one to get for travel, so they can read, watch videos, stream movies/tv, play games, write emails, take notes, and more. I even do work on mine sometimes. $280 on Amazon
5. Skyroll Garment Bag
For business travelers, or those who go on cruises, or a lot of special occasions, the Skyroll is an awesome addition to a trip, as it is a high capacity garment bag with a built in shoe compartment and toiletry bag. Arrive at destinations with all your formal clothes in perfect condition, no ironing needed. There's also zipper compartments for smaller items like socks, ties, and underwear. $150 at Men's Warehouse or on Skyroll
6. GoPro Hero 8
Got an adventurous sort on your list? Perhaps they want to take video of everything they experience everywhere they go. You've seen people with GoPros doing extreme sports, but they are just as good at Disneyland or walking around cities. Let them record it all. $399 on Amazon
7. Pivo Camera Stand
If a GoPro isn't in your budget, or you have a blogger or social media star on your list, then let them turn their phone into an amazing photo and video studio. I backed Pivo on Kickstarter, because it can be difficult to take a bunch of pics in a row without having to stop and reset after each one, even with the timer on your phone. Pivo, basically, gives you a photo studio in a compact phone holder. It comes with a tiny remote as well. I love it and I'm learning all its capabilities slowly. $99+ on Pivo website

Hopefully this list will give you a good starting (and maybe an ending point) for your gift recipients. I've found so many great new travel items this year and I can't wait until next year's Travel Goods Show to see even more that I can bring you in 2020. 

Have a wonderful holiday and good luck with your travels and the travelers on your list.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links that will result in monetary compensation should you make a purchase through them. Thanks in advance.

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