30 Best Gifts for Travelers

Best Gifts for Travelers

We’re big believers in the old adage that experiences are far more valuable than material things. Bu the Best Gifts for Travelers can help make our adventures much more pleasurable.


This year alone we’ve sampled over 100 different pieces of travel gear, ranging in price from under $50 to well over $500. From luggage and clothing to tech products and camera gear, there’s something here for every travel style and budget.


What follows is our unbiased (i.e. unpaid) reviews of the 30 Best Gifts for Travelers for the 2015 Holiday season, broken down into sections that appeal to different budgets.

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Racing Extinction Image Projected on Empire State Building


The Cove Director Louie Psihoyos on


His New Film, Racing Extinction


Louie Psihoyos changed my life.


I’d known about the importance of ecotourism and conservation since 2000. But it was Psihoyos’ 2009 directorial debut, The Cove (which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary) that showed me the difference solid storytelling could make in confronting complex environmental issues. Along with Al Gore’s An Inconvenient TruthThe Cove made me want to write stories that truly mattered.


Now Psihoyos (a veteran National Geographic photographer who co-founded the non-profit Oceanic Preservation Society) is back with an essential documentary six years in the making. Racing Extinction follows the director and his passionate team of activists as they expose two major threats to endangered species around the globe– climate change and the international wildlife trade.


Once again Psihoyos and Co. put themselves in harm’s way in pursuit of their story, going undercover to bust an illicit ring of wildlife traffickers in China. Once again they offer long-term sustainable solutions to devastating problems, educating Indonesian villagers on the economic benefits of conserving Manta Rays rather than killing them and educating viewers on lowering their carbon footprint. The results are informative, inspiring and way more thrilling than the new James Bond flick.


I was honored to have a chance to speak to Psihoyos a few weeks before Racing Extinction makes its December 2 premiere on the Discovery Channel.


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Sunset on Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach

Pleasure House Oysters

Helps Restore Chesapeake Bay


It’s a chilly October morning when we head out with Captain Chris Ludford of Virginia Beach’s Pleasure House Oysters. We step onto his boat loaded with oyster cages, colorful baskets, and various other tools of the oyster farming trade, sitting on massive coolers made to keep his harvest fresh for the local farm-to-table restaurants that serve them.


There’s a crisp breeze and clear blue skies as we pass by Pharrell Williams’ palatial summer home and cross the gaping mouth where the Lynnhaven River feeds into Chesapeake Bay. It’s only 8AM and, other than a few squawking Gulls and Cormorants resting in the shallows at low tide, there’s not a single soul within sight. It’s a tranquil, picturesque scene.


But as we struggle to wake up while nursing huge cups of steaming hot coffee to ward off the chill, Captain Chris– a full-time firefighter who has been fishing these waters since he was a kid– has already been out for hours, and is clearly pumped to show us his passion project.

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Cliffs of Moher, Ireland. Photo: Creative Commons Flickr by My Wave Photos

Top 7 Eco Attractions in Ireland


Ireland isn’t nicknamed the Emerald Isle for nothing. This vibrant green country is known for its undulating hills, giant peaks, and dramatic coastline, making it one of the best places in Europe to get outdoors and enjoy nature.


I fell in love with the Emerald Isle in May 2015, while researching for my print guidebook A Year in the UK and Ireland. As an avid hiker, I knew I would adore it, but what I didn’t realize was how much of a mark Ireland would leave on me, an impression that I’m sure will last a lifetime.


These seven eco attractions are the best things to do in Ireland to get you in touch with its strongest asset– its wild, untamed, and jaw-dropping natural scenery.


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Baby Gorilla in Volcanos National Park, Rwanda

PIC OF THE DAY: Baby Gorilla

in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda


Trekking to see the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda was one of those “bucket list” dreams we never imagined would come true. Even now, a month after we visited Volcanoes National Park, it feels strangely surreal, like something we saw in a movie long ago.


We’d been to the park the previous day to do a Golden Monkey trek, so there was lots of build-up and anticipation: waking up at the crack of dawn, arriving at the park to see hundreds of hikers, porters and guides milling about, watching a traditional troupe of Rwandan singers and dancers perform, and splitting off into groups to get instructions before heading into the forest.


We’ll have the full story about our mountain gorilla trek (including our insane guide, Françoise, who worked as a porter for Dian Fossey back in the ’80s) coming next month, to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Fossey’s death.


But for now we wanted to share this handsome little fella– the very first gorilla we saw as we turned a corner in the thick underbrush and entered a clearing our trackers had made. He was sitting right at eye level in some shrubs, just a few feet away from his mama. She kept a watchful eye on the 3-month-old, but seemed completely unconcerned by our proximity.


But the baby? He was FASCINATED by our camera. He gradually moved closer to get a better look, those wide eyes full of curiosity and wonder. Several times he leaned forward and pounded his little chest, and I had to stifle my laughter in an effort to stay quiet.


After showing us who was boss, the baby gorilla sat back down and started eating the greenery that surrounded him. As he briefly looked up towards the sun, we snapped this photo, which proved to be my favorite by far of the hundreds we shot on that magical, memorable day in the mountains of Rwanda. –Bret Love



If you enjoyed our Baby Gorilla photo, you might also like: 

PHOTO GALLERY: Madagascar Animals

PHOTO GALLERY: Amboseli National Park & Timbavati Game Reserve

PHOTO GALLERY: J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge

PHOTO GALLERY: The Beauty of Galapagos Birds

PHOTO GALLERY: The Ansel Adams Wilderness by NatGeo’s Peter Essick

PHOTO GALLERY: Our Top 20 Photos of 2014

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Co-Founded by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett, Green Global Travel is an ecotourism, nature / wildlife conservation & cultural preservation magazine. More about us.

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Destinations We’ve Covered:

Egypt- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Madagascar- Ring-tailed Lemurs at Anja Reserve
Morocco- A Journey into the Atlas Mountains
South Africa- Londolozi Game Reserve Safari
South Africa- Kruger National Park
South Africa- South Africa- Zulu Memories
Tanzania- Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

How To Get To Antarctica w/out Doing the Drake
The Haunting Beauty of Icebergs
Penguins of Antarctica
Taking the Polar Plunge
Top 5 Eco Attractions in Antarctica
Whales of Antarctica
Borneo- Sabah Ecotourism Attractions
India- Ranthambhore National Park
India- Tibetan Culture In Ladakh
Laos- The Pastoral Paradise of Muang Ngoi
Malaysia- Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre
Malaysia- Orangutan Conservation at Sepilok
Nepal- Hiking The Annapurna Circuit
Taiwan- Top 5 Eco Activities in Taipei
Thailand- Top 5 National Parks
Australia- Top 5 Eco Attractions
Australia-Kangaroo Island
Australia-Maria Island
New Zealand- Kapiti Island
New Zealand- Tongariro National Park
New Zealand- Top 5 Ecotourism Attractions
Tahiti- First Impressions
Tahiti- Photo Gallery
Tahiti- Moorea 4x4 Safari Tour
Tahiti- Moorea, Tiki Village Theater
Tahiti- Pearl Diving in Bora Bora
Tahiti- Ruahatu Marine Sanctuary, Bora Bora
Tahiti- Swimming With Sharks in Bora Bora
Tonga- Eua Island Eco Activities


Churchill- Into the Wild of Manitoba
Churchill- Polar Bear Fight
Churchill- Polar Bear Photo Gallery
Churchill- Tundra Wildlife

America’s Best Volcanoes
AL- Fishing Mobile Bay
AL- Mobile Carnival Museum
AK- Denali National Park
CA- Hiking The John Muir Trail
FL- Sanibel Island Eco Activities
FL- Crystal River, Swimming with Manatees
FL- Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge
GA- Barnsley Gardens
GA- Top 5 Autumn Activities Around Atlanta
GA- Best Christmas Light Displays
GA- Top 20 Atlanta Christmas Events
GA- Jekyll Island Eco Activities
GA- Weekend in North GA Mountains
GA- Top 5 Eco Attractions in North GA
HI- Hawaii’s Big Island
HI- Hawaiian Mythology
HI - Top 5 Kauai Nature Attractions
LA- Lafayette Cajun Food Tour
LA- Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday
LA- Voodoo Museum
MT- Hiking Glacier National Park
NC- Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge
NC- Asheville's Green Restaurants Scene
NC- Asheville's Top Ecotourism Attractions
NC- Greensboro Travel Guide
NC- Great Smoky Mountains National Park
NC- Outer Banks Wild Horses
NM- Top 5 Eco Attractions
NY- Going Green in NYC
TX- Sea Turtle Rescue, South Padre Island
WV- Outdoor Adventures
Yellowstone- Mammoth Hot Springs
Yellowstone- Lamar Valley
Yellowstone- Grand Canyon & Hayden Valley
Yellowstone- Upper Geyser Basin
Yellowstone- Lower Geyser Basin

Cancun- Cancun Underwater Museum
Cancun- Mayan Museum of Archaeology
Cancun- Swimming with Whale Sharks
Riviera Maya- Monkeys, Pyramids & Pottery
Riviera Maya- Rio Secreto
Riviera Maya- Tulum & Coba