This is our fifth year of rounding up our picks for the Best Gifts for Travelers. And every year, our product selection just keeps getting bigger and better.
This guide is our most epic by far, with over 125 different travel gift ideas for every type of traveler. From luggage and clothing to tech products and foodie gifts, there’s something here for every travel style, budget, and personality quirk.
To make our expansive easier to navigate, you can jump straight to your section(s) of interest using the handy links below:
TRAVEL GIFT IDEAS:
- Best Gifts for Men
- Best Gifts for Women
- Best Gifts for Campers
- Best Active Travel Gifts
- Best Gifts for Business Travelers/Frequent Travelers
- Best Tech Gifts
- Best Gifts for Foodies
- Best Fair Trade Gifts
- Best Eco Friendly Gifts
- Best Gifts for Christmas Lovers
BEST GIFTS FOR MEN
Perfect for the man on the go, this prologue travel jacket from Outdoor Research is sure to be a favorite. The jacket can be worn anywhere and everywhere.
Made from a durable, stretchy nylon/spandex double-weave fabric, the jacket not only keeps you warm but also wards off wind and bad weather. It dries quickly without leaving wrinkles in the fabric.
It also features movement-mirroring stretch, full frontal lining, and underarm vents, which make the jacket breathable without compromising warmth.
A chest zip pocket, hand zip pockets on either side, and an internal drop-in pocket allow for easy carrying of vital items while on the go.
Give the traveling guy in your life a gift he can use throughout his travels. Patagonia’s hybrid hoody uses Nano-Air® technology– a combination of airy, wicking knit, a flyweight shell fabric, and 40-g FullRange® insulation.
The hoodie is odor-resistant, water-repellant, and fits the body perfectly with its stretchy elastic waist. It’s also not bulky, so it doesn’t weigh you down or cause overheating.
One thing we love about Patagonia is their commitment to being part of the solution to pollution. They actively work towards reducing their carbon footprint and helping others create a cleaner planet. They also strive to ensure that their products help to promote fair labor practices throughout their supply chain.
This versatile cargo bag from T3 is ideal for the avid traveling male. It can be used as either a backpack or a duffle bag, thanks to its strategic design. The bag comes with a lifetime warranty and guarantees high quality performance.
The bag can withstand getting dirty and is really easy to clean. It’s also extremely lightweight, weighing in at just 2 pounds.
Available in varying cargo-style colours, the bag also has multiple pocket spaces, as well as a large middle space to hold all essential items and valuables.
II ¼ Zip
GGT founders Bret and Mary have been huge fans of Tasc Performance gear for several years. Now the brand has created yet another winning jacket for the active traveling male.
The Charge II 1/4 Zip is made with bamboo, which is Tasc’s signature material. As a result, this jacket is lightweight but warm, as well as being good for the planet.
With moisture-wicking and odor control features, it’s perfect for any guy who needs a jacket that will work for both outdoor adventure as well as casual wear. It also has UPF 50+ protection and superior breathability, so it’s great in places like the Galapagos and Kenya, where it’s warm by day but often cool at night.
The jacket’s other noteworthy features include a lock-down zipper, mesh inner lining for ventilation, and thumbholes to keep the arms from riding up while running or climbing.
Unbound Merino Ct Hoodie + 2 T-Shirts
This bundle is a perfect gift for any man, but especially globe-trotting men.
Unbound Merino products can go for long periods of time without needing to be washed. And thanks to the merino wool that is used to make the products, they don’t smell, even after a full day of hiking!
With this combo of a hoodie and two T-shirts, the amount of clothes you need to pack lessens drastically. The clothes wick moisture away from the body, dry quickly, and don’t wrinkle.
In short, this combo will save the traveling man in your life time, money, and packing space, and keep their adventures more spontaneous.
The traditional style of flannel plaid combined with fabric technology and travel pockets make this the perfect men’s travel shirt. Deep zippered pockets allow for the safe carrying of travel documents, phone, plane tickets, etc.
The shirt is made from lightweight, ultra-soft ThermoCore yarns, which helps it retain heat. It also features vertical wicking, which keeps it dry and comfortable, as well as LYCRA spandex which aids in mobility and shape recovery.
Royal Robbins is a bluesign® system partner, and the brand is committed to minimizing their environmental impact.
This includes their Rewear program, in which people can return clothes, which will either be re-worn, recycled, or reused. All participants in the program receive a 25% discount on future purchases.
Second only to Howler Bros. among my favorite brands of men’s clothing, Toad & Co. also has the dressy casual look I love down to a science.
Their Drover Denim Pants look like jeans, but feel more like khakis (made from 98% organic cotton, 2% spandex).
I pair them with a Mahogany colored Kennicott 1/4 Zip, which has a recycled wool/poly/nylon blend outside and soft jersey inside.
But my favorite T&C piece is my bronze Airvoyant Puff Vest, which is made from 100% recycled polyester. It’s warm and water-repellant without the bulk you’d expect, adding a slimming look to any outfit.
Top quality meets superior comfort in Gruff and Tumble men’s underwear, which is made for bigger fellas with a little extra junk in their trunks.
All of their styles have a 3D cradling pouch to hold in your man’s precious cargo, and anti-chafing, soft-stitched flat seams to keep skin protected. They’re available in three types:
The Journeyman is the luxury option. They are also the thinnest of the three, making them feel light and airy on the wearer.
The Sportsman, as the name suggests, is perfect for more active guys. They’re made of a lightweight poly blend and designed with key mesh zones to keep things cool and breezy.
The Statesman is the line’s most traditional, relaxed pair. The buttery soft fabric blend fits perfectly to the body without constricting it. They’re so comfy, your guy may not want to take them off.
Moxy and Zen
Moxy and Zen is another brand that knows its way around a good pair of men’s underwear. Made from organic bamboo, their men’s underwear is good for skin and great for the environment.
Each pair has a relatively simplistic design. Having no fly makes the underwear more breathable, while flatlock stitching helps to eliminate skin irritations.
The underwear has no itchy labels or tags, only ironed-on care instructions. Moxy and Zen offers men’s briefs, boxer briefs, and trunks, all of which are available in a funky array of patterns. These include:
Cosmic Exploration– A space-inspired pattern with planets and stars completely covering a blue background.
Doom Code– This underwear pattern is based on the main function, D_DoomLoop() on line 354.
Clowder of Cats– A clowder of colorful cat faces completely covering the full pair of underwear.
I’ve had facial hair for the better part of 30 years now, but last year I really got my beard game on point.
Keeping it that way when we’re traveling can be tough (I actually broke my Wahl Groomsman on our trip to Scotland in 2017). But the Essential Travel Kit from iconic British brand Truefitt & Hill makes it easier.
The set includes travel sizes of their award-winning Pre Shave Oil, Ultimate Comfort Shaving Cream, Ultimate Comfort Aftershave Balm, and a hand-made shaving brush. The only thing missing is the razor!
READ MORE: The 40 Best Backpacks for Travelers
BEST GIFTS FOR WOMEN
Made of CyclePET materials (a durable polyester fabric made from post-consumer beverage bottles), this Haiku Saddle bag is an eco-conscious and stylish gift all in one. Each bag saves 12 plastic bottles from ending up in a landfill.
The design is simple, yet stylish on the outside, with maximum functionality on the inside. The bag boasts 3 separate compartments, including an exterior zip at the back to secure your most valuable items.
There is an exterior slip for easy access to smaller items, and an inner zip to hold things safely inside. The bag also has an RFID-blocking pocket to keep your chip cards safe.
The Bliss Saddle bag is the perfect size to travel with, and the adjustable strap means it can be worn either as a crossbody or slung of the shoulder.
Kindred Skincare Travel Care Kit
It’s important for women to look after their skin, especially when they’re traveling (as flying dries you out). Kindred offers the perfect travel kit for ladies’ skin.
This is the ultimate set for traveling skincare packaged in a ready-to-go cosmetic bag. Inside you’ll find .5 oz containers of Oil Cleanse, Blemish Cleanse, Polish Cleanse, Morning Moisture, Nightly Nourish, La Femme, Under Eye Treatment, and Intense Moisture.
All of Kindred’s products are free of parabens, sulfates, fragrances, petroleum derivatives, colorants, other harsh chemicals, and any animal by-product.
They’re all made of natural and organic ingredients, such as aloe vera, beeswax, spirulina, as well as many other fruits, nuts, and flowers.
Laurme Skincare Anti-Aging Travel Gift Set
Laurme Skincare has put together a travel gift set full of their best anti-aging products. It’s great for helping ladies to keep up with their skin routines throughout their adventures.
The set consists of 1 oz 2-in-1 Gentle Cleansing Milk, a 1 oz Rose Hydrating Toner/Mist, 1/3 oz Vitamin C Brightening Serum, ½ oz Ultra Hydrating Facial Cream, and ½ oz Lemon Tart Exfoliating Mask. Each product is paraben, phthalate, sulfate, and fragrance-free.
All of this is packed beautifully into an organic cotton bag, which is ethically sourced from Work+Shelter, a non-profit NGO based in India. The product bottles are TSA approved, so you should have no issues going through security.
Is someone on your gift list looking for a fashionable answer to keeping warm and dry during their travels?
The hooded Rainrap combines the design of a pashmina and a wrap, and it’s made from 100% polyester. As a result it’s both water-repellent and really lightweight, making it perfect for cold, windy, and even rainy days while traveling.
The Rainrap is reversible– one side is plain black and the other is red plaid– offering two different looks for your travel wardrobe. There are 2 shell buttons and a magnetic closure to keep it closed and secure.
The Rainrap also comes with a matching black travel pouch as well, making it easy to fold up and pack into luggage.
Tani USA Women’s SilkCut Luxury Pajamas Set
Sleeping soundly away from home can sometimes be a downfall for travelers. But not with these luxurious ladies pajamas from Tani.
The matching top and bottom set is made from all natural materials and is cozy and comfy to sleep or lounge in. The material used is Micro Modal® Air fabric, which somehow feels even softer to the skin than silk.
The pajamas are knit in Europe and made with the utmost care. They are naturally moisture wicking to keep you dry throughout the night, even in humid climates.
The set includes long bottoms and a long-sleeve, button-down top with a belt to add to the style. They are available in both maroon and blue.
Garnet Hill Cashmere Cable-Detail Cardigan
Spoil the special lady in your life with this gorgeous Garnet Hill cashmere cardigan. The relaxed fit cardigan goes well with just about any outfit, and is great for a light covering in cool weather climates such Ireland and Patagonia.
With its long sleeves, drop shoulders, and rib-knit detail (at the front, hem, and cuffs), this cardigan is simple, yet elegant and fashionable.
The 100% cashmere, tunic-length sweater is made using only the highest quality materials, and is designed to last for years.
Their cardigans are made in a factory that’s designed to use less water, less energy and fewer chemicals. They are also dyed with only Oeko-Tex®-certified eco-friendly dyes.
The Tee is a zip-up, long-sleeved stylish fleece shirt. It has a low-profile media system (with media port and earbud guides) as well as a hidden security pocket on each side.
The tights are made from a lightweight, 4-way stretch and feature side panels on both sides of the legs to keep small valuables in. They also have a hidden waistband key pocket and a UPF rating of 50+, keeping your skin safe from UV exposure.
SAG is known for creating brilliant adventure clothing and accessories for women. But they’re also involved in supporting Nepal by creating jobs for women there, and ensuring they use only ethical suppliers.
For every product sold, the company makes a donation to help educate Sherpa children in the Himalayas.
Whether worn together or separately, the Hannah Merino shirt and NOLA leggings from Tasc make for a comfy and stylish addition to any woman’s traveling wardrobe.
The top is semi-fitted, with a classic crew neck and a slight shirttail hem. The sleeves have hidden thumbholes. It’s machine-washable and easy to care for, too.
The tights have superior breathability as well as mobility. They also have a wide waistband and an inner hidden key pocket.
True to Tasc’s reputation for quality, both items are moisture wicking and quick drying, with natural odor control. They also offer UPF 50+ sun protection.
One of our favorite clothing brands, Toad and Co offers sustainable products made from eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton, hemp and recycled plastic bottles.
The poncho is a great layer that’s easy to put on or take off depending on the situation. It can be worn as a poncho, with a large center opening for the head, or it can be worn as a large scarf by tucking the ends through the center.
Eco-friendly (and comfy) Tencel fabric makes the long-sleeve henley a soft, stretchy and body-hugging top. The V-neck cut with soft binding creates a stylish, yet casual look and feel.
Nexus Bag by Mary Smallwood
Mary Smallwood has designed a handbag that’s perfect for women who travel.
Whether you’re out shopping, riding the public bus or train, or hopping on and off a plane, the Nexus bag is easy to carry, safety-conscious, and hassle-free.
Using a simplistic design, with colors inspired by the Mary Smallwood cocktail collection, these bags suit almost any activity. Their easy-to-carry handles slip effortlessly over your wrist, providing hands-free security.
There is an inner zipped pocket to protect your valuables and a larger open space at the top for other essentials. With the bag twisted over your wrist, it’s easy to keep an eye on while maneuvering through crowded cities.
READ MORE: The Best Travel Clothing For 7 Travel Styles
BEST GIFTS FOR CAMPERS
Kijaro has the ultimate gift for any avid camper. The Kubie has so many uses, it’s really an 8-in-1 camping essential.
The Kubie can be used as a hammock, a hammock liner, and even a hammock under quilt.
It doubles as a shade canopy, can be used as a pillow or sleeping bag, or even as ground cover to sit on. It can also be worn as an insulated poncho.
Thanks to its many uses, the Kubie saves a ton of space in camper’s backpacks. It comes in red, purple, and grey and tucks away into a compact, attached bag.
It’s basically like having a restful and relaxing spot you can take anywhere, tucked into a compact bag that fits inside a backpack.
The hammock features triple stitching along breathable nylon panels and measures in at 8 ft. 9 in. long. It can easily hold two people, and features heavy duty carabiners on each end which are attached to heavy duty straps.
Attached to the hammock is its compressible bag, which can hold keys, cell phones, and other valuable items while you catch a restful break. The hammock comes in royal blue & yellow, royal blue & neon green, or blue & charcoal.
You can completely control the light output by toggling through the different modes and using the dial to brighten or dim each one.
The lamp can be charged using USB, which saves money as well as lessening your environmental impact. Once fully charged, the lights lasts around 50 hours. It’s also resistant to water splashes, so you can safely find your way even in the rain.
Best of all, the headlamp weighs just 2.9 oz, making it lightweight enough to wear comfortably for long periods of time.
Nothing makes camping a more enjoyable experience than a top-quality sleeping bag. The Wheeler Lake from Slumberjack is just that. It’s built for comfort in up to -20 degree weather, ensuring you’ll sleep soundly wherever you are.
Using Slumberloft™ Synthetic Insulation, this sleeping bag keeps you warm all night long, even in the coldest of conditions.
The synthetic insulation also reduces the bulk and keeps the bag lightweight, making it easy for backpackers to carry.
There’s a platform for your favorite pillow and a large footbox, so comfort is guaranteed with this sleeping bag. The pillow platform also doubles as a heat-holding hood that’s perfect for cold nights.
The Elixir 4 Tent from MSR Gear is a great gift for families who love camping. The tent comfortably fits 4 people, and has spacious headroom as well.
Thanks to the large StayDry™ doors combined with mesh and solid panels, the tent offers privacy and warmth as well as ventilation.
This model has a larger vestibule than other 4-person tents, giving more space for storing backpacks, hiking boots, and other gear at night. There are also built-in pockets for smaller valuables such as keys, wallets, and cell phones.
Other noteworthy features include glow-in-the-dark zippers and color-coded clips and poles for easy setup, which make the Elixir extremely user-friendly.
Hydro Flask’s new Unbound soft-sided cooler is light and comfortable to carry, and keeps things cool for up to 24 hours.
With enough space for 24 cans or bottles, the cooler is great for a hot day of hiking, beach bumming, or tailgating.
This cooler features a dry pocket to keep things inside cool and dry, as well as side pockets for easy access to keys and other small valuables. The watertight AQUASEAL zipper keeps it leak proof and waterproof.
The inner lining is FDA food grade, BPA-free and easy to clean. The cooler is available in 4 different colors, with a 22-liter volume and weighs just 3 pounds.
As you may expect from a name like Coolest, these are some seriously cool, classy coolers. Available in vibrant colors that are designed to stand out, the Vibe is a stylish addition to any outdoor get-together.
These tough, durable coolers are perfect for camping, boating, and spending days at the beach. They can easily be mounted to bicycle handles, luggage racks, trees, or boat rails in order to keep the cooler off the ground.
The cooler is available in a 30-can or 18-can capacity, and come with two sets of plates, knives, forks, and matching bottle openers that fit neatly into the lid. There’s a front flap zipper compartment as well, in order to keep valuables safe and dry.
When you’re out in the wild, a good knife is always handy. These unique, customized tattoo knives from Deejo combine functionality with style.
With so many different tattoo designs and handle styles available, it’s easy to pick out the perfect one for any personality on your gifting list.
The Theorem is a stainless steel knife with a beautiful matte finish. It has a secure liner lock system and a solid juniper wood handle. Each design is engraved into the knife’s steel with a fine laser.
When open, the knife measures 8 inches long; when closed, it’s just 4.3 inches. The blade itself is 3.7 inches cm long, with a 1/3-inch thickness.
Anything can happen when you’re exploring the great outdoors. But with this Uncharted Supply 72-hour Survival System, you can give the gift of being prepared for anything.
The kit contains an awful lot of handy items. In terms of tools and gadgets, there’s a 3-in-1 radio, flashlight, phone and USB charger, matches, magnesium alloy fire starter, multi-tool, convertible shovel/pickaxe, paracord, duct tape, and chem lights.
In terms of safety and survival necessities, there’s a filtration mask, goggles, datrex food bars, a collapsible water bottle, a Nalgene water bottle, a water filter and water syringe, a first aid kit, sunscreen, splint, warm gloves, a hat, a heat pack, and a space blanket.
All of this is packed neatly into a durable, waterproof bag made of 600D tarpaulin. The bag weighs just 11 pounds and has 48 liters of storage inside. It’s airtight, and can even be inflated to be used as a floatation device as well!
READ MORE: 60+ Cool Camping Gear Reviews
BEST ACTIVE TRAVEL GIFTS
York Nordic’s Traveler Trek 4-piece walking poles are a great gift for active travelers who love to hike or ski. They’re not only sturdy and durable, but also work for people of varying heights (anyone who is over 5’4”).
These walking poles can extend between 43 inches and 53.5 inches. They can then fold up to just 15.5 inches for carrying inside your carryon luggage.
Included in the pack are the two fold-up poles, detachable rubber feet, and a snow basket, all conveniently packed into a black nylon travel bag.
The poles weigh just 9 oz. each, so they’re lightweight and easy to use. When purchasing the pack, you get to choose between Nordic and trek/ski-style grips. Both of which work wonderfully well, even when you’re wearing ski gloves.
If you’re looking for a gift for a traveler who enjoys snowy mountain adventures, the experts at MSR (which stands for Mountain Safety Research) have some excellent ideas. Their Water Filter Kit and Snowshoe Kit make great gifts, either as a combo or separately.
With the Water Filter Kit, clean water can be found anywhere. Dirty water goes in one bag and comes out the other bag. The hollow fibre filter is 99.9% effective against bacteria, protozoa, and particulate, and meets EPA drinking water standards. The kit has a capacity of 2 liters, and can be used as a gravity system, filter, and even a water reservoir.
The Snowshoe Kit contains everything needed for an expedition through snow-covered terrain, with Evo Trail snowshoes providing excellent grip. The kit also includes DynaLock™ Trail poles, which are lightweight and durable. Even the kit’s pack comes in handy, with a removable seat for taking lunch breaks.
Kammok Firebelly Down Trail Quilt
The Kammok Firebelly 30º Down Trail Quilt is a perfect sleeping essential for any active traveler, packed in a compact bag to allow for easy carrying.
The insulation is provided by responsibly-sourced DownTek fill, while the exterior is made using Kammok’s new buttery-soft Atmos X™ fabric.
The quilt can be used as a minimalist sleeping bag with a footbox (connected using the built-in zippers), which is kept fastened around you using snap cords. Or you can use it as a hammock top or underquilt.
In short, the Firebelly is extremely versatile and promises warmth for any outdoor trip. The insulation is kept in place using Insotect Flow™ technology, so the filling won’t bunch after any amount of uses.
After a long day of exploring nature on foot, these Montane Prism Booties offer casual cushioning comfort.
The soft, warm slippers are ideal for colder conditions, and the hypolan panel on the soles of the slippers make them great for outdoor wear.
The booties are insulated with 160g of Primaloft Gold, which helps keep feet warm and dry while maintaining a lightweight, compact bootie. The inner sole also has grip control, which eliminates slipping and helps with stability.
The adjustable ankles make for a perfectly snug fit, and the entire slipper is made to be windproof so that your feet are kept warm no matter how bad the weather gets.
Therm-a-Rest sleeping bags are known for their ability to keep travelers warm and comfy while sleeping in extremely cold conditions. The Questar™ does that extremely well, with some added features to boot.
The sleeping bag has 650-fill Nikwax Hydrophobic Down™ to help it stay dry, while the ThermaCapture™ Seams trap body heat inside the bag.
The Questar also features a Toe-asis™ ergonomic foot warmer pocket, which is designed to keep your feet warm as well as comfortable.
With zoned insulation, the bag offers warmth in all the right places while staying lightweight and easy for backpackers to carry. It also comes with a 3-month “better sleep” guarantee and a lifetime warranty.
As GGT founder Bret Love learned after suffering heat stroke in the Peruvian Amazon and heat exhaustion in Costa Rica’s Corcovado National Park, hydration is vitally important when you’re active in hot, humid climates.
GU Energy hydration tablets are really a must-have for anyone pursuing active adventures. When mixed into water either before, during, or after any exercise or activity, they replenish essential electrolytes and taste surprisingly great.
Hydration tablets replace sodium in the body, preventing fatigue and headaches and aiding in the recovery of your muscles. Commonly used by athletes, GU Energy’s tablets come in three tasty flavors: tri-berry, orange, and lemonade.
They can be used for recovery after long, intense activities, or simply to stay hydrated while hiking, cycling, or canoeing.
The Motorola Talkabout T800 two-way radios are just like any other two-way radios, except that they come with a Talkabout app. This allows you to connect your radios to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
The app shares location, messages, and more info with connected users. This gives users the ability to communicate with one another whether they’re on or off the grid. The radios have an IPX4 waterproof rating, so they’re guaranteed to work come rain or shine.
With 25 hours of battery life and the ability to charge via USB, these walkie-talkies will keep you connected all day and into the night.
Other noteworthy features include a flashlight, weather channel and weather alerts, emergency alerts, and 22 channels with 121 privacy codes.
The bag offers submersible protection, which means it can be submerged up to 1 meter underwater for a maximum of 30 minutes without causing damage to your gear. The YKK zippers also help in waterproofing the inside of the bag.
A diagonal opening allows for easy access into a wider-than-usual opening. There is a vinyl flap over the opening that offers added protection.
The bag has a low-profile shape, enabling it to fit into small spaces (including the hatchback of most kayaks). With its 40-liter capacity, it will fit the essentials most water sports enthusiasts need without weighing them down.
If you know someone who’s about to embark on a ski trip, these snow goggles from Native Eyewear are a perfect gift.
They have SnowTuned React™ lenses, which are able to adapt rapidly to changing light conditions. This gives them the perfect balance between protection and clarity.
The goggles are also designed to fit over most prescription glasses. The fluted hypo-allergenic face foam provides maximum comfort for the wearer. They have high-efficiency anti-fog features as well.
The React goggles provide a wide field-of-view, which is great for extreme outdoor activities. Included with the goggles is both a hard case and a soft case, so they can be packed according to your personal preference.
BEST GIFTS FOR BUSINESS TRAVELERS
Business travelers are exposed to a lot of germs on buses, trains, and airplanes.
Creating a 3-foot sphere of clean air around it, the A315 from AirTamer is a great gift for anyone who travels often. It’s a high-functioning portable, rechargeable air purifier in a small and compact size.
Producing a constant stream of healthy negative ions, it helps force airborne pollutants away from the user’s personal airspace. The ion emission brush is easily replaced after long periods of use.
There is no noise when running the AirTamer A315, so it can be run throughout the night without disturbing your sleep. Once fully charged, it can run for 30 to 40 hours before needing to be charged again, which makes it incredibly energy-efficient.
Those who spend a lot of time traveling will find a special delight in this detailed Push Pin Map from GeoJango Maps. The Nautilus world map is unique because it provides a wealth of information and features that not many other maps do.
These maps were created after months of research done by a professional cartographer using professional GIS software.
Noteworthy features include 3D shading, historical commentary, climate modeling, terrain and ocean floor elevation modeling, and much more.
When ordering, you can choose your map size, map finish, and frame, then add personalization to the header or the compass inscription. The map can be gift wrapped and sent with a note as well, which makes it perfect for holiday gifting.
The AEL008 carry-on has made Alchemy Equipment proud by winning the Best Carry On Award by Carryology. The bag is designed to comply with IATA guidelines, so it will allow you to go through airport check-in effortlessly.
Whether carried as a duffel bag, shoulder bag, or backpack, this carry-on can fit all your essential items as well as a laptop up to 15 inches in size. The YKK Aquaguard zipper opens the bag up fully, as a suitcase would, making packing and unpacking much easier.
The 45-liter capacity bag also boasts a padded laptop compartment with a self-ejecting mechanism for easy access. There is also a water-resistant compartment inside for keeping your toiletries and wet clothes separate.
Samsonite’s Eco-Nu wheeled under seat carry-on
This wheeled carry-on from Samsonite is an amazing piece of luggage that’s great for business travelers. The bag is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, making it a top-quality, eco-friendly product.
It will fit either under a plane seat or in the overhead bin and weighs just 5.29 lbs, which is appropriate for most airlines’ luggage allowance (although it’s best to check beforehand).
The bag’s main compartment is large enough to fit a weekend’s worth of clothing in it, and offers many different pockets and compartments for organizing accessories.
The outer pocket is great for last-minute additions to your luggage, or quick access to passports and other documents. The upright handle and smooth wheels make it easy to roll through airports, and the SmartSleeve™ allows it to be easily slipped onto another bag.
rev’pod Travel Loungewear
The rev’pod in a unique clothing innovation that allows long-distance travelers to relax in ultimate comfort.
It acts sort of like wearable blanket, complete with a hood and a zipper that goes all the way down the front.
These travel “pods” are perfect for anyone who travels often, as they provide a cushy sense of comfort pretty much anywhere. They can also be worn on lazy days lounging at home, so they won’t become useless when you’re not on the road.
The pods can also be folded up into a handy travel pillow, so you can sleep soundly wherever you are. When it’s not in use, the pod is quite compact and lightweight enough to pack into a suitcase.
Pinhole Press Photo Book
Photo books make thoughtful and personal gifts for anyone, but especially for travelers. Our family makes photo books of all our favorite trips, such as our incredible 2015 safaris in Tanzania and Rwanda.
Pinhole Press makes beautiful, customized photo books that you can give to your favorite travel partner, whether to document your special trip together or remind them of home.
You can choose from a hardcover, softcover, or brag book (an accordion-style photo book). Then you can choose whether to have the Pinhole Press system place your photos automatically or do it yourself.
Once you upload your photos, you simply choose the number of pages and the layout you want on each page. Then it’s just a matter of dragging and dropping the pics into the spaces. It’s surprisingly easy, and the beautiful results are a gift they’ll treasure forever!
Eagle Creek Yonder Rolling Trunk 32
The sleek-looking Eagle Creek Yonder Rolling Trunk from National Geographic is a bag that’s truly built for business travel.
Its three mesh interior compartments allow for separation and protection of both your electronic devices and clothing. The separate compartments allow you to keep clean and dirty clothes apart.
There are also multiple straps, pockets, and a D-ring to attach extra gear to the outside of the bag.
The bag is built with protective casing and bumpers, to keep both interior and exterior safe from damage. The fabrics and zippers are also weather resistant. The ultra-sturdy wheels have serious treading, and are built for all types of terrain.
Skyroll On Wheels
For those who need to hop off a plane and go straight into a meeting or business conference, the Skyroll On Wheels is the perfect gift.
In addition to the standard features of a suitcase, this luggage comes with an awesome bonus feature– a removable garment bag.
This garment bag protects suits and other important outfits while you travel, ensuring you’ll land at your destination with ready-to-wear, wrinkle-free clothes.
The garment bag is wrapped around the outside of the suitcase, to which it is attached with velcro and clips. Both the suitcase and the garment bag can also be used separately if only one or the other is needed.
Vesica Carry on Smart Luggage
In terms of technology, most business travelers always need to be connected. With this smart luggage bag from Vesica, they can be.
This carry-on suitcase has a removable, TSA-approved battery, which can charge electronic devices while you’re on the move.
There’s a front cargo pocket designed to fit the included TSA-approved toiletry bag, and the padded interior pocket is big enough to fit a 15-inch laptop or tablet. The bag also comes with a TSA-approved combination lock.
Made with an indestructible polycarbonate shell, genuine leather accents, and 1680 ballistic nylon, this is a travel gift that will last for many years to come.
Traveling brings many wonderful experiences. But when you do it professionally, sometimes there are wrinkles, both literal and figurative.
This portable iron/steamer from Reliable may not help with the latter, but it’s great for the former. It’s a fantastic multi-tasking device that’s perfect for the avid business traveler.
Small enough to fit into your hand, this helpful invention fits neatly into luggage without taking up too much space. It also weighs 24 ounces, which isn’t much for a 2-in-1 device.
The iron comes in a pouch to keep it safe and dry, which doubles as an iron rest while the machine is in use. It also has a built-in vertical stand for upright storage. The ceramic soleplate ensures smooth gliding across clothes.
READ MORE: The Best Carry On Luggage
BEST TECH GIFTS
Sleeping with headphones on can be a somewhat dangerous activity due to cables. The folks at SleepPhones came up with a cool solution– Bluetooth headphones inside a headband.
Made from SheepCloud™ fabric, the headband is soft, hypoallergenic, and machine-washable. The headphones are removable for ease of washing. The band also has built-in volume and play/pause control buttons.
The SleepPhones® Effortless Headphones are charged on a base in about 3 hours, using magnetic induction to charge through the headband fabric. Once fully charged, they provide around 10 hours of use.
They’re compatible with most smartphones, laptops, and other Bluetooth-enabled devices, and have a wireless range of 15 to 30 feet.
Ambient noise on airplanes can make getting shut-eye difficult on long-haul flights.
With premium sound quality and noise cancellation, the Wave Sound 3 Headphones from Paww allow listeners to completely tune out the noise around them.
The headphones come with an airplane adapter and auxiliary cable, making them the perfect traveling accessory. They’re designed to fit over your ears comfortably, and have a built-in microphone and Bluetooth connectivity.
These are great for flying, trying to get some work done in noisy spaces, or just for some peace and quiet when you’re at the beach or pool. They also come in a compact carry case for easy transporting.
People like us, who work when they travel, love having their laptops with them wherever they go.
Thanks to Voltaic Systems‘ Arc 20W solar charger, laptops can now be charged in when you’re on the go. And not just laptops– it can charge phones, cameras, drone batteries, and other travel gadgets as well.
The power bank comes with a solar panel for charging it, which connects using a cable. The entire kit weighs just 3.25 lbs and can easily be carried in a backpack while traveling. Most of the cables and attachments you’ll need are included in the kit.
The charger can charge a laptop in around 6 hours, and a cellphone in just one. This is the ultimate solar charger for all your electronic devices while out and about.
Anyone on your gift list who enjoys taking road trips will love this Waylens car camera. The camera attaches to the inside of your car and offers a 360-degree view of what’s happening in and around the vehicle as you travel.
Not only does the camera offer a better view of what’s going on around you as you drive, but it also acts as added security for your car. The footage it shoots could be used as evidence should there be an accident along the way.
The top-quality camera’s noteworthy features include advanced senior fusion, fast image processing, and even night vision. Thanks to 4G LTE, you can even monitor footage from the camera from wherever you are in the world.
The LightSaver Max portable solar charger is a great device for backpacking travelers and anyone who loves spending long days outdoors.
The Powerfilm product is lightweight enough to carry, with a 32-inch long solar panel which can be laid out or strapped to a backpack for charging.
The device can also be charged through the wall if needed, so there’s no need to worry about a lack of sun.
The integrated 18,000 mAh battery ensures that the power bank will keep going strong for hours of charging.
The Kodiak Plus Ultra from Outdoor Tech is another durable power bank that’s designed for the rugged outdoor lifestyle.
Packed with 12,800mAh of portable charging power, it’s also dustproof and waterproof, making it safe to take along when camping or boating. It has quick-charge technology, so you won’t have to wait around long for devices to charge.
You can also pair the power bank with the Calamari charging cable, which is a lightning connector, USB C connector, and a Micro USB connector all in one. Together, it’s the ultimate gift for travelers who like to stay connected while exploring the world.
Not only does the DryGuy hand warmer keep your hands toasty in the cold, but it doubles as a power bank for cellphones.
The rectangular device fits neatly into your hands and is fully rechargeable. It gives 3 to 5 hours of warmth, depending on the temperature setting.
The surface temperature is 110 °F at Low and 120 °F at High. There is a thermally conductive aluminum shield as well.
If used as a charger for a phone, the device can last 7 to 8 hours. While the device only comes with a USB cable for Android and tablets, it is capable of charging iPhones and iPads as well. It gives cell phones approximately 2 hours of charge.
You can use the double-walled, steel insulated, BPA-free bottle to keep your liquids either cold or hot for hours.
The bottle has a removable Bluetooth speaker attached to the bottom of it. The speaker can play music for up to 8 hours. It comes with a charging cable and can be recharged in between use.
Waterproof and sand-proof, this is the perfect accessory for beach days. It’s available in 4 colors– pink, purple, black, and green– so there’s something for every taste.
Ventev offers fabulous gifts for tech-savvy travelers who like to stay connected. Their portable chargers enable you to stay online while on the go. Two of the best devices they have are the powercell backup battery and the charge stand.
The backup battery is one of the most lightweight batteries you’ll find. It’s perfect for charging cell phones or tablets. It charges fully in just hours and provides 20 – 25 hours of device use. It’s able to charge a device twice (or two separate devices) before needing to be recharged.
The charge stand is not only a portable charger but also a stand for your device. Offering both portrait and landscape standing options, it allows you full use of your phone while charging. It also takes just 4 hours to fully charge and can charge one phone with that power.
Both devices are compact and easy to travel with.
This lifesaving flashlight from In Gear Auto makes a fantastic gift for travelers, or for anyone who travels often by car. It’s designed to be used in a drowning car scenario, but it could come in handy for many other things, too.
The flashlight features military-grade aluminum and has IPX7 waterproofness, with three main uses. They include:
- Cutter Blade– Made of high carbon steel, the blade can be used to slash through a jammed seat belt or any other materials that you need to cut away.
- Window Punch– The hammer-like heft enables you to punch out the windows of a car underwater.
- Flash– The actual flashlight, of course, gives light when needed, but it also has a mode that can be used to send SOS signals for help in an emergency.
BEST GIFTS FOR FOODIES
Because a lot of our friends are full-time nomads, they don’t want gifts of stuff they have to carry on their journey. So food and beverages that they can consume wherever they happen to be in the world are always a great gift for the travelers on our list!
BEST CHOCOLATE GIFTS
Neuhaus Chocolates’ Festive Christmas Chocolate Trio
Mary and my daughter love to keep quality chocolate on-hand all year round, but only at Christmastime do we splurge on the REALLY nice stuff. Personally, I think gourmet chocolate makes a great gift for almost anyone.
Neuhaus (which began as a Brussels-based pharmacy) has been one of the most beloved Belgian chocolate brands since 1912, when Jean Neuhaus Jr. created the world’s first filled chocolate, which he called a “praline.” More than a century later, the company’s Festive Christmas Chocolate Trio offers an awesome assortment of the delightful delicacies that made them famous.
The gift set includes a box of 8 limited edition “Winter Irresistibles” in holiday flavors (Tiramisu, apfelstrudel, and cheesecake); a Christmas Tree Gift Box filled with 14 of their famous pralines; and two 2018 keepsake Christmas ornaments, each of which is filled with 6 chocolates.
Vosges Haut-Chocolat’s The Vault Collection
In terms of gourmet chocolate, we’ve never sampled better than this beautiful collection from Vosges Haut-Chocolat. The Chicago-based company was founded by chocolatier Katrina Markoff, who studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris before taking an around-the-world trip to study the food of various cultures.
The exquisite 20-truffle Vault Collection reflects the influence of that formative experience in its artful design and fantastic flavors. Our favorites included the Nagaland (curry masala, coconut purée, dark chocolate, and candied ginger) and Ruby Cerise (Mexican vanilla, cherry gelée, ruby cacao, freeze-dried cherry, and pink peppercorn).
The collection also includes an inspiring 80-page travel journal designed (like the packaging of The Vault itself) by artist Crystal Sloane.
Wei of Chocolate’s Real Cacao Pod With 30 Pieces of Chocolate
Speaking of interesting packaging, this dairy/soy/gluten/GMO-free collection of vegan, organic, Fair Trade chocolate comes prettily packed inside an actual cacao pod.
Wei of Chocolate was started by Lisa Reinhardt, who spent 11 years in the Himalayas, living in monasteries and doing meditation retreats in caves. Each piece of chocolate reflects her interest in Asian culture and enlightenment: The flower-shaped bonbons are wrapped in the colors of nature and stamped with the symbol for “Ahhhh.”
The dark chocolate assortment comes in nine different flavors, made with 68 to 80% cacao. Each flavor is paired with a corresponding emotion: Rose Cardamom is “Wei Love,” Chai Spice is “Wei Gratitude,” Himalayan Pink Salt is “Wei Inspired,” and Citrusy is “Wei Joyful.” With the exception of the ultra-intense “Wei Radiant” (made from 80% cacao), all are way delicious.
Harbor Sweets’ Cocoa Santé 5-Canister Mixed Pack
With a 45-year history that includes two retail shops in Massachusetts and a bustling mail order business, Harbor Sweets is best-known for handmade chocolates boasting nautical designs. But their new Cocoa Santé 5-Canister Mixed Pack makes a great gift for those who (like me) prefer to have their chocolate in hot, liquid form.
But this is no ordinary hot cocoa. This is organic cocoa grown in the shade (which produces a richer, fuller flavor) by co-ops in the Dominican Republic and South America. The small-scale farms they work with also help to support local education and infrastructure development projects. In short, it’s a gift you can feel good about giving.
The set comes with five flavor influenced by different parts of the world. There’s Mexican-style Azteca (with Chipotle pepper, cinnamon, and vanilla), Indian-style Kashmir Spice (with cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger), Mocha (with 100% Arabica coffee, which originated in Ethiopia), Parisien (dark chocolate flakes and vanilla), and Nor’easter (with vanilla and amber malt). Each is distinct, but all are awesome.
BEST BAKED GIFTS
Normally we work together to make an array of homemade baked goods for friends and family every year, from fresh muffins and decorated Christmas cookies to my famously potent Bourbon Balls.
But this year we have been swamped with work, so we’ll be giving a lot more store-bought treats than we usually do.
READ MORE: Bret’s Bourbon Ball Recipe
Tate’s Bake Shop’s Large Main Street Southampton Basket
Based in the tony town of Southampton on the swanky stretch of Long Island shoreline known as The Hamptons, Tate’s Bake Shop offers an excellent array of treats that taste so good, your recipients will be glad they’re not homemade.
Their Large Main Street Southampton Basket is a beautiful gift that comes packages in a charming vintage tin. It’s perfectly sized to reuse as a basket for toiletries or even a window planter for herbs or flowers.
It’s filled with some of Tate’s most popular baked goods. Their chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies are crisp and buttery, while the coconut macaroons are delightfully rich with toasted flavor. My daughter loves their brownies and blondies, and the moist lemon tea loaf is temptingly tangy.
Newfangled Confections’ Gratitude Gift Sets
As its name would seem to imply, Newfangled Confections is one of the newer companies on this list. It was created by Indianapolis candy maker Carrie Abbott in 2012, and offers modern twists of the classic candies many of us fondly remember from our past.
Abbott’s signature confection is called “Frittle,” which she describes as being reminiscent of peanut fudge meets brittle. We’re guessing she uses that description because she legally can’t compare her deliciously crunchy/nutty/chewy concoction to what it REALLY tastes like, which is the inside of a Butterfinger candy bar.
Their Gratitude Gift Sets range in price from $17 for a small to $50 for a large, and can be customized to your needs. Our set included 2 boxes and 2 bags of Frittle, 2 Pralines, and one small bag of Sweet & Spicy Pecans. They also include cellophane wrap and ribbon, so you can get a festive box or tin and arrange/wrap it yourself.
MORE SWEET GIFTS
Our family fell for McCrea’s gourmet caramels at first bite a few years ago, and my daughter has been obsessed with them ever since.
The company was founded by Jason McCrae, a scientist with a background in chemistry, a deep love of caramel, and a desire to use only natural ingredients in crafting his confections.
Their new holiday Party Box is available in Large and Small sizes: The former contains around 20 pieces of each flavor, while the latter includes around 10 pieces of each. As for those flavors– which include Black Lava Sea Salt, Classic Vanilla, Deep Chocolate, and Tapped Maple– each one is intense, aromatic, and designed to be savored one delicious bite at the time.
Remember the old school Christmas tradition when your aunt would always bring those ginormous 5-gallon tins filled with 3 kinds of popcorn (plain, cheese, and caramel) to EVERY family gathering?
The gourmet fare from Popcornopolis is a cut above that hoary holiday chestnut, with an array of intriguing flavors sure to please just about any sweet-toothed person on your list.
Their Green Snowflakes Gift Basket includes seven cones of their most popular popcorn flavors. They run the gamut from savory (see: Cheddar Cheese and White Cheddar) to sweet (Caramel Corn, Cinnamon Toast, Kettle Corn, Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Zebra, which is covered in white and dark chocolate).
With the reusable basket and raffia bow, it’s a festive gift set for all.
BEST COFFEE GIFT IDEAS
There are few rituals we enjoy more than starting our day with a steaming hot cup (or two) of fresh ground, single origin coffee.
In fact, we’re such coffee snobs that we often travel with our own coffee, filters, raw sugar, and Stevia.
For travelers like us, coffee subscriptions are a great gift that allow recipients to taste the best coffee in the world without leaving the comfort of their couch.
Caffe Umbria is an artisan coffee roaster based in Seattle, but the family-owned business traces its roots Perugia, Italy. There, Ornello Bizarri (grandfather of current owner Emanuele Bizzarri) built his first roastery in the 1940s.
The company offers an array of gorgeous gift sets for coffee lovers (including a 5-bag sampler), as well as 3, 6, or 12-month subscriptions of their signature blends.
Based in Portland, Maine, Tandem Coffee Roasters boasts two coffee shop locations in Portland, Maine including a nationally-acclaimed bakery as well as a “Coffee Subscribers Alliance” that sends two half-pound bags on a weekly or monthly basis.
You can choose from Single Origin, Espresso, Half-Caf, and various other options. Or join The Good Thing Coffee & Vinyl Club to give a 12 oz bag of coffee and a 12” record each month.
Most coffee aficionados wouldn’t think of Israel as a source of great coffee, but Cafe Joe is trying to change that.
The company offers an array of excellent Single Origins, Turkish Coffees, and Blends, with a 15% discount when you order a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly subscription. Just don’t give the K Cups or Nespresso Capsules, which are terrible for the environment!
READ MORE: The Best Coffee Around the World
BEST STEAK GIFTS
Summerfield Farms Pasture Pack
By now, most of our readers know that factory-farmed meat is not good for the environment. For some people, that means adapting to a vegan, vegetarian, or largely plant-based diet. For others, it means hunting their own wild game.
But there’s another option for carnivores: 100% grass-fed, pasture-raised beef is much more eco-friendly than the stuff those factory farms produce. Located in the tiny town of Summerfield, North Carolina, the 600-acre Summerfield Farms focuses on restorative sustainable agriculture. In addition to cattle, they also grow organic produce and have a market, event venue, and cottages/cabins.
Their Pasture Pack Sampler offers a great introduction to what they call “Gourmet Beef On Grass,” which is raised humanely and has no added antibiotics, hormones, or steroids. The pack includes two pounds of ground beef, two NY Strip Steaks, one Bone-In Pot Roast, and one pound of Stew Meat. Their delicious flavors are robust and impactful, especially when cooked in cast iron skillets.
Snake River Farms
Kobe steak (a term used only for cattle raised in the Kobe region of Japan) is widely considered by foodies to be one of the world’s most delicious meats, with complex flavors and a remarkably buttery texture. Wagyu beef is an American-style Kobe that’s created by cross-breeding Japanese Wagyu cattle with continental breeds. It’s similarly beloved for its marvelous marbling and unsaturated fat.
Based in Boise, Idaho, Snake River Farms and Double R Ranch are family-owned businesses that pride themselves on sustainability, a commitment to the well-being of animals, and social responsibility (including donating over a million meals to low-income families). They’re also an award-winning producer of American Wagyu steaks and roasts.
Their American Wagyu Staples sampler is an impressive introduction to what we’d consider the country’s best beef. The set includes two 8-oz Top Sirloin steaks, two 6-ox Ribeye filets, Jacobsen Black Pepper-Infused Salt, and a Snake River Farms-branded thermo bag. Each steak is graded higher than USDA Prime, with exceptionally sumptuous flavors created by 21+ days of wet aging.
Packed with 1,000 degrees of grilling power, the Portable Infrared Grills from Mr. Steak are serious grilling machines that are perfect for backyard, campsite, or tailgate use.
Cooking over charcoal or wood is perfectly fine: I do it regularly on our backyard grill. But this grill is truly next level, providing the sort of high-heat sear and char you would expect from a steakhouse. And of course you can also turn down the heat a bit if you’re in the mood for more delicate fare, such as fish or grilled vegetables (our favorite).
The grill comes in 1-Burner or 2-Burner styles: The former measures 25″Wx16″Dx16″H and weighs 29.5 pounds, while the latter measures 43″Wx20″Dx16″H and weighs 49 pounds. Both include ceramic infrared burners, electronic ignition, removable grease tray, non-skid legs, and lid locks. The 1-burner uses a 1 lb. propane cylinder, while the 2-burner uses a 20 lb. cylinder.
We’re not nearly the avid drinkers many of our travel blogging friends are. But we do love a good cocktail from time to time, especially around Christmas time. So here’s a look at some of our favorite spirits we sampled this holiday season that make great alcohol gifts:
Five Farms Irish Cream is arguably our favorite new discovery. It’s a beautifully packaged farm-to-table product, made with cream from family-owned farms in Ireland’s County Cork and combined with 10% triple-distilled Irish Whiskey. The flavor is exceptional (rating a 97 at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge), and took us back to our time exploring Ireland’s Ancient East last year.
Greenbar Distillery got our attention with sustainable initiatives that include the world’s largest portfolio of certified organic spirits, lightweight bottles, 100% post-consumer waste recycled labels, and planting one tree for every bottle sold. Their Slow Hand Whiskey (2 oz) and Grand Poppy Amaro liqueur (1 oz) can be combined to make a potent cocktail they call “A Walk in the Woods.”
Another USDA-certified brand, Prairie Organic Spirits was voted the Best Craft Vodka Distillery in the 2018 USA Today Readers’ Choice Awards. Their offerings include two flavors of Organic Vodka (regular and Cucumber) as well as an Organic Gin. We’re not big Vodka drinkers, but theirs had a fruity, creamy palate that was definitely a cut above other brands we’ve tried.
Whiskey, on the other hand, we drink fairly often, and Redwood Empire American Whiskey evokes the rugged natural beauty of its Northern California home. The whiskey blends 4, 5, and 11-year-old bourbon aged in high-toast American oak casts. The result packs a potent 90-proof punch, with hints of clove and a sweet vanilla-caramel finish that lingers.
BEST FAIR TRADE GIFTS
We’ve always emphasized our belief that sustainable living isn’t about a grand, sweeping change that happens overnight. Instead, it’s a gradual transformation, based on baby steps to going green.
These eco friendly gifts may not change the world, but each one can help the recipient lower their negative impact on the planet. And that’s truly a gift for everyone!
Green Global Travel’s Fair Trade Shop
We don’t promote it as much as we should, but our GGT Fair Trade Shop offers a wide range of beautiful jewelry from artists around the world.
We offer gorgeous Turquoise & Lapis Teardrop Earrings from Artisana, a women’s collective in Tecalpulco, Mexico. These handmade earrings feature inlaid stones artistically arranged in the shape of a 1.5 long teardrop.
Like the rest of the Artisana line, this piece represents the ancient tradition of fine Mexican jewelry. Shop the Artisana Collection.
Our Glossy Recycled Paper Necklace comes from Kenya’s Jedando Modern Handicrafts collective. They come in a dazzling array of colors: This one includes green and blue as the primary hues, with orange and pink accents.
They’re made from recycled calendars and brochures, with glass seed beads interspersed throughout. Each is 32 inches, and can be doubled or tripled to the length you prefer. Shop the Collection.
These hand carved and painted elephant figurines are made in India by the Community Friendly Movement. Each comes with a loop for hanging. Each is 3 inches in length.
CFM, Community Friendly Movement is a social enterprise based out of New Delhi, India whose mission is to create income for its primary stakeholders, artisan communities in rural India, by working directly with the community, reducing the number of levels in the chain, and increasing the sustainable income of the individual. Shop the Collection.
We’re longtime fans of Novica, which is National Geographic’s Fair Trade merchandise arm. So when it came time to replace the mismatched set of drinking glasses I’ve had since my 2004 divorce, these recycled Highball Glasses were perfect.
They’re made by Mexican hand-blown glass artisans Javier Gutiérrez and Efrén Canteras, who start the process by melting down recycled glass bottles.
Because they’re made by hand, each glass in the set is slightly different, with beautiful ribbons of emerald green swirling around them in varying patterns. The same artisans also make matching salad bowls, which are available on the Novica website.
BEST ECO FRIENDLY GIFTS
Kupilka is an eco-friendly dish brand from Finland we discovered at this year’s Outdoor Retailer show.
This innovative product, which won the Scandinavian Outdoor Award for outdoor accessories, is made from a unique biomaterial of the brand’s creation.
It’s the first product the company ever made, and the line has now expanded to include plates, cutlery, knives, and numerous accessories made from the same eco-friendly material.
The Kupilka 37 can be used indoors or outdoors as a bowl and a cup. It can hold hot or cold food or beverages, withstanding boiling hot water and sub-freezing temperatures down to -30º F. Best of all, because it’s mostly made of wood, the product can be recycled, burned, or returned to the manufacturer for re-use at the end of its lifespan!
Harnessing the power of the sun isn’t a new idea: President Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the roof of the White House back in the late 1970s. But as the environmental impact of our fossil fuel reliance becomes more widely known, solar energy is (pardon the pun) getting hotter and hotter.
GoSun was, as far as we know, the first brand to mass market a portable solar oven. Now, with the Go Portable Solar Cooker, they have unveiled their lightest and most affordable (around $140) model to date.
Weighing in at just two pounds, the cooker comes in a hard shell case that protects the Solar Vacuum Tube, which can reach a top temperature of 550º in 20 to 40 minutes of full sun.
The set also includes a stainless steel cooking tray, silicon cooking pans, and a scrub brush for cleaning.
Why do we love Sea Bags? Let us count the ways…
The Maine-based manufacturer is as eco-friendly as it gets. Their bags are made from recycled sail cloth sourced in their local boating community.
They use thread from one of the last remaining U.S. manufacturers, and rope made nearby in New England. The bags are made by hand in a building located in the heart of Portland, Maine’s working waterfront, overlooking the sea.
If that’s not enough for you, well, their bags simply look cool, especially for the water-loving travelers on your list. Our vintage insignia messenger bag is all sold out, but they also have duffels, handbags, and totes in a wide array of colors.
ECO FRIENDLY TRAVEL GIFTS
Bamboo is considered one of the most eco-friendly fibers in the world. This is because the plant it’s made from doesn’t require much water, grows really fast, and is carbon neutral (meaning it absorbs about the same amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it releases during the harvesting process).
Bamboo clothing has started to take off in recent years, but hasn’t really become mainstream yet. So it’s great to see an outdoor recreation brand like Grand Trunk using the fabric in their new Footie Blanket, which has a built-in foot pocket.
Measuring 76 X 40 inches and weighing just 18 ounces, it’s a perfect gift for travelers who need a light blanket on planes, by the campfire, etc. But it’s also great for simply snuggling up on the couch on cold winter nights.
In terms of quality and availability, water has emerged as one of the world’s most pressing problems. As the global population continues to explode at an alarming rate and climate change raises temperatures, it will only grow more so in the future.
Many of our professional travel blogging friends swear by the SteriPen U Water Purifier, which is simply a must-have if you’re a backcountry backpacker or don’t want to buy bottled water when visiting many developing nations.
The device is tiny enough to fit in your pocket (8 x 5 x 2 inches, 4.2 ounces). But it treats water in around a minute, eliminating over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. And just one UV lamp can provide up to 3,000 liters of water purification.
LuminAID is another eco-friendly brand with a socially conscious mission. The company’s first product, an inflatable solar-powered light, was created by two Columbia University students in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
Since then, LuminAID has distributed tens of thousands of free lights (through their Give Light, Get Light program) to charitable projects in more than 50 countries. The PackLite Hero is another innovative invention from the female-led company.
The lightweight (10-ounce), inflatable light is solar-powered, with a 4000 mAh lithium-ion battery that can be charged by the sun or USB.
With 5 different brightness settings (including an SOS flash), it shines up to 300 lumens of LED light and can recharge your phone or tablet in a matter of hours. It’s waterproof, dust-proof, and great for camping.
MPOWERD Luci Solar String Lights
The Luci Solar String Lights from MPOWERD are another inflatable, solar-powered innovation.
With a total of 20 LED lights, the 18-foot-long string works well for illuminating a tent, campsite, or boat. It can be charged using direct sunlight or a USB power adapter, and can also give your phone or other device a quick charge boost when needed.
Their Luci Pro Series: Outdoor 2.0 is more similar to LuminAID’s inflatable solar light. The waterproof light offers 150 lumens and four modes (including a flashing SOS signal), and can charge your phone in just a few hours when plugged into a power source.
BEST GIFTS FOR CHRISTMAS LOVERS
What do Christmas fanatics and avid travelers have in common? Well, we’re both, so we’re guessing a lot of our readers are too! And of course Santa Claus may be the only traveler who’s ever circled the world in one day without using a drop of fossil fuel…
In last year’s Best Gifts For Travelers feature, we reviewed Tipsy Elves’ colorful retro ski suits. But this year we’ve gone full-on festive, with colorful Christmas clothes for every member of our family.
For me, there’s the Men’s Santa Jumpsuit, a most-wonderful-time-of-the-year onesie made from an ultra-cozy 80/20 cotton/polyester blend. It goes great with my silver hair and beard to make me look like jolly old St. Nick… so much so that Mary had happy tears when I tried it on the first time!
For her, there’s the Mrs. Claus Cardigan, a sexy seasonal sweater (with a dash of gold-sequined bling) that pairs perfectly with leggings and a pair of warm boots. And for my daughter, whose college mascot next year will be the Owl, there’s the Holiday Hooter Ugly Christmas Sweater. We’ll be wearing these in this year’s family Christmas photo!
Villeroy & Boch’s Christmas Toys Memories Santa’s Sleigh Ride
I mentioned above that we love Christmas, so much so that we almost never travel during the month of December. Our house is fully decked in the festive colors of the season, and we typically add one new Christmas decoration each year.
This year, it’s this incredible heirloom-quality conversation piece from Villeroy & Boch, the 270-year-old European ceramics brand whose products have been used everywhere from the Orient Express and the Vatican to the tables of the Titanic. They even made the China Mary’s grandmother served meals on when she was a child.
The wonderfully retro Santa’s Sleigh Ride is comprised of 7 hard porcelain pieces that weigh around 12 pounds. St. Nick has a music box that plays “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and his sleigh holds a votive candle inside. The four detailed reindeer can be arranged single file or in pairs, and each holds two red candles. The piece now has a place of honor in the center of our mantle.
Shinesty specializes in clothes with attitude. “Remember not to take yourself too seriously,” “Welcome to Ball-halla” (to promote men’s underwear), and “Streetwear For the Couch Hipster” are just a few choice quotes from their catalogue.
The Boulder-based brand’s spirit may be silly, but their clothes are cool, comfortable, and surprisingly affordable. Take the Sinful Santa Red Christmas Suit, for example. The form-fitting cut looks snazzy, sophisticated, and seasonally appropriate, yet the lowe price tag is perfect when Santa’s on a strict gift-giving budget.
The plaid, long-sleeve Green & Blue Babe Dress is similarly attractive, with a Scottish-style look that’s appropriate at Christmas or any other time of year. The 82/18 polyester/spandex blend offers 4-way stretch for a flattering fit. And the neckline is reversible, so you can rock a low scoop-neck style or a high boat-neck style, depending on the fashion of your function.
Founded in 1994 by brothers Bert and John Jacobs, this Boston-based brand has built a thriving business on a simple philosophy of positivity, gratitude, and social responsibility (donating 10% of all profits to their Life Is Good Kids Foundation).
Life is Good has grown considerably over the years, from a stick-figure t-shirt design to a multi-million dollar apparel business. But t-shirts are still what they’re best known for. I love the relaxed comfort and child-like spirit of their “Don’t Stop Believin’” crusher tee, which features a smiling Santa and holly leaves on a bright red or green background.
Available for both sexes, it pairs perfectly with their cozy Christmas pajama pants, such as the Sleepy Bear Toss Classic for women. -Bret Love