Ideas at every pricepoint for the wanderlusters on your list
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This guide to gifts for travel lovers is a round-up of the special items I use on my own travels, and would happily gift to other wanderlusters.
Many, but not all these gifts ideas are for women, and I’ve tried to include items at many price points. These gifts could work for almost any traveler on your list: a thoughtful stocking stuffer or a surprise for a special someone to unwrap Christmas morning.
However you celebrate the season, I hope the joy of gifting a thoughtful gift adds to the fun.
Travel Jewelry Cases
Leather Jewelry Travel Case - Quince $39.90
Online upstart Quince may be best known for affordable cashmere sweaters, (from $50) but they also stock an array of stylish and sustainably-made items for travel lovers. Their Leather Jewelry Travel Case is a compact square ( 4 x 4 x 1.4 inches) with spots for earrings, necklaces and rings – all securely kept in place.
Quince partners with factories committed to responsible production. That means paying workers fairly, eco-friendly manufacturing and ethical supply chains.
Available in beige and black.
Travel Jewelry Case by SAMARA $85
SAMARA was started by two sisters who wanted to create bags and accessories which were elegant and eco-friendly (all their products are vegan leather). The beautiful SAMARA Jewelry Case will keep your items safe and organized while traveling, and come in three gorgeous colors: black, oat and beige (pictured). Dimensions are: 4.5 x4.5 x 2 inches, slightly larger than the one by Quince, above.
I love the design – it is easy to see everything when it’s unzipped, like a travel version of a home jewelry box. (My mother is getting one for Christmas – shh!)
Even better, shopping with Samara makes a difference: every purchase supports their Soular Backpack project, which provides light to children in East Africa. To date they’ve provided over 8,000 students with a light to read and do homework each night.
Kindle E-reader $100 and up
I’ve always schlepped physical books along on my travels because I preferred them to reading on a screen. But things change, and I am committed to traveling lighter, so I asked Santa for an e-reader a couple of years ago. The Kindle Oasis was waiting under the tree and I took it with me on a trip to Hawaii! The Oasis version which I have is waterproof and it was fabulous to read in the pool and not have to worry about splashes. When I am not traveling, I use my Kindle Oasis in the bath at home. ($249)
The Kindle Oasis has the option to switch the display to warm natural light, great for reading in evening. The reviews are just as positive for the original models as for the upgraded ones so any E-reader is a lovely idea if you want to gift for travel lovers to be enjoyed equally at home and away. The standard Kindle E-reader starts at $99.
Monos Luggage for Travel Lovers $235 and up
A couple of years ago, my New Year’s resolution was to be able to lift my carry-on bag into the overhead bin, without the help of a traveling companion. Luckily, I discovered Vancouver-based Monos Luggage and immediately fell for their durable, gorgeous and lightweight luggage. The Monos Carry-On Bag is only 7.4 pounds and made of recycled material where possible. The telescoping handle has been re-engineered to be more durable than a typical bag and it has four height settings. I can tell you that this bag maneuvers like a dream. I now also own the Medium Check-In bag (pictured above and at the top of this story) and love it equally. A Monos roller bag is the perfect gift for the travel lover who deserves something extra-special. They have great personal items as well including the Metro backpack.
Also fun for gift giving: the Monos luggage comes in 10 attractive colors. I chose the terra cotta for the carry on roller and the Medium Checked Bag in Desert Taupe. A quick note about light colors – they do show scuffs. If you don’t want to buff your bag clean between trips you can: live with the scuffs, choose a dark colored bag, or purchase a luggage cover from Monos.
If you’d like to learn more, I’ve written a detailed review of my Monos bags: Monos Luggage Review.
AWAY Carry-On $225 and up
AWAY’s smallest suitcase, The Carry-On is very similar to Monos; it’s a lightweight hard-sided bag that’s simple, stylish and built to last. My son has had this suitcase for several years and it has held up really well. It comes in nine colours, and a few wowza limited edition hues such as wine and copper (the latter is more expensive). Black definitely seems like a wasted opportunity here.
One difference with Away is their luggage has an optional built-in battery. Yes, you can recharge your phone or laptop via a battery in your luggage. (You can not check it however, without removing the battery first).
Like Monos, Away has a second size: The Bigger Carry-On, which should fit in the overhead bin of most airlines. It is 47.9L versus 39.8L, so provides 20% more packing space (if my math’s right). Remember that usually translates into a heavier carry-on bag.
Compression Socks by Comrad $32
My doctor gave me a stern talking to a few years ago when I said I rarely wore compression socks during air travel. I should be wearing them on every flight that was more than a few hours, she said. Now I take that seriously. Compression socks reduce instances of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which occurs in approximately 1 in 1000 adults annually. And being on a long flight puts us at higher risk.
For travel it seems that mid-strength compression socks (15-20 mm Hg) are adequate for most people. Best to ask your doctor’s recommendation on this as it may depend on any health conditions.
I love that these are available in two different calf circumference, standard and wide. I have a pair that are very boring. Time for an upgrade; these are on my Christmas wishlist this year.
Joby GripTight Phone Tripod $35
Capturing our adventures with beautiful photos enables us to enjoy our travels long after we’ve returned home, so gifts for travel photography are always appreciated.
I take my Joby GripTight Phone Tripod on every trip. If I am travelling alone it allows me to easily take photos with me in them. If I’m with my family, it’s nice to be able to get a photo of all of us, without having to ask someone to help. I used the tripod to get a family photo at Under Canvas tent camp in Montana.
Scarves for the Travel Lover
Travel Scarf by Waypoint Goods $45+
Travel scarves by Waypoint Goods are a gift that allow travel lovers to keep their valuables secure while adventuring. The scarves are an infinity style so they stay stylishly wrapped and they come in multiple colors and patterns. I especially love the Oslo; its warm neutrals are ideal for matching a capsule wardrobe. For a more colorful travel gift, the Jasmine & Jain is a vibrant nod to Jaipur India (Jaipur, also known as the Pink City, is one of my favorite places.) Stash valuables such as your passport, phone, cash and hotel key in a hidden zippered pocket inside the scarf and explore worry-free.
Scarf by Bloom & Give $50+
Scarves are my favourite travel accessory. They are light to carry around and ideal for covering shoulders on a chilly evening or when entering a temple. They add a hit of colour to a neutral outfit (perfect accessories to capsule wardrobes) and you can throw them over your head if you get caught in the rain.
Lo & Sons Waverley Convertible Handbag $126 +
Lo & Sons “The Waverley 2 is a stylish crossbody handbag that can be worn four ways: crossbody, as a shoulder bag, a wristlet and around your waist. It has an interior zipper pocket and an exterior slot. I bought the Saffiano, a textured leather specially treated to be scratch and weather-resistant. Mine is the black with gold hardware. But i really love the grey too; it’s a lovely soft neutral. It was the perfect bag for my recent Europe trip – I used it day and night. (Pictured here on a table at a Les Deux Magots café in Paris).
Helen Lo started the company with the help of her sons because she had back problems and wanted to create lightweight bags that were also stylish. I also own their camera bag and a carry-on tote. These gifts for travel lovers are made to last.
Bloom & Give produces all of its beautiful items in India which is known for its gorgeous textiles thanks to heirloom traditions which have existed for thousands of years. Generations have passed down the art of embroidery, weaving and the dying and printing fine cotton. The result: stunning scarves of exceptional quality. I have purchased scarves on my travels in India and the cotton is truly exceptional. Bloom & Give donates 10% of every purchase to help send a girl to school. Educate a girl and change the world! Free shipping and returns in the US!
Candles for Travel Lovers
Wanderlust Candles - Waypoint Goods $28
No passport required! Enjoy the scent of a favorite place with a Wanderlust Candle by Waypoint Goods. Owner, Caitlin Blythe, wanted a way to remember some of her favorite cities after she returned home. This curated collection currently includes: Dublin, Havana, Paris and Denver. Waypoint also sells a Hawaii candle – a tropical mélange of Fern, Hibiscus and Koa Wood. The laser-cut wood lids make these feel extra-special. The perfect holiday gift for a travel lover at home.
I adore Dyptique candles – it’s the one I buy for a splurge for myself or for a special someone on my holiday list. The Paris candle is exclusively available in Paris, but candles that evoke places including: are available at
Packable Hooded Travel Raincoat $72 -$150
I purchased a packable raincoat several years ago and although I don’t always need it, I love having it with me, just in case. Turned out I needed it on my recent trip to Paris when it poured with rain one afternoon as we were walking from one end of the Tuileries Garden to the other. Yes, Paris is just as beautiful in the rain, but a lot wetter.
A good travel raincoat is lightweight and ideally packs up in a small pouch enabling you to carry it in your bag when you aren’t wearing it. Mine is by Cole Haan and the exact one is no longer available. Here are two similar options:
The Land’s End Hooded Packable Raincoat has great reviews: it is waterproof, windproof and has pockets which I love. It also folds up into its hood.
For a sportier style suited to active travel, I like Patagonia’s Women’s Torrentshell Jacket. It is double the price of the Land’s End jacket, but Patagonia items are made to last, so a worthwhile investment. It is lightweight (12.5 ounces) waterproof, and made entirely from recycled material. It also self-stuffs into a pocket for easy carrying. Your travel lover will be ready for a rainy day in Paris, or anywhere else.
Fitness Gifts for Travel Lovers
You don’t have to leave your fitness routine at home when you head off on a travel adventure. These lightweight fitness tools are designed to make exercise convenient, anytime and anywhere. And they make great affordable gifts. ,
Exercise Resistance Bands $15
I’ve changed my gym routine so that much of my “ weight training” is now done with my own bodyweight and a set of resistance bands. Resistance training strengthens muscles and improves mobility. And I now bring a resistance band with me on most of my trips.
This set of three Pro-Tec Athletics Resistance Bands are a perfect small gift or stocking stuffer for a travel lover. They are light, packable, and come with a carry bag and instructions. And most exercises can be done in a small space, such as a hotel room. A great gift for home and travel.
Travel Yoga Mat $45 - $79
The Manduka eKO SuperLite Travel Yoga Mat enables yoga lovers to keep up their practice while travelling. The mat weighs just over two pounds and folds to fit easily in luggage. It’s made from biodegradable, natural tree rubber (non-Amazon harvested). Keep in mind this is thin, only 1.5mm, so has much less cushioning than a standard yoga mat.
I also love Sugarmat’s Travel Yoga Mat. It’s more expensive but comes with beautiful travel-inspired designs. This is even lighter and thinner than the Manduka eKO and comes with a travel pouch.
Reusable Water Bottles
Bringing your own water bottle on your travels allows you to stay hydrated and avoid plastic. On a trip to Southeast Asia a few years ago, I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to fill up my bottle. Purified water was available at all my hotels, as well as at some airports such as in Singapore. I found Asia hotels to be well ahead of North America in eliminating single-use plastic.
And the environment isn’t the only reason to avoid plastic. Studies show that plastic can leach chemicals into our food and water – some of those chemicals have been linked to metabolic disorders and hormone disruption.
Reusable bottles come in so many fun designs and styles. Here are two bottles that also come with built-in purification systems – especially helpful for travel in developing countries, when water safety can’t be assumed.
LifeStraw Go Filter Water Bottle $39.95
The LifeStraw Go Filter Bottle filters 99.9% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli, and 99.9% of all protozoa (parasites) such as giardia. I once had giardia while travelling in Nepal. Not. Fun.
This bottle has a two-stage filtration system. A carbon filter purifies the water while it moves through the straw, and a micron filter physically removes impurities. Although the bottle is plastic, it is BPA free. The filter can purify 1000 gallons (4000 liters) of water before it needs to be replaced.
MONOS Kiyo UVC Water Bottle $80
Yes, the Monos Kiyo UVC Water Bottle is pricey but Kiyo means ‘purity’ and that’s what this beauty is designed for. With a finger swipe, the bottle’s UVC technology purifies drinking water, eliminating 99.9% of bacteria. For the woman who travels to more off-the-beaten-path destinations, the ability to filter drinking water is incredibly valuable. And the Kiyo comes in six gorgeous colors. This is one water bottle you don’t want to forget at spinning class.
I hope one of these ideas is a gift that sparks wanderlust in the travel lovers on your wishlist this holiday season. Even better, perhaps a little something for your own wishlist, and a future travel adventure. Happy travels!
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