I‘m dreaming of a
white Christmas helpful gift guide for travelers…
‘Tis the season when people ask me what they should get their traveling friends and family for whatever holiday they’re buying gifts for. (That’s me being PC, but we all know it’s Christmas.) ‘Tis also the season for fist fights and eye gouging at Walmart and the reason I do all my shopping online.
I’ve created this post in an effort to ensure no one else receives any shitty airport neck pillows or, dare I even say it, selfie sticks.
GIFT GUIDE FOR TRAVELERS // 2015
Below you will find my favorite travel-related stuff that I’m constantly pushing on people and a couple of things I don’t yet own but already have a spot on my wall reserved for. I should let you know that some of the links below are affiliate links which really makes no difference to you. It only means that, through you, Amazon and other sites are helping to keep this site up and running and from being hacked by Chinese black market NBA jersey salesmen. You have NO idea the accuracy of that statement.
That said, all (but like two) of the items below I personally own and LOVE and have been the subject of the question, “Oh my god, Ashley, where did you get that?” I wouldn’t recommend anything to you that sucks, let’s just put it that way.
FOR THE TRIP
XPRESSPA TRAVEL ROLL PILLOW
Every kiss begins with k-omfortable air travel
Sometimes an impulse purchase becomes the greatest thing you own and that’s the case with my XpresSpa travel pillow. I picked this up at the Orlando airport, one of the few places on earth you can find an XpresSpa, but luckily they just started selling this pillow online. It’s beanbag-squishy and my husband was like, “Just get it!” …so I did. I use it rolled up when I sleep face down on the tray table. I put my arms through it because it’s cozy. I unzip it when I want to put it behind my back. And thank baby Jesus for the snapping loop that keeps it from falling out of my bag as I frantically run in the wrong direction in a zig-zag pattern through the airports, Home Alone style. You’re what the French call les incompetents.
HARD CASE BRA CARRIER
I’ll be home for Christmas… with my bras intact…
OK, y’all girls know what’s up. Packing bras is hard. They get all twisted and squished and literally bent out of shape. I found this rock solid bra travel case on Amazon and my boobs thanked me. You can pack tons of bras and bikini tops in it and it has a mesh pouch inside for whatever else you want to pack in there. Bikini bottoms maybe? You should probably pack bikini bottoms.
Sometimes my sparkly black one is out of stock on Amazon but you can find a bunch of cute styles here.
JEWELRY TRAVEL CASE
This jewelry travel case was given to me as a gift and, believe it or not, I never had a travel case for my jewelry before this. I just used Ziplock snack bags which was dumb, I know. I’m finally moving up! This is perfect for every piece you want to bring and so cute with its envelope design and passport stamps. I like things that are cuuute. When sea otters hold hands, sushi rolls that look like pandas, and baby raccoons to name a few. This jewelry case is right up there.
CAMELBAK EDDY WATER BOTTLE
You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not bring bottles of water through airport security, I’m telling you why…
I have an unhealthy obsession with my Camelbak. This is partly because I drink a lot of water, and partly because, with the bite and suck requirement, it’s basically a baby bottle for grownups and I refuse to part with it. It’s perfect for air travel since it’s allowed through airport security (empty) and you can just fill it up on the flip side. Some airports have special water bottle fillers that are just the bees knees. It doesn’t leak and it’s BPA and gluten free. What? It is!
ALL THE FODOR’S TRAVEL GUIDES
Have a holly, jolly
Christmas vacation. It’s the best time of the year…
Everyone has his/her preference for travel guidebooks and mine is Fodor’s. These books have all the essential information you need, they’re bursting with photography, and I love the way they’re organized. I bought a Lonely Planet guide for my trip to Iceland last year and was pissed when I noticed the book had about three photos in the entire thing. Have you seen Iceland? It’s one of the most photogenic countries on earth. How were there only three photos? Who has time to read all those words? Fodor’s is where it’s at.
Come on, it’s lovely weather for
a sleigh ride staying inside and reading books together with you…
I don’t think it’s a secret – I’m a huge book nerd. That said, two of the greatest travel related books I read this year are Rick Steves’ Travel as a Political Act and Amanda Lindhout’s A House in the Sky.
My pal Rick lays out why we should all be traveling and what we stand to gain from spending time in other countries. It’s kind of everything about travel that’s in my brain and he expresses it all flawlessly. I should really write more stuff down.
A House in the Sky is Amanda Lindhout’s memoir on her experience falling in love with exploring the world, and her fifteen-month abduction in Somalia. This was one of the most intense books I have ever read. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I ripped a few. Totally worth it.
But do you recall… the most famous
reindeer mp3 player of all?
I know everyone today uses their phones for listening to music but, call me old fashioned, I like my iPod Shuffle. It’s so teeny and I can just clip it to my shirt and doze off, face down on my travel roll. I guess I just prefer simplicity plus the only music I can listen to on my phone is the “Quantum Bell” ringtone and it sucks.
FOREIGN ELECTRICAL ADAPTERS
You’re a mean one, Mr.
Grinch whoever decided to make these all different…
Packing foreign electrical adapters is just smart traveling. It is also something not everyone thinks about before departure – what the hell does the plug look like in Germany/Thailand/Okinawa? You should purchase these before you leave on your trip because chances are you won’t be able to find them abroad. Like that time I needed a hairdryer in Taiwan and couldn’t find one. IN TAIWAN, WHERE THE WORLD’S ENTIRE STOCK OF HAIRDRYERS ARE MANUFACTURED. #travelingisfun Plus, along with dental floss and chapstick, these make great stocking stuffers.
LAT & LO CUSTOMIZED JEWELRY
Silver and gold… silver and gold… means so much more when I see
silver and gold decorations
on under every Christmas tree…
Thank you for that Yukon Cornelius.
If you knew me in real life, you would know that I love customizing. I love giving personalized gifts that my friends and family can’t get anywhere else. ‘Tis a curse.
I don’t remember where I first across Lat & Lo but an obsession immediately bloomed. Totally customizable jewelry for travel lovers. Personalize any piece (bracelets/rings/necklaces) with the geographical coordinates of your favorite places. I currently own four with the coordinates of some of my favorite cities: Florence, Italy, Memphis, Tennessee, Gimmelwald, Switzerland, and Munich, Germany. I gave one to a friend as a gift this year and yeah, she said it was the best gift she’d ever received and also not to tell her boyfriend she said that. It’s fine; he doesn’t read this.
It’s beginning to look a lot like
Christmas I need an island vacation…
I love the idea behind the Lokai bracelets. The white bead contains water from Mt. Everest, the highest point on earth. The black bead contains mud from the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth. Sometimes you’re on top: stay humble. Sometimes you’ve hit a low: stay hopeful. Find your balance. If nothing else, at least follow them on Instagram for some of the most envy-inducing photos you’ll see. ‘Tis the season to be jelly… fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la
ADORBS TRAVEL RELATED & CUSTOMIZABLE GOODIES
This is something I do not yet own but plan on filling my house with. Airportag.com is full of awesome travel related stuff that would make perfect gifts for anyone. Their inventory is huge: apparel, pillows, bags, canvases, yada yada yada. You can even customize your own boarding pass items. I love it all more than Hermey loves enamel corrosion and checking for cavities.
Also, sales! Airportag is offering 20% off on Black Friday and they’re not even going to make you wait in line to get it. In fact, you don’t even have to put pants on.
THERE’S A MAP FOR THAT – NECKLACE
Yeahhh I bought this world map necklace as soon as I saw it on Pinterest. Actually, I had to put myself on a waiting list because apparently everyone else wanted one too. They now have plenty available and purchasing is easy – not like that time earlier this year when I accidentally bought four tickets on the same plane for myself. Ha! I’m telling you, the mistakes you make are not half as dumb as mine.
SCRATCH YOUR TRAVEL ITCH
These scratch maps from Landmass are prettay prettay prettay popular. Scratch off the countries you visit and reveal a colorful world map. I such a fan of the ones from Landmass because I’m a huge flag nerd. I should really stop visiting such tiny countries though and hit up Russia or Greenland soon…
FOR PRETTY PICTURES
It’s the most wonderful
time gift of the year…
My GoPro was given to me as a gift for Christmas last year from my parents who apparently want to see me hang off the sides of more mountains. Who am I to deny them their dream? I love my GoPro and I don’t know anyone with one who doesn’t. You can take pictures of a cat on a palm tree, for the love of friskies! GoPros are perfect for any kind of adventure you find yourself on around the world: hiking the via ferrata in Switzerland, surfing on Oahu’s North Shore, bungee jumping in New Zealand, or just trying to ride your rickety old bicycle home from the mall in Italy, your basket overflowing with all the Hello Kitty toilet paper you could find – the most daredevilish activity of them all.
The Joby Gorillapod tripod is my favorite photography accessory. I’ve never been a tripod user. I’m just so impatient/lazy. That is, until I found a near-weightless, flexible one I could use anywhere. Like, anywhere. On top of a mountain, in the forest, picking snowberries at the North Pole, wherever. They have different options for different camera types but the Zoom is the one that I use.
Oh the weather outside is frightful… stay inside and edit photos…
According to my recent reader survey, “photography” is one of the main reasons y’all enjoy visiting My Wanderlusty Life. That is awesome, so thank you. Also, you should know that I have a little help. Well, not so much “help” but a special set of tools.
Adobe Lightroom is magic, plain and simple. Therefore, I am a magician. One of my favorite travel photos is the one below I took from the top of Giotto’s Campanile in Florence on an overcast day. Just look at the before and after. LIGHTROOM IS WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD. This photo is now blown up on a huge canvas and hanging above my fireplace.
[For more of my absolute must-have travel thangs, check out my travel gear + resources page.]
What are some of your favorite travel related items?
Let me know below!
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