How is it already THAT time of year again??? We’re going to try to help make your holiday shopping easy this year with our annual holiday gift guide for the travel lovers and wanderlusters in your life! Here they are — our best shopping finds from 2014.
The City Secrets Travel Series
The best way to see a city is through the eyes of those who know it best. This is the simple idea that led to the celebrated City Secrets travel guides, in which experts have shared insider information about the places they know intimately, secrets that provide a traveler’s itinerary with the kind of insight that only someone in-the-know can provide.
The City Secrets Travel Series recently released its fifth volume, City Secrets Paris: The Essential Insider’s Guide,. With over 150 insider tips and 18 detailed maps, this long awaited guide to Paris complements the series which includes City Secrets: London, Manhattan, Rome, Venice and Florence.
Gifts that give back are always high on our lists because it’s feel good, guilt-free shopping! TOMS makes that easy with their various charitable giving programs and one-for-one campaign.
New to the TOMS line this year? Slippers! Who doesn’t love a great pair of warm slippers to throw on in the morning? Made with textured wool and faux shearling, they’re affordable too at less than $50/pair and come in various styles for men, women, and children.
National Geographic Expeditions
Know someone itching to get to Cuba, go on an African safari, trek through the Himalayas, or hop on a cruise through Alaska? This is the ultimate travel gift because it is… the gift of travel. Those who have traveled with National Geographic say it’s an experience that resonates for a lifetime. From small ship voyages to rail journeys and wildlife safaris, their expeditions cover it all, across the globe.
Be sure to let them know it’s a gift when you purchase and they will send you a National Geographic note card that you can customize. It’s another feel-good buy, as proceeds from their trips help fund the National Geographic Society’s nonprofit programs. That means this gift of travel helps support the grantees and explorers in their efforts to preserve species and habitats, protect cultures, and advance understanding of our planet.
For the stylin’
This chic new bicycle company based in San Francisco is bringing back the vintage, European-style bicycle and adding their own modern twists to them – a refreshing new gift idea for that special someone who likes to travels in style. There are several retailers around the U.S. but you can also purchase them online and have them drop shipped to your door 98% assembled – just attach the pedals, adjust the handlebars and they’re ready to ride! $1,199-$1,599.
Practical. But awesome!
Not everyone loves “practical” gifts, but we’re pretty sure most will at least appreciate this one! Whether you are taking pictures of the family with your phone or buying rounds of drinks for your friends, everyone loves to have their “stuff” near them at the beach, pool, or park. But where do you put your important stuff – like cell phones and wallets and keys – when you want to go for a swim?
This company was founded two friends who experienced every travelers’ nightmare and had all of their belongings
stolen while they were swimming in the pool at a very nice resort in Miami. They were just a few feet away, stuck their stuff in their shoes and placed them under their lounge chairs. You’ve done it before too! We all have. When they returned, however, everything was gone. So they turned lemons into lemonade to help others avoid the same scenario and invented AquaVault, a portable safe that attaches to your lounge chair and locks on with a 3 digit personal combination lock. $39.95
For the adventure junkie
Ahnu Hiking Shoes
Got an active traveler on your list? She’s gonna love these hybrid sneakers-meets-hiking shoes. Plus, they come in fun colors like pink and lime green! Read on for our full review. $110
Travelers need to be prepared for the unexpected. Like rain! These are the perfect solution that won’t take up space in your limited luggage space. Puddletons will keep your feet dry, comfortable and stylish; 100% waterproof from top to toe. The boots, designed with bright, pop colors and prints, can be easily tucked into any travel bag for any rainy commute, not just when you’re on the road in another country or state or city. These roll-up rainboots come in their own travel bag and fold up for easy storage. $39.99 for women.
Gifts for Wine/Whiskey Lovers
Founder of Spicy Vines, Crystalyn tasted Glühwein (a German mulled wine) in Berlin and returned to her home in Napa, CA to recreate it. We love this spiced wine for the simple fact that it was inspired by travel—not to mention it’s something novel and tasty to boot. A bottle of Spicy Vines is an ideal host or hostess gift as it’s holly-jolly, Christmastime in bottle. We liked it best chilled, but it’s totally kosher (and encouraged) to heat it up for instant mulled wine. $22.99
This club is similar to a wine club, sending members quarterly shipments of spectacular whiskies created by the leading small craft distilleries in the U.S., hand-selected by their panel of world-renowned whiskey experts. Each shipment includes three (3) exceptional 750mL bottles of whiskey: Two Bourbons and one “Wild Card” whiskey (Tennessee, rye, corn, malt or other grain/ blended whisky). Memberships start at $79.
For the men in your life
This new brand (launched in 2014) designs fully customizable, bespoke, handmade to order men’s swimsuits. Each pair is designed and selected by the client. They have never sold the same swimsuit twice, with so many options and a very short runs on prints. The customization process also gives the opportunity to monogram the design, for a truly unique finish and personalization. Sourced in Europe with a small workshop, the company offers free shipping worldwide too! $199
Who doesn’t love secret compartments? We’re used to seeing them in jackets and pants and bags, but on a belt? These elegantly designed buckles and fine leather belts are made in downtown Los Angeles.
With a width of an inch and a half, that’s large enough to fit through belt loops and store an average sized key, a small wad of cash, ear plugs (for the concert goers and those wanting quiet on a plane or bus), your daily vitamins, or as the creators of trove belts suggest – condoms – because well, you just never know. They even created a special folding technique for it. Our only question is when they’re going to create a line for women, because we like secret compartments too!
Good things come in small packages, right? We love opening a bundles of surprises from Santa on Christmas morning! These are some of our favorites to add to your shopping list…
Think giving deodorant for a stocking stuffer sends the wrong message? Think again, especially if you have someone on your list that’s been on the hunt for an aluminum-free (the stuff linked to Alzheimers) deodorant that actually works. Lanee tested it out and can testify, not only is effective in preventing stinkiness, but according to her, “It’s the first deodorant that I actually wanted to lick because it smelled so good.” Lick-worthy armpits or deodorant may not be the reaction you were going for with this gift, but trust us, it’s amazing. Another wonderful stocking stuffer by Nubian is the Patchouli & Buriti Shea Butter – again, so delicious smelling, you’ll be tempted to taste it. ($7.99 – 12.99)
We’re big nerds when it comes to travel-sized beauty products and travel beauty kits. The Kari Gran Starter Kit is one we’re currently obsessed with that features travel-friendly sizes of an all-natural, three-part skin care system: Essential Serum, Hydrating Tonic and Cleansing Oil. Instead of packing a mish-mash of facial products, the Kari Gran kit comes in a tidy paper satchel that’s easy to throw in your toiletries bag. $35.00
Have someone that is a hardcore adventurer or is simply accident-prone on your gift list? Do them a favor and buy them one of the most durable phone cases on the planet. LifeProof is designed to protect against four major elements: dirt, snow, shock and water (waterproof up to 6.6 feet of water). Lanee has given her LifeProof case ample opportunities to test out its touted benefits. She’s dropped it a bunch of times on concrete (by accident) and the phone still works, crack-free. She so believes in the security it delivers, she bought another one when she got her latest phone. $79 P.S. The hand-painted elephant decoration doesn’t come with the case. You gotta go to the umbrella factory in Chiang Mai, Thailand for that!
Did you know jet lag can be minimized by supplements and hydration? This is where JetRyte comes in. Simply pop a JetRyte tablet in your water before, during and after the flight to ease flight fatigue. JetRyte contains sodium and potassium to restore electrolytes; vitamins B6, B12, and C to increase energy and boost the immune system; and melatonin to assist in catching some shuteye. We usually take Airborne or Emergen-C on a flight but are big fans of JetRyte due its mess-free, individual tablet packaging. $6.99 (includes a pair of handy earplugs)
Since trying out a Korean spa, we love a tough scrub. Did you know exfoliation can help with cellulite, scarring and even acne? And that’s exactly what Frank Coffee Scrub delivers: a deep down (and kinda dirty with all the coffee grounds flying!) scrub that leaves our skin feeling soft and clean. It’s potent on the java aroma, so make sure your recipient loves coffee. BTW, if you need a visual of what it looks like to wear coffee grounds, just Google Frank Coffee scrub images. Apparently, shower selfies covered in ‘Frank’ are a thing. Sorry to disappoint, we did not join in on the selfie scrub phenom. $14.95
*All priced in US dollars.