2014 Holiday Travel Gift Guide

Is it just me or does it seems like the holiday shopping season starts earlier and earlier every year?  Before we even had a chance to recover from this year’s candy corn coma, the malls were already piping holiday music.  Sigh…

Since the holidays do have a way of sneaking up on us, I’ve compiled my second annual Holiday Travel Gift guide with ideas for the travel lover on your list.  That way you can have your pumpkin pie and time to eat it too.  Enjoy!

1. S’well Bottle
These beautifully crafted, doubled-walled stainless steel bottles are perfect for people on the go.  They come in 3 different sizes, countless colors, patterns and finishes (I got a shiny Red Rowboat one for Christmas last year and LOVE it!) and will keep beverages cold for up 24 hours and hot for up to 12 hours.  S’well Bottles are great for refilling at airports, plus they don’t condensate and the opening is large enough to fit ice cubes.  So whether you’re spending a day at the beach, going on an outdoor adventure or walking around the city, you’ll be set.  swellbottle.com 

2. Field Notes Notebooks
I’m a Moleskine loyalist but these small retro notebooks turned my head.  Inspired by the old promotional memo books used by American farmers as far back as the late 19th century, Field Notes are reminiscent of the bygone era of scrupulous record keeping and provide today’s traveler with a way to romanticize note taking and journaling in the digital age.  While simple in design, you still have your pick of different sizes, binding and paper types, as well as some cool accessories like a wooden archival box to store and organize your notebooks.   fieldnotesbrand.com

3. Cord Taco
Since we can’t fully escape modern technology – phones, tablets, cameras, etc. – the least we can do is keep all of our cords organized while on the road.  Enter This Is Ground, maker of the Cord Taco, a simple leather wrap that prevents your ear buds from getting tangled.   Designed and made in Los Angeles, the company also offers other handmade leather products in varying sizes, ranging from the larger Cordito and Bandito to the smaller Cordlupa, Zipanada and Knick Knack Nacho.  If you’re a Mexican food connoisseur you may be able to visualize what each of these items look like, but even if you’re not you’ll still be able to appreciate their simple design and functionality.  thisisground.com

4. Bluetooth Camera Remote
Another handy tech accessory is the HISY, a Bluetooth camera remote for the iPhone.  Its super simple to use, just sync with your phone like you would with any other Bluetooth device (no app to download), pose and click.  You can take photos and video from up to 90 feet away, and it comes with a foldable stand and an attachment that fits in your phone’s headphone jack so you’ll always be prepared for the perfect selfie or group photo.  You’re welcome.  hisypix.com

5. Coordinates Jewelry
For the first class female in your life, I love Coordinates Collection jewelry.  Select from several styles of bracelets, rings and necklaces that you can customize with the geographic coordinates of any location in the world.  Follow the step-by-step process to select the style, base metal, finish, coordinates, engraving and size.  The result is a truly unique piece of jewelry to celebrate a memorable trip, significant event or special place, no matter how near or far from home.  coordinatescollection.com

6. Timbuk2 Bags 
Another great customizable gift idea comes from Timbuk2.  Founded in a San Francisco garage by a bike messenger, the company has a huge selection of high-quailty messenger bags, laptop bags, totes, shoulder bags and backpacks.  Design your own by customizing the exterior and interior colors, pockets and inserts, or select from one of their many existing products.  I think the tally of Timbuk2 bags in my household is currently up to 4, and styles range from rugged to urban, so there’s a bag for every occasion and destination.  And with all bags, utility is key (i.e. lots of pockets, perfect for travel!), plus they come with a lifetime warranty.  timbuk2.com

7. Escape Monthly
Subscription boxes are all the rage these days, and this one is perfect for travelers.  Escape Monthly’s vacation in a box allows you to take a mini trip from the comforts of your own home.  Each destination-themed box includes products from around the world – food, beauty supplies and other treats – to help you relax and escape (or at least hold you over until your next getaway).  The boxes also included a handy travel guide filled with destination information and tips.  escapemonthly.com
*Note: Escape Monthly has been discontinued but I’ve recommended alternative subscription boxes in some of my other gift guides

8. AFAR Magazine
And for the travel gift that keeps on giving, a subscription to AFAR Magazine is the perfect gift.  Beyond fancy hotel and restaurant reviews, the magazine inspires its readers to travel deeper by exploring and connecting with the culture of a place.  Each month’s issue includes awesome feature articles, reoccurring franchises (I love “Spin the Globe”) and other recommendations as told through the perspective of both local experts and fellow travelers.  AFAR quickly became one of my favorite magazines, and I find myself constantly taking notes and filing them away for future trips.  afar.com

Want more ideas?  Check out gift guides from other years here.

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