It’s that time of year again – when the holiday season has officially crept up on us even though it seems like we just put away our beachwear after the final Labor Day hoorah. So to help you ease into holiday preparations and check a few travel lovers off of your shopping list, here is the latest edition of my annual Holiday Travel Gift Guide.
This year’s list was inspired by form (i.e. beautiful items that embody the art of travel) and function (i.e. don’t leave home without these necessities), so there’s definitely something for everyone. And maybe even yourself? ;)
1. Jet Set Candy
What girl doesn’t love jewelry, especially when it reminds her of her favorite places around the world? Jet Set Candy has a huge assortment of gold and silver jewelry ranging from bracelets and rings to destination-driven charms that can be worn alone or collected along with your passport stamps. New York, London, Tokyo, Rio De Janerio…so many possibilities, so little time for the perpetual wanderluster in your life. myjetsetcandy.com
2. Lightweight Down Jackets
These jackets are perfect for travelers since they self-regulate, helping you deal with the unpredictability of weather and save space by packing one jacket. For example, last winter I wore mine in Germany when the temperature was under 30 degrees and then in Italy the next week when it was over 60 degrees. Plus they’re super compact and can easily be folded up in your bag when indoors at airports, museums, restaurants, etc. (some even come with their own pouch). It seems like you can find lightweight down jackets everywhere these days, but I especially love the Ultra Light Down collection at UNIQLO, which features a huge assortment of styles and colors for both men and women.
3. Travel-Sized Essentials
Stuff a little #travelstyle into someone’s stocking this year with an assortment of travel-sized beauty products and toiletries from around the world. OFFEN offers cult and luxury brands like Air Repair and BIODERMA, as well as other cool travel-themed gifts like journals and pocked-sized guidebooks. Definitely check out the CITIX60 city guides filled with recommendations from 60 local artists and creatives. You can choose from one of the site’s travel packs or build your own. And as a special incentive for my readers OFFEN store will give you 15% off your order now through December 31, 2015 using the code BOARDINGPASS15 at checkout. offenstore.com
4. LifeProof Case
I converted to a LifeProof iPhone case this year before my trip to Greece. It was the first time that I didn’t bring a separate camera and relied solely on my phone for photos, so I definitely wanted to make sure my phone was protected from water, sand and other human error (i.e. dropping). You have your pick between the FRĒ and NÜÜD series, which are available for many different phone and tablet makes and models. The case absolutely did the trick and was well worth the investment, plus I added a wrist strap so that I could lean out to capture the perfect shot without having to worry. lifeproof.com
5. Instagram Photo Gifts
Speaking of photos, more than 80 million of them are shared on Instagram EVERYDAY, which is actually not too hard to believe. So why not give your beautiful travel shots another platform to shine beyond your feed. There are many sites like Shutterfly and Snapfish that will transfer your photos to wall canvases, magnets, tote bags and more. I also like other creative décor options like metal prints, ceramic tiles and wood blocks. And as an alternative to the standard wall calendar, check out this custom tearaway calendar.
6. Portable Power Pack
As one of the most functional items on the list, this really is a life saver for both travel and everyday life. The portable power ports from RAVPower are super compact and inexpensive, providing up to 9 hours of additional talk time or 90 hours of music playback for your phone. In addition to recharging your devises, it also includes a powerful flashlight with 3 different modes (high, low and strobe for emergencies). I was grateful to have mine when I forgot to charge my phone before heading out on a photo safari in Santorini. The company also sells an assortment of other portable batteries and chargers so you’ll never have to fear a low battery again. ravpower.com
7. Try the World
For many people the best part of travel is the food, so here’s a way to experience cuisine from around the world without leaving the comfort of your home. Every 2 months you’ll receive a box with 8 carefully curated gourmet food products from a new country. Selected by expert chefs, it also includes a culture guide with information about the products and recipes on how to use them. It’s a fun way to experiment with new flavors and foods, and if you absolutely love one of the products you can reorder in their online shop. trytheworld.com
8. New York Times 36 Hours
I’m a sucker for coffee table books and absolutely love the “36 Hours” travel column in the New York Times. This series of books combines the two, giving you a plethora of mini-itineraries and travel ideas for destinations throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Latin America and more. Each 36 Hours book is filled with tons of recommendations, photos and practical information so you can hit the ground running upon arrival. Long weekends will never be the same again, and that’s a very good thing. nytimes.com
Want more ideas? Check out gift guides from other years here.