2016 Holiday Travel Gift Guide

It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone and that the holiday season is fast-approaching.  Maybe it’s because the weather has been beautiful warm with a backdrop of slowly changing leaves where I live, but once I flipped the calendar to November I knew it was time to start getting my holiday shopping lists in order.

To help you get in the gift giving mindset too, I’ve rounded up an assortment of my favorite travel-related items this year.  As with my previous gift guides (see the link at the end of this post), some items are more functional whereas others are more inspirational.  So whether you’re shopping for the occasional weekender or the diehard wanderer (or even yourself), hopefully you’ll find something for that special someone on your list.

1. eBags Toiletry Kit
I’m a huge fan of the eBags brand packing cubes for suitcase organization (I have 3 sets of my own and have given them to family and friends as gifts for years) and the brand’s new Pack-It-Flat toiletry kit promises to keep all of your travel essentials organized and compact.  You’ll find multiple multi-function compartments – one that expands, another that is lined for damp items and a hook to hang in tight spaces – all designed to fit snugly in your suitcase…alongside your matching packing cubes of course.  ebags.com

2. Wine Bottle Protectors
One of my favorite types of souvenirs to bring home is the consumable type, which definitely includes wine.  Instead of rolling bottles up in dirty jeans and praying that they make it home safely, these padded sleeves are lined to prevent breakage and seal the contents inside with not one but TWO zip closures and a folded Velcro flap.  They can accommodate standard 750ml bottles of your favorite vino (or local liquor or even olive oil) so it all wine, no worry.  travelsmith.com

3. Smart Luggage
Travel smarter and never lose track of your suitcase again with Bluesmart luggage.  Designed for travelers, by travelers this carry-on size roller bag keeps you and your bag connected via a mobile app, which allows you to remotely lock, weigh and most importantly track the location of your bag from anywhere in the world.  It also has an easy-access pocket for your laptop, a water and scratch-resistant exterior and USB ports to keep your devices charged on the go so you won’t have to search for a free outlet in the airport again.  bluesmart.com
*Note: Bluesmart luggage has been discontinued but you can find alternative holiday gift ideas in some of my other gift guides

4. Push Pin Travel Maps
There’s no better way to celebrate where you’ve been and inspire where you’ll go next than with a personalized push pin map.  Whether you’re charting your travels across the United States or the world, the company offers an assortment of colors and styles to choose from, right down to the color and shape of the push pins themselves.  You can order your map framed and ready to go, or if you’re feeling crafty a DIY kit with everything you’ll need to curate your own travel manifesto.  pushpintravelmaps.com

5. Eddie Bauer Voyager Jacket
I love a packable down coat for winter trips, and Eddie Bauer’s Voyager jacket is perfect for travel from spring to fall.  This lightweight outerwear is available in styles for both men and women and is super versatile – think lots of pockets, water-resistant fabric and several colors to choose from.  Plus it can be dressed up or down so you’ll only need one jacket no matter where your voyage takes you.

6. Tech Organizer
More than ever, electronics are becoming an essential part of our travel packings lists and Eagle Creek’s eTools Organizer can help you stay tangle-free on the go.  A great gift for the tech-obsessed, smartly store your smart items and accessories like cords, chargers, headphones and more in one its many compartments, all zipped up inside a single sturdy pouch.  eaglecreek.com

7. Sleeper Scarf
Most women can attest to the fact that there are an infinite number of uses for an infinity scarf when traveling, from dressing up a basic outfit to staying warm on the airplane.  The Sleeper Scarf adds one more use to the list – a built-in inflatable neck pillow.  Filing this one under “why didn’t someone think of this sooner?!”, the scarf is not only functional but also a discrete and stylish alternative to having to carry around (and remember to pack) a standard bulky neck pillow, plus it comes in a handful of colors so you can coordinate your outfits accordingly.  sleeperscarf.com

8. Lonely Planet Kids Travel Book
With a brand new little one of my own, it’s never too early to start inspiring wanderlust.  I love this book because it includes 200+ countries for your future traveler to explore.  Every country gets its own dedicated page that shares fun facts, photos, illustrations, maps and more.  The only thing not included is your child’s first passport.  lonelyplanet.com

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

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