My sister’s impending move to Korea had my Christmas brainstorming on high alert. For a future expat and traveler-in-training I wanted to focus on great, practical gifts that leave any jet setter beaming. I focused on my must-haves to make travel comfortable, plus a few items for making memories bright.
Check out my holiday gift guide for the traveler, loaded with my favorite items at 35,000 feet.
1. Travel Guides // For me, there’s rarely anything better than a great physical guidebook for an upcoming destination. There’s something about the hard copies – a great addition to an at-home library – that I absolutely adore! For folks on the go, digital versions are often more practical, taking up no space in a carry-on.
2. Passport Cover // In all honesty, passport covers can be a bit of a hassle when you’re making your way through the airport but they’re a great way to keep your book protected while showcasing a bit of personality. With so many great varieties available, including awesome custom options, they’re a great gift for globetrotters.
3. ToeSox // For the active traveler, ToeSox are an incredible addition to a workout arsenal. Taking up virtually no space, they make yoga, barre and pilates an easy in-the-room option when that’s all you have to work with. Even without a yoga mat I can make do in a hotel room with a towel and my Barre3 subscription.
Buy Them: Yoga or Pilates Toe Sox ($15 – $17)
4. Fujifilm Instax Camera // I personally can’t live without my Canon T2i, but I love the instant option of Fujifilm’s Instax Cameras. There are a variety of styles and options for different personalities and needs, but they all provide instant memories, the perfect foundation for crafting scrapbooks and all of those travel-inspired Pinterest projects.
Buy It: Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 (Neo Classic) ($180)
5. Eye Mask // I used to balk at eye masks, leaving the seemingly useless plush accessories for first-class travelers in need of the ever-elusive ‘beauty rest’. Now I diligently pack my eye mask in my carry-on for longer flights (mine are generally the cheap-o variety gifted by AA and Copa). I find them particularly useful for the long day time flights (not the red-eye), where TVs are on and there’s lots of activity on board. A comfy mask helps lull me into a somewhat comfortable state of rest for as long as I can muster.
6. Destination Necklace // I have two of these that I alternate: an Anguilla version and a California version, my home home and my current home. For ladies on the move, these are great gifts for carrying a piece of your home state (or country) while you’re on the go.
Buy It: Explore tru.che’s Etsy store for destination jewelry
7. Face Mask // For long-haul flights, plane time can leave your skin feeling zapped. I go make-up free for flights and slather my face with a thick, hydrating mask to keep it from getting too dehydrated in flight.
8. Blanket Scarf // I rarely ever travel without a scarf, even to warm weather destinations. A great accessory for your dressed-down airport days, the thick versions double as a blanket on the plane when it gets too chilly to get comfortable.
Buy It: Rag & Bone Dagger Wool Jacquard Scarf ($175)
9. Water Bottle // I try to stay hydrated in the air (I’m not always successful) and those dinky cups of water don’t really do much to quench my thirst. I lug a Hydroflask with me and load it up with water in the Admiral’s Club so I can be set in flight. Aisle seat preferred when gulping water.
10. Packing Cubes // One of the best additions to my packing arsenal, packing cubes are the ultimate way to convert someone to carry-on only status. There are thousands of tutorials and guides on the best uses, and you’re bound to find a way to use all three sizes for different purposes. For a three-week trip around Europe, I used three cubes to get me around in a single carry-on.Buy It: Eagle Creek Packing Cubes ($21.50, on sale)
11. Hanging Toiletries Holder // An absolute lifesaver for me, my hanging toiletries bag has completely revolutionized my ability to travel at a moment’s notice. I keep mine constantly loaded up with travel-sized favorites, including skin care and hair care products so I don’t forget the little things. If we have to hit the road with just a few hours notice, I can pack it up in a carry on and go without having to worry about toiletries.
12. Scratch Off Map // A great gift for travelers wanting to keep memories alive at home, these Scratch Maps are a fun way to keep track of the great places you’ve visited. An awesome conversation piece for newbie travelers or veterans!
Buy It: Explore a variety of maps from Scratch Map ($20 – $30)
What would you add to this list? Any must-haves for travelers?