Our blogging travel experts came together to help you out this holiday season. Here’s our ultimate gift guide for travelers and travel lovers alike:
Tom: listening and packing
Few things are more annoying than loud people on airplanes. This is why noise-cancelling headphones were invented: not only do you get to listen to your favorite melodies, but no snoring, crying, and LOLing will bother you. Everyone becomes a mime, and it’s silence all the way. Win-win!
Cabin bag with wheels
I remember the day I first bought a reinforced cabin bag with an extendable handle and wheels. The sheer function and compactness made me almost weep with joy. Not only can you squeeze loads of clothes in there by compressing the bag when you zip it up, but it has ACTUAL TINY WHEELS that glide your possessions elegantly across the airport concourse. And you don’t get all sweaty having to carry a duffel bag that feels like you’re carrying a sack of potatoes through security. Let’s not forget that cabin bags usually have a secret compartment, which is just cool and makes you feel like a secret agent.
Simon: charging and scratching
Portable phone charger
I have quite possibly the world’s worst sense of direction, so exploring a new destination is always, uhm, how should I put it… interesting. I rely heavily on locals to point me in the right direction and maps on my phone, which drains my battery. Luckily, portable phone chargers are there to ensure I arrive vaguely on time.
Scratch map or Cork globe
Post-trip depression is something all travelers face. It’s real, and it’s horrible! Decorating your room with reminders of your trip is a great way to ease the transition back into day-to-day life. Scratch maps and cork globes, where you can pin images to destinations visited, give life to anyone’s wanderlust-infected room.
Florence: clicking and crumpling
A good camera
There are places that are so extraordinarily beautiful that no cell phone camera can ever do them justice. After all, how can a cell phone suitably capture the warmth of a sunset off the coast of Honolulu or the sparkle of a New Year’s Eve in Times Square? Going beyond the cell phone camera for your travels will create long-lasting and beautiful memories.
Crumpled City map
If you get lost as much as I do when you visit a new city, you’ll know that by the end of your stay, your map has become a crinkly, unreadable mess. Enter the Crumpled City map, a handy little number that you can just crumple and stick in your pocket. Plus, it takes the guesswork out of knowing whether you’re heading to King’s Cross or Charing Cross!
Isabel: more packing and reading
A fancy plastic bag for liquids
It’s always useful to have your cosmetics in your carry-on luggage, but the plastic bags at the airport or supermarket are everything but practical. Or fashionable, for that matter. However, there are some premium bags available – they not only have space for all of your cosmetics, they also have the perfect size to make it through security.
Traveling means spending long hours on planes, trains, and automobiles. Or waiting for your next connection with any of these modes of transportation. These are the times when you need an e-reader: time will fly when you read the latest crime novel or indulge in the new edition of your favorite romance series. You can have hundreds of books at your fingertips – something for every situation and without carrying any extra weight. Technology is awesome!
Martinique: sleeping and strolling
It might not seem like much, but a cozy blanket goes a long way – especially if you constantly get cold like me. If you’re more of the adventurous type and find that you have to sleep at a train station, airport or outdoors (for whatever reasons), then you will be so grateful to have a blanket to make your nights at least somewhat warmer and more comfortable. An extra large scarf is also a good (and more stylish) substitute.
Flip-flops are a lifesaver – especially when you go to a hostel or have to share showers and bathroom facilities. They’re easy to fit into your suitcase or backpack and are basically good for all kinds of situations where you need to walk around. Last but not least, light plastic sandals can also be used as a weapon of choice when you discover an overly large spider in your room.
Emma: snapping and entertaining
Sure, bring a decent camera on your adventures for those all-important envy-inducing traveling snaps, but grab a Polaroid camera for one simple reason: it’s super fun. Point, click, and boom, you’ve got a vintage-looking memory, perfectly presented in a little iconic white frame, ready to be strung up around your room with pegs when you get home.
747 Things to do on a Plane
If you can’t get comfortable, get bored of watching Friends re-runs on the in-flight entertainment or just can’t seem to get to sleep on a plane, the book 747 Things to do on a Plane is guaranteed to provide at least a few hours of entertainment on those terribly dull long-distance flights. From puzzles to in-chair aerobics, at last you’ll have something to focus on other than your fellow passengers’ snoring. (Unless you have Tom’s headphones, of course.
Isabelle: even more packing and tagging
I’m really bad at packing – I’m a stuffer, not a folder, and I don’t really have a system when it comes to making the most out of the available space and weight limitations. There’s hope for people like me, though, and it comes in the form of rectangular packing cubes. You basically pack all of your stuff into these little bags before putting them in your suitcase. This extra step helps to keep things organized and protects your belongings from water, spilled shampoo or general chaos.
Everyone who has ever waited for a black suitcase at a baggage carousel will appreciate a luggage tag. No, we’re not giving away boring black luggage tags – we’re talking fun colors and shapes. Cool luggage tags are the perfect stocking stuffer and make a great gift tag for any of the presents above. They make your suitcase or backpack stand out and show your fellow travelers that you take globetrotting seriously.