It’s that time of year: The holiday homestretch.
For the travel lover on your list, here are some of my favorite finds. (Most under $50.00.)
A modern take on the charm bracelet, Trollbeads are for the creative soul who wants to give something based on their loved one’s passions and personality.
Start with a chain, then add beads in sterling silver, 14K gold, glass, or precious stones from the company’s vast collection. My bracelet (see below), speaks to my love of travel and mix of textures and colors. At first, I was skeptical that a piece of jewelry that looked so nice would survive me. (I’m rough on my things, especially when I’m in the field photographing.) That said, I’ve been wearing my bracelet nonstop for weeks now, and I’m happy to say that it looks great and hasn’t suffered a single scratch. And trust me, I’ve knocked this baby around. (P.S. if you don’t want to create a piece of your own, there are plenty of ready-to-wear options available too.)
Sterling silver rope chain (love the texture) = $46.00
“Trunk of Treasures” lock = $56.00
Sweet berries spacer (texture again)= $46.00
Blue petals glass bead (love the mix of blues and purples against the dark blue (almost black) background) = $34.00
Sterling silver Compass bead (I adore travel after all)=$46.00
Black faceted onyx bead (Adds a little glam without being too over the top) = $63.00
An example of some travel-themed beads I love:
[full disclosure: my bracelet was a gift from Trollbeads]
(27″ wide X 72″ Length. 3″ hand knotted tassels at each ends)
I don’t know how this company does it for less than $10.00, but this scarf is amazing. It’s large enough to use as a wrap, around the neck, or as a short coverup.
For long flights and road trips, the Cabeau Fold ‘n Go is the perfect carry along. It’s a super soft pillow and a large, cozy blanket all in one, with a handy-dandy velcro handle so you can attach it to your carry-on.
I love scented candles and Kate Spade’s new Bon Voyage collection is just the ticket $28.00
(Full Disclosure: My images are on the packaging, so I’m kind of biased. Though I do genuinely love Kate Spade candles)
If you can’t sleep without a mask when you travel, Dream Essentials is the way to go. I like it because the side closest to your face is contoured and padded—no mushing your eyelids. It’s much more comfortable than the standard design. The mask also comes with its own pouch and a set of earplugs so you’re sure to get the rest that you need.
I like to keep everything together when I travel. This nifty travel wallet is sleek enough to be chic but large enough to hold all my important documents, including room for 2 passports, boarding passes and other papers. Not to mention, keys, cash, credit cards, a pen, smart phone and Sim card.
L.L. Bean Adventure Duffle $39.95 – $69.95
For times when you just need a duffle without all the hoopla (Ie.. small plane flights to remote locations with strict weight and structure limitations), the Adventure duffle from L.L. Bean is the best. It’s classically designed, tough as nails, roomy, easy to store, and very well priced. I used the large green duffle in Mongolia and I was able to fit all I needed and a down sleeping bag, inside. There are styles with wheels too but they’re more expensive.
THIS. IS. THE. BEST. STEAMER. EVER. I use it on the road and at home. It really works. Enough said.
In a world of digital there’s something to be said for the tangible. That’s why I’m really excited about my new Polaroid Pop instant camera. When I travel, I want to give my subjects—especially those in remote locations like Mongolia or on safari in Africa—a photographic keepsake of our time together. What better way than with a Polaroid? You can edit in camera with filters, text and stickers before printing, or send the image via wifi to your smartphone. [Full disclosure: The company sent me one to play with]
Eshow Canvas Fanny Pack $15.99
When I’m out and about I want to keep things light and off my shoulders, I wear this fanny pack. It has two main pockets that are plenty big to hold photographic gear such as memory cards, extra batteries, lens cleaners and such. Plus, personal items like my wallet, compact and keys. I love the design: it’s not too big, made of canvas, and in a neutral color (what’s with all those wildly colored fanny packs?). It also comes in black. And for $15.00 it’s a real steal.
A fellow travel blogger turned me on to the original version of this camera sling by Lowepro. The III looks even better with a more ergonomic internal design and adjustable padding. (Version 1 is fixed.) If my bag wasn’t still in tiptop shape I’d get this in a flash. I use the sling predominantly for street photography when I’m carrying one or two lenses max . The III has a tablet pocket, an expandable compartment that provides 30% more space, and interior zip mesh pocket for smaller items like keys, CF cards, lens clothes, etc. Outside pockets are great for maps and a water bottle. If you want to take it on the road the inner padding can be removed and flattened to pack.
This saved my life. Ok, that may be overstating it but it really helped me a lot. I rarely travel without my computer and The Roost collapsible laptop stand has been instrumental in alleviating neck and shoulder cramping. It holds my computer screen at eye level so I’m not forced to look down to use it. The Roost weighs almost nothing, is adjustable, and packs easily. There’s also an optional case (sold separately) that holds a keyboard, mouse and The Roost in one sleek package.
Bose SoundSport Wireless Earpods $129.00
I listen to podcasts all the time when I travel but I don’t like using the over the ear headphones. They’re too clunky and hard to pack if you’ve got limited space. Bose’s wireless headphone, however, have a connective cord so they stay put, and making them harder to lose than other wireless pods. Most important, the sound is great.
Kenu Stance | Tripod $19.95
A super small and compact tripod for smartphones. When flying, I set this on my seat tray to watch movies I’ve downloaded. It’s great for tabletop, ledges, anyplace a gorilla pod or something larger gets in the way. Just throw it in your pocket when you’re done. It’s also has a built-in key ring and bottle opener.
Before I used this Think Tank bag, I kept all my chargers and cables in a Ziplock bag, and it worked. Definitely an economical solution. But it was cumbersome. The bag wasn’t designed to hold things other than food, so was awkward and took up a lot of space in my carry-on. The square design of Think Tank bag, holds the same amount of stuff but it’s a lot easier to pack.
With all the new rules airlines inflict on us today, a luggage scale is a necessity—especially if you’re flying in a small plane to a remote location with strict weight limits. Best case scenario if you go over: you have to pay more. Worst case: You get bumped to another flight. Who wants that? Weigh it first.
The best technology in the world won’t work if it’s not charged. And nothing is more of a pain in the neck than being on the road with multiple devices and too few outlets. This compact power strip is the answer. It’s small and easy to pack, yet has two outlets, 3 USB ports and a 15″ extension cord.
I buy big bottles of products for savings but there’s no place for those when I travel. This is a great travel bottle set that’s durable, color-coded, and comes with pre-produced labels you can use or you can make your own.
These Hothands insole foot warmers (don’t mistake them for toe warmers), saved me when I was in the arctic. Wow.. nothing like heat on your feet when you’re outside in -39F. If your giftee lives somewhere with a brutal winter or is going on holiday someplace cold, these may not win the sexiest gift award, but boy they’ll love you for it.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you click a link and purchase something. I don’t promote items I don’t like, therefore if I am recommending a product/service it is because I truly like it and believe my readers will too.