It looks like it’s that time of year again. Time for wish lists and gift lists, cookies & indoor pine trees!
This is my favorite time of year because not only do I love the snow but my birthday happens to be sandwiched between Christmas and New Years making for a very festive week! I know so many of our readers are on the hunt for great gifts to give that special traveler in their life, or perhaps to stuff their own stocking with so I went ahead and created The Ultimate Traveler Gift List!
In this list you will find gifts for travelers that they will not only want but also need. Take your pick! Anything on this list will be a welcomed gift, even for someone living out of their backpack!
1. Safety First – A Travel Whistle
The whistle is a must have for any traveler – it’s small but packs a big punch. It can get you out of jams, help the local authorities locate you or possibly even hail you a cab. If you aren’t sure why having this small travel accessory is such a must have then check out our pal (and fellow travel blogger) Jodi’s write up on why her travel whistle is worth it’s weight in gold. It makes a fantastic stocking stuffer for any traveler or can you attach it with a ribbon to a larger gift. Trust me, this gift is an important one (and often overlooked) so if you love your vagabond friend, sibling, partner or co-worker make sure you grab one!
Tom Bihn carries two versions of the safety whistle and both are reasonably priced at $5 and $6.
2. Perfect Travel Duo For The Ladies
Ok, I have two gifts in this list that are female specific. Unless of course you know a man that would like an Infinity Skirt, in that case go for it! But seriously, the Infinity Skirt rocks. It’s a skirt, dress, shirt – ALL IN ONE! Solve your packing problems with just one piece! My friend Brooke has an entire review of the Infinity Skirt on Her Packing List. When I saw her last weekend she mentioned that she is still love with it which is why I am putting it on my list this year…(hello Randy – hint, hint).
You can find a few different types of Infinity Skirts on Amazon that range from $30 – $40.
My second female specific suggestion is the Diva Cup and believe me, no man can use this. Yes, ladies this is a special cup to use for your favorite time of the month. I can see you now, shaking your head saying ‘No Way Jose’ when you think about this but really you WANT this. Trust me. I never, ever travel without mine. You may not use it every day but when you have that crazy 13 hour bathroom-less bus ride through Turkey, Peru, China or anywhere (because let’s face it 13 hours on a bus anywhere sucks) during that ‘special time‘ you will be doing the happy dance knowing that the Diva Cup has your back. No worries about having to find a bathroom during your bus/plane/train/hiking journey! Plain and simple this thing works. Brooke has covered a review of the Diva Cup on Her Packing List and I highly suggest you check it out if you want to learn more. If you feel weird buying this as a gift for someone then maybe just get it for yourself. Whatever you do just get one and thank me later.
You’ll find a good selection of Diva Cups on Amazon between $20 – $30.
3. Tell Your Adventurous Tales With Vintage Inspired Travel Stationary by Earmark!
If a person goes on an adventure but has no way to preserve their memories will anyone hear them? That is the question you must ask yourself when hitting the road. There are plenty of ways to record your stories and memories but ultimately it comes down to two very basic items – paper & pencil.
Sure an Iphone is great and a pencil certainly can’t take a photo but you know what? A journal does not need to be charged at a cafe outlet you spend all day searching for (yes, I’ve done this) and a pencil does not need a converter for charging. Bonus! Would you pass your Iphone to the person in the train seat next to you so they can write down the name of the stop you need to get out at? Unlikely. How about to a group of Italian teenage boys that want you to find them on Facebook? Definitely not. Good thing you’ve got a journal and a pencil to take your notes in and pass around for contact info! No one is going to steal those little gems…unless of course you buy the super rad Personalized Stationary Suitcase Set ($35) from Earmark Stationary because it is pretty freaking cool.
I’m a bit partial because my sister Bridgette is the genius behind Earmark and she and her husband design & hand make all of these journals. I never leave home without a journal (or 3) and a couple pencils in my bag. Honestly, even if she wasn’t my sister I would still be carrying these items because they’re handy, unique and travel inspired. They sell a variety of other travel items as well in their adventure series. A few of my favorites include the Adventurer Magnet Set ($22), Never Stop Exploring art print ($20), Vintage Custom Postcards ($4), Road Trip Pencil Pack ($15) and the Adventure Awaits Paper Garland ($11).
If you want to switch things up a bit you can always depart from the travel theme and go for one of their offbeat gifts like the The Big Lebowski or Anchorman Inspired pencil packs. These things sell like hot cakes so order fast if you want to get something in time for the holidays!
Wanna save 15% on your entire order? Use the promo code Adventure15 when you check out!
This promo code is exclusive for Beers & Beans readers and expires on Jan 31, 2013.
4. The All-in-One Travel Converter
A few years ago I snagged two of these Universal World Wide Travel Plug Adapters
for only .50 cents each on Amazon. It seems they range in price up to $6 now but I also managed to find the exact same one we have on Amazon right now for only .35 cents – WOW! Your world wide traveler will use this converter pretty much every day and it works great! The other thing I love about it is that it’s very lightweight and it has every region of the world right at your fingertips in one converter instead of having to keep track of several small pieces, which is how most sets are. For .35 cents – you won’t find a better travel deal!
5. ExOfficio – Must Have Travel Underwear
If you’re new to the travel world or you’re simply looking for a great gift for your wanderlusting friend you may be wondering why I would include underwear on a travel gift list. Travel underwear? Seriously? Is this just another ridiculous & unnecessary travel item? I too was skeptical when I first heard about ExOfficio underwear. I already had plenty of underwear – why would I need more? But after hearing enough good things about them I bought myself a pair and OMG. Instantly, I became an ExOfficio convert. I own probably 5 or 6 pairs of these now and they are all I travel with when it comes to undies. Randy has a few pair of the boxers as well. Honestly they work. They really do.
Not only are they extremely comfortable but they also are made of a material that whisks sweat off your skin. To top it off they are purposely made so that you only have to travel with a few pairs. You simply hand wash them in the sink and then they dry in about 4 hours. They are perfect for hiking, long plane journeys or any adventure at all. In fact, one of my friends owns a remodeling business and during the summer he sweats so much on the job (almost never has AC at the work sites) that he usually has to bring a change of underwear with him. This midday underwear change completely annoys him and puts him in a very bad mood. I told him about the ExOfficio underwear and he bought a pair the next week. A couple months later I was told that they completely changed his work day – he no longer has to wear sweaty underwear or change his boxers at work. He’s switched over to ExOfficio and you will too if you try them out. They’re worth every penny.
On the ExOfficio website you can peruse the female Give-N-Go undies ($18 – $22) or the male Give-N-Go version ($20 – $30). However I also noticed that Amazon usually has a larger selection for a much better price. I always get mine through Amazon: ExOfficio Underwear
Want to see more about ExOfficio undies? You can check out Randy’s funny video & my review on the sexy, lacy pair.
6. The Micro Fiber Towel – A Travel Bathroom Essential
If you’re on the road a lot, you might stay in places where they don’t provide you with a towel (i.e. hostel or tent) and that’s when this item becomes a true traveling essential. It weighs pretty much nothing and dries almost instantly. I have the MicroNet Microfiber Towel and I definitely recommend that brand. I used to have the Sea to Summit towel but after a few months it always seemed to smell no matter how much I washed it. The MicroNet towel comes with it’s own carrying case and I’ve had it for about two years without any odor problems.
7. Swiss Army Knife
Just seeing the red exterior brings back memories of the Girl Scouts and because of that reason it’s a sure indicator that you are on the path to adventure if you’re carrying one. We don’t actually use our Swiss Army Knife very often but when we do it’s a life saver, which makes it a travel essential. This is a great gift for any traveler and Victorinox seems to have endless options so you are sure to find one that fits your budget. My one suggestion is that you get one that has a corkscrew and a small pair of scissors in it – you know for those travel essentials like wine and cheap haircuts in Paris.
It looks like the Victorinox Climber II has everything you need and is still priced at less than $20!
8. A Little Bit Of Luxury – The Silk Sleep Sheet
In 2010 we quit our jobs and headed to Europe on an ultra budget trip. For 3 months we WWOOFed, camped & backpacked around Iceland, France & Italy. We had our sleeping bags with us and we brought silk sleep sheet liners to provide us with a little extra warmth. That’s how we became addicted to this tiny bit of luxury in an otherwise rough and tumble travel world. We rarely travel with sleeping bags these days but we always make sure to bring along our trusty silk sleep sheets. I know not everyone travels with these but they should – they’re fantastic!
Whether you want a bit of luxury or simply don’t like the looks of your hotel/hostel mattress this little item will really help you relax after a long day on the road. I also read that the silk sleep sheet repels against bedbugs which cannot get through the silk. I’m not sure how true this is but I’ve never had bedbugs either which is a good thing.
Randy actually lost his last year and now we have two different ones. I have the Grand Trunk Silk Sleep Sack ($50) which also comes with a built in compartment for your pillow (no more laying your head on sketchy pillowcases!) and packs down to a tiny little size. Randy has the Hammock Bliss Sleep Sack which at $35 is a bit cheaper than mine however his is not silk and does not provide any additional warmth. It also does not have a pillow compartment, nor does it pack down as small as mine. But he loves it, especially because it is really large with plenty of room to move around in. I’m partial to the Grand Trunk but both are great options and they also have plenty of other silk sleep sheets to choose from!
If you a do-it-yourself type of person you can always make your own sleep sack out of a sheet you have from home. Perfect if you want a little reminder of home when you travel or if you want to give your traveling pal a handmade gift. For full instructions check out this post: This Is Your Momma’s Sleep Sheet
9. A Kitchen On The Go
Got a foodie friend that is about to hit the road? Why not think outside the box and put together a little bundle of travel sized kitchen essentials? I wrote about our Traveling Kitchen a couple months ago when I realized we always travel with a small variety of kitchen items and we use them continually. Putting together a few of these items would be a perfect and unique travel gift! Here’s some items I recommend:
Sea to Summit X Bowl – It’s foldable & doubles as a cutting board making it a no-brainer. -$15
Sea to Summit X Bowl & X Mug Set – A complete set (bowl & mug) with a carrying case. – $30
Guyot MicroBite Utensil Set – Fork, Knife, Spoon & Spatula in 2 sturdy pieces, lightweight & awesome. We love ours. – $5
GSI Travel Spice Rack – Salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne go a long way on the road and these handy little containers will make your spices easy to carry. – $10
10. Pack Smart, Light & Dual Purpose – Tom Bihn Packing Cube Backpack
Light weight and multifunctional items are on the top of any traveler’s gear list. It’s important to utilize every spare inch of space in your luggage and that’s why the Tom Bihn Packing Cube is one of the best traveler gifts out there. We have a couple of these and LOVE them. Not only are they fantastic packing cubes but they double as incredibly lightweight backpacks. Perfect for hitting up the beach, the market or simply using as a travel day pack. Any traveler will find a million ways to use this ingenious and irreplaceable piece of gear.
They come in several colors and at only $40 you can even get a Packing Cube Backpack for yourself, because trust me when this arrives you won’t want to give it away!
11. Feeling Altruistic? Why not make a donation to a worldly cause?
A donation to Cooperative for Education is truly the gift that keeps on giving. CoEd provides books, computers and school supplies to the children of Guatemala. They also provide training for the teachers so that the kids get a proper education and scholarships so that the students can stay in school instead of dropping out to work for the family. Guatemala has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world and making a donation to this fantastic non-profit ensures that your gift will not only have special meaning but that it will go on indefinitely. For most of the children in this program have parents that cannot read or write their own names and most female students in Guatemala drop out in the 2nd grade. It’s extraordinarily important that these children not only learn to read but get an education that inspires them and pushes them to create better lives for their future families. We traveled to Guatemala with Cooperative for Education this summer and saw first hand the incredible difference they are making in the lives of these kids and we’ve committed to raising $2,000 for two new computer labs at a rural school in Panajxit, Guatemala.
This is the season of helping others and if your traveling buddy already has everything they need to travel with why not make a special donation in their name?
Any size donation is welcomed and it’s a tax write off too! You can either donate using the blue button or you can scan the QR code on the left with your phone!
if you want to learn more about our time with CoEd you can check out some of our recent Guatemala stories. Stay tuned to the blog as well if you want to find out how you can volunteer with them yourself. We are dedicating next week entirely to CoEd and the children of Guatemala so there will be even more stories and photos on the blog!
Well there you have it! My top holiday gift ideas for travelers and adventurous, generous folks! Hopefully this makes your shopping a whole lot easier this year. Have fun and Happy Holidays!
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*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first. Thanks!
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