2018 Holiday Gift Guide for The Traveler
As a frequent traveler who used to rack up over 120 flights annually, I can tell you from personal experience that there are a lot of must-haves for those of us who live/have lived that Up-in-the-Air life. These are also just as useful for those of you who travel much less frequently. Whether you’re in need of some noise-cancelling headphones on a kid-filled flight to Orlando or the perfect carry-on to avoid checked bag fees, I’ve got my traveler essentials in this gift guide.
Kmono Backpack: I was a tote bag traveler all my life until my friend Jackie turned me onto this Kmono backpack and totally converted me. This backpack looks small but can fit SO much. I easily fit my laptop, wallet, chargers, umbrella and water bottle in this no problem. It’s great quality and has a really nice bright red lining that makes it feel a little fancy. I have the fabric one, but it also comes in black leather as well. Kmono was running 20% off on their website as a recent promotion. Otherwise, check out eBags which usually carries this brand.
Tory Burch Cross Body: The two-item carry-on limit can be a real pain in the butt for my fellow female travelers who usually have a laptop bag/backpack, a carry-on suitcase and a purse. What I love about the smaller TB cross body bags is they easily fit into my backpack or tote bag, so it falls within the 2-item limit when I board, and then I just take it out when I get on the plane. The style I have is no longer sold but this is a very similar style. I always go for nylon travel bags so I can easily wipe them down since airplanes are gross and I don’t want to risk getting a leather bag damaged or dirty shoving it under the seat in front of me.
Kate Spade Passport Holder: This is a nice gift that most people wouldn’t splurge on for themselves. I have it for my passport which helps when I am frantically packing for an international trip and cannot find my passport, it’s usually easily found under a pile on my desk in this fancy holder. It’s also easy to quickly pull your passport out of this holder when showing it to the customs agents.
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones: 3 years of twice-weekly flights to and from the Orlando airport were only made possible by these amazing noise-cancelling headphones. These are a hundred percent worth the cost. They really do drown out the screaming baby two rows behind you at 6am. They hold a charge for a few flights, and when you click them on it’s like the chaos of the flight melts away behind you and you can just listen to your jamz in peace and quiet. I’ve never seen these go on sale but maybe you’ll be lucky if you check out Amazon or Bose directly on Cyber Monday.
Anker Charger: Another travel essential these days. I love this one because it fits easily in my travel backpack or my cross-body, and can charge two devices at a time. It holds a charge for a really long time which means I’ve never been in need of the charger and it’s outta juice. I always buy the anker charging cables as well since I swear they really charge your phone twice as fast as anything else.
Tumi Voyager Tote: This is my favorite travel tote bag and my go-to bag for work now that I’m a normal person who drives to work instead of flies. It has a pocket for your laptop, as well as the sleeve on the outside so it fits perfectly snug over your carry-on handle. The nylon fabric on mine has stayed in perfect shape despite taking daily beatings of being thrown in rental car trunks, under the seat in front of me on a plane, in overhead bins and hastily tossed on the security belt.
Briggs & Riley 22″ Carry-On: I realize the price point on this suitcase isn’t for everyone, but if you travel regularly trust me this is the best carry-on you will ever purchase. It has the handle on the exterior which maximizes the interior packing space. It also has a built in suiter and an exterior pocket to throw your phone/ID in when you are going through security. It fits perfectly sideways into smaller Embraer jets, and no issue with it on the bigger airbuses. I’ve gotten two weeks in this carry-on which is a life saver for anyone who hates to check luggage (also made possible by the fact I only wear black).
Dr Jart Sheet Masks: I love sheet masks for traveling because I never check my bag and these don’t count as liquids. Air travel will really do a number on your skin, so sheet masks became a regular part of our nightly beauty (and snapchat) routine for the ladies on my team in Orlando. I love the Dr. Jart’s brand because they are thicker and really give your skin a super dose of hydration.
Luna Play: This facial cleanser is like the Clarisonic brush but in a much smaller, travel-friendly size. Skincare becomes so much more important when you’re regularly traveling and this was my go-to for gentle exfoliation on the road.
Crabtree & Evelyn Hand Cream: If you know me, you know that Crabtree & Evelyn holds a special place in my heart. When working on their website a number of years ago I built up quite a love for their hand creams, and always use it when traveling not only in the winter months but especially after flying since I wash my hands so much after being on an airplane. The smaller size is perfect for travel and under 3 oz. My favorite scents are the Tarocco Orange, Eucalyptus & Sage and LaSource. Crabtree was doing a 30% deal on their website for Black Friday.
Custom Luggage Tags: These are always a great and affordable personalized gift. Given I’ve moved so many times in the past few years while traveling I usually buy these for myself whenever I move. I have this style from Etsy and the hard plastic has upheld many regional jet flights where my bag was thrown around on the jet bridge.
Rothys Flats: Admittedly, I don’t own a pair of Rothy’s yet since I still love my Tory Burch Minnie Flats, but all of my traveling lady boss friends swear by these, so I am sure I’ll be buying a pair soon enough. They have no break-in time, are machine washable, and fit very easily in your backpack or travel bag. They are a much cheaper price point than Tory Burch or Tieks.
Sugarfina Cocktail Kit: This was my yankee swap contribution last year in Orlando and my friend Michelle got the same exact thing (great minds). If there’s one thing that ALL travelers need to survive the busy travel season, it’s booze. There are many variations of this cocktail kit based on your drink of choice.