What to buy your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers for Christmas isn’t always easy; unless they love to travel. There are dozens of gifts to give the active and armchair traveler.
Digital Luggage Scale
Prevent overweight luggage going to a destination or on the return when the suitcase also contains souvenirs. Small, lightweight scales are easy to take along on any trip and make great stocking stuffers. www.lewisnclark.com
Packing cubes keep any suitcase or backpack organized by using one cube for undergarments, another for slacks and so forth. When living out of a suitcase — whether camping or flying abroad — it is easy to keep everything in order with packing cubes. This is a gift I have given several times. Everyone loves packing cubes. www.lewisnclark.com, www.eaglecreek.com, www.ebags.com
While looking for a new carry-on, I came across Eagle Creek’s new ultra-light carry-on sized wheeled backpack that collapses and disassembles for easy storage in a small stuff sac. EC Lync System 22 offers the versatility of a backpack and carry-on; wheel it, roll it, wear it, stuff it — love it!! www.eaglecreek.com
Perfect Traveling Shoes
CMUK are lightweight, machine washable/dry-fast, fold nearly flat, vegan shoes that are as perfect for the city as they are for the beach or long walks. I wore them all over Chile from Santiago city streets to hiking on Easter Island, and on a recent Caribbean cruise. They are comfortable shoes! www.cmukshoes.com
Perfect Traveling Jeans
beija-flor jeans has just come out with buttonless/zipperless pair of jeans. The brain child of mother/daughter team Kathy Moore and Emily Whitaker, the jeans are made for different figures, in different fabrics and in different styles and are so comfortable especially on long road trips and flights. www.beijaflorjeans.com
Avon offers many of its beauty products in travel size containers including Anew Power Serum. Other Anew products include sunscreen. Several different bug-repellents contain sunscreen as well making it easy to take along both in one container. www.avon.com
Lewis N. Clark Ultimate Comfort Set
Unless flying internationally, passengers in economy class don’t get a blanket or pillow on long flights. The comfort set includes a rectangular fleece blanket and full size inflatable pillow as well as an eye mask and ear plugs. The pillow doubles as a carrying case for the other items when not inflated. www.lewisnclark.com
RFID Blocker Purse or Wallet
My daughter introduced me to the security of radio-frequency identification (RFID) blocking when she gave me a purse last Christmas. RFID is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. The tags contain electronically stored information. RFID blocking technology helps protect your personal information, including credit cards and passports data, from being stolen by an RFID reader. Eagle Creek has a large selection of RFID blocker purses and wallets. www.eaglecreek.com
Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland offers dozens of travel-related ornaments. From a passport or cruise ship to a palm tree or the Eiffel Tower, ornaments help us remember our travels as we hang the ornaments on the tree every year and make excellent gifts. www.bronners.com
Tea from around the world set
Armchair travelers and tea lovers will appreciate this gift featuring loose leaf teas from around the world. From Long Jing green tea to a mix of bancha tea and roasted rice found in Genmaicha, the set comes with 10 tubes of tea, each with enough leaves to brew a six- to eight-cup pot, as well has an informative book full of background information and brewing tips. www.uncommongoods.com
Ostrich Pillow Light
Unlike traditional travel pillows, the Ostrich Pillow Light can be worn as an adjustable neck support using an elastic drawstring or it can be worn as an oversized sleep-mask—the ultimate napping solution for frequent flyers. www.brookstone.com
For the young traveler
The “this land is your land” kids' map is perfect for teaching children about America. Laminated on both sides for extra strength, the children's map includes 50 stickers to label where loved ones live. Capitals, landmarks and wildlife of each state are also marked. The map measures 23.5 inches high by 35 inches wide. www.uncommongoods.com
Little Passports — A Global Adventure is a subscription program. Children receive a packet of information every month specifically aimed at "exploring" a new country or state. The packets include games, stickers, souvenirs and photos. Subscriptions are one month at a time, six months, or a year and you can choose from the World Edition (ages 5 to 10) or the USA Edition (ages 7 to 12).
New to Little Passports is Toby the canine globetrotter from our Early Explorers subscription for preschoolers; Early Explorers Book featuring Max, Mia and Toby; and Weather lab helping children understand snow, volcanoes and tornadoes. www.littlepassports.com
What is your favorite travel-related gift?
These are some of my ideas and favorite things to give family and friends. What ideas can you share with readers? I’d love to hear what has worked for you.
Traveling is a gift we give ourselves, but travel-related gifts we can give to others.