9 Holiday Gift Ideas for Travelers, Minimalists, & Unconventional People

Dec 04, 2017    /    things i like

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So, it’s that time again.

Holidays are approaching. People are lighting candles or trimming trees or participating in whatever other traditions they hold dear. We’re planning parties and celebrating the passing of another year. And lots of us are buying something heartfelt for each of our friends and family members.

Personally, I’m not a big gift person. I prefer experiences and quality time. I buy my best friend dinners and my partner airplane rides and couples spa days. But I also know people who are big gift givers, who feel expansive when giving and loved when getting. And so I get the appeal of the gift exchange.

And in case you’ll be doing some gift exchanges of your own, here are a few ideas from one well-traveled blogger with small dog and foodie tendency in tow.

1. Luggage with built-in chargers.

This is high up on my own wish-list once Chad and I have a home base. For short trips, this seems like such a smart idea. I don’t have a phone, but I do have a camera, iPod, and tablet that all charge via USB. So having a charger on my carry-on? Sounds like a brilliant idea to me.

2. Sleepypod Air.

I recommend this every year and I’ll probably keep recommending it into eternity. Luna adores her sleepypod and we use it for everything from car travel (it buckles into a seatbelt to keep her safe) to trains to planes to having a safe, comfy space for her to retreat to in our various apartments anytime she needs to. It’s foldable, comfortable, and the parts that wear out (the interior bits) are replaceable. Best dog carrier ever. Hands down.

3. A nice travel journal.

I go through journals like water and I love having a nice one on hand with me everywhere I go.

4. A great travel memoir.

Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, Love With a Chance of Drowning, or Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise.

If a novel is more your friend/family member’s style, my list of favorites is here.

5. Good, cute travel clothes that don’t wrinkle or fall apart.

One of the trickier things about living out of a suitcase is staying cute while doing it. If you find a good travel clothing option, that’s a great gift idea. I personally love this simple black pencil skirt (which travels well rolled up).

Gigi pencil skirt Gigi pencil skirt

6. Travel guides!

If you know a particular destination is on someone’s list, encouraging them with a guide can be a fun way to contribute to their travel plans. Obviously, I’m a big fan of my own uber local guidebook series. I also think Rick Steves really knows his stuff. And, of course, there’s always Fodor’s (who I just helped write a guidebook for) and Lonely Planet.

7. Interesting foods from around the world.

For the traveler who has a home base and likes to cook at least a little, foodie gifts could be a good plan (I know I’d love this if I had a home base). Some things I’ve stumbled upon around the world that would make a fun worldwide foodie gift basket include:

:: Truffle oil from Italy or Croatia

:: Organic agave infused with vanilla

:: Fancy French jams

:: Birch syrup from Canada

:: Maple syrup aged in bourbon barrels from New York

:: Fancy worldwide teas from Mariage Freres

8. Sony A6000 Mirrorless SLR

This is what I use for all my photos.

9. Travel gift cards.

Want to skip the stuff and go straight to funding a friend’s travel? Travel gift cards are a good bet. Southwest and Airbnb are just a couple of the options.

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