20 Practical Gifts for the Travel Lover
Avid travelers are notoriously difficult to shop for. Just ask my wife Lindsay, she never knows what to buy me for the holidays. I mean, unless we’re willing to fork out the big bucks for a hotel room or a flight, travelers can be tough. But I get it – not everyone’s got it like that. So I took the liberty to do the – oh so difficult task of browsing the internet – I mean the research for your and find my list of the best LGBT friendly brands with the perfect travel friendly holiday gifts.
Stocking Stuffers $1-$20
Spanish Beso Del Sol Sangría
Spanish Beso Del Sol is one of the best bottled Sangria’s I’ve ever tasted. First, its made from 100% Tempranillo wine from Valdepeñas, with Spanish lemon, orange, and a touch of cinnamon. It is also all-natural, vegan, gluten-free, lower alcohol at 8.5%, and low-calorie at only 74 calories per glass (yet does not contain any artificial sweeteners.) It is super popular and it comes in three flavors: Red, White, and Rosé. I personally prefer the red but my sister in law loved the rose. I really liked the red sangria heated up with some orange rounds studded with whole cloves in it. It makes for the perfect holiday treat. They’re easy and unbelievably affordable at $4.99.
Earthbound Explore Travel Themed Incense and Candles
The EBT Wanderlust Collection of Incense ($2.95) and Candles ($7.95) are a cute stocking stuffer for those trying to bring their wanderlust to their home. I’m obsessed with lighting candles around the house, there’s just something relaxing about a bit of aromatherapy. I really loved the Mexican Vanilla and African Sunset scents.
Purell Hand Sanitizer in Travel Size
Purell might be one of the most useful and yet underappreciated travel accessories. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in wildly questionable bathrooms while I was on the road and really wished I had a travel sized bottle of sanitizer to wash my hands. I’ve also heard of other bloggers who use the Purell hand and face wipes to sanitize their seats on planes. I don’t go that far but I do use them to clean up during long travel days. I know I was thankful for them during the 40 hours it took us to get from Cairo Egypt to Merida Mexico. At about $2 each, they’re the perfect stocking stuffer.
Hot beverage drinkers REJOICE! I love hot coffee and tea but I’m also cursed with a scattered brain and tendency to be a slow drinker. I pretty much have a cup permanently at my side while I’m working. This little disk keeps my coffee warm without having to reheat it. It’s a nice gift for the coffee or tea-obsessed friends. The Coffee Cookie is a portable, rechargeable coffee heater that fastens to the bottom of your cup. For $9.99 it’s a cute stocking stuffer or pair it with a Starbucks gift card.
Gourmet Popcorn with a Cause
The winter days are getting shorter and the nights are getting colder, and what better way to Netflix and chill than with a big bowl of popcorn? Poppin’ with flavor, sourced from Amish kernels, and flavored with sweet and savory seasonings, Women’s Bean Project popcorns help you relax after a long day and helps chronically unemployable women rebuild their lives. Women’s Bean Project is a women-run social enterprise on a mission to break the cycle of chronic unemployment and poverty by putting women to work producing gourmet packaged foods. Pooling a workforce of impoverished women with backgrounds ranging from organized crime to histories of incarceration and addiction, the project has given thousands of women a second chance at life over the years. I love supporting products with a mission plus their salted caramel and the rainbow popcorn are delicious – plus they won’t break the bank at $5.95 a box.
Lindsay is obsessed with socks. She collects different pairs for different occasions and cannot fly without a pair of fresh clean socks on our long haul trips. Pride Socks are what Lindsay refers to as “subtly gay without trying too hard.” I just think they’re cute. You can see the whole collection here or see their fans rocking the socks on their Instagram page.
Medium Sized Gifts for Travelers $20-$80
SIA Scotch Whisky
SIA Scotch Whisky was created by the first American woman in history to create a brand of Scotch Whisky. That alone was interesting enough for me to want to give it a try. SIA is an award-winning spirit that’s perfect for your rowdier party friends or those classy dignified types who claim to be able to taste all the “notes” in the liquor. According to the website, SIA is a “delicious blend of Speyside, Highland and Islay whiskeys, and tastes of vanilla, caramel, citrus with a gentle hint of smoke on the finish.” Really it just tastes like Whisky to me, but it’s the perfect gift that keeps on giving for a holiday party. Plus it’s under $50 and has a corporate mission of giving back to help female entrepreneurs start and run their own businesses.
World Map Cork Board
Use this World Map Cork Board at your home to display photos or postcards from countries you’ve visited. Or keep future travel plans organized by using it to sort itineraries and tickets. This is one of those gifts that you can give as it is or you can decorate it yourself and then gift it for an extra special touch. It’s a thoughtful but budget-friendly gift at $24.95.
Life is a Journey Not a Destination Compass Gift Box
This brass compass has an antique feel perfect for the modern adventurer with a vintage heart. It comes carefully stored in a smooth wooden box with a simple closure. Both the compass and the wooden box feature the inspirational quote “Life is a journey, not a destination.” The gift set is classy and elegant. I can see it being used for a beautiful engagement present or a holiday gift.
12,000 Dreams Interpreted
Every traveler I’ve ever met has a bit of a dreamer inside them. This coffee table book is a listing of images, themes, and events that take place in our dreams. Each item’s meaning and symbolism is decoded in detail. Ever wonder what that dream where you go to school in your grandma’s moomoo means? Now you can find out.
Coordinates Open Cuff
This coordinate cuff is the perfect way to keep a treasured location close to heart wherever you go. The location can be the house she grew up in, the place you two met, the location of your wedding, where your first child was born… the possibilities are up to you. This thick gauge cuff is hand formed and stamped. It’s $65.00, which is a bit pricey but it’s made of durable materials that will last forever. I loved it so much that I ordered one for myself with the location of the hotel where Lindsay and I eloped.
Jcoco Chocolate Tasting Experience Box
I thought the jcoco chocolate Tasting Experience Box ($60) from Seattle Chocolate was an adorable idea. Essentially, it’s a dinner party starter in a box, with a charitable component. The box has five different jcoco chocolate flavors accompanied by a guide featuring entrées and beverage pairings for each flavor. There are enough chocolates in the box to serve 15 guests. The flavors are Agave Quinoa Sesame in Milk Chocolate, Cayenne Veracruz Orange in White Chocolate, Noble Dark in 72% Belgian Chocolate, Black Fig Pistachio in Dark Chocolate and Vanuatu Coconut Pecan in Milk Chocolate. The unique flavors would definitely be a conversation starter.
I’m a sucker for candles, pretty branding, and LGBT owned businesses. Enter – Bijou Candles my current obsession. Bijou Candles is a New York-based candle brand started by a married couple, Alaina and Jocelyn Young Drew. Bijou is all about “affordable luxury.” Each candle is made of 100% soy wax in milk glass vessels with a 22 karat gold rim (!!!), 70 hour burn time, high fragrance load and pure cotton wick to reduce smoke — all for $29. They also carry 3oz Travel Candles — perfect for setting the mood on the road when you only travel with a carry on.
Voyage Mapper Scratch-off World Map
We loved the Voyage Mapper Scratch-off World Map. The map is a cute way to document where you’ve traveled to around the world. I particularly like this version of the scratch-off map because you can document US states as well as other countries and flags along the border. At $30 it’s a cute, inexpensive gift that can be kept in a frame for years to come.
YogaClub is the perfect gift for the avid traveler. It’s no secret that yoga pants, light breezy tops, and hoodies are my flight uniform. If I’m sitting in the middle seat for 14 hours on a flight to Asia – I’m sure as heck trying to be comfortable. Yoga box is one of those subscription boxes where you fill out a style survey with your likes and dislikes and then Yoga club sends you a custom box each month with different types of Yoga gear. The brands in the boxes are high quality including one of my personal favorites, Free People. One thing I really like about Yoga Club is that for each box they’ve partnered with a local non-profit and every single box they deliver provides a yoga class to a child in low-income schools. Sounds cool right? The boxes vary in size and price but range between $45-$80.
The Voyage Pillow
The Voyage Pillow ($24.95) is Lindsay’s dream travel pillow. It’s ultra light compact, versatile, and comfortable travel pillow that’s small enough to easily stow away without bulking up your carryon. She likes it because it’s 50% smaller than those U shaped pillows, it’s plush and filled with microbeads. It’s got a head band type strap on it that allows you to customize the way you wear it – over your eyes, around your neck, against the window, on the seat in front of you, whatever works for you. Plus Sondre Travel, the company that makes the Voyage Pillow is LGBT owned.
Luxury Gifts for Travelers $100+
Outbreaker Backpack by Tortuga
The Outbreaker backpack is one of the best travel bags I’ve ever seen. At $299 it’s going to set you back but it’s 100% worth it. Lindsay is obsessed with checking out new packs and is always upgrading to the latest and greatest product. The Outbreaker is the ideal pack for the carry-on only traveler. The first travel backpack with a height-adjustable suspension system for a comfortable carry at any height but it’s particularly amazing for tall folks who are too long to wear most packs comfortably. It’s everything you need – water resistant- TSA-friendly – and it has a lay flat laptop compartment to speed up the security process. PLUS Tortuga self-identifies as a progressive feminist remote company that is LGBTQ-friendly.
Marble iPhone Case
This product is one of those super boujie things Lindsay makes fun of me for liking – I can’t help it that I like nice things. Yes – Mikol Marmi makes handcrafted marble iPhone and laptop cases out of luxurious materials. Their products are made of recycled granite, quartz, marble, glass, and precious metals. For the low cost of $100 you too can give the gift of a granite iPhone case to your boujiest bestie.
Extra Large Leather Journal with handmade paper
This extra large leather journal is 13.5 inches by 17.5 inches which makes it a bit too large for taking on the road but it’s the perfect size for a travel scrapbook. It’s beautifully handcrafted by skilled artisans in India. I love the raw edges and the soft subtle brown leather. The mandala design on the front cover adds a cute nod to its Indian origins. Give it to your loved one complete with photos from a trip they’ve taken or let them design it to their heart’s content. At $100 it is a bit pricey but it is handmade with real leather and a specially designed keepsake box. It’s one of those gifts that could become a family heirloom.