Last year, I put together a little wish list after spending time thinking about the sorts of things that I, as a traveler, might like to receive under the tree. Since last year's post went over quite well, I decided to update it with a 2013 version.
I'm trying not to repeat anything from my 2012 gift list. Even though I still recommend and LOVE things like my anti-theft daypack, my world map shower curtain, and my packing cubes, I feel like I've already covered those. (Though, please feel free to check out last year's list, too!)
Here, then, is my 2013 Gift Guide for Travelers!
1. Kindle Paperwhite
I'm one of those former paperback devotees who has since been converted into a Kindle addict. I LOVE being able to fit my entire (and continually growing) book collection in my purse. Last year I had a Kindle Keyboard on this list. This year, I'm upgrading to the new(er) Paperwhite. It's smaller, and has a backlight — perfect for reading in hostel dorm rooms or on buses/trains/planes after dark without disturbing the people around you.
2. Olympus micro 4/3 camera
I often get asked what kind of camera I use to take the photos on my site. The answer is that I've been using some version of an Olympus mirrorless camera for the past two years. I started out with the Olympus E-PM1, and now use an Olympus E-P2. From my experience, any of these Olympus models would make a great travel camera. The best part is the interchangeable lenses (I have a 14-42mm kit lens, a 20mm pancake, and a 40-150mm zoom lens, all of which usually fit into my travel handbag).
3. Mophie Juice Pack battery case
As phones get fancier, it seems that what you gain in cool features you lose in battery life. When I'm traveling, I'm using my phone constantly — taking photos, sharing things on Facebook and Instagram, sending texts to people at home to make them jealous, and using Google Maps to figure out where the hell I am — which usually drains my battery in record time. To combat this, I now travel with a phone case that doubles as an extra battery. It does add some size and weight to my iPhone, but that extra full charge is SO worth it.
4. Wrappz phone covers
When I'm not traveling (which, believe it or not, is actually more than half the time), I don't feel the need to carry an extra battery around with me. I've had a few different “at-home” phone cases over the last year or so, but my favorite by far has been the personalized iPhone case I ordered from Wrappz. It's made of nice sturdy plastic, and features a photo I took in the Greek Islands (no, not pictured above). It's functional (hugs my phone without adding any extra bulk), pretty (the photo quality is great), AND personal — things that any travel-lover wants.
In the Bag
1. Hidden-pocket scarf
I love me a good scarf, and I have way too many of them in my closet to prove it. But now the talented bloggers behind Beers and Beans have come up with the ultimate travel scarf — one with a hidden pocket! There aren't many left for sale on Etsy, but if you can snatch one up I think it would make a cool gift for any traveler. (My only complaint is that they are made from heavier material, meaning that they wouldn't be suitable for hot climates. … Still want one, though.)
2. Custom TOMS
Ohhhh the things you can find on Etsy! I found a shop that does custom-designed TOMS shoes — including ones with a travel theme. I'm almost tempted to ask Santa for a pair myself, as this pair features multiple things that I love: a map, a compass, and a Tolkien quote!
3. Passport stamp t-shirt
I really should have just labeled this section “cool stuff from Etsy,” because this bit of travel-inspired clothing can also be found there. It's a comfy-looking t-shirt with passport-style stamps all over it! I love the look of it, and think it would make a cute shirt to wear both at home and abroad. (Sorry, this one is just for the ladies, though!)
For your house
1. Map wall decal
Last year I suggested a world map shower curtain to add to your home décor. This year, why not a vinyl wall decal? There are a lot on offer all over the web, of varying sizes, colors, and quality. I like this one found on Etsy because of the 50 vinyl “pins” that come with it so you can show where you've been. The map doesn't look exactly accurate shape-wise, but it would still look great on any wall. (It also comes in just about any color you could want.)
2. Cool clocks
Another thing I really love are clocks. And I love cool clocks even more. I found both of these on Amazon — the first globe-like (with cute airplanes on the hands) and the second with a world map and multiple clocks so you can display different time zones. I had to include them both because I can't decide which one I eventually want to buy for myself yet!
For the food lover
1. Try the World subscription
Finally, I was contacted a couple of months ago by Try the World, which describes itself as “A Taste of the World in a Box.” It's a cool concept — you receive a gourmet box from a different country every 2 months; boxes containing everything from artisan jams to signature tea blends to candies to spices. Cities like Paris and Tokyo and Rio are some featured by Try the World, with each box containing both treats and little cultural tidbits like music playlists or lists of top local films. It's a neat gift idea, especially if the travel-lover in your life is also a bit of a foodie when at home.
Whatever Santa ends up leaving for you in your stocking this year, I hope you have a great holiday season!
Will any of these items end up on YOUR wish list this Christmas?