Welcome to the most specific gift guide you'll find all over the web. For this to be at all useful you not only have to be an insane procrastinator when it comes to holiday shopping, but you ALSO need to be making a purchase for the jettsetter type of guy or gal (or yourself because you're awesome and you deserve it!). Of course, maybe you just come here to read me ramble on about the randomness that happens to be my life.
Speaking of that life... well, it's been a doozy lately. Two unplanned trips within a five day span! I've been known to take a flight or two... but these last minute ones are pretty rare. Nonetheless, it's given me lots of ideas for things to gift to a person like me... or even the armchair sort of traveler that needs a little travel inspo! 2015 could be their year! Let's get to it, we're wasting time already!
1. A really great weekend bag. Something sturdy enough that will hold up if it needs to get tossed under the plane for a last minute gate check, yet pretty enough that you can look like a bad ass world beater when you saunter/run through the airport.
2. Portable phone charger. My personal go-to is Mophie since you can strap them right onto your electronic leash to keep feeding it power all day. There are some other versions in the event that you aren't a fan of making your phone bigger/heavier.
3. A tote that can double as a purse. Big enough to fit your laptop and a few small items for in-flight entertainment; small enough that you can carry it on your day-to-day adventures wherever you've landed.
4. Journal/Daily Planner. Even though I constantly have my phone, I really dig the use of pen/paper for notes. Plus, Graphic Image planners come with world maps, metric conversions, basic translations, and maps for various metros that all come in pretty handy when you don't have 3G overseas.
5. A massive scarf. I like my scarves to double as blankets on the airplane.
6. Kiehl's travel size anything. Best products and almost everything comes in mini form.
7. TSA approved reusable clear bag for liquids. I totally hate using the ziplock ones. They always bust open and it's a big, fat waste.
8. AFAR or National Geographic subscription for your armchair traveler friend. What year is it? Am I really telling you a magazine sub is the thing to do? Well.... yes. Yes, I am. I don't get the same effect from flipping pages on an iPad. AFAR is my new favorite for real-life travel and the photography is coffee table book worthy. So so good & great for inspiration for your next trip.
National Geographic is just my favorite thing on earth. Not necessarily to plan the next adventure, but it opens up worlds you don't even know are there. BEST.
9. Travel candle. Oh, you've never heard of a travel candle? All I'm saying is it doesn't hurt to toss a little guy in your bag for some less than awesome smells in your Air BnB rental. Also handy for the hotel bathroom... because we're human.
10. An actual camera. Maybe I think it's 1998, what with me telling you to get magazines and real cameras, but I can't help it. Listen, your phone is great and all, but it is just NOT going to get the best photo of your trip to Beijing. Sure, maybe in full sunlight it works ok, but what about EVERY OTHER PART OF THE DAY? Yeah, get a real camera. The Canon G16 is one of the most badass point & shoot cameras around at a price point that isn't too disgusting. If you have a bunch of money to spend on this, you should explore the world of Leica.
11. Tiny, foldable, crushable purse. Something that you can take to dinner, holds your phone, ID, money, and lipstick, and easily fits into your suitcase. Clare Vivier knows what she's doing in this department.
12. Too cool for school sneakers. Here's the thing. You want to be comfortable walking for miles to checking out the Eiffel Tower, but you don't necessarily want to look like a tourist with a capital T. I get it. Your best bet is to get some Vans, Converse, or other cute sneaks.
13. EOS lip balm ball. You know why this is the best? Because you can find it without looking! I've also found that these are harder to lose than a regular chapstick for some reason.
14. Super awesome sounding earbuds. No, the Apple ones aren't great. Yes, the Beats ones are. Plus they have a case which makes them easier to find/harder to get tangled in your other nonsense. I've actually seen some other travel gift guides say to buy the giant headphones. That seems ridiculously stupid for travel purposes.
15. Contigo AutoSpout water bottle. Yes, you're allowed to give someone a water bottle as a gift when it's a super sweet one like this. Also, a lot of airports have filtered water fill stations now, so you just take it empty and fill 'er up before you get on the plane. Also, sometimes it makes a really sweet dolphin noise when you drink from it. We own 3 at our house and Ron drinks exclusively from them. It's weird, but also a testament to how much we like them.
So I don't want to SAY that this essentially just turned into a Blair Wish List, but it's highly possible that it did. HOWEVER, I stand by all of my recommendations and can totally vouch for all of them. I legitimately pulled from my bare essential travel items that make the whole thing a little easier and more enjoyable.
I think it's about egg nog next to the Christmas tree time at the Pope house. I love this time of year!
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and happy travels!