Angie’s 2012 What Travelers Want Holiday Gift Guide

It happens every year.

There you are at your local mall, standing in line somewhere between Sbarro and the movie theater, and it’s finally your turn to rattle off your Christmas list to the plump, bearded fellow we all know and love.

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, with all those 2013 travel plans swirling around in your head, your mind could go blank at the moment of truth… and worst case scenario, you may shout,”I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!”

First of all, you’ll shoot your eye out.

And second, that’s a stupid gift for a traveler! You can’t put that in a carry-on.

To save you some embarrassment, I researched the top gifts for travelers and compiled this nifty Angie Away 2012 Holiday Gift Guide just for you.

Print it out, address it to the North Pole and wait under the tree for the goods!

Tieks on tour

Tieks by Gavrieli 

Gentlemen, I daresay your traveling lady friend will be just as giddy unwrapping this turquoise box as any other on Christmas morning. I’ve had my Giraffe Tieks for a couple of months and they’ve basically eclipsed every other pair of shoes in my closet. (Read my review here.)

Yes, they’re pricey, especially for a ballet flat, but there’s nothing like a comfy, easy-to-transport shoe to make packing and traveling that much more pleasant. Tieks are foldable, lightweight and incredibly well-constructed. They’ll last miles longer than any other shoes, and mileage goes a long way for the jet-setting lady.

The hardest part about giving Tieks as a gift is picking the perfect color. There are about 40 to choose from at last count, so good luck. I had to enlist a friend to help me decide… but I will say, the Giraffe ones have been the perfect mix of neutral & dressy. I adore them and you will, too!

$165-$295; Tieks.com

ExOfficio Storm Logic Sweater Jacket

ExOfficio Storm Logic Sweater Jacket

The most useful travel gear always serves more than one purpose and that’s why I’m crazy about this ExOfficio jacket. Unfolded, it’s a warm but lightweight piece of outerwear – shiny, appropriately fitted & stylish. When it’s all packed up, it becomes an adjustable travel pillow that easily attaches to the outside of a carry-on bag or backpack. Amahhhhhzing!

The Storm Logic line is quick drying and waterproof, and it features a weight-to-warmth ratio that is very attractive for travelers who hate packing bulky coats on multi-climate trips. (ME!) I’m so excited mine arrived just before I left for my latest jaunt. I used it in pillow form all the way from Jacksonville to Hawaii and I’ll be sporting it from Casablanca to Marrakesh when I arrive in Morocco later this week.

Most importantly, it looks super cute on, and guys, guess what? There are plenty of Storm Logic options for you, too! The jacket comes in plum (women only), ensign (blue), yam (orange), granite (men only) and black.

$155; ExOfficio.com

Pacsafe CitySafe 350 GII Anti Theft Backpack

Pacsafe has come a long way since I first heard about their line of theft-proof travel gear. The latest collection of Herringbone bags, available exclusively on Pacsafe.com, are so elegant and sleek – you’d never know how functional & practical they are!

I’m currently traveling with the limited edition Herringbone backpack, which features a RFID-blocking pocket to prevent electronic theft from within your bag. The special material inside blocks personal information stored on microchips in passports & credit cards from being accessed externally. Honestly, I didn’t even realize that was possible, but apparently those sneaky high tech identity thieves have been nabbing data this way for years.

There are also slash-proof straps and slash guards in the front, side and bottom panels; Pacsafe’s secure zippers and turn & lock strap hooks and a releasable security hook at one end that allows you to attach the strap to a fixture to prevent thieves from easily walking off with your bag.

While there are tons of other similarly stylish options at Pacsafe.com, I was most impressed with the Herringbone pack. It looks much more like a bag I’d actually carry around town as opposed to say, a bulky, impractical money belt that just screams *tourist,* and it fits all the electronics I’d want to port around town – camera, iPad, iPhone, etc.

$79.99 & up; Pacsafe.com

Custom iPhone Case – InspireMyCase.com 

Though I don’t have my iPhone 5 in hand just yet, its high time I upgrade from my current model – which has a cracked shell & is on its last legs. Like a new mom feathering her nest with goodies for baby, I’ve already begun preparation for my iPhone 5’s arrival by designing a new case at InspireMyCase.com.

You can make your case as “you” as possible, adding your own photos and text. For indecisive me, choosing the perfect photo was a harrowing task, but after much deliberation, here’s how I personalized mine:

“If adventures do not befall a lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.” Jane Austen

A Great White Shark & a Jane Austen quote – what could be more perfect for me?!

The case more decorative than durable, so if you’re hard on your phone you might consider a heftier option- but if you want something super cool and totally you, check this out.

InspireMyCase.com offers free shipping, gift cards, ready-made templates for the indecisive and yes, cases for iPads, older model iPhones and iPods and weird things that aren’t Apple products… Blackberry Curve? Samsung?

$39.95; InspireMyCase.com

Scratch Off Travel Map

I’ve always been a sucker for maps – just check out my Maptastic board on Pinterest!

Last Christmas Santa brought me this adorable scratch off map to help highlight where I’ve been and oh my, was it ever satisfying to scratch off all the countries I’d visited in 2011! Unfortunately, having not yet been to China, Brazil, Canada or Russia, my map looks a little less impressive than I would have expected… but I’m working on it.

$26.95; Scratch Map on Amazon.com

The Traveler’s Handbooks

Though hiking in Hawaii and planning for my Intrepid Travel trip to Morocco have kept me from diving into this new series of books from a handful of my favorite blogging friends, they’re most certainly on my Christmas list!

The first five books in the series focus on luxury, volunteer, food, solo & career break travel — so there’s a little something for everyone. Each edition is available in print and Kindle/eBook format, so pick one or all and gift away!

$9.99-$16.99; Amazon.com

Boingo Global Wi-Fi Plan

I had a subscription to Boingo Wireless last year and it was a lifesaver on so many occasions – particularly during the most laborious airport layovers. For true worldwide road warriors, the Boingo Global Wi-Fi plan offers 2,000 minutes of access with no roaming fees for up to four devices (laptops, phones, etc.) at 500,000 hotspots around the globe. Boingo is up to 3 times faster than 3G and offers 24/7 customer care.

Boingo has generously provided a subscription to the Global Plan for me to give to one AngieAway reader. Follow the easy instructions below and good luck!

$59/month; Boingo.com 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

***

So, which item on the gift guide are you most excited about? What did I miss that’s on your Christmas list? 

***

Occasionally companies will get in touch with me to do reviews of their products. Some of the ones I liked most from 2012 appear here in the gift guide with my honest opinion; others get returned to sender if they’re not up to snuff. Rest assured, I only include the ones I personally approve of and use! 

COME AWAY WITH ME!
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  • November 14, 2012

    I’ll be heading to Jasper, Alberta in the New Year and then back home to visit family in Toronto in May.

    • November 17, 2012

      Sounds fun! I’ve never been to Alberta!

  • November 14, 2012

    Great list, Angie! I have been wanting a pair of Tieks since your review and I just learned about Boingo from you, which could save me from having another $300 phone bill next month for international roaming charges.
    Jennifer recently posted..How We’re Helping Military Overseas TravelMy Profile

  • November 14, 2012
    Beth

    I actually don’t have any plans for next year. However, there is talk of going somewhere in Feb. to celebrate my parents birthdays, but the destination hasn’t been picked yet.

  • November 14, 2012

    That scratch off map is fantastic. I might just have to put it on my Christmas list this year.
    Alouise recently posted..Denver and Warped PerceptionsMy Profile

  • November 15, 2012

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about Tieks. But unless they go on sale (significantly!) I don’t think it’s gonna happen 😉
    Kavi recently posted..Fab photo of the dayMy Profile

    • November 17, 2012

      I hear you! They’re definitely a splurge.

    • May 18, 2013
      Margie

      I was so excited when Tieks had their 25% off sale last year, and then it turned out they only carry up to size 13, so I’m SOL when it comes to folding flat shoes. Our RTW trip will be in 2016 so hopefully a folding flat that fits me will exist by then. *sigh*

  • November 15, 2012
    Amy

    I’m off to New Zealand for a 4-month internship. And I am loving your blog! Thanks for sharing your adventures!

    • November 17, 2012

      Ooooh New Zealand is amazing! Have a blast!

  • November 15, 2012

    Love this list! Travel is always on my list!!!

  • November 16, 2012
    Anna

    Great list! Adding some things to my Christmas list. Do you have a travel pant recommendation? I’m always on the lookout for versatile well-fitting travel pants.

    • November 17, 2012

      You know, I’m really just a jeans gal myself. Always feel most comfortable in them, so that’s what I stick with.

  • November 16, 2012

    Some really great gift ideas here, Angie! I SO want a pair of Tieks (too bad I don’t have a boy to dish out that sort of money on me…) and I need to go check out these new Pacsafe bags. I have just a regular backpack of theirs, and I LOVE the thing.

    Also, I may need to steal this gift list idea from you and do one of my own! 🙂
    Amanda recently posted..An Ode to Tacky SouvenirsMy Profile

    • November 17, 2012

      I am really, really loving the extra security of my PacSafe. Have been carting it all over the past couple of days and it’s just a perfect fit for me.

  • November 17, 2012

    I’m going to Turkey next year! 🙂 And I NEED that Boingo price 🙂
    A Montrealer Abroad recently posted..… and I’m off to Morocco!My Profile

  • November 18, 2012
    Carol

    No plans yet for next year, but going to the Antarctic in 2 weeks, and Russia in the summer of 2014.

  • November 19, 2012

    The list may be shorter to say where I’m not going next year 😉 That scratch away map is awesome! And by the way… did you really just quote “A Christmas Story”? Second best christmas movie of all time (after Nightmare before Christmas)! Amazing!
    Ian Ord recently posted..Forensic Pathology Museum – A look inside Bangkok’s “Museum of Death”My Profile

  • November 19, 2012

    Pacsafe bags are great-they have been a big help on our travels! Although, the one you posted up is ALOT more attractive than ours!
    Molly Yonderblog recently posted..Koh Lipe: Pancakes & ParadiseMy Profile

  • November 19, 2012

    We’re going to Glacier National Park and Crater Lake next year, but I’m trying to squeeze in something out of the country as well.
    Janina recently posted..Mrs. Millie Goes to Philly!My Profile

  • November 20, 2012

    Romania is on the list and hoping to get to Turkey, Canada, Thailand, Australia, Colombia and the US.
    Jeff recently posted..12 Reasons Why Voice Over Acting Isn’t Anything Like Porn ActingMy Profile

  • November 22, 2012

    Great list, Angie. I’m headed to Argentina and Uruguay next month.

  • November 22, 2012

    I have that scratch off map in my bedroom… LOVE IT!
    Alex recently posted..Five Fantastic Hikes in OahuMy Profile

  • November 26, 2012
    Rachel

    We’ll be spending a week in Scotland for our tenth anniversary in February. My husband’s going to be in Serbia sometime in August and I’m thinking about joining him or maybe going off to Croatia. I might be able to make it to TBEX in Toronto, but I’m almost certainly going to the Dublin version.

  • November 27, 2012
    anna

    this past year i made it to finland (motherland) and hoped over to sweden and estonia while there. this coming year i’m trying to plan a trip to ireland and scotland with some hiking along the coast. never been and figure it’s a great way to see the country! by foot:) and of course my quarterly trips back to gainesville!

  • November 27, 2012

    I would also add that if you have a rolling suitcase swap out the wheels and put rollerblade wheels in place of them. The stock wheels and axels are usually junk, even on the nicer sets of luggage like Travelpro. I travel for a living and durable piece of luggage is a life saver!

  • December 06, 2012

    Still want that ExOfficio jacket! Man it would be perfect for all the plane rides I will have to and from Australia.

  • December 06, 2012

    And here’s the moment when I try and convince myself I need everything on this list for my year in South America!

    I’ve wanted a pair of Tieks ever since your review but still can’t justify spending quite so much… The PacSafe bags, however, could definitely be the right thing to get for backpacking through South Am..!
    Flora recently posted..Touching Two Continents in Three Degrees: Snorkelling the Silfra RiftMy Profile

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