Has 2016 been one turbulent, nauseating sleigh ride or what?
If I were Santa for the day, I think I’d give everyone a do-over for the year. For me, it has been a bumpy one to put it mildly, and I know so many of you have been on your own personal obstacle course this year, too. Much as I’d like to, I can’t right all the world’s wrongs, but as usual I’m putting on my Santa hat to give away some really fun goodies from my travel gift guide in the hopes of making everyone feel even just a smidge better.
In shocking news – this is my 5th annual holiday travel gift guide! (2012. 2013. 2014. 2015.)Where does the time go? I’m including some of my new picks and old favorites all in one place for this special edition. As you know, I’ve given away thousands of dollars in electronics, shoes, vacations, books and travel gear over this past half-decade. If you haven’t won anything yet, this could be your year – I’m pulling for you!
Scroll through, click around, let me know what strikes your fancy, then enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. (As a bonus, everyone who signs up for the Angie Away newsletter will get an extra 10 entries for the travel gift guide giveaway – oooh la la!)
GIFT GUIDE CLASSICS
ExOfficio is one of my favorite travel brands, and Rick & I both wear a ton of their stuff. From pants to hoodies to my favorite winter travel coat, ExOfficio products are comfortable, durable and serve multiple functions. I particularly love the BugsAway products which offer built-in insect repellant that lasts for 70 washes – a huge deal when traveling to Zika zones or just my backyard in Florida after Hurricane Matthew. You can buy their products directly from their site (price listed below), or you can find their goods online at sites like BackCountry.com, where you can apply promo codes from Coupon Sherpa to save a little money.
My GoPro HERO 3 was one of the best splurges I ever made, and I cringe if I think too hard about how I traveled around the world without one in 2011. I mourn the wide angle photos I missed… I’ll stop lamenting now before I start crying. I just cracked the underwater case for my original so rather than replacing it, I upgraded to the new HERO5. Trust me, if the traveler in your life doesn’t have one of these, it’s the perfect gift. COMING SOON: The GoPro Drone is on my personal wishlist, but it has been recalled so I will wait for version 2.0 to try it out.
Perennial favorites back again! I’m now the proud owner of five pairs of Tieks ballet flats in metallic pewter, ruby red patent, cardinal red, giraffe and romantic blush, and they continue to be my go-to travel shoe. Sometimes I bring them all, they’re just so versatile and easy to pack. I’m in need of a new pair or two to replace the ones I wore in the rain at the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, so that’s why they’re making the list again this year. The toughest part is choosing a color, so if you don’t know what your recipient would want, you can give a Tieks gift card!
I love to support small businesses and this is a hometown favorite! Rethreaded is helping to stop the cycle of sex-trafficking by training those affected in a brand new vocation. And that’s where the awesome Grace Scarf comes in. The scarf is made of individually cut strips of t-shirt that are stretched into strands. Once stretched, each strand curls — eliminating all errors made in the cutting process, resulting in a perfect strand to add to the bundle. Once bundled all the unique strands are then tied together into a beautiful scarf. And voila – you have the Grace Scarf. Please, please, please shop at their online store this holiday season. It’s for such a great cause!
I fully admit I’m late to the game, but I’ve just discovered Chaco shoes and I am a believer! The lifetime warranty is a huge plus for me. You know, traveling can be a real beast on shoes, so it’s pays to invest in ones that will stand the test of time and miles. I love that you can customize colors and embroidery online for Chacos, or just buy whichever ones you like off the rack. There are a ton of options in sandals, flip-flops and closed-toed comfy water shoes. Non-leather Chacos can be chucked in the washing machine if you get too adventurous with them (like we did in Kauai – hello, red clay!).
I don’t always travel with a hair dryer, but when I do, it’s gotta be from the blowout experts: Drybar! Drybar’s travel kit features a Baby Buttercup Blow Dryer that delivers the power and performance of most pro strength full-size dryers, so it’s great for traveling gals with ridiculous hair like mine. (Those itty bitty hotel hair dryers that attach to the wall? Yeah, ain’t nobody got time for that.)
I wouldn’t think of traveling without dry shampoo, and I thought my drugstore brand was the jam until I tried Drybar’s Detox Dry Shampoo & Conditioner. Trust me – these are better than you can imagine. A great gift for the traveling woman.
Full disclosure: I haven’t tried this product yet but it’s one that’s actually on my personal wishlist. When I was jaunting around Europe a few years ago, I joined Ancestry.com to dig into my family roots in Bohemia. Now, I want to take it a step further and see where else our crazy family tree comes from. I suspect there’s more to me than I could ever imagine! It only takes 6-8 weeks to get the results of your DNA test, which involves spitting in a cup and sending it away for analysis. Fun, right?
I’m always on the lookout for camping gear to take on our annual trip to Ginnie Springs in Central Florida, so I jumped at the chance to try out the Roo, a tear resistant, comfortable, breathable, sleep-able hammock. The reviews raved about how comfy it was and I was skeptical – hammocks tend to push and pull in a way that makes it tough to sleep. But the Roo lives up to the reviews and is a fabulous way to avoid bringing a tent, air mattress and all those trappings. Just pop the itty bitty bag of Roo in the car and you’re pretty much good to go. Plus then you have that much more room for s’mores supplies in the car without all the tent gear.
$99, Kammock Roo
My aging, aching feet would be thrilled with about 10 more pairs of ABEO shoes. I’ve been rocking a pair of lime green flip-flops this year and they have been such a treat to wear. Unlike the cheapo flippies I used to sport in my twenties, now I need arch support. ABEO has built-in orthotics to deal with that issue among many others. All you have to do is locate a digital foot analysis station near you to get a 3D footprint to figure out what support your foot needs. Then order the appropriate shoes and marvel at how much less your feet hurt when walking around an airport or exploring a new city.
Jewelry is great I guess, but in my stocking, I’m secretly always hoping for gadgets and gear. Travelers can never have too many memory cards, so it’s a great gift for just about anyone with a camera. And memory cards are tiny so they make thoughtful stocking stuffers.
$9.99+, Buy Me
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved getting goodies in the mail, so just about any monthly subscription is a win for me. GlobeIn offers a unique twist in that it curates items from artisans from more than 40 countries, creating sustainable jobs for them and sending beautiful goodies to you. Each month’s themed shipment features products like Mexican woven baskets, Ghanaian coasters, hand painted mugs, handmade table runners and scarves.
It was worth the price AND I love that I get to try out new goodies without having to shop for them myself! A great gift for socially conscious travelers, and it keeps on giving long after the holidays have passed. Want to get a 3 or 6 months subscription? Use code ANGIE for 10% off.
In my year as a Travelocity Gnational Gnomad, I’ve taken the Roaming Gnome to some pretty fun places – and you can, too! He comes in a variety of sizes to fit any luggage situation and makes a unique travel companion and a fun addition to photos on the road.
Neither snow nor sleet nor history’s most bizarre year will stop me from delivering goodies from this holiday travel gift guide to a few lucky travelers. It’s super easy to enter to win selected items (those with a *) via the Rafflecopter widget below. May the odds be ever in your favor!
Occasionally brands will get in touch with me to do reviews of their products. Some of the ones I liked most from 2016 appear here in the gift guide with my honest opinion; others get returned to sender if they’re not up to snuff. And other items, like the GoPro, Tieks and others are personal favorites I can’t live without. Rest assured, I only include goodies I personally approve of, use and/or want! Some of the links may be affiliate links, which means that I receive a small fee for the referral if you make a purchase. It doesn’t change the price you pay, but it does help me do a little more traveling every year. Thank you for your support!