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 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!
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.
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:
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?
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!
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!
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!