It’s beginning to look a lot like… gift guide season! As your very own personal-shopping, passport-wielding elf, I’ve spent the last 12 months dancing, traveling and searching the world for cool products, functional gear and multi-purpose travel clothes for my annual What Travelers Want 2014 Holiday Gift Guide.
Hark the traveling angels sing – it’s finally here!
Take a look at the wonders herein, print out the gift guide graphic or Pin it to your wishlist, and then enter to win some of these goodies (the ones with *) below.
Or just Tweet to Santa – whoever that may be for you – and let the shopping begin!
1. Boingo.* I don’t leave home for a long trip without Boingo, one of Travel + Leisure’s Top 10 travel apps, and my personal Internet hero. Staying connected on the road is my bread and butter, so it pays to always have a way to check email, post to Angie Away or even just pop up yet another Instagram jump shot. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fist-pumped on a flight when I found out I could use my Boingo account to connect while flying. It’s one of the best feelings a traveler can get!
2. CableKeeps Goldie.* I’ve been traveling with my Goldie for a few trips now and it keeps my iPhone cord so neat in my carry-on – no more fumbling around and untangling it at the airport. The bright color also keeps others from “borrowing” your charger — there’s no question this is your device. And it’s not just for iPhones. CableKeeps come in 3 designs and 6 colors – Goldie for iPhone, Nibbles for iPad and Gulp for iPad international.
3. SOL REPUBLIC PUNK Wireless Bluetooth Speaker.* The speaker is so loud! Louder than my previous wireless speaker, loud enough to hear over the waves at the beach AND it’s built for rugged (errr, clumsy?) individuals like myself who consistently drop expensive electronics. The Punk packs a punch in a compact and packable size.
$69.99; available on Amazon and Best Buy
4. GoPro HERO4 Black. One big regret I have from my RTW travels in 2011 and 2012 is that I didn’t have a GoPro in my photography arsenal. I could cry thinking of all the adventures I missed capturing with this amazing little camera – but I won’t. I’ll just tell you with every fiber of my being that the traveler in your life NEEDS one, so make it happen!
5. ExOfficio Storm Logic Jacket. A few gift guides ago I introduced the Storm Logic jacket, and in the ensuing years I’ve worn it a million times. It’s literally the perfect travel jacket & I always take it on trips where the weather permits. I was hesitant to replace my purple original with the new model, and even more hesitant to include something I’ve already covered in this year’s gift guide, but WOW.
The new and improved Storm Logic jacket blew my mind. It has been updated this season with more feminine quilt lines, contrast lining and an internal Travel Pocket System to keep all your items organized, from glasses to passports. You do not need a purse with this jacket! Like the older version, the Storm Logic jacket converts to a travel neck pillow, too – meaning I almost never fly without it.
6. ExOfficio Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Boxer Briefs.* I’ve heard rumblings from my male readers (they do exist!) that sometimes my gift guide can be a little too female-focused – imagine that! So this year I’m including the men’s Give-N-Go Sport Mesh Boxer Briefs. Since I obviously couldn’t experience this particular product personally, I passed a sample on to my fella. I’ll spare you the very specific, very detailed description of his first day wearing them, but I will say he went from, “Twenty-six bucks for underwear? That’s crazy!” to “I am spending my entire next paycheck at ExOfficio and buying only these underwear from now on.” Some endorsement, right?
$26; exofficio.com (Black Friday sale! Buy 2 or more and get 25% off Nov. 28 through Dec. 14.)
7. Undercover Underwear.* Lest the ladies feel left out in the underpants department, I’d like to introduce you to UrbanUndercover’s Undercover Underwear. You know how travel experts always say take a change of clothes in your carry-on in case of lost baggage? Well, these are the perfect underwear for just that purpose. They’re comfortable, convenient and actually really pretty, and they fold up neatly in a self-contained pocket that tells you if they’re clean or dirty based on how you fold them. You can also store a towelette, backup cash and other small necessities in the pocket while wearing. Really, really great product. Click here to see how the undies roll/unroll.
8. Compass Pendant, Susi D. Jewelry.* Every traveler needs a compass, am I right? That’s why I love this pretty charm from Susi D. Jewelry. All her designs are handcrafted and come with an appropriate printed card with an inspirational saying. A great gift for a traveling lady.
9. Grace Scarf, Rethreaded.* This is my favorite hometown Jacksonville product! 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!
10. Globe & Airplane Pendant, Peggy Li Creations. You’ve probably seen Peggy Li’s creations before on The Bachelorette, The Vampire Diaries, Hart of Dixie and more. I wore her Globe & Airplane pendant at TBEX Athens and received so many compliments from the travel bloggers in attendance. Another wonderful piece for the traveling lady.
11. WoJo Wallet.* This sweat-and-grunge resistant wallet can go anywhere! Made of silicone and neoprene, it holds cards, IDs, cash and even a key. Super versatile, sleek & slim, it tucks into yoga pants, cycling shorts, a swimsuit, without all the bulk of your regular wallet. A really fun, functional find for the active traveler.
12. Sanuk.* For a super casual, super comfy travel shoe, check out Sanuk’s new line of flats. I’m sporting the Kats Meow lately, a pointy canvas shoe with the rubber sole Sanuk’s are famous for. Great for boating, beaching or just kicking around the airport. Available in prints and solids.
13. Tieks.* I’m now the proud owner of FOUR pairs of Tieks, and they are my go-to travel shoe. Sometimes I bring them all, they’re just so versatile and easy to pack. Mine are starting to look a bit like they’ve been through a war zone, so it’s likely time for a new pair. And that’s why they’re on my wishlist yet again =)
HEALTH, FITNESS & BEAUTY
14. FabFitFun.* Most folks have heard of BirchBox, a monthly subscription that brings sample sizes of luxurious beauty products right to your door. BirchBox is one of my favorite ways to try out new goodies in convenient travel sizes, but sometimes I want more than beauty products. This year I’ve been loving the FabFitFun box. My last shipment came with a super cute Jessie Steele apron, Great Soles Pink Ribbon Ballet Barre socks, full-size beauty products from Dermalogica, the Honest Co., CHI and LaNatura, a Gramr Gratitude Co. thank you note set and a 3-month subscription to FitFusion. It was well 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 the time-crunched traveler.
$49.99 every three months, fabfitfun.com
15. Yogasphere Yogi Pro Kit.* This summer, I attended a really fun yoga retreat in Costa Rica, and since then I’ve been working to add yoga to my travel experience as much as I can. Recently I started packing the Mama Kuka Yogasphere straps in my carry on. The straps are slim, colorful, comfortable yoga circles that help me stretch out my tense muscles when I’m traveling. A dollar from each purchase goes to charity.
16. T-Spheres.* Need to relax on your long-haul flight? Yes, I think that’s a given. Next time you travel, throw a few Tranquility Spheres in your carry-on. T-spheres are an aromatherapy massage tool that work in your connective tissue to release knots. Infused with scents like geranium, grapefruit, lavender and my favorite, peppermint, they’re a perfect stocking stuffer for the frequent flier in your life.
17. Beauty for Real True Color Lip Cream. I originally received this gloss in my FabFitFun box, and now I’m totally sold on the brand. It’s not just lip color though. That on its own wouldn’t be enough to warrant inclusion in the holiday gift guide. This one comes with a convenient built in mirror on the side AND an LED light. It’s just about the best thing to happen to lip gloss in this century. So helpful on the red carpet, in the airport, and in a blackout.
18. Foodie-Trips.* Looking to really wow the foodie in your life? Why not give the gift of a chef-curated culinary adventure trip from Foodie-Trips? Say, 5 days in Paris to learn the art of pastry making or perhaps a visit to Northern Italy for rustic cooking lessons? All trips consist of small groups and custom trips can be arranged for Toronto, NYC, London, Rome and Paris. It’s a wonderful gift for someone who finds food culture fascinating. (*Ok, so I’m not giving away a $4,000 trip, but they did provide a copy of 1,000 Things to Eat Before You Die for the giveaway. Thanks, Foodie-Trips!)
Neither snow nor sleet nor a broken pinky will prevent Elf Angie* from delivering goodies from this holiday cache worth $1,200 USD to a few lucky travelers. It’s super easy to enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. May the odds be ever in your favor!
*Winners will not receive a personal visit. 😉
**Occasionally companies will get in touch with me to do reviews of their products. Some of the ones I liked most from 2014 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, are just personal favorites I can’t live without. Rest assured, I only include goodies I personally approve of and use!