Ho, ho, holy cow… it’s the 10th Annual Angie Away Holiday Gift Guide and Giveaway eleganza extravaganza, now curated for savvy travelers, folks still stuck in pandemic travel limbo and everyone in between.
We’re publishing our favorite gifts early this year because thanks to supply chain shenanigans and barges parked offshore, 2021 is not the year to wait until the last minute to order prezzies! Coming from me, the gal who would accomplish nothing if not for the last minute, that’s really saying something.*
*If you find yourself here in mid-to-late December, please scroll down to the LAST MINUTE GIFTS section*
The past two years have been… well, fraught with freaking peril and tumult. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that just about everything has changed, and we’ve all been through too dang much. I can’t think of a better reason to spoil your loved ones (and yourself) than the fact that you made it to the end of 2021 despite a wicked couple of years.
This year’s gift guide has something for everyone – the frugal, the fancy, the jetsetter and the daydreamer. We’ve got some exciting travel goodies to make your next flight easier, along with curated items to help bring the euphoria of your last adventure home with you. We’ve got prezzies for the dog, your babysitter and your mama.
Welcome to our 2021 traveler’s gift guide!
Whether life is somewhat back to normal for you or you’ve changed everything since pre-March 2020, let’s forget about gas prices, inflation, masks, Brandon and China for a moment. Put your favorite Mariah Carey holiday jam on repeat and let’s pretend, through the magic of unbridled consumerism, that our world is a sparkly snowglobe and not a smoldering pile of the Grinch’s garbage.
The No. 1 awesome thing about my 10th Annual Gift Guide is that it’s designed to keep you posted up in front of the fireplace instead of stuck in holiday mall traffic. No need to thank me. Consider it my good deed for this month. Skip the hassle and focus on the reason for the season. Food and prezzies. Wait, no. Jesus! Happy birthday, Jesus!
Past Travel Gift Guides for Even More Ideas
As always, we’re giving away a ton of items from this list, so don’t forget to scroll all the way to the bottom to enter our annual gift guide giveaway. Any item on the list with an asterisk is available to win!
Gift Ideas For Travelers
I always try to pack light and in just a carry-on if I can, and then when I arrive at my destination, I find I don’t have half of the beauty products I use on a daily basis. And then I look like Gollum from Lord of the Rings.
Enter Cadence Honeycombs, magnetic, customizable and sustainable mini-product containers. You can choose colors like sage and eucalyptus, create magnetic labels to say exactly what you want and trust that all your beauty goodies are safe in one spot, not rolling around your bag getting smashed by the baggage handlers.
Each chic capsule holds a week or so worth of SPF, face cleanser, moisturizer, hand sanitizer, shampoo, toothpaste, vitamins, jewelry. Fill it up with your faves before you go and boom – you’ve got all you need, all stuck together and conveniently labeled with words, icons, days of the week. Whatever you want! You can use just a few or a couple dozen at a time.
It’s not everyday you find something really new and fresh to add to your travel packing routine – I mean, you can only have so many lil plastic bottles, right? Love, love, love this product!
6-pack – $70, Cadence
Colleen Rothschild Gift Set
Speaking of travel-sized products, one prezzie I always love to give and receive is a Colleen Rothschild gift set. The Radiant Cleansing Balm is my favorite face wash in the world and it comes in the 7 piece Discovery Collection gift set. I’d always be happy to see this under my tree!
$95, Colleen Rothschild
Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer and Volumizer Hot Air Brush*
One of my favorite purchases ever and the No. 1 seller from last year’s gift guide, this tool saves me from packing a hair dryer, curling iron/wand and brush and combines all those tools into one. It’s the next best thing to a professional blowout (my favorite traveling extravagance). A total game changer.
Travel Jewelry Case*
I got a gorgeous travel jewelry case in a FabFitFun box earlier this year, and I take it with me on every trip now. I don’t even bother unpacking it. Looks great on my dresser and drops right into my carry-on. A perfect gift for the stylish traveler.
TIP: I’ve been a fan of Amazon’s Wish List feature for years because it ensures I get what I want, in the size and color I want. You can’t leave these things up to chance, you know? Now Amazon has a new feature – the Holiday Wish List. It takes all the guesswork out of holiday gifting, you can sort the list by family member and you have 90 days to return and exchange if needed. Could not be easier!
Create a Holiday Wish List for your whole family for free!
LUGGAGE, GEAR AND GADGET GIFTS
Pakt Coffee Kit
Love camping? Love coffee? Can’t find a Starbucks in the middle of Yellowstone? We love the Pakt Coffee Kit, a sleekly packaged, super chic and very portable coffee set-up. All you need is water and electricity, so you can use it at home, at an Airbnb or in your campsite. Bonus – airline carry-on friendly and BPA free.
Pair with your favorite bag of coffee for a really special gift for the fancy camper on your list. Take note! Pakt uses 100% plastic-free packaging and commits 10% of profits to support environmental issues caused by plastic.
UV Sanitizer Wand*
I like to pretend I’m not surrounded by eleventy-billion germs at any given moment, particularly on airplanes and in hotel rooms, but the past couple of years has made it hard to forget! Enter the UV Sanitizer Wand, a lightweight, portable and battery powered device you can pack for extra peace of mind. Great for disinfecting furniture, door handles, luggage, keyboards, restaurant tables and more.
Prepster Emergency Backpack
This is not your typical first aid kit, but it makes an excellent prezzie for the upscale friend or colleague who has everything except an apocalyptic “Go Bag.” Made in California, the land of way-too-many natural disasters, Prepster bags are stocked with supplies to get you through an emergency – be it a wildfire, hurricane, tornado, or some as-yet-to-be discovered 911 situation.
Each bag comes with a lifetime guarantee and solar/hand-crank charging station to keep your phone charged when the power goes out, food & water, space blanket, hygiene products, whistle, hand warmers, poncho, multi-tool, first aid kit and so much more. The way the world is, it would be crazy not to have at least one of these kits within arm’s reach!
$395, Prepster Backpack
Sleepy Ride Footrest *
It’s tough to pick just one aspect of air travel to complain about, but I’ll go first: plane seats are just not comfy! Whether you’re a shortie like me or a Bigfoot like my husband, you likely spend the whole time in-flight squirming and trying to get cozy.
Our latest find in the search for air travel bliss: the Sleepy Ride Foot Hammock, a footrest made with memory foam that turns your sucky coach seat into a recliner. It helps to ward off back pain, stiffness and leg swelling so you don’t need a day to recover from the flight and you can get right into your adventure.
Get it in purple so it stands out and you don’t forget it when you get off the plane!
I’ve started collecting vintage luggage, which is a terrible idea because I have nowhere to put it and it takes up tons of space. OOPS. Still, there’s nothing like the thrill of finding a great vintage piece of Samsonite at Goodwill or the Salvation Army for $6. And if someone went out and found it for me and left it under the tree? I’d be the happiest little elf. Something tells me there’s a traveler in your life who feels the same!
I’m always scouring the thrift stores for fun pieces, but if you’re looking for something in particular, check out eBay and Etsy.
Pet Weekender Bag
Stylish bag with all the essentials for a pet’s weekend away. What – your pups don’t go on adventures? Sheba and Skywalker go back and forth between Orlando and Jacksonville, so they really need their own luggage for the trip. And if they ever did need to fly, this Pet Weekender Bag is airline approved and fits under the seat.
Life Straw Water Bottle*
There’s really no reason to be wandering this planet in 2021 A.D. with a plain Jane water bottle. Not when you can have a Life Straw water bottle whose filtration system protects against 99. 999999% of bacteria (including E. Coli and Salmonella), 99. 999% of parasites (including Giardia), and 99. 999% of micro plastics. It reduces chlorine, odors, organic chemical matter and improves taste, and the filter lasts for about 1,000 gallons.
Shop kindly: For every Life Straw product purchased, a child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.
I’ll never cease to be amazed at how a scent can instantly transport me back to a time and place in the past, so of course I love Homesick Candles. They’ve got my favorite destinations like New York City, the UK
They also have reed diffusers and car air fresheners. A lovely gift!
Fun fact: the Florida candle smells like Bergamot, woody mangroves and Spanish moss mix with smooth vanilla and amber, and not swamp with a hint of NASCAR exhaust and a sparkle of red tide. Well done, Homesick Candles!
$25, Homesick Candles
TIBI airport socks*
Airport socks in fireplace stockings are so 2021. Whether it’s your home airport or just a destination you hope to visit in the future, TIBI’s airport socks are a thoughtful way to honor the traveler in your life.
Ekster Parliament Wallet
Ekster is having a huge Black Friday sale up to 40% off, so if you’re in the market for a stylish AND sustainably made wallet, laptop case or bag, check them out! Ekster’s original smart wallet is easy to use and hard to lose and crafted from materials like vegan recycled leather made from car windshields. Features an RFID blocker and optional tracker to make sure you never lose it!
Chromecast with Google TV *
Vacation rentals are forgoing traditional cable these days, so it pays to have portable access to your streaming accounts. Chromecast with Google TV is a tiny device that holds all your digital watchables in one place, so you can take it from Airbnb to hotel to home and beyond without having to login, remember passwords, etc.
$49, Best Buy
HOME GOODS & CLOTHES
Wicker Egg Chair
Call me crazy, but I’m all about that hotel lobby life, so something about a stylish, unique chair makes me feel like I’m right there in my travel element – even when I’m stuck at home for months on end! I’ve been feeling wicker and rattan so much lately, so this egg chair is at the top of my list for my new She Shed. (Coming soon!)
Picture this: my first time on an electric scooter. Rick and I were in front of the White House a couple weeks ago, in the rain. I was trying to master the art of the scooter but I mostly was just screaming while Rick laughed at me. I imagine the Bidens got a kick out of the spectacle if they happened to be looking outside.
Anyhow, bikes are out and scooters are in. Definitely worth every penny if you have a walkable commute. (A scooter would’ve been invaluable in NYC!)
We got our Purple Mattress earlier this year and for the first time in my life, I truly think about my bed when I’m away. Those pricey hotel beds are great, but sleep on a Purple then you’ll know what I mean. A splashy gift anybody would love to receive – and it ships free directly to your doorstep as Santa intended. Read our Purple Mattress review here.
Not trying to spend quite that much? Purple also has sheets, pillows and seat cushions made with the same breathable tech.
Anything in Buffalo Plaid*
Buffalo plaid is THE look this holiday season. Don’t believe me? Peep our matching jammies on Christmas morning.
Don’t fight it. Buffalo plaid is everywhere so you might as well get you some.
LAST MINUTE GIFTS
You didn’t listen to me when I published this holiday gift guide in early November, and now here you are. Just like my Dad at Walmart on Christmas Eve every year, searching desperately for a gift that doesn’t look like you got it AT THE LAST MINUTE from the clearance bin. Am I guilting you? Maybe just a little bit. But let’s leave the past in the past and help you not look like a Grinch on the big day.
Here are our favorite gifts you can snag at any time. No torturous shopping and no shipping required!
Scott’s Cheap Flights Premium Membership
Travel is back in so many places, and Scott’s Cheap Flights is here to remind you that despite the worst time in modern travel history, there are still places to go and people to see. To save hundreds of dollars on flights, grab a premium membership for deals on international and domestic travel.
Green Chef Membership
Meal kits have been a saving grace this year as we’ve jumped into foster care. We’ve been using Green Chef lately because we can customize to any dietary needs we may be facing. They change often with new kids coming all the time!
$Varies, Green Chef
Ancestry DNA Kit
After some surprising news following my 23andMe DNA test, I went down the family tree rabbit hole with Ancestry.com and have discovered just what a wild ancestral history I’ve got. And Rick’s is even more exciting!
Audible has single handedly helped me to prevent the clutter that naturally comes with being a bibliophile. I love having a book always queued up on my phone so any time I have a moment, I can dive back into wherever I left off. Great gift for a busy traveler!
$7.95 for first 4 months, Audible
Priority Pass Membership
There’s just nothing better than lounge access when you’re traveling. Free wifi, cozy seats, food and drinks! Priority Pass membership gives you access to 1,300+ lounges in more than 600 cities across 148 countries, no matter what airline you’re on. They’re offering up to 40% off memberships through Dec. 5, so check it out!
$59, Priority Pass
Airbnb Gift Card
Airbnb has done very well this year as travelers seek domestic accommodations where social distancing is easy! A great gift for the hesitant post-pandemic traveler.
Fab Fit Fun Box
I tried the Fab Fit Fun subscription box last year, thinking I could quit anytime. But I NEVER QUIT! I am a little bit addicted to my quarterly treat to myself, filled with $200 worth of goodies each time. A great gift that keeps on giving all year long.
1st box $39, FabFitFun
PIN ME FOR LATER
That’s a wrap on my 2021 holiday travel gift guide. Want a virtual visit from Angie Claus? Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below for the chance to win some of our favorite gift guide goodies.a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is one of our most popular giveaways every year, so enter early, enter often and keep an eye out to see if you’re a winner in December.