Are you unsure about what to buy the travel-addict in your life? I'm not surprised, we're a difficult bunch to shop for. Chances are that we don't really want material possessions, most of us travelers would rather have the cash to spend on our next adventure. However, cash is pretty much a thoughtless gift, isn't it? Airline gift cards are terrible because then you are trapped to using one airline that may have overpriced flights to the desired destination– thats a waste of money. Chances are if there is a gadget we really need, we already bought it for ourselves. Nice luggage is always a good choice, but we probably want to pick that out for ourselves because luggage is such a personal item and we can be pretty picky about the size, wheel type and compartment options. That backpack you picked out may be a nice thought, but if it doesn’t have a laptop specific compartment, we just lost time at TSA and then we're aggravated at how we look like a rookie going through security because we couldn’t get our laptop or other stuff out of the bag in a timely fashion.
Told you we're difficult to buy for. Luckily, this year I have come across some really amazing products for travelers. These products honor places your favorite traveler has traveled to, or are designed to make their next trip even better.
1. GoPro Case by Travler Leather
This camera case for GoPro's by Travler Leather is a real head-turner. Often, I find myself not wanting to carry my cumbersome Nikon around when I want my picture taking to be a little more under the radar. This camera case adds an entirely new functionality to the GoPro because you will now be able to use the GoPro in everyday life as opposed to only when participating in more extreme activities. It looks stylish, works well and is made with quality, locally sourced genuine leather. Additionally it's pretty simple to get your GoPro in and out of, so if you need to put the waterproof housing back on, it will only take a few seconds. ($59)
Bonus: One of the creators, David and I had a long chat on the phone when I was inquiring about the product, and he not only has a passion for travel but he's very concerned with making a quality product. I'm really into excellent customer service and quality products, and I know that David & his staff insist on providing both for all Travler Leather's consumers. That's a company with morals that I can stand behind.
2. GoPole EVO
GoPole makes the ultimate "selfie sticks" and other incredible accessories (such as cases, hi-torque thumbscrew packs and dual camera adapters) for GoPro users. I love the Evo because it's telescoping and since it's transparent it is seemingly invisible in selfies. It's especially perfect for divers and water sports enthusiasts because the GoPole Evo floats. It also has a wi-fi remote clip so that you can control the camera from your finger tips. GoPole Evo also includes a wrist strap attachment to ensure that you and your selfie-stick never part by mistake. Also, GoPole has a sweet instagram account to inspire you to use your GoPole and GoPro on your next adventures! ($49.99)
3. Traveller Collective Key Chain
The Traveller Collective keychain is fun way to collect little tokens for each country visited, but it also serves a greater purpose. For each purchase made you will help bring safe, clean drinking water to the people who need it most around the world. This is possible by a partnership with charity: water. These clips are handmade in Vancouver and consist of a leather strap, with small circular spacers attached to it; engraved on each spacer is an official country code, representing each country you have visited. You choose your the strap you want and the spacers, personalizing this souvenir of places visited. (Clips start at 16.50 & each spacer is $2)
4. Bose Quiet Comfort Noise Cancelling Headphones
I have been a huge fan of Bose Quiet Comfort headphones for over 10 years. I will not fly without them. Those obnoxious noisy passengers and crying babies literally fade into the distance with the click of a button. Bose now makes an ear-bud option as well as the traditional over-the-ear headset. These headphones change everything, your music has never sounded so good, and even if you choose not to turn on your iPod, the background noise still will dissipate. Additionally when you are ready for a new pair, Bose has a pretty generous upgrade program that allows you to trade up to a newer set and will take good care of you should anything break. If there is anything I like more than an incredible product, it's a company that backs up the quality of that product. ($269.95)
5. Girly Go Garter
I am absolutely in love with this product, as it is an excellent way to outsmart pickpockets and keep important items close to you at all times.
The Girly Go Garter is essentially a garter belt with pockets to stash all of your stuff. I love the quality of this product. It is made from strong materials, and has comfortable grips on the inside for keep from sliding off your leg or moving around. I have even taken mine out for a run and a hike without it moving around. Additionally, they say it can easily hold up to 3 pounds worth of your stuff. (Thats a lot of stuff!) The Girly Go Garter can be used as a replacement for a purse or used in addition to one. ($39)
For 10% off your purchase you can use the promo code TRUSTEDTRAVELGIRL at checkout.
6. Vintage Maps from Maps to Go
These one of a kind vintage maps are amazing gifts for travel lovers. The more you travel, the more you tend to appreciate maps and globes. The Maps to Go shop on Etsy is packed with countless choices of rare maps, and you can mix and match maps with any of the quotes. When mine arrived, I raced over to my local framer because I was so excited to have the finished product. Instead of using the suggested quotes, I chose to have one of my favorite travel quotes printed at the bottom "I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world". Any item from Maps to Go is sure to be a one-of-a-kind gift, and once framed it will be loved and appreciated for years to come. (Prices vary, majority of maps are $25)
7. Lily Drone Camera
As an avid traveler and experience junkie, I absolutely love my GoPro. The GoPro is an excellent piece of equipment that can withstand just about anything. However there is one problem. Unless you want to hike, bike, dive or ski one handed with a selfie stick, it can be challenging to find a way to get video of yourself doing these actual activities. I often travel solo, so most of my videos turn out to be from my point of view of whatever activity I'm doing, rather than of me being the subject. That's great and all, but sometimes I want a video or picture of myself doing these activities. The solution? The new Lily Camera. Lily is a drone camera that will track and follow it's user with no controller required, keep it's user in frame at all times!
Unfortunately, Lily is still only available for pre-order. This means if you are going to order Lily as a gift, you will have to be like one of my lazy ex-boyfriends that bought all of my birthday and Christmas presents too late and you will have to print out a picture of the item (as the placeholder for the gift) until Lily is available to ship. I ordered mine in May and I won't receive it until February. Current orders will ship in August. Personally, I think it is well worth the wait.
Watch the video below, I think it's worth the wait and an incredible gift for any travel or adventure lover. ($999, current pre-order price $799)
Gnarbox is another one that hasn't come out yet and is only available for pre-order. It's perfect for travelers who are adventure junkies and love to capture and edit tons of video content. Gnarbox is a product that creates a portable way to backup, organize, edit and even share your footage quickly. No laptop required! It works with a comprehensive mobile app and creates decent edits, even with 4K video. Gnarbox was originally funded with Kickstarter, and has been under development for over two years. (The pre-order Price is $199, after pre-order Gnarbox will be $299)
I do not exaggerate when I say, I don't know how I lived without having a Camelbak. This is literally one of the best inventions of all-time for outdoor enthusiasts. Basically it's a backpack with a water system so you no longer need to carry a water bottle while skiing, hiking, biking, or just about any other activity. Considering how long they last (I had my last one for over 10 years) I would say its a very worthwhile investment. They are more than just water, my new Camelbak now functions as a full-fleged mini backpack. When I ski or hike I use the small backpack section to store my GoPro, granola bars, extra hand-warmers, keys, and extra cash. It also has a hook to attach a helmet when you aren't wearing the helmet. I suggest getting one that is made for wintery conditions, it is more insulated and won't freeze up when temperatures drop, and you can still use it in hot climates as well. ($75)
10. Pro Flex GoPro case by Go-Scope
I had been looking high and low for a good case for my GoPro. I've seen some zip-up boxes and Pelican-cases, and although they are well organized and sturdy, they make the GoPro far too bulky for convenient packing. Isn't part of the point of the GoPro it's small easy-to-travel-with size? While searching for a GoPro case I reached out to a photographer friend that often uses GoPros and his only suggestion was to use a ziplock. After searching for quite awhile, I came across the Pro Flex case by Go-Scope. This seemingly has it all, including a water resistant outer layer. The Pro Flex case can store up to two GoPro's, and has room for extra lenses or the floaty and comes with pockets of all sizes to store mounts, wires and other accessories. It also features a zippered mesh pocket to hold SD cards, a hook to hang the entire case vertically and a place for everyone's favorite accessory, the selfie stick. Because the GoPro itself is basically crush proof, there isn't a strong need for a bulky pelican case unless entering extreme conditions. The Pro Flex case is suitable for almost all GoPro users, and is truly a space and time saver. ($49.99)