10 Great Holiday Gifts for Travelers
Leah Walker December 5, 2014

If you’re anything like me then you’re behind on your holiday shopping. Scratch that. If you’re like me then you’ve done absolutely no holiday shopping. I have, however, done a bang-up job of making my own Christmas wish list. As you can imagine, most everything on that list lends to my travel-centric lifestyle. So, if you have people on your present list with a bad case of wanderlust then they will appreciate some of my favorite holiday gifts for travelers. Not mentioned, but painfully obvious, are airline miles.

So, go on and flip through this handy-dandy slide show, and for more holiday gift inspiration, check out last year’s guide here.

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The Internationalist Toiletry Bag

Internationalist

The name says it all. The Internationalist toiletry bag from Sephora is one item I never travel without. I bought an earlier version of this same bag at least four years ago, and I’ve gotten more than my money’s worth out of it. I love the compartments and the amount of stuff it holds. I particularly like how the bag folds, which makes it easy to pack in a suitcase. It’s perfect for even the casual traveler.

Price: $65

Purchase: Sephora

iPad Mini

ipad mini

What can I say? I’m an Apple girl. I love my Macbook Pro and iPhone, but somehow the iPad has eluded me. Last month I picked up an iPad Mini for the first time and didn’t want to put it down. The last thing I need is another space-hogging device when I travel, and I’m sure I’m not alone. The iPad Mini is perfect when the computer is too big, but the iPhone is too small. The iPad Mini is just right. I guess I’m the Goldilocks of Apple devices.

Price: From $399

Purchase: Apple

Astier de Villatte Candles

Astier de Villatte Candles

I recently discovered these candles from Astier de Villatte in Paris. The collection is named after cities {Delhi, Naples, Hollywood}, streets {Rue Saint Honoré, Broadway}, and other destinations {Opéra, Alcatraz, Marienbad} that will tide over the wanderluster in your life until their next trip. I spent a good twenty minutes smelling all of the scents in the Saint Germain store and pretty much liked them all. The candles burn approximately 60 hours and are come in hand-blown glass from Tuscany.

Price: $95

Purchase: Astier de Villatte

Lazenne Wine Check Luggage

Lazenne Wine Check Luggage

There’s nothing worse than discovering a wine that you love and then finding out that it’s not available in your home country. Vin lovers should raise their glasses to the Wine Check. I ran across this brand after they commented on my Facebook page, but I’ve not actually tried the product. Apparently this collapsible bag holds twelve bottles of wine, Champagne, beer, liquor, or olive oil. Simply check the wheeled bag at your airline just like a regular piece of luggage. There’s no need to worry about the weight, as the light design helps keep it under the standard 50 pound limit. I’d say it doesn’t get much better than that. Sante!

Price: $113

Purchase: Lazenne

La Prairie Anti-Aging Eye and Lip Perfection À Porter

la prairie

Recently, a friend turned me on to this little package of perfection while I was in Paris. She popped it out of her purse and liberally applied the balm on her lips and eyes. Always one intrigued by lotions and potions, I asked for a sample. Now, I’m enamored by its silky-smooth texture. This two-in-one product is perfect for flights, not only for its compact design, but also for the hydrating product inside.

Price: $150

Purchase: Le Prairie

 Tep Pocket WiFi

tep2

I can’t begin to tell you how much I loved having a Tep pocket wifi when I was in France. Normally when traveling abroad, I buy the biggest international data package AT&T offers, which is costly. By having a Tep pocket Wi-Fi, it wasn’t necessary. Essentially this 3G device is a mobile hot spot that allows you to connect up to five devices at once. For $7 per day, you’ll get 150 megabytes, which was plenty for me. Rather than being tied to my apartment or a cafe, I could work virtually anywhere. There was never a need to ask for the Wi-Fi code at cafes, because I had my own. And what’s more, never did I get the dreaded text from AT&T indicating I’d exceeded my data package. A Tep pocket Wi-Fi rental is perfect for the traveler who refuses to disconnect.

Price: $7 per day

Purchase: Tep Wireless

Minuit au Faubourg Hermès Scarf

Minuit au Faubourg Hermes Scarf

I’m officially obsessed with Hermès scarves. These silk, hand-rolled works of art can turn even the most plain outfit into something special, which is essential when living out of a suitcase. Versatile and beautiful, a Hermès scarf is a classic that will never go out of style. I like to peruse Paris for the perfect vintage version, but that’s not an option for everyone on the hunt for a great gift. Luckily Hermès offers online and in their stores a bazillion different designs. I’m particularly enamored by this new print by Dimitri Rybaltchenko. If you know the brand’s store on rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré then you’ll recognize this symbolic scene.

Price: $330

Purchase: Hermès

Rosetta Stone Language Lessons

Rosetta Stone French Lessons

Give the gift of learning this holiday season! After spending so much time in France this fall, I vowed to myself {and a whole lot of Parisians} that I would learn French. So, I took the first step in my education and bought a three-year Rosetta Stone subscription last week. It works on iPads, iPhones, Android tablets and smartphones, as well as a computer. For more old-school folks, the Rosetta Stone’s 30 different language courses are available for download or on CDs. Unfortunately, the lessons don’t work by osmosis. The receiver will actually have to put in effort to learn, but it really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Price: From $99

Purchase: Rosetta Stone

The All-American Bag from Saintly

Saintly

I’m a sucker for bags. Actually, that’s sugar coating it. I’m a hoarder of bags. This fall I got an email from Saintly Bags owner and designer, Sam Payrovi, introducing his company. Out of New York City, Sam has a career in finance and came up for the idea of his fully-customizable leather bag after he couldn’t find anything to fit his needs on the market. Unfortunately, I don’t own this bag, but I wish I did! What I love about it are the ingenious shoe and the laptop pockets. Not just customizable by leather, hardware, and fabric interior, you can also choose whether or not you want one, two, or no shoe pockets. Don’t want the laptop pocket? No problem. This is a unique gift that any weekend warrior would appreciate.

Price: From $1,020

Purchase: Saintly Bags

How to be Parisian Wherever You Are

How to be Parisian

Written by four gorgeous French women {are there any other kind?}, this new book is at the top of my must-read list. It’s ‘a fresh and spirited take on what it really means to be a Parisienne: how they dress, entertain, have fun and attempt to behave themselves.’ You might want to throw in a Moleskin Notebook for note taking.

Price: $25

Purchase: Amazon

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Leah Walker

Leah's a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. She documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. Leah freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, USA Today 10 Best, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel and wine ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's lived in Paris for four years, and was awarded additional time with a Passeport Talent visa renewal. Though, her talent for speaking French is abysmal.

15 Comments

  1. What a great list! I need only send a link to this when someone asks me what I want for Christmas! Thank you, Leah! Happy Holidays to you!

  2. Oh my gosh Leah, both that Sephora bag and that all-American bag look absolutely fabulous (and normally, I’m not even that much of a bag person!!) I’ll have to remember this Sephora bag next time someone asks me what I want for a birthday or Christmas! Happy Holidays to you 🙂

    1. Yes, that Sephora bag is so handy. I really need to retire my current one and get this version. It’s been thousands of miles and has been great, but is starting to look a bit weary. I’d love the All-American bag. It’s perfect for a quick trip, I think.

  3. You, my darlin’, have exquisite taste.

    I think 2015 is the year I’m gonna learn another language, so Rosetta Stone here I come. 🙂

  4. Wow, your travel budget is clearly quite different to mine! $7 per day for wifi?? Are you kidding? Get a pay as you go SIM card – its much cheaper and you can use it for calls too. And I don’t fancy the chances of the wine getting home in one piece if you check it in – I’ve had 2 sturdy suitcases ruined recently, bottles are never going to survive the experience are they? I do agree that the mini iPd is a great travel companion though, and great for playing videos on those long plane trips!

    1. How is a SIM card going to help connect your computer to the Internet? If you have a family of four, it works out to less than $2 per day per person for Internet. And if you’re staying at a hotel that charges even $10 per day for Internet, you’re still ahead of the game. Also, most people from the USA do not have an unlocked smart phone, meaning they can’t just pop in a SIM card. It depends on your Internet needs as to whether this is a good deal for you.

  5. I hope my folks see this list… 😉 I’m a sucker for candles and good toiletry bags, but that wine bag?! Yes, please!

  6. I was just looking at iPads last night. Couldn’t decide on what size. Also not sure yet if it’s definitely a purchase we want to make since we can only see really needing it for travel. Yes, we travel a lot, but it would end up being handed over to our son to entertain him. And that’s what that new Nintendo DS under the Christmas tree is for.

    1. I’m dying for an iPad or an iPhone 6, which are not essential to my existence. However, it would make my bag a bit less bulky. I hope your kid doesn’t read my site, since you outed his gift. 😉

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