Do you love to travel as much as I do? The lure of exploring a new city, trying new foods, photographing new streets and people…everything about traveling makes me feel alive! Even if I’m not currently traveling, I am always researching places to go, restaurants to try, shops to visit, a great new hotel to try, street art to photograph…you name it, I am a travel fanatic.
Chances are, you are a traveler too. Even if it’s a yearly trip to grandma’s house or a spring break stay-cation, these days most of us are on the move. With the holiday season in full swing, I thought I would share many of my tried and true travel tested favorites, and some great gift ideas for the dreamer and traveler in your life. If you know someone with a serious case of wanderlust, these gifts are sure to be a hit for the holidays, birthdays or any day.
These bags are our go-to rolling duffel bags. We take them EVERYWHERE. They have literally travelled the world with us for months at a time in and out of airports, on and off trains, subways, busses, ubers, taxis, you name it…they have been through it all and still look like they are basically brand new. They are true workhorses. I love that you can open the top of the bag and reach a few things without having to open your entire bag. They hold a TON of stuff too. We packed one of these per person for each of us for our 3 months in Europe and fit everything we needed into them…and we changed climates from 110 degrees in Rome to 40 degrees in Zermatt at the Matterhorn. We had to pack everything from heavy coats to swimsuits and it all fit. If you need a hard case, I have one very similar to these 28″ hardcases (I packed this for me to take to Europe as we needed one hard case). It is incredibly lightweight on it’s own, allowing you to pack even more stuff and not go over the 50 lb weight limit imposed by most airlines. (click on any affiliate image for more information)
Travel Gear for Exploring
Unfortunately, as tourists, we are much more vulnerable to petty thieves and crime. Before we left for Europe, I read about the types of crimes that travelers are most likely to fall victim to, and I invested in several pieces that helped us keep total peace of mind while traveling and kept everything protected. It was SO nice to not have to be as concerned about things, knowing I had taken the necessary precautions to stay safe. I HIGHLY recommend most anything that Pac-Safe makes. As matter of fact, after traveling through Europe, New York City and New Orleans with them now, we carry most of these things even when we head to LA for the day or on other similar day trips. I bought John this backpackand it is FABULOUS! It looks great, has RFID protection for credit cards and passports in the top pocket, has zippers that lock so they can’t be easily unzipped without you knowing about it, and steel netting and threads that run through the shoulder straps and around the bag. Bag slashing is a big thing, as is having the straps of your backpacks cut while you are wearing them so they fall off of your pack and theives can grab them. With the steel running through the bags, this is prevented from happening. They RFID protection keeps electronic theft from happening with your chip credit cards and passports. Those are the same reasons that I bought this camera bag and this purse. The camera bag is great for all of my gear with plenty of compartments to hold everything I need securely, and the purse holds everything and is very lightweight. Both have the same steel and RFID protection. Any big city traveler will love these thoughtful, smart gifts!
Here are a few more Pac Safe favorites. Click on any image for more information. Affiliate links provided for your convenience.
Cameras for Exploring
I get comments/questions all the time on my instagram feed. Questions about how I get my pictures to look the way they do, how I have such good lighting when I’m out and about…well, here’s my secret. This camera, is my new favorite “take it everywhere with me” camera and it is SO fun. Back in May John and I took a trip to NYC for a few days. The thought of lugging my big camera around all over was not sounding fun to me at ALL. But, the thought of not being able to take amazing pictures was worse. 😉 I started researching smaller cameras and found this little gem. It has a large LCD screen, interchangeable lenses and gives me the ability to take amazing high quality pictures, and it’s tiny and light weight. The coolest part? It talks to my smart phone and lets me transfer pictures wirelessly from the camera to my phone for instant instagram uploading! I know that lots of bigger cameras will do the same, but I love that this one fits in my purse and has all of the fancy capabilities of my big camera. It will never replace my big Nikon, but if you are in the market for something that you can carry around with you while traveling, stick in your purse, and takes amazing pictures…this is the camera for you! You all know I’m a sucker for low aperture/bokeh or “the blur” in my photos. So, I have an additional lens to go with it. This lens is the best equivalent of the 50mm f 1.8 lens that you may have for your big camera. If you love your 50mm, then you will love this lens too. Any traveler will LOVE this camera!
I love travel guides. Without even going anywhere, they are able to transport you to places around the world, teach you about the history and culture of a city or country, get you excited about the food, the sights and people you will meet one you’re there. Rick Steves is the best of the best if you are heading to Europe. After purchasing several different brands of books, we ended up using these travel bibles throughout our trip. They are full of great tips and experiences that we wouldn’t have otherwise known about. (click on any image for more info) These are the best travel books around.
I purchased these Not For Parents books for our kids and they were great! They were fun for them to read and it was great that they were able to chime in with interesting facts about places we visited.
I always like to buy a travel guide for my own city, and they are great gifts to give to encourage other people to explore their own cities. It’s a great way to find new experiences and places to explore right where you live. They make great gifts for travel enthusiasts or anyone!
I hope you are feeling inspired by these suggestions and will find something helpful here to buy for your favorite travel enthusiast.
Can I recommend one more thing? If you are not currently an Amazon Prime Member NOW IS THE TIME TO TRY IT!! You can test it out for 30 days! You can have all of your Christmas gifts shipped around the country in 2 days, listen to unlimited streaming music and watch thousands of streaming TV shows and Movies this holiday season!! It is SOOOOO one of my favorite things. You can sign up for the trial here…but be sure to get it now so you can really get the most bang for your buck over the holiday season!
Or, if you want to really impress someone…for $99 you can give the gift of Amazon Prime for a year for only $99. I seriously save a fortune just on shipping costs every year with this membership…not to mention all the movies, TV and music I get for free…oh, and kindle books! It is SO awesome and makes SUCH a great gift! You can get a gift subscription (or one for yourself 😉 ) here:
Happy gift giving!