10 Holiday Gifts for Globetrotters
Budding and expert travellers alike will delight in these thoughtful gifts, just in time for the holiday season.
Travel-Size Skin Care
Travel-size products help you pack lighter and get through airport security, but they also give you a chance to sample skincare ranges before committing to a full-size bottle. The Ren Rediscover Radiance Kit includes an exfoliating cleanser, two serums and a skin-brightening mask, while the Ole Henriksen Seven Skincare Sensations kit includes 15 mL each of SPF 15 moisturizer, walnut-based scrub and three different serums, plus a mini (7 mL) eye gel and 45 mL foaming cleanser.
$70 and $69, respectively, at Sephora.
A Luxe Sleeping Mask
Frequent travellers know that blocking out light is one key to sleeping on planes – and many who use sleeping masks while travelling end up loving them so much, they become a regular part of their bedtime routine. The 40 Blinks Sleep Mask from Bucky is one perennial favourite for its multiple colour choices and molded cups, while the All Natural Sleep Shop on Etsy offers a range of fashionable fabrics and colours in cotton, linen and silk.
A good pair of noise-cancelling earphones will save your ears by blocking outside noise rather than just cranking up the volume, and save your sanity by tuning out airplane hum, loud chatter and other distracting noises. This over-the-ear pair by Audio-Technica cuts environmental noise by 90 percent and comes with a travel-friendly carrying case. Your purchase includes the required two AAA batteries, but an extra pack will be appreciated as part of your gift.
$144 at amazon.com
Travelling means seeing great vistas, meeting interesting people and discovering the world – but it also means delays, lineups and hour upon hour spent sitting in a moving vehicle. Help your favourite traveller make the most of that time by buying them a compact e-reader, preferably pre-loaded with some favourite books. The Kobo Mini has a five-inch screen and weighs just 135g, meaning there’s no excuse not to fit it in your carry-on. It holds up to 1,000 books and the battery lasts up to a month.
$49 from kobo.com
If you’re travelling with a laptop or iPad, compact portable speakers can make rainy-day movie time that much more enjoyable; if you’ve got your mp3 player, they can come in handy to play music or even white noise to help you sleep. This model by Matrix One runs via Bluetooth, has a built-in rechargeable battery and has very reasonable sound quality for its size – just 6x5x6 cm.
$89.99 at futureshop.com
Impromptu swims, getting caught in a downpour… there’s more than one reason a spare towel in your suitcase can come in handy. This version by Packtowel is super lightweight and easy to dry: made of microfibre, it’ll absorb four times its weight in water and then get almost dry once you wring it out. All four sizes (ranging from 25×35 cm to 91×150 cm) are treated with an antimicrobial agent so they won’t get stinky.
$9.75 at MEC
Ziploc Bags and Reusable Containers
Large Ziploc bags come in handy not just for carrying on liquids (does anyone bother with an actual toiletries bag anymore?) but also for travelling with wet clothes or towels or anything at risk of spilling. Pair a box with a variety of food-grade reusable containers to make the perfect practical stocking stuffer: the 14 mL GoTubbs are best for dry items such as pills, vitamins or coins; the 55 mL GoToobs are made of easy-to-wash silicone and perfect for condiments, energy gels or shampoo.
$5.75 and $8.25, respectively, at MEC.
Reef-Safe, Biodegradable Sunscreen
Many ingredients in mainstream sunscreens are harmful to delicate ecosystems such as reefs and lagoons. Wear a shirt if you can while swimming, snorkelling and diving; otherwise, use a biodegradable sunscreen. This SPF 30 version from Goddess Garden comes in an easy-to-use spray and uses mineral ingredients to block UV rays, and makes a great gift for anyone heading to the tropics.
$32.99 at well.ca
While many resorts around the world are installing water purifiers to make the local supply safe to drink, others still rely on bottled water, which has a huge carbon footprint and creates tons of garbage in parts of the world that might not be well equipped to deal with it. Save the hassle by gifting this handy water bottle with built-in UV filter, which removes harmful elements in just 60 seconds. It’ll also help you pack lighter closer to home during summer camping trips.
$102 at MEC
Books of Inspiration
If you know where someone is going, a guidebook (print or digital), map or destination-related novel or movie is an excellent way to help them dig deeper into the trip. Otherwise, there’s always the inspiration-oriented travel book. The new Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2014 offers gorgeous photography alongside listings of the years top countries, regions and cities (our own Vancouver made the cut), plus events guides, offbeat and themed travel ideas and more.
$16.99 at amazon.ca