Holiday shopping is hard. You want to be thoughtful and to get the ones you love something they’ll treasure; something they’ll actually use — but you also don’t want it to take, like, forever. You’re busy!
Well if you’re lucky enough to have travel and adventure enthusiasts on your list this year, we’re about to make your life a whole lot easier: just get them literally anything from our holiday gift guide for travelers and adventurers below and you’ll be their new favorite person (you can you can peruse last year’s guide too). Here, you’ll find tons of gift ideas in all shapes, sizes and prices, and for all kinds of travelers.
Look fam, I only get a handful of entries in this guide and Trevor gets roughly 5,000, so I’ve got to make all of mine count. For my first pick, I’ve chosen a $1500 skateboard. This board is also the answer for “Steve Bramucci Final Jeopardy” with the question being: “What mode of transport is Steve Bramucci the most willing to spend silly amounts of money on?”
Hopefully you can figure out how this works right away because you’re a brilliant autodidact. It’s electric and remote controlled and it zips you through traffic so smoothly you’d think Biff and his gang were on your heels. As someone who brings a skateboard on every trip, I can tell you that it’s a little too heavy to just casually lug on a plane, but it’s an absolute joy to have on road trips. I packed mine on a camping trip to NorCal and whizzed all over the place. It was perfect for runs to the camp store and for bombing those long stretches of roads in the Redwoods.
The Boosted 2 is best for flat places or gradual declines — though small inclines are no problem. Commuting in Manhattan would be a dream; San Francisco, not so much. Before we get to the comments, yes, I know this thing is expensive. But so is a year of Ubering everywhere while you could be ripping around on an electric skateboard that feels like riding a real-life magic carpet. I vote for the board. -SB
A. Polaroid Pop – Everyone loves a Polaroid photo. But everyone also loves Instagram. The Polaroid Pop — a camera that’s sure to spice up the way you take travel photos — fuses classic Polaroid style with digital flare. Take a photo, and using the touch screen, add text, stickers, drawings, filters, and *then* print it (meaning no more duds).
Connect it via bluetooth to your phone and you can also use the Pop to print photos from your Camera Roll. Check it out in this video.
B. Miggo Pictar One – Using an iPhone as your primary travel camera, while convenient, can sometimes be challenging. It’s thin, delicate, and easy to fumble. Sometimes it’s just nicer to take photos with something more substantial, like a real camera. For the best of both worlds, check out Pictar One, an iPhone attachment which brings DSLR-esque features and functionality to mobile photography. Watch this video to learn all about it.
C. Rylo – Rylo is unlike any camera you’ve seen and is poised to change the game when it comes to shooting travel and adventure video. Made by a team of ex-Instagram and Apple employees, Rylo’s real wow-factor comes in its ability to easily capture incredibly smooth and cinematic video thanks to its breakthrough stabilization technology. But, as if that wasn’t enough, it can also shoot 360 degree video, has a waterproof housing, and offers a variety of mounting options. Watch out GoPro. Check out this video to see Rylo in action.
This is an “ultra wide” angle lens and they pride themselves on helping you fit more drunk friends into your selfies, but I found that the best perk of the camera was being able to have this versatile little disk that operated remotely of my phone.
Having a lens angle this wide is one of those things that every hack photog like me wants, until they see the price for a DSLR with a macro lens or a fisheye. In truth, all we want is the chance to play around a little, and that’s what this camera is best at. It’s a toy — with an app and the chance to modify and edit your photos specifically for the ‘gram. Want to level up your phone’s camera without taking on a camera body to lug around? This is a win. — SB
A. Grafomap (Custom Map Posters) – Super simple to use, Grafomap allows you to create gorgeous, custom map posters of any destination in the world. Just type in a location, zoom in or out as you please, and select a design from a variety of cool and colorful styles. It’s a great gift to commemorate a trip to a favorite city, show your hometown pride, or simply add a bit of international flare to your living space
B. Wall Hangings from Easy Tiger – These fun wall hangings, among them, this World Map Print and Routed USA Corkboard Map (which comes in two sizes) will make perfect additions to the homes of travel lovers. And if you go for the corkboard, pick up a set of their colorful Location Map Tacks too.
Canvas Pop – From putting your photos on magnets and pillows, to canvas prints and framed photos in all shapes and sizes, CanvasPop makes it easy turn your travel photos into physical keepsakes that you can display with pride. If you won’t be using your best travel photos to design a gift for your own home, CanvasPop offers gift cards that any traveler would love to receive.
A. Mixbook – It’s time you got your travel photos out of your phone or iPhoto (where they’re just collecting digital dust) and into a photo book where you, loved ones, and friends can actually enjoy them. Mixbook makes it easy to design professional-quality books to commemorate your travels — the perfect way to showcase all of your best snaps IRL. Our suggestion: make one for your significant other that highlights one or all of your trips together. #Couplegoals.
B. Framafoto – Framafoto allows you to create framed photos entirely on your mobile device, using a sleek app. Just select a travel photo from your camera roll, followed by a frame from their huge variety of modern styles and layouts, and voilà, you’ve got yourself a gift any travel lover will love.
Use the promo code “UPROXX” and get 15% off – Get Started Here for $39.99
Atlas Coffee Club – Know a traveler who also loves coffee? Of course you do. With Atlas, you can buy them single bags of coffee from global destinations like Indonesia and Ethiopia, or sign them up for Atlas’ monthly subscription service to have coffee from a different country delivered on the regular. Plus with the ability to select the amount of coffee you’d like, your roast preferences, whether your want whole beans or ground, and how frequently you’d like it delivered, there’s an option for everyone.
Buy It Here (Prices vary)
A. Shackleton Scotch Whisky – In 1907, Sir Ernest Shakleton set out on an expedition to Antartica with, among other things, 25 cases of Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt Whisky. Shackleton later left three of those cases full of whisky buried at his Antarctic camp. In 2007 when the crates were finally unearthed, a limited edition blend was created by Master Distiller Richard Paterson to honor and match the flavors found in Shackleton’s century-old bottles. Now, that blend is available to the masses in the form of Mackinlay’s Shackleton Scotch Whisky. Needless to say, it’s the perfect gift for any adventure-loving whisky drinker.
Plus, with the bottle’s travel-inspired design, the recipient will want to keep it out on full display.
Buy It Here (Prices vary)
B. Etched Globe Whiskey Glasses by Wine Enthusiast – Sure you can drink Shackleton Whisky out of any glass you’d like, but you should probably drink it out of these. Because obviously.
C. I Love Micheladas – While you can’t always be traveling, you can at least drink like you’re on vacation — in this case, a Mexican beach vacation. To set the scene, whip up a michelada, a Mexican drink that combines beer and lime juice with assorted sauces, spices and peppers. To make a delicious one quickly and easily, pick up this “I Love Micheladas” mix, made by James Beard Award winning restaurant, Guelaguetza, in Los Angeles. Gift it with a case of beer — and if you’re feeling extra generous, two tickets to Cabo San Lucas.
BOOKS & ODDITIES
Books are a perfect gift for the general travel enthusiast. Lonely Planet has plenty to choose from, but two of their newest and most exciting include Marvels Of The World: 360 Places You Never Knew Existed and How To Find Them, a guide to the weirdest and “most wonderful” sights in the world, and The Place To Be, a guide to the best places to connect with your emotions (each chapter explores a single emotion or feeling and the best the best places in the world to experience it).
For more on the world’s oddities, pick up a copy of Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide To The World’s Hidden Wonders. Detailing over 700 weird, unexpected, overlooked, hidden, mysterious, strange, and curious places around the world, it’s an offbeat adventurer’s bible.
If you’d rather write, plot and map your own adventure, pick up the Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Journal, a sturdy journal with a mix of lined and grid paper.
As long as we’re on the Atlas Obscura train, I really like their desk calendar. I’ve never had a desk calendar before, they always seemed impossibly adult. But if I’m going to have one, I want it to tell me about bottomless swimming holes and caves filled with skulls. — SB
23andMe – While you might have a general idea of where your ancestors come from, you’d be surprised by how much you don’t know — and finding out can be a catalyst to take a trip you otherwise may have never dreamed of (like these people did).
With 23andMe’s at-home Ancestry DNA kit, you’ll get your Ancestry Composition, detailing where in the world you hail from, along with a variety of other fun and interesting results, like how much Neanderthal DNA you inherited. If you want to find out even more, including health information, opt for their Health + Ancestry kit.
A. Calm (The Gift Of Mindfulness Meditation & Sleep) – Traveling can be stressful. Learn to maintain your chill with Calm, a mindfulness meditation and sleep app that’ll help you not only get through the busy holiday travel season with your sanity in tact, but also life. With their holiday gift box, you’ll get a one-year Calm subscription (unlocking the app’s entire suite of guided meditations and SleepStories, which are great for quelling travel anxiety), Calm’s book on mindfulness (important to study since so many people tend to loose their minds at airports), and Calm’s own Sleep Mist (a blend of lavender, frankincense, chamomile and sage essential oils that’s perfect for spritzing on your travel pillow).
Trust us, it’ll change your life.
B. Dao Labs Immunity Support – It’s a well known fact that airplanes can be an petri dish of germs and that traveling in general can wear you down. That’s why it’s important to aid your immune system however you can while in transit. One way to do it, and a much welcomed alternative to vitamin C powders, is with Dao Lab’s Immunity Support. This effervescent powder contains no artificial flavors or GMOs and is packed and tested in the USA. Their Immunity Support mix features a tasty combination of pear and ginger — a popular formula across Asia for immunity support.
C. Philips GoLite Blu – This portable energy light, with a rechargeable battery that’ll last for hours, mimics the natural energizing power of daylight to fight fatigue caused by factors such as changing time zones and jet lag. It’s clinically proven to elevate mood and energy levels, and one method to help you stay on your toes after traveling long distances.
SkyHour – SkyHour is sort of like the Venmo of air travel. Using SkyHour, you can give or receive monetary contributions in the form of skyhours (1 skyhour costs $60). Accumulate hours (ex. 4 skyhours = $240) and use them to book flights on over 350 airlines via the SkyHour app or website. It’s remarkably innovative, intuitive, and the easiest way to help a traveler afford a ticket to their dream destination (watch their video to learn all about it).
Of note: Skyhour is backed by JetBlue Ventures, the airline’s venture capital division.
A. Sondre Voyage Pillow – When it comes to travel pillows there are some crazy options out there. And has anyone ever really slept well on a traditional, inflatable, travel pillow? We haven’t. That’s why the Sondre Voyage Pillow, with its simple, ingenious, and compact design is such a breath of fresh air. To see all the ways it functions, watch their video.
B. The Air Hook – Tray tables are annoying (and also full of germs). They get in the way and make it difficult when those sitting in the middle or aisle seats need to get up. One little way to make flying better: The Air Hook. This nifty little device will hold your phone or tablet at eye level for easy viewing and provide a convenient place to put your drink. It’s also sure to turn some heads and result in a few, “I need to get one of those” comments from your seat-mates.
A. Thule Subterra Collection Luggage – It’s possible you know Thule for their car rooftop cargo carriers — now it’s time to get to know them for their equally trustworthy and well-built luggage. For travelers headed on longer trips, or on trips with bulky gear, like a ski trip, opt for the Subterra 70cm/28″. For short hauls or lighter needs, the Subterra Carry-On 55cm/22″ also pairs great design and function in a smaller package. (Starting at $279.95) –
B. Yeti Panga – If you know an adventure addict prone to getting wet on their travels, look no further than the Yeti Panga. Tough as nails and available in three sizes, this is the ultimate, air-tight, fully submersible, waterproof pack.
C. All Of Us Drifter Travel Pack Messenger Bag– Designed and developed in collaboration with Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern, this pack has it all. Travelers will love the several, thoughtful pockets and organization compartments, as well as the ability to carry it like a backpack, a messenger bag, or to slide it on top of a wheeled suitcase.
Good to know: 10% of All Of Us sales are donated to the International Rescue Committee.
For The Dapper Traveler
A.Filson Rugged Suede Medium Duffle – This is a major splurge, but it’s also a once in a lifetime purchase. Once you own it, you own it. Your duffle-buying days are over. Plus, like other fine leather goods, this bag grows and evolves with wear. In fact, you can hand it down to your favorite grandkid and they’ll be able to use it for years. Basically, it’s your lifelong partner in Indiana Jonesing.
B & C. Filson Luggage Tag and Passport and Card Holder Whether gifted individually, as a pair, or self-bundled with item D below (to create the ultimate leather travel accessories gift bag), these items are sure to impress even the most stylish travelers. If you can’t afford the fancy bag, these two are much more manageable.
D. Shinola Medium Journal/Mini iPad Cover – This beautiful leather case (available in three colors) is sure to make the traveler on your list look and feel like a first class flyer, no matter which cabin they’re assigned to. Inside, the interior slide pockets can house an iPad mini and one of Shinola’s medium journals (sold separately). Plus, the five additional card pockets make it easy to keep travel documents organized.
E. Conair Turbo ExtremeSteam – Traveling and wrinkled clothes go hand in hand. Hotel irons (which are almost never cleaned) are well known to ruin clothes with rusty water and sending your clothes to be pressed through a hotel’s laundry service can be really expensive. The fix? Traveling with a portable steamer. Whether you’re traveling with formal clothes like a suit or dress, or simply don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed, having a steamer will come in super handy. Plus, the ExtremeSteam’s powerful steam can help remove odors, bedbugs and dust mites from clothes.
AUDIO / HEADPHONES
A. Jabra Elite Sport – Make one wrong move while wearing corded headphones (i.e. picking up your bag or turning in a camped airplane seat) and you’ll catch the cord and yank the buds from your ears.
The fix? Go wireless with bluetooth headphones (trust us, it’s only once you make the switch to bluetooth headphones that you’ll realize just how restrictive and annoying corded headphones actually are, especially while traveling). To experience this wireless freedom to the fullest, opt for the Jabra Elite Sport, 100% wireless earbuds. Not only will they fit snuggly and stay in place, they’re waterproof, sweat-proof, feature noise cancelling technology, and a 13.5 hour battery life (and thanks to the integrated microphone, you can even take calls while wearing them).
B. Altec Lansing Sport In-Ear Earphones – For a budget friendly option, consider Altec Lansing’s Sport In-Ear Earphones. They’re bluetooth enabled (the wire connects the two earbuds and goes around the back of the wearer’s neck), sweat-proof, waterproof, come with three different ear tip sizes for a custom fit, and offer six hours of play-time per charge.
C. SleepPhones – It’s hard enough to sleep on a plane as it is — and sleeping with your head turned to the side can be uncomfortable while wearing large headphones. To remedy this problem, check out SleepPhones, flat headphones placed inside a cozy headband that has been designed specifically to be worn while sleeping. Available in corded and Bluetooth wireless versions.
I have surfer’s ear — a condition where your ear canals create cartilage to make themselves impervious to salt water coming in. Cool mutation, body!
Except now saltwater gets stuck in there and I have unbalanced hearing (pro surfers have to get their ears drilled every ten years or so). Point being, an earphone that wants to customize itself to my hearing and accommodate my quirks is a sweet spot for me. Especially since I literally live in earphones, all day, every day. Before I could even use the H2, I ran through a levels test and calibrated them to my specific tastes. That’s the future friends, and I’m living in it.
These are now my absolute go-to. I love the sound quality, the price, and the faux wood look. They’re also wireless yet wire-able, for fools like me who forget to recharge. –SB
A. SkyRoam Solis (Global WiFi + Power Bank) – A simple solution to staying connected while abroad, the SkyRoam Solis is a 4G LTE global WiFi hotspot and 6000 mAh power bank in one. This handy device allows travelers to pay for mobile internet access one day at a time, as they need it, with SkyRoam Daypasses. That means no more having to buy a new local sim card in every destination. Plus, with the ability to connect up to 5 devices at once, you’ll be able to share WiFi with your travel buddies both old and new. Check out this video to learn more.
B. Omni Charge Omni 20 – There plenty of mobile power banks out there, but few have the Omni20’s huge 20,400 mAh capacity and a standard electrical socket with a 100 watt output power that allows travelers to plug in and charge items like a laptop. It also features two USB ports and a barrel port, which means the Omni20 can charge almost any device.
C. Meem (Charging Cable with Built-In Memory Backup) – Available for iOS and Android phones in 32, 64 and 128GB capacities, Meem pulls double duty, charging your phone like the single-function charging cable you use now, while also automatically backing up your phone’s memory every time it’s plugged in. The means whenever you charge your phone, your phone’s data, including the amazing travel photos and videos you’ve been taking all vacation long, will be safe and sound. So, if your phone is broken, stolen or lost while adventuring, all of your travel memories won’t be lost with it. Check out this video to learn more.
D. WeBoost Drive Sleek (Cell Phone Signal Booster) – If you know an avid road tripper or camper prone to finding themselves in off-the-beaten path places with limited cell phone service, check out the WeBoost Drive Sleek. It can improve 4G LTE and 3G cellular signals by up to 32x, which means better call quality, fewer dead zones, and faster data speeds while on the road. Check out this video to learn more.
A. Lyft Gift Cards – It’s a simple and undisputed fact: travelers love Lyft credit (especially when it’ll get them a ride to the airport, back to their hotel after a night out, or across town to a museum). Seriously, when in doubt this holiday season, get them a Lyft gift card. You can send credit through an eCard via Lyft’s website or purchase a digital or physical Lyft gift card on Amazon (the latter being a nice idea if you physically want to stuff their stocking with it).
And travelers, listen up: Did you know when you link your Delta SkyMiles account to your Lyft account, you’ll earn one mile for every dollar spent on Lyft. It’s true and it’s awesome.
B. Comrad Compression Socks – Compression socks have long been used by travelers while traveling for their many reported benefits: increasing circulation, preventing swelling, relieving fatigued legs and improving muscle recovery after exercise). These socks from Comrad do just that, and unlike most other compression socks, they do it with style.
C. Lady Jayne Vaycay Mode Passport Cover – A fun and colorful passport holder (the inside is a pink and blue palm tree print) perfect for colorful travelers ready to enter vacation mode.
D. Burst Toothbrush – Instead of stuffing their stocking with candy this year, surprise them with a Burst, a sonic toothbrush that, after just a one-hour charge, will run for four weeks! And in packs down into a compact carrying case. Finally, you can travel with a good toothbrush instead of the grimy plastic one your keep in your travel toiletry kit.
E. Yeti Rambler 20z – Yeti’s insulated Ramblers are hands down the best on the market. They are tough, they are built to last, and they will keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot for hours. It’s the perfect gift for the road-tripper on your list.
WEARABLES & OUTDOOR GEAR
A. Eddie Bauer First Ascent Telemetry Freeride Jacket and Pants – For any winter-loving adventurer bound to find themselves on a ski hill this season or forging new paths in the backcountry, gear from Eddie Bauer First Ascent is the gold standard. Their pinnacle winter items, the Telemetry Jacket and Pants, were designed by professional freeskiers and are packed full of thoughtful and quality-constructed features that’ll keep you comfortable on the mountain.
B. Solomon X Pro 120 – One of the best reviewed ski boots, period, the Solomon X Pro 120 are all-mountain boots for advanced and expert skiers. Their heat moldable shell and liner mean these boots can be custom shaped at your local ski shop to be even more comfortable than they are straight out of the box. For those looking for the best-of-the-best, and willing to pay best-of-the-best prices, these are your boots.
C. Fjallraven Polar Guide Parka – Try finding a parka that rivals Fjallraven’s Polar Guide Parka in both style and warmth and you’ll likely come up empty handed. Actual polar guides and dog mushers helped design this coat — so yeah, again, it’s warm — and it’s well-suited for everyday outdoor wear in cold conditions or to be brought along by travelers headed somewhere chilly this winter, like Iceland.
Buy It Here for $60
I rep hard for these shorts because they’re what I’m wearing in this cool-ass photo. Also because Volcom is aces at mastering the balance between stretch, look, performance, and durability.
Reasons I’ve ditched boardies:
- Looked cool but the fit was constrictive and put pressure on the seam when I surfed.
- Didn’t hold up while traveling.
- Didn’t look cool enough to flip-flop around town in.
- Seemed too sporty — as if I thought I was in a contest.
Volcom is my sweet spot. They look good, they stretch, they feel athletic, and they hold up. Perfect for travel — a time when a boardshort is also a “sport short”, “dinner short”, “sleep short” and “workout short.” — SB
Like the Boost board, Kammok was a smash on Kickstarter. The vibe was perfect: A Bunch of super pals in Austin, trying to make a functional, durable, lightweight product with a ton of intuitive design elements.
Guess what? They smashed it. This is a smart, cozy, easy-to-enjoy blanket. I wore mine like a cape for 90% of the aforementioned Redwoods trip. It’s perfect for by the fire, foggy breakfasts, and picnics. I am mega-stoked on this one. –SB
Somewhere along the line, it just became common knowledge that Stance has the best socks on earth. Sure, they’re cool, with Easy E, R2D2, and Barb from Stranger Things all making appearances, but it’s the quality — the durability, the compression, the feel, and the cut that make these awesome.
I’ve got Biggie, the Portland Trailblazers, and C3Po on my ankles, who you pick is up to you.
Sidebar: Based around the same principle of “cool printed undergarments that fit well and last” I am high key in love with the Stance boxers. Seriously. They’re a little pricey, but hot damn your junk will feel nice! –SB
There are only two earthly reasons to own compression pants: 1) you look/ feel great in them, and 2) they are functional for you. I have mine for the latter reason. Compression pants (tights?) make me feel like my jangly knees and wonky ankles won’t literally slide out of my body while I run — an activity I really like on the road.
The 2XU pants are reflective, supportive, and don’t make me feel like I’m trying too hard to look like I still have NBA dreams. Straightforward and basic in the best way. Also, durable AF — which I need. Because though I’m ready to be a “compression pants” guy, I’m not ready to be “two pairs of compression pants” guy, not by a long shot. –SB
Ably markets their clothes as “repels liquids, stains, and odors” — which is pretty much my #brand when it comes to clothes. My garments are habitually wet, stained, and smelly.
I like this sweatshirt for the fit, the double taped zippers and pockets, and the durability. Those are the things I need in clothing: Looks good but let’s me beat the hell out of it. — SB
Happy Holidays + Happy Travels!