Have a gal pal or relative who loves to travel on your holiday shopping list? Get her a gift that helps her along her journey.
While gift guides might feature items that seem out of your price range or too high tech or fancy, there are tried and true gifts that can suit any female traveler. They’re even safe bets if you don’t know where she’s heading next. As a help, I put together a number of gift ideas involving general products that can be bought through multiple vendors and easy to find in-store or online. Here are eight recommendations to get you started.
Portable battery chargers
A traveler’s phone is her personal assistant, her Gal Friday. It’s her go-to for getting directions, picture taking, private messaging, calendar scheduling, or acting an overall point of contact. And the more she uses her phone, the more the battery decreases. Plus, finding an accessible plug can sometimes be a journey in itself. So, it’s a godsend to have a readily charger on hand to plug in your phone and keep on going.
File hosting services/external hard drives
Back again to our phones, travelers often like to take photos, but eventually they run out of space. Or even the memory card on our digital camera has its limits. Thanks to online storage sites like Dropbox, users can file their pictures away and avoid having to delete them. Basic level accounts are free (I know so for Dropbox) but if you need more space, you have to pay. So having a paid subscription can be a load off your traveler’s mind. If your gift recipient is a bit tech savvy, an external hard drive is also a good way to have your friend’s back when she’s backing up her photos (forgive the bad humor).
Outside of the United States, electrical outlets take on a different meaning. Particularly in how they’re fitted. If you don’t know already, voltage overseas can vary. So, unless you/your traveling friend already knows this, plugs that can be easily fit into a wall socket here might not do so in Europe, Asia, or the South Pacific. The solution: outlet adapters. A decade ago, I bought a multi-pack of adapters from TravelSmart that still works well. I just take out which one(s) I would need for my destination.
Gift cards at major retailers
Yes, gift cards can seem kind of lame, but they are a big help in providing funds for what a traveler needs or wants. And you’ll know it’s one gift that’s not going to waste. Outdoorsy girls might shop at REI or Patagonia, so perhaps she can get some new gear. If she’s always picking up a guidebook or loves reading travel memoirs, Barnes & Noble or Amazon is a sure thing. And if beauty buys are essential, Sephora has a nice selection of travel-sized products.
Travelers like to keep up with what’s going on the world. So buy them a yearlong subscription to their favorite publication or perhaps one they might enjoy reading. While print has gotten some hard knocks, a number of travel magazines – AFAR, Lonely Planet, Conde Nast, Travel & Leisure, and Food & Wine – are still rolling off the presses. Publications are also building up their online presence, so a web subscription (think The New York Times or Boston Globe) could come in handy. Even periodicals like Food & Wine and Bon Appetit are delving more into travel-related topics.
Of course, a traveler’s parents will worry about her safety. So give her a token that will give you – and her – piece of mind. In terms of availability and selection, the market in anti-theft products is definitely on the rise. For starters, you can find pickpocket proof clothing, security padlocks and bags that can be worn across your front. Ask her what might like most (you might find a money belt to be helpful; she may not) and then go with her decision. Try PacSafe for bags and Clothing Arts or The Clever Travel Companion for garments.
Her favorite (and TSA friendly) snacks
Buying food at the airport is expensive (we’re talking $4 for a yogurt). And now, we’re feeling additional wallet pain on board our flights, as included meals are changing over to ones we have to pay for! However, we can still bring a few pre-packaged snacks — even through airport security — to tie us over. If your friend is a fan of nutrition bars, perhaps get her a box or two of her faves to munch on. Candy is cool too. And a bag of specialty pretzels or chips will go quickly.
We ladies know that during certain times of month we have to prepare for a special visitor. Our choice of products in this area has become quite “advanced,” so to speak. They’re definitely beyond what you’ll find in the drugstore aisle. Aside from traditional pads and tampon packs, what’s trending (and working) are menstrual cups and period-centered undergarments like THINK and PantyProp. Though I have to admit that this kind of gift is probably best exchanged between serious BFs.
Let us know what you’re giving to the travelers in your life.