Holiday Gifts for Travelers – 2022
Another year, another gift guide! In case you’re new here, I’ll start with the important stuff. We don’t buy a lot, as we prefer to invest in travel and experiences. This gift guide is my way of highlighting the brands I love and the cool things I’ve discovered this year that other travelers could use. I always mention some of the best cookbooks we’ve found recently, because we’re big foodies and my wife is constantly finding new cookbooks.
Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means I earn a few bucks if you click on them and buy something, but most of the links are not. No one has paid to be on this list.
Some of these things aren’t items to pack, but they’re good to keep in mind when planning your next trip. Most if you can put under the tree. And if I link to Amazon, it’s because it’s the easiest place to get something. I don’t like Amazon. If you can support your local independent stores instead, do so.
I bought my first minal backpacks through Kickstarter many years ago and this year upgraded to their Carry-on 3.0 and Daily 3.0. They are both excellent – just different sizes for different trips. When I go on a trip without one of their bags, I like Swiss the last month I took a hiking bag instead, I regret it. I have never felt so disorganized while traveling! I have no financial interest in Minaal, but I will sing their praises forever.
OluKai Shoes and Sandals
Also, I love Olu Kai. If they were listed on the stock exchange, I would buy shares! Last year, I traveled almost exclusively with OluKai – the only exception being my hiking boots. All of their shoes are great, but the four I spend the most time in are:
- Ohana sandals. My California slip-on shoes that I keep on every door in our house (I have lots of pairs).
- Lae’ahi Li ‘Ili. Beautiful and extremely comfortable everyday shoes. I have them in white and fox.
- Nānā Hele Wai’apo. Waterproof and aesthetic boots for conferences when it can rain! I also have the normal Nānā Hele but I hesitate to get them wet.
- Mahana slippers. I have three different OluKai slippers and I like these the best. Warm and cozy after a day of walking.
We love chocolate and are always on the lookout for different chocolates to try from around the world. We do this while traveling of course, and I’ve written in the past how much we love Amedei And Dandelionand this year we started trying different things from Bar and Cocoa and then order more of what we like (so far Maraná and Definite are our favorites we’ve discovered there). Buy bundles! And comment below with your favorites – especially if you’re also a fan of dark chocolate.
Unbound Merino is still my favorite clothing company! They’re the only shirts I take when I travel, and I wear them when I’m home too. And my wife and my daughters are fans of their women’s line. I’ve had so many comments from people who discovered them through me and love their clothes, so there’s very little chance you won’t like what you order! The only negative: they don’t make a lot of items, so they tend to sell out quickly.
Buy here. And you can use my code TRAVELBABBO at checkout to save 10% on your first order.
A Gelato A Day and Kinfolk Islands
I like these two books because they move away from stereotypes. Kinfolk Islands showcases the islands of the world, but opts for Socotra, Ponza and Zanzibar over Hawaii, Mykonos and Bora Bora. After feeling exhausted from island travel after visiting very over-touristy Santorini and Mykonos last summer, this book has given me confidence in island destinations! And A Gelato A Day does the same for family trips. It tells the real family travel stories that exist but are often glossed over in favor of cute family travel blogs (where every trip is perfect) and cute Instagram posts (where every destination is perfect). Expertly edited by Claudia Laroye.
Simr Phone Holders
I know everyone has their favorite phone holder. This is mine – from Simr. I found it through a A wandering girl Instagram story and I’ve been using it regularly ever since – on my desk and while traveling. It’s heavy but works well for holding my phone regardless of the seat configuration in front of me, and it doubles as a tripod when I need to film something.
I got mine from Amazon – the link below.
A Duration Health antibiotic kit
So it’s one of those things that isn’t really a holiday gift, but more of a perfect thing to get yourself before your next trip. I have included the antibiotic/medication kit in my Packing List for Adventure Travelsince we always travel with it, and Health Duration contacted me with a discount code to pass on to readers. Just use code BABBO22 to save $100 through December 31, 2022.
All Better Co Don’t Scratch That Pens and Patches
One more in the “don’t pack it, but take it on your next vacation in case you need it” category. My 12 year old daughter is a magnet for mosquitoes and other biting things. The pens and relief patches of Everything Better Co are the first things that really worked for itch relief. We are refueling before our next trip.
Just spent a week in Napa and tried so many wines at wineries and tasting rooms and was very impressed with Napa Valley Housley. These are the wines I would create if I had a cellar – very good but not expensive. I tasted half a dozen wines in the tasting room, ordered a mixed case as soon as I got home, then immediately ordered another case. If you want tasty Christmas wines that will impress people, but won’t destroy your holiday budget, Housley is a good option. Not an affiliate link!
Every year I ask my wife which cookbooks she enjoyed the most last year, and every year I include them! This year she mentioned The Bread Book (yes, even after Covid she still cooks a lot) and The Latin American Cookbook and Tu Casa Mi Casa as she delved deeper into authentic/local foods from Mexico and Central and America from South. All are highly recommended.
Buy The Latin American Cookbook here
What are the best travel-related things you’ve found this year? Please comment below!