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With the start of December (seriously where did the year go?!), we’re heading into my favourite time of the year. The Holidays! Yes, with a capital H because I love it that much. Except for the fact that it’s cold. Bleh. But I think I can handle that in favour of snuggling up to a warm fireplace, cups of hot cocoa, skiing and indulging in way too much food.
Hand in hand with this season is that of gift giving. Every year I obsess over the perfect gift for my family and friends, trying to strike a balance between something that they would like and need, but also something they probably wouldn’t buy themselves. It’s a tough line to walk! People always ask me what I would like and I can never think of anything. So as an answer to those questions, and for your favourite travelling friend, I’ve put together a holiday gift guide of items that are currently on my wish list for $50 or less. All items are listed in US Dollar unless otherwise marked. Need more ideas? Here is my gift guide from 2014 full of items I own or have since purchased also all for $50 or less.
On the Road
The most annoying thing about travelling carry-on online is the liquid limits. Thankfully there are products out there that have turned what normally are liquids into solids. I have a lot of hair and the travel size ones never seem to be enough when travelling long term. Enter the shampoo bar. Lush has a large variety of solid shampoo bars available which smell great and get the job done.
My skin typically goes really crazy when I travel. It gets really dry to the point that it starts cracking. I find myself constantly moisturizing, but again, I run into the liquids problem. That’s where body butter from Rocky Mountain Soap Co. comes in. It looks like deodorant but you use it for your skin. Genius! This particular brand is local to Canada and I like how it uses natural ingredients and is toxin free. There are alternatives like this solid lotion bar.
One of the ways I like to pamper myself at home is with a spritz of perfume. Whenever I’m feeling frumpy, unhappy or just not myself, a quick squirt can go a long way in feeling more indulgent. However, when you’re travelling, you can’t carry on a big bottle of perfume so I’ve recently started getting rollerball perfumes. Individual rollerballs vary in price depending on the brand but generally range from $20 – $35. They’re also great if you’re not sure about a particular scent and just want to try it out or just want a variety to choose from depending on your mood. Currently, I’m loving the set above from Marc Jacobs, this set from Giorgio Armani and this one from Ralph Lauren.
Herb Lester guides
I love a well-designed product and I am a secret typography addict. Add in local recommendations and quirky attractions and you get the guides created by Herb Lester Associates. They offer a wide range of guides covering cities in Europe and North America primarily. Beyond their city guides, they have ones specific for food, fashion and bars. You can purchase on their website or their guides are available on Amazon as well.
Previously mentioned, the Chawel is a 5 in 1 travel towel. I love that it turns into your personal change room and dries you off quickly. Since getting one earlier this year, it has become a staple in my bag. I took it with me to Japan, to the beach, to sleepovers at friends house. They’re available on their website as well as on Amazon.
Technology & Gadgets
Eyefi SD card
Many cameras these days come built in with wifi capabilities so you can go from camera to smartphone or computer without any cables. However, for those of us with an older camera (ahem me!) that doesn’t have this capability, the Eyefi SD card does that for you.
As the adage says, the best camera you have is the one with you and for me, that usually means my phone. Sometimes I’m too tired (aka lazy) to pull out my big camera so my phone does the job. Not particularly well – I can definitely tell the difference between my phone and my camera, but maybe with the addition of these lenses the quality of photo can be upped. Individual lenses are $20 or you can get a sampler set for $49. There are also some highly rated sets from Amir or Aukey.
Adobe Creative Cloud Photography
I love my Lightroom for editing my photos post trip. It’s like I get to relive the whole adventure again through my photos. Gift a couple months of the Adobe Photography package to your favourite traveling photographer.
For the Home
Airport code throw pillows
The next time I need to furnish an apartment or need a housewarming gift for a traveling friend, I’m getting some of these pillows. I love how colourful they are and makes me want to travel. The hardest part would be choosing which airport codes to get!
Cities Colouring Book
Adult colouring books seem to be all the rage these days and is tooted as a great way relax. There are so many themes and of course travel is one of them. Fantastic Cities takes armchair traveling to a whole other level. Its pages includes images of Amsterdam, Istanbul and Osaka among others. There is also a postcard set and poster available too. Or if you’re a Paris, Tokyo or New York City lover, there are specific books for them as well.
I love turning my travel photos and memories into a photo scrapbook. It meant a lot of frustrating hours spent using the online designer or Photoshop, but the results are always worth it. After my semester spent studying abroad I turned those adventures into a book from Shutterfly. I made my own book after living in Budapest. Whenever I look at either of these, they’re like a walk into the past and a reminder of fond memories. Alternatively Artifact Uprising also does a beautiful job of highlighting just the photo in their books.
So there you have it, my picks for great holiday gift ideas for travellers all at $50 or less. While I own a lot of these items, there are few on here that I wouldn’t mind finding underneath the Christmas tree this year.
What is on your holiday wish list?
Note: A few of these links are affiliate links which means if you click on them and make a purchase, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. However, most of the items are items that I want or fully endorsed after using them thoroughly.