Travel Essentials that make the best gifts for travelers

Christmas holidays mean a winter getaway for us and we don’t do big holiday gifts or massive decorations around the house.  We most likely end up somewhere warm like a beach destination in December and it is always fun to see Santa come in a boat or a jet-ski.   I do love the tradition of putting up the Christmas tree and driving around town to see all the festive lights, decorations and fun holiday popups.  We just do some minimal decorations at home and buy small gifts for the family.  Here are some travel essentials that make the best gifts for travelers and a few items for that friend with a wanderlust heart to make it feel like they are traveling even when they are home.

For the roamer, you never know where they are going next

skyroam solis

In todays world where every activity is snapped, Instgrammed and tweeted, what better gift than to give a gift of connectivity. Skyroam Global Hotspot helps travelers stay seamlessly connected in over 120+ countries through its innovative and patented virtual SIM technology. With Skyroam unlimited global WiFi at your fingertips, you can keep up to 5 WiFi-enabled gadgets online (which means we don’t have to fight over who gets the hotel wifi) simultaneously without the hassle of international roaming fees, SIM swapping, or unlocking devices.  We always have a Skyroam Solis with us when traveling.  You can buy a hotspot and pay-as-you-go (monthly or daily), or rent a hotspot with unlimited global WiFi just for one trip. Use the code OUTSIDESUBURBIA to get 10% off.

A Journal for that Organized Traveler

The Voyageur Notebook by Moleskine is an ideal travel partner for the traveler who likes to be organized. Packed with essential journey information, it includes handy detachable packing and to-do lists, as well as a planning section that allows you to map out each day in detail before you set off into the sunset. Structured budget pages focus your mind on all-important economic issues, so you aren’t caught out by too many unexpected expenses along the way. Once you are on the road, the journaling section provides bags of space to record each day’s adventures, inviting you to add tickets, snippets of conversation, sketches and mementoes.

For the family traveler, a RFID blocking Passport organizer

A passport organizer for family is invaluable travel essential for airports, crowded marketplaces, an airplane, buses, trains, sporting events and festivals. A family traveler can keep everything in one place in this passport holder.  Store money, up to 6 passports, tickets, 4-10+ cards and travel documents in this family travel wallet. Includes Micro Travel Pen for customs forms. It has built in RFID Blocking material that safeguards your personal information inside the travel passport organizer against identity theft. You also get a few RFID Blocking Sleeves to use when your passport or credit cards aren’t inside the wallet.

A waterproof travel toiletries bag for him and her

While they are many cosmetic bags around, having a waterproof one for travel is always a smart idea.  When you are travelling, you end up putting the bag on bathroom counters at airports, hotels, planes…  Get one in leather or vinyl – both Tory Burch and KateSpade have some nice choices for women and Tumi had a nice neutral and sleek toiletries bag in leather for men.  As far as what goes in that cosmetic bag – I love having a small Supergoop sunscreen, L’Occitane hand lotion in lavender, a small roll-on perfume, some hand sanitizer and a long wear lip-stain (love this chanel one) and of course some moisturizer.

Something for the Boys

The boys in our family love the All-over wash by Jack Black.  Jack Black products are carefully formulated from the very finest ingredients – like plant extracts, herbs and healing botanicals, from time-tested natural remedies. Fragrance-free, colorant-free, cruelty-free, sulfate-free and dermatologist-tested, they products make wonderful gifts for the boys on your list.  The limited edition Weekender giftset has 3oz of the wash, lotion and a small body spray perfect for traveling.

For the Blingy Traveler

Holiday Gift Guide for the Traveler

For that blingy traveler who likes to accessorize, a compact jewelry organizer makes for a lovely gift. This one is from Shanghai Tang that hubby got for me on one of his trips to Hong Kong.  The design and fabric is so pretty but unfortunately they don’t make them anymore.  Not to worry, I found a similar one by Tumi.  It has a couple of separate areas to keep the necklaces, bracelets tangle free and has pouches for earring and rings.   Buy it in a bright color so that the portable jewelry holder can sometimes double as an evening bag.

Give the gift of sleep

Nothing beats waking up well rested when the plane touches down at your destination.  IMHO a pair of PJs, a silky eye mask and a noise cancelling headphones are all you need to get your beauty sleep, no matter where you are.  These are perfect on-flight essentials whether you are in Business class or Economy class. Bundle these along with a nice big scarf that doubles up as a blanket, makes a nice gift for that frequent flier in your list.  You can find different headphones, but Mr.Suburbia likes his Bose headsets while the kids like the Solo wireless ones from Beats.

Stainless Steel Straws for everyone

Now that more and more restaurants and cafes are doing away with one-use plastic straws, it’s the perfect time to convert your friends to using stainless straws. A set of stainless steel drinking straws make a small yet such a responsible gift.  My favorites are these straws from Kitchen Up that comes in set of 6 with 4 stainless steel and 2 silicone straws for that smoothie run.  It comes with a convenient carrying case to tuck into your bag.

For that traveler who has been everywhere, a Scratch Map

With this handsome scratch-off-where-you’ve-been map, that globetrotting friend can showcase where they have been in a fun, colorful and innovative way. You can scratch off the areas you’ve visited to reveal adventurous pops of color that turn traveling into a “domestic” treasure hunt of on-the-fly geography lessons. Its brilliant colors and worldly charm is sure to enliven any room—just be sure to keep a coin handy for easy scratching.  Ms S had this in her college dorm and says it sparks a lot of conversations.

Socks that make you Happy 


Happy Socks turns an everyday accessory into a colorful item that spreads happiness.  They have several themed ones from festive Holiday socks to limited edition exclusive collections celebrates the legendary artists through their iconic prints.  We especially love the Flower socks that pays tribute to Andy Warhol’s creative legacy and Keith Haring collection that has the legendary pop-artist’s bold, colorful designs that spread love and equality just like his art.

Give the gift of memories

One tradition that I have stuck to religiously in the past, is making a yearly photo album around the holidays.  I try to capture all the milestones, travels, birthdays and memories for the year in one place that you can look back on.  Since I started the blog, I have been somewhat slacking on it thinking that we can always read the post… but nothing beats cozying up on the couch and looking through the pages of a photobook – reflecting and reminiscing on all that happened that year.  This year I’m making my photobooks at  Blurb is an independent, creative book-making and self-publishing platform that makes it easy to create photo books in print and digital formats. Blurb offers a range of photo paper options, including semi-matte, semi-gloss, and everything in between. They also offer options for end sheets and linens, which
take your beautiful book up a notch. Using their Adobe online tools for Lightroom, it was a breeze putting together our photobooks. Use code TF20B-KD8JM to get $20 off your own book at

When you can’t think of what to get, get them some chocolates

Holiday Gift Guide

When you run out of ideas and not sure what to get – a box of chocolates come in handy.  Not just any box but these golden boxes of Godiva. If you are looking to give someone an impressive gift they are guaranteed to love, then Godiva Chocolatier is the best place to find it – finest gourmet chocolates that everyone will love. But what makes Godiva chocolate gifts so much more festive than just the delicious chocolate inside are the beautifully decorated chocolate gift boxes.

Hotel Sheets for the Home

For a friend or relative with a wanderlust heart, get some luxurious high-thread-count Sateen cotton sheets to make it feel like they are traveling even when they are home. The French luxury hotel chain Sofitel has 120 hotels in 40 countries across the world, but if you can’t spend every night in a Sofitel hotel, you can buy their bedding set that comes with all the luxurious layers to create that signature Sofitel sleep experience.

If you love Four Seasons chain of hotels and resorts, you can experience that perfect sleep in your own home when you purchase The Four Seasons Bed directly from a hotel or resort.  Four Seasons understands better than anyone that a great night’s sleep leads to vitality and wellness. That’s why the company spent the last 50 years in partnership with experts and in consultation with guests to perfect the mattresses. Now, offered in partnership with Simmons Bedding Company you can choose one of three Signature Toppers to ensure a customized
sleep experience that’s exactly right for you. The Four Seasons Bed is available in three models. The Signature Topper offers optimal firmness, while our Signature Plush and Signature Firm are available for those who prefer a slightly softer or firmer mattress. This one is on my wishlist!

Candles that smell like your favorite hotel

Drawing inspiration from hotels like Westin, Marriott, Edition Hotels, W Hotels, Hotel Costes and 1 Hotels Miami, Hotel Collection features famous hotel scents available in candles, reed diffusers and oil. The Hotel Collection by Aroma360 is designed to emulate the rich, exotic and timeless qualities of some of the most beautiful and popular hotels in the world. These scent solutions will make any space of your home or office feel like a permanent vacation.  Hand-poured and burn times between 85 and 175 hours, the Hotel Collection candles allow you to give each space in your home a different ambiance.  We still remember the scent of Hotel Princi in Milan wafting from the giant perfume bottles in the hallways. Our favorite would have to be Midnight in Paris, inspired by the Hotel Costes, with notes of Nutmeg, Lemon, Rose, Clove, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Vanilla, Amber, and Musk.

What’s on your wish list for this year? Let me know in the comments below…



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