It’s that time of year again! Here is a collection of perfect travel gifts and travel-friendly products and services that I’ve had a chance to test-drive over the course of this year – and can heartily recommend to you. They make perfect travel gifts for the traveler in your life – whether or not they’re always on the road.
And as you’ll notice, you’ll get some customized discounts on some of the goodies in here….
This post was originally published in 2015, and has since been updated for accuracy of links and product information.
Kinivo Bluetooth Headphones
As an ultra-light traveler, I’m an earbud fan. Period.
But the folks at Kinivo convinced me to try their BTH240 wireless bluetooth headphones by sending me a pair. Skeptical as I was, I was immediately impressed with how small they folded up into their little pouch, which fits amicably in my purse. And these headphones can actually be worn under the hair (around the neck instead over the head), so I don’t feel ridiculous or conspicuous, and they’re designed to stay in place on the ear nicely. The band however, isn’t adjustable, and as such they’re a bit big (on me) when worn this way.
But it’s a small concession to make considering the great quality of sound, and the bluetooth connectivity; I don’t have to worry about cords getting tangled or keeping my phone within cord’s length. My phone stays in my purse while I toggle music, adjust volume, and even take calls (there’s a noise-cancelling microphone for phone use) with the multi-function buttons on the headphones.
So…I’m a fan.
2023 update: I have since gone back to earbuds in the name of ultra-ultralight travel, and I am irrevocably in love with Powerbeats Pro because they don’t fall out of my ears, and they supply awesome sounds and functionality. Get yours here, or check out my video review of them here!
SteriPEN is a handy tool that sterilizes water with ultra-violet light and makes it drinkable in about one minute.
I used a previous version of the SteriPEN when I traveled through Asia years ago, and I found it not only useful, but also cost-effective and environmentally friendly in that it saved me from buying bottled water everywhere I went. But when I downsized my packing list, my SteriPEN was one of the (regretful) casualties.
So I was thrilled when SteriPEN sent me one of their latest models: the SteriPEN Ultra. This thing is slick, easy to use, and USB rechargeable. I use it all the time in Peru, and one charge lasts forever (I’ve only charged it once in months of use).
(See also: Dealing With Parasites: A Guide to Clean Water Around the World).
If you know somebody who is traveling to a developing country, the SteriPEN Ultra is an epic stocking stuffer.
Anatomie Pants – Kate
I’ve long been a fan of Anatomie’s designer travel clothing, and have become something of a poster child for them. Every year I buy something new from Anatomie to complement my travel wardrobe, and I love just about everything I get.
One of my latest acquisitions was the Kate pant, which lives up to Anatomie’s standards: it’s lightweight (like, it packs down to nothing), wrinkle resistant, stylish, and flattering. It ticks all my boxes for travel, and wherever I go, the Kate pant comes with me.
Hoboroll and SegSac
Hoboroll is also something I’ve raved about before, but I’m raving about it again because this year they came out with a completely new design, which I’ve had a chance to test-drive on a number of trips. It’s ultra-lightweight, a bit bigger than its predecessor, and one of my absolute favourite (and indispensable) pieces of travel gear.
For long-term travel, I pack it with various odds and sods since it not only compresses things to a fraction of their size, but it also organizes them into divided compartments. More recently, I traveled to Canada for two weeks earlier this year, and I used my Hoboroll for all of my clothing. All of it. It allowed me to travel with just one small backpack which housed not only my clothes but also my computer and everything else I needed to bring.
The folks at Gobi Gear are even further expanding their offerings; they just launched a simpler version of the Hobo Roll – called the SegSac – for organizing things in your bag (kind of like a new take on packing cubes). And the upgraded version of the SegSac also allows you to compress it. Think of it like a compression sac with compartments inside for organizing your stuff. Brilliant.
I go deep into the features and specs of the SegSac traveler in this post featuring the Best Travel Accessories and Pro Packing Hacks!
2023 Update: The SegSac has been out of stock for some time, but I’m assured that they are redesigning it and will restock again. Your patience is appreciated.
Encircled Flipside Leggings
Encircled introduced me to their Chrysalis Cardi a couple of years ago, and since then I’ve acquired almost every new release they’ve come out with. Everything is made with a super-soft eco-friendly modal fabric that is absolutely divine to wear.
Their Flipside Leggings made the cut for this travel gear review because of their comfort and versatility; they’re reversible and can be worn in a few different styles – in addition to being worn as an under-layer for warmth in cold climates. I wear them all the time in Peru. Every traveling girl needs a pair of leggings – and the Flipside Leggings are like having a few pairs of them.
2023 note: They discontinued the Flipside Leggings, but massively expanded their overall lineup of pants! Check out Encircled’s selection of bottoms here.
Want Some More Perfect Travel Gifts?
Check out these other travel gear profiles for more ideas of what to get the budding traveler in your life:
Check out my latest Travel Gear Posts here, including merino wool, packable backpacks, and more!