AmaWaterways is a proud sponsor of Samantha Brown's Places to Love. I took my first…
It’s that time of year again. You know, the one when you can wield the ol’ “Santa’s watching” leverage over your kids, and you’re allowed to eat Christmas cookies for breakfast. It’s also the time when we get to shower the ones we love with gifts.
Here are my top gifts for travelers.
I’m still not 100 percent sure about how crystals are supposed to work. That doesn’t mean I don’t love them! Not to get too woo-woo on you, but I do think there’s something to the idea that setting intentions helps manifest the things you want. Jewelry designer Jordyn DiOrio uses crystals and precious stones to create delicate, beautiful pieces. I love this carnelian and rutilated quartz necklace. The first harmonizes vitality, analytical ability and courage; the second promotes forgiveness, and filters negativity. Come on, aren’t those all things we could use more of when we travel?
In general, stainless steel mugs and water bottles are great, but nothing special. Canadian-based Lamose has figured out how to turn these utilitarian products into something that will put a smile on any gift receiver’s face. Lamose engraves any drawing, photo, signature, or pattern on their products. That sweet post-it note your husband left you on your anniversary? Have it etched on a water bottle! Your 5-year-old’s fantastically weird and heartwarming drawing of your family? Get it on a coffee mug. You get the idea.
You know I love a nice pair of Bluetooth headphones. These colored Jakan pairs from Urbanears are fun, functional and barely take up space in your bag. With 12 hours of battery life per charge, they can tackle day-to-day life, or tag along on a flight. They’re magnetic, so simply touch them together to wear around your neck. They also sell great on-ear versions, perfect for subtly sending a “do not disturb” message to your chatty seatmate.
Stylish & practical luggage
Everyone loves a good everyday bag (especially when it’s travel inspired). My new underseater is for the woman who travels throughout her day with A LOT of stuff. Inline wheels and a handle means you can load it up and roll it, easy peasy. It’s a rolling work tote with a padded lap top sleeve, perfect overnight bag or weekender that may even inspire well-needed quick trips.
As a child of the 70s and 80s, Polaroid holds a special place in my heart. That’s why I’m psyched to see their latest iterations of the original “Instagram.” Inspired by the original OneStep camera from 1977, the Polaroid OneStep 2 and OneStep+ are analog instant cameras for the modern era. The OneStep+ connects to the Polaroid Originals app via Bluetooth, unlocking creative tools you never knew you needed until now!
Last year, I suggested Rothy’s as a fantastic travel shoe. This year, I’m still saying Rothy’s, but adding Allbrids! These amazing shoes can also go into the washer and dryer, are lightweight and unbelievably comfortable. You’ll feel like you’re getting away with something—like wearing slippers in public! Their sneakers are perfect for those trips that involve a lot of walking. Stylish, sustainably sourced, and perfect for men, women and kids.
Little Passports Subscription Box
So many great subscription boxes, but as a mom, I have to give a shout-out to Little Passports. These monthly packages deliver the world to your child with fun activities and online games. Each monthly box is filled with fun materials that educate children about other cultures. Your child will receive a personalized package in the mail (yes, snail mail!) that includes an adventure letter, fun souvenirs, activities and access to our online Boarding Zone full of activities and games.
I love a gift I can eat or drink. Why not treat your favorite person to a mini vacation in their own home? Take, for example, this Russ and Daughters New York Brunch bag. It includes smoked salmon, bagels, cream cheese, chocolate babka, coffee, mug and a reusable, insulated tote. If you close your eyes and take one bite, you’ll almost believe you’re in the Big Apple.
Gifts that Give Back
So many companies now include a charitable component. Why not give a gift that gives back? The bookworm in your life will appreciate a little something from BetterWorldBooks. For every book sold on the site, one goes to someone in need.
I call a great scarf the Swiss Army Knife of travel. They can be used as a blanket, a buffer between you and your neighbor, a fashion statement and more. The scarves at Bloom & Give are simply stunning, and 55% of profits go toward programs that send Indian girls to school. That’s a gift I feel especially good about.