Need a gift idea?
Here’s my curated list for the traveler in your life
It’s here! That’s right, it’s my 2023 Holiday Gift Guide for every traveler on your list!
As a luxury travel advisor for the last couple of decades, I’ve been all over the world and have tried every suitcase, bag and gadget imaginable. Whether you’re searching for a larger, more substantial gift or the perfect stocking stuffer, I’ve got you covered. Some of my suggestions are women-specific, but most are great for anyone on your list!
Here’s my curated list of my favorite travel items that the traveler in your life will love (with a link on each name to make it even easier for you):
Away Bigger Carry-On: A Traveler’s Delight
Hands down, the highlight (and biggest) of our gift list is the Away Bigger Carry-On. Introduced in 2017, this spacious suitcase has a fascinating story, which you can explore in the “How I Built This” podcast episode dedicated to the Away brand. Extensively researched and proven, this carry-on is my top choice for frequent travelers. I’ve been personally using it on almost a weekly basis since 2019, and every time I think I’ve overfilled it, it zips right up to hold everything I need. Note: I recommend the standard ‘bigger’ version, not the Flex (computer case on the outside) or expandable options, because typically those options can make it too big for some overhead compartments. The battery is an ok option, but can be very heavy, and there are lighter options.
Away Packing Cubes: Organize with Ease
In line with the Away theme, their packing cubes work so well for me that I’ve never had the need to try anything else. Available in four or six packs, these cubes are perfect companions for the Away Bigger Carry-On and you can roll up and fit quite a lot in each, then compress them down inside and continue packing. They help keep your belongings organized, and the four-pack is usually sufficient for most needs; some people don’t even unpack these and just live out of them, but I will unpack them if I’m traveling for 3 days or more. I have a video about these on my IG that shows you exactly how I use them.
Away Everywhere Sling Bag: Stylish and Functional Cross-body
For a stylish and functional stocking stuffer, consider this cross-body bag. It’s perfect for travel, offering multiple compartments for easy access to essentials while keeping your belongings secure. It has spaces to fit your phone, chapstick, keys, sunglasses, and a back pocket against your chest which is great security for your money and credit cards. I have tried others and prefer this one; the strap can be long but is easily adjusted.
Packism Toiletries Bags: Affordable and TSA Approved
Optimize your toiletry organization with these super inexpensive but awesome toiletries bags, very easy to order from Amazon. I researched these a couple years ago and have been using them ever since (the same ones I bought originally!). Reusable and TSA-approved, these bags provide more space than traditional quart-sized options, making them ideal for any frequent travelers’ personal care products. Another great stocking stuffer, I’ve gifted them to family members and they love them!
Kitsch Travel Bottles: Refillable Pouches for Convenience
These refillable pouches are more flexible than traditional hard bottles, making them easier to manipulate and fit into your toiletries bag. Because they’re not solid plastic or glass bottles, they also get smaller as you use the product. I use them for lotions and shampoos and things like that, so they’re a lot easier and economical for packing.
Takeya Reusable Water Bottle: Hydration on the Go
My husband Dave and I both love this water bottle. Its unique design helps keep it sanitary, because it has a mouth spout protected by a cap, so you’re not touching it when you go to open it. Sturdy and slim, this water bottle easily fits into your bag for convenient travel. I recommend carrying a water bottle with you to not only stay hydrated on your journey, but to have with you when you reach your destination!
Auvon Canvas Bag Travel Pill Pouch: Organize Your Medications
The best pill pouch I’ve tried (and I’ve tried many!) is this one from Auvon that comes with its own canvas case, ensuring you won’t lose anything. Easy to order from Amazon, this one has morning and evening compartments for each day of the week, which make this extra convenient and organized. It’s easy to pack too!
Béis Bags: Style and Function for Every Traveler
I’m pretty sure I have every bag they make! Béis bags have such a great variety, you can find something for every purpose; plus, they’re stylish, functional and adaptable to all your travel needs. Here are my top picks, which I use the most and absolutely love:
- Béis Cosmetic Bag
This cosmetic bag is for all of your non-liquid essentials, so I pack it in my suitcase or carry-on, but it’s got a ton of room. So all of your cosmetics, razors, nail clippers, even a shower puff can go in there…whatever you need to bring with you. It fits so much and I still manage to overstuff it and fit it in!
- Béis East To West Tote
This is the latest tote I’ve been trying as a personal item on airplanes, and it’s phenomenal! I love it because you can overstuff it more than their Weekender, but it is taller than the Weekender. So, to put it as a personal item underneath the seat in front of me, I usually have to put it at an angle or sideways to make it fit. I carry my 16-inch MacBook Pro in it, so sometimes I just take that out of the tote and put it in the mesh pocket on the seat back, to make bag fit much easier under the seat. I have an IG video on this tote too!
- Béis Tote Insert
I highly suggest this insert with any Béis bag, whether you’re doing the Weekender, East To West tote, the Work Bag, anything like that. It’s very popular so it tends to sell out, but they replenish it often – so if it’s not in stock, just join the wait list. You can just slide the insert into your packed bag, making everything more organized. It’s also great if you want to change between say your work tote to your personal carry-on, just pack that tote insert with your everyday essentials and move it from bag to bag.
- Béis Sports Bag
This was a gift I received from my team, and I was using it originally at the gym, but now I take it with me if I need something for when I know I’ll be going to a market to shop, or to trade shows and conventions. It’s great because it packs completely flat, but then it has two different options: a handle bag or backpack straps, so you can carry a lot with you. It has a water bottle compartment and a big storage area, so you can use it for carrying lots of different things.
- Béis Convertible Weekender
This is the first Béis bag I tried and fell in love with…I carried it for at least two years nonstop! The convertible part is key because you can zip off the bottom compartment. Say you’re traveling in a car – you can keep the bottom on and put shoes, hair dryers, things like that in it. But if you take the convertible part off, it fits underneath the seat in front of you on most airplanes. (Now I’m only speaking of larger airlines; you have to be careful on discount airlines and the lower cost airlines.) Note: It does have a clamshell enclosure, so if you try to overstuff it, it’s hard to close just with one hand.
Athleta Prime Niyama Restore Wrap: Cozy Travel Essential
This fantastic longer sweater wrap offers both warmth and style, making it an excellent gift for lady travelers who appreciate comfort on the go. It’s open in the front, so it kind of mimics a shawl, but with sleeves. And it comes in a lot of different colors, so there’s something for everyone. I’ve suggested this to so many people and they have all loved it! A great gift for somebody who travels a lot.
Athleta Salutation Stash Tights: Comfortable and Functional
I love these for comfortable and functional travel wear, because they come in lots of colors, are made of super soft fabric, have a high waistband and two convenient side pockets. While I don’t tend to use the pockets much, they’re great for tucking your phone into if you need to run in somewhere. So for me, they are perfect for long journeys and versatile enough to wear for 24 hours. One of my favorite items – highly recommend!
Lululemon Align High Rise Yoga Pants: Timeless Travel Companion
For years, these pants have been my go-to choice. With their buttery-soft fabric and high-rise design, they are super comfortable during long trips, although lacking pockets. But, not a big deal for me since I rarely look for or use pockets on my yoga pants or workout gear. Great when you’re traveling on long trips; I alternate between these and the Athleta tights.
On Women’s Cloudrunner Shoes: Great for Active Travel
I absolutely love these and definitely get my wear out of them! These shoes will help you travel in comfort and style, will save your feet, and you can even use them for workouts to stay in shape while on vacation. The slip-on version is great for flying and I love the waterproof ones, especially for tropical hikes and city excursions.
There you have it – my comprehensive Holiday gift list for the travelers in your life! These gifts are sure to make any journey more enjoyable. Happy gifting!
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