We all have our lists of things we’d love to have. But let’s admit it, everyone is into different things, and some people are more difficult to buy for. If there is an avid female traveler in your life, chances are she doesn’t want another box of lotions or pair of stilettos she’d only wear once a year. She often lives out of a backpack, and the last thing she wants is to be burdened by unnecessary materials.
As someone who travels often, I’ve come to learn over the years what is necessary, and what is frivolous. Still, we’d like to receive gifts that combine purpose, style, and functionality. Yes, those super-breathable, quick-dry socks are quite useful, but chances are that we already have a ton, and would like to receive something a little bit more special.
Here is a list of 15 presents a female traveler will love, divided into categories of technology, beauty, necessities, etcetera:
- Kindle Fire HD7 $114 USD at Amazon*
It took awhile to break away from traditional paper books, but the Kindle is amazing! Instead of carrying around five or six heavy books, this one sleek device can hold an unlimited amount of information. Plus, this new version offers cameras, web browsing, music/video streaming, and even access to programs like Microsoft Office Suite. It’s a perfect combination of a tablet, Kindle, and an iPod all in one.
- GoPro HERO4 $399.99 at Amazon
When I went white-water-rafting in the Padas River last year in Sabah, Borneo, I used the GoPro for the first time. This small camera device can be used anywhere– whether you’re skydiving, mountain biking, or diving. It allows you to take footage- video or stills- from your unique perspective, now using a convenient touch display. The GoPro HERO4 also connects to WiFi, Blue-Tooth, and allows for easy editing.
3. HooToo TripMate $49.99 at Amazon
There’s nothing more frustrating than being on the road and your phone dying, or needing to get an email sent when Wi-Fi seems to be worlds away. The HooToo TripMate is perfect for the traveler on the go, since it allows you to charge your electronics (no outlet necessary), obtain WiFi from wherever you are, and save important information as you would on a USB.
- Alba Skin Care $7 and up at Whole Foods, CVS, and Albabotanica.com
When your skin is exposed to different elements, especially during extreme climate changes, damage will be done. Add stress, lack of sleep, and hectic plans to a mixture of sun, sand, and snow, and your face won’t be looking too pretty in those once-in-a-lifetime photos. Alba Botanica offers a range of products for all different kinds of skin. They provide cruelty-free, 100% natural, vegetarian, paraben-free skin care that really works. If you’re headed somewhere tropical, do yourself a favor and stock up on their Hawaiian sunscreen.
- Make-Up Kits
I’ll be honest with you. When I travel, make-up isn’t high on my list. I want all of my make-up to take up as little space in my backpack as possible. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t dare set out on a trip without it. Sometimes jet lag, hangovers, and/or parties compel you to paint your face a bit. That’s why travel-size palettes and kits are so handy- they give you a wide variety of looks and don’t take up much space. Nowadays, many brands also have customizable kits because, well, us humans don’t come in one skin tone. Here are my top three go-tos:
- Laura Mercier Flawless Face Kit $65 at Sephora.com
- Bobbi Brown Jet Setter Long-Wear Eye Kit $55 at Bobbibrowncosmetics.com
- Purminerals These Eyes Don’t Lie $39 at purminerals.com
P.S. If you’re at a loss, no woman would resist a gift card from Sephora. 😉
- Jamberry Nails $15 per sheet at Jamberrynails.net
Normally when I’ve traveled, I’d bring one tiny bottle of nail polish with me and use the same color to paint over and over my toes as the weeks and months went by. I didn’t paint my fingernails, because they’d chip so quickly, and who has time for that? Recently, I came across a brilliant solution- Jamberry nails. They are cruelty-free, non-toxic, are applied in minutes, and will last anywhere from two to eight weeks. This is the perfect way to have gorgeous nails without the hassle. Plus, if you buy three sheets, the fourth is always free.
- Travel-Size Perfume
No one wants to be stinky when they travel. And somehow, no matter how much deodorant you lather on, the inevitable happens. As someone who travels lightly, I also don’t want to be carrying around a fragile full-size bottle of designer perfume. That’s why certain brands, such as Anna Sui, will give you a “gift” (travel) size bottle of perfume when you buy a full-size product. With one luscious fragrance to keep at home, and another for the road, it’s a win-win situation.
- Betsey Johnson Cosmetic Bag $24.99 and up at Ross and eBay
I don’t always buy designer items, but when I do… It’s definitely going to be Betsey Johnson! I’m in love with her quirky, colorful designs and am a huge fan of her jewelry and dresses. Nonetheless, when I travel, I want the majority of my organizers to be functional. If they’re über cute, well, that just a plus! Many of her cosmetic bags come in a variety of sizes, and I find that her medium-size cosmetic bag fits all of my toiletries, too.
9. Love.Spark.Fire. Jewelry $10 and up
Love. Spark. Fire. Jewelry is a collection of jewelry I handpicked throughout my travels in Latina America. I individually selected these pieces for their high quality, rich colors, and artistic appeal. Female travelers can wear this jewelry while at home or on the road, knowing that they have helped sustain local artisans from Mexico all the way to Argentina. Love. Spark. Fire. Jewelry offer one-of-a-kind pieces that cannot be found in any department store. This is art made by the people to be worn by the people
- Folding Jewelry Organizer $30 on Travel On
When I first started traveling, I threw all of my jewelry into one little bag. Bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings all went in together. It didn’t take me long to realize that this wasn’t the best system, as many of these pieces would get tangled together. As a result, I ended up with forever-entangled necklaces, broken earrings, and so on. However, there is a brilliant solution! This jewelry organizer from Travel On neatly separates all of your jewelry in different pouches, making them tidy and easily accessible. Plus, the organizer is only about 7″ x 7″, so it will easily fit in any bag or backpack.
- “Dirty Laundry” Bag $15 at Miamica.com
No one likes to talk about their dirty laundry, but the fact is that everyone has some. (We’re still talking about clothing, right? 😉 ) This laundry bag from Miamica fits into its own pocket, saving space in your backpack/suitcase and keeping your fresh clothes from stinking. No more plastic bags needed!
- Shoe Bag $20 at Miamica.com
Speaking of keeping your stuff clean, isn’t it kind of gross putting your shoes next to your clothes? Miamica has come up with a bag that neatly store away your shoes. There is a divider in the middle to separate one shoe from another, but I find that I’m able to carry two pairs of shoes in one bag. It’s super nifty, and the thought of how I packed my shoes before I got this bag kind of makes me cringe…
- Eye Mask $13.50 and up on Etsy.com
Like it or not, but the reality is that there are going to be plenty of times when you need an eye mask. Your hostel mate might be up reading War and Peace at 3 am, or the sun may be shining obnoxiously in your eyes when it’s midnight on your internal clock. I’ve bought regular eye masks, but for some reason I sleep better when my eyes are covered with cuteness. On Etsy, my favorite vendors for eye masks are ShushBear and HannahDoodle.
- Howard Leight Ear Plugs $22 for 200 pairs at Howardleight.com
Just like eye masks, ear plugs are an essential while traveling. Although I’d rather listen to music while I go to sleep, sometimes lawn-mower snores, babies’ lung-busting cries, and partiers’ yelps of joy are too much to bear. Recently named the best ear plugs by a Sleep Like the Dead experiment on nearly 3,000 sleepers, Howard Leight Ear Plugs are the way to go. With soil-proof polyurethane foam, these plugs easily contour to your ears, keeping out the sound and the germs. Best of all? They come corded or non-corded. (How many of you have lost just one ear plug? So annoying.)
- An Incredible Travel Book $4.20 and up at Amazon
Speaking of lying in bed, there’s nothing like falling asleep or waking up to a good book. I previously wrote about my five favorite travel novels, but much has changed in the last couple of years. Nowadays, I’d recommend Ayun Halliday’s No Touch Monkey! for fun female misadventures, Chris Guillebeau’s The Happiness of Pursuit to inspire outlandish, yet obtainable life journeys, and Joshua Samuel Brown’s How Not to Avoid Jet Lag & other tales of travel madness, a hilarious, snarky, and sometimes hallucinatory collection of 19 stories around the world.
Is there anything that you would add to these categories?