Welcome to Day 6 of our weeklong gift guide extravaganza! Every day this week, we’re publishing a new post of travel-related gift ideas for the special people in your life. Today we’re showing you some gift ideas for the paranoid and/or travelphobic.
If you’re wondering what I mean by “paranoid or travelphobic,” I’m talking about those people who either A) freak out over every little thing when they travel or B) refuse to travel because traveling is scary and there are so many problems that they’d rather avoid, so they just stay home.
I’m sure you know people like that. People who say things like:
“Getting through airport security is impossible! It’s not worth the trouble.”
Or “I can’t handle trying to find my way in a city I’m not familiar with!”
Or “If I scrape my knee in a foreign country I’ll get some weird alien infection and die!”
(Okay that last one might have been an exaggeration.)
Your mission, travel lovers of the world, is to enable your paranoid loved ones to travel more. This holiday season, I want you to use your present to them as a passive-aggressive weapon against lame excuses to avoid traveling. (I give the best life advice.)
1. Maps and guide books.
I’m not going to get into the travel blogger wars of guide books vs. websites. I am going to say, though, that your average paranoid/travelphobic person will be more enabled with a physical guidebook they can hold, flip through, and carry around; the chances that they’ll willingly spend a few hours clicking through Wikitravel are pretty slim.
2. Travel first-aid kit.
The holidays are not the time to attempt to convince your beloved travelphobe that Band-aids exist in other countries and that other healthcare systems will still take care of you. Best to just give them peace of mind with a kit to cover their bases. For the mildly paranoid, a small first aid kit with the basics will put them at ease. For your super-imaginative paranoid friends, go big and get them the World Travel Adventure Medical Kit, which comes with the usual (bandages, medicine, whatnot) but also has a medical guide and a “visual communication tool” for communicating to doctors in other languages.
4. Easily identifiable luggage tags.
This is actually something I worry about—whenever I have to check my luggage, or stow my carry-on away in the overhead compartment, I worry that some absent-minded traveler will mistake my suitcase for theirs and take my stuff. Going the other way, I also worry that I myself will have an attack of absent-mindedness and take someone else’s suitcase. This fear became very real for me when, for one trip, I bought a bright red polka-dotted suitcase solely for the purpose of being able to easily identify it and then found myself at the gate sitting across from someone with the exact same bright red polka-dotted suitcase. It was the stuff of recurring nightmares.
My modus operandi to fix this particular problem is always to make my luggage as obnoxious as possible. I’ve tied giant bright-colored bows onto suitcases and hung large keychains from them, but sometimes they come back from the netherworld of baggage handling with bows and keychains gone. One thing that never disappears though, is the luggage tags. So if you or your loved ones worry about luggage mix-ups, get brightly colored, easily identifiable luggage tags. If you are seriously afraid of lost luggage, get a GPS-enabled luggage tracker.
5. Movies set in foreign countries.
You can ply your loved ones with all the guidebooks and travel accessories in the world, but sometimes it’s all for naught if they haven’t gotten the travel bug. So be sneaky and give them some innocuous-looking DVDs that’ll give them the urge to see the world for themselves. For example, just a few minutes into “To Rome With Love,” I got a serious urge to drop everything and see Rome. Similar travel-bug-giving movies are “Stone of Destiny” (Scotland), “Midnight in Paris” (Paris, obviously), and “Roman Holiday” (Rome again).
Welcome to Day 5 of our weeklong gift guide extravaganza! Every day this week, we’re publishing a new post of travel-related gift ideas for the special people in your life. Today we’re showing you some gift ideas for the traveling germaphobe. (I get the award for most specific gift guide ever!)
You may be wondering why I’ve dedicated today’s guide to germaphobic traveling people, while our previous gift guides were for normal categories of people, like “guys” and “girls” and “people with technological devices.”
Well, as a person who gets really weird about germs, let me tell you that mysophobia can make traveling a nightmare of contaminated surfaces and unwashed hands. Yes, I know I have a problem, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one. So for those of you who sanitize everything and wash your hands several hundred times a day, this is a safe space! Onward with the gift ideas!
As for sanitizing wipes, I can’t live without them. Not only do I use them for my hands like normal people (wiping your hands feels like you’re getting more germs off than when you use gel sanitizer), I also bring a million of them with me when I travel so I can wipe down surfaces before I touch them. (Yes, we have established by this point that I have a problem, and yes, I would actually enjoy getting sanitizing wipes in my stocking.)
4. Laundry washing bag.
I came across the Scrubba a few months ago and was somewhat impressed; it’s a bag with a built-in washboard for washing your clothes on the go. You throw your clothes in, add water and soap (or a laundry detergent sheet, hey hey!), then roll the bag around. I like the idea because, if nothing else, it sounds cleaner than doing your laundry in an icky hotel sink. (Seriously, you never know what other people did in that sink before you.)
Got any other travel-related gift ideas for your germ-fearing friends? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for tomorrow’s gift guide!
Welcome to Day 4 of our weeklong gift guide extravaganza! Every day this week, we’re publishing a new post of travel-related gift ideas for the special people in your life. Today we’re showing you some gift ideas for the modern gentleman.
This gift guide is a wee bit sparse, because I don’t want to tip off the modern gentleman in my life (that would be Bryce, obviously).
Welcome to Day 3 of our weeklong gift guide extravaganza! Every day this week, we’re publishing a new post of travel-related gift ideas for the special people in your life. Today we’re showing you some gift ideas for your favorite stylish jetsetter.
1. Luxurious lotion/bath travel set.
I never bring shower gel or lotion with me when I travel because hotels always have those toiletries, so why pack them? But, real talk: hotel lotions are really watery and weird, and sometimes the scents are a little funny. So I’m sure the discerning girl in your life wouldn’t mind having a nice travel-sized set of toiletries. I’m personally a fan of Crabtree and Evelyn (particularly their rosewater-scented stuff, yum!) but you can also find travel-sized sets at The Body Shop, Sephora, Origins, L’Occitane, and Bath and Body Works.
2. Cosmetics/toiletries bag.
I try not to make overarching generalizations about “what every girl needs”…but every girl needs a bag for her makeup and/or toiletries. I mean, what are we, cavepeople? Sephora has some cute ones, as does Fab.
3. Flight kit.
Okay, this is the part where I start sounding really high-maintenance, but I have a separate little bag for my on-the-plane stuff. (Usually I keep my cosmetics bag stowed away in my carry-on suitcase, and keep my “flight kit” at hand when I’m on the plane.) A flight kit pouch can hold your in-the-air skincare items, glasses, pads and tampons, etc.
4. Passport holder.
Passport holders are purely frivolous, really, unless your passport actually gets handled so much it gets worn out. (If that’s the case, then I’m totally jealous that you travel that much!) In any case, if you don’t know what else to get the stylish jet-setting girl in your life, she’s bound to appreciate a cute passport holder; the one above is by Kate Spade, but you can also find passport holders on ASOS, Fab, and Etsy.
Got any other travel-related gift ideas for your gadget-owning loved ones? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for tomorrow’s gift guide!
Welcome to Day 2 of our weeklong gift guide extravaganza! Every day this week, we’re publishing a new post of travel-related gift ideas for the special people in your life. Today we’re showing you some gift ideas for the techies you love.
Okay, this isn’t for “techies” so much as it’s for, um…anyone who travels with electronic devices—that is to say, everyone. (Hey, “techies” sounds better than “everyone who depends on electronic devices in order to live.”)
2. Universal power adapter.
This is not the sexiest gift you could give, admittedly, but it’s a great thing to have for anyone who travels internationally. Outlets are different in different countries (why?!?!), and no one wants to be caught being unable to plug anything in. They do sell specific country-to-country adapters, but why bother? The universal adapter I picked up before my trip to Austria has saved our butts so many times.