Gift Guide for Travelers

Christmas Gifts for All: My Holiday Wishlist

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”20872686″]

Every holiday season, I like to do a round-up of items I’m loving that particular year. So if you’re looking to shop for your wife, sister, mother or fellow travel junkie like me—or simply need ideas for your own wishlist—here’s what I’m digging in 2012:

For the Techie…

On our current trip to the Caribbean, SVV banned my laptop (cue panic attack!) as he wanted me to be “more present” for a change. However, he did allow me to bring our iPad so I could check in with my clients from port, and we also had both of our iPhones on hand. Given that we’re in a cruise cabin with limited outlets—bear in mind, we also have to charge our various camera batteries—this Sharper Image travel charging valet has really come in handy. It allows us to charge three Apple devices at once, and it folds up all cute and compact-like so it doesn’t get all jumbled up and lost in our luggage. Plus, it comes with a car adapter, so you better believe I’ll be using this little guy on future road trips.

Sharper Image charging valet

For the Homeowner…

I find a lot of great info and products via my friend Andi’s blog (seriously, you should check it out). When she did a recent giveaway for BirdAve, I fell in love with the city skyline prints. They’re not only right up my alley in terms of designs, but also very reasonably priced. So I immediately purchased three 16×20 prints: Nashville (orange), New York City (yellow) and San Francisco (blue). I can’t wait to hang them in my guest room (still searching for the right frames) and give you a peek.

BirdAve city print

(Keep reading all the way to the bottom, as you might have a chance to win a set of these stylish prints for your own! And all C&C readers can receive 25% off their holiday purchases with the promo code TRAVEL.)

If you’re a homeowner or simply a budding Martha Stewart, you’re probably no stranger to the wildly popular DIY blog, Young House Love. I know this is one of my favorite reads. So I was super stoked that John and Sherry’s first book on home improvement came out a week after I moved into my new home. I don’t own it yet, but I’m hoping Santa reads this post.

Young House Love Book

For the Pet Owner…

Recently, I stayed with my college pal Lahla while back in Knoxville for a visit and got to check out a lot of her handiwork at Burning Fork Studio. She has some really cool stuff—from dishware to house numbers to doggy bowls. (I’m particularly partial to the latter.) I’ve always been filling Ella’s stocking—erm, I mean Santa has, of course—with goodies from Fab’s pet stores.

Custom pet bowls

For the Foodie…

Now that we finally have a respectable kitchen, I will be busting out my cookbooks with regularity (eh, following the holidays, that is). College suitemate, wedding officiant, BFF and misplaced Texan Lemon gave me this cookbook for my last birthday, and it’s got some pretty fantastic recipes in it. And because Lemon knows a thing or two about my insatiable sweet tooth, she also threw in Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook for good measure. That’s a good friend right there, people.


Another good friend is my blog pal Andi, who not only introduced me to BirdAve but also to EAT Boutique when she sent me a delicious gourmet gift box as a housewarming pressie (could she be anymore thoughtful?). And because we’ve been reading each other’s sites for years, she of course sent me a box full of sweets, which did not last long in my household!

EAT Boutique

For the Girly Girl…

Perhaps I’m getting too intimate here, or perhaps you’re going to thank me, but I have yet to find any underwear that is more comfortable for traveling than Hanky Panky boyshorts. I once thought it ridiculous to spend $30 on one pair of underwear, but now I’ve thrown out everything else I own (Victoria’s Secret, Patagonia, you name it) in favor of these bad boys. (Tip: Rue La La does a couple random Hanky Panky sales throughout the year, so I get much of my stock half off via them. Subscribe to their emails, so you’ll be alerted of all upcoming sales before they happen—particularly because the Hanky Panky shops always sell out within hours of going live.)

hanky panky underwear for travelers

For the Active Traveler…

Several of you asked about the teal shoes my sister was sporting in our viral (ha) Gangnam Style video. They’re the Merrell Women Barefoot Pace Glove shoes, and I’m hoping a month from now I’ll own a pair as well (hint, hint, Mom or SVV).

merrells womens barefoot pace glove

For the Workaholic…

Have a friend or family member desperately in need of a getaway but won’t do it without a kick in the pants? Gift him or her miles—I recently was able to fly two family members out for Christmas by giving away my airline points—or consider giving a gift card to a travel company such as Jetsetter.


For the Fashionista…

This bird nest necklace really has nothing to do with travel whatsoever, I just love it so. When my former roomie Katy (who works at Teen Vogue, so girlfriend knows fashion) came to see me in August, she was wearing the most adorable bird’s nest necklace with birthstones. I had to know where she got it. She purchased it through an Etsy dealer called Glass Poppies. I promptly ordered one for myself (with my birthstone, SVV’s and Ella’s, of course). And then one for my mom. And one for my sister. And one for my cousin Rebecca. Such affordable customized jewelry, so personal and so cute. I dig.

glass poppies

Now, tell me: What’s on your wishlist this year?

  • December 3, 2012

    I would love a new camera lens!

  • December 3, 2012

    Those are so adorable! I don’t think I could choose just 3. I would start with the cities I’ve lived in. Charlottesville, San Diego, Winston-Salem, and Asheville!

  • December 3, 2012

    I’d order Seville and Madrid for our new bedroom, and Copenhagen as a gift!

  • December 3, 2012

    Great finds, I also love Young House Love. And the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook is totally on my wishlist especially since I went to Milk Bar last winter and loved it.The salty-sweet pretzel milkshake I had there was amazing, hopefully it’s in the cookbook!

    • December 10, 2012

      I am a huge fan of both Young House Love and Momofuku milk bar, the shakes are addicting, I have to keep myself away!

  • December 3, 2012

    Definitely both of the Pittsburgh prints. Any one of the Las Vegas prints. Or maybe one of the Pittsburgh prints and both of the Las Vegas prints? I would never be able to decide on 3!

  • December 3, 2012

    I’m trying to decide on a new camera – looking at a new Plympus or Panasonic Mirrorless Camera..

    As for the prints – they are amazing!
    Probably home (edmonton), Rio and Lima

  • December 3, 2012

    cute prints! i would chose knoxville, portland, and denver – my past three homes over the past three years.

    and i have no clue what i want for christmas. i spent an hour online last night trying to come up some ideas to send to my parents. it was pathetic. hope you get those snazzy shoes!!

  • December 3, 2012

    Great choices, and I heart Young House Love too! They are the most adorable little family!

    For the giveaway- San Diego, St Louis (2), New Orleans (1)

  • December 3, 2012

    Pretty much all my loved ones are getting gifts from my trip to Hawaii this year! It was the perfect excuse to souvenir shop to my hearts content while I was there, and now the Christmas shopping rush is over.

  • December 3, 2012

    I love those city prints! I actually just purchased the SLC print (yellow, baby!) but would love a trio of Santa Fe, New York City, and Phoenix (the three cities J-Mo and I have visited together that Bird Ave has prints for).


    • December 3, 2012

      And have now sent the link to about 40 people. I’m clearly hooked. 🙂


  • December 3, 2012

    So hard! So many cool options. I would pick all New York themed ones- Queensboro Bridge NY, Manhattan Skyline Version 1 and NY Brooklyn Bridge

  • December 3, 2012

    I’d have to do San Francisco, Santiago and London. And I have no idea what I actually want for Christmas!

  • December 3, 2012

    I love these! I would pick Seattle WA version two, London Big Ben, Shanghai, China

  • December 3, 2012

    These are some great gift ideas! Selfishly, I’ll probably buy a lot of these things for myself, haha.

  • December 3, 2012

    Not entering, just commenting.
    First off thanks for the double shout-out (wowza!)! Your gift guide should be titled, “What to buy Andi” (hee-hee) everything is awesome. I love the charger, small form factor with a powerful punch, definitely going to be picking one of those up! Since you got personal I need to know why you like the Hanky Panky boy shorts? I am super picky about undies, I also don’t believe in super expensive ones, I have about 30 of this one kind that I got at Target, I bought that many because they went EOL and I can’t get then anymore so I am on sort of the look out for future purchases…. I am not a a runner, but I love Merrill for loafers, I always go for comfort for all my shoes, these are some good ones. I am a huge scarf addict wear one almost everyday and I must have the SF one now. I don’t do a lot of holiday shopping, everyone in my fam has everything they could possibly need, I just buy for my nieces and usually give them cash – teenagers want that more than anything!

    • December 15, 2012

      They are the only underwear I’ve found that stay in place and don’t give me wedgies while traveling! Plus, they’re super durable and so comfortable when traveling. For 20 years, I wore Victoria’s Secret cotton bikini underwear (the 5-for-$25 offer), and they started getting so poorly made that they’d fall apart in no time. I had friends who would buy HP, and I resisted because of the price–until my best friend Liz bought me some for my bachelorette lingerie shower. I was addicted! BUT I buy them all on sale–at either the annual November sample sale in NYC (via Liz) or on Rue La La whenever they’re selling the. I don’t believe in paying full price =)

  • December 4, 2012
    Andrea J.

    I love the prints! I want Chattanooga and Atlanta. And then I wish I could get one for Gainesville, GA (my hometown).

  • December 4, 2012

    This year? I think I just want more BOOKS! I just can’t get enough – my struggle is constantly between real books and kindle books!

  • December 4, 2012

    For the prints – I’d want Bangkok, Athens V1, and Marrakech! All places I’ve lived!

  • December 4, 2012
    Krista J.

    I would probably pick 3 Chicago prints, my hometown!

  • December 4, 2012

    I love the BirdAve posters! So many great ones, it was hard to choose. I think I would go with New York, Philadelphia, and Penn State (my alma mater!).

    Instead of buying each other gifts, my cousins and I donate money to charity every year. Some great options are and

  • December 4, 2012

    NYC + Vegas + Athens, GA

  • December 5, 2012

    I’d pick Madrid (Version 2) and Louisville, Kentucky because I’ve lived in both places and then Marrakesh because it’s one of my favorite places.

  • December 5, 2012

    Christmas comes early for your readers 🙂 I would love the city prints 🙂

  • December 5, 2012

    We just moved so I would love some new furniture for christmas 🙂

  • December 5, 2012

    Oslo, Norway (fell in love with this country in September) // Atlanta, GA (home) // Tokyo, Japan (in honor of my upcoming trip!)
    They would look awesome in our new house.

  • December 5, 2012

    Ooh! I love BirdAve! I’d pick Munich, Auckland & Charlotte (green, orange, navy).

    For xmas, I’d like a house with lots of walls where I can hang gorgeous things.

  • December 5, 2012

    I would take the Seville and Albuquerque prints because those cities are near to my heart and I would take the Fenway Park print because that is on top of my list of places to go this year. I also really love The Homesick Texan book even though I currently live in Texas.

  • December 5, 2012

    the YHL book is TOTALLY on my wishlist 🙂 I love the Bird Ave posters – I would do Annapolis, Burlington, VT and Boston 🙂 (the 3 places I call home) 🙂 They’d go great in my living room 😀

  • December 5, 2012

    I was lusting after a recent trip to NOLA for Christmas. I always prefer an experience to stuff.

    I would pick Manhattan, KS (me), Omaha (bf), and Kansas City (where we met). Corny, yes, but it would be a little adorable in the new place.

  • December 5, 2012
    Heather K

    Detroit (hometown), Paris (honeymoon), Venice (best vacation ever and the place where we got engaged)

  • December 5, 2012

    The prints are beautiful. Is the contest open worldwide?

    • December 5, 2012

      You betcha. They ship worldwide, so no restrictions on who can enter!

  • December 5, 2012

    Love the shout-out!!! 🙂 This year I am asking Santa for a job in Nashville. Not quite sure how he’ll put it in my stocking, but fingers crossed!

  • December 5, 2012

    I would pick the Montpellier, Eiffel and London Eye prints. All the skylines are beautiful,, it’s so hard to choose!

  • December 5, 2012

    prints: San Diego for myself, Los Angeles for my best friend, and San Francisco for another best friend

    lusting after: not lusting after anything materialistic at the moment. just lusting for grad school acceptance so thats still a work in progress

    giving: 7 for all mankind jeans for my mom probably…hehe.

    what about you KL? Happy Holidays!

  • December 6, 2012

    Florence for moi (lived there), Paris for my bestie (she lived there) and Texas A&M for my roommate! This is such a great gift! Merry Christmas, Kristin!

  • December 6, 2012

    I am a sucker for anything related to the various cities/states in which I’ve lived and I actually have a number of such prints in my office. But means my apartment is woefully empty of these reminders, so I’m eyeing Charlottesville and Houston.

  • December 7, 2012

    Oslo, Barcelona, and Paris – that’s where I was traveling last summer!

  • December 10, 2012

    I love, love, love the BirdAve prints – I’ve got for Richmond that needs hanging up and I did just buy the Young House Love book for myself and it’s pretty awesome. I’m so proud of those two, especially since I’ve been reading their blog since the almost-beginning.

  • December 14, 2012

    Awesome gift ideas! I’m in search of the perfect travel undies myself – I used to travel with Cosabella which were really durable but I think I’ll give these Hanky Panky ones a try 🙂

  • December 17, 2012

    Nice underwear! I’m a fan of Maidenform’s lycra undies at $10 each. I stay away from Victoria’s Secret and La Senza (maybe I’m becoming old). I’m also taking a look at those prints and the shoes. Psst: Check out my gift guide too! 6 gifts from NEAR and 6 from AFAR. 🙂

Leave a Comment