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A Travel-Themed Homemade Holiday Gift Guide

A Travel-Themed Homemade Holiday Gift Guide | CosmosMariners.com

Ready to gear up for the holidays? I've broken my years-long streak of waiting until the last moment to buy presents since I'm pretty sure that a newborn + toddler + Christmas shopping don't really mix. I'm actually completely finished with Britton's holiday gift shopping, which makes me prouder than I probably should be. 

If you're still on the lookout for the perfect presents for the traveler in your life, I'm here to help! Instead of listing my favorite travel products from the past year (as I did in both 2014 and 2015), I decided to go in a different direction this year.

The Ultimate Round-up of Travel Gift Guides

The Ultimate Round-up of Travel Gift Guides | CosmosMariners.com

Christmas is less than a month away. Let the panicking commence!

If you know someone who loves to travel, you've come to the right place. Here, you'll find all sorts of travel-related gift guides for every type of traveler: your luxury hotel lovin' sister, your budget backpacking second cousin, and your great-aunt who likes the idea of travel (but, in reality, only goes on the same exact cruise every year).

Basically, if you read this article and you still show up to your family or office party's holiday gathering, don't blame me. You've got more inspiration here than your pocketbook will allow!

So, no excuses. Play like a champion. And buy those travel gifts for your favorite globetrotter.

14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life

14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com

Is anyone else stunned that it's already November? Once that calendar flips over after Halloween, I start to panic a little because the holiday season is upon me again. It's time for family get-togethers, office parties, and present exchanges, so you and I better start thinking about our gift lists. 

If you love to travel or if you're buying for someone who does, I've got you covered with these seriously fantastic gift ideas. And, if there's anything left over in your budget, you can always send one or two of them to me, too!

1) Travel Magazine Subscription

$5-$20 per year

14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com

It's never too early to start thinking about your next trip! These gorgeous glossy mags will help your favorite traveler figure out his or her destinations for 2016: Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure and Afar.

2) Secret Travel Scarf


14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com

One of these went with me on my trip to Luxembourg and Germany, and I cannot say enough good things about it! I loved being able to toss my passport and extra money into the small pocket: for the first time ever, I wasn't paranoid about being pickpocketed. The scarves come in all sorts of fabrics, so you could get one for tropical trips and another for cooler destinations. Read my review here.

3) Cute travel mugs

$9.99 and up

14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com
London Underground mug | Oh Darling mug: Etsy shop Exaltation | Multicolor world map mug: Etsy shop Doufaith

If I can't travel, the next best thing is thinking about travel. These adorable mugs will let you ponder your past and future trips over a cup of coffee or tea. Plus, this one changes colors based on the temperature of the liquid inside (tell me that's not cool!):
14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com
Think Geek Day and Night mug

4) iPhone DSLR lenses

14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com
{photo of Techo lens via}
If your favorite travelers want better pictures but don't want to purchase a DSLR, these lens kits are the perfect gift (see one by iPro here, a less expensive option from Olloclip here, and an even cheaper option from Techo here). All of the lenses attach directly to the iPhone. Since they're so small, they'd take up little to no room when they're packed.

14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via Etsy shop Kreations by Kiara}
This is the cutest little necklace that would complement any wardrobe. I don't know what I love more: the quote from Dr. Seuss or the tiny passport charm. 

6) Sseko sandals

14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via}
I came across these earlier this year, and I am in love! As a minimalistic packer, I'm all for any product that can be used in multiple ways, and these sandals deliver. Pack a few colors of ribbon, practice your different tying techniques, and there's no need to put any other shoes in your case for that tropical vacation.

I wear them ALL of them around town and when we're traveling, and I get compliments on them constantly. Plus, they're super, super comfortable. It's a win all around!

7) Luggage tags

14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com
Leather luggage tag: Etsy shop Exsect | Wood luggage tag: Etsy shop Mile Nine | Map luggage tag: Etsy shop Marmaline
You can't ever have too many luggage tags! Stick a few of these cuties into your nomad's stocking, and you'll have one happy traveler on your hands.

8) Subscription boxes

Price varies on type of box and number of months ordered; most boxes average $20/ month

A photo posted by Try The World (@trytheworld) on

Getting a present is fun, but getting a present in the mail for every month is even better. With a global-themed subscription box, you can keep the holiday spirit alive long after you put up the tinsel and lights.

Try the World and Grub Box sends you snacks, jams, crackers, and more to sample from different countries. If you've got a sweet tooth, try out BoCandy, where you'll get treats from all corners of the globe. Disney lovers might like the official Disney Park Pack.

9) Compass cufflinks

14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via Etsy shop SuedeSentiment}
My husband decided a few years back that he loves french cuff shirts, so I've been on the hunt for cool cufflinks ever since. I think he'd love these silver compass cufflinks--they make a statement without being too flashy. 

10) Scratch off map

14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via}

If there's one thing that any traveler loves, it's the ability to show off where they've been. This map would make for one cool conversation starter! Best of all, it's inexpensive, so you can get one for all of your travel buddies.

14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via}
Another great stocking stuffer, these stick-on nail designs will let your favorite traveler show off her wanderlust in style.

14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via Etsy shop JewelryFineandDandy}
I can't resist a good pair of studs these days (my toddler thinks it's hilarious to pull on my dangly earrings--ow!), and these earrings by Etsy shop JewelryFineandDandy would make an awesome gift to fellow travelers. Plus, these tiny compasses actually work! 

13) Global Monopoly games

14 Awesome Gifts for the Traveler in Your Life | CosmosMariners.com
{photo via Amazon.com}
Game night just went global with these fun takes on the classic board game. Bayern, Cambridge, Canada, Edinburgh, Las Vegas, the U.S. National Parks, and New York City have all gotten the Monopoly treatment. If one of your favorite locales isn't listed here, no worries! There are over 80 different Monopoly options, so you're sure to find something that your favorite traveler will love.

14) Mirrorless camera

{photo via}
I know that this camera made the list last year, too, but I'm still in love with my Sony A6000 after all this time. After owning a DSLR and constantly complaining about the size and weight, this teeny camera is the best thing that ever happened to my travel photography. It takes great pictures, and I actually want to haul it around. Get this for that extra super special traveler in your life.

If you need even more gift ideas, see my travel-themed gift guide from 2014.

Which of these would you be excited to get or give? What travel-related gift would you add to the list?

This post contains affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through them, I will receive a small commission at no additional charge to you.

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5 Charleston Activities to Get You in the Holiday Spirit

Shrimp Boat display at the James Island County Park Festival of Lights
With a nickname like the Holy City, it's no wonder that Charleston is a great place to spend Christmas. We might not get snow or ice, but we make up for the lack of traditional holiday weather with an array of fun activities. If you're lucky, you might visit while the temperatures are in the 70s, and you can break out your favorite Christmas shorts!

9 Awesome Gifts for Your Favorite Traveler

Please tell me that all of you lovely readers are further along than I am in your holiday shopping.

I've bought exactly zero gifts. ZERO. (To my mom and sister, who read this blog--I will have something come Christmas Eve!)

But as with so many things in life, do as I say, and not as I do. Get started on your Christmas shopping!

If you're still struggling to find the perfect gift for the traveler in  your life, maybe I can help. Here are some of my favorite travel accessories that would make any traveler happy!

Travel Themed Gift Guide: Christmas Ideas for Your Favorite Traveler | CosmosMariners.com

1) A really, really light suitcase. I have this one suitcase that is carryon sized, but it weighs about 10 pounds. That's BEFORE I put anything else in it. I've fallen in love with the ultra lightweight suitcases that are on the market since they're so easy to lift up and down--and, you get to pack more since you're not wasting that precious weight on suitcase bulk.

2) Travel bag organizers. I bought these before I went to Scotland and never looked back. I even go so far as to label each individual bag--I can glance inside my suitcase and know exactly what I need to grab in an instant. No more rifling through your suitcase, tearing up all of those carefully folded and rolled clothes!

3) A really cute passport holder. This is totally superfluous since it doesn't actually do anything other than look cute, but that's pretty much what your cat does, and you still love him/her. Right? Plus, if you know someone who travels a lot, a cute passport holder might be the thing to brighten his or her day.

4) A travel wallet. For those who demand more out of their travel gear than just cuteness, a solid travel wallet is a great gift choice. You can get versions with passport holders, hidden pockets, multiple money pockets (for keeping all that currency organized!), and airplane ticket pockets.

5) A great backpack. I'm not talking about a hiking backpack that you often associate with hostel-living, never-going-home-again nomadic travelers. I'm a huge proponent of using a rugged pack like one by The North Face as my purse/under the seat item when flying. It holds so much more than a purse!

6) A beautiful travel journal. This would make a great stocking stuffer! The only thing better than traveling is being able to share those memories once you get home. Give your favorite traveler a pretty, inspirational journal, and you'll be able to relive the trip when he or she returns!

7) A fully stocked toiletries case. This is also another low-cost but high-impact gift. Buy a sturdy travel case and then include everything your traveler needs: a travel sized hairdryer, small bottles of shampoo, a little container of tissues, and more. I love mine so much that I wrote an entire blog post devoted to it. (That's true love right there.)

8) A three-in-one coat (men and women). When I studied abroad in London, I made the mistake of not packing a coat (or a sweater or long pants). I learned that lesson the hard way, so the next time that I went on a big trip, I made sure to take a great coat with me. I love the three-in-one jackets you can get: the outer portion is waterproof and thin like a rain jacket while the inner portion is lined fleece. You can remove the two coats, wear each separately, or both together on a cold, wet day. Whenever I'm going somewhere non-tropical, I don't travel without it since it's so versatile. Get it monogrammed for extra fun!

9) A micro 3/4th camera. All of you DSLR lovers out there, go ahead and guffaw at me. I used to have a Nikon DSLR, but that thing was so bulky that I pretty much needed to carry another suitcase just for it. Since getting a micro 3/4th (also called a mirrorless camera), I won't ever go back to a traditional DSLR. The micro 3/4th camera also has interchangeable lenses, manual settings, and all of the bells and whistles of a D3000 or Rebel, but it's just way, way smaller. If you're a professional travel photographer, you might want to stick with your DSLR, but for the traveler or travel blogger who wants awesome pictures from a camera that's still small enough to stick in your purse, I'd highly recommend a micro 3/4th.
Happy shopping!

This post uses Amazon affiliate links. If you click one of the links above and purchase that item, I'll get a little (very, very little) kickback.