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14 gifts for the girl who loves to travel

Christmas is just around the corner and while Santa’s making his list and checking it twice, you’re probably busy making lists of things to buy family and friends.  In the midst of the hustle and bustle that comes with the most wonderful time of year, don’t forget that the gift of your presence can be the best present of all! So, if you have a woman in your life who loves to travel, I hope this list of 14 gift ideas for the wanderlust on your list will help you spend less time thinking about the perfect gift to buy and more time being with the ones you love.

1. I truly believe that every girl should own a pair of Tieks by Gavrieli. They’re cute and comfy… and those are only 2 of the 8 reasons why I think they’re the best shoes for travel (read that blog here).

Tieks travel


2. I have a recently-acquired super power… Sleeping on airplanes, trains, and buses. My secret weapon for sleeping on planes is the Cocoon sleeping bag hood pillow. It’s inflatable, weighs 3.5oz. and fits in a tiny stuff sack, so it’s easy to stick in your purse… even on a RyanAir flight with limited luggage space. I inflate it as we taxi and am usually asleep by wheels-up.

3. A dear friend from Dallas is the heart and brains behind Lily Claire Bags. Her beautiful, lightweight purses allow lots of room for ‘just one more thing,’ fold up to nearly nothing if you need to stick it in a backpack, and have a zippered interior pouch that keeps your valuables safe.  Plus, 100% of the profits from Lily Claire Bags are given to a charitable organization. This season’s non-profit is Emily’s Place, a housing ministry for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

One quick story (out of many times I’ve been stopped because of my purse): I was in Italy (hello, Italian leather!) and was stopped by a woman with a Louis Vuitton bag who had been looking for the perfect purse her whole trip. She stopped me, needing to know where I got my bag, because it was the one. I told her all about Lily Claire while her husband wrote down the information.

Lily Claire grey flannel with topstitchLilyClairebag-newme and my Lily Claire bag in Florence

4. A good travel backpack. I love my Osprey Farpoint 70L Travel Backpack with a zip-off daypack.  I like travel packs as opposed to the typical hiking packs because these are designed for people who hop on airplanes frequently. The straps zip up into the bag and it transforms into a duffel for easy transportation and no ripped strap surprises. I can’t vouch for every airline, but I carried the large part of the backpack (without the daypack) about 3/4 full onto a RyanAir flight!

5. My Panasonic LUMIX GX7 mirrorless four thirds camera is always in my bag. Although I’ve loved photography for years, my big Canon DSLR only came out on special occasions, resulting in lots of missed photos. The Panasonic is great because it’s light, easy to use, has a touch screen and a live view finder that means what you see through the viewfinder is what your image will look like. Need a little more light? A little less? Fix it on the touch screen before you ever take the photo. And once you’ve taken the photo, turn on the in-camera wifi to transfer images to a smartphone for immediate social media sharing!

6. I bought other lenses for my camera, but my Panasonic Lumix 20mm F/1.7 Lens has rarely come off since I bought the camera. This pancake lens takes great, high-quality photos (even in low-light situations) and I can crop to zoom in on anything I want.

7. While we’re talking about photos, your favorite traveler can never have enough memory for their camera.  I like the Lexar Professional 1000x UHS-II SDHC Memory Card because of its fast read and write speeds that make it a good option for photos and video. I carry two with me so I don’t have all my photos in one place just in case…

8. Last photo-related gift, but quite possibly the most important. A good hard drive is worth its weight in gold. When traveling, computer and phone memory fills up quickly, so it’s good to offload photos onto a hard drive. And for safety reasons, it’s good to have photos in two different places… just in case.  I use a Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB Portable External Hard Drive, but there are lots of good options out there! Just be sure to get on that’s compatible with your Mac or PC.

9. Just like Tieks, I think that every girl needs to own a pair of Lululemon studio pants. They’re comfy, athletic, and perfect travel-day pants.

10. Traveling seems adventurous and most of the time, it is GO-GO-GO… but what about those days when rest is the only thing on your mind? An iTunes or gift card is perfect for those rainy days when watching a movie sounds so much more enticing than a free walking tour.

11. I wasn’t really an ‘I need soft socks’ kinda girl in the states… but I’ve been in some cold hostels where a soft, thick pair of fluffy socks would have been so appreciated.

12. A sarong is the Swiss Army knife of any female traveller’s wardrobe. Cold? It makes a perfect scarf. At the beach? It’s a towel. Entering a holy place on a hot day? Cover up those shoulders or tie it around your waist for a makeshift skirt over shorts. Worried about pick pockets? Throw it on top of your purse to give your valuables one more layer of protection. You get the idea.

13. A little luxury goes a long way, and one of the things I miss from home the most are my nice shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and lotions. A travel toiletry kit with travel sizes from their favorite brands would be a perfect gift and won’t break the bank. Throw in some mini opi nail polish and a pack of Absolute! Nail Polish Remover Pads for an extra-girly twist.

14. And the most easily packable gift of all? Some currency for the next place your favorite traveling girl is going.

What’s the best travel-related gift you’ve ever received?

Have a wonderful Christmas season!

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gifts for girls who travel

Note: This article contains affiliate links. That means if you click on them and purchase, I’ll receive a portion of the sale, but it doesn’t cost you any extra. 


Noreen Kompanik

Monday 30th of November 2015

The article is fantastic. Really enjoyed it!


Monday 30th of November 2015

Thanks, Noreen!


Monday 30th of November 2015

Love those handbags! Am going to check out the website!


Monday 30th of November 2015

They're on sale until tonight!! 30% off :)


Monday 16th of November 2015

Whitney! Thanks for the awesome suggestions! And way to go on the job with Kindle!! It looks like Seattle is treating you well!


Sunday 15th of November 2015

I don't know where you are right now, but I am praying for your safety and that God will use you to be a blessing in this challenging time. Hope you are feeling well too! Blessings Sweet Friend! Love, Marylyn


Monday 16th of November 2015

Thank you Marylyn! I am enjoying my last day in Italy by eating all the gelato I can find! :)


Friday 13th of November 2015

I am really enjoying your blog!!! Especially this post ;) As a fellow Girl Who Loves to Travel, I would add: Crocs Sexi Flip (durable and not ugly, waterproof, non-slip sandals!), Belkin Rockstar 5-way headphone splitter (to share tunes or watch a movie with your buds on a train ride or in a quiet hostel lounge), and of course any of Amazon's Kindles (gotta give a shout out to my employer!!) :)