Holiday Gift Guide 2011

10 Top Gifts for the Travelers on Your List

Give the gift of travel with our list of 10 must-have items recommended by our editors and a few of our favorite travel bloggers. And don’t forget, you can always give the gift of wanderlust this season with a 1-year subscription to Traveler. Give (or get!) 8 issues for only $10!!

Icebreaker Tee

Norie Quintos @noriecicerone
Executive Editor, National Geographic Traveler

I’m giving each of my teenage sons an Icebreaker tee shirt. I’ve got two tees and they go on every trip with me, whatever the climate, because they are lightweight and go for days without washing. My older son is going off to college soon–that’s just like an extended trip anyway, since he probably won’t be doing much laundry. Plus, I like the New Zealand company’s ethos of treating people, land, and animals in their supply chain responsibly.  Icebreaker, $50 – $150


Zain Habboo @zainyh
Director of Content Development, Nat Geo Travel

I found the perfect gift for my family members, custom iPhone cases from Casetagram. For anyone using the Instagram app, designing a case is super easy, just sign into your account and drag-and-drop photos into one of eight layouts. Add small touches to suit each person’s style. Casetagram, $35

Camera Phone Lenses, Photojojo

Intelligent Travel Staff Pick

Add a whole new dimension to your cellphone snaps with these pro-style fisheye, macro, wide angle, and telephoto lenses from Photojojo. The lenses work with any camera phone, snapping into place with a detachable, magnetic ring. Camera phone lenses from Photojojo, $20-25/lens.

TOMS Shoes

Katie Knorovsky @TravKatieK
Assistant Editor, National Geographic Traveler

My husband and I are planning to give each other a new pair of TOMS. The lightweight shoes are perfect for traveling year-round, as they slip on and off easily at the airport, take up minimal space, and make comfortable walking shoes. And the whole concept of TOMS—for each shoes purchased, the company gives a pair to a child in need—is rooted in travel (the “Amazing Race” alum/founder dreamed up the business model while traveling in Argentina). TOMS shoes, $54

Crumpler Camera Bag

Matt Long @landlopers
Editor and Owner, LandLopers blog

As the new owner of a DSLR camera, my first concern was how to protect it while traveling. At the top of my holiday list is the 8 Million Dollar camera bag by Crumpler. I first found this Australian based company while window shopping in Melbourne and fell in love instantly. Their camera bags have plenty of modular separators for cameras, equipment and even travel guides and those extras we take on trips. Best of all, it doesn’t look like a camera bag; its stylish design helps you blend in as you navigate new destinations. Crumpler offers a whole line of camera bags from  one million on up, and luckily they cost a lot less. Also on my holiday wish list: travel socks, Nikon lenses, and of course plane tickets. Crumpler bags, $45-$165

PADI eLearning Course

Kerrin Sheldon @kerrinsheldon
Content Manager, Wanderfly

Cameras break. Clothes wear out. Shoes go out of style (except for mine). Instead, give travelers what they really seek this year: life-long skills and experiences that last. I recently acquired my PADI scuba-diving certification and will be reaping the benefits of awesome underwater adventures for years to come (not to mention fending off sharks with my fins– it happened). This year, give the adventurous traveler on your list the gift of sea exploration. Check out PADI’s eLearning courses to help get your newest scuba-diving friend started. Then, why not take a 2012 trip to the Cayman Islands or Belize to help them finish their certification? It’s the closest they’ll ever come to visiting an alien universe. PADI eLearning Course, $120

Knomo Laptop Case

Annie Fitzsimmons @anniefitz
Writer, Hotel Belle blog

I am a new owner of the ultimate travel laptop, the MacBook Air– after my old, heavy MacBook had an angry run-in with a full glass of water. To protect my purchase (aka lifeline, home office, third arm), I found the most gorgeous line of cases from Knomo London that I will now be giving as gifts this season. I chose the sleek brown leather envelope with velvet lining. It makes me feel more organized than I actually am, and ready to write and work around the world. Knomo also has a great line of luggage, iPad cases, and men’s messenger bags. Even their name, Knomo, is perfect for travelers– it comes from combining “Knowledge” and “Mobility.” MacBook Air Envelope from Knomo London, $79.95

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Adopt an Olive Tree

Gio Palatucci @giopalatucci
Editor, Intelligent Travel blog

My mom loved her trip to Italy, but because I can’t afford to send her back, I’m giving her a small taste of Italy to enjoy here at home. Artisanal olive oil producer Casa Margherita in Umbria offers an adopt-a-tree program. Purchasers select a tree to adopt and then receive email updates about the tree and the grove throughout the year. But the best part of the gift is the winter shipment of a guaranteed 2 liters of extra virgin olive oil cold-pressed from your tree’s olives. Casa Margherita, $92

Hamsa Bracelet, Etsy

Annemarie Dooling @TravelingAnna
Community Editor, Huffington Post Travel

I tend to fall prey to bad luck when I travel and have been collecting the native good luck charms of the places I visit to counter that luck. I also love buying from local shops and main street boutiques, instead of box stores, so this leather hamsa bracelet on Etsy fits all my needs. The little golden hamsa charms are a Middle Eastern symbol
of luck, warding off anything evil that comes your way, and the big blue evil eye charm is an ancient Roman symbol of protection. Best of all, it looks thin enough to layer under tees and hoodies, so the superstitious traveler (like me!) can wear it for protection while abroad. Etsy, $35

Olympus TG-810 Digital Camera

Keith Jenkins @velvetescape
Founder & Publisher, Velvet Escape blog

I was looking around for a digital camera that can stand a few bumps and takes great pictures in freezing conditions or even underwater. That’s when I saw a television interview featuring my friends Dave and Deb from The Planet D. In this interview, they talked about the Olympus TG-810 camera which is shock-proof, freeze-proof, and waterproof. It also comes with cool features such as the touch-screen that allows you to easily snap a picture when you’ve got thick gloves on. I think it’s a brilliant gadget for those who love active holidays in the sun, sea, or snow. Olympus TG-810, $329.99

What travel-related gifts are you giving (or getting!) this holiday season? Leave us the details in the comments section below.

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