Gift Guide: Travel must-haves to give your favorite globe-trotters
Much like how Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, the day after Halloween seems to be the opening day of the holiday season. (Despite whenever pumpkin spice lattes hit the market.)
Thus, ye olde holiday shopping time is here, and some retailers trot out blockbuster deals as soon as Nov. 1. (In this digital day and age, if you’re waiting until the day after Thanksgiving, you’re doing it wrong.)
However, not everyone has time to shop around (IRL, in stores, no less) and look for the newest items on the market that could appeal to the loved ones and colleagues on their gift giving lists. (Or for themselves, because let’s be honest, we look at holiday gift guides and deals for ourselves just as much as for others.)
For anyone planning to travel this holiday season, deals for travel gear couldn’t be better than right now.
OstrichPillow GO: Meet the luxury version of your standard airplane neck pillow, now made out of memory foam with Velcro closures. Promising 360-degree support around your neck, the OstrichPillow GO is easily adjustable and packable as it rolls up into an included travel bag for easy stowing while not on the airplane. A few notes of caution: If your neck is a bit shorter, it might be a little hard to get used to and might actually put some stress on your neck. Thus, as the GO pillow is made using memory foam, it is recommended that you leave it to rest outside of the packaging for a minimum of 72 hours. SRP: $60.
Trtl Travel Pillow: This might be the travel accessory that has taken the Internet—or at least the travel influencers—by storm this year. The Trtl Pillow weighs only half a pound and is half the size of a U-shaped travel pillow. The internal support—structured like a configurable rib cage—is touted to hold your head in a better position than standard travel pillows. Available in more than half a dozen colors, the soft fleece Trtl Pillow is machine washable and hypoallergenic. SRP: $29.99.
Dr. Barbara Sturm: Staying hydrated in the air cannot be stressed enough. It’s generally recommended you drink at least a glass of water each hour of your flight. But it’s just as important to stay hydrated on the outside as it is on the inside. You don’t need to go full skin care regimen while traveling—after all, you can bring only so many three-ounce bottles in that clear plastic Ziploc bag. But you should make room for a few, usually a toner or rosewater spray, a serum, and a moisturizer. (Bonus if you bring an eye cream—especially for long-haul flights.)
One of the serums getting rave reviews with beauty bloggers this year has been the Hyaluronic Serum by Dr. Barbara Sturm. Intended for all skin types (normal, dry, oily, and combination), the hyaluronic acid offers both immediate and long-term hydration with a plumping effect, reducing the formation of wrinkles and leaving the skin looking refreshed. Purslane also serves as an antioxidant stimulating rejuvenation. And if you use it regularly, the serum is touted to reduce the look of wrinkles caused by dehydration.
And just in time for the holidays, Dr. Barbara Sturm is releasing a Winter Essentials kit, which could also serve well as an all-in-one, in-flight travel regimen—or just a blueprint of what you should be using to keep your skin hydrated (and not flaky or coarse) during the brutal winter months. The kit includes a cleanser, facial scrub, a face mask, a calming serum, a face cream, and, of course, a smaller size of the Hyaluronic Serum. And given the more comfortable price point, this could be a good way to test out the serum as well as the brand’s other nutrient-rich hydrating products before investing in the full-size bottles. SRP: $300 for the serum; $215 for the Winter Essentials kit.
Rothy’s: Rothy’s has gained popularity over the past few years not just because of the buzz around its eco-friendly image. (The company uses thread made from plastic water bottles and bio-based algae Strobel boards for the spot under the insoles.) But its shoes are also incredibly comfortable and require little to no time for break-in. Another plus: You can throw them in the washing machine (just not the dryer), making them ideal for traveling. The brand just launched a new line of cozy shoes made from a combination of merino wool (an all-new fabric for the company) and its signature repurposed classic fibers. The mix is intended to make the shoes ultrasoft while also keeping the structure in place—no floppy shoes here. SRP: $155.
Trench London: Is there any piece of clothing more versatile for travel than the trench coat? Perhaps the most classic and crisp sartorial choice there is, a good trench coat should last through good times and bad—including sunshine and rainstorms and drops in temperature in the main cabin. Nowhere is more synonymous with the trench coat than England, and Trench London has gone back to the drawing board to upgrade the trench coat. The same silhouette is still there—but with current touches, such as better tailored, contoured fits for men and women in all sizes. Trench London has also upgraded its (free) shipping for modern times as all packaging is recycled, recyclable, and 100% biodegradable. Shipping worldwide, Trench London says its shipping is also 100% carbon neutral. SRP: Starts at $500.
Uniqlo: Puffy coats are notoriously difficult to pack. Basically you’re trying to stuff a sized-down duvet cover and comforter into a suitcase, and in most cases, the coat will take up the entire bag. But the designers over at Uniqlo have worked some kind of mysterious magic, developing an entire line—dubbed Ultra Light Down—of puffy coats, jackets, and vests that are both warm and easy to pack, ready to be rolled up and stuffed into a carrying pouch that could not only fit in your suitcase but virtually any carry-on bag larger than a small purse. SRP: Jackets start at $69.90.
Away: Away’s carry-on suitcases have become the de facto symbol of cool jet-setters thanks to its simple but elevated design with a lightweight yet durable polycarbonate shell. If the airlines are going to squeeze every last inch of the cabin for space, you should squeeze every last inch (or centimeter) for space in the overhead compartment. Away’s “Bigger” Carry-On holds two compartments: one designed for clothes, the other for harder items like shoes and toiletries. Dirty clothes can be stored in the hidden water-resistant laundry bag, and travelers can buckle down the compression pad to free up even more space. Special this holiday season are two limited-edition styles, adding a classic touch to modern luggage: Trench (similar to the shade of a tan trench coat with Cognac-shaded leather lining) and Towncar (a dark hue exuding exclusivity, also with the leather-piped lining on the exterior). SRP: $245.
Slowly but surely (and carefully), Away is expanding its portfolio of luggage options beyond the now-iconic 360-degree rolling suitcases to additional form factors. One of the biggest hits with customers has been The Everywhere Bag, which is designed to slide over the handle of the suitcase (or slide over your shoulder). The interior holds six pockets, including a laptop pocket and waterproof umbrella pocket. On the outside there is a “hidden” exterior pocket sized to hold a smartphone. The Everywhere Bag is available in nylon, pebbled leather, and three limited-edition shades and fabrics this winter: a Scotch whisky–hued leather, Moor leather (evocative of the Scottish moors), and Highland Plaid (you get the idea). SRP: $195–$325.
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—What it means to be the chief purpose officer at the world’s largest adventure travel company
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