Boarding a plane, passport in hand, headed on an incredible adventure – there might be no better feeling in the world. And when we’re home, we love to have beautiful things that remind us of the unforgettable experiences we’ve been lucky enough to have across the globe.
Tangled earbuds are the bane of any global traveler’s existence. I used to have several pairs shoved in the bottom of my bag that were barely salvageable when I’d try to yank them up in a heaped mess. Not to mention, the cheap ones always have horrible sound quality and rarely stay securely in the ears. Investing in this headset was a fantastic way to truly enjoy my time spent walking around London, taking flights and all the down time in between. With Bluetooth technology, weather-resistant design and Dolby sound tech, It’s been a definite game changer for traveling. But really the best part is how well it stays put in my ears even as I wiggle around for a nap or pound the pavement.
Ever since I popped these puppies out from their packaging I have barely taken them off. Anyone who is perpetually cold on airplanes or finds themselves in freezing destinations will be crazy for Heat Holders. They are thicker-lined socks for both men and women that claim to be more than seven times warmer than regular socks. The inside feels like a super soft fleece and envelopes your toes in a blanket of cozy comfort. The SockShop has all sorts of options for you to pick from to satisfy your thermal wear needs.
As hard as I try, my luggage just eve seems to get lighter. I’ve tried all the tricks and I still insisted on bringing along a half dozen pairs of shoes for a long weekend. Whether you’re packing just for yourself or your whole brood, these bags can be a lifesaver. Even if it doesn’t make your suitcase lighter, it can let you bring along more things in a smaller bag, especially for a long haul international trip. This is especially helpful if traveling to a colder climate and clothes are extra bulky.
I just feel like I started to get a handle on my favorite wines from California, and then I loved to Europe. Now I’m lost again in a sea of bold Spanish reds and bubbly French bottles. I found the only way to starting getting a handle on the differences between grape varieties and regions all over the world is by owning a copy of the Wine Bible. This book is very large and not exactly portable, but can be a wonderful resource before you leave to get a crash course introduction on more than 10,000 international wines. Maps, photos, glossaries and of course recommended bottles. Author Karen MacNeil does a wonderful job keeping this complicated subject fun and easy to digest. So now you’ll sound extra fancy at your next dinner party, or at least stop buying wine exclusively by the box.
These days, we try to keep our things minimal and turn our extra income toward to travel. So when family members ask when everyone wants for the holidays, we love suggesting gift cards we can use to splurge on some flight or hotel upgrades when possible. The Mr. and Mrs. Smith collection of beautiful hotels worldwide all have a high standard of luxury quality. The gift cards are a ideal way to offer your favorite international traveler the chance to indulge a spa and some bubble across Europe, Asia, Africa and more, as they specialize in exclusive packages that present the extra special perks of an unforgettable vacation. There’s also a Smith and Family site that offers selections for groups and families too.
I have a confession – I didn’t know there was an Ireland and Northern Ireland, two separate countries, until I went to Europe the first time. That’s only one example of my horrible geography – a flaw I couldn’t sustain if we were to see more of the world and not sound woefully unaware. We all love pouring over this Atlas by Lonely Planet to discover new destinations, learn about regions of the world and add even more places to our travel list.
Love to have mementos of your world traveling displayed at home? So do we! The Luckies scratch map is one of my favorites to help keep track of everywhere we’ve roamed. You can choose the whole world or a specific region, then scratch off with a coin the gold foil after you’ve visited each country, revealing more colors and a classic map design. It’s a fun way to reminisce and also get the kids involved in checking off those travel bucket list items as well.
Those travelers who are semi-nomadic, traveling a lot for work or just insanely busy know how hard it can be to buy presents for others while on the road. Thank goodness online purchases are now the norm and help out when it comes to shipping and sending gift to loved ones anywhere in the world. One way I love to show people I’m thinking about them over the holidays is by sending beautiful arrangements as a surprise. iFlower gifts is ideal for those who love to support local businesses in the UK and enjoy gifting something with lots of color and style. Not to mention, if you are buying for an international traveler, what could be better than finding some beautiful flowers upon their return from a long trip?
If you’re lucky enough to be jet-setting around the world with your crew, you know how unfortunate some other people’s situations can be across the globe. One way to responsibly connect with the people around you is to invest in a micro loan. KIVA is a website where you donate a small (or large) amount of funds to a person looking to expand their business in a developing country. Over time, your donation is actually paid back to you so you can withdraw it or re-invest your gift. This is a fun way to get kids involved in charity, especially if they have some savings in a bank anyways. You read people’s various stories about being fisherman, shop owners, seamstresses or even computer engineers and choose which projects you’d like to fund. It’s a perfect way to stay globally minded and help those out without access to big bank loans worldwide.