Skip to main content
Gift GuidesTravel Tips

Road-Trippin’: Pure Wander’s Holiday Gift Guide

By November 29, 2019December 11th, 2019One Comment

Road trips aren’t for just vagabonds and college kids anymore. You can load up the car anytime to explore things within reach of the highway, which can be a more sustainable (and possibly fun!) way to travel. To be prepared for your next epic adventure, here are some wonderful ideas to pick up as gift this holiday season for the road warrior in your life. Happy holidays from Pure Wander!

PS – We’re working on our annual giveaways too, so bookmark this page to find some of these items below as PRIZES!

Sherpa Travel Bag

yatra travel bag sherpa adventure gear

Made from cordura fabric, the Yatra travel kit from Sherpa Adventure Gear is sure to stand up to the hustle and bustle of long days on the road.  This little bath bag can hold everything you need in a stylish and robust bag. More than that, all Sherpa products help to educate and empower the children of Nepal, and the company has created nearly 1,600 jobs for Nepalese people. Sure, you can buy a lower quality bag down at some chain store – or you can get this handsome bag and help out a good cause.  Almost all of us could use something like this, which makes it a great, affordable gift as well! -Christian

Yakima LocknLoad platform

We never know where the road or path will take us – but we want to be prepared for anything. Enter Yakima’s LockNLoad roof rack system. The system starts with a flat roof rack that can then be used with almost any kind of Yakima rack.  Do you kayak, canoe or bike? Do you ski or board in the winter? Do you go on road trips with the family and all the gear you can possibly fit?  There’s a Yakima rack for that. You start with a robust LockNLoad base rack that has crossbars to work with the aforementioned activity racks. Installing a bike or ski rack once the base is installed is quick and easy, meaning you can make the best of each season.

The base rack comes in six different sizes to fit almost any vehicle, and Yakima has different adaptors for those without existing cross rails. The rack itself can hold between 300 and 400 pounds, and has just really nifty accessories. My favorite are the squared corner brackets that you can use to hold a cooler in place.

I use the LockNLoad platform with a FatCat Evo 6 ski rack – that holds six pairs of skis or four snowboards. It can be attached to the LockNLoad base without any tools, and has locks to make sure no one runs off with your skis!  Whether our planning for off-road adventures, or just need the extra space, the LockNLoad system can declutter your outdoor adventures! -Christian


snakku japanese snack box

Snacks! Who doesn’t love road trip snacks? But who wants the boring chips and veggie stick when you can spice things up on your options on your next trip. The Snakku box is something that will wow your car buddies. It’s a big box of Japanese snacks, sweet and savory, often running the gamut across several regions and traditions in the country. Beautifully wrapped and boxed, these snacks come every month with a booklet explaining all your new tasty treasures. Ours includes lots of wonderful surprises, such as matcha candies, cookies, cakes and rice crackers. If you rather something smaller, they have tasting box options at half cost, so you can try out the idea to see if you like it. Maybe a Snakku box can turn into a game of guessing while you share with friends and try new things! -Eileen

Neat Stack Food Jars

zoku food jars

Food storage, especially options that are sustainable, is key for any modern kitchen and any healthy (ish) road trip. Now that I’ve made the switch to mostly fresh and organic foods, I’m always looking for ways to sustain their longevity and keep things fresh. Not to mention, I’ve also started packing my own snacks and sustenance for traveling a bit more often to maintain healthy options on the road. The zoku line of stainless steel food jars are perfect for things like nuts and seeds, fruit, little crackers and even yogurt. If you have more than one, they neatly stack too for optimal storage. -Eileen

Keen Explore Day Hiking Shoe

Keen Explore Hiking Boot

Oregon-based Keen Footwear’s latest innovation is part sneaker, part hiking boot. Called the Explore, it’s built for those of us who will try to sneak in some adventure or outdoor time no matter where we are. Got a business trip, holiday travel or family road trip?  You can lightweight and waterproof boots along for the ride and when the opportunity arises, sneak off for a day hike in amazing comfort.

The Explore comes in both waterproof or not, and both as a shoe or boot. It’s got a pretty serious rubber sole with good traction, but weights in at just a pound a boot (mid-ankle). Keen also went an extra here – the Keen.Dry membrane uses no PFCs and the anti-odor technology is free of pesticides and biocides.  It’s one small step, but a lightweight and ably cushioned one! -Christian

SanDisk 400GB Microcard

Sandisk microCard

SanDisk micro memory cards just keep getting better and better. Last year we were awed at the 400GB capacity cards that always worked well in our cameras like a charm. This year, SanDisk introduced a 1T memory card, which can feel like endless space for all our video and photo needs. When on a big trip, it’s such a relief to skip the step where you’re switching out cards and might miss the perfect shot from fumbling. Instead, you can use one card the whole time The micro cards come with a larger adapter too, so I can use it in my old DSLR camera still and load it into a flash drive no matter the size for transferring to my laptop. -Eileen

Don’t miss our giveaway for a 400GB micro memory card from SanDisk – bookmark our giveaway page!

Royce Luxury Travel Grooming Kit

Royce Grooming Kit

Toothbrush.. check.. razor.. check.. nail clippers..check. Shorten your travel checklist by just writing Royce Luxury Travel Grooming Kit…check! This genuine leather encased grooming kit eliminates the need for an extensive list of travel necessities. Its stylish zip up design unfolds to present an array of items to keep you looking dapper on your travels. An indispensable baggage companion, loaded with luxury toiletries that keeps you looking your best. Let’s face it, appearance goes a long way in business meetings and you always want to look your best for a romantic weekend with your mate. Not to mention, it helps when you have a corkscrew to open that expensive bottle of wine! Equipped with a metal handled razor, extra blades, nail clippers, toothbrush, lint brush, comb, scissors, tweezers, corkscrew, there’s not much it doesn’t have. It’s compact and ready to slip into your overnight bag when you’re ready to go. We all have someone on our gift list for whom looking their best isn’t just an afterthought, it’s essential. -Jake

Baja Llama Shirt

When looking through the endless blah of men’s shirts one day, I came across Baja Llama. These brilliant printed shirts add much needed personality to men’s wardrobes, but more importantly represent a spirit of adventure (or misadventure as they put it). The Desert Night button down shows colorful cacti against a darkened desert night and is sure to bring confidence to any who dare to wear. Desert Night not your thing? Baja Llama has many different prints – from sea and tropical themes to just plain strange.  While we think the Baja LLama’s Fight Against Boring is an excellent motto, the coolest part is that they donate a portion of all proceeds to charities such as The Ocean Clean Up, Cool Earth, and the International Anti Poaching Foundation. In these threads you differentiate yourself from the pale blues and feel great doing it. –Christian

Dr. Scholl’s Incredible Bootie

Incredible bootie by dr scholls brown suade and cream sole

Sneakers aren’t cutting it for me anymore when I travel. I want to look professional for business trips and also keep my outfits smart when checking out a new destination on vacation. The Incredible Booties fro Dr. Scholl’s is a solution to something wildly comfortable and really stylish. The suede exterior, small pop of embroidered detail and the solid, bouncy sole all worth together to offer a great shoe. The materials are sourced ethically and every par sold goes toward a tree planted with Trees for the Future. -Eileen

ASOS Fanny Pack

The Spiral Pastel Sequin Fanny Pack from ASOS has made carrying items much more convenient than a purse. There is no need to hold anything in my arms, fidget with a purse on my shoulder, or try and fit my phone into the tiny pockets in my jeans. This fanny pack satisfies my love for glitter while the blended pastel colors are captivating. Also, the colors are subtle enough that the pack does not clash with my clothes. When I go out on the weekends and wear this fanny pack, I can make it an attractive part of my outfit. While attending concerts, it doesn’t even swing around while I’m dancing. I can adjust the belt strap higher or lower on my waist depending on my mood or what I’m wearing. I’ve even worn it as a small cross body bag. 

The bigger main compartment in the pack is perfect for my phone, wallet, and keys. The back pocket on the reverse side of the pack serves as a convenient space for smaller items. I know I won’t lose my lipstick and hair clips. 

In addition, the ASOS website offers more than just sequin fanny packs. They offer a wide selection of inexpensive fanny packs in many different colors and styles. I can’t believe how convenient fanny packs are! I will definitely be buying my second fanny pack from them. -Ginny

ChargeHubGO+ Portable Battery Charger


Besides my phone itself, the single most important gadget I bring with me while traveling is a portable battery charger. And not one of those small, flimsy ones, because I have lots of things to keep juiced (phone, e-reader, video games, smartwatch etc.). The ChargeHubGO+ by Limitless Innovations ticks all the boxes, including attached charge cords to keep everything together. It’s a 5000 mAh battery that can handle most devices, whether using the built-in cords or the wireless charging pad. It’s about the size of a standard smartphone and worked great for me on my recent trip to Montana and it saved me on a couple of long layovers. -Eileen

Travel Banter Cards

travel banter

Via Travel Banter IG

Getting together is the best part of taking a trip. We put down our gadgets and truly connect with each other and our new surroundings. We love the Travel Banter cards to celebrate all this and more for our traveling friends and family. The deck is an ideal ice breaker among buddies sharing their trip stories, or if you’re looking to make new friends on the road. It doesn’t matter if you’ve traveled all over the world or simply explored your backyard, the cards have great questions for everyone. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer! -Eileen

Trapper Wrap Scarf by Faribault

faribault trapper wrap

I’m freezing. Like, always. When I’m off shift from driving and hanging out in the back of the car, I like to curl up with something soft and take in the scenery. I’ll bring something for the occasion, as it helps avid debates over heating and vehicle temperature too. The Trapper Wrap Scarf is perfect for a wintery accessory to take anywhere on the road, and a lovely upscale gift for your favorite road trip pal. The classic, neutral colors and large size is ideal for capsule wardrobes when packing space is minimal too. Check out all the great products from the Faribault Wool Co. – they harken back to a simpler time of style and use wool as a primary textile for sustainability and recyclability. This mill in Minnesota has been around since 1865 creating beautiful keepsakes for people worldwide. -Eileen

Mizu Tumbler

The importance of a good tumbler on the road cannot be overestimated. Whether you need your fix of coffee or tea or even have water to keep cold, Mizu’s insulated tumbler is a necessary investment. The sip through lid makes it easy to enjoy a hot beverage, and there’s an easy spot for adding a straw (reusable, please!) if you want to sip on a smoothie instead. The 16oz size is perfect – it holds just the right amount of coffee for me and is super easy to bring with me on the go without being too cumbersome or heavy. – Sara

Keepgo WiFi Hotspot


Staying connected is an important part of traveling. Checking email, uploading your travel pictures or researching what to explore are all modern day necessities. Keepgo Wifi Hotspot connects up to 16 devices over 4g internet in over 100 countries around the world. This small hand held device is an essential companion for your far flung adventures. Refilling data is easy using a credit card or you can sign up for auto refill for when you’re running low.  Data is slightly pricey but if you’re not streaming movies you should be able to get along fine without spending a fortune. 1Gb of data is included and a full charge will get you 6 hours of in use battery time. A great gift for the traveler in your life. -Jake

Nodpod Weighted Sleep Mask


Here at Pure Wander, as much as we love hanging out with our buddies while on the road, we also take sleep very seriously. Catching a full eight hours can be tricky when you have to balance the sleeping rituals of members of your traveling crew can be tricky. Nodpod is a perfect solution for anyone who is a light sleeper. Pulling from a similar concept of a weighted blanket, Nodpod, uses  the clinical concept applying gentle pressure to relieve stress and help you fall into a deep, restful sleep cycle. The weighted blanket for your eyes comes in several different colors so you can sleep in style. The best feature of this product is the ability to use it as a sleep aid for air travel. Block out the light from your fellow passengers and cabin crew by tying the blanket around your head. Pick up a nodpod for all of your travel companions this holiday season. -Jeanne

Beach Safe

beach safeBeachtime feels far away, but not for those who travel! Sandy and sunshine getaways are just around the corner, often in far flung places. Especially when traveling with a big group or solo, I worry sometimes about leaving my belongings on the beach when I hope to grab a snack or find a washroom. Luckily, the Beach Safe offers a solution to these issues and more. Not only can you keep your keys and cash inside the safe, it also has a solar charger with two USB ports as an added bonus. The strong cable can be tied to almost anything ensuring protection while you’re away. It’s a handy safe to have for peace of mind. -Eileen

WIN a beachsafe during our Pure Wander gift guides!

Eileen Cotter Wright

Author Eileen Cotter Wright

Eileen Cotter is a freelance travel journalist and owner of Pure Wander. She's our resident expat extraordinaire and falls down a lot in yoga class. Follow her on Instagram @Pure_Wander.

More posts by Eileen Cotter Wright

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Kathy Forest says:

    I love the beach safe idea! I often find myself stuck at my beach chair or towel guarding the family belongings while everyone else plays in the water. Could definitely use this!

Leave a Reply