It's coming! It's coming! That "What the heck am I going to buy for so and so" season. Christmas. (Of course Christmas season is ALL about Christ but my family and I firmly believe that Christ's birth should be celebrated daily, not annually, so we partake in all of the holiday shenanigans, including gift giving!) It may seem far, but trust me, it's so close. Gifts that wow and move people are the ones that are thought out and planned ahead. Chances are, someone you love is a wanderer at heart or an adventurous traveler. Take it from me, gifts with meaning are loved all year long. We all love that feeling of filling someone with joy, seeing the excitement on their face as they open a gift that you thought long and hard about, am I right? Making them feel loved and appreciated and connecting with them on a personal level. Birthdays and other special occasions are a great time to exercise this as well. So here is a list of gift ideas for that special person in your life.
The Fanny Pack
Did someone say 1992? No? Who cares?! The fanny pack is back and it's here to stay. From runway to gift shops, you can find a fanny pack just about anywhere on any budget. There are personalized ones, leather ones, funny ones and practical ones. My son absolutely loves wearing one and uses it for collecting small pebbles and such from his adventures. Is the traditional fanny pack not your style? There are upgraded variations of them, such as sling bags like the one listed below: https://www.etsy.com/listing/704148274/personalized-brown-canvas-sling-bag?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=personalized+fanny+pack&ref=sc_gallery-2-14&plkey=3f233cfd8986c145aea232feae932e0ef038e549%3A704148274&frs=1
It's so practical, gender neutral, and stylish, with pockets for all of the things you need to get to quick while on your adventures. Packs, such as these, are also great for keeping valuables close to your body, decreasing your chances of a pick-pocket situation. And if you're going for the wow factor, remember to personalize your bag with the recipients initials or monogram.
Of course you can get creative with your fanny pack gift-giving, and buy ones with fun themes, like a disney themed bag. My sister got hers from a gift shop at a WDW resort but the one linked below, is Instagram gold for your trips to the castle and will make such a statement: https://www.etsy.com/listing/714316077/disney-mickey-minnie-mouse-fanny-pack?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=disney+fanny+pack&ref=sr_gallery-4-10&organic_search_click=1&frs=1
A Map Photo Frame
I absolutely LOVE this idea. Growing up, my grandparents traveled all over, up until my grandfather fell ill, and sadly, passed away. He truly lived his best life. Him and my grandmother visited national parks, mountains, beaches, waterfalls and everywhere in between. I get it honest, folks. And in their home there is a hallway, wallpapered in photos from their adventures. I still love seeing those photos when I visit. This map photo frame would have been the best gift ever for my grandfather. It will definitely be on my own wish list for christmas this year! *wink wink, hubby. Whether your recipient has a home, a camper or a home away from home, they will love displaying this for all to see. The one linked below is done so beautifully, with an easy layout of how to complete. It will be a conversation piece in your loved one's home for years to come! For wow factor: Go ahead and place a picture of one of the recipient's favorite home photos in their native state before giving it to them. https://www.etsy.com/listing/542226648/personalized-50-states-photo-map-a?pp=1
I know, I know. Most people have plenty of mugs. But if your wanderer is a coffee or tea loving traveler, nothing warms their heart more. When I started my travel blog, my mother found a Rae Dunn "traveler" mug and gave it to me. It absolutely touched me and brought a huge smile to my face. After all, this girl runs on Disney and coffee. So a mug is always appreciated as long as it relates to the recipient on a personal level.
I got this idea years ago and it's one of my most favorite gifts to give or receive! Finding a zoo, aquarium or theme park nearby or near one of your traveler's frequent destinations, you can purchase tickets online and wrap them as gifts for families. Just be sure to pick a "flexible date" option so that the recipient can plan a time that works best for them. Zoo tickets to a zoo two hours away from my family was a great gift once and since we were actually not planning any travel around that time, we were able to make it a day trip and the kids absolutely loved it! Gift cards to specific parks are great for this as well. Disney gift cards can be used towards a disney trip. Cruise lines have gift certificate options as well. So do airlines! Get creative and wrap a zoo ticket with a plush gorilla or an aquarium ticket with a dolphin t-shirt. Another experience gift is actually planning a trip with your family and making THAT the family christmas gift. My mom does this every year and we love it. To surprise the littles, we have them shirts made to open and see if they can figure out where we are going! A dear friend of mine does an amazing job with embroidery and her sister did names for the backs of all of our shirts for one of our trips to Disney! https://www.etsy.com/shop/WendyEmbroideryDsgn?fbclid=IwAR1mG2V5FHDgZMgf5IrEr4HntgiiyGoOHXsr_RvtxEBn3Uu06TEIuNcp_7Q&page=1#items "Get out there and explore!" That's what "experience gifts" say to your loved ones.
Shameless plug: I make christmas ornaments. There. I said it. But ornaments can be a very inexpensive yet lovely and thoughtful gift for your traveler. Getting a photo of your recipient, to have a personal ornament made, is fairly easy. You can always ask what their favorite travel photo is, inconspicuously of course, have it made into a personal ornament to hang on their tree year after year. https://www.etsy.com/shop/OrnamentsByChrissy?ref=shop_sugg
A Travel Hammock
This can be a very fun gift for the outdoorsman (or outdoorswoman) in your life. The camper, the kayaker, the backpacker and many other forms of travelers would love this fun and unique gift. For a bonus, pair it with a good book with a personal message written on the inside cover from you. Nothing goes better together than a good book and a good hammock! I absolutely love this one that keeps critters and creepy crawlers out: https://www.walmart.com/ip/portable-Tarnung-double-person-travel-camping-hammock-swing-hanging-bed-w-mosquito-net/438782963
External Battery Pack
This is always an easy gift "go to" but to step it up, I'll say it louder for the ones in the back: PERSONALIZE IT! Slap a monogram on there. Etsy has a plethora of vinyl monogram choices from camo to lily pulitzer inspired decals. Every traveler needs one of these desperately. But never forget to make it special.
GoPro and Tripod
GoPro makes several models to fit most budgets and if your traveling friend does not have one, it will be loved for sure. Gopros have become the number one travel accessory over the last few years. From underwater shots to mountain climbing to roller coasters, the Gopro is a durable camera sure to make everyone watching feel like they were on the adventure themselves! And if they already have one? No problem! The GoPro company offers so many add ons and accessories that are sure to give your recipient a different vantage point that has yet to be experienced!
A Carry On
Most people own a suit case but I can't tell you how many times I've had to borrow my mom's carry on because all of my own suit cases were too big. I am usually a heavy packer. A carry on saves a traveler so much money when it comes to flying. The bonus is definitely one that has 360 degree navigation wheels. A personalized luggage tag already attached and ready to go would delight any avid traveler. The carry on sizes should be 9"x 14"x 22". And get this, they even make carry-on luggage that has a USB port for gadget charging! I know, right?! https://www.amazon.com/REYLEO-Hardside-Luggage-Suitcase-Charging/dp/B07KW19YRQ/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1SWNCED2LGDDZ&keywords=suitcase+charger+phone&qid=1568120408&s=gateway&sprefix=suitcase+cha%2Caps%2C170&sr=8-3
One thing a globe trotter is guaranteed to experience is weather. I'm not gonna lie, my husband has an older version of The North Face mountain gore-tex jacket and we fight over it all of the time! It makes even the nastiest weather conditions a picnic. It has a compatible zipper inside for adding a fleece liner option which is great for snow trips! And with the "pit zip" feature, you don't get overheated! The right raincoat can make just about every weather condition a breeze. However, if The North Face mountain collection is not in your budget, a simple raincoat would be appreciated too. Etsy has so many choices from Disney themes to simple and practically perfect in every way options with name and monogram personalization offers. The more pockets the better is what I always say.
So there you have it. Some people are hard to buy for but many are adventurers at heart. And quite honestly, figuring out new ways to surprise loved ones is so much fun! Hopefully this list helps with the upcoming holidays!! Happy shopping!
The Adventurous Alfords
"There's a great big hunk of world down there with no fence around it." -Lady & The Tramp