Whether you’re a regular traveller like me, a business traveller, or you just want to keep the kids amused during a long trip there are some essential travel items and gadgets that can make the journey a lot easier and your trip a lot more fun.
I travel for lots of reasons; for work, as a travel blogger and, of course, for pleasure. There are certain travel items and gadgets that I never leave home without (yes, I have a travel gadget geeky side).
Looking for the perfect gift for the travel lover in your life? Look no further because I’ve made a list, and I’ve checked it twice…
Most travel addicts would love to find a weekend away or a city-break tucked under the Christmas tree but that’s a bit on an ask isn’t it. To help you buy the travel lover in your life the ideal present I’ve come up with some quirky gifts, useful gifts and some outrageously decadent gifts. These gifts are perfect for all sorts of travel from luxury weekend breaks to glamping or business trips. And who knows, there might be something in the mix you’ll want to add to your own wish list. Happy giving.
WORLD MAP CAMERA STRAP
Most wanderlusters won’t go anywhere without their camera in tow – me included. I love this quirky strap which is so much nicer than the branded black straps that come with a DSLR. The straps come in lots of lovely designs with a focus on durability, strength and comfort. They are adjustable for positioning either around your neck or across your body. Perfect for the shutterbug in your life. Available from Etsy.com from £21 plus P&P
CARNABY LONDON SKYE WILLOW WEEKEND BAG
I love this stylish, soft leather weekend bag (hint!) which features a neat multi-device charger and a built-in GPS device so you can track the bag if you lose it. The charger is compatible with various smart-phones, mp3 players, digital cameras and tablets. It’s got inner zipped pockets, two pouches and is roomy enough to pack all your essentials. The ideal piece of hand-luggage from carnabylondon.co.uk £140 plus P&P.
THE TRTL SLEEP SCARF
The TRTL (pronounced turtle) stands for ‘travel rested travel light’ and it’s the next generation of travel pillows. Part scarf, part snood, with internal head support the Trtl makes it possible to get some quality sleep on your flight, in the car or wherever you need to sleep sitting upright. I tried mine out recently on a 7 hour flight back from New York and I got some quality sleep – in fact I was out for the count. I usually just doze on a flight semi-aware of what’s going on around me but with the Trtl I was sound asleep for nearly four hours. I won’t be flying anywhere without my Trtl in future. The soft, fleecy scarf wraps around your neck with the internal support allowing you to rest your head in a comfortable position which stops head nodding and neck-ache. It keeps your neck toasty too. The Trtl is very light and you can Velcro it to your bag strap so it doesn’t take up any luggage space and it comes in black, grey, red and pink. Neat at only £24.95 plus P&P from www.trtl.co.uk
A FLYTOGRAPHER PHOTO SHOOT
Do you believe memories are the best souvenirs? Flytographer do and they’ll make sure your special trip, honeymoon or big birthday is captured for ever. If, like me, you’re usually found behind the camera lens then this is a fantastic gift as I rarely get to feature in any of my photos. Book with Flytographer and they’ll send one of their photographers out with you as you explore the city and in a fun, informal photo shoot they’ll capture all the best bits and special moments. They’ll also offer tips and suggestions for the best shoot locations. I think this would make a fabulous wedding present for a couple on their honeymoon or for a group of friends celebrating a big birthday or even, well, just because. Flytographer are based in dozens of cities around the world and prices range from $250-$650.
MAP THEMED TRAVEL JOURNAL
I keep a journal when I’m travelling and scribble down anything from random thoughts about a destination, notes and general diary of the trip. I’ll also slip entrance tickets, maps and restaurant cards between the pages as mementos and reminders. This is the perfect journal for me since I have a little bit of a thing about maps – you might have noticed! £20 plus P&P from Not on the High Street
RAILWAY OF LIFE NOTEBOOKS
If vintage charm is more your thing then there’s a lot to be said for these cute little Railway of Life paperback notebooks – much lighter to slip in your bag if you’re travelling around. Made with plain paper they can be used for writing or sketching and come in at just £4 from www.2littleboys.co.uk
THE TIPPLESWORTH SUITCASE
I’m somewhat partial to a cocktail and just love these gorgeous little vintage-style suitcases (yes more vintage!) filled with cocktail loveliness by Tipplesworth. Now, these suitcases aren’t ever going to get through airport security but they’re perfect for the next time you go glamping because they contain everything you need mix up the perfect cocktail. The quirky little case includes spirits, mixers, professional barware, glassware and recipe card. Ingenious – cocktails on the go! Designed by the lovely Frankie Snobel, they come in four designs each with a different cocktail kit inside; Apple and Elderflower Martini, Bramble, Old Fashioned and the Mince Pie Martini – Mmm, don’t mind if I do… £185 from Tipplesworth.com
So that’s a wrap! What’s on your wish-list this year and what will you be buying the travel lover in your life? Let me know in the comments below – I might have to add it to my list!
Reviewed – the North Face Resolve Jacket for women. The perfect lightweight jacket for Spring and Autumn walks and hikes to keep you warm and dry.
The Mister and I have been dog-sitting for the past couple of weeks so we were more than happy that the day Havana came to stay the rain stopped and the sun came out. Havana (aka Princess Yum Yum) is a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier and not a sheep or teddy bear (if you were wondering). Cute isn’t she?
Is it time for walkies?
It was excellent timing that Blacks had just asked me check-out out a North Face Resolve jacket – perfect for dog-walking in the Sussex countryside in this fresh, breezy spring weather.
The Resolve jacket is waterproof, breathable and seam sealed for wet weather and it’s made from a durable Ripstop HyVent™ fabric. The jacket comes with 60g Heatseeker™ synthetic lightweight insulation for extra warmth. It allows your body to breathe whether you’re trekking, walking the dog or even out in the snow.
There’s an adjustable stowable hood, brushed chin guard and mesh lining. The centre zip has a Velcro storm flap for added weatherproofing, two zipped pockets and tailored styling and it weighs just 410g.
What’s to Love?
The jacket is totally waterproof so that when it rained the water just rolled straight off, without soaking into the fabric, keeping me completely dry.
The hood is adjustable so didn’t blow down in the wind and kept my hair dry too. My hair frizzes and doubles in size in the slightest drizzle so that was a big plus and it wasn’t really cold enough to be wearing a hat. When not in use the hood stows neatly away in the back of the collar without being bulky.
The funnel necked chin-guard looks great and had the added bonus of stopping the wind whipping around my throat. There’s a cinched hem so no unwanted drafts there either.
I love that this jacket is tailored for women to give a neat fitted look and is light enough to slip into a rucksack or bag without being bulky. Despite being very lightweight the jacket kept me really warm and as it’s breathable I didn’t get hot and clammy. Basically this jacket has the cold, wet weather sewn up.
What’s not to love?
I wasn’t keen on the elasticated cuffs. An adjustable cuff with velcro or fastener to keep wrists snug would have been preferable and would give the sleeves a more structured, finished look. But that was just a minor point in what is otherwise a really good walking and hiking jacket for spring and autumn.
I took the North Face Resolve jacket with me on a trip to Iceland in August. It was perfect for the changeable weather and light enough to squeeze easily into my bag when the sun came out.
Disclaimer: My ‘North Face’ Resolve Insulated Jacket was kindly provided by Blacks. However, all views and thoughts are entirely my own.
Skiing in The French Alps in January is always going to be a lot colder than skiing in March or April without that gorgeous spring sunshine. This year as we’d be going in winter I wanted to make sure I was completely warm on the piste. I packed for the cold with thermal undies and lots of layers to keep me toasty but I needed something extra for my feet. I’ve got some great walking boots but they’re only ankle height and take ages to get on and off. The time had come for a pair of waterproof snow boots.
Enter the boot of choice – Berghaus Women’s Jura AQ Insulated Waterproof Winter Boots
Waterproof Snow Boots
I needed a longer, waterproof, boot that would keep my feet warm and dry. It’s no fun balancing on one foot in a snowy car park while trying to get your après ski boot on so they needed to be easy to slip on and off and with good grip for icy conditions. They also needed to have a bit of style and look good for après ski with jeans or leggings. Those are my gorgeously soft, woolly socks peeping out the top…
These boots come in a durable, water-resistant, nylon ripstop fabric with a waterproof lining to give complete water protection outdoors. They feature a warm insulation which keeps feet and legs warm when the temperature drops. A faux fur trim offers extra warmth and style to this cold weather boot which comes in black to match any outfit.
Berghaus have included in the design of this boot their patented OPTI STUD® technology which increases traction over rough terrain. This feature has been created through a floral pattern to add style and definition. The boot has a front lacing system which improves fit and comfort whilst a concealed zipper makes getting them on and off easy.
What’s to love?
Lots. These comfortable boots kept my feet warm and dry and looked great too – the fluffy detail made me feel like a proper snow-bunny! They were really easy to get on and off using the full-length zip at the side and the lacing at the front could be loosened to fit thick ski trousers or tightened for evenings when I was wearing leggings or jeans. The grippy sole provided great traction in the snow and they weren’t heavy to wear. Even when I was knee-deep in snow the boot remained totally dry without letting any moisture soak into the fabric.
What’s not to love?
The boots come up a bit small so I went for one size bigger – especially as I knew I’d be wearing thick ski-socks with them. Not a problem if you’re buying in-store and trying on but if purchasing on-line this could be an issue.
Overall I’m very pleased with these boots – they look great, they’re waterproof, warm and grip well in the snow. They’re very well made so should last several ski seasons and will also be perfect for the cold weather in the UK, although if this rain carries on I’ll have webbed feet before long!
Disclaimer: There is an affiliate link in this post which means that if you click through and buy we’ll be credited with a small commission at now extra cost to you. This helps towards the costs of running this site and is very much appreciated.
Eleven years of skiing at least once a year means I’ve got my ski packing list down to a fine art. It can be a challenge knowing what to pack for a ski trip but it’s crucial you get it right. The last thing you’ll want to be thinking about when ripping through the powder is numb fingers or worrying about getting a sunburned nose. Not a good look.
To get the most from any ski tip you’ll need to have the right ski equipment and gear to be protected from the elements and any tumbles you might take. Whether it’s spring skiing in the sunshine or winter white-outs here are my top tips for what to pack for a ski trip. And as I like you, I’m including a free downloadable ski trip packing list.
Portes du Soleil, France