We love sending gifts but we don't love sending a gift for sending a gift's sake .
We therefore asked our team for their favorite gifts. The criteria? We needed presents that make busy lives better, that make traveling less stressful or just simply that offer a much-needed pick-me-up wherever you might find yourself at 4pm on a Thursday afternoon.
From the perfect travel perfume decanter to the chicest, comfiest joggers, to multitasking makeup must-haves and an eye mask that blocks out noise, they are guaranteed load-lightening, travel-friendly, present pleasers.
Life-lifting stocking stuffers
The Noise-Canceling Eye Mask
Whether you're taking an overnight flight or have really terrible gaps in your curtains at home, the Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Mask will save your sleep. 100% silk, this soft, enveloping mask is kind to the delicate eye area, blocks out all light and is thermoregulating so it won’t bring you out in a hot sweat. If that wasn’t enough, it also covers ears to reduce unwanted sounds and is washable.
The Save-Your-Soles Slipper
If work or life takes you to unknown hotels, with unknown carpets and unknown bathroom flooring, may we offer one tip – take some slippers. We think we've found slipper satisfaction with Allbirds Wool Dwellers. Made with upcycled scraps of wool, they're like a soft squishy hug for travel-weary feet.
The Ultimate Multitasking Skin Perfector
Who doesn't want instantly protected, flawless looking skin? The All-in Day Serum is our bestselling, award-winning product for good reason. With broad-spectrum coverage it protects against sun, pollution and blue light, and deeply hydrates the skin. With no white cast that some SPFs leave, its 'I can't tell you're wearing makeup' tint leaves skin luminously and beautifully radiant.
The Greens To Go
These ingenious capsules dilute in water and contain a mega phytonutrient cocktail of spinach, kale, aloe vera, wheatgrass, blue green algae, barley grass, chlorella, and spirulina. Containing no fillers or unnatural ingredients, they're an essential health kick for those who don't have time to cram in their 5-a-day.
The No Mess Toothpaste
We’d want to find Parla Toothpaste Tabs in our stocking for many reasons: the dehydrated toothpaste tablets use clean ingredients, replace unsustainable plastic toothpaste tubes, and mean the end of toothpaste explosions in your bag. Chew one pill-sized toothpaste tablet in your mouth, wet your toothbrush and clean.
The Gym in a Band
The most inexpensive and travel-friendly piece of workout equipment you can buy is the exercise band, a must for intensifying any workout on the go. One of our favorites is the Bala Band which is made with premium woven elastic fabric that won’t pull the skin. With Light, Medium and Heavy strengths in one package there’s one for your gym bag, carry-on and suitcase.
GADGETS TO GO
The Skin De-Stressor
Lightweight and small enough to keep in your carry-on or handbag, the Gaiatop Mini Portable Fan is perfect for cooling down stressful situations or for drying skincare or makeup that you need to layer.
The AirPod Saver
We love our AirPods, but we really don’t love losing one at 3 am on a flight down the side of an airplane seat. The Alexa Leigh AirPod Chain is a lightweight chain that's like a necklace with ends that grip around each AirPod ensuring they stay firmly findable.
Never not on our list, the sound of the JBL Travel Clip4 Portable Speaker is fantastic. It's tiny enough to travel with, waterproof and the clip is essential in our busy world, making it a breeze to listen to in the hotel bathroom while we're trying our best to put on makeup in bad lighting.
The Inflight Entertainment Essential
The gadget they don’t know they need but will love you dearly for! Just plug the MEE Audio Connect Air In-Flight Bluetooth Audio Connector into the jack port on a plane and up to two sets of AirPods can enjoy hassle-free in-air entertainment or connect to multiple devices.
The Wine Winner
You may be questioning how this beauty is related to travel, but hear us out. We may have a crisp glass of wine on a Tuesday evening only to leave on a work trip the next morning for a week. What’s a person to do? Skip the crisp glass of wine? No. Open that bottle, pour yourself a glass and then decant the rest into this ETO wine keeper. Press the top down for an airtight seal before zipping off on your travels, safe in the knowledge that the rest of the bottle will be as fresh on your return as the day you cracked that cork.
The Unplanned Planner
2022 was our first year using this Clever Fox Undated Planner and we will never go back. Moments of chaos meant that some weeks we didn’t even open it, but we came back and started again the following week since you fill in the dates as you go. It has the perfect balance of writing space (but not too much) and structure to get you focused. If you can find the smaller version with the soft cover we would highly recommend that as a travel option.
The Frequent Flyer Top Find
Sick of getting stuck in the middle seat? Looking for the perfect gift for a frequent flyer in your life? The Expert Flyer Subscription tool will equip you to stay on top of flight choices and flight fares, can help with where you want to sit on the plane or how to best to maximize your miles and elite upgrades. Upgrade to one of the paid plans and the site will notify you when your favorite plane seat opens up.
The Ultimate Skin Retoucher
We have fallen hard for the entire Westman Atelier makeup range, however one of our favorites is the Vital Skin Foundation Stick. Dark circles, pimples, uneven skin, fatigue and jet lag are all swept away in a quick swipe of this skincare infused stick. You can blend with fingers, it comes in 21 shades and is the closest we’ve found to a second skin.
The Suits-All Lip Perfector
This Saint Jane Luxury Lip Oil has won awards for good reason. Blended with just 8 natural ingredients, it also comes in 8 beautiful sheer shades that nourish lips and give a natural wash of color that somehow looks appropriate in a boardroom or a cocktail bar.
The Ultimate Mascara
There is no one we have recommended The Unlocked Instant Extension Mascara from Hourglass to that isn’t wowed by its ability to coat virtually every lash, making them look super defined and elegantly long without looking OTT. Vegan and cruelty-free, it also just washes away with your normal cleanser.
The Nothing Else Needed Skincare Set
Whether you're gifting your niece or your grandma, your brother or your husband, the All The Radiance Kit from 35 Thousand is suitable for all skin types and ages. Containing our four full-size signature products, Clever Cleansing Balm, Refresh & Revive Mist, Really Radiant Cream and All-In Day Serum SPF 30, it comes in our Signature Clear Travel Bag with a bamboo washcloth, making glow on the glow a possibility for everyone.
The Best Budget Beauty Dupe
There were a period of years when we would skimp on lunch and coffee and save up all of our rewards points to splurge on the La Mer Lip Volumizer, which is a perfect balance of lasting, non-sticky hydration and refreshing minty plumping. But sadly, it took its toll on our bank balance in the end. Thankfully L’Oreal’s Rouge Signature Plumping Lip Gloss in 402 Soar (which has the tingle plump thing) or the Glow Paradise Balm-in-Lipstick in Celestial Blossom are absolutely perfect dupes and, dare we say it, even better at hydration. And at $8 you can buy 10 and still be ahead.
ON THE GO GREATS
The Non-Spill Water Bottle
We never travel without our Memo Bottle, an ingenious water bottle designed to slip into your bag. Shaped like a book, it comes in A7, A6, A5 and a super slim design which slots upright into your backpack, carry-on or tote, meaning you’ll never have a bag leak ever again.
Travel Cup Perfection
Over the years we've tried every portable coffee cup going. Some leak, some burn your mouth, some burn your hands, others don’t keep your drink warm and many don’t fit into the cup holder in our car. The Yeti Rambler, however, is reliable, on-the-go coffee cup perfection. With insulation to keep your beloved beverage hot (or cold) and a splash-proof slider lid, it's also puncture and rust resistant for weekend campers.
The Portable Fragrance Atomizer
Fragrance is hugely important when we travel because it can help us feel comforted and at home. We've tried all the atomizers on the market, and this Owlyee decanter is the one: it doesn’t leak, at 8ml it is the perfect size that will last us 2 weeks on the road, has multiple fill options and looks super sleek. Use for perfume or even mouthwash for an on the go breath freshener.
The Go-Anywhere Tote
Another item never not on the list. We've tried them all and the Tumi Voyager Tote is the one. Folds up and drops into a small pouch where it sits in our carry-on waiting to be called into action (and we always do).
Pack Like a Pro
Do you envy your packing pro friends – the ones that can take a carry-on on a two-day work trip and create 10 different outfits? While the Away Insider Packing Cubes can’t help pack your clothes for you, they can help organize your suitcase. Available as a set of 4 or 6, they can help compartmentalize everything from socks to shirts, jewelry and skincare.
The De-Stress Supplements
The Goodbye Stress supplements from Olly are expertly blended with GABA, a fast-working active that supports a relaxed state of mind, as well as L Theanine and botanical Lemon Balm, which has been used for centuries to help quieten the mind. We find them to be particularly useful at keeping airport anxiety at bay.
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The On-the-Go Treatment
Don’t knock it til you try it. We were skeptical that these would work, but wowza they do. Simply stick the Vie Healing Ear Seeds on the spots on ears that coordinate to the areas of your body or mind you want to treat (using the handy graphic in the box) and gently massage according to instructions (and maybe not our 'constant massaging' approach.) We can report a definite improvement in neck and back pain, which of course could be a placebo effect, but even so we loved the look of the subtle no piercing piercing.
The Words of Wisdom
We've fallen for stoic literature in the past two turbulent years and Letters from a Stoic by Seneca is our fave go-to when things are feeling a bit much. Our copies are dog-eared and weathered, and our fav passages highlighted for a quick fix of grounding on the go.
The Comfy But Classic Pants
We love the Albion Fit Jetsetter Joggers that are made of a lightweight, crease-free material and come in a ton of different colors (as well as petite/tall sizes). Slightly tailored, they are also super flattering (which definitely can’t be said for all tracksuit bottoms).
The Breathable Layer
Not just for skiing, we think the Sweaty Betty Ski Merino Base Layer top should be a staple part of everyone’s wardrobe. Fine and breathable, we like to stash ours in our carry-on for whenever cabin chilliness hits but also love it on a dog walk at home.
The Sunglasses Stasher
This MoKo sunglasses organizer is a genius idea if ever we saw one. No more scratched lenses or stashing of sunglasses in kitchen drawers. Like a jewelry case for sunnies, it works just as well for travel as for home. We like to keep it open and hanging on the door so we can grab our sunnies and go.
The One and Only Shirt You Will Ever Need
Can we have too many white button down shirts? Not if they are this boyfriend shirt. Without reservation we can say that the Poplin Boyfriend Shirt by With Nothing Underneath is THE shirt. Perfectly polished but not stiff, oversized but in a chic way, it holds its form better than most during travel. The silk one is on our wish list if anyone asks ;).
The Jewelry Upgrade
Thumb rings can be polarizing, most are awkward and uncomfortable or give too much of a “I wish I rode a motorcycle” vibe, but the Sarah Hickey Thumb Ring made of thin hammered bands are just so good. Go super subtle with one or raise the stakes and stack more - you won't find them cumbersome or annoying unless you're bothered by excessive admiration of your thumb.
The Wear Everywhere Bag
Before you roll your eyes at the price, we know. Ok, we know! But it's the holidays, and your rich uncle Henry is forever asking what you would love - so do the man a favor and throw him this link. This Parker Thatch Cross Your Heart Sling Bag is IDEAL for travel, as in you can go to the toilet in the airport without taking it off sort of great. It's big enough to hold wallet, passport, tickets, small umbrella, headphones, kindle paper white, small water bottle and some charging cords - we're not kidding. And the leather is absolutely butter soft and seems to get better with time. So yes, the price is the downer, and you'll need to tack on a strap which is another hit, but we're predicting that this bag will be your go-to for many years.
The Ultimate Ear Candy
We love ear candy just as much as the next gal, but you know what we love more? Sleeping comfortably on our side. And you know and we know that ear piercings and side sleep do not go well together. These gorgeous hammered, no piercing, Hammered Ear Cuffs by Sarah Hickey are everything our night out selves want and our sleeping selves need. :)
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