• Tabitha McKinney

8 Essential Gift Ideas for the Avid Traveler

Updated: Apr 13

UpJaunt is a new app making travel stories easy to share and unique itineraries simple to find. You can plan in advance, or in the moment, using jaunts shared by other avid travelers with built in features like restaurant reservations and rideshares. We’re using tech, plus the hive mind, to guide you to the most interesting destinations in the world. New Orleans is our first destination but we’ll be expanding soon — Austin is up next!

Share the restaurant with the Instagram-worthy dish you stumbled upon — purely by accident — while traveling through Japan. Or, the dog-friendly hotel you found in Austin that made traveling with your furry friend easy and stress-free. But, we also want you, and the travelers on your holiday gift list, to be prepared.

So, besides making the UpJaunt app a part of your travel plans, here are some essential items our team thinks will come in handy on your trips in 2020.

Shiva’s gift idea

Polaroid OneStep 2 Camera

Instant cameras always bring a certain charm to your travel experience. When you have limited frames to shoot, you try to make it as special as you can. And holding a print of a travel moment (instantly) feels better than looking at it on a screen.

$99.99 at Polaroid Originals

Favorite travel destination to date?

Ooty. It’s a small hill town in India surrounded by a large tiger reserve forest. Great place for treks and hikes with extremely friendly natives. Perfect spot if you have an interest in wildlife or conservation. — Shiva

Melianthe’s gift idea

Anthropologie Au Revoir Passport Holder

Has all that international travel worn out your favorite jetsetter’s passport holder? Who wouldn’t want this sophisticated, yet simple, leather passport case with a fun “Au Revoir” on the front? (Hint for my family & friends: I sure would.) Bonus points for making it white, which will make it less likely to get lost.

$26 at Anthropologie

Last places you’ve visited?

London (got a chance to explore the trendy neighborhood of Shoreditch and Spitalfields) and Edinburgh (stayed in the Old Town where they have amazing cafes and great coffee). — Melianthe

Tabby’s gift idea

Herschel Fifteen Hip Pack

At some point, people decided it wasn’t hip to wear a fanny pack around your waist, and a very practical bag faded into oblivion. Now, the style is crossbody. But no matter how you wear it, these bags are absolutely perfect for travel! They hold your passport, sunglasses, and currency nicely, and are much safer than a shoulder bag.

$39.99 at Herschel

Longest travel time between departure and arrival city?

Los Angeles, CA to Kolkata, India with stops in Taipei and Bangkok, plus an extra stop somewhere in India (not noted on the itinerary) before arriving in Kolkata — total travel time was 36 hours. Jetlagged, of course, but the vibrancy of the city kept me going! — Tabby

Anthony's gift idea

The Bigger Carry-On by AWAY

The perfect gift for the avid traveler this season and into the New Year! Avoid checked luggage with this spacious carry-on. It’s durable and even has a built-in phone charger.

$250 at AWAY

Favorite hotel anywhere?!

Palacio Belmonte, a renovated palace in the middle of Lisbon, Portugal. It was purchased by a French man and restored to its original charm. It only has 9 bedrooms, all of which are huge, and breakfast is delivered to your room each morning where you can sit out on the terrace, look past the citrus groves on the property, and gaze over Lisbon with a cup of coffee in hand. — Anthony

Amy’s gift idea

Allbirds Wool Runners

I love Allbirds for travel. In Peru, I hiked Machu Picchu, shopped the Pisac Market and ran through numerous airports in my green wool runners. They never let me down in the comfort department and I can wear them with jeans or a dress and throw them in the washer when I get home and let them dry in the sunshine.

$95 at Allbirds

What destination is next on your list?

Chefchaouen, Morocco. This ancient blue city (often called “the blue pearl”) has called me visually for years — with its dreamy shades of indigo that feel like a secret hideaway. — Amy

Sanjay’s gift idea

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.” — from Invisible Cities

A perfect book for the slow traveler moving through different cities — whether by train, car, or plane.

Any tips for jet lag?

On long overseas flights, always look for an opportunity to shower. It’s a lifesaver! Especially with the added shock of jet lag — it’s a hack that tells your body you’re starting a new day. Some airport lounges are super ordinary, yet have luxurious showers. — Sanjay

Buy at Amazon on Kindle or in Hardcover or Paperback

Stephanie’s gift idea

Eagle Creek Pack-It Organizer Starter Set

These packing cubes make luggage much more organized when traveling and also help to decrease wrinkles in clothes. I typically do a lot of hotel jumping when I travel, so these make it super easy to pack up and head to the next destination!

$32.87 at Eagle Creek

Favorite thing to do in an airport?

I’m a big fan of my Kindle, yet I still love perusing through bookstores while waiting between flights to find inspiration for my next read. — Stephanie

Darlene’s gift idea

Keen Whisper Sandals

The Keen Whisper sandals have been my faithful companion for nearly every trip around the globe. Lightweight, waterproof, and comfy, they’ve carried me through a full day of exploring the streets of Istanbul and transitioned straight to the beautiful Turkish beaches. A full line of funky colors keeps them fashionable enough to also wear with a skirt or dress.

$90 at Keen

Do you have any holiday travel plans?

I’ll be road-tripping to Nashville and Atlanta to visit with family for Thanksgiving. In mid-December a trip to NYC is in the works with my husband and two young boys. I’m looking forward to sharing the magic of the holiday season in the city with my family. — Darlene

Happy Holidays! Download the UpJaunt app.

Article originally published on Medium.



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