Holiday Giving Guide 2018 – 21 Gifts Sure to Make Everyone Smile

Lost at what to get for the travel enthusiast? Use our guide to quickly navigate the internet.

For the Youngsters

  1. Kids’ Road Atlas by Rand McNally- $10 or less, What’s to love: Start your kids out early on your road trip of any length. Bored? Games are included! Make copies of the pages and laminate them if you want to reuse the pages.
  2. The Travel Book by Lonely Planet – $10 or less, amazon.comWhat’s to love: Have your young ones take a reading adventure through every country in the world. Inspires travel? You bet! Lonely Planet also has other kid-friendly books found here.
  3. Travel Diary – $10 or less, What’s to love: Besides map skills, hone in on those writing skills. Kids can share their memories and save them for years to come.
  4. Crayola Washable Travel Pack – $15 or less, What’s to love: what’s not to love about a reusable drawing board? Fun fact: Use auto glass cleaner to best erase the marker board.
  5. CozyPhones Kids Headphones Volume Control Headband – $20 or less, amazon.comWhat’s to love: Save your kids’ hearing AND in style! This keeps a kids from turning up the sound too much without your knowledge. Now if they would only make the unicorn headband for adults! Oh, and this doubles as an eye cover for naps.
  6. National Parks Passport – variety of prices, online. What’s to love: While not a real passport, this parks’ passport program is one of my most favorite things. You take it with you on your trips, (if you forget it you can still get your stamps!) and at each park you get to stamp your passport. Each stamp has the date on it, commemorating the day you visited that park! It comes in two sizes, small and what the rangers often refer to as the Bible size. At some gift stores you can also find Junior Ranger passports and commemorative passports. There are also stickers you can buy each year and add to the books. Kids LOVE stickers and stamps, both!
  7. X-Cap – $30, What’s to love: If camping is your thing, this cap is for your kids. It’s also rechargeable!
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Awesome for kids on your next road trip!

For the Young at Heart

  1. Spotify Family or Premium Membership – $9.99-14.99 a month, (free service also available!) What’s to love: Stream your favorite music, your kids’ favorite music, podcasts, and travel playlists. You can also create your own playlists and follow radio stations based on your favorite artists. Spotify also curates playlists for you and suggests songs and artists you may love. I’ll probably never buy another cd again!
  2. Copaxi Bataan Fanny Pack – $30, copaxi.comWhat’s to love: They’re bringing fanny back, yeah! Perfect for a bike ride, hike, or city stroll. Each pack is unique and one of a kind and made by a company that prides itself on bettering others. Read about their story here.
  3. REI Co-op Lifetime Membership – $20, rei.comWhat’s to love: $20 for a lifetime membership gets you all sorts of discounts on travel gear like 10% off, early access to the REI members’ garage sale, travel discounts, and more! They’ve even recently added a used section online where you can buy deeply discounted items. The REI credit card also pays back really well, and provides even more discounts and a signup bonus.
  4. Magazine Subscriptions – $25 or less, various websites. What’s to love: Learn about new places, and with photos! Our favorites? Backpacker, National Geographic Traveler, Lonely Planet, Outside, and Afar. We also love the newsletter and website from former magazine, Budget Travel. Additionally, are you traveling to a place within the USA? Most area codes, larger cities, and states all have their own magazines such as 417 Magazine and 5280 that you can follow online or subscribe to in order for you to help plan your next adventure.
  5. Homesick Candles – most around $30,’s to love: Missing home or a place you’ve visited once upon a trip? These candles capture some of the quintessential scents of those places. Shhhhh I bought a Missouri one for my brother because it smells JUST like the lilacs that used to be on Grandma and Grandpa’s farm.
  6. Parks Project Apparel (and other items) – variety of prices,’s to love: Buy clothing (and candles and bumper stickers and more…) sporting your favorite National Park. So many choices, and they let you shop by park. Look out… someone might be buying every Glacier National Park item they have on hand. 😉
  7. Annual Park Passes – under $80, online. What’s to love: If you or a friend you need a gift for are going to be visiting several parks in a given year, an annual pass is the best way to go. There are also passes for special rates or free passes for military, seniors, 4th graders, and volunteers! I recommend getting the annual pass for the sole reason that it helps support our parks in general. If you live near a park, you can also get an annual pass for that specific park, instead of one for all of the national parks.
  8. Solid Perfumes – under $40, online. What’s to love: If you love a good scent and traveling, and know that the whole 3oz TSA rule sucks, solid perfumes are worth a go. Several personal favorites include Lush’s “Dirty” and Solid State’s “Freshman,” but these companies have some other amazing travel-ready scents.
  9. Photo Books – variety of prices and websites such as What’s to love: Surprise your loved ones with a photo book that commemorates a trip you took together. Make mom and dad happy with this thoughtful gift!
  10. Gift a Trip – variety of prices and websites. What’s to love: What’s bigger and better than a photo book? An actual trip! Plan a trip out for someone, then buy them reservations or give them cash. A few years ago my brother and I did this for our parents and sent them to Nova Scotia. We bought some giftcards to local places up there, then bought a gift card for airfare and provide them with cash for everything else. Need help writing the trip? I’ll plan a trip for you! Click here to find out more.
  11. TSA Pre-Check – $85 for 5 years, What’s to love: You can’t register for a friend or family member, but you can give them $85 in cash for this! Get through that line so much faster. Who wouldn’t love that for a gift?
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Someone buy this for me this year!

Give Back

  1. Sponsor a child – around $30-40 a month, variety of non-profits. What’s to love:Inspire learning about the world in your family by sponsoring a child in a foreign country. While helping them overcome poverty, your donation goes towards their education, well-being, and family. Most non-profits also allow you to write your child and even visit them on a trip! You can even choose to “adopt” a child with the same birthday as you or your child.
  2. Christmas Giving – any amount, variety of non-profits. What’s to love: If you know you don’t need one more thing in your house, and everyone you buy for fits the same category, consider a giving Christmas! Non-profits such as Compassion International and Heifer International will allow you to give Christmas to a child or family in need, and in almost any amount. You can give your friends and family a note letting them know that the money you could’ve spent, went to someone in poverty, instead. Pay attention to Giving Tuesday to maximize your gifts!
  3. Small Business Saturday – any amount, your local hot spots. What’s to love:When you buy local, you are putting money directly back into your community. Shop those small businesses for something travel-related! You never know what you’ll find.
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One of my favorite shirts from a local business in Missouri.

Thanks for reading! Check out my other blog posts and have a GREAT rest of your 2018!

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