As is commonly cited in quote form on Instagram, "Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer." And while it's true that experiences are considered the most prized form of currency to many people these days — for instance, an entire generation of millennials — you still find yourself at holiday time in the position to buy some actual stuff as gifts for the folks on your list who love travel. From perfect packing tools to an incredible high-tech way to display travel memories at home, consider these perfect gifts for jet setters. (Compiled by me, Bravo's own Jet Set travel editor!)
Jonathan Adler x Aura Smart Photo Frame
This is the most stylish way I know to get my travel photos out of my phone — a place hardly befitting their glory — and into my living room for every guest to ogle. Through the frame's app, you can even send your favorite snaps to it right from the plane (or anywhere else), to enjoy as soon as you get home from paradise. A censor allows you to control it with your own gestures, and of course the Jonathan Adler look is sophisticated and cool.
Waterproof iPhone Case
Since I keep my iPhone as close as my own children, I take its protection very seriously. It's also typically the only camera I carry when I travel. So when a friend showed me that she'd used this waterproof case with success, I was skeptical. After clipping it on, I very gingerly submerged my phone in a water-filled Tupperware before I left for a trip to tropical islands. It was a bit of a leap of faith at first, but I ultimately used it to turn my iPhone into a GoPro-like gadget — fully underwater, while snorkeling with sharks, for many minutes on end. You want this.
Don't Worry, Be Yonce Sleep Mask
I'm an extremely sensitive sleeper, and consider masks and ear plugs essential tools in my frequently elusive quest for sleep — such as in hotels with even the slightest sliver of light peeking through blackout drapes. And if I'm going to wear a sleep mask in public — such as on a plane — I want it to communicate something about me. Like this one, which says, "I'm fun, I'm slightly irreverent, and, frankly, I'm an icon."
Rebecca Minkoff Leather Passport Case
Your passport is the most important — and powerful — document you own. It's literally your ticket to adventure. Plus, let's be honest: It's sort of a status symbol, and this pretty gold one underscores that point royally. "Adventure awaits" indeed!
Helena Quinn Kimono
You can't see the drool coming out of the side of my mouth, but I just love, love, love my Helena Quinn kimono. It weighs almost nothing to pack, doesn't wrinkle, dries quickly, and has a ton of functions: gives cutoffs an elevated style, makes a sophisticated swimsuit coverup, and is a sexy and comfy robe around a hotel room or rental home. I'm obsessed.
Lightweight Carry-On Luggage
For years, I carried the same beat-up luggage all over the globe. I actually loved how the hotel and airport stickers accumulated, but the cases were cheap and fell apart. Eventually, it was time to upgrade: Now I carry a suitcase that I could practically drop out of an airplane and it seems like it could survive, thanks to impact-resistant polycarbonate. It’s superlight, with a telescoping handle that helps you tote it around easily, with no sore arms — even if there are cobblestones or other obstacles involved at your destination. I like how — unlike camouflage’s typical function — this limited-edition print will help your bag stand out rather than blend in with all the easily mistaken black bags in the crowd.
Collapsible Water Bottle
No, you can't get a full water bottle though airport security — but you can definitely get an empty one into the airport, and you always should. I always ask someone to fill it up with filtered water at an airport bar or restaurant before I board, guaranteeing I stay hydrated on a long flight. You never want to ask for water in a cup on a plane — trust me, it aint right — so this method is a game changer. Get a leakproof, collapsible version for the traveler in your life for a super thoughtful gift.
Dream Water Sleep Powder
And here's a perfect stocking stuffer or tandem gift to go along with that bottle. Help them fight jet lag — or at least give them a mental edge over it — with this powder that contains melatonin, and none of the bad stuff you find in pharmaceutical sleep aids. Worth a shot at least, right?
Illuminate Face & Body Bar Credit
We've tried all kinds of stuff around here to keep our beauty game tight, in the face of dehydrating flights and diverse, pore-clogging climates. (Sheet mask on a plane, anyone?) But what I really want to do to reset my skin, after slathering my face with goopy sunscreens and letting the tropical sun steam it in, is get a results-oriented facial when I'm back. (Plus, a little pampering helps ease the reentry!) Illuminate has tons of great, functional menu options. And in addition to its Los Angeles and Las Vegas locations, it's planning a national expansion so you know what to expect and how to find it wherever you are.
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