The Perfect-for-Travelers Gift Guide! Part Two
More suggestions to thrill the traveler in your life — or yourself!
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Yesterday, we sent out Part One of our Perfect-for-Travelers Gift Guide. Today we’re back with even more suggestions!
As a digital nomad who owns less than seven shirts, I’m always thinking about the quality of my clothing. And one brand I’ve been wanting to try is Merino.
Friends tell me everything you’ve heard about Merino wool is true: the shirts last forever, they’re light, they keep you cool in summer and warm in winter, and the wool actually absorbs odors. That means you can go longer between washes.
They’re expensive, but for men, there is the Men’s Merino Long Sleeve Pocket Tee ($80), and for the women, the Women’s Woolly Clothing Women's Merino Wool V-Neck Tee Shirt ($50). Plus, they look pretty stylish, which, if you check out our Instagram page, is something I’m still working on.
As a nomad, I own three pairs of pants — a pair of jeans, a pair of shorts, and a pair of khakis — all of which are pretty basic and generic. But I’m thinking of swapping out my jeans for pants I’ve always loved: Gramicci Men's Rockin' Sport pants ($48). They’re super comfortable and are so durable they last forever. For the women, how about the Gramicci Women's Vintage G Pant ($58)? (If you go directly to the Gramicci website you can get some pretty great deals on close-out items. And if you don’t include a gift receipt, the recipient will never know!)
Not all nomads chase an eternal spring in warmer climates; some even like fall and winter. But winter clothing can be bulky. If your nomad spends significant time in colder areas, why not give them a light-weight Mac in a Sac Polar Packable Slim Fit Reversible Down Jacket? The men’s jacket will run you $80 and the women’s $125. Plus, they come in a cute little pouch!
And for rainy weather climes, the Mac in a Sac Unisex Waterproof Packable Jacket ($40—$50) is just the ticket.
When I asked for travel clothing tips for women, almost all of our female friends said the same word: pashmina. Clearly, I’m not one of those gay guys who knows much about men’s fashion, much less women’s, but apparently pashmina is lightweight, warm, and very versatile. And I thought this Achillea Soft Silky Reversible Paisley Pashmina Shawl Wrap Scarf ($14) looked like it hits all of those sweet spots.
Footwear is a huge topic amongst travelers of all sorts. And why not? Nomads often only own one pair of shoes! (For two years, Brent and I carried two pairs — sneakers and formal — before finally realizing we’d been to exactly zero formal events. Clearly, we need a better class of friends. But perhaps first we need to dress better!)
Personally, I’m very much a Skechers fan, especially their cushioned sole shoes, because I do a ton of walking, plus I can workout in them. My favorite choice is the Skechers Men's Afterburn Memory-Foam Lace-up Sneaker ($52) and for the women how about the Skechers Women's Squad ($46).
But if you think Skechers aren’t for your traveler, you might take a look at the Vessi line, which are waterproof — pretty important if you only have one pair — and still affordable. I’ve heard good things.
And if you’re willing to spend more, many active nomads swear by Vivobarefoot Primus Trail II FG for men ($160) Vivobarefoot Primus Trail II FG for women ($150). These are spendy but are made of recyclable plastic, very lightweight, and long-lasting. I like the sleek, black look of the men’s shoe, which would make it easier to pass as formal-ish. But personally I would worry about walking around all day on such a thin-looking sole.
Since women are probably less likely to get away with sneakers for formal-ish wear, the Teva Women's Mush Mandalyn Wedge ($15) comes highly recommended by female nomad friends. They say the shoe is comfortable enough to walk in for hours, plus they enjoy the added height!
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And here’s a really clever idea via Travel With a Twist — convertible heels from Pashion Footwear (prices vary). These shoes convert from high heels to flats, plus you can mix and match the heels. Honestly, this seems like pure genius to me.
Having had skin cancer a few years back — basal cell, not melanoma — I take sun protection very seriously. (Use a daily lotion with sunblock, people!) And protective hats can be very helpful.
Once again from Travel With a Twist, how about the Lanzom Women Wide Brim Straw Panama Roll up Hat ($22). My beef with protective hats for men is that they often look incredibly dorky. So I’m intrigued by the Dorfman Pacific Men's Outback Hat ($38) for men, which I love for its 50 SPF rating, portability, and not at all because it makes me look like a rugged Aussie who wrestles crocodiles.
Let me start by saying, most long-term travelers probably don’t want actual books that take up valuable space. So get them some travel-related ebooks for that Kindle you just bought them!
Travel-related books I’ve enjoyed recently include: Tales of a Female Nomad ($14); Home Sweet Anywhere ($9.99); Couchsurfing in Iran ($9.99); Braver Than You Think: Around the World on the Trip of My (Mother's) Lifetime ($11.99); From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home ($12.99); Why the Dutch are Different: A Journey into the Hidden Heart of the Netherlands ($9.99); Our Keys, Your Home ($9.99); The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere ($7.99); Swiss Watching: Inside the Land of Milk and Money ($12.99); Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel ($13.99); Between Two Kingdoms: A Memoir of a Life Interrupted ($12.99).
When we first became nomads, one big concern was smartphone coverage as we moved from country to country. We’d heard plenty of horror stories. And in fact, during our time in Malta, my European SIM card stopped working. And when I couldn’t get customer service — in any language, much less English — I got very frustrated.
So when I got my first Pixel and learned about Google Fi, I was seriously jazzed. With a Google Fi plan, you have coverage in more than 200 countries and territories. When we arrive at a new place, I simply power up my phone, wait for it to connect, and never think about it again. And pricing is very straightforward: a monthly base of $20, then $10 a GB after that, topping out at no more than $80 ever (speeds do slow down at some point). It’s incredibly simple and would make a great holiday gift.
When we visited Yellowstone National Park last year, I downloaded the GyPSY Guide App and found it really enhanced our experience with entertaining and informative narration about what we were seeing. If you’ve got a nomad who is visiting the U.S. or Canada, why not get them an audio bundle!
And may we remind you that Brent and Michael Are Going Places makes a pretty great stocking stuffer? ($50 for an annual subscription or $5 a month.)
Our readers are often kind enough to compliment the photos I take. And even though I am definitely not a professional photographer, I do sometimes get asked for tips. My number one tip? Edit your photos properly. Professional photographers don’t just point, click, and share their pics — they edit them first. My platform of choice is Adobe Lightroom. So If you’re shopping for a traveler who also enjoys photography, why not get them a yearly subscription for $119 a year or $9.99 a month.
Most long-term travelers use a lot of streaming services, so how about gifting them a subscription to Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, Paramount+?
By the way, if you’re shopping for an American traveler who is traveling outside of the U.S., gift cards generally aren’t a good idea because even if they’re international businesses like Starbucks, the cards usually aren’t good outside of the States.
An alternative? Why not give the gift of…health insurance?! Safety Wing and World Nomads provide “travel” insurance (which supplements a US policy). For more robust international health insurance (if the traveler has no US policy), consider GeoBlue (Blue Cross/Blue Shield), William Russell, Cigna International, IMG, Aetna, Insured Nomads, and (soon), Safety Wing. (Brent wrote all about health care for nomads here.)
Check out Part One of our holiday gift guide here.
Happy Holidays from Brent and Michael!