It’s that time of the year when the holiday season beckons and the search for that perfect last-minute gift is on, whether you’re looking for something to surprise your family and friends or perhaps a road-warrior gift to reward yourself for a year well done. Whatever the reason, here’s a diverse – but by no means exhaustive –string of festive gifts from the thoughtful and delightful to the must-haves and oh-you-shouldn’t-haves.
Voyager 2.0 30 Backpack
Looking to travel light but still have all your gear organized and easily accessible? The Voyager 2.0 backpack goes from what they call “tarmac to trail.” This spacious backpack measuring 18 inches X 11.5 inches X 10.5 inches has a 30-litre capacity with an expanding overflow front pocket, interior mesh storage pockets, laptop compatibility, and a Nylex-lined pocket for your large smartphone – an essential amenity in the digital age.
Weighing just 2 lbs. 5 oz., comfort is also a top design priority with contoured and padded shoulder straps, as well as an adjustable waist belt and a removable sternum strap. The U-shaped zip opening to the pack’s main compartment makes packing and retrieving items a snap. The best feature of this backpack? A padded back with a sleeve to slide onto the trolley handle of your rolling carry-on luggage to keep your pack secure. Not easy to find a backpack with this feature in the market. Thank you Eddie Bauer! eddiebauer.com
J-Pillow Travel Pillow
If you’re fortunate enough to fly Business or First Class and be able to fully recline in a seat that transforms into a flat bed, then read no further. However, if you have ever tried to catch some sleep while sitting up, then you’re probably still looking for that perfect travel pillow which allows you to fall asleep quickly and doesn’t leave you waking up with a stiff neck or some other kind of discomfort due to poor support. As a frequent traveler, I have thoroughly tested virtually every travel pillow out there in the market and this is the Holy Grail: the J-Pillow.
Developed by a former flight attendant Gemma Jenson, the J-Pillow Travel Pillow (shaped like the letter “J”) uses a 3-way support system that cradles your neck, head and chin. Unlike the typical horseshoe-shaped pillow which tends to push the neck forward resulting in bad posture and strain, the J-Pillow cushions the gap between your head and shoulders so your head stays upright while you sleep, while the trunk part of the pillow curls under the chin. Particular good for window seats, it is also versatile enough to use in different positions such as sleeping on your side lying down. Machine-washable, the J-Pillow has a snap loop that allows you to attach it onto your carry-on bag. Can’t wait for my next flight! jpillow.com
Cashmere Hoodie Sweater
As the temperatures cool, give a gift of luxurious warmth with these gorgeous cashmere sweaters from LL Bean. Made from premium two-ply cashmere yarns from Inner Mongolia, these sumptuous soft sweaters in a classic Pullover Hoodie style come in a range of rich, holiday-inspired hues such as Fig Heather, Mauve Berry and Dusty Olive. The longer length drapes beautifully to make these sweaters a cozy complement to any wardrobe choice. llbean.com
Yoga Gloves and Socks
Full Sets from
Take your yoga workout with you on the road but leave your mat at home with YogaPaws gloves and socks. Launched by Gail and Jaime Getzwiller – a mother and daughter duo who share a love of travel and yoga – these “paws” are made of an ergonomic design with thick padding that provides comfort and non-slip support whether you’re practicing the Warrior or the Downward Facing Dog. The fitted palm and feet coverage assists in balance and weight distribution while transitioning between poses, while the finger and toe cutouts allow you to control your positioning. Full sets are available in a range of men’s and women’s sizes. yogapaws.com
Snow Globe Travel Pendants
This jewelry line by Houston-based accessories designer Gina Cartwright has garnered a celebrity following with her whimsical designs and timeless yet elegant pieces including earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings. Globetrotters will love the Snow Globe pendants with gold snowflakes encasing the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower. Other pieces range from simple pearl and pink quartz ring for $50 to a diamond-encrusted bangle at $4,995. If your tastes run to the exotic, Charmed Circle’s collection of sting-ray leather wrapped, chain-linked necklaces adds a striking edge to any outfit. charmedcircle.com
Orthotic Technology Men’s & Women’s Shoes
From $59.95 to $199.95
Proving that you can be fashionably heeled without endangering the health of your feet, Vionic is known for incorporating ortha-heel technology into their stylish range of sandals, casual flats and active footwear for men and women. The podiatrist-designed foot bed in this brand is incorporated in each shoe promoting natural alignment from the ground up with arch support and ball-of-foot cushioning. This season’s must-haves include everything from sandals to dress shoes for men, and women’s suede loafers in delectable shades, on-trend ankle boots and, yes, even heels. The Cosmic collection of casual sneakers delivers serious street-style cred. vionicshoes.com
FIRST AID BEAUTY
Hello FAB Gym Bag Essentials
Take your beauty treatment on the road with the Hello Fab Gym Bag. It includes 2 oz. Face Cleanser, 0.5 oz. Ultra Repair Lip Therapy, 1 oz. Vital Greens Face Mist and 0.75 oz. Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer, a smoothing moisturizer with a makeup-setting primer. This complexion-enhancing moisturizer is formulated with coconut water infused with electrolytes, antioxidants and light-reflecting micro-pearls.
Lauded by beauty editors and avid fans, this cosmetics and beauty line is free from alcohol, parabens, sulfates, formaldehydes, petrolatum, mineral oil, artificial colorants and artificial fragrance and other less desirable ingredients found in many other skincare brands. Some other standout products include their Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer with SPF 40. Free from pore-clogging ingredients, this stellar sunscreen incorporates physical UV blockers – zinc oxide and titanium oxide, as well as soothing oatmeal, ceramides and plant-derived antioxidants for defense against environmental damage all year round. firstaidbeauty.com