Choosing that perfect holiday gift for your the photographer or travel lover in your life can be quite the task when it seems like they already have all the essentials. I have curated this list of unique and special gift ideas that will add that extra special touch to your gifts this holiday season. This list can be divided into two categories, travelers and travel photographers, with specialized lists for stocking stuffers, ease of travel and capturing, as well as a few splurge items if you have a little bit extra to spend this year. This guide features items for all budgets, so you’re guaranteed to find something special that’s also within your price range! This small gift guide was an adventure to create in and of itself and I hope you enjoy my personal selections for the 2018 holiday season!
Winter Travel Wardrobe Staple
Patagonia Insulated Prarie Dawn Parka
| $249 |
Beat the chilling winters or cooler travel destinations with the perfect staple parka for your winter travel wardrobe. This jacket features a cinched waist or hood depending option depending on your desired look. It’s made out of 100% organic cotton and 70% recycled polyester fleece, making this the perfect gift for the eco-conscious traveler in your life and mother earth.
For The Perfect Duo: Wrap this up with a Patagonia Fisherman’s Rolled Beanie and your traveler will be snuggled up and ready for some warm cider and an epic adventure.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
BOSE QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II
| $349 |
No matter what type of traveler you have in your life, noise-canceling headphones are going to save their life in noisy airports, babies on planes, and turn any space they’re in into a peaceful lounge where they are able to get work done seamlessly. You are able to adjust the intensity of the noise canceling depending on your environment. Use these for up to twenty hours of stable battery life and get closer to what you’re really passionate about.
For The Perfect Duo: Pair these with a Spotify Subscription so that they can listen to their favorite music, playlists, and radios on the road ad-free and internationally.
Reusable Water Bottle
| $40 |
What better way to help clean up the Earth and save a little money than a Hydro Flask? You can purchase these in a variety of sizes ranging from 12 oz to 64 oz depending on the needs of that special someone in your life. Personally, I choose to carry around a 40 oz bottle (pictured right) because it guarantees me a full liter of water no matter where I am headed off to, I don’t have to fill up time and time again, and it helps keep me on track to stay hydrated through airports and plane rides.
A Hydro Flask will keep your liquids ice cold for up to 24 hours and steaming hot for up to six making it the perfect gift for the sunshine seeker in your life or the trekker/hiker that wants to enjoy that steaming cup of coffee at the top of that viewpoint. No matter the adventure, your traveler is going to use this forever.
For The Perfect Duo: Add a Hydro Flip Lid to your car to make sipping coffee and cocoa a breeze throughout the winter months.
Eagle Creek Pack-It Original Cube Set
| $28 |
Packing cubes are the perfect gift for any type of traveler because they make staying organized on the go a breeze. You’re able to purchase these in a few other colors and in singles bags if you’d like so that you can curate a set for the specific needs of your traveler. I take these along on all my trips and they’re a must for the perfect holiday gift this season.
Minimalist Travel Shoe
Xero Z-Trek Lightweight Sport Sandal
| $60 |
These sandals may be a summer staple shoe, but they are perfect for any type of traveler whether they’re going for a beach day, hiking, touring a city, or for a quick lunch pit stop. My favorite feature about these sandals is that they are made to feel like you’re walking around barefoot, so these are perfect if your traveler doesn’t like wearing clunky shoes. Another great feature about these is that can be rolled up to take up minimal space in your bag so they will have more room to take their favorite clothing pieces.
Solid Haircare Bars
LUSH Shampoo/Conditioner Bar
| $12 |
Reduce waste and enhance your travel experience with Lush’s Solid Shampoo & Conditioner Bars. Stuff your travelers stocking with one of these and they will never worry about size allowance or their toiletries exploding on a flight ever again. These will last months and months making them the perfect gift for an up and coming backpacking trip or something to give their hair that extra care it needs after salty sea days and tangled scooter hair.
For The Perfect Duo: Complete this haircare set with one of Lush’s Solid Conditioner Bars for the perfect pairing for trips abroad.
Face Mask Single(s)
PACIFICA Stress Rehab Coconut & Caffeine Facial Mask
| $4 |
These will be in-flight lifesavers when it comes to conquering the dry and dull skin that comes along with traveling. Hop off the plane with a spring in your step and a glow on your skin with PACIFICA’s Stress Rehab Coconut & Caffeine Facial Mask. This one is suitable for all skin types, vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without animal testing, animal ingredients, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, and petroleum. Once you’re doing relaxing with this on, discard it and rub the remaining formula into your skin and you’re done
For The Perfect Duo Or Trio: PACIFICA offers many formulas for all skin types, so pair this with their Energized Glow Turmeric Facial and Super Green Detox Kale & Charcoal Detox Face Masks for the ultimate travel mask trio or epic duo.
Travel Skincare Set
OSEA Malibu Glow For Good Travel Set
| $72 |
If you want to promote glowy, healthy skin, and donate to an amazing cause, OSEA Malibu’s Glow For Good Travel Set is perfect for in-flight skincare. This set includes a daily cleanser, moisturizer, and facial mist that cleanses the excess oil off your face and promotes deeply hydrated, healthy complexion with antioxidant-rich organic seaweed, jojoba, shea butter, calendula, and mineral peptides. OSEA Malibu prides itself in plant-based, vegan ingredients from the sun, sea, and earth making it perfect skincare gift.
COMRAD Companion Compression Socks (3 Pack)
| $54 |
I present to you the item that is every traveler’s best friend. No matter the flight length, a pair of these bad boys are essential for reducing swelling and the discomfort that can come with flying. They come in multiple colors and pattern selections so you’re bound to find one that will fit perfectly into that stocking over the fireplace.
Travel Gift Card
Airbnb Gift Card
| $25+ |
What better gift for travel than an epic villa stay, a week in a nice hostel, or a combination of the two? A travel gift card is fully customizable making it great for any type of traveler and everyone loves a free nights stay in the accommodation of their choice! I always use Airbnb to book my stays on all of my trips because it is reliable, safe, and it has millions of listing ranges from villas, campsites, hostels, airstreams, and even land boats! You can find some sweet stays here and this will guarantee a smile on your travelers face when they open this.
A Good Book
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
| $15 |
A good book is the perfect travel companion and The Alchemist has been one of my personal favorites for years. It’s about a young shepherd boy who follows his dreams all the way to the pyramids of Giza. There are small lessons throughout the book about finding your path in life, trusting your intuition, and following your heart. Traveling always results in a little bit of soul-searching and this book is perfect for that journey.
I have a 15% off coupon for your purchase through Thriftbooks! This is a great way to help recycle and discover new reads! Follow this link, add The Alchemist to your cart, and enjoy 15% off your purchase!
Skyroam Solis Portable Wifi Device
| $150 |
The gift of a connection overseas is going to be an epic gift for the digital nomad in your life. This simple gadget powers 4G LTE Wifi Service with the click of a button and can link up to five devices at one time. The pricing is $150 to own this device and then Wifi service is $9/day on the days you use it, so you never have to worry about paying for something that you don’t end up using on the road. Say goodbye to slow Wifi and hello to up to speed Wifi in over 130 countries!
ALIFE DESIGN 3rd Hand Jacket Gripper
| $30 |
Traveling can turn into a handful when you have to carry around your passport, water bottle, documents, and jackets, but this small device will take one of the biggest items off your hands; literally. This loop connects right onto your purse or backpack and will secure your jacket and give you less to worry about while navigating.
Protective iPhone Case
LIFEPROOF Clear Waterproof NÜÜD iPhone Case
| $100 |
A LIFEPROOF phone case is going to guarantee your phones safety on any adventure in the up and coming months making it the perfect gift for an adventure traveler. Click this case on and your phone will instantly become waterproof, dirtproof, snowproof, and dropproof.
Travel Bluetooth Speaker
JBL CLIP 3 Bluetooth Speaker
| $60 |
The JBL CLIP 3 is a clip-on portable, waterproof speaker that offers ten hours of playtime for beach days, hikes, or nights in with fellow hostel mates. This isn’t entirely necessary for all travelers, but it will add catchy tunes to their adventures or showers at the end of the day and the ease of a hands-free way of turning on their favorite albums, playlists, and songs.
Quality Camera Bag
WANDRD PRVKE Series Camera Backpack
| $184 |
The WANDRD PRVKE Camera Backpack is the perfect pack for the adventurer in your life. It’s sleek, waterproof design comes in two sizes, 21L and 31L, along with many available add-ons to customize it to your photographer’s specific needs. The WANDRD team has traveled to over eighty countries together and has curated this bag to everything travel with its waterproof fabrics, weatherproof zippers, checkpoint-friendly laptop sleeve, secure passport pocket, expandable water bottle/tripod pocket, magnetic tote handles, and quick side camera access.
Once a Kickstarter dream, this bag has transformed the way hundreds of thousands of travelers across the globe and has since been recommended by Forbes, USA Today, and National Geographic, and avid world travelers alike.
Travel Journal / Travel Planner
WANDRD Travel Journal
| $35 |
The WANDRD Travel Journal is the perfect all-in-one journal that will give you everything you need to run a smooth trip and keep track of bookings, items, packing lists, and itineraries. This journal has room for twelve trips in total; three long; three medium; and six short adventures making it the perfect companion throughout your monthly or yearly journeys. It has universal symbols in case of heavy language barriers as well as a world map, tear out note cards, and spaces to write down your favorite moments on your trip making this the perfect gift for the travel blogger or avid traveler in your life.
| $25 |
The WANDRD Pouch is made from the exact same material as the WANDRD PRKVE Pack, making this the ultimate dynamic duo for taking care of your electronics while traveling. This pouch makes sealing away precious cords, chargers, batteries, and other small electronic devices a breeze and allows you to make that waterfall trek and withstand spontaneous rainfall without worrying about your gear getting ruined.
Camera Neck Strap
Peak Designs SLL-BK Slide Camera Strap
| $65 |
You can’t go wrong with a little upgrade for your camera. This may seem like a regular ole’ camera strap, but this puppy is jam-packed full of versatile features for ease of travel. This Peak Designs camera strap can hold any camera, and up to 200 pounds, and it has internally-padded webbing for all-day comfort, a gripped side for a slide-free journey, and anchor points that will keep your camera stable no matter the trek you’re on. This is the perfect gift for someone wants to enhance their photography experience, and ensure that they are comfortable along the entirety of their journies.
Photo Editing Software
Adobe Lightroom 6
| $150 |
There is nothing better to put the cherry on top of any gift this year with the gift of Adobe Lightroom 6, a photo editing software used by millions of artists worldwide. I purchased a downloadable version of this software that is a one-time payment of $150, or you can opt for a Creative Cloud Subscription that includes Lightroom and Photoshop for a monthly fee. A proper editing software is going to do wonders to improve their photography and help them dive deeper into photo composition.
Lens Cleaning Kit
ZEISS Lens Cleaning Kit
| $30 |
Day trips, waterfall hikes, and muddy adventures are all things that can have a camera looking in rough shape. There is nothing better than the sight of a fresh and clean camera body, sparkling lenses, and dirt free sensors. ZEISS offers this small travel cleaning set that is perfect for on-the-go and for everyday maintenance use that will help maintain a camera’s shine and newness.
Fast Writing SD Card
Sandisk 256GB Memory Card
| $95 |
A photographer can never have too many memory cards which makes this one of the best gives to give for the holidays. The SanDisk Extreme PRO line has amazing writing speeds and durability so you never miss a moment. I always travel with a couple of these since they are so high quality, and they come in different size capacities like 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB, so you can purchase whatever suits their needs.
Weatherproof SD Card Holder
PELICAN Memory Card Case
| $20 |
This is the perfect pairing for that brand new memory card listed above and the PELICAN memory case is going to save you no matter the weather and protect your images from being ruined from rain, mud, snow, or harsh fall. I have traveled with this case for years now and I have no bad things to say about it. It holds all of my cards in one easily accessible case.
Durable External Hard Drive
LaCie Rugged Mini 2TB External Hard Drive
| $110 |
When it comes to quality and reliability, the LaCie external hard drives are your go-to for storing photos and videos. They also provide a cushion around the edges for extra protection. I plan on making the switch to one of these this holiday season and your photographer will adore this perfect gift.
Kaesemann Circular Polarizing Filter
| $110 |
There are many types of lens filters, but one of the most useful and versatile are polarizing filters. These filters help darken extremely harsh lighting, manage reflections or the sun rays that appear on lakes or the surface of the ocean. You always want to invest in these to make sure you’re not putting something cheap on a quality lens (hence the price tag of this small item). It’s a bit of a splurge, but completely worth it. Also, make sure you purchase the correct circumference for the specific lens.
Canon LC-E6 Battery Charger
| $55 |
This product is a lifesaver when you need to charge batteries and use your camera at the same time. Some styles of cameras have to be plugged in in order to charge the battery, but with one of these bad boys, you can charge your spare batteries and go out and shoot at the same time. This charges my batteries so fast and I love the light indicator to show how much charge the battery has.
Canon LP-E6N Lithium-Ion Battery
| $64 |
Along with memory cards, you can never have too many camera batteries charged up and ready to be swapped for a fresh charge and ease of travel. I always carry at least two batteries, one in my camera and one spare, along with me so I never have to worry about losing a charge during a day trip or excursion. This model fits my Canon camera, so choose the right style and brand for your photographer’s camera. I always choose brand-name products because their batteries charge quicker and last longer than a conventional brand.
Camera gear preferences, like many other things, are subjective to the creator and I have chosen these selections based off of my own opinions and whether or not they would enhance the gear of the person you are gifting them to. I adore Canon and have made the switch a little over a year ago to something that I can grow into/with, so this list will be canon based, but the same lens focal lengths can apply to any brand, but I am unaware of the quality of images they produce.
Canon offers a wide array of lenses for any needs of the photographer, but I have chosen a few that I believe are essential for creatives like myself. If you’re gifting for a beginner photographer, sticking with a camera kit that includes a kit lens in it will be the best option for you, however, there is always the option to buy them separately.
A New Camera
Canon EOS Rebel T7I Body
| $750 |
A camera is a perfect gift no matter what type of traveler you are. They are the perfect way to document our lives and share them with others, making them timeless and something that they will cherish forever. Canon has a beautiful quality Rebel Series that are a more beginner/intermediate style camera, but still produce beautiful images. You are able to only purchase the body of the camera, or you can buy a set that includes a kit lens and some other goodies for starting out.
For The Perfect Duo: Pair this camera body with the Canon 50mm f/1.4 (the item listed below this one) for an epic set up for dreamy portraits.
Canon 50mm f/1.4 Prime Lens
| $300 |
Chances are your photographer may already own have this lens in their gear bag, but if they don’t, this is a universal lens that I believe every photographer should own. It’s inexpensive for the quality and durability that you receive and you’ll always find yourself reaching for this lens since it creates those dreamy portraits and scenes. I highly recommend this lens and I take it with me no matter what my next destination is.
A Lens Kit Essential
Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART Lens
| $800 |
This beautifully crafted lens is my tried and true for camera lenses. The photos it produces are incomparable to other brands and if could only pick three lenses to take with me every single day, this would be one of them. While it is a bit hefty in price, this lens will last you so long that it will pay for itself and help capture stunning photos along with all journeys.
An Everyday Lens
Canon EF 24-70mm f/1.4 II Lens
| $1,700 |
If you’re a big spender and really want to spoil your loved one this season, this is the perfect gift. The Canon EF 24-70mm f/1.4 is an every day, (almost) universal lens that will practically live on their camera. If there was only one lens you’re able to purchase, this is your perfect selection. If you don’t have the huge chunk of change to purchase this model, other brands like Sigma (shown above) and Tamron make a similar lens for a little bit less money but uphold the same quality.
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