The Best Stocking Stuffers For The Traveler In Your Life

I always think that travelers or anyone planning a trip are the easiest people to buy gifts for! With Christmas just around the corner I wanted to give you some ideas for stocking stuffers for the travelers in your life.

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Beauty

Eos Lip Balm

Eos Lip Balms are ideal for travel. They are ideal for anything actually! Super hydrating and nourishing these little spheres will keep your kisser in good shape. Their bright colored dome shaped packaging makes them easy to locate in your bag too. Check Eos Lip Balm on Amazon here

Weleda Skin Food

Weleda Skin Food is my all time favorite travel moisturizer, especially for winter. It used to be a secret product I would bring back from Europe, but now you can get it on Amazon.

Winter skin needs extra TLC and this balm like moisturizer is incredibly nourishing, so is perfect for anywhere cold you are traveling to. I also like to use it when I am flying, as air travel is so incredibly dehydrating to your skin. You can get it in travel size or in regular size (still small enough to travel with) on Amazon.com

Korean Sheet Masks

I swear by these both for travel and at home use. They come in so handy when you travel as they take up no space. Sheets masks come in all kinds of formulas but I typically look for words such as moisturizing, nourishing and hydrating.

A day with too much sun or wind can be rectified with a 15 minute sheet mask. Skin that looks fatigued, dry, or lack luster can be repaired quickly with a sheet mask. Any time you want your complexion to look gorgeous and glowing, whatever the temperature or climate, a sheet mask is a win!

RELATED POST: 10 Airport Hacks For Busy Travel Days

Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Gels

I have used Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Gels on my celebrity clients for years and always keep them in my personal travel bags too. Hydro Cool Firming Gels are little under eye masks that instantly hydrate and refresh tired looking under eyes. They are the best thing ever after a long flight, or any time you look or feel beat after a long day.

Nivea Body Products Travel Set

I always recommend taking your own body products when you travel. If you have ever had your skin dry out from hotel soaps you will understand why!

Also you never know if your skin will react to soaps and lotions it isn’t familiar with. I recommend avoiding any body products that smell sweet, fruity, or like food as they tend to attract more biting insects. The Nivea Nourish and Care Travel set has everything you need, won’t attract biting bugs. The regular set is for women but they also have a 5 piece travel grooming set specifically for men. It even comes in a manly looking duffle!

Anti Chafe Balm

Whether you are a cyclist, an athlete, a hiker or just someone who’s thighs like to meet in the middle, chafing can ruin a trip. From irritated skin to bleeding patches, it is not only unsightly but also can be incredibly painful and make something as simple as walking really difficult.

A good chafing balm is essential for any traveler, even if it is just to prevent the backs of your feet from rubbing your shoes and blistering. Body Glide Chafe Balm is considered to be the best. It comes in a variety of sizes too.

A Silk Pillowcase

Extend your blowout and stop your hair from roughing up on regular cotton pillowcases with a 100% mulberry silk pillowcase. Not only are silk pillowcases amazing for your hair, they are also fabulous for your skin, letting you wake up without pillowcase creases on your face.

I recommend getting a bold color or a patterned silk pillowcase as you are more likely to forget a white or cream one and leave it behind on the hotel bed. I never travel without one and have given them to friends and family for years. Try it once and you will be converted!

RELATED POST: HOW TO AVOID GETTING SICK WHEN YOU TRAVEL THIS WINTER

A Microfiber Towel

A microfiber towel is a perfect accompaniment for a traveler. Whether you want something to help your hair dry quickly, a fast drying towel to take to the beach and then throw in your suitcase, or a back up plan in case your hotel towel is anything like the ones in the horror hotel I got stuck in in Dallas recently, a microfiber towel is ideal. They pack down small and don’t take up space in your suitcase, tend to not get smelly, and generally save the day in multiple situations. This one from Rainleaf comes in a variety of different colors and only costs $12.

Tech

An Electronics Organizer

Smart Electronics Organizer $14.99 on Amazon.com

Losing phone chargers, cables, earbuds or any other gadgets when you travel is so annoying and can also be expensive. This Smart Electronics Organizer let’s you keep everything together, keeps cables untangled and all your gadgets organized so you can find things quickly. The slim fit case slips into your handbag, briefcase or backpack easily and doesn’t take up any room.

An International Power Adaptor

If you or the person you are buying for are heading overseas an international power adaptor is a must. This one from Unidapt not only has multiple USB charging ports but also can be used in Europe, UK, Asia, Australia/New Zealand and the USA.

I recommend the Unidapt Universal Power Adaptor in a bright color, such as blue (that’s what I travel with) so that you don’t accidentally leave it plugged in when you check out of your accommodation.

RELATED POST: Subscriptions That Make Great Gifts For Travelers

External Phone Battery

You should never board any flight without a fully charged phone and a fully charged external phone battery charger. You can’t rely on your seat having a USB port, or one that works, and chances of you being able to access a power point to plug into in a busy airport terminal.

The Anker Powercore 10,000 is a slim fit, lightweight charger than can power up at least two devices from completely dead. At $25 it is not expensive. You can get chargers with a higher mAh, but definitely do not go lower than 10,000 mAh.

Other Ideas

Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella

As a rule travel umbrellas are rubbish. The first gust of wind turns them inside out, more than a spattering of rain soaks them through, and they seldom hold up in a storm let alone for a second rainy day outing!

The Repel Windproof Travel Umbrella With Teflon Coating is the best travel umbrella you will ever find! Firstly, it actually covers you in the rain whereas most travel umbrellas can’t seem to keep your shoulders dry. It won’t flip inside out in the wind, has a teflon coating, so it really does repel water and keep you dry, and on top of that is lightweight and compact. Even better, it only retails for $22

Books To Buy Your Traveler

The following blog posts have book recommendations for travelers to Europe:

10 Books To Read Before Going To Venice

15 Fabulous Books Set In Italy

8 Fabulous Books Set In Paris


New 2020 Trips

10 Important Airport Hacks You Need To Know For Busy Travel Days

If you are flying during any busy time, from the holiday season to regular busy days/hours the key to avoiding stress and making it to the other end unscathed is to utilize these professional traveler, tried and tested airport travel hacks.

1. Always Check In Online

Checking in online 24 hours prior to your flight gives you several advantages. You are less likely to be bumped from your flight and you will already have your boarding pass. When you arrive at the airport unless you are checking a full sized suitcase you can move straight to the TSA checkpoint.

Airlines will let you gate check oversized bags for free, so you can save yourself $30 checked luggage fee by doing it at the gate.

2. Arrive Early

You may be able to get away with arriving later for flights during non-busy times, but during high traffic periods plan on arriving at the airport 2-3 hours early. The most stressful parts of flying on busy travel days are getting stuck in long lines either at check in or at the TSA check point. It doesn’t hurt to have some extra time up your sleeve – worst case scenario you have a coffee or something to eat once you have gone through the TSA check point.

3. Use The TSA App

Use the TSA app to see how long the wait times are. If they are looking excessive you can leave home earlier than planned.

4. Pack Your Carry-On Properly

One of the reasons that TSA gets so backed up is that travelers don’t think ahead when packing their carry-on luggage.

image via Smartertravel.com

If you don’t have TSA pre check you know up front that your liquids and laptops will have to be taken out of your bag before going through the x-ray machine. Save yourself (and everyone else) time and aggravation by having your liquids/skin care/makeup products packed together in see through bags packed at the top of your carry on.

RELATED POST: HOW TO PACK A SUITCASE LIKE A PRO

5. Be Ready For TSA

Another reason that lines get so backed up at the TSA checkpoint is travelers arriving not ready to proceed through.

*If you don’t have TSA Pre Check be sure to wear shoes that slip on and off easily.

* Remove all jewelry, belts, small change from your pockets, jackets, hats, scarves prior to entering the TSA line. Ideally do this before you leave home, and put on belts and jewelry after passing through the xray machines.

*Have your bags and coats ready to go through the xray prior to getting to the front of the line.

If you watch frequent flyers/professional travelers you will see that they have all of this thought out and prepared prior to arriving at the checkpoint.

6. Turn Left

Most people are right handed, so after having their I.D and boarding pass checked they turn right to the x-ray machines. The lines are always quicker to the left.

7. Bring Snacks

On busy travel days and busy flight times the lines at the terminal snack bars can get long. It is much easier and less stressful to bring your own snacks and just proceed to the gate.

RELATED POST: HOW TO LOOK FABULOUS AFTER A LONG FLIGHT

8. Bring A Phone Charger

Always arrive at the airport with a fully charged phone and a fully charged phone charger. You can’t rely on their being power socket/charging stations available, and even if there are phone charging ports at your seat on the plane there is no guarantee they will be working.

9. Bring A Refillable Water Bottle

Bring an empty water bottle and fill it at a filling station once you have cleared TSA. Should you encounter delays you will be glad you did!

RELATED POST: SUBSCRIPTIONS THAT MAKE GREAT GIFTS FOR TRAVELERS

10. Gate Check Bags

Most domestic flights now are fully booked which means they run out of overhead bin space. Save yourself the hassle of wandering up and down the aisle trying to find space for your carry-on bag by checking it at the gate.

There is no fee for gate checked bags and they get walked directly down to your plane, so unless you have a connecting flight you can be relatively certain your bag will arrive when you do.

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How To Stay Warm (and Chic!) In Europe This Winter

The key to traveling light and looking chic while staying warm this winter in Europe comes down to 2 things: fabrics and layers.

Instinctively we reach for thick, bulky clothes to keep us warm when the mercury drops. That worked in the old days, but now winter warmth comes with surprisingly thin layers of remarkable fabrics.

This means you can travel to really cold places with minimal luggage, and not be weighed down by heavy sweaters and coats.

what to pack for winter in Europe

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The Fabrics

The best fabrics to keep you warm are merino (the very best), silk, cashmere and the new “warmth technology synthetics. Each of these trap warmth against the skin.

Merino

When it comes to the best fabrics for travel, merino is the champion. Although it is a wool, merino is the very softest wool, and doesn’t itch or scratch. New technologies spin it to a thin thread that is also incredibly lofty. What this means is that air gets trapped against the skin, warms up and then keeps you warm. Merino is temperature regulating too, so as the day warms up it cools you down. From sub zero temperatures to 70 degrees, merino keeps you totally comfortable.

It is super sheer, wicks moisture away from the skin (so if you perspire it lifts it away) is antibacterial and super important for travel – it takes away odors. This means it can be worn multiple times between laundering and won’t get smelly. Perfect for travel!

Silk

Terramar Women’s Thermasilk base layer

Silk has the best warmth to weight ratio. Not only does it feel wonderful against your skin, but it keeps you really warm too. Unlike merino silk can’t regulate temperature, so if the afternoon warms up, you will too. It does however, wear well under jeans, so if it is cold enough to need a base layer on your legs you will have an easier time sliding jeans up over silk. See Terramar Thermasilk base layers here and here

Warmth Technology Synthetics

Synthetics are now pretty high tech. The warmth technology polyesters are super sheer, wick away moisture from the skin ad trap air, making you nice and toasty when it’s cold. Some of them regulate temperature, so can cool you back down too. My only problem with the polyesters is that they trap smells, so can be pretty stinky by the end of the day.

Cashmere

Cashmere is a fabulous middle layer fabric. You can get base layers in cashmere but if you are prone to itching it isn’t always your best friend.

Base Layers

A base layer’s job is to regulate temperature, not only keeping you warm but also wicking moisture away from the skin. This is your next-to-skin layer, think of it as a foundation garment over which you can layer your mid and outer layers as needed.

Think of camisoles like this one and very lightweight, long sleeved T’s like this one from Icebreaker in the new wonder fabrics. You can also get base layer bottoms like these silk ones from Terramar that are a similar thickness to a pair of tights.

Terramar Thermasilk base layer bottoms

A good base layer will be really sheer. Forget about the bulky long johns and cotton thermals of old – the new base layers are really thin.

Instead of a heavy sweater you can wear a thin base layer and stay every bit as warm.

The perfect winter travel wardrobe is made up of layers of these fabrics.

What To Pack For Winter

Underneath

Starting with your base layer, pack one or two long sleeved and one or two cami’s, ideally merino. I pack one silk cami and one merino cami as well as two merino long sleeves.

If you will need an extra layer for your legs look for a silk base layer that you can wash out at night or a couple of merino bottoms.

Merino Socks. Not only are thin, they keep your feet extra warm and don’t bunch up. They also don’t get stinky. See women’s merino socks here

Tights are essential if you will be wearing dresses or skirts.

Middle Layer

Leggings: If you will be wearing leggings look for a good merino pair like these from Icebreaker. They will keep you warm, cool you down if the afternoon gets warm and sunny, wick away perspiration, and also hold their shape nicely.

Jeans and Pants: The easiest way to travel is with separates. For every two bottoms pack 4 or 5 tops. So a pair of jeans, a pair of black pants (or leggings) and 5 tops to mix and match.

Long Sleeved Tops: From long sleeved T-shirts to cashmere sweaters like this one from Nordstrom, plan 2 to 3 tops per pair of jeans/pants/leggings.

A Merino Dress: The best winter travel piece I have ever owned is a black merino dress from Ibex. Unfortunately Ibex went out of business but you can find other merino dresses here and here.

Freezing day in Monserrat, Spain, December 2017

My merino dress is only slightly thicker than t-shirt fabric yet is incredibly warm. I wore it here in Barcelona 2 Decembers ago. On this day it was mildly cold in Barcelona, warm when you were in the sun, then up here in Monserrat it was absolutely freezing cold I the wind. Freezing.

A merino dress with tights and boots and a leather jacket will keep you warm when it’s glacial out, but also keep you comfortable when it is warmer.

The Outer Layer

Boots

The very best footwear for winter travelers is a good pair of boots. Boots need to be waterproof and able to hold up in snow. (Even if you are not expecting snow.)

I prefer boots that aren’t too rigid. Your boots need to flex with your feet, especially on long sightseeing days. I have been wearing shoes and boots from Sofft on all my travels over the last few years. They typically don’t need breaking in and have been extremely comfortable even on days I have had to walk more than 10 miles on cobblestoned surfaces.

A short pair of booties can be great for fall and winter travel. They don’t take up space in your suitcase, are easy to slip on and off at the airport, and look good with everything. I have the Bellis II from Sofft

If you are likely to have rain or if you want a higher boot, my current favorite winter boots are the Sharnell II from Sofft. They are waterproof, the width is adjustable if your legs swell of if you need a little extra calf room through wearing layers. Sofft’s Aqua Sofft line of boots are all waterproof.

A Puffer Jacket or Coat

A warm coat that packs down to nothing is essential for a winter traveler. Puffer coats are ideal as they both keep you warm and can fold down into a small pouch. Check to see that your puffer jacket or coat is waterproof before purchase.

I particularly like the slightly longer puffer coats. Puffer coats that reach mid-thigh will keep you much warmer on cold days. Look for a puffer coat that also has a hood, both for rain protection but also for the extra warmth they give your neck. This women’s puffer coat from Columbia is both warm and has excellent reviews. Also check out this one from Bernardo at Nordstrom if you want amore slimming line.

This one from Benia Valuker is the top selling women’s puffer coat on Amazon, with 2400 reviews – it must be good! Check out how gorgeous it is in beige!

My favorite clothing item in my closet is my red leather jacket from Jimmy’s in Florence. I only wear it when I know it’s not going to rain – I know leather is fine in the rain but I don’t want to risk ruining it in a downpour.

Hats

I normally wear some form of beanie or woolen hat for winter travel. One of my friends always looks so chic in fedora style hats, so this year I am getting one of these Lisianthus fedoras from Amazon. With more than 2000 5 star reviews I’m thinking it has to be a winner!

A Big Scarf

A warm scarf is a must for winter travel. I like to use a slightly oversized scarf or pashmina that can double as a blanket if needed on a flight. Look for something soft and gentle against the skin that is large enough to give you extra coverage over your chest and upper back when wrapped.

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