It’s no secret – I live to travel. When I am on my flight home I am already planning the next adventure. My love of traveling to Italy lead to my “accidental business,”  the Glam Italia Tours, where I take small groups of women on private, boutique tours of Italy. At the time of writing this post I am also prepping for a quick, pre-Christmas trip to Europe. Not only is travel always on my mind, but I’m also constantly thinking about the accoutrements of travel. I am always looking for ways to make it more effective, for items to streamline the experience, both for myself and also for my travelers.

If you are a travel enthusiast, if you have business travelers on your shopping list, or if you have recreational travelers on your list, I have some fabulous wish list and gift ideas for you.

Gift Ideas For Travelers

Tech

A Multi Purpose Travel Adaptor

You probably already know that when traveling outside of the USA the voltage and the configuration of the electricity pins changes. You can’t plug your American electronics into foreign power points, and in America we are at 110 volts, but most of Europe and Australasia are at 220 volts. This means that you need an adaptor that lets you plug into the wall socket wherever you may be, but also that will convert the voltage and give it surge protection. If you just have the plug configuration the excess voltage will no doubt fry your electronics.

all in one travel adaptor

I have had several different adaptors over the years, some have been good, some have broken. Last year I bought the Travel Smart All In One Adaptor from The Container Store I like it because it converts all over the world, no matter where I travel, it is easy to use and is lightweight, so I can throw it in my handbag or carry on.

A Power Strip Or Outlet Extender

travel swivel charger

It’s not unusual to be away and have a hotel room that only has one wall socket. The Belkin Surge Plus USB Swivel Outlet Extender has 2 USB charging ports as well as 3 power outlets, and it swivels to configure into any small space. I got mine online at The Container Store.

A Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Music makes memories, and whether you are adding texture to a vacation or sanity to a work trip, take your music with you with a good wireless portable speaker. Most are compatible to your Pandora and Spotify feeds, as well as whatever music you have stored on your smart phone.

wireless speaker

There is a huge selection of portable speakers available online at Target.com

Related Post: 11 Gift Ideas For Travelers

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Whether you are drowning out the buzz and hum of an airplane in flight, a screaming baby, or annoying loud talkers in the row behind you, noise cancelling headphones are a must when you travel.

bose noise cancelling earbuds

I am a huge Bose fan, and love the Bose Noise Cancelling Earbuds. The Bose sound quality is always amazing, and they are really convenient too because they pack down so small.

bose noise cancelling headphones

The other option for noise cancelling headphones is an around ear model. These are a little bulkier to carry  than the earbud style, but they have the huge advantage of being a deterrent to incessant talkers sitting next to you.

You can see a huge selection of noise cancelling headphones, including the Bose models online at Target.com

A Portable Phone Battery/Charger

This one is a travel essential! Every traveler needs to have an external battery for their phone. Whether your phone loses its charge during the flight, or if it just needs extra power during a day of sight seeing, you don’t want to be stranded with no phone access. Look for a model that has multiple charges (rather than just one charge), and that can power up a phone or tablet from a completely dead battery.

phone charger external battery

You can find a good selection of chargers/external batteries at Target.com 

Related Post: Tatcha’s Travel Sized Gifts For Skin Care Lovers

A Tablet/Kindle/eReader

ipad for travel

The days of dragging heavy books around are long gone. Every traveler needs some form of e-reading device, for books, travel guides, and entertainment. I use an iPad so that I can also watch movies and play solitaire, one of my friends travels with an iPad Mini, my sister in law always has a Kindle with her.

You can see the full range of iPads and tablets and the full range of Kindles available online here at Target.com.

Security

RFID Blockers.

Everyone, not just travelers, needs some form of RFID blocker to protect their credit cards and all their personal information. Anyone with a RFID scanner can read all the information on the magnetic strip on your credit cards, and the digital information on your passport. A scanner is about the size of a cell phone, and if you just walk past one, for example in a coffee shop, all your information will be taken and compromised. The Container Store has a variety of RFID blocking options from credit card and passport sleeves, to wallets, to handbags.

RFID credit card sleeve

I just watched this video for the Travelon Anti Theft Cross Body Bag.

travelon anti theft crossbody bag

I want to get one! Most high tourist cities have a big problem with pickpockets. Any time you are in a crowded situation you have to be extra vigilant with your handbag, but still someone could slash it, slash the shoulder strap, or if you have ever watched you tube videos of pickpockets in action, they can get their fingers in and out of your bag before you even know it. This bag also has built in RFID blockers!

 

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I am skin care obsessed.

If you want your makeup to look gorgeous you have to first focus on the skin underneath, making sure it is hydrated and glowing. When I am working, regardless of whether I’m doing a magazine shoot or prepping a celebrity for an on-camera appearance (or anything in between), the first step is to prep the skin. On most skins I will use a serum containing hyaluronic acid to super-boost the complexion’s hydration equation. When the complexion is beautifully hydrated foundation glides on easily and stays looking gorgeous much longer.

On myself I like to use a serum containing hyaluronic acid both morning and night to both plump up my skin and keep it hydrated.

ThankYourSkin.com has this fabulous info-graphic which explains hyaluronic acid beautifully. If you haven’t been to their website before, it is a fabulous resource for skin care info.

At the bottom of this post I have a group of serums containing hyaluronic acid that you can find at Sephora.

Enjoy!

 

Hyaluronic Acid For Skin: The Little-Known Secret To Healthier Skin



 

 

Lately I’ve been saving paper, hopefully saving trees, and reading books on my iPad.

But can I even tell you how much I miss wandering around bookstores finding my next great read?? While I was in Paris a few weeks ago I made the pilgrimage to the Shakespeare and Company bookstore and spent ages doing just that – wandering around, browsing, buying books.

I really miss the tactile experience of reading a book too. I miss the smell, and I miss the feeling, the sensation of turning a page. So I’ve just been clicking away on Amazon, buying books.

Paris books

The current situation on my desk…

Before I head overseas on a trip I like to read books set in the cities I’m traveling to. It gives you a familiarity with the place, gets you dreaming of the place you are going, lets you make lists of places to see that aren’t in the guide books, gives you things to recognize while you’re there, plus adds another texture to your travel experience.

When I get home I bury myself in books set in the places I’ve just been, trying to keep the experience alive for a little while longer. Right now I’m caught somewhere in the middle, not willing to let go of this most recent trip to Paris just a few weeks ago, and getting ready to go back again in the next few weeks.

If you’ve never been to Paris but want to daydream, if you are heading to Paris soon and want to get in the mood, or if you are holding on to the memories of a wonderful time spent in the City of Light, here is a list of 8 books set in Paris. I have either read or just ordered all of them, and have put affiliate links with each.

 

A Town Like Paris: Falling in Love in the City of Light, by Bryce Corbett

 

books set in paris

Bryce is a 28 year old Australian who after suffering a break up (and a horrendously boring job) decides to move to Paris. He rents an apartment in the Marais, in the heart of the city’s gay district, which could limit his opportunities to meet single french females, and begins a new life in the city of light. Along the way he meets a Parisian showgirl and falls in love.

This book is absolutely hilarious. It will have you in tears laughing all the while acquainting you with one of the most magnificent cities in the world. A MUST read! A Town Like Paris is available at Amazon.com

books set in paris

 

Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris, by Sarah Turnbull

I bought this book years ago because I knew a Sarah Turnbull when I was growing up in New Zealand, and was sure this Australian journalist had to be the same girl. Afterall how many Sarah Turnbull’s could there be in Australasia?? Apparently at least 2…

Anyway, this is another true story featuring an Aussie in Paris. Sarah meets a Frenchman who persuades her to move to Paris, the most romantic city in the world. Her clothes, her laughter, her conversation, her very non-french-ness make her an outsider from the beginning. As she navigates her way through this new culture she becomes seduced by Paris, sharing it’s magic with her along the way. At times you will cringe and at others you will laugh out loud as she shares her journey with you.

One time with a trip to Paris on the horizon I actually wrote down the places she talks about in the book, and then wandered around Paris visiting as many of them as I could. It was wonderful. Almost French is available on Amazon.com

books set in paris

Paris to the Moon, by Adam Gopnik

In 1995 Gopnik, a writer for The New Yorker, moved to Paris for 5 years with his wife and baby son. The plan was to enjoy the culture and the glamour of this exquisite city, living the dreamy life of an American in Paris. Enjoying the bistro life, partaking in philosophical discussions all the while raising his son playing in the Luxembourg Gardens and running around Paris. Perfect, non?

The readers of Gopnik’s award winning and very much loved “Paris Journals” already know the reality of it was at times exasperating and not always glamorous. Paris To the Moon is hilarious and endearing and completely brilliant. Just as with Sarah Turnbull’s book you will find yourself jotting down places and experiences to try out for yourself.

Paris to the Moon is available here on Amazon.com

books set in paris

 

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris, by John Baxter

I haven’t read this one myself yet, but with a title like that, and the fact that it is about walks in the most fabulous walking city in the world, I just ordered it on Amazon. The synopsis below is from Amazon.com

From the author of Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas (P.S.) and We’ll Always Have Paris comes a guided tour of the most beautiful walks through the City of Light, including the favorite walking routes of the many of the acclaimed artists and writers who have called Paris their home. Baxter highlights hidden treasures along the Seine, treasured markets at Place d’Aligre, the favorite ambles of Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, and Sylvia Beach, and more, in a series of intimate vignettes that evoke the best parts of Paris’s many charms. Baxter’s unforgettable chronicle reveals how walking is the bestway to experience romance, history, and pleasures off the beaten path . . . not only of La Ville-Lumière, but also, perhaps, of life itself. The Most Beautiful Walk in the World is available here on Amazon.com

books set in paris

Confessions of a Paris Party Girl, by Vicky Lesage

This Amazon #1 bestseller popped up on my recommended list, and I’m going to order it so therefore I figure I might as well share it with you!

When newly-single party girl Vicki moved to Paris, she was hoping to indulge in wine, stuff her face with croissants, and fall in love. It proved to be much more difficile than she’d imagined. In this laugh-out-loud memoir, this cheeky storyteller recounts the highs and lows of her life in the City of Light. Sassy and shamefully honest, Vicki makes you feel as if you’re right there in Paris stumbling along the cobblestones with her.

Will she find love? Will she learn to consume reasonable amounts of alcohol? Will French bureaucracy ever cut her a break?

Confessions of a Paris Party Girl is a delicious cocktail of the humor of Tina Fey, the candor of Amy Poehler, and the self-deprecating charm of Mindy Kaling. You’ll feel as if you’re chatting over a bottle of wine with your new best friend, one who drinks as much as Chelsea Handler and makes you laugh as much as Sophie Kinsella. Confessions of a Paris Party Girl is available here on Amazon.com

books set in paris

 

A Paris Apartment: A Novel, by Michelle Gable

April Vogt, a Sotheby’s continental furniture specialist gets sent to Paris to curate the hoarded belongings found in an apartment that has been shuttered up for 70 years. The furniture will fetch millions, but more interestingly April discovers the diaries of the woman who lived there, a Belle Epoque courtesan with an intriguing story.

Set both during the Bell Epoque and present day, A Paris Apartment became an international bestseller, and will fuel any dream you’ve ever had of owning an apartment in Paris or maybe just running away there for a while. Available online at Amazon.com

books set in paris

C’est La Vie: An American Woman Begins a New Life in Paris and–Voila!–Becomes Almost French, by Suzy Gershman

This one is on my to be read pile, so the synopsis is lifted from Amazon:

Bestselling writer Suzy Gershman (dubbed “Super Shopper Suzy” by Oprah) is our answer to Peter Mayle in this heartfelt, breezy, and funny story of starting over in Paris. Suzy had always fantasized about moving to Paris with her husband, but when he dies unexpectedly, she decides to fulfill their dream alone. Here she gives a deliciously conversational chronicle of her first year in Paris and of the dizzying delights and maddening frustrations of learning to be a Parisian. Filled with Gershman’s insider’s tips on everything from cooking the perfect clafoutis to—naturally—shopping, C’est la Vie is delightfully entertaining and captures the exhilarating experience of beginning a new adventure. C’est La Vie is available here on Amazon.com

books set in paris

‘BOOKS, BAGUETTES AND BEDBUGS’ by Jeremy Mercer
I’ve written before about my favorite bookshop, perhaps anywhere in the world, Shakespeare and Company in Paris. I haven’t yet read Jeremy Mercer’s Book, Baguettes and Bedbugs, which is about Shakespeare and Co, but I read the review below and have now added it to my must read list.

 If you’re interested in Paris, whether or not you’ve traveled there and visited Shakespeare & Co., you will learn a lot about literary Paris and enjoy reading this book. If you have been to Paris, visited the bookshop, and have met George Whitman you’ll love this book. And if you have stumbled a bit in your life and are broke, you absolutely must read this book to know that life can be great while living without much money, and be encouraged for a better tomorrow.

Doesn’t it make you want to read it?? Available at Amazon.com

Related: Read about Shakespeare and Company here