I hate to bring this to you, but Christmas is right upon us, peeps! I know, right? Where does the time go? I’m sure I’m not the only one to think that it is becoming increasingly difficult to buy Christmas presents for the ones around us, with so and so being allergic to this and that, and so and so buying only locally and fair trade. I’m sure a few of you have this lone traveler in your family for whom it is impossible to find the right present because she is living out of a small backpack, and on top of that is a vegan. Fret not! I’ve made this handy gift guide for you! Here’s what I think the best vegan-friendly presents are for all budgets this holiday season.
I get asked a lot how I manage to stay connected to the Internet everywhere I travel to, and this little device is the answer to any worry you may have. The Skyroam Solis dual LTE Hotspot is the ultimate travel companion for digital nomads and internet junkies such as myself, allowing the user to access super fast and unlimited 4G internet on up to five devices, for 24 hours at a time, and in over 100 countries. It also doubles up as a 6000 mAh power bank, which is really just the icing on the cake. Staying charged and connected has never been so easy!
I generally don’t travel with much in terms of jewelry or fashion accessories, but a beautiful timepiece is my only exception. Give her the gift of time this Christmas with this lovely PETA-approved, cruelty-free from watch Votch and help her look put together in the simplest of backpacker’s clothes while always knowing what time it is. Finding accessories that are sturdy, stylish, and cruelty-free isn’t always easy, and Votch watches tick all of those boxes!
Ah, the logistics of leaving a cold country and traveling to a warmer one with only a carry-on. Freeze yourself to death on the way to the airport or lug a dead weight of a huge Winter jacket around once arrived at destination? Thankfully, this all vegan puffer jacket by Finisterre solves the issue by converting into a tiny travel pillow, turning it into a total travel essential. Weighing in at only 400g, it is windproof, water-resistant and most importantly warm (the PrimaLoft Silver Eco recycled insulation fill retains 75% of its warmth when wet compared to only 15% for down fill, making it one of the best gifts ideas for campers too). Hallelujah!
So, c’mon, don’t be all prudish. We female travelers are of the rather liberated type and love a good old meet and greet with the locals when traveling to a new country. When all else fails, a vibrator is always a trusty plan B to have on hand. And when traveling, something that is both inconspicuous and silent is de rigueur. This little number ticks all the right boxes and more, doubling up as a stylish necklace. Always at hand. Smirk smirk.
Layering basics is the best way to go when traveling the world, but out with the boring old tees! Basic doesn’t mean you should pick plain colored tees, and I’ve got amazing options for you! These two quirky t-shirts from Loveco are made of 100% organic cotton and are cute, soft, flattering, comfortable, easy maintenance and, most importantly, not boring! When in doubt on what might please her, these are a wonderful option.
Pack small, think big, there’s the motto of GoBag, a brand new carry on that is exciting the beejesus outta me right now! Everything about the GoBag is designed for safe, efficient, and optimized travel and it is one of the smallest bags that carries the most I’ve seen, thanks to its amazing vacuum compression system (that can also be operated manually, needless to say). Some of the other features include a 2m-long YKK zipper allowing to access your stuff easily in six different ways, a welded waterproof washbag located at the top for easy security checks, a travel HQ pocket at the top, a detachable padded laptop pouch, and so much more. Plus, it looks neat AF. Aw yeah!
Who doesn’t like receiving something sweet and snacky as a present? Energy bars that are also vegan and rich in protein are sure to please any vegan traveler as they make for such a perfect thing to pack when you travel. Clif Bars are my favorite snack bars to bring on my trips as they come in amazing flavors such as cool mint chocolate, crunchy peanut butter, oatmeal raisin walnut, white chocolate macadamia, blueberry crisp and more. Full or nutritious, organic ingredients, they are perfect to carry in the plane or for an impromptu breakfast when there is nothing vegan. These are real yummy lifesavers!
It’s no surprise to anyone by now that I’m a total yoga addict. Good quality yoga mats are often heavy and bulky and not so good for traveling, and I’ve been testing a few travel mat options lately to find something as good as my current mat. YoGo mats are the clear winners of the pack. Addressing all the problems of portability, convenience, and sustainability, this tiny little mat is about the size of a water bottle and one of the grippiest mats I’ve used. It also neatly folds into a little bundle with a carry strap, making it easy to attach it to the outside of your luggage. It’s made of sustainably-harvested rubber, and for every mat you purchase, a food tree is planted in a poor community in Africa.
One for the coffee addicts that really can’t go without a good cuppa, the Nanopresso is a nifty little espresso machine that is built around a newly patented pumping system that requires little effort. Fill it with ground coffee and hot water and marvel as the Nanopresso reaches 18 bars (261 PSI) of pressure — more than what most home espresso machines can deliver! A neat little piece of design, it also comes with its own case. It’s the lightest, smallest and yet most powerful portable manual espresso machine out there. Neat!
A Pretty Dress
I mentioned that basics were my travel staples, but a flowy dress that’s comfortable and can be dressed up or down for any situation is another essential that I never go without when I travel. And these two models are making my heart sing right now! The one to the left with pretty ginkgo flowers by ArmedAngels is made of Tencel, a sustainable fabric produced from wood cellulose which is super soft and most importantly resistant to wrinkles. The one on the right by Groceries Apparel is made of 100% GMO-Free organic cotton, has adjustable straps and is just perfect for absolutely any occasion. So pretty!
A small and stylish day pack is always a good idea for anyone traveling often, and this one by Corkor is not so surprisingly made of cork, which is eco-friendly, water-resistant, strikingly beautiful, and 100% vegan (PETA-approved). Portugal-based Corkor products are priding themselves on quality and durability rather than mass-production and it really shows in the craftsmanship of the product. Real special!
The Trtl (pronounced “turtle”) neck pillow is unlike any travel pillow I have ever seen and it makes for such a new and exciting Christmas gift for any traveler. It’s unique design is made of cozy and soft fleece with a hidden interior support system that holds the head and neck in a much more ergonomic position than a traditional travel pillow. No more leaning against windows or, worse, not sleeping because you’re on the aisle seat! The Trtl neck pillow is also lightweight and packs really neatly for ease of transport.
Top tips: for the ones of you on a budget, you can always buy these items second hand on eBay and have them delivered by Shiply!