Holiday Gift Guide: Making Air Travel Zen, Gift Ideas for Travelers
Between launching EcoSessions (our global event series that connects industry, designers and citizens around topics for change) and speaking about the Magnifeco book, I flew over 70,000 miles this year. Whether traveling for work-or getting ready for the holiday rush- these travel companions make the flight experience as zen as it can be. Here are my (completely unsponsored) must-haves for the traveler on your list:
The Carry-on: Every inconvenience you can save yourself makes the travel experience better. That’s why I love the Spectra Dual-Access Global Carry-On from Victorinox. It’s lightweight (just seven pounds), meets the carry-on requirements for most airlines, has eight turning wheels for rolling ease and features a zip-open front panel for easy access to your laptop (making security a breeze). Comes with a ten year limited warranty and with Victorinox tracing, if it has to get checked and gets lost, your contact details are available through the serial number. Usually around $350, but found on Amazon for $222.74 USD.
The Scarf: Traveling with a scarf is so necessary; it can double as a pillow or blanket and is a great defense against extreme air conditioning (common on many carriers). This cashmere/merino Yana Scarf From the Road works beautifully. It’s hand woven on a foot pedal loom by master artisans in Nepal and then over washed for a super soft feel. So does this cotton/silk Akin scarf from Matter, hand block printed in Jaipur. Both brands are socially conscious and work with artisans and since both cashmere and silk are isothermal, both of these scarves work for warmth (and fashion upon arrival). The Yana Scarf, From the Road – $250 USD. The Akin Scarf, from Matter – $75 USD.
The Neck Pillow: I love MUJI’s Neck Cushion. Because it’s filled with beads and can lie flat or attach with a clip, it can be a lumbar support or a neck pillow. The best part-the removable (washable) cover, so after a long-haul (or if your neighbor spills wine) you can pop it into the wash. From MUJI - £19.95.
The Sleep Mask: The sleep mask’s greatest gift it that it signals to everyone (especially flght attendents) that you are (trying to) sleep-this saves you from the requisite taps on the arm for hospitality offerings and lets you sleep. This sleep mask from Clare Bare is made from luxurious hand dyed silk charmeuse and features an adjustable elastic band. Hand made in Los Angeles. From Clare Bare – $42.00 USD.
The Headphones: These wireless, vegan Zebra Wood Troubadours sit perfectly on your ears and isolate outside noise. With over 8 hours of battery on a single charge, they also come with a no-tangle single-sided nylon cable if you need to plug in for the long haul. Not only are they super chic, but every LSTN purchase helps give hearing aids to someone in need. From LSTN Sound Co. – $179.99 USD.
The Germ Warriors: Those that know me, know I’m a bit of a germ phobe (if you are sick, don’t come near me) and when I’m flying, I’m hyper vigilant. Since we can’t pick the healthiest people as seat mates, these are my two saving graces: Zicam Zinc Spray and Intelligent Nutrients Sanitizer. Studies have shown zinc sprays can lessen the impact of a cold and this homeopathic spray (sprayed on the roof of your mouth) claims that it can even halt one before it starts. And the sanitizer from IN is a certified organic way to effectively fight 99.99% of germs. Zicam can be bought at most drugstores or from Amazon. Sanitizer from Intelligent Nutrients - $13.00 USD. *Best part, both are small enough to meet FDA regulations for onboard travel.
The Water Bottle: Hydration is essential in-flight and the best way to get what you need is to pack your own. Packing an empty water bottle in your carry-on and topping up in the airport after check-in, lets you drink as much as you want, when you want. I love the vacuum sealed, double walled exterior of this Asobu bottle that helps keep contents hot for 8 hours and cold for 24. From Amazon - $19.99 USD.
The Audio Book: Are you behind on your reading? Use flight time to catch up with Audible. Think of it as your portable audio library. Often read by A-list celebrities, if you don’t love a selection, swap it for another anytime – free. Get a free one month trial.
The Language App: I can make my way around in French, Spanish, Japanese and German (barely) but I always need a refresh. Duolingo delivers. I usually start a few weeks before my trip to reawaken the sleeping language and to make sure common phrases are on the tip of my tongue. According to the Duolingo website, 34 hours of Duolingo are equivalent to a full semester of language education at an average U.S. university. Voted iPhone app of the year. From Duolingo – Free.