This is my favorite time of year because I love putting together some of the best travel items of the year in our annual holiday gift guide. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales coming up, I wanted to make sure to get this guide out early enough for you to take advantage of the sales on these items.
I’ve included more clothing items in addition to travel and photography gear because my travel style has changed quite a bit over the last several years. I used to think dressing comfortable meant dressing down, but I have found so many stylish travel clothes that are comfortable too!
Holiday Gift Guide for Travel & Photography Enthusiasts
Women’s Obermeyer Jacket: This year, I have decided to invest in some quality cold-weather gear for a few upcoming winter trips to view the Northern Lights. I’m headed to Canada and Alaska during the coldest times of the year, so my basic rain jacket won’t cut it.
I am in love with this Obermeyer insulated jacket. It’s not bulky like most ski jackets, the hood has a removable Faux Fur trim, and it is SO warm! I was torn between this one and the Obermeyer Tuscany, but I prefer jackets that have more length in the torso to keep me extra warm.
Women’s Rain & Snow Boots: I have a really cute pair of basic rain boots that I included in our Alaska Packing List, but I wanted something that would keep my feet warm in the snow. I found these Sorrel boots on sale and I adore them! I wish I could wear them every day. Maybe we’ll get some rain in San Diego this year so I can wear them around town.
FYI: Sorrel boots run slightly small, so it’s recommended to buy a half size larger than your normal shoe size. Buy it here.
Sarongs: One of my top 25 travel tips is to always bring a sarong. They can be used as a wrap when you are cold, a towel, a curtain, or a piece of clothing that can be worn dozens of different ways. Sarongs don’t take up much room in your suitcase and they can easily be dressed up or down.
Phantom 3 Drone: Drones have come a long way in the past few years. It’s become much easier for people without any experience to take amazing aerial photos. The Phantom 3 is extremely stable while flying, it has 2.7K HD video recording, and it’s an FPV drone which means you can view what the camera sees while you are on the ground. This is our big purchase for Black Friday this year. The normal price is $799, but it’s currently on sale for $599 on Amazon.
If you are not quite ready for the price tag of the Phantom, the Parrot Bebop is a great second option. It has 1080p full HD video recording, 14 megapixel camera, and automatic stability control which is great for beginners. Buy it here.
GoPro Hero 4 Silver: This is our go-to action/underwater camera. The LCD screen on the silver makes this my favorite GoPro camera. It’s extremely compact for travel too! Buy it here.
Padded Travel Camera Bag: I’ve been searching for the perfect travel camera backpack for years and finally found it! The Lowepro Fastpack has everything I need and it’s extremely comfortable to wear, even with 20 pounds of gear in it.
You can easily fit a DSLR plus several lenses (I just switched to the Sony a7II with 16-35mm lens) and the top compartment is large enough for other travel items like your wallet, purse, extra clothes, etc. The best part for me is the attached rain cover, tripod attachment, and a side pocket for a water bottle. Buy it here.
Waterproof Case for iPhone: We’ve both had this Lifeproof case for over two years and it’s the only case I would trust to protect my phone while traveling. Not only is it waterproof, but, more importantly, it’s drop proof. I can’t even tell you how many times this case has saved my phone. Buy it here.
Packing Cubes: Packing cubes are essential in my travel bag these days. These multi-sized packing cubes are study, washable, and allow easy access to clothes even at the bottom of my suitcase. I never travel without them. Buy it here.
Collapsible Water Bottle: We try to avoid throw-away plastic water bottles at all costs, but sometimes this is tough when traveling, especially when you have limited room in your carry-on. This Hydrapak Stash water bottle is amazing because it folds into less than three inches and holds up to a liter of liquid.
I wasn’t sure how a soft-walled bottle would hold up with liquid in it, but this thing feels extremely sturdy and well made. Not only does it help the environment, but you will save a ton of money by not buying bottled water in airports! Buy it here.