Faucet Face Glass Water Bottles

Holiday Gift Guide ~ Unique Gifts for Everyone on Your List


Holiday Gift Guide – It seems more challenging than ever to think of unique gifts for friends, family and coworkers.

So many people to buy for… such a stressful time.

You are faced with spending a lot of money AND with the challenge of coming up with the perfect present.

It is so much easier when you start with great ideas.

Here’s our holiday gift guide filled with top picks for everyone on your never-ending list.

This is the ultimate gift guide for the hard-to-buy-for-people in your life.

Our Top Holiday Gift Guide

To help you in your quest, we have compiled a fantastic list of interesting gifts (National Geographic Book 100 Countries, 5000 Ideas) for the people who already have everything they could possibly need and want.

You can find many of these products on Amazon.

Read on to find out why we think each of these ideas are so great. 

Best Gift for National Park Lover

Do you know someone who loves learning about and visiting National Parks?

This book makes an incredible gift.

Maybe it will inspire them to visit all 59 National Parks.

National Parks of America: Experience America’s 59 National Parks by Lonely Planet is a as an excellent resource.

The pictures are gorgeous.

What we love best is it gives you sample itineraries for each park, depending on how long you will be there.

It isn’t a guidebook meant to take with you on your trips.

It’s more a book to enjoy at home before you go and throughout the years as you plan trips.

It’s also great for someone who wants to learn more about them.

Best Gift for Someone Who Loves Road Trips

This is a great gift idea for a young adult for a college graduation gift.

This book, 50 States, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do, by National Geographic, is fantastic for adventurers who like to plan as they go OR plan in advance.

Road-trippers will love it.

It also may work to inspire the love of travel in young adults.

Those with lots of US travel experience may already be familiar some information in the book.

However, I learned a lot from it and used it when we visited several states even though I’ve traveled across the country many times, including to all 50 states.

Best Gift for a Frequent Traveler

Money Belt

A money belt, anti-theft wallet, or clothing that conceals money and IDs makes a great gift.

You can never be too careful when you travel.

There are some great options that are affordable, stylish and comfortable too.

Many anti-theft wallets and pouches have RFID protection as well.

Best Gift for Someone Who Takes Lots of Pictures

Picture Keeper Pro with 500 GB

Free up memory on your computer and your smartphone.

The Picture Keeper is a handy device that will enable you to maximize your phone’s and computer’s storage by easily capturing those pictures off your phone and computer.

You want to keep your photos and videos forever but how do you store them and manage them?

The Picture Keeper offers a simple solution to save your pictures and videos so you can access them easily and free up space on your devices.

Best Gift for the Person Who Wants Less Stuff

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book

This idea seems kind of ironic to be in a holiday gift guide but we often feel like we want less stuff.

Do you have friends who talk about decluttering and who want to downsize?

The Life-Changing Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing book will be motivating for anyone who wants to par down their belongings.

It is a home-changing and mind-freeing book which promotes the idea of surrounding yourself with things you love.

We love that it changes our paradigm from what we might lose by getting rid of stuff to what you will gain by minimizing your possessions.

Get this book for yourself or someone else… it’s a life changer.

Best Green Gifts

Simply Eden Products

Handmade locally in Eden, Utah, Simply Eden is a company that uses their goats’ milk for their soaps, lotions, and creams.

They also make lip balms, candles and more.

True entrepreneurs, the staff is committed to making safe products.

They have a shop in Eden or you can order from their website.

They are truly a local company and are committed to supporting other artists and small businesses in their area.

Simply Eden’s shop carries locally made jewelry, baked goods, chocolates, artwork, and more.

Glass Water Bottles by Faucet Face

These glass water bottles are a unique alternative to water bottles.

First, we love that they can be used “on the go” instead of a plastic disposable water bottle or even a reusable water bottle.

We also love that they also serve a dual function:

You can keep them in the refrigerator so you always have fresh, cold tap water to enjoy at home.

We like using them at family mealtimes.

The bottles are so artistic and colorful.

We have had lively discussions about them when our guests have seen them.

Faucet Face Glass Water Bottles
Faucet Face Glass Water Bottles

These bottles are made from thick, sturdy glass, which is so much safer and healthier than plastic receptacles.

The twist on/off caps are easy to use, and they coordinate with the main color on each bottle.

They are BPA free.

The Faucet Face bottles pictured here are:

Hose Water; one with a hummingbird print; and Tap is Terrific.

At 8″ tall and 2.75″ wide, they will easily fit in your car cup holder. We love glass being it is non-toxic, green, easy to clean, and won’t stay in a landfill forever.

Even better? When you purchase one of these bottles, Faucet Face donates 2.5% of its sales to a clean drinking water charity called Third Millennium Awakening (TMA) through its 1 for 100 program.

Faucet Face also donates a complete water filter for each sale of five or more individual bottles to a family in rural India.

These glass water bottles become a gift that keeps on giving.

Pelcor Cork Umbrella
Pelcor Cork Umbrella

Genuine Cork Skin Tall Umbrella by Pelcor

We love living and giving green, and it doesn’t get much better than this traditionally ecologic product from Portugal.

Made from genuine cork skin from the Mediterranean, each umbrella is made from biodegradable, renewable, recyclable materials.

With a lifetime of 250-350 years, the cork oak yields cork after the first 20 – 25 years of life.

Thereafter, cork can be harvested every nine years.

And due to the nature of cork, no two umbrellas are ever alike.

Water resistant and hypoallergenic, the umbrella opens easily.

This model, at 91 cm, includes a carrying sleeve with shoulder strap.

Opteka Solar Charger

You know someone with a SmartPhone who would love this solar charger as a gift.

Harness the renewable power of the sun by putting the Opteka 6000mAh in your window or dashboard and draw power for any of your electronic devices.

I love mine. It provides enough of a charge to get me through several phone calls or emails.

It is such a simple, unique gift that your special person probably doesn’t own yet.

Flip-it! 6 Pack Intro Kit

It seems they have everything, but they probably don’t have this.

These are BPA free plastic tops that fit onto different bottle sizes, enabling the user to get every last drop of thick liquid out of a bottle, be it shampoo, honey, ketchup, glue, salad dressing, or cleaning products.

This is perfect for your environmentally-conscious friend:

Getting more out of each product means you have to buy less frequently and recycle less-than-empty bottles less often.

They are washable, reusable and come in many different sizes.

With Flip-it! there is no more waiting and no more wasting.

We like they come with a mesh storage bag so we can store them until we need them again.

Best Fun Gift

Fitbit Zip

Adults, teens, tweens and kids will all love to receive the Fitbit Zip.

It’s the entry-level model in the Fitbit line of activity tracking devices.

Simple clip it to your waistband or slip it in your pocket, and the Fitbit Zip activity tracker will count your steps throughout the day.

Buy one for everyone in your household and have competitions to see who is the most active.

You will actually have fun being fit, and it gets the kids away from video games.

Do you walk 10,000 steps each day?

Find out with the Fitbit Zip!

Fidget cube

Have you heard of the fidget cube and fidget spinner?

They are inexpensive and popular with kids and adults.

Touted as a way to ease stress and reduce anxiety, these small fidget toys are all the rage.

Even if someone has one, they would probably love a second.

They are small, portable, and inexpensive.

Best Made in USA Gifts

Hammond's Candies
Hammond’s Candies

Hammond’s Candies

Because we have too much stuff, we just love consumables.

We especially love made in America products.

Give something that is sure to please and tastes great.

Hammond’s Candies hand-rolled lollipops, candy canes, and ribbon candy come in so many flavors, you will have a fun time choosing.

Most of them are allergy-friendly too.

You will be supporting a family business and support an “art” they have been practicing since 1920.

Since then, they have extended their line to gourmet chocolates, specialty caramels, marshmallow creams, and so much more.

Hammond’s Candies are available at their store in Denver and at specialty retailers.

There were a few displayed in the holiday candy section at Target and near the registers at Michaels.

Update: You can now find some Hammond’s Candies offerings on Amazon. All natural root beer lollipop, anyone?

Ultimate American Socks by United By Blue

The fact that these socks are 100% crafted in the United States are just one (big) reason to love them.

Another reason?

They are made from the most ultimate of renewable American natural resources:

The American Bison.

They come in an attractive, recyclable sliding box, which makes them even more gift-worthy.

Printed on the inside of the box, the receiver will enjoy learning about the journey of their socks, from Philadelphia, PA where the socks and packaging are designed, to the American West where bison down is collected from ranchers, to Uxbridge, MA where they are blended with American merino wool, and combed, carded and spun into sock yarns.

From there, they travel to Osage, IA, where the socks are knitted and packaged.

Know someone who is cold all the time?

These socks will ensure their feet stay warm and comfortable all winter long.

As if all of this isn’t enough?

For every product sold, United by Blue will remove one pound of trash from our world’s rivers, lakes and oceans.

Support a true USA product!

Louisville Slugger Personalized Bat

If you are ever within driving range of Louisville, KY, be sure to check out the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory.

You can see Louisville Slugger bats being made right in front of you; they even give you a free mini bat to take home.

Can’t make it to Louisville?

You can order a custom-made, personalize bat; a team logo bat; and collectible bats online.

For the personalized Louisville bats — our favorites — you choose the size and finish.

They will even include the gift recipient’s name on the bat.

Best Gift for Frequent Flier

Travelrest – The Ultimate Pillow

Buying for a frequent flier?

Weighing less than 7 oz, this ergonomic travel pillow is easy to take on long distance trips.

We love that it is simple to inflate and collapses easily.

It even adjusts for children.

The best part?

It provides excellent support with proper head and neck alignment.

This travel pillow will make long flights more tolerable.

Another bonus is that it is washable too.

Read more about the Travelrest Ultimate Pillow here.

And a very very close runner up is the Aeros Pillow Premium Sea to Summit.

Best Travel or Camping Gift

Divine LEDs Ultra Bright LED Lantern

This might be one you even buy for yourself.

This is a practical item that works great when camping and also as an emergency backup light at home for when the power goes out.

We know some Divine LED owners who use them outside in their backyards and decks.

What’s great about them is that you can control how bright you want the light to be.

It is lightweight and compacts easily so it is perfect to travel with.

It is even water resistant.

Made from military-grade materials, it is extra-durable.

It is the perfect gift for someone who loves the outdoors and for any homeowner too.

Best Gift for Outdoor Enthusiast

holiday gift guide Vitchelo Headlamp
holiday gift guide Vitchelo Headlamp

Vitchelo Headlamp Flashlight

The Vitchelo Headlamp Flashlight is a best-seller for a reason: It is a great product!

It is lightweight, durable, and it even comes with batteries.

There is an option for turning on the red light or the white light.

This is perfect for all of your outdoor activities, including running, walking, hiking, fishing, cycling, camping and more.

Use it for working in your garage, crawl space, attic and basement; it’s perfect for when you are working with your hands and can’t carry a flashlight.

Kids would love this gift too.

It would be fun for them to use for when they play outside or for creative play in the house.

Best for our needs, being we are outdoor enthusiasts?

It is waterproof too!

Best Gift for Someone Who Has Everything

Throw cover:

This throw, picnic blanket, table cover, and wrap skirt serves multiple purposes.

It’s available in different colors to suit the recipient’s taste as well.

We’ve used it on the beach to hold our towels and cooler and another time as a swim cover at a hotel.

For an outdoor party, we covered a circular wooden table and dressed it up with this throw.

It’s versatile and fun!

Animal Print Water Bottle:

This comes in three prints: zebra, giraffe and cheetah.

It holds 17 ounces and is stainless steel.

It’s a sleek and streamlined water bottle — easy to tuck into a purse or briefcase.

There is a screw on/off cap which eliminates leaks.

It should fit most car drink holders.

Tweens and teens would like this too.

Best Homeowner Gift

The Home Book

A Complete Guide to Homeowner and Homebuilder Responsibilities, by David MacLennan, George Wolfson, and Douglas Hansen.

With its 271 glossy pages of practical, thorough, easy-to-understand guidelines, this is a lifesaver for homeowners and remodelers to learn how to avoid costly mistakes when taking care of their homes.

This would make an excellent gift for first time home buyers, purchasers of new construction, and existing homeowners who are considering remodeling their present home.

It covers maintenance, repairs, and concerns over everything from floors, ceilings, roofs, gutters, cabinets, appliances, driveways, walkways, walls, moldings, foundations, basements, windows, doors, decks, patios, and more.

Save time and money, and retain the value of your home for years with this book as a resource.

Best gifts this year

In decades past, there were many more things people actually needed.

There were more surprises.

We didn’t have so much “stuff” already.

Nowadays, everything is readily available through the internet, easily accessible.

With our “buy it now,” culture, many people are able to go out and buy whatever it is they need or want, whenever they need or want it.  

It is much more difficult to come up with unique holiday gifts that are actually useful and/or thoughtful.

Buy a gift for the hard-to-buy-for person with these unique holiday gift guide ideas.

The special people in your life are sure to remember, appreciate, and enjoy them.

Whether these are last minute gifts, or if you carefully planned, your recipients will be sure to remember these unique gift ideas.

Best Technology Gifts and Gadgets for Travelers

Best Technology Gifts and Gadgets for Travelers ~ As the holiday season quickly approaches, you’ll probably begin thinking about gifts and gadgets you’ll want for yourself or to get for the favorite traveler on your list.

We’ve featured a number of posts about technology this year, here are some of our favorites, along with the top choices from those posts:

Best Noise Cancelling Headphones featured these headphones:

Best Portable DVD Players for Travel featured these DVD players:

Best Tablet Computer for Travel: iPad 2 vs. Xoom vs. Galaxy Tab included comparisons of these tablets:

Apple’s iPad, Motorola’s, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab. And Should I Buy a Kindle Fire added to the mix with a comparison to the iPad2.

A Travel Alarm clock is always a great gift so Travel Alarm Clock: Reviews of the Best Digital and Atomic Clocks, so in that post we featured these clocks:

Best Technology Gifts and Gadgets for Travelers
Best Technology Gifts and Gadgets for Travelers

And finally, a unique gift for a traveler is always a digital luggage scale.

Gift Ideas for Green Travelers

We’ve searched far and wide to create this list of Gift Ideas for Green Travelers and eco-conscious travelers.

Whether you’re shopping for presents for Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, or just for fun, celebrate Cyber Monday the green way with our Holiday Shopping List.

Gift Ideas for Green Travelers: Books & DVDs

1. The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World

2. 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth

3. Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

4. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time

5. In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

6. Planet Earth DVDs – The Complete BBC Series

Gift Ideas for Green Travelers: Clothing & Shoes

Gift Ideas for Green Travelers
Gift Ideas for Green Travelers

7. Groovy Organic Cotton T-Shirt by Patagonia: Women

8. Groovy Organic Cotton T-Shirt by Patagonia: Men

9. Ecoland Organic Cotton Socks

Gift Ideas for Green Travelers: Sporting Goods & Travel Gear

Gift Ideas for Green Travelers

10. Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottle

11. Mountainsmith Recycled Backpack

12. Reusable Shopping Bags

13. Reusable Produce Bags

14. Wrap-N-Mat

Gift Ideas for Green Travelers: Personal Care Products

15. MSR Quick-Dry Towel

16. Dr. Bronner’s Organic Castile Soap

17. Olive IQ Vaporizer comes with USB Charging Cable, key chain tool, 10mm adapter and more.


Gift Ideas for Green Travelers: Donations

18. A Charity Navigator Good Card

19. Kiva Gift Certificate

10 Christmas Gift Ideas for the Traveler Who Is Not Traveling
TSA Approved Luggage Locks
Money Belt Reviews for Every Traveler
Best Gifts for Travelers
10 Awesome Stocking Stuffers for Travelers
Our Green Travel Gear page

Unique Valentine’s Day gifts

Looking for unique Valentine’s Day gifts? We have the top picks for everyone on your list from your beloved to your new romance, to your children, friends, coworkers, and teachers.

Everyone would love to be remembered, and there is no better way to do it than with these sustainable and (mostly) practical, mostly green travel gifts.

Scratch Off World Map Poster

Right off the bat, you will be proud to give this gift.

The scratch off world map comes in a tube that’s bright and depicts the poster inside.

The map measures 33 x 23 in (84 x 59 cm).

The poster itself is a bit thicker than a traditional poster.

Endangered Species Chocolate Bars

Do you have an animal or chocolate lover in your life?

Support endangered species’ habitat and humanity with these bars made from ethically traded cocoa beans from small family farms.

Choose from tiger, wolf, dolphin, sea otter, chimpanzee and more… these gourmet chocolate bars will please everyone on your gift list.

They are gluten free.

Bonus: each bar contains educational information about the animal on its wrapper.

Amazon features these delicious fair-trade chocolate your valentine will be sure to love.

Who doesn’t enjoy high-quality, eco-friendly chocolate?

Women’s & Men’s Organic Cotton Clothing by Patagonia

Patagonia Shirt When shopping for travel gifts, my general philosophy is if it isn’t practical, it doesn’t make the cut.

But when I saw this t-shirt I remembered how tired I got of wearing the same four solid-colored shirts every day for six weeks when I traveled around Eastern Europe.

Sometimes it’s good to get a gift that’s unique and fun – even if it’s not totally practical – and this organic cotton T is a great place to start. Patagonia Organic Clothing

Fair Trade Hemp Messenger Bag

best valentine's gifts
fair trade hemp bag

The first time I traveled abroad, I only brought my ginormous backpack and a standard-size backpack.

I didn’t think to bring a medium-sized bag for carrying books, water bottles, or a few groceries, but quickly realized how much I would have appreciated having a messenger bag.

This fair trade hemp bag would have been perfect to grab on the way out the door.

Recycled Cotton Journal

Journal Whether you’re in a park in Poland or a coffee shop in Thailand, take a minute to jot down your travel adventures.

You may not think you’ll ever forget where you were when you left your backpack on the bus and had to chase it down the street (even if you want to), but memories blur together over the years and a Recycled Cotton Journal can help you sort it all out.

Organic Cotton Socks

Organic SockOkay, so Organic Cotton Socks aren’t the most romantic gift.

But they’re practical.

When your loved one has been vagabonding around Argentina for 3 days in the same pair of socks, then discovers she has this one last pair hidden under her dirty t-shirts, she’ll thank you.

Certainly you will find more and more companies going green.

And with so many more interesting, sustainable products available, you will hopefully find one.

ecoSNEAKS sustainable sneakers by Simple Shoes

ecosneaks Quality footwear is essential when you’re hiking around new cities for six hours every day.

ecoSNEAKS are made of organic cotton, recycled paper pulp, and old car tire, which makes for a pretty sweet pair of sneakers.

Read our full review here: Simple Satire ecoSNEAKS Review: Environmentally Friendly Travel Shoes.

Sustainable Flowers

Depending on your climate, locally grown flowers might not be easy to come by in February.

And even organic blooms might be hard to come by in your city (though a Yelp search for an eco-friendly florist can’t hurt).

Fortunately, you can buy your loved one some Organic Flower Seeds so they can try make a go of their green thumb in the spring.

Unique Valentine’s Day Gifts

Ethical or Secondhand Jewelry

Skip traditional jewelry and instead opt for eco-friendly, ethical jewelry.

If your special someone prefers a classic look, secondhand jewelry is a great option.

Browse the selection at a reputable antique store or jewelry store specializing in vintage pieces.

Acts of Service

One of the greenest gifts you can give your valentine is free: an act of service that you promise to fulfill.

You can create a packet of cards that outline the acts of service, and your loved one can cash them in at his or her leisure.

Need some ideas?

Your acts of service can range from the practical  (dish duty for a week, a thorough scrubbing of the bathroom, or picking up the dry cleaning for a month) to the more romantic (cooking a dinner for two, giving your valentine a massage, or making your love breakfast in bed).

This is a great gift because you can customize it to make it the perfect gift for your valentine.

Valentine Vacations: Best Valentine Day Trips and Packages

Looking for somewhere special to take a vacation this Valentine’s Day?

Maybe it’s just a weekend getaway or a longer trip?

Here are some ideas for great Valentine’s Day Travel Options:

For a Cheap Vacation

They have vacation packages for 2 weeks out and you can score some amazing deals.

A few years ago we booked with them for a trip from Washington, DC to Toronto and got hotel and round-trip plane tickets.

For Romance and Wine

Check out San Francisco and beyond

Here are some great ideas for traveling in and around the San Francisco area:

Red and White Fleet ‘s California Sunset Valentine’s Cruise

“Romantics will enjoy views of the city’s spectacular nights cape, live guitar entertainment, hearty appetizers and a hot or cold beverage from the bar.

Nestled into the warm and cozy atmosphere of Red and White Fleet’s historic vessel, the cruise will sail along the dramatically lit skyline of San Francisco, pass Alcatraz and cruise under the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge.”

Pier 43½ at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, CA, 94133

San Francisco Zoo’s “Woo at the Zoo”

“The San Francisco Zoo’s annual Valentine’s event offers the original Annual Sex Tour/Woo at the Zoo with Jane Tollini.

“Woo at the Zoo” also features a brunch or dinner. Reservations are required as this “sense”-ational event sells out each year.

1 Zoo Road, San Francisco, 94132-1098

The Napa Valley Wine Train’s Sweetheart Serenade

The Napa Valley Wine Train is a haven for lovers and Valentine’s Day is a special treat on board.

The tour is offering four options to celebrate love:  dinners feature a glass of sparkling wine, a chocolate treat and entertainment by a strolling musician.

1275 McKinstry St, Napa,CA 94559

For Skiing Bliss

Hit the slopes in the Banff

Banff / Lake Louise are wonderful places in Canada with fabulous restaurants and great skiing.

We were there during the summer a few years ago, but during winter there are hundreds of miles of ski trials and amazing lodges and cabins (most with fireplaces).

So after a great day on the slopes you can cuddle up around a warm fire.

For Beachside Relaxation


Nothing says romantic beachside vacation like Hawaii, right?

Here are a few upcoming events:

Romance Remembered at Halekulani (Oahu, HI – www.halekulani.com)

Spend four nights immersing in the Halekulani-inspired romance, delectable cuisine, exclusive amenities and unparalleled world service on the beach at Waikiki.

Waikiki Escape at Waikiki Parc (Oahu, HI – www.waikikiparc.com)

Couples choose between adventure, relaxation, or exploration and celebrate guilt-free indulgences of Waikiki at the chic boutique hotel – Waikiki Parc.

For Coziness Close to Home

Book a Room in a Lodge or a Suite at your Favorite Hotel

With the economy still recovering there are numerous options for cheap hotel nights over this year’s valentine’s day.

For an even cheaper Valentine’s Day – look at rooms the weekend following or prior to Valentine’s Day this year.

(The weekend following is President’s Day weekend so rooms still may be on the steeper side.)

And of course, the greenest and cheapest Valentine’s Day event is always to make your own locally sourced meal at home.

Best Travel Shoes, Travel Sandals, Walking Shoes and Hiking Boots

Still looking for the perfect, green Valentine’s Day gift for your special someone?

Fear not, we have unique Valentine’s Day gifts your valentine is sure to love.

This list is sure to please anyone on your list, but especially the green traveler near and dear to you.