Like many of you, I’ll be traveling this holiday season to see my east coast family in Philadelphia. It’s always important to appreciate your hosts, and while I’m a very last minute shopper, I have ideas for 5 travel thank you gifts. Think light weight items that remain staples for offering gratitude in the holiday tradition.
Little somethings that can easily wrap up and go in a carry-on bag or suitcase without adding extra over-size baggage charges to your travel bill. Or, simply order and send as a follow up to a great time together. I’m also a sucker for great smelling things that light up, which helps ensure any room of the house is blown up with welcoming flavors and holiday glow.
So if you’re heading out for the holidays, or even just down the road, here are 5 travel thank you suggestions for gifts to show your appreciation this holiday season.
I know there are always hot new items out on the town but my list is tried and true to me, and I’ve been loyal to all these brands for many years. Their stories and business plans also focus around US production and fairly treating employees. And finally, none of these products have asked me to sell them, so I’m not engaged in any quid pro quo.
Sometimes giving home scents is a gamble but with Alora Ambiance all of them are lovely enough to take a risk. In particular I love the grapefruit freshness of Argume and the zingy tomato flavored optimism of Toscana. Pino is a winter pine scent that makes you feel as if you’re in the depths of the forest in a festive cabin.
Remember here, while the product is compact and well packaged, there is too much liquid to place in your carry-on bag. I learned this the hard way one time when I flew to Maui to visit my cousin Monica and had to make a last minute decision at TSA to part with the goods.
Unless you really know your host or the recipient, I’d steer clear of the floral scents as well as the other holiday scent Festa. Since shipping is really fast these days you can also purchase a few samples ($5 each) and then narrow in on the decision. ($60 for 8oz)
Have you ever been wrapped up with a fantastic smelling candle in the store only to get it home to find out the scent fizzles away when lit? Not Sydney Hale Co. candles. The balanced fragrance keeps it going all through the burning day.
Yes, there are a million types of beeswax and soy products out there but I’ve enjoyed these candles for years in my own home and only give gifts that I’d love myself. My favorite scent is Tobacco – Sandlewood followed closely by Fir – Blue Sage and Fig – Vanilla. ($30)
First and foremost, I’ve always appreciated the Schoolhouse Electric mission to manufacture items in the US and partner with American producers as much as possible. It’s not just a line of BS, as they have a lighting production facility in the same building as the showroom in Portland. On top of this, the gem of an electric lighting slash luxurious bedding slash mid-century designed clocks store is full of fun smaller items that make great gifts. You can find Sydney Hale candles (see #4) and much much more.
Going to a beach house where you fight with your brother on how to build a proper fire? Get the “How to build a fire” book for a humorous conversation ($14.95). Someone is very organized? I love the 2020 Big Picture Calendar ($34). While there are limited locations with just two stores in Portland and Pittsburgh, the online run is easily accessible and you can ship directly to your host or take with you.
Candle holders with effervescent ability to create a glowing atmosphere with movement. Quietude and activity all at once. A few years back, for my 40th birthday, a group of friends got together and gifted me an insane amount of these babies so I know what a room full of gently flickering light can do to the mood of any gathering.
Glassybaby also has a wonderful back story, complete with donating money from each sale to various charities. Some of the proceeds from “Wet Dog,” for example, go to local animal shelters.
They come in so many colors, new textures, and the names are often inspiring. “Courage” is a lovely magenta hue while “Wingman” is a more masculine marble gray. If you’re not the sentimental type and opt for the holiday color palette, no worries, while there aren’t mashed potato or turkey flavors you can always go with “Creme Brûlée” or “Whiskey” to set the festive tone. ($50)
The top of the list of 5 travel thank you gifts is anything to do with this fantastic San Fran based company.
My loyalty to Nancy Boy started back in the early 2000’s when my friend Matt and I entered the small sliver of a store on Market Street in San Francisco to find friendly staff with an eye for both design and responsible products. The co-founder of the company spent years working for a large household products manufacturer and went out on his own to design better products that aren’t tested on animals nor harmful for the environment.
The shaving cream is the best I’ve ever used, laundry detergent a must and fresh linen spray a wonderful way for me to welcome my Airbnb guests.
I’ve always loved the Signature scent, which is a bright, non-chemically version of lavender. Replenishing, with energetic cucumber hints is also fantastic. And my guests always comment on Hearth scent during the holidays.
Shipping is free for orders over $50, and I must say about as fast as Amazon fresh. Sign up for the monthly email, which is hilarious and offers discounts off all the products. (about $18)
I hope these hints help, and perhaps give you more a little glimpse into things About Me. And for my hosts in Philly, sorry to ruin the surprise – you’re getting Glassybaby!
Travel for the holidays can be fun when you incorporate a few of these light, quick but fun items for your hosts into your journey. Whether that be a plane, train or automobile, spread some delight while saying “Thanks” this season.