The holidays are coming up and it’s time to start thinking about any gifts you might be giving to loved ones this year for the holidays. I am always looking for thoughtful gifts–– things that won’t just be unwrapped and set aside, but products that will be loved throughout the year. Instead of just buying someone a gift because you feel you “should,” I encourage you to ask yourself what this person in your life would really benefit from, and how you can show them how much you appreciate them.
The items in this year’s guide range in price and category. I also won’t judge you if you just want to shop for yourself. 😉
PHOTOGRAPHY & TECH
CreativeLive • any amount // This one is NOT JUST FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS, but any creative. CreativeLive is a platform that allows you to take classes from experts in fields ranging from photography to entrepreneurship to financial literacy. It has classes for aspiring travelers, hand-lettering artists, foodies, designers and all sorts of other makers. If you have someone on your list who has expressed interest in wanting to learn more about some kind of creative path, check out CreativeLive’s offerings. They have a gifting option, which makes it easy for you! You can find my personal picks here, and CreativeLive’s own curated gift guide here.
Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan • $239.88 for one year // Photoshop and Lightroom are crucial to most photographers’ editing process, including mine. If you’ve got someone in your life who is wanting more tools for editing their photography, a year-long subscription could be a great gift for them. Be sure to (subtly?) look into if they already have this or not! I linked to the Mac version, so make sure you get the right version for their operating system.
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VA • $898 // One of the BEST point-and-shoot cameras available right now. This camera is insanely powerful for its small size, and would be great for someone needing a camera that is more lightweight for outdoor pursuits, or discreet for travel photography. (B&H or Amazon)
Sony a7 III Alpha Mirrorless Digital Camera • $1,998 // This camera is my recommendation if someone on your list is wanting a solid full frame camera body. I seriously cannot recommend a better camera for the price–– for all of these features, it is a deal at $2,000. That said, hopefully the recipient of this epic gift is on your Nice list! 😉 If you are looking for an incredible lens to pair this with, my top pick is definitely the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM. (B&H or Amazon).
Sony TOUGH Memory Cards • $74.99+ // Sony came out with waterproof, dust-proof memory cards this year. For all the dusty, water-involved situations I am in, these are excellent. If you know a photographer or videographer who is as
clumsy adventurous as me, this is a good bet. (B&H or Amazon)
TRAVEL & OUTDOOR
Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones • $349.99 // Ok, these might belong in the tech category, but I grouped them with the travel stuff because I literally do not travel without these anymore! They are amazing. Of course, having any noise-cancelling headphones on a flight is an instant upgrade from standard earphones, but these are the best of the best. The battery life is solid enough for a long haul flight and then some. Hold your hand over the right ear to hear announcements. (B&H or Amazon)
Kindle • $79.99+ // I have had my kindle since 2012 and use it exclusively for reading while traveling! I love to have physical books when I am at home, but for travel, you just can’t beat an e-reader. The ability to carry multiple books with you is such a big benefit, especially for longer trips. Amazon’s latest version is waterproof!
LifeStraw Universal Water Filter • $34.95 // This year I worked on a project with LifeStraw in Mexico and got familiar with their products. If you are shopping for someone who has an international and/or outdoorsy trip coming up that may have questionable water sources, pick up one of these. They can use it with any water bottle they already own.
Moleskine Classic Notebooks • $12 // Moleskine notebooks are my favorite! I’m a big-time journaler, and these are my go-to because of their size. They are simple, classic and easy to travel with. Give alone or include in a travel themed bundle.
United by Blue Look Up Copper Mug • $27.95 // I snagged this at a trade show last year and get questions about it all the time! It’s a favorite for road trips and just drinking tea at home. A warning – it’s not insulated, so the copper gets hot.
Prana Pammie Beanie • $39.95 // It’s always nice to have a cozy beanie for winter.
HOME & SELF-CARE
Headspace • $12.99/month // This is the app I use for daily meditation–– a crucial part of my routine. Headspace takes you from the basics into different topics like Productivity, Creativity or Anxiety, helping you get specific with your meditation. You can purchase a month (or more) for someone as a gift from their website.
Starbucks Gift Card // Really, Erin? Yes, really! Frequent travelers know that Starbucks is pretty ubiquitous in airports and cities around the world, and having a gift card handy can make a travel day a little bit less hectic.
OSEA Everyday Essentials Set • $48 // I love a good skincare set. I received a set from OSEA as a gift myself, and loved the product so much I’m recommending it here.
Adam Vicarel prints • $20 // Adam is a talented artist and also designed my logo. Check out his art for travel and outdoor inspired prints & products for the travel and outdoor lovers in your life.
Erin Outdoors prints // Ahem, hello, it is me. I just stocked my print shop with all of my favorite images from 2018, and you can take 30% off all prints with the code “MERRY” until 12/31! Want it framed? You can add matting and a frame as an add-on, or take your print to a framing shop once it arrives. Images are printed and shipped by BayPhoto. If you’d like help with image selection or have questions on the finishes or add-ons I have available, please shoot an email over to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ZEISS Lens Wipes • $5.69 for a pack of 60 // These come in handy for anyone who travels with a camera.
Single-use face masks // I love to travel with a few of these. It makes a huge difference after a long flight! You can get various types at Sephora or any drugstore.
Four Sigmatic Mushroom Elixirs • $18.99 for a sampler pack // Since quitting coffee four months ago, I have a new mushroom elixir habit, and these come with me on every trip. It is helpful that they come in individual packets for travel, though I am aware that they’re not ideal from a waste perspective.
Ubuntu Live Love bracelet • $24 // I have been working with Ubuntu Life for a couple of years now to share their story through photography. They work with a group of talented Maasai beaders who make these bracelets. My favorite color is the white & gold combo.
Re-usable straws • $9.95 // Such a great gift that will keep single-use straws out of landfills and oceans.
Massage ball • $14.95 // Anyone who lives an active lifestyle can benefit from one of these!
Keychain bottle opener // It is so convenient to have one of these on your keys! Much easier than having to look for a lighter or another object to open a bottle with.
OTHER HELPFUL GIFT GUIDES & IDEAS
- Holiday Shopping Guide: Native Edition by Cali Wolf
- #BuyBlack Gift Guide via Essence
- Best Holiday Gift Guide for Travel 2018 by Hopscotch the Globe
- 15 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Travel Lovers by Renee Roaming
- Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide by Jess Wandering
- 10 Gifts for $10 or Less by The Points Guy
- Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for Travelers by The Blonde Abroad
- 7 Gifts for the Anxious Traveler via Vice/Tonic
I want to sign off by reminding you to not buy stuff just for the sake of buying stuff. I hope you enjoy this season, and that you have fun picking out thoughtful gifts for your friends and family.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may get a small commission if you choose to buy something. These links help me keep this blog full of meaningful content. I appreciate your support!
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