The holiday shopping season is upon us, and finding that perfect gift for your friends and family can be a challenge, especially when it comes to the frequent travelers and health nuts in our lives. Being both ourselves, we’ve put together some of our favorite health, travel and charitable gifts for all budgets to make spreading the holiday cheer a bit easier for you this year.
Note: Many of the products below are found in our Amazon shop, and the links to products on Amazon are affiliate links. We’d greatly appreciate it if you searched through our store during your holiday shopping!
Heart rate and activity trackers
Fitness trackers like the Fitbit Flex are great devices for monitoring your activity levels, heart rate, steps and even sleeping habits, keeping you on track to your fitness goals. They now come in great colors and patterns for those who are more fashion-forward.
Lightweight Yoga Mats
Yoga mats like the Manduka Superlite Travel Mat that can fold down to the size of a paperback book make yoga, stretching and working out on the go a breeze.
Rubberbanditz Mobile Gym
The Rubberbanditz Mobile Gym system uses a series of rubber band loops in various weights to either add resistance to or assist in typical bodyweight exercises, like squats and pull-ups. Get the whole set or purchase just one or two bands at a time, all of which pack easily into carry-ons and suitcases.
Revolution Balance Boards
Revolution’s balance boards aren’t just for board sports enthusiasts, though they do help athletes train in their off seasons. Balance boards like the Revolution 101 can be used for fitness training as well by challenging your balance through standard workout moves, like push-ups.
Suspension Training System
Suspension training systems like the TRX Basic Kit are great for using your body as the suspended weight as you hold some or all of your weight off the ground using the systems’ handles and foot holsters. These, too, add a balance challenge and extra dynamics to standard exercises.
Multi-functional Exercise Clothes
Layering items and reversible pieces give you a huge range of mix-and-match options for easy transition from the gym to the rest of your day and for an entire wardrobe selection out of a tiny suitcase. Some of our favorite pieces are the Nike Luxe Running Hoodie for women and the Nike Men’s Golf Flat Front Tech Pants for men.
Bike Repair Kit
Don’t let your cycling friend be stranded out on the road or trail! This Roswheel compact bike repair kit will allow them to fix most mechanical issues and flat tires on the go and serve as a starter emergency kit when needed.
Health Measurement and Tracking Kit
Measuring and tracking your progress during any fitness endeavor is key to reaching your goals. The Fitlosophy getFITkit package includes a food scale, measuring tape, body weight scale, calipers and a note journal to toss in a bag to easily track daily activities and eating habits.
Foam rollers, especially ones like Trigger Point Performance’s The Grid Revolutionary Foam Roller with grids and other nodules for trigger point therapy, are fantastic at relieving the pain of sore muscles, scar tissue build up and knots when you can’t get a massage. These pack easily in suitcases or car trunks and can even be used as extra protection of small delicates by storing them inside the hollow tube.
Definity Digital Good Night Bulb
The blue light emitted by TV and device screens inhibits the production of melatonin, a chemical produced in the brain to signal sleep. The Definite Digital Good Night light bulb cancels out the blue light, allowing normal melatonin production for a good night’s rest, especially when suffering jetlag.
Just the opposite of the night light, sunlight-mimicking lamps like the Lightphoria 10,000LUX Energy Light Lamp helps gently signal the brain to wake up, another essential particularly for those who experience jetlag or have to rise long before the sun does.
Comfortable Stylish Walking Shoes
Being on your feet all day does not mean subjecting your feet to athletic shoes all day. Flats like the Patagonia Women’s Maha Ballet Flat provide the support you need while blending seamlessly with the rest of your day-to-day style. Plus, they slip on and off easily for as little hassle as possible at airport security.
The benefits of massage therapy are many and profound, no matter what your lifestyle is (see our Complete Guide to Massage Therapy!) Treating your friends and family to a massage or two is a gift that keeps giving long after their appointment. Find a reputable facility in your recipient’s area or try the MELT Method for at-home pain relief and relaxation.
Foot problems like plantar fasciitis plague both active and sedentary people alike, and since comfort and healthy posture starts with your feet, it’s important to keep the pups healthy, happy and pain free. Foot rollers like the Body Back Company Foot Roller with Porcupine Massage Ball are easy to toss in a purse or carry-on for foot and hand pain relief and self-treatment of common fascia issues.
Muscle Roller Stick
Much like a foot roller, a muscle roller stick allows for allover muscle tension relief by pressing a bar covered in flat beads and rolling over sore and tight muscles. This 18″ stick packs easily into suitcases and gym bags.
HEALTHY EATING & DRINKING
Filter Water Bottle
Having a water bottle on you can help keep you hydrated more than if you had to go out of your way to get a drink. This durable KOR Nava water bottle is BPA free and filters water for you, so no matter where you fill up, the water is fresh and safe.
Healthy Food and Snack Subscription
Subscriptions are becoming one of the best ways to keep up healthy habits by having the essentials delivered to your door at regular intervals. Try meal subscriptions like Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and Plated, and snack subscriptions like Healthy Surprise, BREAKbox and NatureBox.
Two Fit Girls Healthy Snacks and Meal Replacements
NC Triangle-based Two Fit Girls hand makes and delivers (to the Triangle area only) delicious protein-packed treats for easy grab-and-go breakfasts, snacks and pre- and post-workout nutrition. Their products are all made with fresh, local and in-season ingredients, so their menu is always changing.
Snack and Meal Containers
Preparing meals and snacks ahead is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy diet, especially for those with specific food allergies and other concerns. Container sets like the Bentgo Box with built in plastic ware and a carrying strap is a great gift option.
Tea is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, making it a fantastic alternative to canned sodas and other beverages typically consumed by many throughout the day. But with this Sun’s Tea spill-proof tea tumbler, users can load it with their favorite teas and tea blends and enjoy it hot or cold on the go.
If budget-friendly and homemade is the name of your gift giving game, consider DIY meal and snack recipes, like Love Soup Mix in a Jar, dried fruits, custom spice mixes, organic hot chocolate mix or infused oils and vinegars.
Oster My Blend
The Oster My Blend may be one of the only blenders that’s travel friendly. The small mixer blends right into the travel tumbler for quick and easy smoothies and protein shakes anywhere.
Hot/Cold Eye Masks
Eye masks have many uses: relieving puffy eyes, blocking out light on flights or in hotel rooms, soothing headaches, easing sinus pressure and many more. Eye masks that can be heated, cooled or kept at room temperature serve all of these purposes and can be tossed into a purse or carry-on easily. Try the SoftHeat Mind & Body Hot/Cold Aromatherapy Gel Mask.
No one likes the hassle of detangling head phones, especially when there’s a toddler screaming behind you on a plane or you’re trying to squeeze in a quick workout and need your playlist. These Zipbuds JUICED 2.0 no-tangle earbuds zip up neatly when not in use, so you won’t have to worry about pulling a knotty mess out of your bag or pocket.
Noise Canceling Headphones
Along the same lines, heavy duty noise canceling headphones are a lifesaver for many travelers no matter how long their trips may be. Try the Plane Quiet Active Noise Canceling Headphones to gift your friends and family some much needed quiet.
Collapsible Hiking and Travel Backpack
Collapsible anything is a great travel product, especially when it’s baggage itself. This HIKPRO Ultralight Packable Travel Backpack folds down to the size of a sandwich when not in use so you can stuff it in a pocket to use at your destination.
Eagle’s Nest Outfitters hammocks make for comfortable slings to sit or stretch out for rest and relaxation anywhere you can find two sturdy poles or trees, and they pack down to the size of a grapefruit in their built in carrying case.
Scrubba Wash Bag
The Scrubba Washing Bag is perfect for international travel where machine washers aren’t as readily available or anywhere where they’re not in the best condition. These wash bags also fold down and store at just 5 oz, making them great for business travelers, roadtripping families and backpackers alike.
Silver Edge Travel Bags
Developed by a soccer mom in NC (and understandably so) these Silver Edge Travel Bags are designed to store the sweatiest and smelliest gear safely separated from your clean stuff in your suitcase or gym bag. The lining prevents the stench and moisture from escaping.
Collapsable Travel Tote
When fully expanded, totes like the Travel Smart All Purpose Microfiber Tote can carry a laptop, change of clothes, Bentgo Box and many of the other products in this list. Once emptied, it shrinks down to a purse or smaller for storage.
Solar Battery Pack and Charger
The XTG Solar Portable Battery Pack serves two important purposes: It charges small devices like iPods and smartphones using solar power, and it can be used as a lantern, flashlight or strobe in emergency situations, all without having to plug into an outlet or change batteries.
Pack an entire library of books, magazines and blogs into a slim Kindle smaller than a travel guide, or upgrade to the Kindle Fire for even more features to keep your friends and family entertained and connected on long trips.
PHOTO AND VIDEO
This handy little video camera has risen to the top of th market in the past few years, and for good reason: It’s durability and small size make it ideal for adventure footage. Mount any of the GoPros, like the Hero 3+, on a helmet, underneath a surfboard or pretty much anywhere for amazing POV videos to share with your friends.
Most cameras come with a neck strap that’s less than comfortable. Treat your photographer/videographer friend or relative to a soft and ergonomic strap like Rembrandt Project’s ergonomic dual neck strap and shoulder sling for comfortable shooting. Plus, Rembrandt Project will donate $1 from each sale to an orphanage in the Philippines!
Disguised Camera Case
While many camera bags are great for protecting the expensive gear inside, many are often a glaring target for thieves in seedy locations. Instead, opt for a less conspicuous bag like the Koolertron Waterproof Vintage DSLR camera bag for more protection than just cushioning and waterproof material.
Most standard cameras come with just the body and basic lens. Add to your photographer’s kit with something small and budget-friendly, like fun bokeh lens filters like the Lensbaby Creative Aperture Kit, flash unit or a fish-eye adapter, or go for more serious upgrades with macro lenses or a professional travel tripod–just make sure you know what camera your photographer has to get the right accessories!
GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK ALL YEAR LONG
United by Blue
United by Blue makes several lines of beautiful sustainable outdoor, lifestyle, travel, home and adventure clothing and gear, and for every item purchased, the company removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways.
Headbands of Hope Active Collection Headbands
Headbands of Hope makes several collections of headbands, including buffs for boys. For every band purchased, one is given to a girl or boy with cancer and $1 is given to fund lifesaving childhood cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Check out their Active Collection for cute headbands that hold up through workouts and the rest of the day.
TOMS Shoes‘ One for One campaign provides a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair purchased. While their original canvas slip-ons are perfect for travel and comfortable for long days on your feet, their newer lines of boots, wedges, sandals and more make for great fashionable pieces for regular day wear.
Theodora & Callum Fight the Ladykiller Scarf
Theodora & Callum’s wearable Flight the Ladykiller art scarf doesn’t just double as a stylish neck warmer and impromptu airplane pillow, 50% of sales this season will be donated to the Women’s Heart Alliance as a part of the #FightTheLadykiller campaign against heart disease in women.
Every week, Sevenly‘s custom designed limited edition t-shirts, hoodies and more support a different cause, such as muscular dystrophy, adoption and anti-sex trafficking, and $7 from every purchase is donated to the designated organization. Their super comfortable men’s and women’s gear is perfect for day wear, travel and fitness, and women can also subscribe to CauseBox.
The Body Shop Gift Sets
Throughout the year, The Body Shop contributes to several campaigns along company values, including banning animal product testing, supporting the fight against HIV, and protecting women and children against domestic violence. This holiday season, proceeds from select The Body Shop gift sets help War Child provide education to children in war-torn areas.
Kiehl’s Natural Care Products
Throughout the holiday season, Kiehl’s will be donating 100% of net profits up to $100,000 from sales of it’s skin, body and hair care products to Feeding America in partnership with Norman Rockwell. Many of their products come in small travel sets that are perfect for anyone on the go.
Ten Thousand Villages Handmade Wares
Ten Thousand Villages is an online and brick-and-mortar marketplace of handmade gifts, jewelry, home decor, art and more from artisans in areas of the world where economic opportunity is lacking. Sales of these ethically-sourced fair-trade gifts help pay for food, housing and other resources for the artists who need it.
Krochet Kids International Clothes and Accessories
Three brothers from Spokane, Washington, known locally as the Krochet Kids realized their love of crocheting could help bring impoverished people in developing countries out of the cycle of poverty. They’ve taught women in communities in Uganda and Peru how to master the art of crochet, pay them a fair wage to produce beautiful clothing and accessories, then sell their crafts online to support education and economic empowerment in their communities. All Krochet Kids International products come with a tag signed by the artist who made it.