The holidays will be here before you know it. If you aren’t jetting off anywhere, you’re likely buying gifts for family and friends. Here’s my recommendations for what to buy the frequent travellers on your list, plus gifts for someone going travelling.
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Gifts for someone going travelling
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The best travel suitcase
I adore this Travel-Pro Max Lite 5 and not just because it’s an adorable dusty-rose! It comes in a variety of colours, but you know this one isn’t going to be accidentally picked up on the luggage conveyor belt as so many boring black suitcases are. And at just over 7 pounds, it’s one of the lightest suitcases on the market.
Even though it looks pretty, it’s super robust and has gone through all these crazy durability tests I won’t bore you with. I love how the wheels are those 360° spinner wheels, so it rolls with you, instead of you having to pull it. Find it at the Bay and TravelPro.ca.
Airplane cocktail kit
If the airlines won’t enhance their beverage offerings, it’s up to us. Calgary’s own Porter’s Tonic now makes its delicious tonics travel-size – in 100 ml bottles you can bring in your carry-on. Regular tonic – the kind you buy in the grocery store is super high in calories and often sweetened by the devil AKA high fructose corn syrup. Porter’s tonic is made with all natural ingredients and sweetened with agave, not sugar.
The cocktail kit comes with four flavours, but my faves are sumac & pink peppercorn and cardamom orange. Don’t just use it for gin! It’s great in a vodka soda, too. If you don’t win a kit in the draw, you can buy it at Vine Arts, Silk Road Spice merchant, Willow Park Wines & Spirits, Bricks Wine Company and Sierra Springs Liquor in Airdrie.
As much as I love my Poppy Barley boots, it’s their bags I keep purchasing. Last year it was on my 18 for 2018 list to find and buy the perfect black handbag. I found it at Poppy Barley. Now, I’m salivating over their backpacks. The mini backpack you see below is both a purse and a backpack. The adjustable strap lets you wear it as a backpack, shoulder satchel, or crossbody bag.
It’s got lots of little compartments, including an interior mesh water bottle holder to keep your beverage container in place. I love the exterior slip pockets, allowing me easy access to my phone and wallet. It can fit a tablet and holds up to 9.6L of precious cargo. Score!
As a bonus, all Poppy Barley products (shoes, custom boots, purses, etc…) are made ethically and sustainably of AA grade luxurious leather and nubuck. And they’re an Alberta-based company!
Best rose champagne
When you really don’t know what to buy someone – wine always goes down a treat. And being the holiday season, who wouldn’t want to receive a luxe bottle of fizz? Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé is one of my all time favourite champagnes.
Not only is it a very elegant wine with a delightful pink colour, it’s got a hint of raspberry on the finish. It pairs perfectly with salmon or sushi or can be sipped on it’s own. I drank Billecart-Salmon quite frequently when I lived in London and I’m thrilled to find it in Calgary at Highlander Wines & Spirits, Willow Park Wines & Spirits (which has an amazing Black Friday sale!!), select Calgary Co-op’s, plus wine boutiques like Vine Arts and Bin 905.
Stocking stuffers for frequent travellers
Best energy bar for travel
I always throw a travel bar into our stockings and for the last two years, I’ve been hooked on KIND. Not only is it the only bar my daughter will eat (dear manufacturer, please never stop making Caramel Almond & Sea Salt), but it’s only got 5 g of sugar vs the 20+ grams most granola bars have.
I stockpile KIND Bars for travel, but it’s a good snack to have Christmas morning, after all the sugar consumption. I’m all for guilt-free snacking, especially when your snack is made from healthy whole ingredients you can pronounce. Because KIND bars are so lightweight and gluten-free, I always have a few in my purse or carry-on bag in case I arrive at my hotel too late to call room service.
Gift certificate for an airport hotel
An overnight at an airport hotel is something people really appreciate (especially before those crazy early morning flights), but rarely buy for themselves. The one on my radar is the newly opened Holiday Inn & Suites Calgary Airport North, located at 20 Freeport Place NE, Calgary, Alberta.
It’s the perfect destination for business travellers, and even families and vacationers as it has an indoor swimming pool with a waterslide, heated whirlpool, a fully equipped fitness center, and Keurig® brewers in every room. This Holiday Inn property also sports the only Burger Theory restaurant in Canada, specializing in gourmet burgers and craft beers.
You can leave your car parked at the hotel long term and take advantage of the free shuttle to the airport. Because so many of us have reward points we never use, this is a great way to save money. Simply book a stay for your friend or family member using your points or comment below for your chance to win 30,000 IHG Rewards Club points, equivalent to a one-night stay at any Holiday Inn property across Canada.
Thank you to all these brands: Poppy Barley, Select Wines, TravelPro, KIND, IHG and Porter’s Tonic for generously offering samples for this giveaway. And thank you, dear reader, for supporting the brands that make Travels with Baggage possible.