The 9 Best Travel Gifts by Travel Experts (2022 Edition)
My blog posts likely contain affiliate links, including for the Amazon Associates program.
Let me tell ya: it’s been a wild few years for travel creators. Almost three years after the pandemic began, people have certainly been traveling again – but those of us who create content to help you do so have still been on a rollercoaster of traffic and income. This might not seem relevant to you as the traveler, but it’s important to remember that we creators are business owners; it’s hard out there for a player – I mean blogger – when you can’t predict what your business might do next month.
The best way you can support the travel creators you love is by reading/engaging with the content they create; the second best option is to purchase from them (or through links they share). That’s why I’m excited to share an updated list of the best travel products created by travel experts. These are people like me (and including me) who have worked hard to come up with creative products to sell on their own websites, about the destinations they love.
I am so proud to share the products created by fellow travel experts on this list. As you’ll see, we travel blogger types have gotten pretty darn creative – and many of us have had to work extra hard to keep our businesses afloat the last three years. Purchasing these gifts directly supports the travel expert creators themselves. Read on to get inspired to visit these destinations – and tick a few gifts off your need-to-buy list this year.
(Pro-tip: buy now for the 2022 holiday season! These shops are all small like mine, and shipping isn’t going to be Amazon Prime fast. For at least my own items on this list, I can’t guarantee delivery before Christmas if you purchase after December 5, 2022.)
1. The Alaska Box
- Featured destination? Alaska
- What is it? A subscription box full of goods from Alaska
- Created by? Me (Valerie & Valise)
- Cost? $60 for one box, $200 for a one-year/four-box subscription
While I said that coming up with travel product ideas is really hard, I’ve had the idea for The Alaska Box since 2015. Two Thousand Fifteen, people. I came up with this idea over seven years ago. Why did I never create it, you ask? I didn’t have space in my living situation to store the items I needed to make this product.
But with our move from California to Cleveland this year, and buying our first home, I now have plenty of space to store an inventory of the items I hand-pick to put in each Alaska Box.
The first Alaska Box will ship on November 30, 2021, and with goodies I’ve discovered and love from my many trips to Alaska. This makes the perfect gift for someone who loves Alaska, has visited Alaska, or wants to visit Alaska. (Or all three!)
2. Cleveland Cityscape Mug
- Featured destination? Cleveland, OH
- What is it? A coffee mug with beautiful art on it
- Created by? Amanda from Cleveland Traveler
- Cost? $20
Hey look, it’s our new home city of Cleveland! My blogger friend Amanda, who also runs another site, started her Cleveland site a few years ago to share about living here.
Since then, she’s built out a huge wealth of resources that I use regularly when planning things to do around Cleveland; she also offers a number of Cleveland products including these mugs that were designed by a fellow travel blogger, Candace. It shows the Cleveland skyline, and the image was originally hand-drawn and water-colored – it’s a real work of art for a coffee mug!
We have two of these mugs at home, and they work great for holding “jet fuel” for work each morning (aka coffee).
3. Cute London Coasters
- Featured destination? London, England
- What is it? A set of four whimsically designed coasters
- Created by? Julie from A Lady in London
- Cost? £15
I’ve been following Julie for years (almost since before I had my blog!) since she’s living my dream as an expat (now legal citizen) in London. She’s built up a wealth of knowledge about London, England, the U.K., and even Europe on her blog, and also offers several London products she designed in collaboration with a creative studio in London.
The four coasters (sold separately) are my favorite from her product catalog, as they feature four beautiful buildings from different West London neighborhoods: Notting Hill, Kensington, Chelsea, and Knightsbridge. While I’m really more of an East London gal, I can’t deny these buildings are quintessentially London and a perfect set for your home.
Keep in mind these are sent from London, so international shipping will cause even greater delays this holiday season!
4. Food Maps
- Featured destination? Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Thailand, Vietnam
- What is it? Stylized text artwork about food in different countries
- Created by? Jodi from Legal Nomads
- Cost? $18-$30 depending on product
Jodi is another one of the original travel bloggers, though her life has been in a very different chapter these past few years following major health issues. Initially, she made a name for herself as one of the best food-travel bloggers, and her shop is filled with products inspired by the food she loves in her favorite destinations around the globe.
Specifically, she worked with a designer to come up with “food maps” of different countries, like Mexico (pictured), Italy, and Vietnam. The art is available as a poster or screen-printed on a tee or tote bag. These make a perfect gift for someone who loves traveling for food – the biggest Anthony Bourdain fan in your life.
5. Scottish Scented Candles
- Featured destination? Scotland
- What is it? Set of four candles
- Created by? Kay from The Chaotic Scot
- Cost? £48
I’ll be honest: I was not aware of Kay or her blog before I started researching this gift guide, but I’m SO glad I found her. In addition to many other Scotland-inspired products, I love a good destination-scented candle (i.e. NOT Homesick Candles) and have even created a few of my own.
Kay partnered with a candlemaker to design four different scents to represent the four seasons in four different parts of Scotland: Springtime in Edinburgh, Summer in the Outer Hebrides, Autumn in Perthshire, and Winter in the Highlands. She doesn’t sell them as a four-season pack anymore, you can buy them in pairs (Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter).
Having been to Edinburgh and the Highlands myself, I can’t wait to have a happy nose full of Scottish scents.
6. The Dining Traveler Guide to Puerto Rico
- Featured destination? Puerto Rico
- What is it? A photographic guidebook
- Created by? Jessica from The Dining Traveler
- Cost? $39.95
Like Jodi, Jessica is a well-known and respected member of the food+travel writing community, and she shares stories from around the world on her blog, The Dining Traveler. However, she was raised in Puerto Rico and visits regularly – making her the perfect person to write a book about the island.
In her book, you’ll discover gorgeous photos and tons of information about Puerto Rico, divided up geographically. From popular spots that you may have heard of to lesser-known areas that will inspire a future trip, this book is a great gift for someone who loves America and should explore more of it.
7. Oktoberfest Tee
- Featured destination? Munich, Germany
- What is it? Lyric Tee for Oktoberfest
- Created by? Ashley at My Wanderlusty Life
- Cost? $25
You might not know it, but I love Oktoberfest. I’ve been twice in Munich, and plan to go back again in the next year or two. (I also love celebrating at local events, like Oaktoberfest (in Oakland, California) and Cleveland’s huge Oktoberfest celebration.)
You won’t find much Oktoberfest content on my site though… why? Because I know my friend Ashley has the best resources out there and I want to support her by pointing people to her site when they are planning an Oktoberfest trip.
She also has Oktoberfest-inspired products, like this “Ein Prosit” tee that teaches you the words to Munich’s famous drinking song (you’ll hear it when you go!). Best of all, she made it in this rich purple color to match my site – just for me and V&V readers!
It’s a great option if you don’t have a dirndl or lederhosen.
8. Ontario Hiking Map
- Featured destination? Ontario, Canada
- What is it? Push-Pin Poster with Trails
- Created by? Lauren at Ontario Hiking
- Cost? ~$26
In the past year, I’ve become even more of a hiking enthusiast – which is weird, I know. In any case, I knew that I had to include this Hiking “Pin Map” for my friends north of the border who love hitting the trails too.
Informational maps are my favorite kind – ones that help you learn more or see more about a place fit very much in line with my desire to help people travel more deeply than just hitting the tourist hot spots. This map does that, highlighting 100 trails across Canada’s Ontario province (that’s a lot of hikes!).
If you’re in Ontario – or planning a visit, consider adding this provincial map to your wall and tracking your trail accomplishments on it!
9. Dark Skies
- Featured destination? The WHOLE UNIVERSE
- What is it? A book
- Created by? Me! (over on Space Tourism Guide)
- Cost? $19.95-$24.95
Last but certainly not least, I wanted to highlight one more product of mine: Dark Skies. You might recall when I announced this book in 2019, the same year it was released. I still sell copies of this book through this site and my space and astrotourism site, Space Tourism Guide.
As it was published by Lonely Planet, you can feel confident in the quality of this book: I wrote the words, they paid the photographers and did all the lovely formatting. The book covers the entire world by design, but all with a focus on my favorite destination: space.
You can buy signed copies, made out for your gift recipient – just be sure to give me that information when you place your order!
Know of any other great gifts like these, made by travel experts like these? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add them! (Or let me know any questions you have about these products too!)